Sunday, February 28, 2010

iPod Analysis

This hungover afternoon, I decided to embark on a musical analysis project that might give me some sort of perspective into my musical tastes and inventory. So, what I did is I let my iPod play 10 songs chosen at random from the general song population. Its fun to rediscover songs you haven't heard in a while and to even hear songs on you iPod that you haven't ever heard before.

Heres the list:
(Artist - Song - Album)
- Tosca - Busenfreund - Suzuki

- Grateful Dead - Dark Star - 10/31/91

- Gas Face - Tong and Spoon

- Soggy Bottom Boys - Man of Constant Sorrow - O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack

- Mo Horizons - Remember Tomorrow - Putamayo Asian Groove

- I'm on the Wonder - Buckwheat Zydeco - Putamayo Zydeco

- STS9 - Glogli - Arifact
- Elvis - Surrender
- M.A.N.D.Y. - Put Put Put
- Santanta - El Corazon Manda

Lets break it down:
- GENRE: Depending on how you look at it, you could argue 8 to 10 different genres are represented
- ORIGINATION DATE: 60% of the songs were from the 2000's, one song from the 1990s, two from the 1970s, and one from the 1960s. Clarification: Dark Star was created in the 1960s but this version was played in the 1990s. Some could argue that this would be placed in the 1990s category, because each version of Dark Star was unique. I put it in the 1960s slot after consulting with myself
- BEATS: 40% of the songs sampled had beats that originated from an artificial beat machine
- LYRICS: 40% had no lyrics whatsoever. 40% had English lyrics. One had Asian lyrics, one had Spanish lyrics

In conclusion, did this exercise and analysis provide me with any new insight into my musical tastes? Not really, but I got to jam out to some good tracks in the process.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Jamey McT

Old Time String Music

Here at TSAD we like the fiddle and banjo. We've written about contemporary acts like Old Crow Medicine Show, The Avett Brothers, and The Low Anthem as well as old school acts like Flatt and Scruggs and Ralph Stanley, all of whom incorporate these instruments into their music. Today, we're going back to the beginning of string music.

The banjo's roots can be traced to Africa, which is interesting considering the instrument's hillbilly reputation today. But in the beginning, American folk music was crafted by the slave population and later the African American string bands of the Carolina and Virginia Piedmont. Before even the phonograph existed, the banjo and fiddle were the primary instruments used at social gatherings and dances, and sons learned to play by watching and listening to their fathers.

Why does this interest me? I came across a band that has recreated this old-timey style of music with great success. They're called the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and their latest album was released on Tuesday. Check out a couple tracks:

Carolina Chocolate Drops - Cornbread and Butterbeans
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Starry Crown (off their 2007 release)

They snuck a recent cover onto the album as well:
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Hit Em Up Style

Carolina Chocolate Drops website

The mentor and inspiration for this band is a man named Joe Thompson. Old Joe is a fiddle player and has been since he first picked up his dad's fiddle at the age of six. He's 91 now. And he's still playing. Here he is with the Chocolate Drops:

Joe used to jam with his cousin Odell, who played the banjo. Here's a sample:

Some other torch bearers of the old banjo style are Dink Roberts, John Snipes, Hobart Smith, and Clarence Ashley. All of these guys played at a time when the instruments were the main attraction, before the Carter Family came along and created the lyrics-focused country music we know today, and before record companies decided that white folk would play bluegrass and country and African Americans would play jazz and blues. The work of these banjo players is summarized nicely on the album Black Banjo Songsters of North Carolina and Virginia. If fiddle is what you're looking for, try Classic Old-Time Fiddle. Or just cut out the middle man and listen to Joe Thompson's spectacular release Family Tradition:

This is where it all began. Songwriters today are inspired by Bob Dylan, and Bob Dylan was inspired by Woodie Guthrie, and Woodie Guthrie was inspired by Irish troubadours. The same can be said for banjo and fiddle players, all the way back to the original creators of the sound whose efforts have been passed down through the generations.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of the origins of American music. Some time soon I intend to put something similar together regarding the Delta Blues and trace the guitar back to its roots. Until then, enjoy.


P.S. - A lot of the banjo players from this era used a technique known as drop thumb, which I had never heard of before yesterday. It's pretty awesome to watch:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

This Thursday: An Old Country Buffet of Tunes

Today TSAD's on shuffle and we're gonna jam to a couple of sweet tracks I've been digging recently, if you'll just follow me...

First up we have Broken Bells - also known as Danger Mouse and James Mercer (the Shin's lead) - with a sweet track called 'The High Road.'

Next we have Robert le Magnifique, a french electronica producer, and bringer of this stellar track 'Reulf.'

