Giving Thanks…

God bless SparkNotes, NoDoze, take-out, and these songs:

[MP3] BeirutAfter The Curtain
I’ve got to give praise to Beirut for such an appropriate ending to a near-perfect album. Not only does it give the pre-supposed illusion that, at 11 tracks in, everyone else really does enjoy it as much as you, but it actually dares to ask Eminem of all people what he’s planning on doing now that he released Curtain Calls! Ha! But seriously, how Eno is this song???

[MP3] Brian EnoThe Big Ship
Speaking of Eno… actually that was planned, and this is the song that I think sounds like the Beirut song. This is the first Eno song I’d ever heard, and it’s undoubtedly one of the best. So kudos, Beirut, you obviously know what’s up.

[MP3] Field MusicIf Only The Moon Were Up
I would have loved to have gotten into Field Music last year after their album’s release, but on the other hand I wouldn’t have known of the band’s obvious influence from Pet Sounds, which I just recently have become engorged in. This is the first track off of Field Music’s self-titled debut, and strongly echoes the melody-driven, harmonic, love-sick work of Brian Wilson and his Merry Pranksters. Try not to love it, I dare you.

It’s six-freakin’-thirty, I’ve been up all night studying Reaganomics, and I’ve got an exam in two-freakin’-hours. By the time you read this, I may already be dead. Send your love, flowers, witty eulogies, and thin mints to the comment box.

It’s a good day to be a Kentuckian. The most insane, awesome, fun day of the year is upon most of Kentucky (especially those down in Louisville). The Kentucky Derby is going to run for 132nd time this year with a field of competitors that many are dubbing as “one of the best Derbys ever!” I know a lot of you probably don’t care about horse racing at all, but Kentucky is the horse capital of the world and horse racing has an extremely intimate love affair with the Bluegrass State.

For those that have never been to the Derby – I highly recommend that you go at some point in your life. It’s one of the most memorable experiences you can have; anyone would tell you this. The infield is so crazy that is makes Girls Gone Wild look like a conservative broadcast of partiers. If you venture into the infield you’ll be lucky to come out sober and all your clothes on. This being said, if you’re going to watch/bet from home I’d suggest sticking with Lawyer Ron or Sweetnorthernsaint (a typical underdog).

I mentioned earlier that Radiohead tickets went on sale today and people are already throwing out money on eBay as if their love for the British rockers knew no monetary limits. Rightfully so, I am sure many of you have been reading about Thom and Jonny’s recent benefit concert in London where they played three new tracks.. Supposedly from their upcoming album. The tracks have been floating on various sites in a quality that made them sound nothing more than guitar and Thom moaning into the microphone. HOWEVER, I came across the three songs in a much more desirable quality that gives me the decent mind to let you hear them. Enjoy.

[MP3] RadioheadBodysnatchers
[MP3] RadioheadCymbal Rush
[MP3] RadioheadApreggi

Although still a rough live recording – it’s a lot better than a lot of the other versions I’ve heard and gives a decent idea as to the direction the upcoming album may be headed. I’m pretty fond of “Bodysnatchers” already and cannot wait until they release their album, or at least give us some kind of news on its production. Judging by the these three tracks, do you guys think their new album will make 2006 the year of Radiohead? Which is your favorite “new” song?

After watching Radiohead tickets sell out in about -.09554 seconds, a new band began playing in my shuffled iTunes. I was planning on posting on these Northern folksters – but hearing their songs reminded me to do it now.

Port O’Brien started, as essentially, the one-man act of Van Pierszalowski. When chatting with Van about his music, I asked him to briefly describe himself and provide a short history.

“Port O’Brien is the musical project of Van Pierszalowski, who is an awkward looking Polish 21-year old. His father is a commercial salmon fisherman who works on Kodiak Island in Alaska. Van spends his summers up there working. On the boat, they stay for many months at a time with no shower and no toilets (the answer to your question is a bucket).”

Since the start of his project in January 2005, he’s added a few members here and there including some delightful female vocal chords.

