Monday, April 23, 2007

The Arcade Fire on BBC2

Like most bloggers, I throughly enjoyed the Arcade Fire's Funeral upon release. It was fresh and excitingly emotional, something with which I'm sure the majority of listeners agreed upon. But then my interest waned. In fact, I still haven't listened to Neon Bible yet. So I guess that explains why I was unaware of their rise to stardom until a few weeks ago. Suddenly they became the subject of my non-indie friends' conversations, and if that's not proof of notoriety I don't know what is.

I'll listen to it eventually, I promise. Until then, here's a 30 minute interview with Win and Will Butler of the Montreal group, aired on BBC2 last Friday. It contains a few clips of live shows, along with acoustic versions of 'Neon Bible' and the Clash's 'Guns of Brixton.' All credit goes to the capper on DimeADozen, thanks!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My Bloody Valentine - Live in Vancouver [Loom]

Here's a nice soundboard recording I found a few weeks ago on It's from a bootleg known as Loom, played in Vancouver in January 1992. Not surprisingly, a good chunk of the music is Loveless material. It was remastered by a Dime user, rendering it very listenable. The last track is a bit spotty, however, but who am I to complain? All credit goes to him and the original recorder.

Loom (January 7, 1992)

When You Sleep
I Only Said
Only Shallow
Nothing Much to Lose
You Never Should
Feed Me With Your Kiss
To Here Knows When
Honey Power
You Made Me Realise

Friday, April 20, 2007


It's hard to find a better geographically-limited record label than Sweden's Labrador. Scratch that, limited should never be used in the same sentence as that wonderful nation. From the Mary Onettes, to Acid House Kings, to tomorrow's best band, it's truly a wonderful music scene populated with copious amounts of twee-pop, shoegaze, and everything in between. And while those musical styles have historically belonged to the British, Sweden's done a great job of reviving an overlooked genre. Despite not being signed to Labrador, the best recent example of this is Gothenburg's Peter Bjorn and John, who've made great strides towards North American success.

The Loveninjas, however, are signed with Labrador and don't disappoint. The 20-somethings call Stockholm, Sweden's capital, home. A New Romantic influence is clear, particularly in synth-pop ballads like 'I Wanna Be Like Johnny C' (the dude from Invader Zim?). Lyricism isn't their strong point, but that's not what the genre is about. Instead, instrumentation is the key to their sound. 'Keep Your Love' does a fine job displaying this purposeful disparity. It's very simplistic in verse, but the band members show their adeptness as well-rounded musicians. Bright keyboards, riffy guitars, bassy rhythms, and charming vocals. It's all so nice. Not convinced? Well, consider the amusingly-titled 'She Broke His Penis in Two.' No, it's not some witty attention grabber, that's the focus of the song: a woman getting vengeance on a rapist's wee wee. When you can make those lyrics ["She broke it, she cut it, she sliced it / She fried it, she cooked it and diced it] seem happy, well kudos to you. Not surprisingly, the jangle guitar does it.

Their full-length debut was released (on Labrador) last year, titled The Secret of the Loveninjas. Despite its derivative nature, it loses no freshness in the process. Declaring it enthusiastic doesn't do them justice. It's fun fun fun, highly recommended.

MP3: Loveninjas - I Wanna Be Like Johnny C
MP3: Loveninjas - Keep Your Love

Monday, April 16, 2007

Back In Business

First off, I hope everyone enjoyed the 2007 song list. I've spent the past week in my bedroom studying for finals, which, fortunately for me, were both few and simple. So yeah, I'm done, and off to bigger and better things for the summer: Blogging, prolonged movie watching, extended periods of music listening, and sadly a job to fund my (not so) lavish lifestyle. Speaking of movies, I watched two good ones yesterday. First was Requiem for a Dream, which was miserably brilliant, both from the cast and production team. Second was Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, which was also great. I've really got to watch more of Peter Sellers.

On another note, I'm glad to see the HBO duo back (Sopranos + Entourage) and re-invigorating a TV lineup that's grown stale lately (read: Prison Break, Lost aka the usual suspects). HBO/TMN at 9PM and 10PM respectively, or whenever your favourite bit torrent tracker gets a copy.

Some more good news - some progress is being made on upgrading the blog. If all goes to plan, the transition will come in a couple weeks.

MP3: EPMD - Strictly Business

Friday, April 06, 2007

Quarter-Pole 2007 2-CD Mix

April has arrived and therefore 25% of 2007 is over, if my math, which is known to be highly suspect, is correct. The first quarter of the year has been fairly abundant in terms of quality releases. Of Montreal's Hissing Fauna took me aback with its glorious pop numbers reminding me of the glam era. Similarly, Panda Bear brought me back to my childhood days of car rides to the tune of Paul Simon and Brian Wilson. Many of these songs have been previously featured here, which isn't surprising seeing as they are my favourites of the year, thus far. What does the rest of 2007 have in store? New releases from Bjork, Art Brut, and the Beastie Boys sound promising, and hopefully some waves will be made from now-unknowns. Anyways, these 28 songs are a representation of 2007's best, I'm sure you'll enjoy them as much as I have. Oh, and they're not ordered for any purpose other than a tracklisting. Your thoughts and opinions are welcome, don't hesitate to post them!