Then we have Field Music, a band with a familiar sound (the dude from School of Language is in there), with a song and a sweet video called 'In Context.'

Up next is We Fell To Earth with a track called 'The Double.'

And we end today with a beautifully sleepy track by a band called Message To Bears. The track is called 'Autumn.'

Now since this is Old Country Buffet, the appropriate protocol is to ingest as much of this music you can for cheap (or in this case for free), throw up, and demand a refund.

Oh America...

*no refunds

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Generationals

The Generationals are the collaboration of Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner. The group was formed in 2008 when the two returned to New Orleans following the break of their previous band "Eames Era". They are currently on Park the Van records label with a couple other good bands, including Dr. Dog (the group I posted on last week). Their debut album "Con Air" is an instant classic; rock solid...actually better than rock solid the whole way through. Each song is indie pop at its finest. And guess what?? Its your lucky day because you can stream the whole damn thing right here....

Generationals: ConLaw

Live the Generationals may include as many as seven pieces (including background singers, trumpet, guitars, keyboard, bass, and drums). They are touring very heavily right now and chances are if you take a look at their schedule they will be in a city near you in the coming months.

Enjoy, Ben

The Charleston - All out dance!!!

For anyone who loves to get down on a good dance party!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Swollen Members

That was one of the more entertaining hockey games I've ever watched (USA 5 - Canada 3). In honor of our friendly neighbors to the north I've selected some Canadian hip-hop. Swollen Members are from Vancouver. I hope to one day catch them live after a ski session at Whistler. They released their debut album Balance in 1999. Highly recommended.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Texas Music


This past Presidents Day, I was excited to have the day off and make the trek down to the DMV. Sounds odd I know, but this was a big day for me. I finally was going to have a chance to pay my $95 'New Resident' fee and officially become a Texan! I figured that all of the city workers would be waiting for me at the Dallas Department of Public Records with my obligatory 'New Resident' set of shiny spurs. I figured that they would have a new Cowboy hat with a new Texas nickname embroidered on it ... something like Big Stevie Red or Steve Bob. Enchiladas stuffed with brisket would be served by the oversized plate with my meat straight from a freshly killed cow that had been raised on a ranch somewhere just outside of Mesquite or Frisco .... This was going to be a big day for me!

Well it didn't quite turn out to be the spectacle that I had envisioned. After my 2 hour long wait (the suspense was building) I finally had my chance to talk with the plump lady behind the plexiglass barrier in the basement of the facility. She kindly accepted my sum with no fanfare, so I asked about what I had in store for me now that I was officially a Texan. According to her, 'nothing much, now you just have to pay our taxes' was all I could get out of her. Pretty disappointing considering my expectations, but at least the good news is that now I can officially be called Head of TSAD - Texas Division ... in charge of all things Texas Country, Honky Tonk, Mexican Carnival Music, Dallas Hood Rap, and all other forms of auditory enjoyment that we receive in these parts. Normally I post on Mondays when I get around to it, but I decided to post today on Saturday because now that I'm a Texan I just don't give a shit about a whole lot .... and if you dont like that, then you can kiss my dusty white ass

On the the content, I enjoy my forays into Houston for one reason and one reason only: 105.3 Texas Mix. (listen live: Texas Country is its own genre and it differs greatly from the Nashville or Pop country sound that is more common nationally.

Of course, Willie Nelson is a Texas National hero. He is playing here at the World's Largest Honky Tonk, called Billy Bobs in Fort Worth. A pilgrimage is in the works.

Besides Willie, there are several smaller artists that have notoriety throughout Texas only. My favorite find so far is a Brian Burns, who I've heard on Texas Mix a few times. He's not on YouTube with this track, so follow this link to catch an excerpt of my favorite song thus far:

Rattelsnake Tequila

Its quite a ballad, but I have no way to deliver the entire track through the blog, so I highly suggest you download the entire track through iTunes. Its 99 cents, which is like not even a whole taco, or like a micro-drop of oil

His general website is here for your perusal:
Interestingly enough, the song and the content on the website pertains to making rattlesnake tequila. I know nothing about Rattlesnake Tequila, but it does have a strange appeal to me as the effects of just 'regular' tequila were starting to become a bit of a bore.

Anyhow, I'll keep y'all posted on any good new finds. When I really want to torture everyone I'll post about the type of shit you hear on every other radio station is Houston.

major mejor lazer laser

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dr. Dog

These guys have been around for some time now. The band, whose roots are in Philadelphia, began as an experimental side project and released their first album back in 2001. Since then they have released a number of well received albums, each growing in popularity from the last. Many of you may recognize them as they have toured with some of the big dogs of rock n’ roll in recent years including Wilco, The Strokes, The Raconteurs, and The Black Keys.