“Cambria Goodwin makes it easier to watch Van perform because she is pretty (which Van isn’t) and well-groomed (which Van definitely isn’t) and looks like Snow White (which Van onced dressed up as in 3rd grade only to be called ‘ugly’ and ‘gay’).”

[MP3] Port O’BrienMy Eyes Won’t Shut
[MP3] Port O’BrienTree Bones
[MP3] Port O’BrienA Bird Flies By

They may remind you of a darker Decemberists sound with their emphasis on strings and folkish ballad style of lyrics. The project is still young and very local, but after another summer on a boat in the Alaskan sea.. it’ll be interesting to see how their sound develops in the coming months.

Oh! Sweet Jesus!

I am not sure who to believe on this one. Given the choice, would you believe a Swedish group that look like a 70s glam band or an energized guitar act off the streets of NYC?

One group, The Ark, are saying that “One Of Us Is Gonna Die Young.” While the other group, The Favourite Sons, are claiming that, “No One Ever Dies Young.” Pulling from my already established knowledge of the subject, I can only assume they’re talking about good people (see Billy Joel for detail). Another thing that I can conclude is that both bands have produced some good death related tracks.

The Ark hail from Sweden and have been making music since the early 90s, although not breaking through until 10 years later. They had received mediocre reviews for most of their careers and had trouble escaping the musical binding continent of Europe. Like many bands they decided to take a break for a few years. Between breaking up and reuniting – they’re music has gotten a lot better and they’re getting airplay on smaller American stations and one of the 3495839 mTV channels. Not bad, eh?

The Favourite Sons, on the other hand, are straight out of the musical fetus. In fact, they’ve been kicking and punching themselves out of the womb for the past year or so. Recording a song here and an EP there wasn’t enough to satiate they’re musical palates. They’re hanging out in NYC right now, after some touring gigs with The Stills, recording they’re debut LP.

And Billy Joel is from heaven – who plays the piano like a drunken cherub and writes songs on a cloud (number nine).

[MP3] The ArkOne Of Us Is Gonna Die Young
[MP3] The Favourite SonsNo One Ever Dies Young
[MP3] Billy JoelOnly The Good Die Young

So, who to believe? The Ark? The Favourite Sons? Billy Joel?

I like the other two songs a ton but… I’m sticking with the Piano Man for the simple fact that he coined the phrase that spawned so many other songs. And he’s awesome. And he’s hatched from the same egg as The Beatles, Mozart, and Bob Dylan. Rock on William.

What is there to say about Jason Anderson?
This guy is just awesome.

Once playing under the alias Wolf Colonel, Jason Anderson brings a dose of raw guitar and untapped energy to the table. Aside from his knack of making great music, Jason Anderson is a human being that is almost too nice to be a musician. He loves playing music more than anything and his live shows really convey that. At his live shows, he acts like the center of the universe as the planets crowd circle around him.

And when you’re the sun you don’t need amps or mics to get your point across. Just Jason and the crowd that swallows him up. The crowd sings along, even if they didn’t know the song prior to the set. A circle forms around him as if there was a high school fight and everyone is watching- chanting for who they want to get their ass kicked except they’re chanting for Jason to kick the guitars ass. Anderson is passion filled and wide-eyed as he sings songs about love, happiness, and life. In between songs he’ll interject thoughts of reason, speak on the behalf of civil rights, guided patriotism, and environmentalism. He’ll allude to the mistaken concept of choosing titles, to be left sided or right sided, rather he chose, simply to be.

[MP3] Jason AndersonThe Hospital
[MP3] Jason AndersonAstronaut, Astronaut
[MP3] Jason AndersonIf I’m Waiting

This guy is a treat to see live – I can guarantee you’ll like him. He’s the sort of guy that will make you smirk on a CD and grin ear-to-ear when you see him in concert. Buy one of his many CD and go watch him play anywhere from coffee shops to libraries. You have a better idea for a venue? Just ask him to play it and he will. Seriously.

I wonder what the coolest/weirdest place to play a show would be?