1. Blonde Redhead - 23
2. Air - Once Upon A Time
3. El-P - Run the Numbers
4. Klaxons - Golden Skans
5. LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum
6. Menomena - Air Aid
7. The Mary Onettes - Void
8. Modest Mouse - Dashboard
9. The National - Fake Empire
10. Of Montreal - Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse
11. Panda Bear - Bros
12. The Ponys - Double Vision
13. Windmill - Fluorescent Lights
14. Maia Hirasawa - And I Found this Boy

15. Prince Ali & Incise - Drift (ft. Thieven & Blue)
16. Venetian Snares - Pink + Green
17. !!! - All My Heroes Are Weirdos
18. The Besnard Lakes - For Agent 13
19. The Aliens - Setting Sun
20. Andrew Bird - Fiery Crash
21. The Apples In Stereo - Energy
22. Dalek - Paragraphs Relentless
23. The Field - Over the Ice
24. Sister Vanilla - Jamcolas
25. Voxtrot - Kid Gloves
26. Tunturia - October 4, 1957
27. Tokyo Police Club - Box
28. Hieroglyphics - You Never Know (Domino Remix)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

New Music Tuesday

You might notice a few changes around here shortly. First, I've got an "in-line flash player" beside every mp3, allowing for easy streaming. It took me a few hours to get them set-up, but, er... I figured it out, eventually. Some other things to look out for are a new banner (because the current one flat out sucks) and hopefully an entire re-design in the upcoming weeks. Anyways, enjoy the flash streamer for now, gotta start small.

Onto the music...

Windmill - Puddle City Racing Lights

Windmill - Tokyo Moon
Windmill - Fluorescent Lights

Tokyo Police Club - Box
Tokyo Police Club - Cut Cut Paste

Tunturia - Maps

Tunturia - Cast No Shadows
Tunturia - October 4, 1957

Windmill is the pseudonym of Matt Dillon, a British pianist set to release his debut album in two weeks time. Unless you've got bad ears, his nasally high-pitched voice is the first thing you'll notice. Beyond the vocals is a nicely arranged piano-pop structure, which is very likable. It's a love-it-or-hate-it sort of deal, his voice reminiscent of Wayne Coyne (of the Flaming Lips) backed with piano ballads and bright pop inclinations.

The Toronto-based Tokyo Police Club don't need any introductions. They're a blogger's band through and through. But they've only released a 16 minute long EP, so is the lofty praise justified? That's certainly debatable. Smith is their second EP, even shorter than A Lesson in Crime, clocking in at a measly 9 minutes. Like their past work, Smith is very catchy indie rock in all its hooky glory. The jury's still out on them due to their slim catalogue, but hopefully a quality LP is on its way.

Tunturia are a local post-rock outfit, so local that I went to high school with their drummer. Given my fondness of shoegaze, I've always had an affinity to sprawling and unconventional music. Their sound is icy and empty, painting a picture of a desolate and barren landscape. I'm still amazed that an inventive album like this could be created from someone that went to my cultural wasteland of a school. They'll be kicking off a Canadian tour in May, hopefully getting signed in the process.

In other (unrelated) news: Prison Break finale last night, wtf? I don't think I'm the only one out there that thinks this show is turning into a contrived waste of airwaves.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Free EP: Prince Ali - I Miss 1994

Many are surprised at the degree of spirituality found in hip-hop. Islam, for the most part, swelled with devoted rappers. But it really shouldn't be too surprising considering Minister Louis Farrakhan is the leader of the Nation of Islam, and artists like Rakim and Public Enemy have been preaching loyalty since the '80s. The Islamic sect known as the 5% Nation is another popular belief system, with the Wu-Tang Clan, Poor Righteous Teachers, Brand Nubian, etc. being committed followers. It's not all about gatts and glocks, y'know?

But more to the point. I wrote a paper on spirituality in hip-hop a few months ago, and when I stumbled upon local rapper Prince Ali, I was all ears. Names are important to the 20 year old. First off, he named himself after a historic sultan, bringing in that Eastern influence. His debut EP is titled I Miss 1994, an ode to one of hip-hop's most celebrated years, a year which saw Nas release Illmatic, Jeru's The Sun Rises in the East, and Black Moon's Enta Da Stage. There's nothing that irks me more than an artist that doesn't know his history, but maybe that's just a remnant of my previous history major self. Nonetheless, Ali does know his influences, making allusions to several important rappers, including MC Shan and Toronto-DJ'ed Main Source.

Teaming up with Incise, the production is very down-tempo and poignant, perfectly matching Ali's equally heart-felt MCing. I could certainly do with some more 90s hip-hop revival (in place of post-punk revival, which I'd prefer died). Contributions from Craig G. and Kev Brown are also appreciated. It's no Guru and Premier combo, but for an obviously low-budget EP, this is a great achievement. According to his myspace, his debut LP will be released later this year, and will be titled I Miss 1993 (don't even get me started on how great 93 was!). I'll definitely be posting my thoughts on it when I manage to track down a copy, so check back then.

As mentioned, the EP is available for free download from Ali, so it's definitely worth a listen.

Free Download: Prince Ali - I Miss 1994

And if you're too lazy to download the .zip, here's my favourite from the duo:

MP3: Prince Ali & Incise - Drift (ft. Thieven & Blue)

By the way, if you're at all interested in the 5% Nation (I find it extremely interesting), give the following a skim-over, it was the main source (haw!) of my essay: Islam in the Mix: Lessons of the 5 Percent.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Modest Mouse @ Slim's - April 22, 1997

I found a nice soundboard recording of Modest Mouse on Dimeadozen a few days ago. It's one of their earlier performances, an opening gig for Built to Spill in April 1997. Sound quality is fairly good, a bit muffled, but enjoyable nonetheless. The source claims that this recording originates from the group's sound man and found its way to him through several intermediaries, which accounts for the high quality. New or old fan, this is good material, particularly for its Lonesome Crowded West content, the seminal indie album of the 90s, for many.

Thanks to the original seeder(s) at Easy Tree and Dime!

Modest Mouse @ Slim's (April 22, 1997)

Truckers Atlas
Cowboy Dan
All Nite Diner
Neverending Math
Custom Concern
Teeth Like God's Shoeshine
Out of Gas

See Also:
Modest Mouse's Tourdate Archive

Friday, March 30, 2007

The National...Leaked!

Many lauded the National's Alligator as one of 2005's best. I can't fault that opinion, not in the least. Their music is catchy, in a romantic sort of way. But most importantly, they injected some earnestness into a severely turgid genre. The Matt Berninger-fronted quintet slowly shot to indie popularity, all the while endearing themselves to bloggers worldwide.

