In Review

Too lazy to do anything for yourself? Well, now you don’t ever have to think about anything because the ladies at TT&SC may have already reviewed a certain album, movie, concert that you’ve been thinking about.

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It is here, Girl Talk‘s latest album, Feed The Animals was released this past Tuesday. Following the hot trend of Radiohead, he released it with a choose your own price dealie. I chose $0, and I was immediately quizzed to why so, but sadly enough, poor college student was not a choice. Considering I had no idea that this album was even coming out, I didn’t know what to expect from this album. Would it be as clean and entertaining as Night Ripper? Are these new tunes going to make me risk the chance of getting tasered by going to one of Mr. Gillis’ shows?

As Gregg said in an interview that he wanted to get this album out as soon as possible because he utilizes the most recent and current hip hop and did not want to risk his album sounding out dated. I think this is a strange statement about the album because he seemed to delve a lot further into older music including Tag Team, Salt N’ Pepa, or Public Enemy. As well as old hip hop music, Gregg also used a lot of 80s and early 90s hits including Rick Astley, Bizarre Inc. Cheap Trick and Tears For Fears. Don’t get me wrong, I love to rock out to “I’m Gonna Get You” by Bizarre Inc. any time of the day, but what I miss of the old Girl Talk is his use of indie music. This album sounds like water got spilt on a wedding dj’s laptop. It’s a mixture of current hip hop and cheesy wedding hits. The only extent of indie music I heard was the ever so familiar M.I.A sample or a little bit of Hot Chip and Of Montreal, but if I hear another M.I.A. sample I will punch the next person I see in tribal patterned t shirt. Although the album has a great flow and probably is best being played straight through some of the tracks seem a little bit sloppy.

The mash up game has definitely increased it’s contenders and Girl Talk used to be the heavy weight champion, but with the introduction of a new artists everyday, he is fighting harder than ever to keep his title. The disadvantage that Girl Talk has is that other mash up artists haven’t been charging for their music. The Hood Internet have been keeping pretty current and you can download all of their tracks for free at anytime on their website. So when listening to Feed The Animals, I kept saying to myself, “Oh The Hood Internet already used this sample.” Granted Girl Talk definitely chops us songs much more creatively than The Hood Internet. But sometimes I just want to hear a song throughly such as the Nirvana vs. Salt N’ Pepa vs. Deelite during “In Step” or Kanye West vs. Montell Jordan during “Still Here”, but the those parts of the song only last about 25 seconds in each of the songs to my disappointment. Sometimes, I don’t know if Gregg is trying to be funny, but I don’t appreciate Dawson Creek theme song samples in any song ever. But the album definitely takes some time to warm up, riots would start around “No Pause” and would last until about “Let Me See You.” I am a bit underwhelmed with this album, but Girl Talk is great at what he does because I would never have thought of putting Metallica vs. Lil’ Mama which makes him an innovator if not a genius.

You can download the album for whatever price you want at Illegal Art. I’m still waiting for it to be released on vinyl via Wham City cause then I can really pretend I’m a dj. But until then you will see me droppin’ like its hot to “Hands In The Air” when I see Girl Talk at Lollapalooza. Here’s hoping that I don’t get trampled to death!

Girl Talk – Hands In The Air [MP3] [Illegal Art]

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wooden kites Wooden Kites are a relatively new St. Louis band that formed about a year ago and have been rocking that good ‘ole Midwestern country rock ever since. Their debut album, The Orchard, just dropped recently and is simply what the St. Louis music scene needs–which is a fun, hard, country-indie rock band. I mean who doesn’t love whiskey rock? At first listen, I will admit I thought I was listening to Flogging Molly minus the fiddling, but alas I judged too quickly.

