Thursday, December 31, 2009

SOTD 12.31.09

It's the last day of the 2000s. Tomorrow, a new decade begins. Who knows what that decade will hold? If Hollywood and the conspiracy theorists of the world had its say, this coming decade will only be two years long, for the apocalypse is nigh. Well, if that's case, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to go out with an appropriate soundtrack. So, for today's SOTD, I offer you a piece by minimalist composer Steve Reich. Working with phasing and tapes during the 1960s to create phenomenal musique concréte compositions like "Come Out," Reich has continually produced innovative music. This particular work, Different Trains, movement ii, utilizes a string quartet interpolated with audio clips of interviews done with European Holocaust victims and American train porters. What Reich hoped to accomplish was to shed light on the role of trains in history depending upon the time period, and in so doing, he evaluated the recordings for melodic aspects found in the interviewees' speech. With its subject matter lending the music an inherent gravity, the song also features a haunting atmosphere created by frantic screeching strings, howling sirens, and eerily manipulated audio clips. If the apocalypse comes in 2012, this is probably what it's going to sound like...

Steve Reich: Different Trains, Europe During the War (mvt ii)
Listen
Buy

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

SOTD 12.30.09

Once a member of the now-defunct indie pop band Harlem Shakes, ARMS is the solo moniker of Todd Goldstein. His debut, Kids Aflame, is a beautiful lo-fi record with impassioned lyrics delivered in Goldstein's rather rough-around-the-edges vocal style; however, this is by no means a knock against ARMS, but instead a quality that jives perfectly with the subject matter and overall feel of the album. Containing one of my favorite lyrics of all time is the second track off the album, "Whirring," which muses,
I wrote down all my thoughts
to see what I thought, I gave it a shot
and there thousands of spiraling knots.
Although Harlem Shakes' jangly pop is no more, the indie community is lucky that ARMS will continue to create lovely—superior—music.

ARMS: "Whirring"
Listen
Buy

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

You and Your Effects: Quelling Our Tongue Tied Rivalries

I think that we are going to get through this. Maybe the first year of the Obama administration didn't go exactly as we planned. Healthcare may be less than fixed, Iran may be less than stable, and Sarah Palin may be less than dead but ye have little faith. I beg you, have a little faith in folk music.

Amidst the shit-storm that has been the last 3 years in this country, real American culture, I believe, has prevailed. Folk music is part of the popular conscience once again with the brilliance and omnipotence of Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver along with a resurgent love for the music of Elliot Smith and Nick Drake. Residing in North Carolina for the better part of the last three years, I have been privileged to the the landscapes these artists long to croon about-- they are as breathtaking as the melodies churning through your headphones. I have heard the story of the broken American south and it is sublime in its ability to both devastate and inspire. That American story is where we start in our introduction to You and Your Effects. A five piece band formed in early 2008 and centrally located in Davidson, NC, You and Your Effects effectively praise the beauties of these very same landscapes and the intricacies of the domestic. Lushly arranged but sparsely polished, authenticity shines through with every finger-picked note and every fluted breath. Songs such as "Skylight" are reminiscent of Nick Drake's beloved Pink Moon LP while "Fall" and "Red Swan" seem to be our answer to Ireand's The Swell Season.

YAYE has already experienced well deserved publicity within the state of North Carolina. NC State's student radio station, WKNC 88.1, named YAYE "the best band you may not have hear of...yet." The band will also being returning to play live shows in the spring in and around Davidson after a self-described period of diaspora. They have more than handful of tracks curretly streaming on their MySpace and their debut album, Wire Sharks, is on sale at Raleigh's very own School Kids Records. You and Your Effects is...

Jon Springfield- guitar, vocals, violin, banjo, accordion, piano
Michael Mellody- guitar, vocals
Lexi Valauri-Orton- flute, vocals
James Johnson- bass
Mark Crowley- drums



Check out the social networking.
MySpace
Facebook
YouAndYourEffects@gmail.com

Don't worry, the kids are alright.

SOTD 12.29.09

Another feel-good song for you as the year comes to a close you get to reflect on all the fortune you've experienced in the past twelve months and the potential that awaits in the coming twelve. Creating indie folk pop is Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, who released their fourth LP, Know Better Learn Faster, this past October. This San Fransisco trio is fronted by Thao Nguyen (yes, TB, an Asian), who has a knack for fashioning infectious pop numbers in both solo and band-based settings. Enjoy.

Thao with the Get Down Stay Down: "Cool Yourself"
Listen
Buy

Monday, December 28, 2009

Songs from the Portuguese

Here, I will attempt to veil the fact that we are just two college kids writing about the music we love. Though in the spring of 2009, my relatively limited scope for music in this great world was pricked, twisted, and shocked in a school class, yes a class with a professor, homework, lectures, and grades. MUS241 with Mauro Botehlo (mustache and all) was my first in-depth exposure to international leanings and tones and it was great. We tend to think of US as having one of the most extensive cultural scapes known to man, and don't get me wrong me, it does. Though for a country that does not claim to be the world's "tossed salad," Brazil has one of the most intriguing musical histories in the civilized world. Aside from the immensity of Samba and Carnavalia, pop music truly matters. The selection I have chosen to share with all of you comes from a super group of sorts. Think of the three most popular, talented, and respected pop musicians you know of (I know, it's difficult) and imagine them somehow forming a cohesive unit...welcome to Tribalistas. Tribalistas is a super group formed from revered pop musicians Marisa Monte, Arnaldo Atunes, and Carlinhos Brown. Think "We Are the World" on street cred steroids.