'Fake Empire' has been floating around for over a week, teasing us all with what should be a great follow-up to Alligator. And today, their new album, titled The Boxer which will be released on May 22, was leaked onto the world of the internetz.

I've given it a quick one over, on my tinny laptop speakers mind you, but it has sounded nice thus far. Expect a more thorough write-up soon, following a few solid listens from some better headphones.

MP3: The National - Fake Empire
MP3: The National - Mistaken for Strangers
MP3: The National - Slow Show

Thursday, March 29, 2007

New Beasties Album

"Hi... here's a few things you might wanna know about..

1. we have a new record coming out
2. it's gonna be sick
3. we're playing a bunch of shows this summer (see below)
4. they're gonna be sick
5. we're gonna play some instrumental only shows also
6. better call your doctor..cause they're gonna be sick
7. it's gonna be a gala event
8. we're changing up the website...sick
9. got new gear coming soon...again...sick..
10. go see a tailor and get tapered up..."

Sick indeed. The fact that the Beastie Boys have remained relevant throughout the past 23 years of a vastly-changed genre, it's quite impressive. I didn't like To the 5 Boroughs that much (even though it had 1-2 great singles), but I've loved the rest of their catalogue, so I've got some high hopes. I'll update with additional details when more info comes in. Until then, enjoy the following mp3s, sick...

MP3: Beastie Boys - Check it Out
MP3: Beastie Boys - Sounds of Science
MP3: Beastie Boys - Sabotage

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Art Brut - New Album Completed

The NME reports:

Art Brut have finished their second full-length album, the band announced today (March 28). 'It's A Bit Complicated' is due out in the US on June 25. The UK release date has yet to be determined. 'Nag Nag Nag' will be the album's lead single in both the US and the UK. The follow-up to 2005's 'Bang Bang Rock & Roll' will also include the tracks 'Pump Up The Volume',
'Direct Hit
', 'Post Soothing Out' and
'Late Sunday'. Art Brut have also announced that they will play a handful of gigs in major North American cities in advance of the album's release.

The tour dates are:
New York, NY Bowery Ballroom (April 17)
Brooklyn, NY Studio B (18)
Toronto, Ontario The Mod Club (19)
Chicago, IL Subterranean (20)
Los Angeles, CA Troubadour (21)

I'll be the first to name Art Brut as my favourite England band. I'm all about sarcasm, satirical wit, and wry pokes, so it's no surprise that Bang Bang Rock N Roll was one of my favourite albums of 2005. Their Toronto show last October was amongst the best I've attended; Eddie is a great entertainer. Tickets to their Mod Club show will be purchased shortly, and for $15 that's an absolute steal, unlike artists that charge $46 (*cough*Nas*cough). This is my most anticipated LP of the year, and I've got some lofty expectations from the mustached crooner. Yes, that's sarcasm - Eddie'd be proud!

MP3: Art Brut - Nag Nag Nag Nag
MP3: Art Brut - Formed a Band
MP3: Art Brut - Emily Kane

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Happy Mondays - New Album + Tour

The Happy Mondays were one of Manchester's premier groups, drawing huge crowds for Factory Records' Haçienda. Their flowing mixture of funk, soul, and brit-pop was one of the highlights of the Madchester music scene, along with the Stone Roses' guitar-pop. 1990's Pills, Thrills, N Bellyaches remains as one of the genre's best ever albums and vaulted them from relative obscurity to druggie icons. Sadly, their reputation of being drug fiends, particularly in Shaun Ryder's case, lead to a multitude of problems, culminating in the band's break-up. Bez and Shaun later formed Black Grape in the mid-90s, and proved they still had their musical chops with the acclaimed It's Great When You're Straight...Yeah"

Following several ultimately disappointing reunions, the group got back together last summer and began recording a new album. A few months ago, the Happy Mondays announced their inclusion in April's Coachella fest, as well as a mini-tour. And now, reports have emerged that they're well on their way to completing their first LP in 14 years, which has yet to be titled. I'm a bit skeptical of this, given their turbulent history, but it could just be a nice surprise. Look out for a single in June.

Tour listing:

04-29 Indio, CA - Empire Polo Field (Coachella)
05-22 Inverness, Scotland - Ironworks
05-23 Aberdeen, Scotland - Music Hall
05-25 Sheffield, England - Leadmill
05-26 Middlesbrough, England - Town Hall
05-27 Hull, England - Hull University
05-28 Cambridge, England - Junction
05-30 Northampton, England - Roadmender
05-31 Preston, England - 53 Degrees
06-01 Dudley, England - JB's
07-08 Manchester, England - Ritz

MP3: Happy Mondays - God's Cop
Happy Mondays - Bob's Yer Uncle
Happy Mondays - Step On

Monday, March 26, 2007

New GHP Mixes

Mark Vidler was recently featured on BBC 6 Music's mix show and he's posted up the entire hour-long (!) show. The tracklist is as follows:

Part One
00.00 Grace Jones - Slave To The Rhythm / Grace Jones Slaps Russel Harty / Nelly Furtado - Turn Off The Light
02.31 Jimi Hendrix Experience - Foxy Lady / Jimi Does His Stuff On Lulu / Beyonce - Work It Out
05.56 Stone Roses Late Show Amatuers / Go Home Productions - Processed Waterfall
09.29 Malcolm McLaren vs Franz Ferdinand - Franz Buffalo
12.58 Derek & Clive - This Bloke Came Up To Me (at the farm)
13.53 Max Sedgely - Happy (Go Home Productions remix)
18.01 Family Guy - Brian Griffin Disses Gwen Stefani / Ding Fries Are Done /
The Beat - Mirror In The Bathroom / Mask - Square Off
21.36 Elvis Fucks Up / Elvis Presley - Drugs Dialogue / The Farm - Stepping Stone
24.52 Welcome Gentlemen to the Un...Apes In Spacesuits step out of spaceship
The Simpsons - Stop The Planet Of The Apes, I Want To Get Off!!!
25.12 Christina Aguilera - Can't Hold Us Down / The Monkees - Theme From The Monkees
28.54 Izzy Royal - Coronation Street

