13 January 2008

Daptone Funk

I've been following Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings for some years now, but what I'm really excited about is the rest of the Daptone catalogue. Right now, I'm digging the label's re-release of the Poets of Rhythm release "Practice What You Preach." Pure, raw, heavy funk from Munich. Everything about this album is supreme - the punchy guitar, bright horns, and spot-on rhythm section of bass and drums. What I find amazing, is that this was recorded in 1993. Go buy it, now!

This is probably a good time to admit that I'm a relative newcomer on appreciating the resurgence in funk/soul. There's so much good material out there, but one has only to look in the right places to find it. For classic and hard-to-find vinyl, go to Dusty Groove America. Daptone Records is a great place to start building you funk/soul library. Also, Jazzman Records has a ton of reissue funk 45s.

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09 August 2007


green_day-kerplunk.jpgMaybe it's the testosterone-driven Angio/Interventional fellowship, or maybe it's a waxing mid-life "look back", but I've really been digging early Green Day (1039 and Kerplunk!) and The Hives, especially from Veni Vidi Vicious.

Sometimes, good punk is the only thing that will do.

I just love the raw, almost mono, sound those early Green Day albums had. I'm glad I saw them live before they went bad.

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21 May 2007

New Imago Dei CD

Imago Dei :: Divine EmbraceSo, here's an unofficial sneak peek at two songs from the just-released worship CD from our church, Imago Dei. I had the distinct privilege of laying down the electric guitar on the first two tracks, Divine Embrace (title track) and Descend. I really love this CD (especially the tracks I didn't have anything to do with. Ha!) It's so good to hear Sabrina Fountain's voice again. Also, be sure to check out the song "You've Kept Me." The slower "You Alone" features beautiful string accompaniments and backup vocals by our own Laura Gibson. Josh Butler's creative genius shines throughout the CD, and, in my mind, is most evident on his song "Glory." Also, Josh came up with a fantastic guitar lick on Jeff Marsh's "Child." If I were a jealous man, I'd be jealous of this guitar lick for sure.

Listen to more samples or even buy the CD at: CDBaby or iTunes. Alternatively, you could check full-length song previews at the Imago Dei Myspace (gasp) page.

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13 May 2007

New Music - Voxtrot

Thanks to Joe, who turned my ears on to Austin, TX band Voxtrot. This is indie rock at its finest. Pure energy, driving guitars, and great vocals. You'll notice the song Missing Pieces from their EP "Raised by Wolves" at the end of the Ratatat Wildcat video posted previously.  They've been likened to The Smiths and Belle & Sebastian. That's quite a compliment, I'd say.

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New Swedish (again!) music - Sambassadeur









I just can't stop listening to this band's music. Their 2007 self-titled LP and their Coastal Affairs EP are absolutely fantastic. Catchy, yet original. The male singer reminds me of Dean Wareham (of Galaxy 500 and Luna fame). The production is very dreamy, other-worldly. Akin to Luna, I really love the sound on those guitars.

Check out these three songs: Kate (from the EP), New Moon, and Between the Lines. The latter two are from the self-titled LP.

Happy sounds!

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29 March 2007

New Music - Beirut

Wow. A big thanks to Joe who gave me the heads up on this life-changing band - Beirut, from the musical genius of Albuquerque's Zach Condon (full All Music Guide bio can be found here).  Zach is a trumpeter, among other instruments, and composer. Apparently, he gained an appreciation for eastern European and gypsy music from earlier travels to the region. The music is bold, big, loud, and infectious. Gypsy-ish rhythms with big brass orchestrations blend to create an irresistible unique sound that everyone should hear. I was instantly hooked after Joe sent me an mp3 of their song "Postcards from Italy." Absolutely amazing. The media player on the left should allow you to preview the song.

Since the release of the LP in 2006, he has since released an EP, Lon Gisland, which is also worth listening to.

