POP your heart out.

Oh No! Oh My!-Walk in the Park

You don't get this sort of delightful, unfiltered, cheerful and all sorts of awesome indie pop everday. It's like diving head first into a cloud of fluffy and padded magical realm where unicorns do speak and acoustic guitars are all tingling with candy coated flavor and butterflies soar above. Wonderful. Oh No! Oh My! (previously The Jolly Rogers and currently named after a Robote Ate Me song, I mean, really, how can you not love that?) are this little group of pirate wannabes from Texas and who creates these feet tappable and heart brightening melodies from, where else? Their bedroom. It's the perfect indie pop fairy tale, and all they need is a crystal chariot to carry them to hipster stardom.

Because, really, with a sound like that? A sound that blends Sufjan and The Shins and the Decemberists, but ten times warmer and cheerier? They've even got the ba-da-da's thrown in there for smile inducing chorus backup. That deserves a crystal chariot to carry them to stardom. And let's not forget their ironic lyrics to tip off the balance. Nice day for a drive-by shooting? Indeed.

In other news, if you're a big Neutral Milk Hotel fan, today is your lucky day! There's a complicated and rather confusing story about how it came to be, but all you really need to know is that there are now a collection of previously unheard/unreleased demo tracks that you can have! Check out the original story and the first couple of tracks, then head over to You Ain't no Picasso to direct your attention to another track, and the rest scattered through out the blogs.

What a fantastical, warm and fuzzy way to end November, don't you think?

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah-Clap Your Hands!

Yeah, yeah, I know. You've already heard about Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and their Pitchfork effect and magical sucess (no surprises there, either, since they do sound like your favorite indie rock band combined with your favorite classic indie band combined with your favorite indie pop band...), and you've probably already heard their CD, but just in case you missed the title track and feel like experiencing it. It's a bit different from their usual pop dancey hooks and guitars, more like a radio announcement with icecream and claps from the '60s, but good, nevertheless.

Anyway, since I finshed my novel and all, I thought I'd take today and tomorrow on catching up on all the cool bands and trendy news that you all adore so much. So enjoy this track if you haven't heard it, and clap for my amazing accomplishment. I'm feeling much happier now that I'm done with it...although now I need something else to do with my time.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you've got a favorite band (or you're in a favorite band) that you think is really awesome and should be posted here, let me know! And even if you don't, I love hearing from all of you. So you should talk to me anyways.

Peace and claps.

I Love You!


Stars-What I'm Trying to Say

For some reason, I've pretty much forgotten all about Set Yourself On Fire until now. And now I'm obsessed with the album, and this song flows so perfectly together. From the first line (which is beautifully and cleverly done, really, really indiepoptastic) to the layered, classic Stars instrumentals near the end. It's wonderful. And perfect for the situation.

And, on a totally too important side note, remember that novel I'm writing this month? Well I just wrote 100,000 words, which translates to 322 pages, Times New Roman, double spaced, size 12 font, which translates to the most amazing novel ever written in a period of 23 days, which translates to I'm in a state of bliss right now and you should tell me how great I am. And that shall be all. Heed the song. Heed the words.

The Starting Line-Bedroom Talk

I come back from my no music adventure and what do I post to express all that I've learned? Obviously...guilty pleasure pop punk/femo, because that's what we all need in our lives. A small soundtrack to each moment in time, a song to forget real life, to float into that other world of long crushes and sex, and confused boys with suggestive girls by their sides.

Hey, don't scoff and look away just because you see the three diasterous words--The Starting Line. Because, really, this song is amazing. I mean, it is really amazing. Because this track, this very one that I know you're about to download and blast from your favorite media player and iPod, happens to be my number one most played song.

No kidding. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps it's his pseudo emo teenage voice, that rawness that comes iwth being a pretty white emo boy star, and those innocent but somehow frightening lyrics, perhaps it's the ability of those guitar lines and that chorus to stick in your head for days on end, so that you feel the need to put it on repeat and dance about until your ears explode. Perhaps it's the fact that the song is 4:04 long. Perhaps it's just the fact that the subject matter is so relatable...

Wait. Those lyrics aren't that relatable! "I'm going to tear your ass up like we just got married and you're all mine now"? And...and...I don't understand, either! But maybe you do, and maybe you can help me figure out just what it is about this song, and only this song, that it's been played almost twice as much as, say, Death Cab for Cutie or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. And I'm still not sick of it.

And what's even more confusing...this may be the only Starting Line song I find myself enjoying. Is it magic? Is it just the popist inside of me screaming for a song that I can recite the lyrics to without reading them in the first place? All that I know for sure, is that I don't know.