Part Two
00.00 Go Home Productions - Rock In Black
03.46 Dr Dre - The Next Episode / Crowded House - Weather With You
06.25 The Jam - Scampi And Chips / Chicken In A Basket
06.44 Paul Weller - The Changing Man / S Club 7 - Don't Stop Moving
09.20 Culture Club - Time / George Michael - Outside
11.48 The Young Ones Do Not Lean Out Of The Window
12.23 Pinocchio - I've Got No Strings / Radiohead - Creep / The Beatles - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
14.07 XTC The Drunken Sessions - Let's Do The XTC Tapes / The Troggs - The Troggs Tapes / XTC - I'm Bugged
15.49 When There's No More Room In Hell, The Dead Will Walk The Earth / H Chappell - The Gonk
16.12 The Beastie Boys - Triple Trouble / Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
18.55 The Turtles - I'm King Kamanawanalea / Kylie - Slow / Alan Tew & Bullet - Theme From The Hanged Man
20.54 The Two Ronnies Nudist Bacon Slicer
21.08 Kasabian - Shoot The Runner / The Hollies - Bus Stop / Rolling Stones - We Love You / Slade - Coz I Luv You /
The Sweet - Blockbuster
24.14 The Velvet Underground - Waiting For The Man / The Velvet Underground - The Gift /
The Archies - Sugar Sugar / Basement Jaxx - Where's Your Head At
27.21 Abba - Voulez Vous / Echo & The Bunnymen - The Killing Moon

From what I've heard, it's Vidler's usual excellence, hopping from madchester to hip-hop to new-wave to... whatever he feels like. It's adventurous and contains some new material, along with some of his best work from the past. He's also just made a Daft Punk vs. Beatles mash - much different than his usual club bangers, but interesting nonetheless.

I also feel obligated to mention Chromewaves' incredibly thorough photo coverage of SXSW. He's undoubtedly the best Toronto blogger I've encountered on the net, and I thoroughly recommend reading his blog.

MP3: GHP - BBC 6 Music / 6 Mix Comic Relief Mix (Pt. 1)
MP3: GHP - BBC 6 Music / 6 Mix Comic Relief Mix (Pt. 2)
MP3: GHP - Nightbeatle (Daft Punk vs. The Beatles)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Panda Bear - Person Pitch

Pop elements are what I enjoy most in music, and, is primarily what I seek out. Bright soundscapes composed of jangly guitars, infectious vocals, and a manifold of complementary instrumentation are, to me, the peak of musicality. Having said that, pop often serves as a wonderful supplement to seemingly contrasting musical styles. The Jesus and Mary Chain, for example, drenched noise with underlying pop sensualities. My point is, these bright sounds can be, more often than not, completely utilized in conjunction with borrowed sounds.

Panda Bear, also known as Noah Lennox from Animal Collective, is the creative force behind Person Pitch, his third album. Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of AC. Not that they’re bad, but I’ve never listened to them extensively. As such, I had no idea what to expect from this album. I was genuinely hoping that it wasn’t some self-indulgent noise escapade that would make my ears bleed, like another band, which I won’t bother naming for fear of their fans leaving my blog! Thankfully, my fears were put to rest. ‘Comfy in Nautica’ is a nice intro to the record, featuring restrained vocals on Lennox’s part, and monotonic chants from the background. The album is an extremely relaxed experience, save for a few tense moments.

The album has roots in a variety of sources. Most obvious of the lot is a happy-go-lucky 50s/60s pop attitude you’d hear from a jukebox, along with (/including) the Beach Boys. Person Pitch sounds like a modern interpretation of Paul Simon’s Graceland, which is a huge compliment as that’s one of the greatest albums in the history of this galaxy. Except instead of Simon’s richly defined voice, we’re met with the busy and droned-out voice of Lennox. It’s very image-heavy and constantly moving, with noises from his surroundings (cars, skateboards, owls) playing a large role in the formation of the album. Halfway through ‘Take Pills’ comes another example of this atmospheric influence, as the sound is submerged into water. The song also sounds like it’s been directly taken out of the Beach Boys catalogue and infused with very spacey and consuming surroundings. ‘Bros’ is the true gem of the album, a 12 minute and 30 second long epic. It’s perfectly timed, incredibly balanced, and melodically brilliant. “I’m not trying to forget you, I’d just like to be alone,” exclaims Lennox, perhaps providing further insight into the busyness and isolation of the record. ‘I’m Not’ and ‘Good Girl’ offer a break from the brightness, instead making way for 9 minutes of layered noises – meandering voices swaying to and fro - a sort of intermission between two halves of pop. Following this short break comes the familiarity of Lennox’s falsetto and multi-instrumentation, which continues through to the album’s conclusion.

It sounds redundant, forgive me, but Person Pitch truly shines with its pop sensibilities. Perhaps it lacks variation, but when it sounds this beautiful why bother entertaining the idea of multiplicity? I’m running out of adjectives and superlatives in which to describe it. It’s just… great. This will no doubt end up as one of the year’s best albums; it’s too good to be overlooked.

Edit: I'm in NYC for the weekend, I return after 4 days without the internetz and they get a 9.4 on p4k?!

MP3: Panda Bear - Comfy in Nautica
MP3: Panda Bear - Take Pills
MP3: Panda Bear - Bros

See Also:
Person Pitch at Metacritic

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

Emceeing has lost its way. The days of Rakim, KRS-One, and GZA moving crowds are gone. Hip-Hop is dead. Well, not really, but it certainly is ailing. Sure, I'm old fashioned, but at least I'll admit to it. Don't get me wrong, there's still a number good rappers around; Aceyalone, MF DOOM, and El Da Sensei, for example, but there's just not enough of them. And while it's unrealistic to expect a breeding ground of Pharaoh Monchs and Raekwons, one can dream. I'm a purist. You know, one of those guys who think lyrics should never take a backseat to beats and rhythms. Not to say that production isn't important, but I've all too often heard a rapper that can't cut it without the production crutch to lean on, and even then struggles.

