Richard Julian

After watching Inside Man (really great movie – go see it!) last night, which starts out as a montage of New York imagery, I got in the mood for some things New York – especially music. Aside from the many Big Apple based bands, i.e. Bishop Allen, Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, etc., I couldn’t help from thinking about the title of Richard Julian‘s third album, Slow New York.

A self-described “confessional singer-songwriter in basic black,” Julian’s lyrical ability to captivate listeners with small stories within each song, is only matched by his simple raspy voice. Musically, the entire album contains so much diversity it’s almot hard to distinguish a “type” that Julian fits. Alas, that’s the beauty of Julian’s music. He can’t be a typified as another run-of-the-mill New York artist with a guitar and good intentions; he is far too talented. His sound is soft, lyrics strong, making his songs worth the listen.

[MP3] Richard JulianDon’t Wait Up
[MP3] Richard JulianCheap Guitar
[MP3] Richard JulianIf A Heart Breaks
[MP3] Richard JulianSlow New York

Julian may portray his life as a happy ramble, but he rambles with the likes of Norah Jones, with whom he’s been a frequent band mate. Her backing vocals and tipsy piano are sprinkled in various songs throughout the album, adding an extra “umph” to some tracks. Take me seriously when I say: I really like this guy, and fans of Mason Jennings and/or John Prine should give the album a shot.

Life in the Big City never sounded so good.

A for Vendetta

I just saw V for Vendetta and seriously…see this movie, for three reasons:

1. It kicks ass.
2. Natalie Portman
3. Antony and the Johnsons

I was caught up in staring in awe at Natalie Portman when I noticed that the music of my favorite transvestite (sorry Hedwig…seriously though, it’s over) was lighting the mood. Biirrrdddd Ghheeerrlll

[MP3] Antony and the JohnsonsBird Gehrl

History major + Dork + Nathaniel = this post.

Aside from the fact that the above equation may contain all blatantly obvious variables, it is not going to stop me from making a historically gratiftying post.

It was on this very day in 1775 that Patrick Henry said:

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!!

What a line! I mean, if you’re looking for the ultimate one liner of the past 231 years… I’m gonna have to say Mr. Henry did a pretty good job nailing that award. Not to mention, that one line was enough fuel to keep a revolution successfully going. In honor of one of my favorite lines (and speech), here are a few tracks that you probably already have, remotely related to that infamous saying. The songs are free; but freedom isn’t free! It’s a buck-o-five, of course.

[MP3] Tracy ChapmanGive Me One Reason
[MP3] MaeAll Deliberate Speed
[MP3] Thievery CorporationLiberation Front
[MP3] My Morning JacketDeath Is The Easy Way Out
[MP3] Eagle*SeagullDeath Could Be at the Door
[MP3] The WeakerthansRinging Of Revolution
[MP3] StarsSoft Revolution

I was trying to think of some other great one liners to compare to this one.

What do you guys think the best one liner of all time is?

GOD, I have been waiting for this day forever. I finally got my copy of Final Fantasy‘s latest Young Canadian Mothers 7″, which includes his previously released cover of Joanna Newsom‘s “Peach, Plum, Pear” and two reworked songs from his debut, as well as a new song, “Spell For A Weak Heart,” which is presumably the first “single” from FF’s upcoming album, He Poos Clouds. The EP was only released on vinyl, but luckily for you all some tech-conscious hipster ripped it! Check it out, all recommended!

[MP3] Final FantasySpell For A Weak Heart
If you’ve seen FF play live, you’re probably familiar with his stripped down violin version of this song. With a new album around the corner, more money from touring in his wallet, and perhaps a personal vendetta to prove wrong a critic who dubbed him “a lesser Andrew Bird,” Owen seems set for a sound shift. The violin thing…yeah, it’s cool and all, but it only gets you so far. Vinyl scratching, synth blips, various other electronic noises, the ever-trusty wood block, and Owen’s angelic voice create an amalgam that’s confidence is only outweighed by it’s catchiness. It’ll be a great year for Mr. Pallett.

[MP3] Final FantasyThis Is The Dream Of Emma & Cam
This is a slightly “rockified” version of the second track on Has A Good Home. Here, Owen has added so much to a song that didn’t really need much of anything else. The basic structure and melodies of the song are the same, and while the added drums, synth, bells/xylophone, etc give it more complexity and texture, and while it’s certainly nice to hear “new” material from FF, I think this new version is a little unnecessary… but there’s no avoiding irony if one were to claim that musicians act out of necessity, so for what it’s worth, it’s still a great song.

Check out more Final Fantasy, including the Joanna Newsom cover, over at the hype machine.
Also, Chris posted a Final Fantasy remix of a Grizzly Bear song today. Congrats to Gorilla vs. Bear on winning Filter’s Blogger of the Year award!

Aside from founding a new country in the near future, I’m sure many are aware of the new Mates of State album that just (officially) came out this past Tuesday. Usually on Thursdays I’ll post some gnarley covers, but today I feel the need to celebrate the matrimony that resulted in musical bliss. Here are some tracks off of their new album, which I say everyone should purchase.

[MP3] Mates of StateBeautiful Dreamer
[MP3] Mates of StateThink Long
[MP3] Mates of StatePunchlines

Go buy yourself some Bring It Back as fast as you possibly can.