Flaming Lips

A few years ago I had the fortunate experience of seeing the Flaming Lips close out a festival.  This, of course, was when festivals were awesome and you could spend two days watching amazing bands play back to back and not be completely broke at the end of the weekend.  One thing that I will always remember is how crazy the Flaming Lips really are.  It’s not an act or a gimmick the way they put on their live show.  When you see them in concert you are seeing them raw and unfettered as they really are.  And they are weird.

mp3 : Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1 (Live Acoustic)

Yoshimi has long been my favorite track by the Lips and I am shocked that there isn’t a single decent cover of the song to be found.  I thought for sure someone would have spun this song in a new direction, but if it’s out there I couldn’t find it.  Although I’m sure a reader will post a link within 24 hours.

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Jonsi dvd/album Go Quiet

Technically the acoustic DVD of Jonsi’s 2010 album Go is more of a visual feast; a tour de force of visual and aural art combinations.  Watching the entire film, entitled Go Quiet (amazon) (and also mostly available on youtube), is akin to admitting you need a moment to ponder the wonders of this world.  About three songs into the album/movie you realize that most of what you worry and fret about on a daily basis is really boring, mundane, and trivial.

Only a few artists transcend the status of musician and truly are artists in every sense of the word.  I would put Sufjan Stevens on that list and I would definitely put Jonsi right next to him.  There is a special reverence in his live performance that mere mortals don’t stumble upon accidentally; a transcendent, captivating, emotional outpouring that is difficult to describe yet incredibly easy to experience and enjoy as a listener, watcher, consumer.

mp3 : Jonsi – Tornado (Go Quiet Version)
mp3 : Jonsi – Kolnidur (Go Quiet Version)

The songs in Go Quiet are the same as the songs on his album Go.  Lyrics and melodies remain unchanged.  The music, however, is stripped down to only what Jonsi could provide in a live recorded setting.  And it is breathtaking.  Please take forty five minutes of your life and spend it watching Go Quiet.

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Wedding Music vol 06 : Reception

With this installment of my reception background music we shall begin moving farther into the territory of “You really played that at your wedding?”  Granted, some of these songs aren’t typical wedding fodder, but they are all amazing songs.  They also all fit the mood of singer songwriter music that is both interesting and captivating while also being of a similar aural aesthetic.

Enjoy the music.  I know I did.  One of the greatest comments I received throughout my wedding and reception was a frequently repeated phrase, “This music is really good.”  It gave an already amazing day an even more special shine.

mp3 : Josh Ritter – The Temptation of Adam
mp3 : Simon and Garfunkel – Bleeker Street
mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – Chicago (Acoustic, Live at KCRW)
mp3 : The Weakerthans – Left and Leaving

If you’d like to see all of the music from our wedding follow this link.

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A Collection of Random Covers

So it’s a Friday, and the World Cup is in full swing, and if you’re like me that means you really don’t care about much else (let alone writing a new post for your little blog).  And even though I’m more than thrilled to watch the US v Ghana game tomorrow followed by the England v Germany game on Sunday I’m still taking time to post a few random cover songs that have caught my attention over the past month or so.  You are very very welcome.

mp3 : Crooked Fingers – Under Pressure (Queen Cover)
There are days when it’s hard to comprehend the impressive talent that was Freddie Mercury.  I’m not sure the world will ever see another front man that literally owns the audience in the way that Freddie could.  I’m not even sure it’s possible anymore.  All that aside this is a fairly faithful rendition of the Queen staple that sounds like Neil Diamond is on vocals.

mp3 : Katy Perry – Electric Feel (Acoustic MGMT Cover)
There are days that I secretly love Katy Perry.  Then there is the rest of the year when I openly disparage most of her music.  Today I sit uncomfortably between those two norms as I openly state that this cover is very interesting.

mp3 : Passion Pit – Tonight Tonight (Smashing Pumpkins Cover)
Sometimes it’s hard to stomach a cover of one of your favorite songs.  Fortunately for Passion Pit they’ve left the song almost entirely intact; they’ve simply updated the instrumentation and swapped out Billy Corgan’s vocals for ethereal pixie harmonies.  Well done.

mp3 : Serena Ryder & The Beauties – The Funeral (Band of Horses Cover)
I’m not sure anyone could ruin this song.  Ever.  This cover is subdued and changes the melody ever so slightly in an interesting and somehow even more melancholic way.  The harmonies used are quite nice as well.  After listening to this cover, though, I can’t help but think how Wakey!Wakey! would do it.

mp3 : The Fray – Heartless (Live Kanye West Cover)
I’m not really a huge fan of The Fray (too sappy) or of Kanye West (over.rated.) and to be honest I’m not really a huge fan of the studio version of this cover.  For whatever reason this live recording of the cover leaves behind the morass of the studio recording and sounds exactly the way it should have been recorded the first time around.