Check out No Music Day and make your statement. I should have probably posted this a little earlier than the day itself, but it's still not too late to turn off your iPods and stereos and figure out just what it is that music is offering you, and what you want from it. I think it's a great idea and I will be observing it. Which means that there will be no MP3 from me today.

And...that's it for the day. See you tomorrow!

Apples in Stereo-Lucky Charm

It's Friday. And I'm spent. And Apples In Stereo are really fantastic. Of course you know them from the Elephant Six. You know, they were the one with all the smooth and charming pop melodies and fun lyrics? The twee kids, with their happy guitar lines and oddly innocent sounding vocals? The ones making amazing pop music with soft and muffled instruments and cardigans?

In case you don't know, it's now the perfect oppurtunity to find them (again). Dip your feet into one of their older songs, with the same sort of jingle and twee cuteness and happiness and that dreamy landscape of kittens and colorful cereal that's always been around. Listen to its calling, the way they force distortion into obdience and manipulate it to a pretty and fuzzy backdrop. The way the vocals layer over the echoing backing sounds. The natural flow of lyric to instrument, verse to chorus. Oh, the naive, sweet 90's...

Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire-Core and Rind

Oh, Andrew Bird, we know you're a brillant musician. We know your incorporation of jazz and country (gasp) and indie. We know your artistic and creative expressions. We know your latest album, The Mysterious Production of Eggs is highly praised and, we think, really, really good (and streamable here). But did we realize your pop rock genius back then, when you still had that "Bowl of Fire" attached to your name and female backing vocals, when you came up with The Swimming Hour? Did we realize how catchy, wonderful, and perfect your song could be?

Perhaps, we saw the reviews. The hipsters shunning the album because you "sold-out". Because you dared to create choruses and catchy riffs. Because you flipped to the commercial side and made your music just that much easier to take in. Well. They're not doing that anymore. They have no right to do that anymore.

We, however, have every right to post this track. Opening with a tingle of continous, plesable, great guitar lines that's an instant catchy mark, with the vocals jumping in a minute later, with all the clever, "bite me" lyrics you adore. And those instrumentals, and little things, the keyboard and the horns and the recorder and the banjo and whatever else...fusing all these different genres without being, well, boring. And the vocals as strong as ever, and these female backing vocals making it oh so perfect. We don't need to know your mind to love your songs.

The Actual Tigers-"Standing By"

On a slow, lazy, tired Monday like this, it's good to have some fun, spiraling, upbeat indie pop jam to balance things out. Although the Actual Tigers have broken up (but, hey, look! there's a solo project going on which you might also want to check out!), it's still a pleasure to return to the precious album, Gravelled & Green and enjoy the thoughts of them. They sound a bit like the Shins crossed with Cake crossed with Beck like riffs and guitar solos. Or something close. It's amazing how much they could have going on in the background with this jingly melody in the front and all this instrumental details and clever, polished background vocals. It's the perfect sort of front porch or nodding your head in the car type music. And at the moment, it's only too fitting.

In other news, every indie kid's favorite clothing shop is having a $10 sale! Hop on over to Threadless for some artsy/ironic/laugh out loud type shirts and have money left over for a CD or two. Or...just spent it all on shirts. Whichever you prefer.

Cagey House-"The Shnay Speaks"

Watch: It's a dark, sticky, grimey and creepy dungeon. There's blood stains on the walls. Your footsteps echo as you walk across the hall. Maybe you happen to have a dagger or a gun with you, and your hand is on the handle of it. Maybe you hear a noise in the darkness behind you and you whirl around. Maybe you see a glint of something, something unsettling. Your heartbeat speeds up and you breath just that much quicker. You walk faster, faster and faster still. You're sure that there's something behind you now, dark, dangerous, thorned and ready to tear your skin into pieces. Your speed walk jumps into a run, and suddenly you can see the thing behind you, snarling and hurling your way.

It's legs are twice as thick as yours and it hisses, spitting out those glinting strands you noticed earlier. It's moving at an inhuman speed--it is inhuman, but still, your eyes can't take in what it's doing and you trip. There's a crack on the floor, and you slip down in the darkness, the wetness and dirt on the floor clings to your clothes and your skin. You open your mouth to scream but it's already upon you. It rips you apart with a single swipe of its arm. And it nestled down, it lets out a noise that could perhaps be described as a whimper, and it began to crunch up your body. It's hungry. But it's also alone, and you are the only other living thing it had seen since its creation.