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05 February 2007

New Music: I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness

I Love You But I've Chosen DarknessFound a great band, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness from listening to KEXP while on call at the hospital a few months back. It's yet another great band from Austin, TX. I don't know what they put in the water down there, but it must be awesome, especially given that one of my favorite bands, American Analog Set is from Austin as well. The 6th track, "We Choose Faces" is very moody and ambient, a nice combo.

Their album has a distinct 80s sound to it, which is due to the way it's produced. Check out my favorite song from the album, "Lights."



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04 February 2007

Peter, Bjorn, and John

Kudos for Josh from DC for giving me the scoop on this great Swedish band. I usually don't post YouTube videos on this blog, but this one, I think, is appropriate. I just love the video to this song, "Young Folks." It's a very simple song, but the song just rocks. It's very catchy - how many .alt/.indie bands feature a whistled melody? I think my dad would really like this one (that man can really whistle)! Another great song is "Objects of My Affection", which has kind of an early American rock and roll feel to it.

You also might notice that I've added a neat little widget to the blog on the left, highlighting some of the more recent good music finds, just to make our ears happy.

Happy sounds,


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25 January 2007

Laura Gibson's Incredible New CD

Be sure to check out Portland's own Laura Gibson's new album and featured song, Hands in Pockets. She's on tour now, so don't miss her. I've seen her multiple times, and you must not miss her! She's already been VERY favorably reviewed by both NPR and NY Times.



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18 January 2007

Newfound Music: Hird

Hird – Music at Last.fm

Perhaps a bit behind on this one- I just found out about Swedish downtempo/electronic/nu-jazz artist Hird. The music from his album "Moving On" (2004) reminds me a lot of Koop, perhaps because he has the good fortune of having Yukimi Nagano sing on a few tracks. It's great music to relax to after a long day at work or a good wine party. Also, check out the sample for his version of Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo. A pretty good remix for that classic theme from one of Sergio Leone's best westerns.

Happy sounds!

:: peder ::

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14 October 2006

New CD: Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah!

clap_your_hands.jpgAmazon.com: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Music: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

I know, the album was released in 2005, but, sometimes things just slip by you, you know? Holly and I were in Albina Press having some great Stumptown coffee together (without children!) as part of our 9th anniversary celebration. There's always great music being played at the North Mississippi/Albina hipster hangout, and this album was being played that morning.

Sheepishly, I shyly walked up to the counter and asked one of the baristas what band they were playing (I hate doing that - it's a really hard thing for me to do. I don't mind asking a stranger for directions, but asking a stranger to tell me what music they're playing, I have a hard time with. I guess, I don't have any bones about admitting I'm lost, but I can't stand to admit there's music that I'm not familiar with).

Well, enough of my psyche. This album weathers many repeat plays. The opening track is sort of annoying - a circus type announcer saying "Clap Your Hands" etc. Fortunately, it only lasts 1 minute 48 seconds (way too long, however, for any kind of album intro, I think). However, the rest of the CD, especially the indie "hit" The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth, makes up for it by a long shot.

Check it out. It's a fun CD. The singer's voice takes some getting used to, but for those of us who grew up with the Violent Femmes, you'll find his voice very familiar. Kind of like comfort food.

:: peder ::

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08 October 2006

New CD: A Rough Guide to Dub

Rough Guide to DubThe Rough Guide to Dub: Various Artists

I just found this disc. This series is is fantastic. It's a great way to find out more about world music genres (they've got just about everything from Chinese to South African Gospel, to bluegrass). I particularly enjoy the opening track by ET Randy's All Stars "Ordinary Version Chapter 3." There's just something relaxing about a good dub groove. Those echoing drums and sound effects really sound other-worldly almost. Speaking of those echos, the second track, Keith Hudson's "Satia" comes to mind. Perfectly placed steel drum rolls. Pop, pop, pop! Crunchy guitar riffs on the up-beat. Love it.

There's even a great track (#3), "Conquering Dub", from the dub innovator himself, King Tubby.

"What is dub music?" you might ask. Good question. Bascially, it's a form of instrumental music birthed from reggae and ska music. It's usually an instrumental "version" of a song already recorded, with added sound effects, primarily heavy echo and reverb.