In comes El-P: El Producto by name, MC, producer, and Def Jux CEO by trade. Released yesterday, I'll Sleep When You're Dead is his true sophomore album and first since 2002's Fantastic Damage. He's quick on the mic, witty, and bursting with literary functions that would make even the Genius smile. But what really separates him from the rest of the languid genre is his fierce enthusiasm. My heart tells me that he's reminiscent of Chuck D, but the brain knows no-one will ever re-create Public Enemy's boisterous and racially-motivated anthems. Still, his emceeing is compelling to say the least. It's shrewd, while still maintaining grit and sharpness. And most importantly, it's explosive. El-P has that sheer determination to succeed; that enthusiasm I mentioned. Edgy production further accentuates the experience, providing a sort of Bombsquad noise assault to match the chaotic vocal escapades. He doesn't hide behind the beats, he uses them to complement his rhymes, creating a state of emergency, and a bleak one at that.

The album also features a slew of guest performers: from his label-mates Aesop Rock and Cage, to NIN's Trent Reznor and Yo La Tengo's James McNew. However, it's clear that El-P's cold and cynical execution is the main drawing point at hand. Dude knows his history too, with lines like this, "I'll be drunk on the back of a train / Takin' a piss / Pumpin' BDP through a Raheem kit / With a double D Duracell destiny mega mix, like this" causing me to stop listening and laugh aloud.

To date, this is his premier opus. It's an excellent album, and El-P's vision fully realized. It's aggressive, it's hard, it's capricious, and it's a must-buy.

MP3: El-P - Tasmanian Pain Coaster
MP3: El-P - Up All Night
MP3: El-P - EMG
MP3: El-P - Run the Numbers

See Also:
El-P's interview with Chuck D
I'll Sleep When You're Dead at Metacritic

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Nouvelle Musique de Mardi

Music releases don't seem to be that special nowadays, what with leaks and such. Nonetheless, there were quite a few notable new releases today. For now, here are a few mp3s to enjoy. Judging from a few listens, LCD's is excellent at times, though a bit "less good" at others, but I think it will grow on me. Their debut was one of my favourites of the decade, so I expect alot. El-P's is also a booming and very enjoyable listen. If time permits, I'll be able to do some write-ups for a few of the albums.

LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver

MP3: LCD Soundsystem - Get Innocuous
MP3: LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum

MP3: El-P - Tasmanian Pain Coaster
El-P - Up All Night

The Ponys - Turn the Lights Out

MP3: The Ponys - Double Vision
MP3: The Ponys - Harakiri

MP3: Modest Mouse - Dashboard
MP3: Modest Mouse - Florida

See also:

Monday, March 19, 2007

LCD Soundsystem Remixed

So Sound of Silver goes on sale tomorrow, and I still haven't listened to it yet. But I've heard a bunch of remixes, go figure. I recently found these remixes through Mark Vidler's mailing list, which I'd recommend joining, by the way. These collaboration remix sites are excellent, particularly the Primal Scream and Chemical Brothers initiatives of the past, and LCDSS is the perfect choice to carry the torch.

Here's a few mp3s, but there's a lot more on the site, check it out for the rest - LCD Remixed.

MP3: LCD - Get Innocuous (Geek Chic's Harm-Free Retouch)
MP3: LCD - Someone Great (Shokking Shokkaboy Remix)
MP3: LCD - Time to Get Away (ATOM's Exit Stage Left Mix)
MP3: LCD - North American Scum (Dunproofin's Not from England Either Mix)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Manhattan Love Suicides

There's a lot to love about the Jesus and Mary Chain. From the thickly layered noise placed over the perfect amount of underlying pop, to the riot-inducing attitude. Not to mention the effortless, lazy even, vocal execution by Jim Reid and hair styles to rival Morrissey. Plus, they're Scots, and there ain't nothing wrong with that.

So really, it's no surprise that various revival bands have been sprouting up, recently. Take The Manhattan Love Suicides, for instance. They've got the noise part and pop elements covered, even more, just like JAMC's backs-to-audience attitude in concert, the 'Suicides shield themselves with obtrusive black shades. But instead of Reid's cursively shrouded vocals, is a female twee styling that's more than reminiscent of Talulah Gosh's Amelia Fletcher.

They played a midnight show at SXSW Friday night, here's a few pictures, all credit goes to Pitchfork's awesome festival coverage.

It's a nice debut album - part twee, part shoegaze (tweegaze?). All too often do bands mimic their influences, but not totally realize its sound, resulting in a hollow effort. However, this feels extremely authentic, obviously owing a great deal to their influences, but executed in a very convincing fashion. To put it simply, it's a good marriage of the two genres, both being favourites of mine.

MP3: The Manhattan Love Suicides - Things You've Never Done
MP3: The Manhattan Love Suicides - Evil Side
MP3: The Manhattan Love Suicides - Suzy Jones
MP3: The Manhattan Love Suicides - Kick it Back

Saturday, March 17, 2007

St. Patrick's Day mp3 Bonanza

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all the Irish, and wannabe Irish, alike. Disproving the "Irish are only good for their drinking" myth, the glorious nation (and their Northern brethren) have long had a rich tradition in the annals of music. From the days of ye old tin whistle to the indie scene of the 80s, 90s, and beyond, they've boasted a reputable number of notables. Such artists as U2 and Sinéad O'Connor have enjoyed incredible mainstream success, while The Pogues and My Bloody Valentine have reached godly status to punks and newgazers of today. So, it's only fair they get their own blog post from me, and you get some mp3 treatment. Here's a small compilation I've assembled for your drinking enjoyment.

Cheers Ireland!

