Wedding Music vol 10 : Reception

Finally finishing up the list of music that was played in the background during the cocktail and dinner portion of my wedding.  As always, enjoy the music.  If you’re interested in the rest of the list click here.

mp3 : The Ooks of Hazzard – Kids (MGMT Cover)
mp3 : Beirut – After the Curtain
mp3 : Bon Iver – Skinny Love
mp3 : Coldplay – The Scientist

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Wedding Music vol 03 : Ceremony

And so the Wedding Music posts continue (with plenty more to come).  After this volume the rest of the music is pretty much a mix tape filled with awesome.  During the ceremony we linked together songs that all had a similar tone and vibe and built upon the theme of a traditional yet contemporary ceremony.  Hence the use of Vitamin String Quartet and other modern acts.

In this final Ceremony volume there are four tracks that were played while the guests were being dismissed from the church.  We probably could have added another track into this time, but it didn’t seem necessary and it was background music anyway.

If you’d like to see all of my Wedding Music click here to see this entire series.

mp3 : The Ooks of Hazzard – Kids (MGMT Cover)
mp3 : Sea Wolf – Middle Distance Runner
mp3 : Vitamin String Quartet – Across the Sea (Weezer Cover)
mp3 : Vitamin String Quartet – All I Want Is You (U2 Cover)

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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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The Ooks of Hazzard cover MGMT

For those of you who frequent these pages you’ll notice something odd about this post. I literally never post videos, ever. But this cover of Kids by MGMT was moving enough and the filming is interesting enough that I thought today I would make an exception. Honestly, there are 7 ukuleles rocking out on this cover. How could I refuse to post this video?

And for those that just want the music, here you go.

mp3: The Ooks of Hazzard – Kids (MGMT Cover)

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MGMT new album Congratulations

The new album by MGMT finds the dynamic duo pushing further into the historical bog of rock music.  If their first album, Oracular Spectacular, was a tribute to an acid trip through the deserted 80’s then their new disc, Congratulations (amazon), is a tribute to the slower 60’s and 70’s rock of acts like The Kinks .  Gone are the glimmering synthesizers and the driving pop infused (and largely radio friendly) beats of their previous effort.  Gone are the hallucinatory drug influenced songs.  In place now you’ll find sprawling hippie landscapes more associated with flower power, peace, and love.  What you’ll find here is people smoking dope, not tripping on acid.

mp3 : MGMT – Flash Delerium

It’s hard to decide if this album is a breath of fresh air or too much of a departure from what we all thought their trademark sound was going to be.  For those of us who grew up listening to classic rock radio stations, for people who love The Kinks as much as Kings of Convenience, this will be an album that feels like an old friend coming home.  For those fans who were really wanting the band to continue in the prog rock vein of their first album, well, you might feel betrayed.

But I encourage you to listen through the entire album a few times.  I encourage you to let the subtle textures and interwoven melodies grow on you.  Let the idiosyncrasies of this album worm their way into your brain and wash away the fact that this album is more about the boys of MGMT becoming career musicians and less about them making an album that everyone will instantly love.  Hopefully that was their aim when writing and recording because that’s exactly what they’ve done.

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BOTR vol 13

I’ve been stuck in a rut lately.  I’ve been swamped and work and when that happens I generally listen to a very small set of music over and over and over again.  The problem with this is that no new music coming in means no new music going out.  What happens is terrible.  So to spice it up I decided to bundle together another volume of BOTR (Best of The Remix).  If you’d like to check out all the previous BOTR volumes click here.

Enjoy the music.

mp3 : The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice (The Girls Can Hear Us Remix)
I love this remix.  It takes a classic summertime song by the Beach Boys and updates it just enough to make kids born in the last two decades appreciate the talent of the original surf rockers.

mp3 : David Guetta – Memories (feat Kid Cudi) (Armand Van Helden Vocal Remix)
Don’t be fooled by the opening forty five seconds of this remix.  When the vocals from CuDi drop in you’ll realize that you’re in heaven.

mp3 : Duck Sauce – aNYway (Black Noise Disco Remix)
I wasn’t quite sure what I thought of this track on first listen.  It sounds a lot like it’s from the late seventies, but the remixed aspect of the the song gives it a nice 2010 worthy veneer.

mp3 : Florence and The Machine – Dog Days Are Over (Breakage Remix)
This is by far the most depressing Florence and The Machine remix that I’ve ever heard.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Some days it’s good and well to be melancholic.

mp3 : Kinkiez – Nothing New (We Plants Are Happy Plants Remix)
The band is an act you’ve never heard of, but the track is worth a listen simply because We Plants Are Happy Plants has touched it.  WPAHP seems to have carved out a clever niche in the remix game and to date there hasn’t been a true competitor.

mp3 : Lady GaGa – Telephone (Crookers Remix)
I have no idea why anyone likes GaGa other than she tries really really hard to be even more abstract than Madonna ever was.  One thing can be said; even though her lyrics are Fergie-terrible at least the delivery is somewhat palatable.

