Monday, July 31, 2006

Trade Talk and Women who Rock

Today is the Trade Deadline in Major League Baseball. This time of year gets all of us who are into MLB really exicted to see what our favorite club does or doesn't do. This year has been particularly fascinating since the Angels are in playoff contention and actually seem to be interested in making a deal, something they rarely do. Having watched every inning of every game I can tell you that the Angels are in desperate need of a first baseman who can hit the ball out of the ballpark on a semi regular basis. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be what they are looking for and instead are focused on Alfonso Soriano, who is a hitter sure, but plays either outfield or 2nd base, two positions we seem to be pretty well stocked in. So we will see what happens.

Music of the day focuses on women fronted bands I loved in college. A lot has been made of the reinvention of rock brought forth by bands like the White Stripes and the Black Keys who are simply a guitar and drum duo. This is not a new phenomenon since the format had been explored earlier in the 1990's by the group the Spinanes. Made up of guitarist Rebecca Gates and drummer Scott Plouf, the Spinanes emerged from the great Northwest with a unique sound and just rock solid songs. Gates has an unusual voice, very deadpan and seeminly unemotional. However, after listening repeatedly to their debut ablum MANOS it becomes obvious this is a woman to be reckoned with. She is a wonderful guitarist and the lack of a bass player or keyboard accompanyment gives the songs a real sense of space and feeling. It also helps that Plouf is a kick ass drummer. Their second record, STRAND, enhanced the vocal nuances and added atmospheric touches that are almost Sonic Youth like. Here are some of my favorites from their first two records. I believe Gates is still making music solo and Plouf went on to work with Built to Spill at one point.

(mp3) The Spinanes -- Entire (from Manos)

(mp3) The Spinanes -- Noel, Jonah and Me (from Manos)

(mp3) The Spinanes -- Lines and Lines (from Strand)

(mp3) The Spinanes -- Meridian (from Strand)

A lot of really amazing music has come from the Georgia particularly from the Athens area. Obviously REM and the B-52's come to mind. (don't worry eventually I will get to REM but trying to whittle their catalogue down to a few tracks is impossible) But a real hidden gem of the Georgia music scene is Atlanta's Magnapop. It isn't often that you get a woman as a lead guitar player but Ruthie Morris has got chops. Add her playing ability to the vocals of Linda Hopper and you've got something special. The band came out during the height of the 1990's when other girls bands like Velocity Girl and Veruca Salt were getting a lot of press so Magnapop was kind of lost in the shuffle. But their second album, HOT BOXING, was simply a wonderful album. The influence of early REM and Bob Mould (in his Sugar incarnation) is obivous and the album is highlighted by the exceedingly poppy "Slowly, Slowly" and the out and out punk rock of "Here it Comes" The band is still recording and has new songs available for download on their website.

(mp3) Magnapop -- Slowly, Slowly

(mp3) Magnapop -- Here it Comes

Official Website

Friday, July 28, 2006

Another Indie Rock Pioneer

What can be said about the Pixies that thousands of musicians, radio personalities and rock critics haven't already said. Legend has it that all Kurt Cobain wanted to do was write a really good Pixies Cover when he came up with "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Rivers Cuomo openly copied part of "I Bleed" for a Weezer song. The band's fingerprints are all over most of what is indie rock today.

Formed in 1986 in Boston the four members of the Pixies, Charles Thompson (aka Black Francis), Joey Santiago, David Lovering and Kim Deal didn't set out to change the face of music. Mixing punk rock with Dick Dale style guitar lines and lyrics about such randon things as aliens, mathmatical equations and the glories of higer education, the Pixies quickly became a staple of most of college radio. By the time their second record, DOOLITTLE, came out, the Pixies were already being hailed as the next great American Rock Band. All that pressure seemed to change them as the next two records, BOSSANOVA and TROMPE LE MONDE, were very different from the earlier, edgier material.

Trying to pick out a representative sample of Pixies songs is damn near impossible. Each album has five or six songs that are unique to their sound but also completly original in their orientation. Most people I have spoke with agree that the best place to start with is "Debaser". It has all the trademarks of a Pixies song. Great bass line (by the one and only Kim Deal, who just about everyone at my college radio station had a crush on), that perfect guitar hook and Francis screaming over the top just on the edge of madness. Two other tracks from DOOLITTLE are here; "Wave of Mutilation", which is a concert fave and "Monkey Gone To Heaven", one of the most well known songs.

