Cold War Kids

Here’s a band that’s been getting considerable hype recently, a buzz mainly surrounding the three strong and notable EPs they’ve released in the last year, but one also trailing an apparently astounding SXSW performance they exhibited opening up for iGIF favorites Tapes n’ Tapes (they’re also doing a bunch of dates with TnT again in May/June).

Never one to be left out on some good ol’ hype, I first listened to Cold War Kids yesterday on a tip from a friend (thanks TimeGuy). First reaction: “This guy can SING!” Then, after listening to the two most recent EPs, Up In Rags and With Our Wallets Full, discovered the band’s possible downfall: a lot of it sounds pretty similar, probably because of the strength and uniqueness of lead singer Nathan Willet’s voice. This is a pretty trivial comment, though. I’m sure with more time spent on the music, the songs will differentiate themselves more, yada yada. At any rate, the music’s damn good, reminding me a little bit of U2 if fronted by a soulful Jack White (not to say J Dubs isn’t already soulful enough).

Check out these tracks, all highly recommended:

[MP3] Cold War KidsHospital Beds
[MP3] Cold War KidsWe Used To Vacation
[MP3] Cold War KidsPregnant

Check out this video of Hospital Beds Live @ the Troubador, LA (thanks Jaxxy)
Check out m3 online for a better analysis and more MP3s.
Check out this site to buy either EP for $7 or both for $12. Worth it, completely.

Between studying and packing up to move back home, I’ve almost forgotten to post who won the Guillemots contest last week. Despite limited responses, as I am sure it was just that hard, there were some real gems. If you can recall, I had people develop a sentence/paragraph using as many Beatles song titles as possible.

Congrats to Angela for winning the limited edition vinyl!! Her winning entry:


Yesterday I Got A Woman that wasn’t you. Another Girl. Honey Don’t be mad. It’s not Real Love, because I Call Your Name at night still. How Do You Do It? I think of you Here, There and Everywhere, and Every Little Thing reminds me of you. But Clarabella was born on Penny Lane and I need her Money.

P.S. I Love You

I found it pretty awesome. But what I found more awesome, that made for “a happy Nathaniel” was the brand new X-Men 3 clip. I am not sure how many of you were avid comic readers when you were younger, or if you watched the animated series, but this last clip was deeeelicious.

The clip (from the Tonight Show) takes place in the Danger Room (which was cut out of the first two for budget reasons) and features a Sentinel. Not to mention the…FASTBALL SPECIAL !! I almost got teary eyed. That was only 30 seconds of the movie. I can’t even wait for the whole thing to come out this month. I was a huge X-Men nerd as little kid (still am), so the movies have been a personal joy for me; whilst being critical of some minor comic-to-movie flaws- IM me for a rant.

Countdown to X3! Three exams finished…two left. Kill me now.

Sufjan Links Fixed

Just a quick note to let everyone who emailed me know that the MP3 links for the Sufjan Rarities have been fixed.

You can find that post here.

It seems that everyone has been raving about Beirut recently, and for good reason. Ever since I first heard “Postcards From Italy” in its demo form on GvB, I’ve been looking all over for more, piecing together various songs I collected from myspace, other blogs, etc…all because Beirut is seriously wonderful music.

Every once and a while, a piece of music comes along that exhibits a certain degree of sheer power…so powerful, in fact, that it can barely be described… a completely awe-inspiring, wonderous, almost intangible composition of raw talent, emotion, and complexity, reminding us why we listen to music in the first place. It’s what we saw in The Beatles, what we’ve seen in Radiohead, and what we’re beginning to see in bands like The Arcade Fire. If nothing else, Beirut scrapes at this same astral quality.

[MP3] BeirutPostcards From Italy
This is by and far the “piece of music” I referred to above. It’s hard to describe exactly what will happen to you when you listen… for me, it was an undescribable, ethereal wave of emotion… like little footsteps dancing in perfect choreography on my diaphram…that slight shortness of breath you experience when standing before unsurmountable beauty. You’re speechless, it takes you over, and by the end you’re wondering if you’ll ever feel something like that again. That’s why this is the best song I’ve heard this year, hands down.

[MP3] BeirutThe Canals Of Our City
This song reminds me somewhat of epic novels like The Odyssey. Despite that the song is only about two and a half minutes long, the slow and steady guitar and drum playing seem to go one forever, as the near-perfect vocals narrate the story. While I can’t really hear the lyrics, it’s no deterrent from wholeheartedly believing that at that moment, what’s being sung just may be the most important thing in the world.

If you buy one record and support one artist this year, make it Beirut’s Gulag Orkestar. Buy it here for only $10 (incl. ship).

Posted By Connor at

FILED: Beirut

So, one exam down. I am a mere 4 exams away from freedom.
I guess having 4 is better than having 5, but the more I look at the number four I realize there is nothing fantastic about it.

I have another exam tonight and need to go start studying for that ASAP, but couldn’t help to read (for the tenth time) Blink-182‘s front man making musical prophecies and statements that far exceed his own talent. Now, don’t get me wrong, Blink-182 was an enjoyable band to listen to and were entertaining to say the least…But have any of you been reading the things that (now guitarless and piercingless) Tom DeLonge has been saying about his (yet another) new project Angels and Airwaves?

“The best music made in decades.”

“It sounds like it has the conceptual depth of Pink Floyd, the anthemic architecture of U2- but with Tom from Blink writing all the melodies. All the songs are very cinematic, anthemic and epic-sounding. The music sounds angelic. Every song gives you the chills and you feel like you want to cry but you’re conquering the world at the same time. It sounds like stadium rock done by a band that’s meant to be the absolute biggest band in the world.”

“The songs are all six minutes long, and [the music] feels like you’re going to cry but you put your fist in the air and you can conquer the world… It’s built on a punk-rock foundation, but it definitely doesn’t sound like Blink.”

“Imagine if you were in a jet plane, soaring through the clouds. That’s what it sounds like.”

That, my friends, is some damn fine self proclamation. Now, typically I would just shrug this sort of thing off and not say anything but I’ve read quote after quote from DeLonge and have to get your opinions. So, with that being said I (and you) just had to see how music derived from a main creative force in Blink-182 could be so incredible.

Maybe this is all a publicity stunt? Maybe the Blink feud is going to be fought with rivaling record sales? I’m not sure, but see if you think that this is the best music you’ve heard in decades.

[MP3] Angels and AirwavesThe Adventure
[MP3] Angels and AirwavesThe War

Sure, I easily think that music sounds a little better than Blink. But do I think it sounds all that different? Not so much. Changing the length of your tracks, from 3 minutes to 6 minutes, doesn’t necessarily add to the greatness of a song. However, the music is better and the sound is stronger, but it’s hard to claim it as “the best music in decades.” The record is coming out in late May and tickets to various Airwaves shows are selling like hotcakes.

At the end of the day, people are still going to hear DeLonge’s voice and think, “Hey, it’s Blink!” I think DeLonge’s strive to be different is appreciated, but all in all it’s those definitive late 90s punk-pop vocals that register with so many listeners and will haunt him to his various projects that don’t share the Blink surname.