I will stop blabbering and get to the track. This is "Ja Sei Namoroar" from the LP Tribalistas and the short lived trio of the same name. Make sure you fill your prescriptions, this shit is infectious.

SOTD 12.28.09

Some of my favorite bands are what I'd call "sleepers;" the ones that put out an album or two and disappeared or have silently compiled a respectable discography without any real widespread acclaim or just release a solid album and, for whatever reason, go largely unnoticed. Although it's early, as their debut LP, Weathervanes, doesn't come out in physical form until March 2010, Freelance Whales haven't really been catching the traction that other bubbling indie acts get. For instance, Washed Out blew up with just two mp3s on his MySpace page back in the summer, and oOoOO is a Gorilla vs. Bear darling based on their gimmicky name alone. However, let it be known that Muzjiks will not overlook this band. Freelance Whales creates indie pop in the vein of Cloud Cult and Slow Runner that will surely brighten your dreary winter days with its refreshing departure from the indie lo-fi/no-fi/glo-fi fad. Utilizing an atypical battery of instruments—including a harmonium, a glockenspiel, a banjo, and a waterphone—and male-female harmonies to create a lighthearted atmosphere, the boyish vocals are driven by a lead singer whose voice strongly resembles Miniature Tigers' Charlie Brand. I've just posted the track "Generator ^ First Floor" to give you a taste, but the entire album is great, so download it off iTunes using the link below.

Freelance Whales: "Generator ^ First Floor"
Listen
Buy

Sunday, December 27, 2009

MuzjiksTV: 12.21-12.27

Tuesday, December 22: KiD CuDi performs "Pursuit of Happiness" on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (NBC)
Although CuDi's lyrics are nothing too spectacular and we've all seen better technical emceeing ability from other rappers, it's undeniable that the guy knows what he's doing. He puts together memorable melodies, pushes the envelope with his production choices, and knows how to create feel-good music.




Saturday, December 20: Arcade Fire performs songs from Neon Bible on Austin City Limits (PBS) [re-run]
We apologize for the lack of embedding on this video, but follow the link to enjoy this performance from indie monoliths Arcade Fire, who are currently working on their third LP. Plan on that being out in late May 2010, along with an accompanying tour beginning this summer that will start out with some North American festival gigs. Where 2009 was noticeably devoid of this Canadian collective, 2010 will surely make up for the absence.
http://video.pbs.org/video/1350236975/

Snoop Dogg on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
You don't get to see wasted people on network TV a lot, so I thought I would add this. I don't even think this is the right week--we make our own rules here.

Boy & Bear

Don't be afraid of the ruthless killing machine, Boy & Bear are here to make you feel safe. The Sydney quartet is currently only ciruculating 2 tracks from their upcoming EP, but damn they're good. Lead singer David Hosking's vocals have the depth of David Gray and the occasional slipperiness of a young Jeff Tweedy. Made up of four former lead singers, Boy & Bear are never lacking in harmony and have the indie pop sensibilities of fellow folk crooners Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver. I'm very excited to see where this band goes. There seems to be no resource that Boy & Bear don't have--there's a lot of potential here. Keep track of them on their various social networking pages and take a gander at the lead single, "Mexican Mavis."



Boy & Bear: "Mexican Mavin"
MySpace
Facebook
Buy

SOTD 12.27.09

Combining the Appalachian harmonies of Fleet Foxes with a country twang and sparser instrumentation, Mountain Man is a female trio from Vermont that has gained notoriety for their self-titled debut release this year. One might expect to hear this number from the rocking chaired porch of some backwoods cabin on a day where there's a few red and orange semblances of autumn left but the nip of wind serves as a reminder of winter's imminence. Although they are yet to really reach widespread indie recognition, it's only a matter of time before a portmanteau is coined for the microgenre under which Mountain Man may be categorized. Might I propose "hillwave"? Or perhaps "hillbilly joe-fi"? Regardless of what their pigeonholing label ends up being, Mountain Man is definitely worth a listen.

Mountain Man: "Animal Tracks"
Listen
Buy

Saturday, December 26, 2009

SOTD 12.26.09

A perfectly uplifting song for your post-Christmas doldrums, "Boy Lilikoi" is by Sigur Rós guitarist and vocalist Jónsi. Unlike his post-rock outfit's penchant for Hopelandic, a gibberish version of Icelandic that is utilizes the voice as an instrument rather than a means of delivering lyrics, Jónsi as a solo artist sings in English. However, the watery, ethereal quality to the music that defines Sigur Rós is maintained here, which results in a pop number that boast a distinct post-rock sensibility. Expect this as track number four of Jónsi's upcoming solo debut, Go, which will be released the week of March 22, 2010.

Jónsi: "Boy Lilikoi"
Listen
Preorder [n/a]

Friday, December 25, 2009

[mp3]OTD 12.25.09

After you have basked in the mind shitting glory of the '97 Glastonbury show, let us give your mind a bit of a rest. Indie club banger and Microsoft anthem, The Big Pink's, "Dominos" will transition you perfectly from a sugar cookie induced Christmas coma to the absurdity of your coming New Years endeavors. Muzjiks is here to help. Muzjiks cares.

The Big Pink: "Dominos"
Listen
Buy


EDIT: Here's the link to the album's real artwork. Muzjiks has not yet established a definite policy on internet boobies.