The Orchard has an interesting progression. It begins as a simply good ho-down, but as the album continues and drunkenness ensues, it slows down. Courtship has begun and lyrics such as “let’s go to New York City, or Athens, Georgia, we’re young, you’re allowed to f*ck up” discuss how it is to be young and in love. I definitely enjoy the first half of the album a lot more with the exception of the last track, “The Wind.” The concluding track is the slowest of the bunch and probably the simplest, featuring only an acoustic guitar and lead guitarist, Brian’s vocals. The lead vocalist–which I have to mention–reminds me of Gordon Gano from the Violent Femmes and it ain’t a bad thing for sure. A complaint I have to make is about songs “Sailin’ Song” and “Nikki Avery” because I don’t think they fit the album. It’s like a strange intermission of pirate jamz. I can kind of get a connection like, country folk drink and so do pirates? Maybe they were watching Pirates of The Caribbean at the time? I wouldn’t know.

My favorite track is ” You and Me and The Bottle Makes Three” because it’s fun and cute. It’s about, as you guessed it, having a little inebriated fun. But I think fun and cute is probably the best representation of the album. So if you want a Violent Femmes-eque ho-downs then listen to the first half of The Orchard, maybe the end of it if you prefer Page France-like slow jamz, or the middle because you just like Pirate music. It’s quite convenient that Wooden Kites also happen to sit right nicely next to my Yonder Mountain String Band in my itunes. Coincidence? I think not! Wooden Kites definitely offer a wide range with this album and they aren’t a band you want to ignore. Definitely hope to see them around the St. Louis circuit one day. Make sure to check out their blog!

Wooden Kites – Our Secret In The Orchard [MP3] [Amazon]

Wooden Kites – You and Me and The Bottle Makes Three

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Ok, here it is my review of DCFC’s newest album, after prejudging it so harshly in the past. I thought that it was only fair that I post what I thought of it. I know I am behind, but better late than never, right?

One thing I am surprised as a Death Cab For Cutie fan is how unaware I was of the epicness of the music. Narrow Stairs seems to be much more of an anthem driven album with progressive guitars and Gibbard’s angsty singing laid on top than albums in the past. It makes me want to drive on an empty highway going nowhere with my foot hanging out the window. Of course, there are those slow jams that fill the background of any teenage suicide scene as well as optimistic child birthing scenes. Death Cab For Cutie is great for the imagination and creating movie soundtracks for me, I guess. Some songs like “Talking Bird” is easily forgettable and passable. While “Long Division” on the other hand is probably the most pleasant surprise I got from the album. It was so distinctly different and unusual from what I would expect from DCFC, but I truly enjoyed the track. I would love to know the inspiration because it makes me want to have a good ole boogie down to that song. Although I find that “The Ice Is Getting Thinner” is basically the same song as ” Marching Bands of Manhattan” except a concluding version.

All in all, I would say the album is good. I mean it’s not my favorite of theirs, but they still remain current and relevant which I think it’s the best they can do right now. The sound has changed, but not drastically to where they would lose the appeal of their target audience. The music has definitely improved and it has become much more complex and stage driven rock.

Standout tracks are “Bixby Cannon Bridge”, “No Sunlight”, “Your New Twin Sized Bed”, and “Long Division”

Death Cab For Cutie – Long Division[MP3] [Itunes] [Insound] [Amazon]

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The first time I heard Philadelphia’s Tickley Feather (or, Annie Sachs), I was seeing her open for Animal Collective in St. Louis this past September. I was really intrigued by the simplicity of her set and her overall ability to present experimental yet catchy tunes. Her self-titled debut album off of the Paw Tracks label perfectly translates what her live sound is composed of. Looping samples, keyboards, and drum machines piece together perfectly in combination with TF’s raw emotion expressed through her vocals. With 20 tracks–the vast majority under the 3:00 mark–Tickley Feather’s album is like a fucking charming, whimsical storybook or something. It makes me wonder if she deliberately crafted the perfect album to echo amazingly through my apartment. Her sound is out there, in the most beautiful way possible. Eerie nursery rhyme melodies and toy synths soar on tracks like “Nothing 2 B Sad About” and “Night Train”. There are times when I’m listening to her album that all of a sudden, a phat lo-fi beat blasts through my ears (see “Tonight Is The Night”), and my mind jumps to Madonna circa 1988 had she taken lots of acid instead of club drugs. Touted as the “Next Ariel Pink”, it seems that she indeed shares a lot in common with her Paw Tracks label-mate (who I am obsessed with, by the way) in terms of lo-fi production and tons of reverb in her vocals. Interpret that as you will, but I know this album is going to be a favorite of mine for quite a while.