Also here are two songs from BOSSANOVA. A lot of people didn't take to this record when it first came out. They felt it was to great a departure from the earlier stuff, but I have to admit it has grown on me over time. The first single from here was "Velouria" which although similar to early material shows just enough maturity to sound original and "Cecelia Ann", a cover of a Surftones instrumental that highlights just how amazing Santiago and Francis were at the dueling guitars thing.

The final track here is from TROMPE LE MONDE. There were a lot of tracks I could have picked here but I chose "UMass" because I remember hearing this in college and wondering just what the hell went on at that school that wasn't happening at mine. Not to mention that it has a great ending where Francis is just screaming, "It's Educational" over and over. Great song to study by.

Again, there are about 20 other songs I could have gone with and been just as happy. If you have any suggestions please let me know. Enjoy. (sorry for the m4a format I was just updating my IPOD and didn't have time to convert to mp3. If you need them in mp3 let me know and I will repost them)

(m4a) The Pixies -- Debaser
(m4a) The Pixies -- Wave of Mutilation
(m4a) The Pixies -- Velouria
(m4a) The Pixies -- Cecelia Ann
(m4a) The Pixies -- UMass

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Next Big Blog Thing

As I am still new to the blogosphere I am amazed at how fast people latch on to a new band and decree them the greatest thing since the invention of sound. So far I've seen it with Sufjan Stevens, Chin Up Chin Up, and Band of Horses. All quality artists now doubt, but are we being a wee bit premature to dub them the best artists ever? Having said all that, I have seen many a posting on the band Midlake. When one blog brings it up I tend to dismiss it. When a band gets several mentions I start to take notice. So having seen about a dozen blogs speak of this band in such high regard I was understandably intrigued (better to be on the bandwagon late than not at all). Having listened to the album about three times now I have to say I'm impressed. Again, I am not labeling them the saviors of rock and roll. But what they do, a combination of old school 70's folk rock with some indie rock off kilter attitude, they do very well. So by all means check this album out. I especially enjoyed the songs "Roscoe" and "Head Home" which has the catchiest chorus I've heard this year.

Brought to you by my friends at the Stuart Staples Experience (see link on the right for more of their musical goodness)

Midlake -- The Trials of Van Occupanther

Sounds From Across The Ocean

Today we send some love to our friends from the UK with two of the biggest bands to come out of England in the last twenty years.

When Oasis set out to be the biggest band in the world, most people laughed. After all, how could a band with two brothers who can't seem to co-exsist in a room for more than 5 minutes possibly last long enough to gain any kind of following? Ah, but last they did. Oasis exploded out of the gate with their first album, DEFINITELY MAYBE, and quickly became the biggest UK band since the Beatles. Which makes sense since most of the songwriting chops of Noel Gallagher were lifted from the McCartney/Lennon playbook. But behind all the Beatle worship was a unique mix of old and new. It was a return to what rock was all about. Drugs, Sex and the repurcussions thereof. The band would hit it big in the US with "Wonderwall", but I still think the first album is the best representation of what this band is all about. Two songs from that album, the first single "Supersonic" and the concert favorite "Columbia" are included here. I have also provided two B sides which paint a much more elaborate picture of the band. "Fade Away", a B side from the first album's session is a pretty simple rock song (with a bit of longing in the lyrics for lost childhood.) Fun Fact: Oasis recorded a version of this song for a charity record which included backing vocals from JOHNNY DEPP!! The other B side is "Talk Tonight", a leftover track from the second album's session, which is just Noel singing with an acoustic accompanyment. I am still blown away by this song, very uncharacteristic for them.

Oasis -- Supersonic
Oasis -- Columbia
Oasis -- Fade Away
Oasis -- Talk Tonight

The Verve started out right about the same time as Oasis but did not meet with the same critical success until much later in their career. Released in 1993, A STORM IN HEAVEN, is at first listen, a combination of My Bloody Valentine feedback and Ride style shoegazer rock. It's interesting to look back on this record now, knowing where the band would go eventually leading to "Bittersweet Symphony", to see just how much they changed. But some of the blueprint is here. Richard Ashcroft's voice is still something a bit otherwordly and the guitars by Nick McCabe still slice through the song and almost seem to attack the listener. I have provided two tracks from this record; "Slide Away" and "Blue" which is probably my favorite on this album. I also recommend looking into Ashcroft's solo work as well, very different from this but also very good.

