To The Maxx

September 30, 2007, 11:45 pm
Filed under: music

1. i saw trent reznor at dinner tonight.

2. this radiohead shit is brilliant. no viral marketing months in advance, no single in rotation, no full-album leak to the internet. just music and people. once the artists allow their public to assign their own value to the music, the record industry will be done for. i will happily throw down a few bucks for the download. and you should too.

3. NEW MIXTAPE!!!!!!!!

me lords and ladies, the monthly mixtape will now be available for your digital delight on the first of each month, not the fifteenth as was previously the case. because the last one was all wesleyan bands, i had a surplus of rad non-wesleyan stuff i was discovering and i just couldn’t sit on it for another fifteen days.

so get excited. this is the tight styles.

DOWNLOAD: MAXX MIXX, OCTOBER 2007 (57:20/224 kbps/91.9 MB)

1. The Budos Band “Budos Rising” Tradition says to start the monthly mix with an instrumental track, and I’m not one to buck tradition. Budos is an instrumental afro-soul outfit from Staten Island (Wu Tang Forever) on the unstoppable Daptone Records.

2. Bat For Lashes “What’s A Girl To Do?”
Bat For Lashes is the work of Natasha Khan, of the eminent Pakistani squash-playing Khans. A perfect otherworldly blend of past and future sounds. You may have also heard me gushing about the music video.

3. Enon “Dr. Freeze” Formed by John Schmersal in the wake of Brainiac, Enon have returned with their first album of new material since 2003. This band is consistently excellent and the new record is no exception.

4. Ra Ra Riot “Each Year (RAC Mix)”
Essential remix of essential song. Who is RAC? This is RAC. Interesting.

5. Ghostland Observatory “Sad, Sad City” Simple and effective. They’re a duo from Austin. I hope that the “sad sad city” isn’t Austin, because I always found Austin to be rather lovely.

6. Celebration “Pony”
I caught most of Celebration’s set at Coachella a few years ago after running full speed back to the car, where I’d left my ticket. I got winded and was wheezing all day. For this reason, I will forever associate their music with breathlessness. Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio produced the new record.

7. Shocking Pinks “Emily” Just signed to DFA Records. One dude from New Zealand who used to be in The Brunettes. From this song alone, I’m really stoked to hear the whole album.

8. Prinzhorn Dance School “Crackerjack Docker” Also just signed to DFA records. This one has much more of the typical DFA “dance-punk” sound, if you will. It’s super sparse, almost austere, but the strong sense of humor in the lyrics and delivery make the song much more enjoyable to my ears.

9. Letters Letters “Want To”
More no-wave noise. This time from Montreal. Can’t get enough of all the bleeps and boops. And the sound of girls counting. I always love that.

10. The Wolfhounds “Anti Midas Touch” A brilliant cut from one of the best compilations I bought this year, CD86: 48 Tracks From The Birth Of Indie Pop. It’s all mid-80s UK anorak pop and it’s all good, but this one is just too ridiculously catchy.

11. Film School “Lectric” Dreamy swirly sweet stuff from the Golden State. These guys have been around for a while and they’re still sounding totally on point. On tour with To The Maxx fave Land of Talk.

12. Of Montreal “Du Or Meg” I have been repeatedly listening to this recent EP track like an obsessive fan. I think it’s because the horns remind me of Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Seeing them and MGMT in November!

13. A Place To Bury Strangers “I Know I’ll See You” Recent object of Pitchfork’s affection. The album is pretty intensely noisy, but this song gently burrows into your head, as opposed to the rest of them which are mostly in the “pulverize your head” category.

14. Candie Payne “By Tomorrow”
This girl is fantastic. She’s from Liverpool and she’s my age and her songs are moody and groovy and dramatic… like Amy Winehouse with less obvious influences and a more fragile voice. I’ve got a crush.

15. Les Savy Fav “What Would Wolves Do?” Another “wolf” song? I didn’t love the new album when I first listened to it, but it’s starting to grow on me for sure.

16. Midnight Juggernauts “Into The Galaxy”
ELO worshipping Aussies, touring the US right now with Justice. Sounds like a duet between Daft Punk and Bowie. This my shit.