Tickley Feather – Tonight Is The Night [MP3] [Insound]

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Toe Taps and Spastic Claps are proud to say that we are the first to review the somewhat St. Louis locales (actually hailing from Tempora, IL but close enough), Skarekrauradio. Their newest album is releasing May 3rd on Apop Records and they will be having a cd/dvd release show at Spooky Action Palace with Ghost Ice, Brain Transplant, Joe Ragliani, Zone Cross, and Soft Serve. The extremely experimental noise rock group is definitely something you don’t want to miss.

When I first received the CD/DVD package, I have to say I was extremely excited. It was packaged like an LP and decorated with hot pink “Kuu” art. Upon opening the inside I found some beaded art, a comic about “Kuu” and a sticker. Skarekrauradio derives a lot of inspiration for their god, “Kuu” and reading the writeup about the band I still can’t say that I completely understand “Kuu” or the “Kuuvolution.” After seeing the band open up for Mahjongg in late March, I was utterly confused if the band had actually played songs or were merely noise jamming. After a thorough listen of The Iireal Me Sutura/The Iireal Me Futura, I have to say that it’s pretty good and represents the band perfectly. Also proves that the band actually have cohesive songs. Each track seems completely different from the next, but somehow all fits on the album. The first track, “Notes to Self (Shoot the Old into Space)” is a spoken track with interspersed random noises/yelling, and is the only way that Skarekrauradio should start an album. My favorite track is “Simulated Tapeworm” and with catchy spastic guitar riffs, it sounds very reminiscent to some Ecstatic Sunshine. Overall, the album features everything a noise band needs which is constant tambourine rattling, pained screaming, sporadic brass parts, and “Kuu”volutionary lyrics. The sad thing about the album is that it is extremely short, only featuring 8 tracks, but maybe that’s why they added a DVD to hold you over. Other standout tracks are “Ultrabuy” and “Kuummunication Breakdown.”

The DVD, I will say, is pretty scary. Definitely not recommended for children nor suitable for work. But I did enjoy watching their recorded live performances which I thought could never translate well, but in fact does when done correctly. Other tips for watching the DVD are don’t watch it by yourself and be wary of what drugs you take (you don’t want to be on any bad trips for this guy.) Skarekrauradio is definitely taking live and recorded performance art to levels never seen before.

Skarekrauradio – Simulated Tapeworm [MP3] [Myspace]

Buy the album by catching one of their shows or emailing wiggpaw@yahoo.com.

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As a newly-formed 2 piece outfit out of Chicago, IL, Russian Circles are making huge strides in the experimental progressive Indie genre with their latest album, Station. The album was released May 6th off of Suicide Squeeze records. Similar sounding to Pelican with a mixture of Explosions in the Sky, the band uses a lot of metal guitar riffs yet somehow transcends tracks to light airy melodies.

“Campaign” is the first track off the album and is probably the lightest and prettiest song that you would never expect from this band. Then, you are rudely thrown in to a progressive metal pit of fire. Okay, not really, but I think that imagery is cool. Considering I am a rather new Russian Circles fan, I was pleasantly surprised at how some of their songs could sound so progressive yet poppy–and then somehow the next track would be the soundtrack to some vampire action movie. I don’t really understand what the concept of the band is, but I am quite amazed that 2 people could create such an intricate, mysterious sound. Most of the tracks are long–the shortest track being 4:30 and the longest being 8:43–which of course is what you would expect from any progressive band. The album is pretty convoluted in sound and I just wish they would stick with one genre, but that might be their whole point. So I think I might of missed the whole point of this band and the album. If they made more songs like “Verses” or “Campaign” then they would have a fan in me. So, I would recommend this album to those who would enjoy a metal version of Explosions in the Sky or to people who get it–because I surely don’t.

Nonetheless, I would definitely try to see them when they stroll into St. Louis at the Bluebird, June 4th.

[Edit: I originally posted the cover-art for their previous album, ENTER, on accident. Give us a break, it’s finals week.]