The Verve -- Slide Away
The Verve -- Blue

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Favorite Record Labels

Sorry it will be a short post today. The Angels are playing early here in SoCal so that will occupy most of my morning. I thought today I would focus on some of my favorite record labels. These are places that have consistently given me good music throughout the years and I have often bought albums from bands on their labels unheard. Check them out I think you'll be pleasantly suprised.

Sup Pop Records started out in the 1990's as the home for all things Seattle Grunge. Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden all got their start here and the label is kind of famous for starting the whole Indie Label craze. Once the big Grunge explosion died down Sup Pop moved into a more varied direction signing bands like The Shins, Postal Service and Band of Horses. Suprisingly the Jesus and Mary Chain released a record under the Sub Pop banner as did British Electronic artists St. Etienne. They have lots of cool MP3's to download from their site.

Sub Pop Records Official Website

Matador Records rivaled Sub Pop in the 1990's as the bastion for cool bands. Unlike Sub Pop, Matador has always signed a wide variety of artists with varying degrees of success. Once the home to Pavement, Guided by Voices and Polvo, Matador biggest claim to fame is probably Yo La Tengo. These days you'll find music by Interpol, Mission of Burma and and Mogwai here. Their site also has some excellent mp3's to download including (when they fix the link) a new Yo La Tengo track.

Matador Records Official Website

Barsuk Records got real famous real fast for signing Death Cab for Cutie. However, they have continued to sign off kilter pop artists including John Vanderslice, Nada Surf (after they left their major label) and Rilo Kiley. Alot of other blogs are hot for Mates of State, and I think the new Long Winters record will be a big deal. MP3's galore

Barsuk Records Official Website

4AD records was big in the late 80 early 90's as the home of The Pixies. They also signed Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Bauhaus and Lush. These days 4AD is home to Mojave 3, TV on the radio and Thievery Corporation. I fell in love with this label right around the same time I developed an unhealthy attraction to Tanya Donnelly of Belly and Throwing Muses fame. Alas no mp3's on their site but they have lots of good info about all their bands.

4AD Records Official Website

Thats all for today. BTW the Angels are pounding the Devil Rays 8-4 in the top of the 2nd. Juan Rivera 4 Rbi's, no double plays...amazing.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

High On Stress

Never let it be said that I don't respond to you my loyal readers. Got an e-mail from the lead singer of the band High On Stress so I checked out their stuff. Very good little Replacements vibe going on, particularly the song "Gold Star". You can check them out on their myspace page or preview their whole album on their website.

I will of course listen to anything you suggest at least once. Can't always promise I will post about it but I will be fair and objective.

Tuesday's Random Thoughts

So I've got some extra time today so I have a few random thoughts on some topics of interest.

First, my beloved Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (which is the only time I will ever write such a dreadful combination of words together, it an abomination) are now in a tie for FIRST PLACE!! After playing wretched baseball for about, oh, the entire season, the Angels have actually gotten it together enough to sneak back into contention. What does all this mean? Well it means that once again my television viewing for the fall will be interrupted on a daily basis by extended bouts of yelling at the TV while Juan Rivera (Angels outfielder affectionaltly referred to around the house at "Double play" Rivera) hits into tailor made 6-4-3 Double plays to kill the Angels hopes. One can only hope that they are smart enough this year to make a trade to help the team. We are officially on TRADEWATCH people. Sunday is the deadline...dear God get Vlad some help. Even he is looking for divine intervention...

Remember when newscasters delivered the news? Walter Cronkite must be spinning in his grave over this. Keith Olbermann (once a sportscenter anchor for Christ's sake) and Bill O' Reilly (he of the media offic of the White house, I mean FOX news) are reportedly feuding over who is a worse person. I find O'Reilly's schtick to be tiresome and he is a blowhard and Olbermann is a pompous know it all, but really is this the best Cable news can do. See this is why I don't watch the news anymore.

Barry Bonds turned 42 yesterday. But he has the testicles of a man twice his age. Here's hoping Barry retires so we can all get back to our lives and stop worrying about a steriod enraged malcontent actually haveing a shot at the home run record. Seriously, does anyone outside of San Fran care about this guy?

Finally, it's FREAKIN HOT here in So Cal. I mean face of the sun hot. I don't think I can take it anymore. I blame George Bush (it's just easier that way).

That's all for now.