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BOTM vol 10

It turns out I am not well suited for waiting patiently.  That being said I’ll get straight to the music in this volume of Best of the Month.  If you’d like to check out all the previous volumes click through this link.

All the tracks in one zip file : here {zshare = left click}

mp3 : Boy Crisis – Dressed to Digress
Love the title, love the opening couple of lines of this song, and love the dance beat that’s draped across the entire song.  Yeah it’s a bit retro eighties, but what isn’t these days?
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mp3 : Death Cab for Cutie – A Movie Script Ending (Acoustic)
This is a great version of this song.  It might even be better than the original album version.  Seriously, this is a wonderful track to have stumbled upon this month.
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mp3 : Gabriella Cilmi – Cry Me A River (Justin Timberlake Cover)
Almost sounds like Mary J. Blige doing a cover of J.Tim.  This track is a solid cover and well worth a download.  It’s always nice to hear popular artists covered by other talented individuals.
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mp3 : Kate Nash – I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You (Black Kids Cover)
This is easily one of the best cover songs I’ve heard in awhile.  It’s fun, it’s not too serious, and who doesn’t love to hear Kate’s British pronunciation of “dance”?
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mp3 : Kerli – Walking On Air
I blame this song on the copious amounts of television I consume.  If you think it sounds familiar that’s because this track has been used prominently to promote the upcoming premiere of the show Fringe on Fox.  The chorus is incredibly catchy.
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mp3 : Mates of State – California (Phantom Planet Cover)
I’ve been in love with all things Mates of State for awhile now {their latest album is brilliant}.  I found this older track the other day and it’s a wonderful cover.  It’s just the right amount of melancholy added to the once bright pop song.
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mp3 : Megafaun – Lazy Suicide
At times I have a single track by an artist that doesn’t necessarily warrant a full post, but nonetheless is an incredible song.  This is one of those tracks.  It reminds me a lot everything I loved about O Brother Where Art Thou?
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mp3 : Queen – One Vision
Not the best Queen song ever made, but who could resist putting it in Best of the Month.  I miss the days when Queen and other classic rock gods were all me and my friends listened to.
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mp3 : The Chemists – Toxic (Britney Spears Cover)
For some reason I can’t resist listening to almost anything that involves Ms. Spears.  The chorus in this cover is what made it worth the listen {and the post here on BOTM}.
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mp3 : The Kooks – All That She Wants (Ace of Base Cover)
I’m not sure what it is with me and my love for covers this month.  Regardless for the subliminal reasons I’ve been addicted to cover tracks this is another solid effort.
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mp3 : This Is Ivy League – You and Me and The Moon (Magnetic Fields Cover)
Why not include another cover song?  Really, why not?  This track stays in line with the rest of this list in that it’s mellow, relaxed, and makes for some easy listening.  Enjoy at your leisure.
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mp3 : Thom Yorke – After The Gold Rush (Live)
This track hails from the brilliant appearance Thom made at the Bridge School benefit concert in 2002.  I have the entire recording and it’s amazing {I might be persuaded to post it here}.
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mp3 : Your Vegas – In My Head
This is pop music as it was meant to be made.  Forget what you hear on the top forty, on the crappy local radio station you love, or even from your dorm room neighbors.  This is what pop music should aspire to be.  Solid verses, catchy chorus, hooks you’ll be humming for days.
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That’s all she wrote.  Short and simple on this time around.  Tell your friends.

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Dashboard Confessionalac

It’s official, Stax are way better than Pringles.  Way better.  I don’t even know why I would ever buy Pringles ever again.  Stax are just that good.

Another thing that is just that good is the new Dashboard album titled The Shade of Poison Trees.  Finally Mr. Carrabas went back to what we loved him for in the beginning.  Largely acoustic tracks with a lot of pathos, ethos, and angst[os] in the lyrics.  If you feel as if this formula has run its course then you need to take a second and listen through this album.  Granted it’s not breaking new ground or floating at the top of any blogger’s Best of ’07 list, but it is a solid album from start to finish and it shows a nice maturity in the Dashboard Sound.  And for those of you not familiar with this trademarked sound [think everything tuned down to flats with a lot of D’s thrown in for fun] this album is the perfect starter kit for a fun Dashboard education.

new songs
mp3 : Dashboard Confessional – Keep Watch for the Mines
mp3 : Dashboard Confessional – Where There’s Gold

old songs
mp3 : Dashboard Confessional – The Only Gift That I Need
mp3 : Dashboard Confessional – Tonight I’ll Take What I Can Get (Acoustic)
mp3 : Dashboard Confessional – Tonight I’ll Take What I Can Get

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