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I was introduced to Bipolar Bear when I picked up Love and Circuits: Cardboard Records Compilation. I was highly intrigued upon hearing the song “Gaza Striptease.” The band has a very interesting sound, incorporating fast, punk guitar riffs and Rage Against the Machine-like vocals. This LA based group are not your typical garage rock band or even LA noise rock band either. I wouldn’t say that they are innovators, but they are probably doing what makes the most sense to them.

Moutain Dewd is the title of their first release off of Yosada records and although a great representation of the band, the music gets very predictable by the end of the record. I’m going to guess that they were highly influenced by all the bands featured in the book, Our Band Could Be Your Life. All the songs are very fast and punk yet remain a little bit reminiscent of that LA noise. My favorite song is “Eastsa Pizza Teepee” because it has that strange London hardcore ring to it and is quite pleasing to the ears. Bipolar Bear is good because they aren’t exactly punk. They sound like a more generic and random Maps & Atlases. I’ll class them as good ole noisy indie punk. So if you always wanted to delve into old school punk but are too afraid of what you might get into, then check out Bipolar Bear because they will ease you into the scene quite nicely.

Bipolar Bear – Gaza Striptease [MP3] [Insound] [Official]

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The Death Set are a type of band that should be avoided if you cannot handle spastic, screeching vocals and DIY punk arrangements. However, if this sounds ideal to you, then we are on the same ferry boat entirely. Worldwide serves as a testament to the Baltimore scene at the moment, packed with frantic energy and scuzzy, sweaty appeal. I was anxiously awaiting their full-length from the moment I heard their To EP. Their latest album features many tracks from To and Rad Warehouses Bad Neighborhoods, however the sound is a bit more refined. Combining elements of electro-punk (see “Listen To This Collision” and “Moving Forward”) Nintento-laden freak-outs (“Intermission” and “Cold Teeth”) and even hip-hop (!), the motherfucking Death Set’s eighteen tracks–none over 2:50–are all certain to get you riled up and ready to go insane. Johnny Siera’s vocals are bratty and loud, which totally works within their overall bare sound. It is this lo-fi aesthetic that keeps the album interesting and not at all repetitive. Definitely recommended for your next house party, but don’t get mad at me if your momma’s lamp gets shattered.

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I will admit that I gave a lot of slack to Tokyo Police Club…for sounding like Tokyo Police Club, but Elephant Shell is a decent album. I was afraid that the boys would stick to what was going good, but to my surprise they made some musical strides away from Lesson In Crime. Tokyo Police Club doesn’t take too many musical risks, but just enough to keep and please all fans. I’ve read other reviews of Elephant Shell and most have said that every song on the album could stand on its own as a single. And I wish I could say I agree, but I do not. Some songs are simply boring and feel like filler to the rest of the catchier tracks. To my surprise, Elephant Shell features quite a few slower tracks. I have to admit that I really enjoy them because they really show that the boys are trying to have more of a complete sound. The last track is ” The Baskervilles” and at first listen it may seem forgettable. In actuality, it is the best ending that Elephant Shell could ever have. It eases you into what you will heard on the album. But I am simply in love with the song, “Nursery Academy” because of the melody and the intricate drum beating. It’s a great song and really keeps your attention to continue listening to the album. The one thing that reeled me in as a TPC fan was the fact that their songs were poignant and they stayed true to keeping most of their tracks under 3 minutes long. TPC like all the hype bands I fall in love with will always have a soft spot in my heart. Those silly Canadians, how can I not support such avid spastic clappers.

Stand out tracks are The Baskervilles, Nursery Academy, Tessellate, and In A Cave