The Devlins

When I was in college I had a show on the campus radio station with my buddy Scott. We would play all the normal music you might hear on a college radio station. From time to time we would get bored with what we had and would dive into the stacks of CD's the station had for a game we called Radio Roullette. Here's how it worked. Take a random CD. Put it into the CD player knowing nothing about the band other than the cover of the record. Hit shuffle on the CD player and voila you have music. The only rule was no matter how much the song sucked you had to let it play out. This led to some pretty dreadful live radio but sometimes we would get lucky. Such is the case when we stumbled across The Devlins. Two Irish brothers who had been making records since 1993, The Devlins are what is best described as a U2 knockoff. This is very common (in fact on my IPOD I have a playlist dedeicated to bands who wish they were U2) but to my suprise I kept going back the their first album DRIFT over and over again (this is the one we experimented with on the air). In fact the song "Almost Made You Smile" was the song we first played and it turned out to be one of my favorites. It's got a great chorus and a mandolin (and how can you go wrong with a mandolin).

When I traveld to Ireland in 1992 I was suprised to hear that most of the locals hated this band and so they never really got any pub in their home country. Over here they have been knocking around for a while and I hear they have a new record out. The album here is their second record WAITING. This is a bit more mature and deeper album full of acoustic guitars and plaintive lyrics about lost love. Don't get me wrong this is about as commercial as music can get. These guys have zero indie cred, but trust me, listen to the album more than once and you won't be able to stop humming thier songs. Highlights include "Waiting" (featured in Six Feet Under a few years back), "Surrender" and "Big Decision" (perhaps the only song I can think of about the dangers of plastic surgery.

The Devlins -- Almost Made You Smile
The Devlins -- Waiting (Full Album)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Alone Again...Naturally

The singer songwriter is a lonely profession. Sure you have backing musicians and producers to help you but the burden of success or failure rests on your shoulders. After all, it's your name and your name alone that is on the album cover. However, being a solo artist does have it's advantages. Chiefly among those is the freedom to do whatever the hell you want when it comes to your music.

Joseph Arthur is just such an artist. Signed to Peter Gabriel's Real World label, Arthur has put out three albums of achingly beautiful, mostly acoustic work that is full of the kind of raw emotion and passion that only a solo artist can give. These two tracks are taken from a live show in Dallas in 2000 and show just why so many people expect great things from him. "In the Sun" has gained some fame recently for being covered by REM's Michael Stipe for Katrina Relief but this version, with just an acoustic guitar, is by far the superior version (though the Stipe one isn't bad and I recommend you track it down). The other song, "I Donated Myself to the Mexican Army" I think probably sums up what it must be like to be in Iraq these days. "I don't know where we're going from here, I'm just following orders,I don't know how we'll conquer the king, This ain't my revolution." Arthur has an entire acoustic set for download on his site which is equally brilliant.

(mp3) Joseph Arthur -- In the Sun (Live)
(mp3) Joseph Arthur -- I Donated Myself To The Mexican Army (Live)
Official Website

On the opposite end of the singer songwriter spectrum from Arthur is Badly Drawn Boy. Although he hids behind a stage name, Bady Drawn Boy is absolutely a one man show. His music is often very Beatlesque (perhaps the most overused description of music ever but I think appropriate here) and feels like he having a lot of fun performing. But underneath that is a sense of meloncholy and longing that gives his music a bittersweet taste. The two songs here are from the Soundtrack to the movie ABOUT A BOY, which is an excellent film based on the book by Nick Hornby, a YMOZ fave. "Silent Sigh" will break your heart when you hear it. At least it does mine.

(mp3) Badly Drawn Boy -- Silent Sigh
Badly Drawn Boy -- Something To Talk About

Friday, July 21, 2006

Indie Rock Pioneers

Today we focus out attention on two bands that built the foundation for most of what is called "indie" rock today.

The Jesus and Mary Chain sounded like nothing ever before. Take a pinch of 60's surf rock, mix it with some 70's psychedelia and add a whole bunch of feedback and you've got a totally original mix. A lot of bands (Black Rebel Motorcyle Club, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana) owe a debt the the Reid Brothers. As they got older their records mellowed considerably and the animosity between the two boys grew (think the Gallagher's but thicker accents) it became obvious the JAMC wasn't going to survive to old age. Commercially their high point came in 1989-1990 with back to back albums Automatic and Honeys Dead but most bands name check their earlier work. Included here are two tracks; "Some Candy Talking" which was never put on any album but a signature tune and a concert staple (I had a friend in college who was obsessed with these guys and claimed that they were the loudest concert he had ever been to) and "Blues From A Gun" which is a modern take on the blues that only they could do.