MP3: The Boomtown Rats - I Don't Like Mondays
MP3: The Cranberries - Dreams
MP3: Dropkick Murphys - The Gauntlet
MP3: Flogging Molly - Drunken Lullabies
MP3: Humanzi - 6 Gun
MP3: Morrissey - Irish Heart, English Blood
MP3: My Bloody Valentine - When You Sleep
MP3: The Pogues - Dirty Old Town
MP3: Rory Gallagher - Tattoo'd Lady
MP3: Sinéad O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U
MP3: Stiff Little Fingers - Suspect Device
MP3: Thin Lizzy - Whisky In the Jar
MP3: U2 - I Will Follow
MP3: The Undertones - Teenage Kicks

Friday, March 16, 2007

V-Fest Toronto Announced

Tickets for the second annual English-import-to-Confederate-soils festival go on sale next week on the 24th of March, or the 20th through the EDGE pre-sale. Prices for V-Fest Toronto will be $138 (CDN) for the weekend pass of September 8+9.

I'll be waiting until some more bands announce their interest before I buy, but at the moment, these headliners aren't sparking much interest. Though Bjork, the Pumpkins, and TPC are definitely good choices to build it upon, and I'm sure a lot of other quality acts will sign on.

MP3: Bjork - Army of Me
MP3: Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm
MP3: Tokyo Police Club - Cheer it On
MP3: Tokyo Police Club - Shoulders & Arms

Thursday, March 15, 2007

New Morrissey Tour

And here I thought America was not the world. But, still no Canadian shows. I love Moz and all, but I don't think I could live without my nefarious seal beating escapades in the streets of Toronto.

04-27 Stockton, CA - Bob Hope Theater
04-28 Sparks, NV - John Ascuaga's Celebrity Showroom
04-29 Sparks, NV - John Ascuaga's Celebrity Showroom
05-01 Oakland, CA - Paramount Theater
05-02 Santa Rosa, CA - Wells Fargo Center
05-05 Spokane, WA- INB Performing Arts Center
05-06 Seattle, WA - Paramount
05-08 Salt Lake City, UT - E Center Ford Theater
05-09 Denver, CO - Fillmore
05-11 Omaha, NE - Orpheum
05-12 Milwaukee, WI - Riverside
05-14 Ann Arbor, MI - Michigan Theater
05-15 Chicago, IL - Auditorium Theatre
05-17 Cleveland, OH - Playhouse Square Center
05-18 Columbus, OH - Palace Theater
05-20 Indianapolis, IN - Murat Center
05-22 St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
05-23 Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theater
05-25 Dallas, TX - Palladium
05-26 Austin, TX - Backyard
05-28 Houston, TX - Verizon
05-30 El Paso, TX - County Coliseum
05-31 Tucson, AZ - Music Hall
06-02 Phoenix, AZ - Maricopa County Events Center
06-03 San Diego, CA - Bayside Concerts
06-05 Ventura, CA - Majestic Ventura Theater
06-06 Riverside, CA - Riverside Municipal Auditorium
06-08 Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
06-09 Las Vegas, NV - Pearl
06-30 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden

No Buffalo shows either, bleh!

MP3: Morrissey - You Have Killed Me
MP3: Morrissey - The Youngest Was the Most Loved
MP3: The Smiths - There Is A Light that Never Goes Out

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

In Rotation: GHP Mixes

Here's a nice mix by Go Home Productions' Mark Vidler, one of my favourite mashers around. It's an amalgam of post-punk, indie, electro, and... well, it's titled 'Post Punk Dub Funk Junk Spunk Dance Mixture' so there. Superb production as always, and it's got a lot of value, clocking in at around 25 minutes.

Shriekback "Here Comes My Hand-Clap" 00.00
SebastiAn "Ross Ross Ross" 00.15
XTC "Dance Band" 01.47
LCD Soundsystem "North American Scum" 03.19
Bonde Do Role "Gasolina (Radioclit remix)" 04.55
Mr Partridge "Commerciality" 06.05
The Presets "Down Down Down (Digitalism mix)" 07.01
Juliette & The Licks "Got Love To Kill (MSTRKRFT remix)" 08.34
Two Lone Swordsmen "Nueflex" 10.24
The Rapture "Whoo! Alright-Yeah...Uh Huh" 12.01
XTC "Living Through Another Cuba (GHP dub)" 14.51
The Specials "Friday Night, Saturday Morning" 16.45
Humanzi "Long Time Coming" 19.28
The Gossip "Jealous Girls (New Young Pony Club remix)" 21.23
Vivien Goldman "Private Armies (dub)" 23.27

And while I'm on GHP, I may as well include his LCD Soundsystem remix.

MP3: GHP - Post Punk Dub Funk Junk Spunk Dance Mixture
MP3: LCD Soundsystem - Us vs. Them (GHP Remix)

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Sorry for the long delay! February was not a kind month for me, mainly due to insane amounts of school-work.

Anyways, you may have noticed that the majority of my links aren't working anymore. Something messed up with my MyDataBus account, and now they're cutting down on bandwidth allotment. So, now I'm spreading the load over a number of different servers in order to circumvent monthly hosting fees. Over the next few days, I'll be getting the majority of the links back up, particularly for the 'Best of' lists.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future

Much to the glee of "nu-ravers", NME darlings Klaxons are set to release their debut LP, Myths of the Near Future, in a few days time. This is the follow-up to their Xan Valleys EP, released in October 2006. Back in '06 my curiousity, no, impatience, got the better of me and I hunted for anything and everything Klaxons - demos, unreleased tracks, rough mixes, etc. So if you're like me, you'll already know 60% of this album before listening to it, causing this LP might seem like an elongated EP. For those not yet acquainted with these Londoners, I thoroughly recommend it.

