Monday, October 5, 2009

New Music Monday

Summer Music Blowout / Fall Music Preview kicks off with two albums from earlier this year as well as three more recent discoveries.  Enjoy!

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

When I was looking at which albums I wanted to discuss this week I was shocked and disgusted with myself because the only mention of Phoenix on the Skog Blog was when I included one of their tracks in my hotly debated (at least by Brohammas) and controversial Chillout Island Beach Playlist back in May.  If you happened to also boycott their song because it wasn't reggae, here is your chance for redemption.  We could even call it our Redemption Song.

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is the fourth album from French wonderband, Phoenix and is loaded with dreamy pop nuggets that range from alternative to electronic to pop and back again.  If you like what you hear on Wolfgang then start with their third album and work backwards as Phoenix seems to get better with each effort.  Our pal, Vanwarmer, had the opportunity of seeing this band at the Austin City Limits Festival this past weekend and he said they are a 'do not miss' if they ever stop by your town.  Checkout Lisztomania, 1901, and Girlfriend.  For a review that actually provides some in depth analysis and substance - read the take of the Official Skog Blog Music Critic, Mr. Paul Shirley.

Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid

Auerbach is the lead singer and guitarist for the blues rock band, The Black Keys.  You might not think that their music sounds familiar but I guarantee you have heard some of their tunes because they have been found on many tv shows, movies, commercials and even video games.  Some might call it selling out but it's what lesser known bands have to do these days to pay the bills since MTV is non existent and we all know that radio stations play crap.

Keep It Hid is basically just a more mellow (mellower?) Black Keys album, that focuses on the folky side of blues rather than the rocking.  Don't worry though, this album is not boring. Auerbach isn't afraid to drop a few fuzzy guitar riffs on us to keep it interesting.  Best song is probably, Trouble Weighs A Ton, which wouldn't seem out of place on the O' Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack.  Other standouts include, Real Desire, When the Night Comes, Mean Monsoon, and Goin' Home.

Harlem Shakes - Technicolor Health

I honestly have no idea how or where I stumbled upon Harlem Shakes but man am I glad that I did.  I think we might have found our next Bob Dylan.  Now before you get all crazy put down your torches and let me explain.  I'm not saying that these guys are as good as Bob Dylan, I just mean that lead singer, Lexy Benaim, sings in a Dylanesque mumble that offsets the poppy sound of the band and gives it a distinct edge.  Usually I can say, "These guys are like X crossed with X with a little bit of X thrown in."  Other than the Dylan vocal comparisons I am at a loss.  Give them a listen and let me know if any good comparisons come to mind.  All I know is that KG likey.  The entire album is great but start with TFO and Niagra Falls.

The Dodos - Time to Die

The Dodos call their music psychedelic folk and it has the layered harmonies of similar bands like The Shins or Rogue Wave.  Don't let The Shins comparison scare you away (Flanksteak) this band will also change your life just as Natalie Portman promised Zach Braff in Garden State.  The first album of theirs that I ever heard, Visiter, never quite took a hold of me like Time to Die has done.  If Fables or The Strums don't hook you then I'll be shocked.  Vanwarmer also saw these guys at Austin City Limits and called and texted me several times to thank me for the tip.  Great, great stuff.

We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls

Have I saved the best for last tonight?  Quite possibly.  I saw Jetpacks open for Skog Blog favorite, Frightened Rabbit, a few weeks ago and I have barely stopped listening to this album since.  Like their friends in Frightened Rabbit, We Were Promised Jetpacks hail from Scotland and sing heavily accented anthems that make you want to raise your fist in the air and sing along at the top of your lungs.  Their sound reminds me of a young U2 circa Gloria, back when Bono sang with a passion that didn't seem at all forced.  If the bass groove of the opening track It's Thunder and It's Lightning doesn't pull you in or the passionate vocals of Adam Thompson once it hits the chorus, then move along because I may or may not want to be your friend anymore.  This album is a lock for the end of the year Skog Blog Top 12 Countdown and is a contender for the top spot.  It's that good.


Mindy said...

Please look in your mailbox for the forthcoming homemade friendship bracelet and half "Best" half "Friend" necklace.
I loved it all.
your music BFF

brohammas said...

hey that beach list was only debated because of your ommissions, glaring omissions, not your inclusions.
Phoenix is nice.

Give me a moment to soak the rest in before I go back to listening to Buju Banton (that was for you Corbie)

Corbie said...

I'm not taking the bait on Brohammas' comment but let's just say that Buju won't be getting half of any BFF bracelet from me. I like Dan Auerbach and Jetpacks...good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Your body is black and blue
Your body is black and blue
Your body is black and blue
Your body is black and blue
Your body is blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack and bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuue.

thunder and lightening very very frightening me.

top 10... the rest of the album best be dinomite. If that song hits your top 10, you need to get it together. Song was ok, but i'll be shakin my fist to Miley Cyrus (and the Jay Z song was on and the Jayz song was on) before that one, and that day will be cold.

top 10, please. Black Keys good, Dodods good. Where's Fluffy nice.

flanksteak said...

Jetpacks sound like Gerard Butler if he randomly started singing on a talk show. The accent is so thick it almost sounds fake.

See also: Mike Myers' standard Scottish accent.

Corbie said...

Gerard Butler doing absolutely anything...? Sold! To the 32-year-old sucker for an accent in Sandy, Ut (or to Lindsey...she has a crush on him, too).

kg said...

Mindy - Got your necklace and bracelet today. Much thanks my music BFF.

Brohammas - You never returned to report after you soaked in the goodness of this week's tunes. Turn off your Buju crap.

Corbie - Kudos for not taking Bro's bait. The only arguments I want here are those about my crappy music.

Anonymous (if that is your real name) - YOU suck. Stop listening to music for 8 year olds dude. Eight year olds.

Flanksteak - Jetpacks will take that as a compliment.

Corbie - Brett Favre and Ryan Reynolds (who are both frequent readers of the Skog Blog) just cried a little.