SOTD 12.25.09

It should've been a disaster. Rain had been falling for days, turning the festival grounds into a muddy mess. The monitors weren't functioning, so the band couldn't hear a thing. Many of the concertgoers had already up and left because of the miserable conditions. But when headliners Radiohead took the Pyramid stage on that Saturday night of June 28, 1997, they gave the music world a concert for the ages. Armed with songs primarily from The Bends and OK Computer, which had been released just some two weeks prior, Thom and the gang delivered what a Q magazine critics poll dubbed the greatest gig of all time—not the best Glastonbury gig, nor the best Radiohead gig, nor the best rock gig, but rather the single greatest gig by any band, anywhere, ever. The set list is chock-full of classics, Yorke's voice is youthfully powerful, and the band performs as tightly and energetically as ever. So, on this Christmas Day and in honor of the holiday season of giving, I offer you the full soundboard recording of this utterly epic performance. Prepare to eargasm...

Radiohead: Glastonbury 1997

1. Lucky
2. My Iron Lung
3. Airbag
4. Planet Telex
5. Exit Music (For A Film)
6. The Bends
7. (Nice Dream)
8. Paranoid Android
9. Karma Police
10. Creep
11. Climbing Up The Walls
12. No Surprises
13. Talk Show Host
14. Bones
15. Just
16. Fake Plastic Trees
17. You
18. The Tourist
19. High & Dry
20. Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Overhaulin'

You've probably noticed that things have been under construction around here lately, with backgrounds shifting and color schemes switching and just general layout mayhem, but DJ TB and I have settled down now with a new design that we're rather satisfied with. It takes a more minimalist approach so that we can offer a cleaner, more professional looking product. Moreover, there have been several additions that you may notice in the sidebars. Let me take a minute to outline the changes that have been made...
  • in attempt to establish a more minimalist and eye-pleasing look, the "Song of the Day" posts will be titled simply "SOTD MM.DD.YY"
  • at the top of the blog, note the brand new banner, which was created with the help of Muzjiks' right-hand woman, Lauren
  • on the top of the left sidebar, you'll see an easily accessible radio antenna symbol that will link you to the live stream of Muzjiks, which airs every Tuesday from 8-9 PM (we'll be back from the holidays on January 12th)
  • on the bottom of the left sidebar are links to Muzjiks-related material like the podcast website, Mevio, along with blogs and websites that we frequent and hold in high regard
  • on the top of the right sidebar is MuzjiksTV, which will feature live performances, music videos, interviews, and the like and will be continually updated every few days
  • below MuzjiksTV is DJ TB's brainchild, the "Critical Listening" section, which highlights the albums that TB and I have in heavy rotation at the moment
  • finally, you can direct your attention below "Critical Listening" to the "Features" section, which provides links to reviews, essays, and other special write-ups that Muzjiks has done in the past
We hope that the improvements we've made make your experience on our blog more enjoyable and will perhaps cause you to consider telling your friends and family about this labor of love that is Muzjiks. As always, any questions or comments can be sent to us via our Facebook page, which you can access to your left.

Thanks,
The Muzjiks Brethren

Art Without Fear

As you may recall, the other day, DJ TB posted up some great news that Radiohead will officially be heading back to the studio in January for work on LP8. Today, I found a Rolling Stone interview with Ed O'Brien, who seems to be the fans' biggest ally in terms of finding out information regarding the band's In Rainbows followup. Dated December 21st, the article contains a handful of informative bits, including...
  • "In terms of the band, we feel way more empowered in terms of our art and what we're doing. We have been rehearsing for the last four weeks, for this new record."
  • "[Thom]'s finding his way lyrically at the moment. It's early days."
  • "I'm an eternal optimist, but I truly believe we can shift massively on this [next] record. That's the thing we all know, that we feel in our bellies as we're rehearsing — we're on a big move here. We're definitely on a journey. And it's exciting."
Check here for the full article. 'Tis an exciting time to be a Radiohead fan, indeed...

Christmas in Eternal Reflection

A shout out to friend of Muzjiks, The Colored Commentator. "Just Begun" looks to be the first leaked track from Reflection Eternal's second LP, Revolutions Per Minute. The breezy horn sample and the impenetrable flow of MC Talib Kweli is something we've come to expect from the all-star duo. Look out for the new LP in February 2010.

Reflection Eternal: "Just Begun"
Buy Reflection Eternal's Train of Thought


UPDATE: Thanks from a tip from 2dopeboyz, it looks like we will get even more new Reflection Eternal in the coming days. Look for a Reflection Eternal mixtape to hit the web on New Years Eve featuring previously unreleased material. Out.

SOTD 12.24.09

Beginning with a "Nude"-like vocal wash until it explodes into a battery of crashing guitars one minute and forty seconds in, Liars' "Scissor" comes from the band's upcoming 2010 release, Sisterworld. After this electric eruption, the watery harmonizing returns and the song slows down again for the second verse until, to finish the track off with a bang, the cacophonous array of instruments thundering along returns. This quiet-loud-quiet-loud structuring is perhaps a nod to the innovators of this technique, the Pixies, but regardless of wherever the influences came from, what's for sure is that they all came together to create one hell of a three-minute number. If the band populates the rest of Sisterworld with songs like this, 2010 could be a breakthrough year for this art rock trio.

Liars: "Scissor"
Listen
Pre-order

















Oh, and Merry Christmas...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So Don't Kill Me.

I think that this needs to be heard. Reviews scream heresy and morbid anarchy, but just listen. It's The Flaming Lips doing Dark Side of the Moon and its as fucked up and awesome as you think it would be. This is "Us and Them" (my favorite DSOTM track) from the Flaming Lips. Its spacey (no shit, uh?) and sparse. Just give us a chance.

The Lips will be performing Dark Side in its entirety on New Year's Eve in the their native Oklahoma. Read the write up.