The Band has strong 60’s and indie rock influences but over time has moved from a psychedelic sound to something more modern and unique. One of the really neat things about them is that everyone in the band can sing, and they all take their turns doing it. Each album has been produced slightly differently as the band more finely hones their sound. Their last album, “Fate” (released back in 08 I think) is really good, be sure to check that one out.

Their next album “Shame, Shame” is slated for release April 10th. The band has mentioned that it will have a more modern and punk rock sound than previous offerings. They feel that it will be more indicative of what their live show experience is like, so keep your ears peeled for that. Don’t worry though, they released a single from it last week to tide you over, it’s called “Shadow People” and I’ve got it linked in the video below. Dr. Dog has and will continue to tour heavily to promote their new album. They just swung through Madison a couple weeks ago and likely will be in a city near you in the coming weeks. As a side note I had three different people mention them to me in the last week and a half or so, so who knows...maybe the word has gotten out on Dr. Dog…


**Thanks Ellie

Dr. Dog’s Website

Local Natives

Enter Local Natives, a group which makes it difficult for me to describe their sound - - because they represent the sound of so many others in one.  And that's a good thing.  Their harmonies are clearly rehearsed and urgency can be heard in the lyrics of several songs, including "Airplanes," which represents the emotions of losing someone  as well as any song in recent memory.  An interesting note as well - it's rare to go from a folksy-pop start in a song like the Natives' "Who Knows Who Cares," to a full blown (almost get-up-and-dance) jam session towards the end of the track, and they  pull it off beautifully. 

I've listened to the album several times through now, "Gorilla Manor," and each time I catch something I recognize in there.  I get Fleet Foxes one minute, Cage the Elephant the next, with a little reggae and a little punk thrown in there.  Did I just mix Fleet Foxes and punk?  Yep. They really do fly through genre barriers and do it quite successfully, but to reassure you, it's a fully original sound.  It's not that their music is completely groundbreaking, it's the fact that they successfully have written impressive lyrics to a pretty diverse sound of tracks, and so far I haven't hit the 'dud' song on this album.  Gonna go give it another listen.  This is a favorite so far, give it a chance through at least 1:05 where it goes a little funky.

One more must listen (yes really)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Candy

While sitting around eating some Valentines candy, watching the Olympics - USA USA, I thought of a classic about candy. Straight outta ATHF, and a wonderful tune for anyone who loves candy, or anyone who was wrongly diagnosed with ADHD as a kid, everyone has it.

I want candy, bubble gum and taffy!
a hyperactive juice only I can produce


Now that I've popped my TSAD posting cherry with a little Valentines Day humor, on to the more interesting beats.

Neon Indian
"Terminally chill"

"Eye Candy Bath"


give this track about a min in for the beat to drop, but you're sure to enjoy once it does.
By the way I originally found these tracks on a new site I'm digging, check it out!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Date Conversation


Somewhere amidst my stumbling through a date last evening, the topic of musical tastes came up. Stating that you 'like everything' seems like an overly standard response to the question, so I thought I would narrow it down to about four genres that I am digging right now. Genre preferences are subject to change frequently, but this is what I'm rocking for the present moment. Fortunately, shes a cool chick and didn't decide to cancel the rest of the evening based upon my unique and abnormal musical preferences.

Here's the list:
- Brazilian - includes bossa nova, samba
- Club / House
- Dance Hip Hop
- Bluegrass

Here's why:

Brazilian - The ultimate relaxation tracks. Brazilian music seems to embody the culture, at least as much as I understand it. Flowing grooves, beautiful vocals, a variety of instruments, and distinct rythyms make it stand out as an outstanding member of the latin music realm.

Club / House - People incorrectly generalize that all Club music is 'techno,' which is an incorrect assumption to make. I think when people want to avoid the uncoolness of 'techno,' they overlook a much more diverse genre that includes a variety of different sub-genres. House, Electro House, Ibiza, Club, Trance, Big-beat, etc. all offer a different take. Plus, like eating a hot dog at the ballpark, it all depends on the environment. Don't go to a douched out club, find someone decent to dance with, spend a long period of time on floor and tell me you didn't have fun.

Dance Hip Hop - Love to hit the dance floor!

Bluegrass - It takes me back to earlier glory days carousing around the Blue Ridge Mountains, fishing and kayaking, and basically causing trouble. Bluegrass fits the region perfectly, and the region is one of my favorites. I generally stick with the old favorites, but the track below is actually from a newer group.

gil scott heron

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Music Friday - Yeasayer, Hot Chip, ALO

Short and sweet this week:

Yeasayer played Ambling Alp on Jimmy Fallon two nights ago and KILLED it. The bassist just owns the end of this performance. Check this video out first, then read on for more goodness. UPDATE: They booted my youtube video, so fast forward to the 36:10 mark of the video below. Worth the effort.