This song is kind of like that. Cagey House is kind of like that. Self described as "psychedelic pseudo-post-avante-synth-rock-exotica", he is, in fact, something to that effect. Check out Cagey House's new EP, Steel Tantrum, from Nishi Records, available for free download! Don't you adore artists who put out their amazing and innovative music up for grabs like that?

And a happy three day weekend to all of you lucky enough to have one!

Devendra Banhart-"Dragonflys"

Devendra is a beautiful hippie folk/acoustic artist with a vocal range of unbelievable emotions. He's a little like Sufjan, with his strange songs about every subject possible and his use of unconventional string instruments for a beautiful arrangement. This is a really short song, but it expresses many things about him with wonderful clarity. And I'll have to admit, it's not the type of thing I would start listening to on a cruise down the highway and singing along to, but it's something soothing and dark for those days where all you want to do is lie down, put on your headphones and float into another world. Like, today, for instance...


Oh boy, does John Reineck know how to work the press! Days after the The Soft EP is released, they're already the #5 best seller on Insound and recieved a good amount of hype from all the right places.

Which, I guess, should be totally expected, because their music is just that sort of greatness, with the right balance of rock and indie and pop, this NYC band is coming one step closer to Reineck's dream of stadium tours and every single they relase on top of the charts. I mean, listen to that guitar line, and the right amount of fuzzyness and dreamyness. It's one of those songs that you hear once, and the tune sticks with you at all the right moments. Not the la-la-la let's sing along chorus type (although you totally could achieve that effect) but the moody and smooth flow of words and music blended together for that great mix.

Jawbreaker-"Sluttering (May 4th)"

"If you hear this song a hundred times it still won't be enough."

Well, uh, Jawbreaker, just for that line alone, I think I'm going to take your challenge and see if it is enough. But since I'm probably not going to listen to this song a hundred times alone, I'll spread the joy to all my loyal and amazing readers instead. So for every one who listens to this song from this post, I'll spread the listening count around, too, and you tell me if it's going to be enough.

Oh, Jawbreaker, Jawbreaker, what can I say? This is...dark and catchy and everything that punk wishes it could be and emo tries to be, without pushing over either edge. It's also got enough riffs and chorus to stick in your head for a good while. You might even feel like chanting along and rocking out at the last four lines "If you hear this song a hundred times it still won't be enough!"

Maxi Geil! & Playcolt--"Making Love in the Sunshine"

I keep trying not to post tracks other blogs already posted first, especially it's somewhere really obvious like Fluxblog, but I'm so obsessed with this song right now it would be illegal for me not to post it. Seriously, Maxi Geil! & Playcolt has been on repeat on my iPod for the whole day. Yeah, that's right. I'm just a little afraid that if I listen to it too much, I'll wear it out and then I won't be able to adore it as much...damn it! But I just...can't...stop...when the dance floor goes!

Okay. I'm calm. I'm calm. This is a must hear track. I'm serious. If you're only going to download one song this week, for the sake of music and happiness and obsession, make it this one. It's sexy, so so so sexy I want to scream. It's catchy, to the point where you just can't stop repeating it. It's disco dance at its best, and my god does it make you want to dance!

Are you getting this? Are you hearing what I'm blabbing on and on about? Do what's good and healthy for you. You will adore it. And also, there's a very good chance that you will become obsessed, too. At the very least, it'll brighten up your weekend just that much.

Rogue Wave-"Postage Stamp World"

So maybe you've heard all this buzz (or not so good comments) about the new Rogue Wave, and you're wondering if you should indeed check it out or leave it alone. Or you might have brought their new records and now want to know what they sounded like just last year. Here's a song for you to do just that (and there's two more on the Rogue Wave/Sub-Pop website).

It's their mellow, charming, sweet and kind side of things. There is underlying feel of sorrow and darkness, but what's a great song without it? It features lots of classic indie pop guitars and vocal lines. It appears to have strings and...oh, go ahead and listen for yourself, won't you? After 15,252 words of nonsense description and dialogue (in 3 days!) for my novel, I'm all spent. See you all sometimes this weekend.

Spoon-"Everything Hits At Once"

Spoon, I think, is the very manisfestation of what indie rock should be. It's glamorous, in its own garage and raw way. It's elegant, with its towering guitars and classy vocals. It's original, it's unique, but it brings back memories of a beautiful past. It's very Hollywood without all the bimbos and backstabbing. It's, oh, I don't know, grand (sorry, Holden). And magnificent. And I love it, and you should too.


I like it when you talk to me
Listen, love, buy.
MP3s don't last forever.

songs + words