For more information, check out the dub wiki.

:: peder horner ::

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05 September 2006

New M.Ward Album: Post-War

mward_postwar.jpgLocal Portland singer/songwriter folk legend guitarist M. Ward has released a new album, and you should listen to it immediately. Mr. Ward has been making timeless folk music with a quirky indie twist for 5 years since his landmark debut album End of Amnesia. The production is, as on previous albums, ethereal. His voice seems to float around the finger-picked guitar on the quieter songs and the electric surf-like guitar on the louder, up tempo tracks. For example, just absorb the beautiful strings and tympani on the opening track "Poison Cup." Amazing.

Holly and I saw him perform live with the Calexico/Iron and Wine show in 2005 and were very impressed.

He even dose a raucous cover of Daniel Johnston's "To Go Home."

Click here for the NPR review.
Click here for the amazon page and more reviews.

Happy sounds,

:: peder horner ::

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22 May 2006

Calexico - Garden Ruin :: Review

Calexico :: Garden RuinThe other day, we went out for some good burritos at the Laughing Planet on Mississippi Ave. While we were waiting for our food, I returned to the car for the diaper bag. On the way back, I noticed that the owner of a CD and game shop was fixing the door frame. It was busted by an attempted burglary the previous night. I had been wanting to buy the new Calexico CD, so now I had a good excuse - buying the CD would help the shopowner recoup some of his losses from the damage.

I couldn't wait to get home and play the new CD. This CD is not the Calexico CD of my past and of the band I love. This is different. The songs are much more palatable and almost "radio" friendly. There are no instrumentals. Even with these limitations, however, the genius of the Joey Burns (guitar)/John Convertino (drums) duo shines still shines through the production. The opening track, "Cruel" is a straight-forward melodious upbeat song with a great hook. Click here to view the video.

The second song, "Yours and Mine" is a beautiful song with beautiful minor chord turnarounds, Convertino's restrained brushed drumming and Joey's ambient cello hovering in the ether.

Other songs are great, including the nicely banjo-laden upbeat shuffling 4/4 "Bisbee Blue."

"Roka (Danza de la muerte)" is a more ambient Southwestern song with vibes, mariachi trumpets, and Amparo Sanchez singing the Spanish chorus.

One of my favorite tracks, is "Nom de Plume", an other-worldly, somewhat dissonant, song in the French about a raven. It features an erie banjo that leaves goose pimples.

Overall, this is a great Calexico album as an introduction to those unfamiliar with this fantastic band. Long time fans with either embrace or shun it as a clear departure from their earlier work. If they tour near you, be sure to see them live. This is one of the great bands of our decade.

:: peder ::

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15 February 2006

Film School

Film School
I just found the San Francisco based band Film School while listening to KEXP the other night while on call at the hospital. Their music is reminiscent of really good 80s alternative rock (Joy Division and Smiths come easily to mind).

The disc opens with "Intro", a sonically-swirling short introduction of pleasingly-distorted electric guitar. I really love the ethereal feeling and driving sound of the second track, "On and On." And, I really dig the open bass and guitar chords on the third track, "Harmed." Go to Insound to listen to full downloadable mp3 samples of these two songs. Also, the open, other-worldly, sound on track four, "Breet" is really a joy to listen to.

:: peder ::

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01 February 2006

Southwind Bluegrass Quartet

southwind.jpgI just received a CD from Southwind, a bluegrass quartet from North Carolina. Most of the tracks have vocals, but some of the instrumentals really stand out, such as "Blackberry Blossom" and "Sheebeg & Sheemore." The former is an upbeat, more standard bluegrass number with some great banjo work by Matt Lawson. The latter a very beautiful, melodious, and meloncholy song. It's quite pastoral. I keep listening to it over and over again.

:: peder ::

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02 December 2005

Sufjan Stevens Christmas Album - Free!

