The Static Jacks – Laces EP

In our New Releases post last Monday, we were remiss in not mentioning the new EP from former Tympanogram giveaway and New Jersey’s own, The Static Jacks.

Laces, a 5 song, 15 minute slice of updated garage rock, is a big step forward for the band.  Working with Andrew Maury of the Remix Artists Collective on this most recent effort, their sound is updated and far more polished than their previously released EPs.

For a band that’s never sounded their age, it’s refreshing to see them honing their craft.  Gone are the rough edges that hallmarked their last releases.  There’s more to sing along with, and a bright future to look forward to.

The Static Jacks – My Parents Lied (mp3) from Laces EP

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The Aliens

High Fidelity is for me, like I imagine it is for most audiophiles, a definitive piece of work in either book or movie form.  It’s comforting to know that – even if everything else is fucked in my life – at least I know what the hell I’m talking about when it comes to music.  And not just that, but that it’s a worthwhile thing to be a little bit manic about whatever it is we’re all a little bit manic about.  I have music (and possibly baseball) to fall back on.  But while the Mets may fail me year after year, music as a whole never has.  That’s comforting.

Anyway, there’s this band I just heard named The Aliens, which is why I bring up High Fidelity.  As it turns out, The Aliens are some of the former members of The Beta Band, whose work I am almost wholly unfamiliar with – except for their use in High Fidelity.

(The scene where The Beta Band is used starts about 1:34)

The Aliens are kind of an updated take on the psychedelic pop of the 1960’s – all harmonies, sing-a-long songs, blissed out rock.  Have a listen to “Sunlamp Show” from their most recent album Luna, and compare it with the electro-folk of their former band.

Have a sunny weekend.

The Aliens – Sunlamp Show (mp3) from Luna

The Beta Band – Dry the Rain (mp3) from The Three EPs

Backup Plan

No inspiration struck this morning when trying to put out some more of my 1000 minutes so I’ve prepared a backup. My wife and I bought a new car a few weeks ago now, and I’ve been driving it and enjoying our free subscription to XM/Sirius satellite radio. I’ve heard a few songs I’ve enjoyed that I had not heard before, as well as other undiscovered songs from bands I know. Well that and a lot of Sonic Youth. Here are two songs you may enjoy.

And I’ll try to get two done next week so Andy doesn’t get too far ahead.

Ganglians – Valient Brave (mp3) from Monster Head Room

Major Lazer – Keep It Goin’ Louder (mp3) from Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do

Taken By Trees

Taken By Trees is the solo project of one Victoria Bergsman, previously of The Concretes. Ms. Bergsman crafts pretty little pop songs, the following two of which are particularly good. The first is a witty reinvention of one of the year’s biggest songs. On the second she receives some vocal assistance from the very man who sings the original tune she has reinvented in the first. Just try to get the chorus of Anna out of your head.

Taken By Trees – My Boys (mp3) from East of Eden

Taken By Trees – Anna (mp3) from East of Eden

The Final mp3 Smörgåsbord?

This is not some cruel cosmic joke.  This is, in fact, the final mp3 Smörgåsbord.  While we certainly enjoy putting up remixes and other various forgotten gems week after week, we’re aiming to provide some more substance along with the music, so starting next week, we’re going to up the ante.

We haven’t hammered out the details of how exactly we’re going to fill the Wednesday space, but we think you’ll probably like it.  At least we hope that you do.  And, if we can’t figure out something else, maybe we’ll fall back to this.  So, think of this as your last meal – except that you don’t get to choose the menu, and you might be granted a stay.  We think we’ve picked out something you’ll enjoy anyway.

Jay-Z – A Star Is Born (feat. J. Cole) (mp3) from The Blueprint 3

Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings – How Long Do I Have To Wait For You? (mp3) from Naturally

Death Cab For Cutie – Meet Me On The Equinox (mp3) from some upcoming movie soundtrack millions of teen girls may be excited about.

1000 Minutes: Andy #31

This week’s chapter of my 1000 Minutes Project is far more nostalgic than I intended it to be at the outset, but it’s not a bad place to look back upon.  To see where I’ve been already with this project, check out my full list.

63. Broken Social Scene – 7/4 (Shoreline) (mp3) from Broken Social Scene (4:54) [Time Remaining: 692:49]

While not nearly as affected by it as some, I certainly enjoyed – and even partially identified with – Steven Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  The most famous line of the novel – “and in that moment, I swear we were infinite” – even has a home on Urban Dictionary as being “one of the greatest lines from the greatest book ever.”  While that definition can almost certainly be classified as hyperbole, the feeling the quote describes is undeniably true.

This song gives me that feeling of the infinite.  It’s a hand outside of the window while on a road trip.  It’s the nervous twinge of excitement about what the next day will bring.  And it’s as unforgettable as any of the experiences that define us.

64. Ben Folds Five – Underground (mp3) from Ben Folds Five (4:11) [Time Remaining: 687:38]

Following close on the heels of The Perks of Being a Wallflower – at least in terms of the teenage need for finding acceptance – is the mid-nineties geek/piano rock of Ben Folds Five.  I’d be lying if I told you that I was up on Ben Folds Five when their eponymous debut was released; like most people, I heard them when I when “Brick” was everywhere.  Saving up my dollars from my teenage job stocking shelves at the local drugstore, I bought Whatever and Ever Amen and then, working backwards, I discovered Ben Folds Five.

When I look back at it today “Underground” was more influential than “Brick” could have been.  The thematic elements of “Brick” were so far removed from my seventeen year old mindset that they simply made for a sad, thoughtful song rather than one upon which I could have any personal claim.  But “Underground,” in all of its rollicking, inclusive glory, was much more my speed – just a little to the left (or right, as it was then) of where I assumed most everyone to be, and completely perfect.

New Releases: September 15

This week is another strong one for new music. I’m going to go broke with just what I want to pick up. As I was going through the list of what looked interesting (to me), I wondered if I should put more releases up? For example: are people interested in the new Megadeth? Or the new Uncle Kracker? I mean, I put stuff up that I’m not going to buy, so should I actively limit the list to what I think is good/will be popular? This isn’t something that kept me up late, but I did wonder.

Anyway, if you were me, you’d get your hands on the new Muse, the long awaited Kid Cudi, the “new” Q-Tip, some remastered Sunny Day Real Estate (only if you didn’t get them previously), The Dodos, The Drums and The Avett Brothers (if you have a turntable.)

Like always, check Amazon for stuff you think I may have left off of our list, and check for a couple tracks after the albums. Have an excellent week everyone.

Mark Knopfler – Get Lucky
Muse – The Resistance
Porcupine Tree – The Incident
Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon: The End of the Day
Pete Yorn/Scarlett Johansson – Break Up
Thrice – Beggars
Drake – So Far Gone [EP]
Nelly Furtado – Mi Plan
Mason Jennings – Blood of Man
Q-Tip – Kamaal: The Abstract
Sunny Day Real Estate – Diary (Remastered)
The Dodos – Time to Die
Sunny Day Real Estate – LP2 (Remastered)
Simian Mobile Disco – Temporary Pleasure
The Drums – Summertime!
Stars of Track and Field – A Time for Lions
The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You [Vinyl]

Kid Cudi – Soundtrack 2 My Life (mp3) from Man on the Moon: The End of the Day

The Dodos – Fables (mp3) from Time to Die

Sunny Day Real Estate – Seven (mp3) from Diary