Maps & Atlases | Pigeon

22 07 2010

I recently found this cool video of Maps & Atlases playing “Pigeon” live in the studio. In the first bit, lead singer/guitarist Dave Davison explains the moment the song came to him during a walk in their home city of Chicago. The story is pretty cool, although, he seems to have a hard time finding the words at some points (warning: there are a lot of “likes”). It’s actually very funny because he does not seem like the type. Nevertheless, the whole thing is really interesting and the performance is great. Their sound is quite cool, featuring some very technical playing but in a really organic manner. This song, from their recently released LP Pertch Patchwork, is a perfect example. This style reminds me a bit of Prog Rock in that it is pretty sophisticated stuff. So much so, that it is being called “Math Rock”… but don’t let that scare you away, it’s not calculus or anything.


Maps & Atlases Official Site

Maps & Atlases on MySpace

More info on Maps & Atlases

Purchase Maps & Atlases Merch

More info on Math Rock


15 05 2010

It didn’t take much to find our new home. Although we don’t move in until this summer, it’s a done deal. To honor the occasion here’s Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros’ “Home”. It’s from their 2009 release Up From Below. This LA based band has their own brand of indie power pop and a pretty weird (and cool) back story of how they formed. To give you a clue, there is no Edward Sharpe. He’s a fictional figure in the same vain as Steely Dan, acting solely as a frontman persona. The band itself is comprised of any where from 10-15 guys and girls depending on the situation. This is the official music video for “Home”. It’s a really great song that has a wild west shuffle feel to it and some really endearing lyrics. The video is one of the coolest I’ve seen in a long time. Not only do I like the vintage filter they used but the subject matter is so fun. I wish I was out there with them just have an good ol’ time. Overall it gets an A+ for the music, aesthetic and attitude.


More info on Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

More info on the album Up From Below

Purchase Up From Below on Amazon

Yo La Tengo | Mr Tough

29 04 2010

This is a great song from Yo La Tengo. If you’re not already familiar with this band, Yo La Tengo is a trio made up of Ira Kaplan (guitars, vocals), Georgia Hubley (drums, vocals), and James McNew (bass, vocals). They first formed in Hoboken, NJ in 1984. They never quite achieved mainstream success but are hugely popular among their cult following and beyond. They have even been called “the quintessential critics’ band”. Not only do they write catchy little gems like this one but, they have an enormous catalog of material that includes both covers and originals in a multitude of styles. I was first turned on to them from a film scoring project they did called “The Sounds of the Sounds of Science”. It was music created to accompany 8 shorts films of underwater sea life  that were made in the 1920’s by surrealist filmmaker Jean Painlevé. The films were originally scored with classical music so to have them set in a new context, like instrumental indie rock, makes for a really cool presentation. They even perform it live with projections of the shorts… very cool stuff. Anyway, this may not be the most exciting video, but it’s a great song. Enjoy!

*Click HEREHERE for examples of the Jean Painleve films (w/ Original Score)

*Click HERE to sample an edited portion of some of the music from Yo La Tengo’s score

Purchase the album online HERE


More info on Yo La Tengo

Wolf People

25 02 2010

The London based band, Wolf People, just released their first album since signing with the US indie label Jagjaguwar. It’s called Tidings and is made up of a bunch of early recordings member, Jack Sharp, made in Bedord, EN from ’05 – ’07. This is a period that actually pre-exists the band in it’s current formation. Which is kind of strange considering I had first heard about these guys as a great live band. When I heard this album was coming out I thought it be a good opportunity to check them out, little did I know it’s more like a solo album. But, I dig all the same. It’s not as cohesive and fluid as I first thought it would be but the real tunes mixed in with all the field recordings, whistling tape and outtakes are really cool. I don’t even really mind the short bits between songs as it’s the dirty sound of these recordings that I especially like. There’s a lot of feedback and ambient noise mixed in with crackling tape and hissing amplifiers… it’s great. The music and the sound really compliment each other too. The sound of the band is very British classic rock. The label describes this group of songs in particular as being “based on updated versions of classic blues structures and half-remembered English folk songs”, which is a very apt description. Overall, I really enjoy it. At times, the instrumentals reminds me of Blind Faith or Traffic, both of which I love (uh oh, I think I’ve developed a weird obsession with young Steve Winwood). Plus, the analog, somewhat LoFi aesthetic is something I really appreciate after years of  hearing mostly sterile sounding digital recordings from the ProTools era.  That being said, the fact remains that this is more of a prehistory to the actual band that is currently storming the UK. Needless to say, I am eagerly looking forward to a US tour. In the meantime, there are some videos to wet the whistle.

The gear on this cool album cover is actually available as full size print/cut/fold projects that you can make yourself. I can’t see myself doing this but I like the idea. You can find the printable images here. Tidings only comes on vinyl or MP3, which I’m a fan of… get them here.

The band at Mosley Folk Festival 2009… minus a flautist though. I was bummed, but pretty cool regardless.

Other Videos:

This seems like a basement jam but I think it’s probably the closest I can find to seeing them live in their truest form… not sure yet.

Great song called Village Strollin’ from visual artist, Pete Fowler’s,  A Guide to Monsterism Island soundtrack.

Playing “Tiny Circles” live at the Tapestry in London.

Follow the band:

The band’s official site: Wolf People

Wolf People UK Blog

Wolf People on Facebook

Wolf People on MySpace

Jagjaguwar Site

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