Thanks to Neelu for this. They're playing the Metro in Chicago on April 29th. I'll be there.

Yeasayer - Odd Blood
More electronic, less psychedelic than their first effort. Still awesome.

Hot Chip - One Life Stand
More thoughtful, less fun than their previous album. I barely even wanted to dance when I heard it. Still, there are some highlights.

ALO - Man of the World
ALO is short for Animal Liberation Orchestra. Yeah, they're a jam band. I couldn't find a vid for any of their new songs, so here's a classic. You can find their new work on lala if you dig.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Phantogram + 2

This shouldnt surprise many people, but Phantogram is from NY. Pretty tight the above youtube video (thanks to gavin for this sweet version).

Here's their new album:


Unrelatedly(not a word), and because I'll be on vacation next week, here's some more music I've been digging on:



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Solid Gold

I don’t have a lot of info on these guys. What I do know is that they are from Minneapolis and their music is pretty kickin’. Solid Gold has put out a couple of EP’s and a full length album. My cousin gave me their album “Bodies of Water” a few weeks back and I have been spinning it ever since. They describe themselves as Electro-glam-rock, I'm not sure thats how I'd classify them but who really cares about music classification anyways. With that said, turn up the volume and take a listen….

You can also stream a few songs here….
Solid Gold Myspace Page

Party on.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Congrats to the New Orleans Saints "Super Bowl Champs"

bring em to the dome

just testing out my ability to post...cant seem to post the vid, use link to view saints march
hopefully lil wayne will throw out some tight shit in celebration
workin on some new house music off for next time


ok go

OK Go - This Too Shall Pass from OK Go on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Low Anthem

Similar to Nate's post about The Dream, this post is about a band I discovered while sifting through the myriad year end music lists. The Low Anthem is an Americana group from Providence, Rhode Island. I like the genre Americana because it doesn't really mean much; as long as the music has a folksy feel you're good to go. And these guys cover some serious ground.

The star of the show is lead singer Ben Knox Miller. His ability to sing in just about any style he pleases is what makes this album intriguing. Anyone who can sing falsetto folk on one track and garage blues on the next is alright by me. They also play a ton of different instruments, which only adds to the wonderful variety. Check out the tracks below. I swear it's the same guy singing all three songs.

The Low Anthem - Charlie Darwin
The Low Anthem - To Ohio
The Low Anthem - The Horizon is a Beltway

Stream the whole album and download the mp3s on lala here.


And speaking of year-end lists, click here for the Hype Machine's top 50 albums of 2009. The rankings are a compilation of all the best-of lists from the blogs that the Hype Machine tracks. It's a great list. You can listen to a good portion of each album as well.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mice Parade

An anagram of Adam Pierce, Mice Parade is an interesting post-rock band with a somewhat unpolished sound. turned me onto them, and I've been digging it ever since, especially for the headphones at work crowd.

Listen to their 2007 release here:

Enjoy and take care yoself.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons

Formed in December of 2007, Mumford and Sons rose out of London’s folk scene. Their debut album “Sigh No More” was released in October of 2009 and is nothing short of spectacular. Their sound is something completely unique; I really have nothing to compare it to (attempt #1: its like CSNY meets Gaelic Storm meets…I don’t know…something awesome). They take extremely delicate songwriting and fuse it with remarkable enthusiasm and energy. It is the bands stated goal to make music that sounds loud, proud, and alive; that is exactly what they do. Their songs are a sort of folk ballad, a warm story told with an underlying drive and haunting harmony that is really unparalleled in anything I have heard to date.

Mumford and Sons emphasizes that they play music for the love of it. This is something that is certainly said a lot, but I think it is just so evident in the music they have produced. They point to live music as one of the driving forces behind their success. As soon as they formed their first rough group of songs they quickly hit the road. During this time they often practiced on sidewalks outside of their concert venues so their sound would be something both born and honed in a live setting. Their engaging performances fostered warm receptions wherever they went, and apparently their reputation for outstanding live shows precedes them. After extensive touring over the course of the last couple of years they have gained a lot of popularity. Unfortunately I took a look at their tour schedule and they aren’t going to be nearby in the near future (Unless you are going to be in Italy/France/Germany/or the UK). But in that absence be sure to go out and pick up their debut album to tide yourself over; you will not be disappointed.

Enjoy (I know you will),

the polish ambassador

Check out the Polish Ambassador-DJ

and his sweet fuckin jumpsuit

!!!!!!!!!!DOWNLOAD THE FREE NEW ALBUM NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

courtesy of our guest Drew MC lean