mp3 : MGMT – Of Moons, Birds and Monsters (Holy Ghost Remix)
I thought this remix was appropriate what with MGMT having a new album due out this year.  Although this remix isn’t exactly club worthy it’s not problem, MGMT have always been more closely aligned with drug use anyway.

mp3 : MSTRKRFT – Bounce (OH SNAP!! Bootleg Vocal Remix)
To be honest MSTRKRFT are much better when remixing instead of creating original music, but this track had me at “all I do is party, ha ha ha ha.”  Makes me think of the Real World.

mp3 : Phoenix – Fences (The Pointdexter Remix)
If the previous remix was a mouthful of random club beats and party music this simple remix is a smooth sorbet, a sort of aural palate cleanser, a chilled out relaxing moment in the sun.

mp3 : Phoenix and Peter Bjorn and John and Victoria – One Thousand Nine Hundred and One Folks (Immuzikation Remix)
It’s been a long time since I listened to an Immuzikation Remix.  It’s been far too long.  At one time he alone sat atop the list in the remix world and here’s a nice example why.

mp3 : R Kelly vs Major Lazer – Ignition (The Hood Internet Remix)
No remix set is complete without one completely gratuitous R Kelly song.  Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce…

mp3 : Shout Out Louds – Fall Hard (Passion Pit’s Summertime Radio Remix)
If any remix could serve as the exact opposite, a counterpoint, to the previous R Kelly remix then this is that track.  Smooth and sugary like molasses this remix sounds like I usually feel on a hot summer day.

mp3 : Wale – Good Girls (A. Clark, Quix Remix)
This remix further cements in my brain that Wale and CuDi will end up being two of the most influential (or at least most long lasting) rappers in the current generation.  His rhymes remind me a lot of the iconic day of rap when Biggie and 2Pac were still around.

Insert some clever outro here.

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Knatterjack covers MGMT

That’s right, no picture.  Why?  Because I honestly can’t find a single thing about this band/person/musician.  I don’t even know who or what Knatterjack is.  Deal with it.

What I do know is that I finally got my internet working, my laptop has been delivered in the mail, and this is the very first song that I’m choosing to post after my long and protracted summer hiatus.  Rejoice ye minions and immediately proceed to downloading the following bliss filled track.

Oh, and if anyone has any information as to what or whom Knatterjack is please kindly leave a comment.

mp3 : Knatterjack – Time to Pretend (MGMT Cover)

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Weezer covers MGMT and Lady Gaga

The other day my brother passed along a link to a youtube video in which Weezer plays a live cover song of both Kids by MGMT and Pokerface by Lady Gaga.  I’m not entirely sure how the two songs fit together {both ideologically and musically}, but in some way Weezer makes it work.  And through some clever use of the internet {thanks google} I ripped the video, extracted the audio, and now you’re presented with a delicious mp3 for your consumption.

mp3 : Weezer – Kids and Pokerface (MGMT and Lady Gaga Cover)

Enjoy the track and have a good week.

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Gareth Pearson : instrumental cover of MGMT’s Time To Pretend

I’m not quite sure where I first heard Gareth’s cover of the now classic MGMT track Time To Pretend, but I stumbled upon it yet again today and I thought I would share it with anyone out there that has yet to hear it.  The first time through the song I kept waiting for a voice to start singing, I almost needed to hear the lyrics.  A strange thing happened to me though, the more I’ve heard this song since then the more I think it sounds just right without any lyrics whatsoever.

mp3 : Gareth Pearson – Time To Pretend (MGMT Cover)

This is easily one of the most soothing tracks I’ve heard in a long time.  And I think we might all need that once in awhile.

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The Best Albums of 2008

If for some reason I thought it was hard last year to decide the top ten albums then this year has been a nightmare compared to that walk in the park.  Quite honestly this year has produced a veritable slew of brilliant albums.  From up and coming acts to bands on their forth or fifth album 2008 has seen some incredible music released.  Here is my personal list of the top ten albums of this past year.  If you’re still looking for a gift for someone special I suggest snagging few of these albums and stuffing their stockings with the best of what came this year.

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

01 : Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (amazon) (itunes)

I’ve long been a supporter of all things that Sigur Ros has done.  From the first time I heard their music when I was in university there has been something special about these boys from Iceland.  This year they released their most easily accessible album to date and they’ve literally stolen the show.  There are a great many artists who have put their best foot forward this year, but although many came close, none of them quite live up to this masterpiece.

mp3 : Sigur Ros – Gobbledigook
mp3 : Sigur Ros – Inní mér syngur vitleysingur
mp3 : Sigur Ros – Fljótavík

02 : Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight (amazon) (itunes)

This album is a perfect combination of melancholy and clever lyrics.  The music sets the mood perfectly on this trip through lost love and a true feeling of being sad.  Although a bit of a downer emotionally it never strays too far into the realm of depression to leave you wallowing in your own self pity.  If this is what Frightened Rabbit will sound like in the future you can be sure to see them appear on best of lists for years to come.