For all you Sufjan Stevens fans out there, Clay Johnson just alerted me to the fact that three volumes of Christmas tunes by Stevens have been posted for free download here. I'm told they're perfectly legal and licensed.


:: peder ::

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26 September 2005

Death Cab for Cutie :: "Plans"

Death Cab for Cutie :: Plans
Holly and I picked up Death Cab for Cutie's new album "Plans" several weeks ago just after it was released. We've been listening to it near-nonstop since then, especially whilst painting the new house. It's got a mix of catchy pop and ballads. Ben Gibbard serves up, yet again, a great album that will stand the test of time.

One of the more interesting songs, lyrically, is "I Will Follow You into the Dark." It's the song of two lovers near the ends of their lives. The man says, "Love of mine some day you will die, But I'll be close behind. I'll follow you into the dark. No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white, just our hands clasped so tight." Clearly, I don't share these thoughts upon the afterlife, but they are honest and noble.

The lines that really stood out to me, however, are the following:

In Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles brusied by a lady in black
And I held my toungue as she told me
"Son, fear is the heart of love"
So I never went back

I realize this is only a song, but I wonder how much of this reflects Gibbard's own personal experience with Catholic education. The words of the nun are clearly wrong and not Scriptural.

But, the album is a really great one to listen to. Enjoy his lyrics and songwriting. While the album may not be as good as "Transatlanticism" or "The Photo Album", it still is, nonetheless, and essential component of my music collection.

Now, at least I have some more Gibbard-written music to satiate me until he releases the next Postal Service album!!!

:: peder ::

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07 November 2004

Laura Gibson... Live

Saw our friend Laura Gibson play live tonight at the Mississippi Pizza Pub in North Portland tonight. Holly couldn’t go… bummer. Laura had a great set. It was her CD release party. She absolutely ROCKED the house. Her tasty folksy singer/songwriter morsels had my head a buzz and whetted the appetite for more tunes. Plus, she’s got a very good stage presence - too humble Laura!

Go buy her CD when it is available.

Posted by pederhorner at 10:02 PM

18 October 2004

Tractor Punk: The Old 97's: A Concert Review

Publicity Photo, Elektra EntertainmentAs soon as I had put my bike in the storage shed and dried off (was a rainy one), my hip buddy Jason Barnes called to say that he had been given two free tickets to the Old 97’s show at the Aladdin tonight. Vague thoughts, sounds, and memories of this 90s alt.country turned rock/pop band swirled in my head - “Yes! I’d love to go” I heard myself telling the voice on the other end of the digital phone line. I never really was a fan. I never listened to a full CD of their music. I definitely had never bought (or downloaded) any of it either. Sure, I’d had several friends who had their music, but they were below my music radar for sure. Why would I need the Old 97’s, when I’ve got Uncle Tupelo and The Jayhawks, among others?

We agree to meet at the Aladdin at 21:30 sharp. We both concur that, while the doors open at 19:00 and given that there is an opening act, there ain’t no way the band will come on stange much before then. Well, let’s just say that, when I parked the car and was walking past the building to the front door, I easily surmised that the show was alread in full swing. Jason, who had arrived a bit earlier, informed me that they had, apparently, been on stage for a “long time” already. Well, that kind of information always puts you in a funk - you feel guilty and ignorant because you’ve missed out on X amount of Y music that costs Z amount of dollars.

Well, much to our surprise, the place was packed. We took a wall-spot in the balcony and waited until nearly the end until two seats opened up. The music was mediocre at best. I can honestly say that I wasn’t impressed with either the songwriting nor musicianship. The stage antics of the lead singer, Rhett Miller (he had a semi-successful solo project a few years ago, highlighted by the song “Come Around”), were so annoying that I found it difficult to concentrate on the lackluster music. I kept asking myself, “What is it about this band that so many people here love?” In fact, I still don’t know and probably never will. I did, however, like how the bassist held and played his bass like a guitar or banjo (no picks, though). And, the opening musician, Jon Rauhouse, joined the band on pedal steel guitar for a rousing 3 songs.