The Flaming Lips: "Us and Them"


Download the album (only until Dec 28) in its entirety here.

SOTD 12.23.09

I figured I'd post a Song of the Day that acknowledges in some capacity the holiday season, although I warn you, this is not what you'd expect...

Put together in a Give Up by the Postal Service kind of fashion, Rip the Jacker by underground rapper Canibus began as a cappellas of him rapping and then were sent away to Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind (of Jedi Mind Tricks fame) to be coupled with Stoupe's incredible beats. Widely considered one of Canibus's best releases, Rip the Jacker is a concept album with complex rhymes and machine gun delivery. Upon listening through the album, however, I was taken by surprise by the sample chosen for "No Return," the fifth track. Stoupe actually sampled "Adon Olam," a traditional Jewish prayer, speeding it up and giving it a hip-hop makeover to meld with Canibus's emceeing. I've embedded a YouTube video that I found of some dude singing "Adon Olam" with the same melody found in the song, as there is a wide variation in melodies to which Jewish prayers are sung depending on the denomination and congregation to which one belongs. Pretty interesting stuff.

With that, we here at Muzjiks wish you happy holidays!



Canibus: "No Return"
Listen
Buy

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

MuzjiksTV: The Week In Review (12/14-12/20)

In this feature, Muzjiks provides coverage of the week that was in indie music on the television airwaves, posting up relevant videos and perhaps even some reviews of live broadcast performances of our favorite acts...

Saturday, December 19: Muse performs "Uprising" and "Starlight" on Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Muse sold out. When you go from "Citizen Erased" and "Plug In Baby" to "Supermassive Black Hole" and "Undisclosed Desires," you've sold out. I'd give anything to see an Absolution, Origins of Symmetry, or Showbiz-era gig when their epicness-embodied style was in its pure form and when Matt Bellamy's vocals soared over beautiful space rock soundscapes. Now, the band appeals to teenybopper Twilight girls and wannabe hipsters with their diluted, dumbed-down pop. Play the post-Black Holes and Revelations Muse fan "Stockholm Syndrome" and they'll shit themselves. Now, Muse were never the most original band ever, and they always had an air of gimmickry about their overproduction and melodrama, but they did the arena rock thing better than just about anyone in the business. I miss the old Muse. [/rant]

Be prepared to throw up in your mouth with "Uprising" and be then be assuaged with the significantly less nauseating but altogether bubblegummy "Starlight"...


SOTD 12.22.09

2009 was the year of Animal Collective. Bookending the final year of this decade with two phenomenal releases in Merriweather Post Pavilion and Fall Be Kind, the band is clearly functioning at a creative peak. Now, at the end of the year, the band is more or less the unanimous pick for every end-of-year top 10 list of albums and singles with tracks like "My Girls" and "What Would I Want? Sky" populating the latter. To better understand the origins of the standout track of December's Fall Be Kind release, here's Grateful Dead's "Unbroken Chain," the sampled song in "What Would I Want? Sky." Skip to about 1:16 to hear the sampled part.

Grateful Dead: "Unbroken Chain"
Listen
Buy

Monday, December 21, 2009

Demo-itis

I was going on an Emily Haines/Metric binge the other day, watching all their interviews on YouTube, and came across this one where Emily Haines and the lead guitarist for Metric, James Shaw, were being interviewed by BiteTV. In it, the two speak on the writing process and the evolution of songs through live performance, and the interviewer brings up the idea of "demo-itis," or the phenomenon of a listener hearing a demo of a song and attaching him or himself to it to the point that when the final studio version appears on the record, it's ultimately a disappointment because one has grown accustomed to and fond of that demo incarnation of the song. In response to this concept, Shaw comes up with a beautifully articulated answer that begins at about 5:14.



What Shaw explains seems especially permanent with Radiohead, namely on In Rainbows. Many die-hard fans ended up disappointed with the record versions of "Videotape," "Nude," and "Down Is the New Up"—just to name a few. However, with Shaw's perspective in mind, it makes more sense that the disappointment arises not from the final product being lackluster or unsatisfying, but rather from the fact that it is just that: a final product. That is, it's reached its final form and the infinite musical possibility once had been is now rather dishearteningly consummated. At the risk of getting too Radiohead-centric, I would argue that this why such tracks as "Big Boots" and "Lift" are better off living on in bootlegs, the alluring possibility of what could have been adding that air of the unknown which makes the listening experience all the more captivating.

SOTD 12.21.09

Blending two of the biggest dance tracks of this generation is DJ Immuzikation. By mashing up MGMT's "Time to Pretend" and Daft Punk's "One More Time," Immuzikation effectively creates the perfect storm of party music. Occasionally, DJs put together mashups and manipulate the original songs so much that their original charm is lost; here, the strength of "Time to Pretend" and "One More Time" are allowed to function rather unadulterated, which is why the mashup works so well. So check below for a link to a definite contender for your New Year's playlist...

DJ Immuzikation: "One More Time to Pretend"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A News Bulletin

Thanks to a tip from DJ Swine and our friends over At Ease, we have some very exciting news. The house band will be back in the studio in January. 2010 is the year of the Muzjiks Revolution.



Read all of Ed Obrien's post on Dead Air Space here.

An Urban Muse

Let's begin with a bit of a confession. In my wildest musical fantasies, there would be one band I would want to be a part of--shred them strings, rock the keys, smash the skins...anything. Now one would guess my preference would be an epically hipster band like Radiohead, Arcade Fire, The Flaming Lips, or even festival headliners The Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Animal Collective. Though I say nay. My answer to you would be none other than Philadelphia's The Roots--an epically cool set of dudes that can get your ass shaking in your computer chair. This is a versatile group of musicians: critically acclaimed and the spark for many an unwanted pregnancy, The Roots would kick the shit out of your favorite MC's crew.

