First, here’s the new contest:

I’ve never blogged about these guys, so consider this what would have been a normal post, only there’s a surprise at the end! End Of Fashion are some rockers of the typical swank residing in good ol’ Australia. You may have caught them at SXSW 2004 (or maybe not, pick your poison). Their self titled debut was released in 2005 but will see release in the states in the coming weeks. If you’re a fan of The Pixies, then I’m sure you’ll either love the band for completely ripping off “Where Is My Mind?” or you’ll hate them for the same reason. Regardless, it seems, the band doesn’t care. They’re sole interest, according to lead singer, is “[to] want to break down the walls – within that context, that image, we can do anything we want no matter whether it’s super cheesy or punk, I want to kill fashion, see the end of it.” Not exactly the noblest of causes, but who am I to judge?

[MP3] End Of FashionO Yeah
[MP3] End Of FashionLove Comes In

Up for grabs in this contest is a copy of their debut album. In the spirit of the band’s name and mission, if you want to enter, link [in the comments] to a picture of a person in attire that would suggest him/her to also be supporting the same “End Of Fashion” cause…i.e., a picture of someone with the most dreadfully hilarious fashion sense. The worst/funniest picture wins. Again, just link to the photo, and remember to leave your email address with your entry!

Now what about those other contests? I’m happy to report the winners of both the Submarines and La Rocca contests as follows:

For an advanced copy of The Submarines‘ album Declare A New State!, we actually had two winners:

[MP3] PAS/CALThe Bronzed Beach Boys (winner: Christian)
[MP3] DeVotchKaHow It Ends (winner: Aaron)

For his deliciously hilarious and pertinent word “phoner,” described as “an auditory boner,” Ian has won the signed copy of La Rocca‘s Sing Song Sung EP.

Thanks for playing everyone! If you didn’t win, don’t pass up the chance to win this one or future contests…we’ll have plenty over the summer, that’s a guarantee!

Quoted from Engadget:

Dear Robots,

We’re very sorry. It appears we missed your 85th birthday two days ago — the anniversary of which is marked by the date Czech writer Karel Capek debuted his play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) to its first audience in Prague. Yes, we know the concept of the automaton dates back much further, but we think it’s well agreed upon that Capek’s play marks the robot’s entry into mass consciousness (as well as marking the first use of the word “robot”). No matter, we’re just saying happy birthday, robots — not because we fear you’ll one day you’ll subsume us in some dystopian nightmare of artificial intelligence gone terribly wrong, but because from Asimov to AIBO, from Roomba to Ri-Man, from QRIO to ASIMO, we just love ya. So happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday, robots, and when the day of reckoning comes, please remember: Engadget and its readers are your friends.

All our love,

P.S. -And we, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

Ahh, I love nerds. Anyway, to celebrate, IGIF has put together yet another history mixery for you all to groove to. Ch-ch-check it out:

[MP3] The Flaming LipsYoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1
[MP3] The FutureheadsRobot
[MP3] The Robot Ate MeCrispy Christian Tea Time
[MP3] Final FantasyRobot Ponies (w/ Laura Barrett) (Live)
[MP3] RadioheadParanoid Android
[MP3] StyxxMr. Roboto
[MP3] Sufjan StevensA Conjuction Of Drones
[MP3] Panda BearWe Built A Robot
[MP3] The Televangelist & The ArchitectThe Artificial Intelligentsia
[MP3] MogwaiRobot Chant
[MP3] Daft PunkRobot Rock

So I’m starting a new daily (hopefully) feature in conjunction with my increasing interest and fascination with lyrics and songwriting. I’ll post the MP3, the lyrics, and a little bit about what [I think] they mean. Here’s the first:

[MP3] Joanna NewsomPeach, Plum, Pear

We speak in the store
I’m a sensitive bore.
You seem markedly more
And I’m oozing suprise.

But it’s late in the day
And you’re well on your way.
What was golden went gray
And I’m suddenly shy.

And the gathering floozies
Afford to be choosy
And all sneezing darkly
In the dimming divide.

I have read the right books
To interpret your looks.
You were knocking me down
With the palm of your eye.

This was unlike the story
It was written to be.
I was riding its back
When it used to ride me.