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Man Man successfully did it once again. Blurring the lines between Transylvanian spaz-rock and soulful, bluesy compositions, the Philadelphia boys churned out another pleasing album on Anti- Records. Utilizing hand-claps, children’s toys, kazoos and other quirky instruments of the sort to compliment their excellent musicianship, this album boasts more than a few maniacal, shimmy-inducing tracks.
At first listen, if nothing else, you hear that Man Man has certainly stayed true to their hectic sound. Yes it’s true, Man Man are commonly referred to as Tom Waits rip-offs, but lead-singer Honus Honus can pull off a glittery gold headband and war paint much better than Waits ever could, I imagine.
Rabbit Habits is a great listen, however it isn’t as aggressive or experimental as Six Demon Bag. Tracks like “The Ballad Of Butter Beans” make me feel like I’m in a silent-film car chase scene. Or a circus. Both are fitting, actually, for pretty much all of these songs. “Top Drawer” and “Easy Eats Or Dirty Doctor Galapagos” definitely have a vintage, Vaudeville-esque vibe. On “Big Trouble”, Honus Honus’ vocals sound so similar to that of Waits’, it sounds like it could be straight off of Real Gone, if he maybe cut down his cigarette intake to under 5 packs a day.
In short, I would have liked to have seen Man Man go over the top cray-cray (crazy, for all you lames) with this album. Do I feel like they did? No. It’s a safely-done presentation of what the guys to best, and it doesn’t push them into a realm of super-godliness (although Honus Honus was our God Warrior Of The Week a few weeks ago) like I was expecting.
Oh well, I’ll just have to sit back and wait for the next tour to get the full Man Man experience. These tunes are much better heard live.
Man Man – Hurly/Burly [MP3]
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It has been 2 years since Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin released the highly acclaimed, Broom. The boys from Springfield, MO are set to release Pershing, April 8th, 2008. To no surprise, there is definitely a good amount of hype surrounding this upcoming album. Sadly,on the first listen the album is a breeze through. There isn’t too many songs that stand out or are rememberable. The album is lovely indeed, but I’m not going to be singing the songs at the top of my lungs at their concerts. Although it is quite noticeable that there was a lot more production that went in to this album then their last one. It definitely gives a flowy and cleaner sound that is only beneficial to the band’s overall sound. The first single off the album, “Glue Girls” is a spectacular song and I am still a little bit obsessed with it. These boys are great at making catchy layered light pop tunes. I love songs about stars and even though “Some Constellation” stands in the middle of the album, it is the perfect song that represents the boys. Pershing‘s climax song is actually a cool down song.

It blows my mind that MTV or The Hills have yet to discover SSLYB and use it in a scene for when LC is debating about her love life or when Heidi has just broken up with Spencer, again. Not that I watch the show or anything… I will tell you that Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin are great at singing their woo whoas and doo doos. You can’t help, but bob your head along.

The boys of Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin have meticulously worked to create these well layered indie light love songs and the fruits of their labor was Pershing. The album is great, but it definitely requires a certain mood to get into. I don’t recommend cold rainy days, but I would try a summer day in a field of daisies with your significant other.

Stand out tracks are “Glue Girls”,”Modern Mystery”, “Think I Wanna Die”, and “You Could Write A Book.”

Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin – Modern Mystery [MP3] [Myspace] [Buy]

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Brooklyn’s French Kicks have come a long way since their humble garage-rock beginnings. So far, in fact, their newest album is “by far the closest we’ve come to getting the sound we wanted” according to lead singer Nick Stumpf. Not too sure Swimming is much of a departure from their 2006 release, Two Thousand, but hey, I’ll take it. After a few listens, though, I can tell that the band’s sound is separating itself from earlier releases like Young Lawyer and One Time Bells.

The album was released exclusively on iTunes today and is going to be in stores May 20th. Their second album on Vagrant Records (the band’s only flaw), it was produced and mixed entirely by the band themselves and continues to present the airy, percussive harmonies that French Kicks fans know and love. Nick Stumpf’s breathy vocals on tracks like “Over The World” and “New Man” are just downright beautiful. The 70’s sounding “Said So What” might just be one of my favorite tracks on the album, with its smooth chorus and never-ending supply of finger-snaps and hand-claps (which I definitely can never get enough of). All tracks make me want to dance, but not in a Crystal Castles/Justice/nu-rave kind of way, which I can only handle in small doses.

Overall, if you liked Two Thousand, I promise you will like this album as well. Think of it as a continuation of the last album, if you will. Hopefully Swimming will garner up some of the respect French Kicks deserve for their light, unpretentious sound.