It starts off with the distorted drumbeat of 'Two Receivers', not as fierce a song as I'd expect for the opener, but decent nonetheless. 'Atlantis to Interzone', a favourite from the EP, comes next, upping the tempo. 'Golden Skans' is one of the highlights, paying homage to light machines of the rave days. 'Totem on the Timeline', one of my favourite demos (it was then simply known as 'Totem') sifts through a pile of historical references including Caesar and Lady Diana, amongst others, to an angular and garagey background. 'As Above, So Below' is a fresh nugget of scattered poppy electronics, sunny even, as it's the brightest of the album. 'Magick' and 'Gravity's Rainbow', both solidified favourites amongst Klaxons fans, soon appear, followed by 'It's Not Over Yet', a nice ballad slathered with cascading synths. Closing out the album is another Klaxons favourite, the mythically-inspired 'Four Horsemen of 2012'.

Muddled throughout the LP are references to mythical entities and magical ideas, a Klaxons trademark, and something missing from the UK indie scene, which is seemingly obsessed with existential notions and daily routines. The title of this album itself, derives from J.G. Ballard's sci-fi novel. If nothing else, they're well-read and educated. 'Magick' is a term associated with occultist Aleister Crowley's magical philosophy, 'Atlantis to Interzone' references Burrough's, "interzone", or non-space, and the lost aquatic city of Atlantis, and 'Gravity's Rainbow' is named after Thomas Pynchon's post-modern novel. They also pay due homage to their influences. Kicks Like a Mule's 'The Bouncer' was covered on Xan Valleys, and now rave duo Grace, (Oakenfold, Osbourne) are covered on Myths of the Near Future in the form of 'Not Over Yet'. It's a solid debut with a lot of depth.

Here are some new mp3s featured on Myths of the Near Future:

MP3: Klaxons - As Above, So Below
MP3: Klaxons - Golden Skans
MP3: Klaxons - It's Not Over Yet
MP3: Klaxons - Totem on the Timeline

Monday, January 22, 2007

Coachella 2007

The lineup for this year's Coachella Music and Arts Festival was announced a few hours ago, flaring up my jealousy towards those that live in the area/can afford the trek. The late April music bonanza has become one of the best outdoor shows in the world, in just 9 years mind you, and has been expanded into a 3-day event this year, as opposed to the traditional weekend event.

The biggest news is that Rage Against the Machine has re-united to headline the event's final day, surely pleasing fans and Audioslave cynics/haters alike. Those guys could make rebels out of even the most peaceful of us - "Why stand on a silent platform? Fight the war! F*ck the norm!" Phew!

Full Lineup (from wikipedia)

!!!, Air, Erol Alkan, Lily Allen, Anathallo, The Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, The Avett Brothers, Benny Benassi, Andrew Bird, Bjork, The Black Keys, Blonde Redhead, Bojones, Brazilian Girls, Brother Ali, Busdriver, Manu Chao, Circa Survive, Jarvis Cocker, Coco Rosie, Comedians Of Comedy, Cornelius, The Coup, The Cribs, Crowded House, CSS, The Decemberists, Digitalism, DJ Heather, DJ Shadow, Roky Erickson And The Explosives, Evil Nine, Explosions In The Sky, Fair To Midland, Faithless, The Feeling, Felix Da Housecat, Lupe Fiasco, The Fields, Fountains Of Wayne, The Frames, The Fratellis, Ghostface Killah, Girl Talk, Gogol Bordello, Jose Gonzales, The Good, The Bad And The Queen, Gotan Project, Grizzly Bear, Happy Mondays, Richie Hawtin, Hot Chip, Infected Mushroom, Interpol, The Kooks, Jack's Mannequin, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Junior Boys, Justice, Kaiser Chiefs, Kings Of Leon, Klaxons, Kokono No. 1, LCD Soundsystem, Amos Lee, Stephen Marley feat Jr. Gong, Mika, MSTRKRFT, Willie Nelson, New Pornographers, Nickel Creek, Nightwatchman, The Noisettes, Of Montreal, Ozomatli, Peaches, Peeping Tom, Peter, Bjorn & John, Pharaohe Monche, Placebo, Pop Levi, Rage Against The Machine, The Rapture, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mike Relm, Damien Rice, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, The Roots, Satellite Party, Silversun Pickups, Sonic Youth, Soulwax, Spank Rock, Sparklehorse, Regina Spektor, Tapes 'n Tapes, Tiesto, Tilly And The Wall, Tokyo Police Club, Travis, Paul Van Dyk, Julieta Venegas, VNV Nation, Rufus Wainwright, We Are Scientists, Gillian Welch, Amy Winehouse, Yeva.

Edit - The Jesus and Mary Chain are in too. WHOA!

I'm feeling generous, here's a few Rage tracks...

MP3: Rage Against the Machine - Bombtrack
MP3: Rage Against the Machine - Killing in the Name
MP3: Rage Against the Machine - Wake Up

Friday, January 19, 2007

Local Artist - Crystal Castles

Apologies for the hiatus, but hey, every tv series I'm hooked on went on break as well.

Quickly Googleing this duo's moniker leads to a plethora of pages devoted to an 8-bit video game that shared their name. Given Crystal Castles' (yes, that's the name, not She-Ra...) rudimentary approach to electro, it seems a good match. But not so! The name derives from their love of short-lived cartoons, more than anything else. History recap: She-Ra was a cartoon character that took refuge in the majestic Crystal Castle, the peak of Etheria, and was essentially the female version of the almighty He-Man, "the most powerful man in the universe" (Mattel's words, not mine).

Now that that's cleared up, CC are a Toronto duo most notable for their remix of the Klaxons' 'Atlantis to Interzone'. Feeding their synth into an 8-bit Atari chip, results in the spastic blips that occupy their EP, Alice Practice. For those that only know them for the Klaxons link, the EP is a lot more abrasive and thrashy than that mix would lead you to believe. They're doing a few shows this weekend in Toronto before departing for the UK to support the Klaxons tour. From what I've been told, they're good live, though I've not yet had the pleasure of attending a show. Hopefully we'll get an LP soon, until then... enjoy these mp3s.