17. Dragons Of Zynth “Get Off” Some wild wild wild dynamics here… don’t let the name turn you off. This band is fronted by twins who studied music theory under Yusef Lateef, they’ve recorded with the aforementioned Dave Sitek and Kyp Malone of TVOTR and are going on tour with the aforementioned Celebration. I believe this song has a backwards Massive Attack sample in it.

18. Totally Radd!! “Cold Moonlight” Los Angeles vidiots get melodramatic with a little help from fellow keytar-wielder Juliette Commagere of Hello Stranger.

19. Lee Moses “Time And Place” Who sampled this? Did someone sample this? Or have I just heard it so many times it seems like someone sampled it?


best music video: bat for lashes
September 27, 2007, 5:01 pm
Filed under: film, music

Bat For Lashes “What’s A Girl To Do”
Directed by Dougal Wilson

September 15, 2007, 8:51 am
Filed under: music

it’s the middle of september. school’s back in session. the youth are learning exciting new things.

i am a few years out of academia, but i wanted to take a seasonal trip down memory lane.

i went to WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY so I thought that for this september installment of my monthly mix tape, I would strictly mine the well of wesleyan bands. and what a deep well it is.

say what you will about old wes, but you can’t deny the fly nature of its musical output.

DOWNLOAD MP3: WESMIX (50:27/256KBPS/92.5 MB)

1. MGMT “Electric Feel” Andrew and Beno, music majors, Class of 2005, voted most likely to get signed to a major label, tour with Of Montreal, make an amazing record and take over the world. the last time i saw them play i got trashed and crowdsurfed and my neck was screwed for four days. best concert of recent memory. (original post) (myspace)

2. Boy Crisis “2 Be Nasty” A rough and tumble band of sexual provocateurs cum campfire singalong artists. the last time i saw them i got a little drunk, picked up frontman Tal and initiated his first crowdsurfing experience. tight. (original post) (myspace)

3. Snowblink “Rut & Nuzzle” (unmixed work in progress) This track is a ToTheMaxx exclusive from Daniela Gesundheit’s forthcoming third record as Snowblink. Daniela possesses one of the most pleasant voices I’ve had the privilege of hearing and her songcraft is truly next level. (myspace)

4. Shy Child “Astronaut” Pete Cafarella and Nate Smith met at Wes in the mid 90s. They were in the band El Guapo, which became Supersystem, which disbanded last year. Shy Child was their other project, now their main gig. This track is from their new album, “Noise Won’t Stop,” which also features a collaboration with Spank Rock (myspace)

5. CountryCLUB “Thug Handles” CountryCLUB is Himanshu. Himanshu’s songs are short, like punk. But rhymed, like rap. I don’t know if the chorus is a reference to the theme from Dawson’s Creek or not… but it’s funny to think about it. (myspace)

6. Man vs. Beast “Submarines (…Get Your Kitchen Resolved)” This band is no longer, but I remember that Lucas used a trash can instead of a keyboard stand and there was one show in a basement during which Lucas spilled a bunch of beer in his synthesizer and then flipped it over so the beer could drain out into the trash. The following year I moved into the house where that show had occurred (54 home ave) and whenever I had to go into the basement to reset the wireless router, I would think about Lucas and the trash. R.I.P. Man vs. Beast.

7. Mobius Band “Friends Like These” A trio of music majors, formed in the late 90s. I remember them playing on campus a bit after they’d graduated and liking that the drummer had a bunch of samples and triggers that he played. They’ve payed their dues and come up in the world and their new stuff is heaps awesome. This song is from their forthcoming album, “Heaven,” which comes out October 2 on Misra. (myspace)

8. Lina Makdisi “July Song” Lina acts and makes music and i don’t know her that well but i like this song. yay. (myspace)

9. Bear Hands “Long Lean Queen” 2 out of 4 of the members of this band are Wesleyan folk. In fact, last I checked, Ted Feldman is class of 09. Crazy. Anyway, Dylan Rau sings and I finally got to see them and was really impressed, especially by the new songs that aren’t on their E.P. I predict great things for Bear Hands. (myspace)