mp3 : Frightened Rabbit – The Modern Leper
mp3 : Frightened Rabbit – Fast Blood
mp3 : Frightened Rabbit – Poke

03 : Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes) (amazon) (itunes)

Last year Cloud Cult topped my list for the best album of the year.  To think that less than one year later they went out and made an album that is literally better than their last is simply mind numbing.  What other band puts out this high quality an effort in back to back years?  Literally no other band is producing at such consistently high a level.  If there was one band on this years list that everyone should immediately start listening to I would recommend Cloud Cult.

mp3 : Cloud Cult – Journey of the Featherless
mp3 : Cloud Cult – The Ghost Inside Our House
mp3 : Cloud Cult – Love You All

04 : Coldplay – Viva la Vida (amazon) (itunes)

I’ve been a fan of Coldplay since the first awkward steps Chris Martin made to the microphone and it’s been a delight to watch them move from behind the U2 and Radiohead curtain out into their own worldwide acclaim.  And rightly so I might add.  Viva La Vida found this foursome out of England reaching a new height and a cohesion of sound that was only alluded to on their previous albums.  It’s great to hear a band really starting to use their full potential.

mp3 : Coldplay – Lost!
mp3 : Coldplay – Death And All His Friends

05 : Greg Laswell – Three Flights from Alto Nido (amazon) (itunes)

Greg Laswell has a streak of brilliance not often found in the overflowing singer/songwriter set.  He has a mind for clever arrangements built upon relatively simple, but elegant, melodies and in this regard he reminds me a bit of Sufjan Stevens {they definitely have very different musical tastes, but their gift for arrangements is the parallel I see here}.  Regardless of who or what this album reminds you of one thing is certain; this is the best Greg Laswell has done and it’s easily one of the best albums of the year.

mp3 : Greg Laswell – Comes And Goes (In Waves)
mp3 : Greg Laswell – I’d Be Lying

06 : The Dodos – Visiter (amazon) (itunes)

When you pare down a musical group until it contains a simple guitar and a simple drum kit you either get garage based disaster or you find that within a minimalistic setting true brilliance shines through.  In the case of this duo it’s easy to hear the talent that lies behind this album.  From track to track Visiter flips through well written stories with a sense of quiet urgency that never leaves your mind, and yet never becomes a frustrating distraction.  There is a fragile and perfect balance to be heard.

mp3 : The Dodos – Fools
mp3 : The Dodos – Ashley

07 : Mates of State – Re-Arrange Us (amazon) (itunes)

This year the top ten seems to be filled with established acts who just now are releasing their best album to date.  This is the case of Mates of State.  Their previous albums have largely been forgettable with a few random acts of brilliance sprinkled throughout.  This album, on the contrary, is solid from start to finish and it’s refreshing to see an older act pull their formidable talent together and focus it on a full album.

mp3 : Mates of State – The Re-Arranger
mp3 : Mates of State – Blue and Gold Print

08 : MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (amazon) (itunes)

MGMT found a way to make space rock and classic rock throwback into an insanely enjoyable acid trip of mashed up tracks.  There’s no simple or easy way to quantify this album as it caterwauls from proggy futuristic beat heavy pop to songs that remind me of a mythical pairing of The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.  Whatever words you find to describe this album I’m sure they’ll be of a positive nature.

mp3 : MGMT – Weekend Wars

09 : TV On The Radio – Dear Science (amazon) (itunes)

Their previous effort, Return to Cookie Mountain, began to hint that this eclectic gathering of talented musicians just might be onto something.  With Dear Science the boys that make up TV On The Radio proudly display their particular brand of music.  I’m willing to put money on the idea that twenty years from now this album will be listed as one of the most influential albums of this decade.

mp3 : TV On The Radio – Lover’s Day

10 : Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns (itunes) (amazon)

Somehow Snow Patrol’s latest album found a way to sneak into the top ten.  This is probably largely due to the fact that the final sixteen minute mega-track is insanely well constructed I kept listening to this album over and over again.  Snow Patrol has found a way to consistently make solid albums.  They might not be as attention grabbing or as trendy as their counterparts but the find a way to impress with each album they release.

mp3 : Snow Patrol – If There’s A Rocket Tie Me To It

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

And that’s it.  That’s the top ten albums of 2008 in my humble and rather correct opinion.  I’m sure you’ll find a way to disagree with me {even going so far as to claim you’ll delete me from your feed reader}, but in the end you’ll see the wisdom of my discretion.  Granted there are two other bands that I really wanted to include on this list, The Walkmen and Nada Surf, and for their effort they easily deserve an honorable mention.  Amongst the letdowns of the year were the fact that both Sufjan Stevens and The Postal Service failed to make good on rumours that new albums would drop this year, Weezer put out a really great half of an album and then mucked it up with three or four tracks that are just terrible, and Death Cab, Ben Folds, The Killers, and Phantom Planet put out decent albums but not really the quality that deserves a spot on the top ten.

Until next year so long.  I’ll keep posting as long as you all continue to listen to good music.  If you’d like to see my 2007 list you can click here.

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