Overall: Thankfully, these were free tickets. Jason fell asleep at the end and was therefore semi-postictal during the encores (Rhett Miller flailed, solo acoustic, two of his own songs, including “Come Around”). Yikes.

Posted by pederhorner at 11:11 PM

15 October 2004

It's been a long time..new music..

Well, it’s been an extremely hectic last few months, and one person even e-mailed me, writing “Keep up the new music finds and suggestions! I miss them terribly!” So, without further delay, I shall resume the blog, focusing on, at least initially, some of the fanstatic new music that I’ve found over the last few months.

I’ve come across two Damien’s, Rice and Jurado, of late and a brief review of both shall follow.

Damien Rice - “O” (2003)

Damien Rice
I came across Damien Rice sort of by accident. A knock-your-socks off local pianist singer/songwriter Bryan Free sent me a mix CD of songs he had been listening and grooving to. One of the last tracks on the CD was an intriquing song by Damien Rice, an Irish singer/songwriter guitarist. This song (I Remember) begins with Damien’s haunting acoustic guitar accompanied by Lisa Hannigan’s sterring vocals and later evolves into a louder, passionate outburst from Damien that is unforgettable. The rest of the CD is built around Damien’s lush songwriting with masterfully placed bits of cello, sparse drumming, and Lisa’s vocals. Of particular note, are the songs Volcano, with the great line “Don’t build your world around, volcanos melt you down” and the beautifully romatic ballad “The Blower’s Daughter.” The latter, I can often not get out of my head. This CD completely changed my paradigm on Irish folk, and I guarantee that it will change yours too.

Click here to visit the Damien Rice website.

Damien Jurado - “Where Shall You Take Me?” (2003)

Damien Jurado - Where Shall You Take Me?
Damien Jurado records (mostly) for the SubPop label, the label which brought us Iron and Wine, Nirvana’s Bleach, Reverand Horton Heat, Sunny Day Real Estate, Combustible Edison, Friends of Dean Martinez, and Sebadoh.

Anyway, Damien is a complex songwriter. His style seems to change from album to album. Where Shall You Take Me? is refreshingly acoustic and homegrown. Some songs do rock, however, most notably “Texas to Ohio”, which makes you want to turn the stereo up loud and annoy your neighbors. “Abilene” is a forelorn Texan love-story with tangible angst wrougt throughout with age-old Southern class warfare. No doubt, this is an album of simple, roots, music that is very pleasing.

“Window” is by far the best song on the CD, a beautiful neo-southern-gospel-hymn. Lyrics as follows:

    I am looking at a beautiful window
    That window is your eyes

    And the only time I saw rain fall

    Was the day your mother died

    And I am looking at a beautiful rainbow
    The rainbow is your smile
    Oh the only time I heard laughter
    Was the day I took you as my bride

    I am looking at a beautiful window
    The window is your eyes
    Oh the only time I saw rain fall
    Was the day your mother died

    And I am walking with my Savior
    My Savior walks with me
    He will guide me up to Heaven
    Where you and I shall meet

Click here to visit the Damien Jurado website.

Well, that’s it for today. I’ve got much more new music to write about, hopefully soon.

Happy sounds,

:: Peder ::

Posted by pederhorner at 10:05 AM | Comments (4)

14 July 2004

Calexico - Live Concert Review

Calexico, live: 01 July 2004 So, a few weeks ago, 01 July, Holly and I met some friends (Brent and Bridgett Barber, Eric and Tamara Brown, and several other mutual friends) for dinner at the Sellwood Cha! Cha! Cha! and proceded to the Aladdin Theater for the Calexico show.

Portland-based Husband and wife (Kevin and Anita Robinson) team Viva Voce opened up with a powerful set. She playing guitar and he on the sticks. Their music was instantly more complex than what one would expect from a guitar/drum duo. They’ve got a gift for writing catchy riffs and hooks. Kevin even brought out the Melodica for a few songs.