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These Philly bros are in your face like a mouthpiece. With influences ranging from old-school hip-hoppers Run DMC to 90’s riot grrrls Bikini Kill, these two vegan MCs are sure to keep your feet movin’ with their latest album, Excuse Me, This Is The Yah Mos Def. What first caught my ear was the obviously lo-fi sound mixed with samples from the likes of Cap’n Jazz and Minor Threat. It’s the kind of lo-fi production that makes you think The YMD recorded their album in a basement with a karaoke machine, but that isn’t such a bad thing.

The Beastie Boys comparisons are undeniable, however these two have their own thing going. Their songs have clever, tongue-in-cheek titles such as “Jive Like Jehu” and “Charles Maggio’s Real Last Name Is Ash”. Their voices are quite distinct, Johnny Stockton’s being more aggressive and abrasive, while Carl Malone’s is definitely the more laid-back of the two. “New Direction” commands that y’all listen up and recognize, giving shout-outs throughout the chorus to just about every ‘hood in Philly. The stand-out track, however, is “Jive Like Jehu”. The beat is tight, and the MCs’ flows are at their finest.

This album is refreshing, stripping away all of the iced-out, Kanye-fab elements that are bombarding the current scene. Listen to their tracks on Myspace.

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One look at the cover art for Ssion’s Fool’s Gold, and I was left frightened, bamboozled, and downright curious. I mean, naturally I would be intrigued by anything with the word ‘gold’ in the title, so I had to see what it was all about. I heard a lot about this band in years previous and had heard their tune “Street Jizz” numerous times, however Fool’s Gold is the first Ssion album to grace my ears. At first listen, one may think this group is playing sold-out shows at every super-trendy club in NYC. While this soon may be the case, Ssion’s roots lay deep in none other than Kansas City.

Let’s just say this: while listening to Fool’s Gold, my mind imagines Ssion (pronounced “shun”) partying it up at some rave with Madonna while Trannies in neon sequins and leather-clad midgets dance around on stage, and it’s kind of scary. Weird? Yes, I know. But if anyone’s ever listened to the oh-so-similar Gravy Train!!!! they may understand where I’m coming from. With contributions from Ed Droste (Grizzly Bear) and Johnny Jewel (Glass Candy), Fool’s Gold transports you into a 70’s neon-funk time warp similar to the smooth, synthy sounds of Chromeo and New Young Pony Club. Tracks like “Clown”, “Fear Us”, and “A Wolves Eye” are solid (gold), but the rest of the album just doesn’t make me want to grab a glow-stick and call myself a believer. This album doesn’t break any barriers, it isn’t going to thrust Ssion into some sort of super-stardom, but if you like to work it on the dance floor while wearing gold spandex (like my girl Leslie!) you may want to give this album a listen.

Tracklist For Fool’s Gold:
01. Clown
02. Bullshit
03. Street Jizz
04. Fear Us
05. The Woman
06. Day Job
07. Warm Glove
08. A Wolves Eye
09. Ah Ma
10. Heaven

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Love And Circuits is a massive 2 disc, 57 track mind-explosion. Experimental-noise outfit Parts & Labor founded Brooklyn label Cardboard Records in 2005 as a way to tap into the underground music scene, ranging in genres from freak-folk to no-wave, experimental to electronica. The tracks are alphabetized by artist, which is an added bonus. Almost all of the tracks are exclusive to the compilation, meaning a shit-ton of amazing artists are really reppin’ this label. Ranging from Aa’s “Who’s The Boss” to Zs’ “In My Dream I Shot A Monk”, the compilation presents a cohesive blend of artists that people should really be paying attention to.

It features songs from (TT&SC faves) Ecstatic Sunshine, Maps And Atlases, Fuck Buttons, Japanther, Pterodactyl, Matt & Kim, Raccoo-oo-oon, Shooting Spires, The USA Is A Monster, and Trey Told ‘Em (the bad ass remix project of Girl Talk and friend Hearts Of Darknesses), just to name a solid few.

Even more insane, Trey Told ‘Em’s stand-out track “All Of The Other Songs Remixed” is exactly that–a 56 song remix. At first listen it’s hard to tell, but in due time the individual tracks really stand out.
You can download the track to get a bit of an idea as to how the rest of the compilation sounds like, and afterwards you should cop this disc, yo!