"Break You Off", from the 2002 LP Phrenology, epitomizes everything eternally sexy about the band. The Maxwell style hook, the Damo
n Albarn style muted synths, the neo-jazz groove of metric monster ?uestlove, and the slippery verbal assault of Black Thought, the song bumps. Let's hope you feel the same way.

The Roots: "Break You Off"


Be on the look out for the new Roots LP, How I Got Over due in early 2010 [preorder]

SOTD 12.20.09

If you recall, I did a post a while back about Miami Horror's "Sometimes," the beat used in Mike Posner's "You Don't Have to Leave." Well, the other day when I had my iPod on shuffle, what I thought was "One Foot Out the Door," the title track intro to Posner's most recent mixtape, turned out to be The xx's "Intro" to their self-titled debut. Not having listened to The xx in quite some time, the fact that Posner had used the beat of this London quartet of 20-year-olds had not dawned on me until then. I'm not sure who is in charge of finding these wonderful indie samples for Posner, but whoever it is should be promoted to a higher position in Posner's crew. If it's Posner himself, then he should focus here when it comes to working on his debut album. Now, I'm not sure what kind of pull Mike Posner or his label have at this point so early on in his career, but I think he works best and makes himself stand out most on these kinds of beats, as opposed to cookie-cutter mainstream reworkings like "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" or "Don't Trust Me." Regardless, I think it's obvious that Mike Posner is on to something here, and I hope he continues to develop it in the future. Below you will find both The xx and Mike Posner's versions of today's Song of the Day. Enjoy.

The xx: "Intro"
Listen
Buy

















Mike Posner: "One Foot Out the Door"
Listen
Download

Saturday, December 19, 2009

SOTD 12.19.09

Scottish eletronic music duo Boards of Canada have been consistently releasing psychedelic, ambient soundscapes since the mid-1980s and have influenced virtually any act that utilizes electronics (yes, including Radiohead). Taking three years to make, 2005's The Campfire Headphase is a meticulously-crafted album that contains today's Song of the Day, the dreamy "Dayvan Cowboy." Accompanying this otherworldly piece is its appropriately surreal music video, which compiles footage of military figure Joe Kittinger's famous parachute jump from 19.5 miles above the earth and surfer Laird Hamilton's masterful handling of the waves. Enjoy both the video and the mp3 below.



Boards of Canada: "Dayvan Cowboy"
Listen
Buy

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bibio

Electro-folk soundscaper Stephen Wilkinson (aka Bibio) has been a staple of my lo-fi diet for some time now. Combining the finger-stylings of your favorite solo guitarist and The Shepard's Dog era Iron & Wine with the imperfect ambiance of low-grade field recordings, Bibio is all the dusted vinyl you could ever want in a highly-compressed mp3. "Lover's Carvings" is the lead single off Bibio's 2009 LP, Ambivalence Avenue. Check out the highly recommended discography.

Check out those sweet, clean guitar flourishes at 2:58. Just splendid.

Bibio: "Lovers' Carvings"
Listen
Buy


edit: I just found a wonderful cover of "Lovers' Carving" and wanted to share it with all of you. Enjoy.

SOTD 12.18.09

Boasting echo-laden singing with occasional harmonies in the vein of Grizzly Bear, a Daniel Howie-style vocal overdrive in the chorus, and a "The Funeral"-esque guitar line that crescendos into the chorus and diminishes for the verses, today's Song of the Day comes from a solo side project of Jonathan Visger of the My Old Kentucky Blog darlings, Mason Proper. According to Visger's Twitter, this track was something he "spontaneously decided to quietly release," which is a good thing for us listeners, as it's definitely one I think you'll find yourself putting on repeat.

If you like this song, consider downloading his other releases by the Radiohead-popularized pay-what-you-want model at http://music.absofacto.com/


Absofacto: "No Power"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Song of the Day (12/17/09)

Sometimes I find myself surfing from blog to blog, downloading random tracks that suit my fancy as I go so that what ends up resulting is an awful lot of music in my iTunes library that just kind of appeared. Today's Song of the Day falls into this category. Crafting traditional indie pop with an electronic edge is How I Became the Bomb, a band that has since abandoned their roots and headed in a more experimental direction. However, this number comes from their debut EP, Let's Go, which maintains their original sound. Another solid feel-good song to go along with yesterday's matt pond PA selection (don't let the title deceive you)...

How I Became the Bomb: "Killing Machine"
Listen
Buy

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Missing tunes...

Here are the songs that were cut off from last night's podcast. I think that they are both great, so you should all have them.

The White Panda: Stuntin' Like My Energy (Lil Wayne vs. Keri Hilson)


:59 seconds in, Wayne takes a bite from an apple mid-rap. Now let's talk legendary.

Interpol: "NARC"
Listen
Buy


I absolutely refuse to post Bettie Grind on this blog. Fuck you Swine.
Laterz

Episode 8b: High On Myopiates

I apologize for not getting this up by midnight last night as I had said, but it's here now, so that should assuage you. Again, here's the procedure: (1) click on the iTunes logo to the left to open the podcast in your iTunes program and download; (2) if you've already subscribed in iTunes, the new episode should show up automatically (if it doesn't, right click on the podcast, select "Update Podcast," and it should appear); (3) stream the episode below if you so desire; (4) show your friends. Enjoy!