After a brief pause, Calexico took the stage. Well, for the first song, it was only Joey Burns and John Convertino on “Paper Route.” Then, the full band took the stage for Convict Pool, one of my favorite Calexico songs. The set continued to gain momentum and energy, culminating in “Crystal Frontier” and the encore “Gero Canelo”, of which I’m told refers to a famous Tucscon Mexican restaurant. The evening was fabulous, with many opportunities for us to dance along. I often found myself singing along, but fortunately for those around me, the sound system overcame my off-pitch goose honking. ;)

Calexico, live: 01 July 2004Overall, the evening was worth every penny, and I would probably pay even more to see them again. Everybody went home happy and in elated spirits, thinking long thoughts on barren desert landscapes, golden Tequila, and a romantic yearning for Southwestern culture.

Calexico set list:

Paper Route . Convict Pool . Silver Raven > Quattro . Across the Wire . Praskovia . Sunken Waltz . Frontera/Trigger . Black Heart . Sprawl > Don’t Leave Me Now . Dub Latina . Alone Again Or . Not Even Stevie Nicks . El Picador . Jesus & Tequila . Deep Down . Crooked Road and the Briar . Crystal Frontier .. Gero Canelo (encore)

Posted by pederhorner at 2:28 PM

19 May 2004

Indie rockers... Cali Mex...

Well, simply writing the last entry got me all fired up again to write a new blog entry.

I’ve had the good fortune to come across some great new music lately, and I wanted to share the following two “finds” with you.

Iron and Wineiron_and_wine.jpg

I was really knocked off my feet when I heard Sam Beam’s soothing baritone voice matched perfectly with his mellow guitar and backing accompanying instruments and vocals. I think a review in Entertainment Weekly said it best:
“launches balloons of sweetly whispered regret over trance-inducing backwoods string arrangements and watches them float away, his heart in tow.” Check it out.

The “doh!” award goes to yours truly, who, in arranging a “date night” with Holly, decided that there’s “no way Iron and Wine will sell out at the Holoscene, so I’ll just wait to buy tickets at the door.” Well, that logic worked about as well as abusing Iraqi prisoners and documenting it with hordes of pictures. The show had sold out way before Holly and I dropped Hannah off at the sitter’s house for the evening. We ended up having a great time out alone at the Moon and Sixpence (one of our favorite Portland neighborhood English pubs) instead, but we were really bummed to miss the show.

Calexico calexico_convict_pool.jpg

Now, I don’t know about you, but Mexican music has always intrigued me. The only problem with it was that I didn’t speak Spanish and I didn’t like the pop stars of Mexico. HOWEVER, give me some trumpets and big acoustic guitars, and I’m golden. When in SFO (San Francisco airport code - I’m a geek, we know this) a couple weeks ago for a conference, I was able to do a little music shopping at the Virgin Records superstore downtown. The only great album I found was an EP by a Tuscon band called Calexico. The music is a perfect blend of Mexican Mariachi horns, and GET THIS - English lyrics! Woohoo! I’m home. This music, especially off of this album and the bands earlier LPs (such as the full-length album The Black Light which includes one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I’ve ever heard: “Minas de Cobre”), is soul-stirring in beauty and lyrical creativeness. Take a listen - I’m sure you’ll have the margarita mix blending by the time the first track is finished.


Posted by pederhorner at 4:00 PM

14 January 2004

Can't live without this... well, that's hyperbole, but this is definitely cool!

I’ve just come across the most nifty (is niftyist a word??) Winamp plugin. So, all of our CDs are now on the hard drive in mp3 format, and we often use the computer as our “jukebox” so to speak instead of firing up the Yamaha changer and receiver. Well, one of the problems with mp3s, is that there hasn’t been a good way to view song lyrics while playing the mp3.


Winamp ScreenshotI found this little Winamp plugin called Lyricsys that’s solved all my woes. Open an mp3 file, and BAM!, the Mini Browser window opens with the lyrics to the song within 3 seconds or so. Amazing little tool. The lyric database grows everyday due to a collective “good-will” and shared uploading by users (not required, but helpful for the rest of us who enjoy obscure music).