Trey Told ‘Em – All Of The Other Songs Remixed [MP3]

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I said goddamn! This ain’t your grandmother’s ancient Chinese solitaire! Chicago, IL (by way of Columbia, MO) based Mahjongg’s sophomore release on K Records, Kontpab, transcends genre specifics and cuts straight to the magic. Blurring the line between tribal-influenced, Battles-esque polyrhythms and downright dance-punk, Kontpab combines heavy percussive blasts and jittery guitars with scathing-hot synths to produce 42.4 minutes of organized chaos. We should have seen it coming. I mean, the album art on the back-cover is a Magic Eye, for Pete’s sake.

The first song off of the album, “Pontiac”, guides the listener through two minutes of head-bopping build-up until it finally erupts into an all-out dance party. It successfully serves as the introduction to the complex and amusing entities that are their other eight tracks.

The rest of the album is a layered mess of sorts, but it works. It will make you want to dance and stomp and shimmy your brains out. We think the chorus of “These Birds Are Bats” is slightly reminiscent of the famous “Downtown” by Petula Clark, but hey, who’s pointing fingers?

Standout Trackz: “Tell The Police The Truth”, “Problems”, “Wipe Out”, “Rise Rice”.

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My mom at TGI Fridays sippin’ that drank.

Let’s just say my mom, Denise, is really cool. She’s the kinda mom who calls me to tell me she’s buzzed off of a sample coffee from the grocery store. She’s also the kind of mom who likes to win prizes from radio stations. In fact, my mom won two tickets to see Bon Jovi perform in Pittsburg yesterday. Her grand prize included two seats on a “party bus” and pretty decent seats at the show. Naturally I was intrigued, so I asked if she would write up a brief review of the story. She happily obliged, but I think it’s more than I bargained for. Here are the highlights, I bolded the most important parts:

THE CONTEST

I knew there was some great disappointment that Bon Jovi did not book a show in Cleveland, so the guys on the morning show waged a full out campaign to let Bon Jovi know we wanted them to come to Cleveland. That included an online petition, which I signed, and a great parody song. You see, I’m not the greatest Bon Jovi fan, I like them and loved Jon Bon Jovi in Ally McBeal, but I didn’t take it all too seriously. Jon Bon Jovi (born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. on March 2, 1962. Gotta check out the official website: http://www.bonjovi.com/bonjovi
I happened upon a contest for the last two seats on the Mix 106.5 party bus to Pittsburgh (Cleveland’s arch rival state) wherein they provided a word search puzzle (I’m the queen of word search puzzles) and you had to find hidden words to come up with five Bon Jovi song titles. Not sure why I entered in the first place .. I think it was just the thrill of TRYING TO WIN … so of course, I win, and then I find out the concert is the next day. I have about 24 hours to find someone to go with. My husband suggested the wife of a good friend of his, who he knew loved BON JOVI, and she happily accepted my invitation.THE BUS RIDE TO PITTSBURGH

We were allowed to bring anything we wanted to eat or drink on the bus. My friend stopped at Subway to pick up a couple Veggie Delights for us and a couple cookies. I provided the bottled water. I guess I planned to play it safe on this “party bus” after all, my partying days were long over and I was just hopeful to keep awake. They played Bon Jovi concert videos all the way to Pittsburgh. One group was having a little too much fun and they were getting loud and obnoxious. My friend and I wondered what condition they’d be in on the way home. I caught myself yawning a few times and reminded myself that this was a chance of a lifetime, to perk up, because I had a long night of fun ahead of me.

THE CONCERT

Wow, what can I say … he put on a great show. Opening with “Lost Highway”, the title track from his latest album and the tour’s name and then he asked the audience to all stand up … the next thing you heard was the booming “SHOT THROUGH THE HEART ….” Followed by, “AND YOU’RE TO BLAME, DARLING YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME” The crowed went wild and we were all dancing and singing together. It didn’t stop there. They played for 2 hours and 15 minutes with one encore. He worked the crowd, shaking hands, and he even showed up in one of the side sections to sing two slower songs, one was his new duet with Richie Sambora, (You want to) Make a Memory and the other “Bed of Roses”. He actually slow danced with a woman from the audience, there were hugs and kisses going on, more handshakes.

