Monday, November 24, 2008


Britney Spears - Circus

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Dream Baby Dream

In 2005 Bruce Springsteen closed every concert on his solo tour with this incredible cover of a no-wave classic.

Download mp3

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Song of the day: East River Pipe/"Drug Life"

East River Pipe is a one-man dream pop machine fronted by one FM Cornog, a man whose backstory would make him a shoe-in for an Oscar if he were an actor instead of a man with a guitar, an 8-track recorder, and a sad voice that breaks your heart again and again.

In the early 1990s, Cornog was a homeless alcoholic who was taken in by a friend who helped him record the songs that comprised his debut album, Shining Hours in a Can. That album is full of wistful, pained but beautiful songs, especially the first song, "Make a Deal with the City," which is in my personal list of the top 20 songs of all time.

Cornog's initial singles under the East River Pipe moniker were released on much-loved UK indie label Sarah Records, then compiled and released domestically on NYC label Ajax Recordings. Cornog's later works were released on Merge Records, which in the late 1990s also reissued his first two albums.

While last fall's addition of the Merge catalogue was a godsend for Rhapsody subscribers, it didn't include Shining Hours or the follow-up, Poor Fricky (though I hear more Merge back catalogue releases are coming soon). Still, all is not lost -- we did get Cornog's latest East River Pipe album, What Are You On? While I can't recommend the whole album (file under "faded glory"), I do suggest you check out the song "Drug Life."

Song of the day

"Drug Life" - East River Pipe:

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Song of the day: Voxtrot/"Wrecking Force"

In yesterday's post, I mentioned the band Voxtrot, an Austin, Texas-based combo who are garnering some serious buzz (bordering on hype) in indie circles.

I had the good fortune to catch them live just before SXSW this year on the tiny backroom stage of a bar in San Francisco, and they blew me away. I've described them to friends as the bastard children of Spoon and Belle and Sebastian -- less fey, more rock, if that means anything to you.

Anyway, we have the band's first EP, Raised By Wolves, available in Rhapsody, and if you do one thing for yourself this week, listening to it all the way through should be one of the contenders. Click here to check out the song "Wrecking Force" -- the payoff at 3:35 into the song gives me chills every time I listen, even after repeated plays. I've listened 3x writing this post (!)

Enjoy the music.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Imaad Wasif - Imaad Wasif

Play It! Former lowercase, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, alaska!, The New Folk Implosion member, Imaad Wasif, has released his first solo effort on the Kill Rock Stars label. It's quickly become one of my favorite releases of the year. I was not familiar with Imaad, so this album was truly mana from heaven. Solid songwriting collides with sparse yet creative production, and it's all sprinkled with flavors of Echo & The Bunnymen, Robyn Hitchcock, Red House Painters and even some Jim Morrison psychedelia. Highly recommended. (Via: Rhapsody Radish)

Song of the day: Kiss Me Deadly/"Dance 1"

I saw this Canadian quartet at the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco just prior to SXSW. They were opening up for the band Voxtrot, and their live show blew me away -- so much so that I dragged my friends to see them again in Austin.

Kiss Me Deadly makes dreamy rock with breathy female vocals. We have their entire Misty Medley album in Rhapsody, and it's pretty good through and through; you should check out the songs "Dance 1," "Dance 2" or "Dance 4" for a taste.

If you absolutely can't live for another minute without their music on your iPod, you can also download songs for free via the web site of their label, Alien8 Recordings -- check it here ( and here (

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Song of the day: Headlights/"It Isn't Easy to Live That Well"

Headlights are a 5-piece indie pop band who I first ran across while researching shows to see at this year's SXSW music festival. They're from Champaign, Illinois, and in late 2004 released a limited-edition, mailorder-only EP (dubbed "The Enemies EP") that flew right under my radar.

Polyvinyl re-issued that EP late last year, and I'm glad to have discovered it, albeit belatedly. PopMatters says Headlights' sound falls "somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and Rainer Maria," two of my favorite bands. So what's not to like?

Live, they were fun to watch and to hear, especially the songs "It Isn't Easy to Live That Well" and "Tokyo" (both on the Enemies EP, which is available in Rhapsody. If you like what you hear, you can also download the song "Tokyo" via the Polyvinyl web site.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Song of the day: Bossanova/"Calvary"

Hey there, stranger. I've been more than a little slack about posting to the Rockschool recently. But after getting some tough love/encouragement/ inspiration from Robert over at Rhapsody Radish while driving around a very rainy San Francisco the week before last, I'm back.

Since my last post, Rhapsody's library has grown by more than 300,000 songs -- that's a lot of music to pore over, panning for audio gold. So, where to begin?

Well, you could start by clicking here to check out the song "Calvary" by Canadian noisepoppers Bossanova. Washington, DC's Teenbeat Records, which released the band's debut full-length, Hey, Sugar, this week, describes Bossanova thusly: "New Order plays 'Telstar'. Ian Curtis Sings Disco. The Feminine Complex Gets Masculine. Feat. members of New Pornographers and Black Mountain."

I describe it thusly: good stuff. Enjoy the music.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Song of the day: French Kicks/"Crying Just for Show"

Despite their name, the band French Kicks aren't from Paris or into karate. They do make some good music, though, and one of my personal favorites is the song "Crying Just for Show." The song, off of their 2002 album One Time Bells, was one of my big Rhapsody finds of 2003, making it onto many a mix that summer. I noticed that we added some of the band's newer material to Rhapsody recently, but kept going back to this. Good stuff.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Song of the day: Stars/"The Comeback"

Canadian pop group Stars are one of my favorite discoveries of the past few years. Their album, Heart, and single "Elevator Love Song," blew my mind when I first heard them, and last year's album Set Yourself on Fire was my personal pick for album of the year.

Unfortunately, those albums aren't yet available in Rhapsody; folks here are still working to get the Arts & Crafts label (whose catalogue also includes excellent albums from Broken Social Scene and American Analog Set) on-board.

That said, with the addition last fall of the Le Grand Magistery back catalogue, you *can* hear Stars' earlier works through Rhapsody. I bought the band's first album when it came out, after my friend Hill put the band's mellow cover of The Smiths' "This Charming Man" on a mix. But until recently I hadn't heard their EPs, one of which, The Comeback, has been making me very happy of late.

Click here to see why.

After a very, very busy year in 2005, during which I took more than 45 trips, I can't think of a more appropriate song than "The Comeback." Enjoy the music!

Issues viewing Rhapsody Rockschool in IE

I'm not sure what's going on, but for some reason some people (myself included) reading the blog using Internet Explorer are seeing the text displayed way down at the bottom of the blog. People using the Mozilla Firefox browser can see things just fine.

I haven't changed the formatting for the blog at all, and it was working fine for months, so I'm scratching my head on how to fix it. Anyone with ideas on how to fix this, please add a comment here or drop me a note at mgrooves[at]gmailDOTcom. Your help is appreciated. :)

Sunday, January 15, 2006