NOTE: Since this was our first full day of secession from WALT and podcasting on our own, the recording is slightly incomplete due to technical difficulties. Hopefully we've got all the kinks worked out though so that from now on, you'll be getting Muzjiks in all its glory. However, in this episode, you'll get around 57 minutes of goodness, but in the middle of The White Panda's "Stuntin' Like My Energy (Lil Wayne vs. Keri Hilson)," the recording cuts out. Check the playlist for what you missed, and mark your calendars for the next episode of Muzjiks that will occur on January 12, 2010.



Playlist
1. Emalkay: "When I Look At You" [intro]
2. Alec Ounsworth: "South Philadelphia (Drug Days)"
3. Yeasayer: "Sunrise"
4. Basement Jaxx (ft. Sam Sparro): "Feelings Gone"
5. We Were Promised Jetpacks: "Quiet Little Voices"
6. The Roots: "How I Got Over"
7. Nyle: "Living in the Shade"
8. Discovery: "So Insane"
9. Passion Pit: "Moth's Wings (Eric Solomon Remix)"
10. The White Panda: "Stuntin' Like My Energy (Lil Wayne vs. Keri Hilson)"
11. Interpol: "NARC"
12. Bettie Grind: "Dammit I'm Fly" [request]

Episode 8a: Palindrone

Yesterday, I broadcasted an impromptu special episode prior to the main episode that focused on post-rock, as time constraints prohibit me from playing these lengthy tracks in the regular broadcast. The playlist is posted below, and if you click on the iTunes logo to the left, the podcast should appear in your iTunes program for download, or if you've already subscribed in iTunes, the podcast should already show up. Also, you can stream the podcast using the embedded player below. Enjoy!



Playlist

1. Godspeed You! Black Emperor: "The Dead Flag Blues"
2. Mooncake: "Rain in the Ashtray"
3. Eimog: "Antarctica"
4. The Samuel Jackson Five: "Skinflick Dress Rehearsal"

Song of the Day (12/16/09)

Playing archetypal indie rock with a folk tinge, matt pond PA of Philadelphia creates music that is very much in the same mode as Wilco, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and Blind Pilot. At the helm is frontman Matt Pond who adds a distinct sincerity to each song with his impassioned—albeit rather rough-around-the-edges—croon. From the band's 2005 release, Several Arrows Later, is "So Much Trouble," an upbeat tune that combines these characteristic vocals with gravity-inducing strings, autumnal lyrics, and a warm guitar riff effected so that it resembles a cross between a bell and a xylophone. Perfect for a walk in the park to observe the final oranges and reds of fall before the grays of winter make their dominion absolute...

matt pond PA: "So Much Trouble"
Listen
Buy

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Reminder

Tune in from 8-9 tonight for episode 8 of Muzjiks with DJ Swine and DJ TB. Use this link to listen to the live stream. If you happen to miss it, don't worry, as the podcast will be up by midnight tonight along with the playlist info. Look for that between 10 and midnight tonight. Hope you'll be listening in! It's going to be another great show!

Song of the Day (12/15/09)

We're bringin' it all the way back to 1971 for today's Song of the Day, the year when Led Zeppelin released IV, Jim Morrison was taken from us far too soon, Lennon's "Imagine" tore up the charts, and Tupac Shakur was born. As legend has it, the guitar solo on this track was inspired by a LSD-tripping George Clinton imploring Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel to play the first half of the song like his mother had just died and the second half as if he had just discovered she was still alive. Whatever his motivation, Hazel hammered out this ethereal piece of music in one take with only the help of a wah pedal, a delay pedal, and a fuzzbox, clearly invoking something not of this world to fashion what the Rolling Stone considers the 60th best guitar song of all time. Without further ado, I give you the face-melting "Maggot Brain"...

Funkadelic: "Maggot Brain"
Listen
Buy

Monday, December 14, 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT

During my daily brainstorming sessions about how I can improve Muzjiks, I decided today that the next logical step for this production is to break free of the bonds of the ongoing WALT podcasting difficulties and take care of this whole podcast business myself. Thus, from this point onward, Muzjiks will be an independent venture, the recording and posting up each episode completely on our hands and thereby separate from WALT.

SO, what does this mean? Only good things for you, the listeners...
  • I have set up an active podcast link (see below) that you simply click on, and the Muzjiks podcast, including all recorded episodes, will open automatically in your iTunes. After each live broadcast of Muzjiks, the recorded podcast will be uploaded and should appear in your iTunes podcast section for download.
  • Additionally, I have submitted the Muzjiks podcast for consideration by iTunes so that it will hopefully be listed in the podcast section on the iTunes Store and will show up when you search for it there. I will post an update here on the blog as soon as I get word that this reviewing process has been completed.
  • Finally, the podcasting service that I've selected to use for Muzjiks has created another website exclusively for the podcasts (see below). On this site, you will be able to stream, comment on, and download all of the episodes.
As you can see, Muzjiks is an ever-evolving entity that will soon take over the world. Tell your mother. Tell your barber. Tell your baby mama. The revolution is coming.

That is all.

Links
NOTE: The iTunes podcast link can be also be accessed by clicking on the iTunes logo in the sidebar, and the podcast link will be added to the "Links" box in the sidebar for your future convenience.
iTunes podcast: itpc://mevio.com/feeds/muzjiksradio.xml
Podcast site: http://muzjiksradio.mevio.com/

A Tribute of Sorts...

While this is a music blog, a cultural tragedy happened this past week that can simply not be ignored. Flight of the Concords will be no more. After an announcement from their official website, there will be no more of the genius musical comedy on HBO.