His play list included: Have a Nice Day, Runaway, Bad Medicine, Blaze of Glory, I’ll be There for You, Wanted Dead or Alive, Livin’ on a Prayer, Lay Your Hands on Me, It’s My Life, Who Says You Can’t Go Home, Born to be my Baby, I Love this Town, I’ll Sleep when I’m Dead, Never Say Goodbye, Raise Your Hands, boy I don’t know if I got them all …
At one point he started talking and then he said, “I won’t talk anymore, you came here to hear music and see me shake my ass!” The band was awesome …. For one of the songs, Richie played some kind of double guitar, now that’s some mad skills there, and there was this cute girl playing the violin which seemed to be incorporated in a lot of the songs.

THE BUS RIDE BACK TO CLEVELAND
We were going to try and ditch the people we were sitting near on the ride down, but looked like everyone had staked their seats with their belongings from the trip. We didn’t want to upset the apple cart (Editor note: WTF?) so we very politely went back to our seats. The group was quiet and tired out, it seemed. Why they had to show a movie on the way home was beyond me … it was so loud, but in spite of that, I think we managed to catch a few zzzz’s on the way home. All in all, I got 5 hours of sleep.

THE NEXT DAY AT WORK
Had I not made such a big deal about it to everyone I worked with, I would have called in sick … I’m sitting here now trying to stay awake typing this review. It’s giving me some energy. Trying to function on 5 hours sleep in the last 33 hours so far is not easy for someone like me, who’s really seen better days when it comes to staying up late at night.

My mom is awesome, end of story.

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The first single off of native Canadians, Born Ruffians’ first album, Red, Yellow, and Blue was “Hummingbird” and didn’t fail to disappoint fans of their EP with great hits like “This Sentence Will Save/Ruin Your Life.” The single was an example of what would be expected on the boys’ first full length released on Warp Records and set huge anticipation for it. Being a fan of the basement recording of their original EP, it’s quite surprising to hear such a clean sound, but it’s obvious that the boys put a lot of work into this album. The title track, “Red, Yellow and Blue” sets a very strong tone for the album, with a slow beginning and progressive patriotic drumming was a little bit off putting at first. As you listen to the album further, the boys return to the rampant marching of the drums and the quick pulls on the guitar with their ever so precious quirky chanting voices laid over on top. With lyrics like “none of the girls seem to think you’re cool/ it’s probably because you smell bad”, how could you not fall in love with Born Ruffians? By far, one of my favorite tracks is “Badonkadonkey” which remains one of the more familiar sounding tracks for fans of former work and the title just cracks me up. Born Ruffians worked hard on this album as well as touring to support it and you can tell that this is their little baby. Red, Yellow and Blue is a great well rounded album and the boys should be proud.

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Two men create an electronic album in 3 weeks from their abode in Paris, France. Sound familiar? Yet these men will probably have no other comparison to Daft Punk or Justice being compared to Daft Punk. Cassius have approached a much different and darker perspective of electronic music and sound more like Nine Inch Nails, or The Chemical Brothers with a dash of Gorillaz. It’s a lot darker and makes you want to think twice about getting up to dance, although the beats are completely danceable adapting the highly catchy hip hop beat for most songs.

“Toop, Toop” is the first track and indeed the danciest of them all, establishing itself as a club-banging hit. “Rock Number One” is the one song that pulled me in: it’s catchy chorus changes the dynamic of the song with its faster beat and Prince-like guitar hook on top. You can see for yourself down below.

“Eye Water” features Pharrell Williams from N.E.R.D. and is probably the best track off the album. In the spirit of Motha Nature, it covers environmental issues which wouldn’t be expected from an electronic album, but Pharrell’s voice is just simply too glorious to ignore.

We need to start recycling in the name of Pharrell and Cassius!

It’s a pretty cohesive album considering it was made in 3 weeks, but it would definitely be hard to find the right mood to play it in–maybe contempt? Definitely give it a listen through.

Rock Number One – Cassius [MP3] [Myspace]

By Sanita Saengvilay

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