(mp3) Jesus and Mary Chain -- Some Candy Talking
(mp3) Jesus and Mary Chain -- Blues From A Gun

Pavement was one of those bands when I was in college that you liked if you wanted indie cred. Everyone in the know namechecked them as a badge of hipness. In retrospect it was of kind of dumb. But Pavement can still be considered one of the best early indie bands of the 80's and 90's. Stephen Malkmus reached indie rock deity status with their album Crooked Rain Crooked Rain, which is absolutely brilliant, but I have chose to focus on an earlier record 1991's Slanted and Enchanted. Their style of punk ethos with a slightly tuneless we don't really care attitude made them easily accesible to anyone who wanted to form a band. I remember seeinf them live and being amazed that even when one of their amps caught on fire they stil played as if the sound was totally intended. Here are two tracks for your listening pleasure, I am particularly fond of "Summer Babe"

(mp3) Pavement -- Summer Babe (Winter Version)
(mp3) Pavement -- Conduit for Sale!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Random Thoughts with Luna and The Killingtons

Okay, so many things to talk about today.

First, it has been obvious to me for some time that our country is going to hell in a handbasket. For the record, I am a devout Democrat so it is my firm belief that George Bush is the Anti-Christ. This guy has single handedly made it so that when I travel out of the country I have to claim that I am Canadian just so I don't get egged on the street. But Bushie's real damage to our nation has come in his treatment of the education system. First, he passes No Child Left Behind which is designed to make it so that students in school are tested about once a week. Now he and his Republican cronies in Congress are pushing a voucher program through, systematically robbing our schools of funds so that a few parents can claim they have school choice. The simple fact is that vouchers aren't enough to cover the private school tuition anyway so all it does is take much needed money out of public schools. Clearly, this man must be stopped!!

One of my main passions in life is the game of baseball. No other sport is full of the same drama and human element as our national pastime. Football is a very cerebral and yet brutal game (that my wife hates with the burning white passion of a thousand suns). Basketball is by far the most athletic sport, but pro ball has become to much of a schoolyard one on one contest. Baseball on the other hand has three things going for it. 1) it is played every day so you live with the team for a long time, 2) Statistics and numbers give you concrete evidence that a player sucks and should be traded IMMEDIATELY and 3) It is the only sport in LA that you can go to a game and not have to mortgage your house to get a ticket. With that said, I will once again plop down in front of my TV tonight and watch my beloved Los Angeles Angels take on the woeful Kansas City Royals. Stay Tuned.

on to the music...

A few years ago I had the chance to see Luna perform in New York during a music convention. I had always liked the band and thought that they were quite good. Dean Wareham was someone I had followed back in his Galaxie 500 days and I had enjoyed their first couple of records. Seeing them live changed my mind. They didn't anything amazing but sonically their music reached a whole new level over what was on record. I'm in the process of trying to find some of my live stuff of theirs to post but in the meantime here are two tracks. "Anathesia" was the first thing I heard from them and it caputures the spacey Velvet Underground type vibe of their music. The other song is a cover you probably will recognize.

(mp3) Luna -- Anathesia
(mp3) Luna -- Sweet Child o' Mine (yep that one)

The Killingtons are an Orange County band I heard one late night on KROQ(our local media giant of an alternative radio station) and was instantly intrigued. So I ran out and bought their album and was absolutey blown away. Emo Rock is something of an aquired taste and I usually leave most of that to others but this record has a nice early Smashing Pumpkins (when they were good) kind of vibe. I love the guitar in "All My Friends Are Vampires" and the other song here, "Destination Failure" has one of those choruses which once you figure out the words is something to be sung loudly when driving all alone.

(mp3) The Killingtons -- All My Friends Are Vampires
(mp3) The Killingtons -- Destination Failure

That's it for now...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Catherine Wheel and The Sundays

So today looks like a day to highlight two more overlooked bands of the English Rock movement of the late 80's, early 90's

Catherine Wheel made a good sized splash on this shore in the 90's mixing reminants of grunge with a british sensibility (think Bush only with better lyrics and more depth). Their first album, Texture, was an execise in shoegazer rock along the lines of My Bloody Valentine and Ride and with each record the band seemed to move away from that style to a more American style of rock. This is probably due to the somewhat lukewarm reception they got in England. By the time their fourth record, Adam and Eve, came about, their sound fit nicely with what commercial radio in America wanted (although they never really had a huge radio hit). I always felt bad for this band because they couldn't get any real attention in either place and eventually they broke up. Even still, if "Black Metallic" doesn't give you chills when you first hear it then you might be dead.
(m4a) Catherine Wheel - Ma Solituda from Adam and Eve
The Sundays were an appealing little band that had a pretty good sized college radio hit with "Here's Where The Story Ends" off their debut album Reading, Writing and Aritmetic. Their sound borrows alot musically from The Smiths acoustic style with female vocals. The other song I included here is "A Certain Someone" which is far more upbeat and poppy. The band went on to make a couple more records before disappearing but this record still makes me smile when I hear it.