"We’re very proud of the two seasons we made and we like the way the show ended. We’d like to thank everyone who helped make the show and also everyone who watched it. While the characters Bret and Jemaine will no longer be around, the real Bret and Jemaine will continue to exist."

If you're already a fan, take Bret and Jermaine's gratitude with sincerity. If you're not familiar with the show, here's some favorite clips and the link to get the cd/dvds. Let the boys live on in the greatness of DVR.





Song of the Day (12/14/09)

Bradford Cox is one of the masterminds of modern day indie. Between his work in a band setting with Deerhunter and solo as Atlas Sound, Cox provides our ears with a continuous stream of incredible music. Perhaps what sets Cox apart most is that he's constantly progressing: whereas Deerhunter began as shoegazey fuzz-rock, it gradually transformed into the cleaner, poppier sound that characterized Microcastle, and likewise, Atlas Sound's similarly ambient roots metamorphosed into the more accessible folk-pop leanings of Logos. Here, I've selected a track from Deerhunter's sophomore studio release, Cryptograms, which exemplifies the band's earlier atmospheric bent. In a wash of delay pedaled guitars, airy looped vocals, watery drones, "White Ink" would be the perfect soundtrack for a stoned snorkeler's underwater adventure through the Great Barrier Reef. Arguably even more impressive than the song itself is the fact that Cox and the gang can recreate the otherworldly mood live (see below). So put on a pair of good headphones, shut your eyes, and prepare to be transported...





Deerhunter: "White Ink"
Listen
Buy

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chill Wave

So at first, I was a bit skeptical of the chill wave thing, maybe thinking it was an elaborate ploy by American Apparel to increase profit margins. Though I guess ignorance is at the root of all hate. Here's a chill wave track not by Neon Indian or Washed Out.

Toro y Moi: "Blessa"



Full disclosure: I have nothing against American Apparel with ads like this.

MuzjiksTV: The Week In Review (12/7-12/13)

(I'm not sure whether this is going to be an ongoing thing or not, but I figured I'd give it a try...)

In this feature, Muzjiks will provide coverage of the week that was in indie music on the television airwaves, posting up relevant videos and perhaps even some reviews of live broadcast performances of our favorite acts.

Tuesday, December 8: Passion Pit performs "Little Secrets" on Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)
As a general rule, I steer clear of Jimmy Kimmel performances, as the crowds are often completely comatose, offering no energy off of which the act can draw and thus resulting in rather forgettable showings. However, this past Tuesday, Passion Pit performed before a uncharacteristically enthusiastic audience, but likely due to the chilly temperature of the outdoor location, lead singer Michael Angelakos' eunuch-like falsetto was embarrassingly bad. Although I'm just as big a Passion Pit fan as any, without all their ducks in a row and the polish of the studio to add some sprawl to their electronics, I couldn't help but feel this gimmicky '80s vibe. Frankly, I recommend just throwing on "Sleepyhead" and forgetting about this blip on the screen...



Thursday, December 10: Blakroc ft. RZA perform "Dollaz & Sense" and "Tellin' Me Things" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
Endorsed heavily by DJ TB...


Saturday, December 12: Explosions in the Sky perform "Yasmin the Light," "Catastrophe and the Cure," and "Memorial" on Austin City Limits (PBS) [rerun]
Simply epic.

A little something to let your mind breathe for a bit during finals...

In a word: lysergic.

AIR MUSIC VIDEO SING SANG SUNG from MATHEMATIC SAS on Vimeo.



(A special thanks to Lauren for introducing me to this video!)

Song of the Day (12/13/09)

A rather blatant replication of Yeasayer's sound, Nurses' "Technicolor" is essentially the poor man's version of "Sunrise." That said, the today's Song of the Day is still worth a listen, as its tribal percussion creates an air of Middle Eastern worldliness with which few indie acts have experimented, so the atmosphere remains fresh, even if its inspiration has done it bigger and better before. Even if you do find "Technicolor" a bit too derivative for your liking, don't write them off; the remainder of the Portland psych-rockers' most recent release, Apple's Acres, explores a more unique, individualized style.

Nurses: "Technicolor"
Listen
Buy

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Song of the Day (12/12/09)

On a daily basis, I check an absurd an amount of music blogs, news sites, and concert listings to try to stay current on what's new in the world of indie (check the new "Links" box in the sidebar to the left to get a taste). Among these web pages I frequent is the independent music behemoth that is Pitchfork. Lauded by some and loathed by many, Pitchfork is—regardless of one's opinion—undoubtedly the Rolling Stone of indie. But now back to the topic. The other day, one of Pitchfork's Track Reviews was of an artist named Jonathan Boulet, a 21-year-old from Australian who crafts brilliant pop songs. As soon as the infectious guitar line comes in, you will be hooked, and once Boulet's James Mercer-esque vocals swoop in, pick you up, and soar away, you'll be queuing it up for repeat already...

Jonathan Boulet: "Community Service Announcement"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Song of the Day (12/11/09)

Today's Song of the Day really is as ridiculous as it sounds, but for whatever reason, it's an earworm that burrows deep within your head, begging to be played ad naseum. Maybe it's the descending horn riff that draws you in. Or perhaps the incessant thumping bass line sprinkled with guitar riffs. Or the way the additive and subtractive processes occurring in the beat keep the musical interest high. Or maybe it's just the fun conversational banter between the two members of Das Racist, Himanshu Suri and Victor Vazquez, who could just as easily be your two munchie-stricken deadbeat friends trying in vain to locate one another amidst a cannabis-induced haze one Saturday night. Whatever it is, one thing's for sure: "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell (Wallpaper. RMX)" is as catchy as they come.