And we were galloping manic
To the mouth of the source.
We were swallowing panic
In the face of its force.

And I am blue,
I am blue, and unwell.
Made me bolt [bold]
Like a horse [whore].

Now it’s done.
Watch it go.
You’ve changed some.
Water run from the snow.

Am I so dear?
Do I run rare?
And you’ve changed some;
Peach, plum, pear.

This is an amazingly beautiful, emotional, tragic song about a girl faced with rejection, most likely not for the first time. She starts with what could be a glimmer of optimism, but the reality quickly, bluntly, becomes apparent. Her insecurities might have easily been overlooked had it not been for her pessimism, which is quite possibly aided by her bitterness towards more “fortunate” girls and by her inexperience (experience vs. what she’s read). She’d dreamt of more, of courage and optimism and love, but the present is not so sweet. She’s left behind once again, discouraged and damaged slightly more than she already was. By the end, she’s seems in a panic, in frustration. Is she really any different than anyone else? The last line, “Peach, plum, pear,” seems to me to represent the true arbitrariness of it all (her belief), however her use of alliteration suggests that maybe it does matter. To steal a line from I <3 Huckabees, everything’s the same even though it’s different.

Remember, while I am confident in my interpretation’s “accuracy,” it’s still one man’s interpretation. Feel free to post your own in the comments.

I’ve always been so/so with Xiu Xiu. What I’ve actually sat down to listen to I’ve always found interesting and likable on some level, but a lot of their stuff is really “out there.” And not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I get the idea that in order to really appreciate their music, and to ignore the most immediate shortcomings, you’ve got to give them some time. Such was not the case with this song from their upcoming LP, The Air Force:

[MP3] Xiu XiuBoy Soprano
Of the Xiu Xiu I’ve listened to, this song, which starts out crazy, quickly becomes much more “pop” and penetrable, making it stick out from a lot of their other songs, which are usually more fragmented and harder to appreciate. This is a very heavy song musically it seems, possibly acting as an anchor which could keep The Air Force from floating away into marginal obscurity–something that would be great for Xiu Xiu and great for people still waiting for the one song to break them into the Xiu Xiu world, where things are never what they seem. “In [Xiu Xiu Land], car drives you!”

Preorder The Air Force here
Download more tracks from Xiu XIu here

Bonus MP3:

[MP3] The PresetsAre You The One?

June is just one day away! That means Bonnaroo is super close to taking place, which also means it’s time for another Bonnaroo Bound band. It also seems as Bonnaroo gets closer the Hype around Radiohead doubles each passing week. I mean, that Thom Yorke album is everywhere. I’m surprised Wal-Mart isn’t selling the leak on their site. Man.

dios (Malos), formerly known as dios prior to a lawsuit, are a band from California. Before you chock them in with all the other West Coasters – it should be noted that they come from Hawthorne, CA. For those unfamiliar with their musical history, it is also the same town of which The Beach Boys call “home”. These guys came onto the musical scene quickly with a debut that received a lot of critical claim and even landed a spot on one of the many OC soundtracks. Between good reviews and a springboard into many ears, dios recorded a sophomore record with Indie-mogul Phil Ek. Although their latest album only received mediocre reviews, which tends to be the case with many bands now-a-days, the record is still pretty impressive.

[MP3] dios (Malos)Starting Five
Can a song sound Californian? If so, then color this song part of the Bear Republic. The carefree guitar, background noises that sound like they’re recording on a beachside patio, and “hoo-hoo-hoo’s” that almost exude a beach breeze from your speakers really give it that California Charm.

[MP3] dios (Malos)You Got Me All Wrong
Say hello to the OC Mix 2’s take of dios. A mellow and slow guitar centered ballad backed by just enough organ/keyboard to give it a little more justice than the OC did. This song almost makes my feel sympathetic for the rich kids in Orange County, right?

[MP3] dios (Malos)Fifty Cents
Less is more, right? Just a guitar, some vocals, and limited keys make this really simple song stand out. Towards the end the whole “studio” feel is finally used with the entire band in use. I almost wish they would swap “Fiddy” with “Fifty”, compensate for the Compton part of CA.

These guys should make for a good show at Bonnaroo, or I can at least hope. Be sure to befriend them on MySpace and check out one of their albums (I recommend the debut!).