(m4a) The Sundays - Here' s Where The Story Ends

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Drifing, Falling

This four piece started recording in the late 80's and has released several albums on several different labels. Their first album, simply title THE OCEAN BLUE was released in 1989 and contained the minor college radio hit "Between Something and Nothing", which married a distinct guitar line with vocalist David Schelzel's soft vocals (think Chris Martin from Coldplay). The record also contains such wonderful songs as "Drifting, Falling:, "Ask Me Jon", and "Awakening To A Dream". For fans of Keane and other sorts of melodic rock this is quite a gem.

The Ocean Blue - The Ocean Blue

Toad The Wet Spocket

Named after a skit from Monty Python, this Santa Barbara four piece made the kind of jangly, poppy music that recalled early REM. Their second record, PALE, is by far their darkest record, with songs full of desperate characters like the drug addict in "Come Back Down" or the the lonely woman of "She Cried". Even when singer Glen Philips turns the light on himself, it isn't the most uplifting experience. From "Don't Go Away", with it's plaintive call to a lost love, to the absolutely heartbreaking "I Think About", Philips is clearly in a bad place. But through all of this comes some truly breathtaking music. Toad went on to put out several more albums that traveled into a more mainstream pop territory, but this album still stands as a work of four boys finding their souls through the simple pleasures of three chord pop.

(ZIP FILE) Toad The Wet Sprocket - Pale

Love Is Hell

There has been a lot written about Ryan Adams. He is clearly one of the most mercurial and yet talented singer songwriters to come along in a long time. A highly prolific artist, Adams has recently released three full length albums in one year (one of which was a double record). Much of his stuff requires time to get to know and love but it almost always worth the wait. The Love is Hell record started out as an album, became two eps, then a full record again. Adams has said that he fought with his label just to ge this released. To be sure, it is a dark record full of despair and only short bursts of joy. Adams voice is plaintive, heartbreaking and intense in what some might say is Dylanesque. The album hits its highest notes with the middle section beginning with a radical cover of the Oasis hit "Wonderwall" followed by the elegiac "Shadowlands" and the simple folk of "World War 24". This album takes time to absorb, but it is a perfect album to listen to late at night when it can be fully appreciated.

Ryan Adams - Love Is Hell

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Church, Echo and The Bunnymen and Mogwai

The Church are an Australian band that was somewhat successful in the late 1980's due largely to the song "Under the Milky Way". That album, Starfish, is also were this song is from. I think it is a much better representation of what they sound like and has one of the best guitar solos I've heard. I hear these guys are still making records but honestly I stopped caring after the follow up to this album, Metropolis. But Starfish is defintely worth looking into.
(MP3) The Church - Reptile

Alot of 80's bands are making attempts at comebacks recently. Depeche Mode and New Order both released albums this year and The Cure had a new record out last year. Most times this is done for money or to try to recapture a fan base that has moved on. Usually it is also spurred on by bands that come out sounding a lot like these guys did in their prime. Echo and the Bunymen were probably the most underappreciated of the 80's bands. When they broke up lead singer Ian McCulloch tried out a solo career that went nowhere and a few years ago they got back together. The first two attempts at a comeback met with little recognition so I was skeptical when I heard their latest album Siberia. I was suprised to find a really good album with alot of the signature sound still in tact. Here are a couple of tracks to wet your appetite.
(MP3) Echo and The Bunnymen - All Because of You Days
(MP3) Echo and The Bunnymen - Stormy Weather

You ever come across a song that you can't get out of your head? A song that you hear and hum during the day but can't quite place what the melody is. That's the case with me and the first song on the new Mogwai record Mr. Beast. I've never been much of a fan, just an appreciator of stuff I heard on compilations but this song, which is an instrimental, is so haunting, so majestic I would be shocked if we didn't hear it in a movie sometime soon.
(MP3) Mogwai - Auto Rock

That's all for now, Enjoy!!!