10. Erase Errata “Dust” Not sure if they all went to Wesleyan… I had never heard of this San Francisco-based band before seeing them at All Tomorrow’s Parties in 2002 and, upon witnessing their set, was completely taken aback. Their song “Tongue Tied” immediately went into my spastic danceparty rotation. This track is from their latest album, “Night Life.” (myspace)

11. Babewatch “Pop Fiction” These guys are seniors right now, I think. I like the major/minor shift throughout the song. Reminds me of Pulp. In fact, Thad sounds thoroughly British but I’m fairly certain he is not. He does, however, play a double neck guitar and that is too crazy. (myspace)

12. Bottle Up & Go “These Bones” Loud and trashed duo from the class of ’09 who’ve been getting some good write ups on these here interwebs. The sax solo reminds me of those unexpected bursts in Stooges songs. Did I say they were loud?(myspace)

13. The Fever “Put It On You” The Fever were on Kemado and frontman Geremy Jasper went to Wesleyan. This is a brilliant cut from the album “Red Bedroom.” Geremy also stars in the upcoming epic short film “Glory At Sea,” from Behn Zeitlin. (myspace)

14. Spirit Marines “Challenger” Some fun grooves from four current seniors. This is an artifact from their phase as an instrumental band; they’ve now added vocals. (myspace)

15. Ship “The Sleeping Prism” Frank Lyon and Dave Wilson, formerly of Wesleyan band Gold, now reside in the Bay area, making delightful folk music/visual art/performance spectacles. Here’s an article with more details, as well as their blog.

16. Simon O’Connor “Shark vs. Lion in a Room Half-Filled With Water” Simon, who plays lead guitar in Stylofone, cut a record as his thesis for the Music department. It was a concept album based around an alter-ego character named Magnifique. The final track recounted an epic battle for glory between two scary animals. Instant classic.

There are plenty of other wesleyan bands that I didn’t put on here…. but please do check out Belly Boat, Mirror Boiyz, Michigan, Balloon etc. Who else did I miss? leave em in the comments.

cock of the walk
September 3, 2007, 8:08 am
Filed under: music

brooklyn’s stylofone are going to save rock and roll.

i saw them play at the mercury lounge last week and am convinced of this fact. this is what happens when a band wears their influences on its sleeve and interprets them into a singular sound: that of a well-oiled phallus on the prowl.

at this stage, thin lizzy comparisons are zzzzzzzzzzzboring. yes, there’s plenty of duel guitar-monies. yes, they’ve got swagger up the wazoo. but what i notice most about stylofone is that they reinterpret the hard rock that came before them with sincerity. their throwback sound isn’t tongue-in-cheek (see The Darkness) nor is it a slavish recreation (see an Iron Maiden cover band at a pub). it’s revelatory.

stylofone celebrate their influences. they don’t mock them, they don’t copy them. they love them.

This song “Loose Boots” has an intro that reminds me of a Wes Anderson score (is it the lydian scale? i can’t remember). It is the first track from their new EP which you can buy on tour right now.


TOUR DATES (all shows with Tigercity):

Sep 3 2007, Local 506, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Sep 4 2007 The Boot, Norfolk, Virginia
Sep 6 2007 Map Room, Charleston, SC
Sep 7 2007 Jack Rabbit’s, Jacksonville, Florida
Sep 8 2007 Orpheum, Tampa, Florida
Sep 9 2007 The Social, Orlando, Florida
Sep 10 2007 Studio A, Miami, Florida
Sep 13 2007 Mercy Lounge, Nashville, Tennessee
Sep 14 2007 Tasty World, Athens, Georgia
Sep 15 2007 TBA, Atlanta, Georgia
Sep 18 2007 Uncle Festers, Bloomington, Indiana
Sep 19 2007 The Magic Stick W/ Mystery Jets + Tigercity, Detroit, Michigan
Sep 21 2007 Schubas, Chicago, Illinois
Sep 22 2007 UW Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
Sep 23 2007 400 Bar, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sep 25 2007 Garfield Artworks, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sep 28 2007 Nectar’s, Burlington, Vermont
Sep 29 2007 Henessy’s, Boston, Massachusetts
Oct 3 2007 FREE show @ Southpaw, Brooklyn, New York