Friday, February 18, 2005

Song of the Day - "In This Life" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

My favorite song from Iz ... a simple, pure, island love song. Not as popular as Iz's rendition of 'Over the Rainbow,' but just as moving... Enjoy and have a great weekend!


...and now for something completely dreamy

Over the past few years, the effect-laden swirling shoegaze sound popularized in the early 1990s has staged quite a comeback. This playlist includes some of my favorite blissed out & dreamy songs from the past 24 months, including songs from Autolux, Snowden, Readymade, Asobi Seksu and Film School, among others. Enjoy -- and have a great weekend.

Song of the day: Earlimart/"We Drink On the Job"

Earlimart's hazy, laid back music stands in stark contrast to the sunny, Brian Wilson-influenced pop so often identified with southern California. The song "We Drink on the Job" is from the band's debut album, Everyone Down Here, released in 2003 by Palm Pictures (yes, it's a label).

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Just added: Mary Lou Lord/self-titled EP

We added a bunch of Kill Rock Stars releases to the Rhapsody library today, including --at long last-- Mary Lou Lord's self-titled EP from 1995. This EP means a lot to me personally and in my opinion, it's the best work she's ever done. The songs are mostly just Mary Lou and her acoustic guitar, and her voice is in top form -- check out songs "He'd Be a Diamond," "I'm Talking to You," and my personal favorite, "His Indie World" (a great tune about being lovelorn in the world of indie rock) for a taste. Click here to hear the entire EP.

BONUS: We also added Mary Lou's song, "Camden Town Rain," recorded on a cassette boombox way back in 1992 and later released on the Stars Kill Rock compilation.

Thursday afternoon hip hop

10 songs to get you going in the right direction ...

Thursday afternoon hip hop

1. Slim's Return - Madlib
2. Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit - Wu-Tang Clan
3. Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See - Busta Rhymes
4. Hypnotize - The Notorious B.I.G.
5. Mind Playing Tricks On Me - Geto Boys
6. Sounded Like A Rock - K.M.D.
7. Words I Manifest (Remix) - Gang Starr
8. In Da Club - 50 Cent
9. Shook Ones Pt. II - Mobb Deep
10. Ghetto Rock - Mos Def

Found sounds: Elefant/Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid

Elefant's Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid was one of my favorite releases from 2003. The NYC quartet's debut album, re-released late last year by Hollywood Records, includes a string of catchy singles that dip their toes into the pop pool and then dive in headfirst. My personal favorites include "Misfit" (with an AMAZING chorus), "Make Up," "Annie," and "Bokkie" (which Rhapsody editor Jon Pruett calls "shamelessly Interpol-esque" in his review). Hell, they're all good. Just click here to listen.

Song of the day: The Brian Jonestown Massacre/"Wisdom"

No sooner do I post about the documentary Dig! do we add the recently-released Brian Jonestown Massacre retrospective Tepid Peppermint Wonderland. The 2-disc comp provides an overview of the band's career, from their early, indulgent shoegaze tones to their dips into (and out of) alt-country territory. I recently picked up the band's shoegaze epic Methodrone, from which the song "Wisdom" is taken, and it's been a joy to discover (even if I am 9 years late to the party). Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Found sounds: The Wedding Present's Take Fountain

Absence truly makes the heart grow fonder. On Wednesday, the Wedding Present's first new album in 9 years, Take Fountain, was added to Rhapsody. And I have to say -- it's my favorite release of the year so far. The first two songs alone make the album a winner; the peppy "Always the Quiet One" is return to the Weddoes' manic, jangly roots, and on opening song "Interstate 5" (which clocks in at over 8 minutes) the band embraces its inner drone. Other winners on the first listen included "Ringway to SeaTac" and "It's for You." All in all, this is a highly recommended listen. Click here to hear the entire album.

Hype Floats....?

The volume on the hype machine really does go to 11. As we head into spring, the new release schedule is packed with albums from bands you're sure to hear more about soon. Click here to hear some recommended singles from some of the great white hypes of the moment, including Kasabian, Doves, The Bravery, Hot Hot Heat, VHS or Beta, and Kaiser Chiefs. Enjoy.

Song of the day: The Spinanes/"Kid in Candy"

The Spinanes are another great band that went unheard by far too many people. The duo --guitarist Rebecca Gates and drummer Scott Plouf, who later joined Built to Spill-- put out several excellent albums on Sub Pop in the 1990s. Over their career, the band's sound progressed from sparse & melodic punk-influenced guitar rock to lush, layered beauty (with their final album, Arches and Aisles, recorded by producer & Tortoise/Sea & Cake member John McEntire). Last night, I ran across a copy of the Spinanes' debut, Manos, in the $1 bins at Amoeba Records and picked it up; I think I'm now on my third copy. This got me on a Spinanes kick this morning in Rhapsody, the results of which (including song of the day "Kid in Candy," from the band's last album) can be heard here.

Found sounds: LCD Soundsystem

Wow. We added over 20,000 new songs to the Rhapsody library last week, including this import-only album from NY-based DJ duo LCD Soundsystem. The album was released in the UK last month. Listen to the song "Yeah" for an infectious piece of dancepunk glory.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Song of the day: The Kinks/"The Village Green Preservation Society"

I went out on Sunday night for my birthday, to a San Francisco bar called The Casanova Lounge where the DJ was spinning mod, soul and pop records, including the 1968 Kinks single "The Village Green Preservation Society." I've been obsessed with the song since then, playing it over and over again in Rhapsody and plotting a trip to the record store tonight to buy it on CD (hear that, recording industry?) since the Kinks album of the same name isn't currently available through the service.

It also got me thinking about a new playlist series -- Rhapsody snapshots -- featuring music from a specific city at a specific time -- i.e. London in 1968, New York in 1977, Seattle in 1991, San Francisco in 1966, Los Angeles in 1970, Manchester in 1992, etc. I've already started work on some of these -- any recommendations are welcome.

ps -- Rhapsody also has a killer live take, recorded for the BBC, of "The Village Green Preservation Society." Click here to check it out. Enjoy.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Song of the day: The Gerbils/"Crayon Box"

This is a lo-fi pop treat to start the week. The Gerbils are an Athens, Georgia-based combo that is part of the Elephant 6 collective that also includes the Apples in Stereo, Olivia Tremor Control, and Neutral Milk Hotel. The song "Crayon Box" is on the band's debut album, Are You Sleepy, which came out in 1998 on Hidden Agenda Records and was recently added to Rhapsody.