MP3: Crystal Castles - Airwar
MP3: Crystal Castles - Alice Practice
MP3: GoodBooks - Leni (Crystal Castles vs. GoodBooks)

Monday, January 01, 2007

2006 - 50 Best Albums

2006 is now officially over, so what do I have to say for it? For starters, my tastes have further broadened, changed, and grown. Genre-wise, I've ventured into electronic music more-so than ever; from ambient to experimental, and everything in between. Geographically speaking, Sweden continue to churn out the best indie(-pop) around, Austin, Texas are time and again justifying themselves as one of the premier indie hotspots on the globe, and Canada had another solid year. I was pleased with this year's output and I'm not-so-patiently awaiting what comes in 2007. It looks like it'll be a solid year in music, at least from what's been announced thus far. A new Art Brut album, the Klaxons' debut, LCD Soundsystem's true sophomore album, along with a plenitude of others.

Anyways, after many hours of thorough listening (and re-listening), Photoshopping, and uploading, these are all, in my opinion, the top 50 albums of the year past. Two mp3s are included from each album, and if you like them, be sure to click on the album cover above to buy it. Thanks again to Eric Spano for the banner. Enjoy and have a happy new year.

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MP3: Venetian Snares - Pwntendo
MP3: Venetian Snares - Swindon

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MP3: Pretty Girls Make Graves - Pyrite Pedestal
MP3: Pretty Girls Make Graves - The Nocturnal House

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MP3: TV on the Radio - I Was A Lover
MP3: TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me

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MP3: J Dilla - Waves
MP3: J Dilla - Workonit

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Le Sport - Your Brother is My Only Hope
MP3: Le Sport - I Do Renounce Them

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MP3: Spank Rock - Bump
MP3: Spank Rock - Rick Rubin

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MP3: Sound Team - No More Birthdays
MP3: Sound Team - Handful of Billions

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MP3: Lupe Fiasco - Daydreamin'
MP3: Lupe Fiasco - Kick, Push

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MP3: Lily Allen - Smile
MP3: Lily Allen - LDN

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MP3: The Rapture - W.A.Y.U.H.
MP3: The Rapture - Get Myself Into It

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MP3: Scritti Politti - The Boom Boom Bap
MP3: Scritti Politti - Snow in Sun

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MP3: LCD Soundsystem - 45:33 (00:00-5:00)

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MP3: Built to Spill - Liar
MP3: Built to Spill - Goin' Against Your Mind

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MP3: Bong-Ra - Suicide Speed Machine Girl
MP3: Bong-Ra - Coke Sniffah

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MP3: CSS - Let's Make Love & Listen to Death from Above
MP3: CSS - Alala

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MP3: The Roots - False Media
MP3: The Roots - In the Music

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MP3: Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
MP3: Silversun Pickups - Well Thought Out Twinkles

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MP3: The Whitest Boy Alive - Inflation
MP3: The Whitest Boy Alive - Burning

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MP3: Destroyer - Painter in Your Pocket
MP3: Destroyer - European Oils

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MP3: Sunshine Rubdown - They Took A Vote and Said No
MP3: Sunshine Rubdown - Stadiums and Shrines II

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MP3: Aceyalone & RJD2 - Fire
MP3: Aceyalone & RJD2 - All For U

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MP3: El Perro Del Mar - God Knows
MP3: El Perro Del Mar - It's All Good

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MP3: Clipse - Mr. Me Too
MP3: Clipse - We Got it For Cheap

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MP3: Danielson - Ship the Majestic Suffix
MP3: Danielson - Did I Step on Your Trumpet

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MP3: Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives
MP3: Voxtrot - Soft & Warm

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MP3: The Pipettes - Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me
MP3: The Pipettes - Pull Shapes

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MP3: Band of Horses - The Funeral
MP3: Band of Horses - The Great Salt Lake

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MP3: Joanna Newsom - Emily
MP3: Joanna Newsom - Cosmia

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MP3: Klaxons - Atlantis to Interzone
MP3: Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow

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MP3: Islands - Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby
MP3: Islands - Rough Gem

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MP3: The Radio Dept. - The Worst Taste in Music
MP3: The Radio Dept. - I Wanted You to Feel the Same

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MP3: Mahogany - Supervitesse
MP3: Mahogany - Tesselation, Formerly Plateau One

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MP3: Kid 606 - Let it Rock
MP3: Kid 606 - Chicken Fight

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MP3: Hot Chip - Over And Over
MP3: Hot Chip - Boys from School

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MP3: I'm From Barcelona - We're From Barcelona
MP3: I'm From Barcelona - Treehouse

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MP3: Malajube - Montréal -40C
MP3: Malajube - Pâte Filo

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MP3: Professor Murder - Champion
MP3: Professor Murder - The Mountain

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MP3: Beirut - Postcards from Italy
MP3: Beirut - Scenic World

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MP3: Camera Obscura - Razzle Dazzle Rose
MP3: Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken

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MP3: Ghostface Killah - The Champ
MP3: Ghostface Killah - Shakey Dog

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MP3: Phoenix - Long Distance Call
MP3: Phoenix - Consolation Prizes

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MP3: Fujiya & Miyagi - Collarbone
MP3: Fujiya & Miyagi - In One Ear & out the Other

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MP3: Tokyo Police Club - Cheer it On
MP3: Tokyo Police Club - Shoulders & Arms

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MP3: Ellen Allien & Apparat - Turbo Dreams
MP3: Ellen Allien & Apparat - Leave Me Alone

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MP3: Junior Boys - Double Shadow
MP3: Junior Boys - Count Souvenirs

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MP3: Belle & Sebastian - To Be Myself Completely
MP3: Belle & Sebastian - Another Sunny Day

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MP3: The Knife - Marble House
MP3: The Knife - We Share Our Mother's Health

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MP3: Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks
MP3: Peter Bjorn & John - Amsterdam

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MP3: Yo La Tengo - Mr. Tough
MP3: Yo La Tengo - Beanbag Chair

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MP3: Asobi Seksu - Strings
MP3: Asobi Seksu - Goodbye