Das Racist: "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell (Wallpaper. RMX)"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Episode 7: Doppelgangsta (12/8/09)

Download podcast here
...or here

Despite the technical difficulties with the podcasting software we've been dealing with over the past month, we've managed to find a way to get you episode 7 of Muzjiks to you. Thanks to my best friend and avid Muzjiks listener, Lauren, we have an mp3 recording of this past Tuesday's show. Although it the audio quality leaves something to be desired, it's better than nothing, and at the very least, it serves an archival purpose. If the problem with the in-studio podcasting software persists, we will be sure to continue to provide you with more personal recordings of the show that will be in much higher fidelity.

A few things to note while listening: at around the 43-minute mark, the recording cuts out in the middle of Menomena's "Muscle'n Flo" and picks up soon thereafter during a Family Guy clip. Again, during the beginning of Dangerous Muse's "I Want It All," the recording fails, returning after that song is over. Finally and quite unfortunately, the podcast cuts out during the height of my Davidson College spring concert survey rant and then comes back with the lead-in to the final song. In order to recreate the experience to the best of our ability, we've uploaded both Menomena and Dangerous Muse tracks that were lost in the recording.

Enjoy!



Playlist
  1. Sebastian Tellier: "La Ritournelle"
  2. Washed Out: "Feel It All Around"
  3. Okkervil River: "For Real"
  4. Doves: "The Outsiders"
  5. Margot & the Nuclear So and So's: "Broadripple Is Burning (Live from the Patio 11/5/05)"
  6. Dirty Projectors: "Knotty Pine"
  7. Metric: "Gimme Sympathy"
  8. Menomena: "Muscle'n Flo"
  9. Fleet Foxes: "White Winter Hymnal"
  10. Dangerous Muse: "I Want It All"
  11. Gucci Mane: "Dangers Not a Stranger (Diplo Remix)"
  12. KiD CuDi (ft. MGMT and Ratatat): "Pursuit of Happiness (Steve Aoki Dance Remix)"

Song of the Day (12/10/09)

At the forefront of the noise/lo-fi scene is Nathan Williams, better known by his stage moniker, Wavves. Despite a well-documented meltdown at Barcelona's Primavera Sound Festival in May and a scuffle with Jared Swilley of the Black Lips in September, Wavves has been steadily gaining notoriety in the indie scene ever since Pitchfork really put him on the map in February upon reviewing his sophomore release, Wavvves. Departing a bit from the sound characterized on this LP and instead doing his best impression of a fuzzed-out Animal Collective, "Mickey Mouse" comes from a demo Wavves posted on his blog a while back. So, if nothing else, go ahead and add this into your AC playlist so that you can keep the juices flowing after you get done listening to their wonderful Fall Be Kind EP that was officially released on Tuesday.

Wavves: "Mickey Mouse"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Song of the Day (12/9/09)

Essentially Interpol lite, Editors are a UK band that combines post-punk angst with pop accessibility. Featuring lead singer Tom Smith's baritone vocals within a brooding atmosphere dominated by pulsing percussion and wailing delay-pedaled guitars, "Bones" may not be the most original piece of music ever—for it is deeply indebted to Interpol and Joy Division—but that doesn't stop it from functioning as an altogether great song. If you enjoy this style, be sure to check out the rest of Editors' An End Has a Start, as well as their debut, The Back Room; if you hear this song and wish there more '80s electronics and synthesizers, Editors' 2009 release, In This Light and On This Evening will be more your speed. Enjoy.

Editors: "Bones"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Live Tonight!

Just a reminder that we will be live tonight on WALT at 8pm. Send your questions in via the facebook page and remember, calls during the show are always welcome. See ya tonight.
The Muzjiks Team

Song of the Day (12/8/09)

Combining punk with indie, Phoenix-based band Dear and the Headlights have a knack for putting together traditional three- to four-minute pop numbers that plead to have a head nodded and a foot tapped to them. Their songs have acoustic foundations that are given more life with drums and electric guitars, but the key selling point are the strong vocals of frontman Ian Metzger, who can belt it out when necessary or keep it low-key on softer songs. Serving as a perfect example of this short-but-sweet approach is "Sweet Talk" from the band's debut album, Small Steps, Heavy Hooves.

Dear and the Headlights: "Sweet Talk"

Monday, December 7, 2009

A couple of helpful tools for your music needs

Dirpy
Have a piece of audio from a YouTube video that you want to have as an mp3 and put on your iPod? Dirpy is a dead easy online tool that can extract audio from YouTube videos. Just paste the YouTube video URL, fill out the Artist/Song/Album information, and download the pre-tagged mp3 file to your computer.

iConcertCal
Want to know when your favorite bands are coming to town but don't have the time to scour Pollstar, Myspace pages, and other concert listings? Download iConcertCal, a plug-in for iTunes that looks at all the artists in your library and searches all the major online concert listing sites for gigs by those artists, updating itself once a week. Once you've installed iConcertCal, just go to View VisualizeriConcertCal, and either use the shortcut ⌘T or click Show Visualizer under the View toolbar to show the application. You can select the city you want it to search for, as well as the mile radius around your city you want the application to factor into its search. All in all, iConcertCal is an extremely useful plug-in for the average concertgoer.

Bradford Cox Stole Your Super Nintendo

A clip from Pitchfork's Surveillance Series comes Atlas Sound's "Untitled." Avoid the Goombas if you can.