So, pour a glass of wine, load up the mp3s, and do your work/entertainment with the music in the background, and the lyrics available, if you should need to peek.

Posted by pederhorner at 9:05 PM | Comments (6)

13 December 2003

New music...Death Cab for Cutie, American Analog Set...

Go to Amazon.comThe past few weeks, I’ve been really digging a couple of bands in particular. Death Cab for Cutie has been rocking my world the past few weeks. Ignore the name (it comes from some obscure song on some obscure album from some obscure music artist in the 70’s). This is some of the most intelligent indie rock music I’ve come across in the past year or so. The singer, Benjamin Gibbard, also fronts his solo project, The Postal Service, who I first heard about from Tim’s blog. (Kudos Tim!) The entire album is themed around a long distance love-affair. Perhaps this is why this album has resonated with me so much lately, with Holly and Hannah being gone so long. The songs are quite reflective and smart, yet not overbearing or superfluous or cliche.

Go to Amazon.comA nice companion to Death Cab, is the American Analog Set. They are a quartet from the Lonestar state whose music is instantly recognizable. The sound is thick, sedate, but driving. Many songs feature an organ, reminiscent of the Doors. Some songs are entirely instrumental. The latest album (right) is “Promise of Love.” Their info can be found on the Tiger Style Records website. Do yourself a favor and give each band a good critical listen.

Posted by pederhorner at 2:56 PM | Comments (2)

12 November 2003

More hipster music (Rosalia de Souza)

Rosalia de SouzaI came across this album recently, and I’ve been playing it nonstop. Rosalia de Souza was born in Rio de Janeiro but moved to Italy in 1989 to study music, where she met Nicola Conte (1994). He has since “introduced” her with this album “Nicola Conte presents…”. Her voice is smooth, and the music is second to none. Some original compositions dot the album here and there. It’s got a great combination of hip electronica and 60s lounge bossa nova, the perfect thing to unwind to at the end of a stressful day or put on for a wine party (I’ll most certainly be featuring at least several cuts from this album at our next wine party, tentatively set for Jan/Feb 2004).

Nicola Conte - smooth Italian playaThis post also gives me an opportunity to plug Nicola Conte’s music, which is really fantastic. It’s in a siminlar vein stylistically, with a bit more focus on the electronica. A couple of songs are instantly recongnizable as they were sources of a couple ad campaigns recently (one, an Acura commercial, the other a Joe Boxer commercial). I featured some of his music at our last wine party October 2002. Ultra hip, for you hipsters. Also, the label that produces Nicola’s albums, Eighteenth Street Lounge Music, features some of the best musicians in electronica and nu-jazz today (Nicola Conte, Thievery Corporation, Ursula 1000, Karminsky Experience, Les Hommes, and Thunderball). Check out their music, if you have time.

Posted by pederhorner at 10:37 AM

23 October 2003

Goodbye Elliott

Elliott SmithThe pain.

A favorite musician of mine (who I only recently “discovered” about 12 months ago) committed suicide Monday. Here is a short epitaph and biography from a fan site. He was 34 years old.


Posted by pederhorner at 12:05 PM

22 October 2003

Italian cool - The Dining Rooms

The Dining Rooms - TreEver find a new band or album that knocks you off your feet? Well, there’s a chic band that I’ve been following for a while, The Dining Rooms, and they’ve got a new album Tre that I’ve really been digging a lot lately. The duo consists of Stefano Ghittoni and Cesare Malfetti. It’s definitely chill (picture lazy Sunday afternoon muzak), but there are 3 or 4 tracks that really groove. Especially, I’m thinking of “La Cita Nuda”, “Fluxus”, and “You”. This album is the soundtrack to my secret downtempo and laid-back life. It’s fantastic music for thos hipster parties (I’m already thinking Wine Party!). Give it a listen. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

For more information on this album and other artists in the genre, follow this link to the Italian cool.

Posted by pederhorner at 10:57 AM | Comments (5)