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February 19, 2010

"Excuses" - The Morning Benders

via SF Weekly

I had a hard time falling asleep last night, because the first three tracks of the Morning Benders' forthcoming full-length Big Echo kept on playing in my head. I'm taking this as a sign that I need to blog. I think the first time that I've ever heard the Morning Benders was when Musical Pairings wrote about them and speculated that their sophomore album would be very good. But, I'm going to have to credit my roommate for putting the Morning Benders back on my radar. And also this video by Yours Truly.

Although the older stuff hasn't really spoken to me, I can't stop listening to Big Echo, especially "Excuses." "Excuses" has been all up in my Google Reader this week, and it rightfully deserves to be heard by as many people as humanly possible. There are so many things that I love about this song. The big, full sound of the backing instruments and the beautiful string arrangements could make anyone swoon. If I were to pinpoint the dealmaker component, I would have to say that it's Christopher Chu's unforgettable voice, which is surprisingly very versatile on Big Echo.

If you listen to Big Echo, it won't surprise you that Chris Taylor had a hand in the production of the album (and it also explains why the Morning Benders played at Class Actress' record release show). I currently like more than half the album (not a bad rate), and we'll see if the rest of it will grow on me. Until then, let's hope I don't continue to have trouble falling asleep.

Excuses - The Morning Benders

Promises - The Morning Benders


February 4, 2010

"Nectarine" - Twin Sister

via BrooklynVegan

Let's play some more catch up. Twin Sister seems to be the buzz these days, and I am also buying in. I've been desperately trying to see this band live, but, so far, attending a show has not been in the cards for me. Still, I've figured that I might as well put up a short post on "Nectarine," my current favorite song.

Simply devastating, "Nectarine" is a song that I can't get out of my head. I have a weak heart for finger-picked melodies, but my favorite moment in "Nectarine" is when all the other instruments finally join the guitar and vocals. It's such a beautiful musical bloom, and it gets to me every single time. If you look around Twin Sister's extremely user-friendly site, you'll find a ton of free mp3s available for download. As I started to go through them, I found that Twin Sister's music really ranged in genre and sounds. I'm very curious to see and hear their live show, especially if it's any indication of what is to come from the band. According to Bill Pearis, Twin Sister's current live sound combines "'80s-back-to-jazz (Sade, Style Council) with more drony/Krautrock type stuff (Notwist, Stereolab)." Even if the rest of Twin Sister's music doesn't sound like "Nectarine," I feel like I need to see the band who is responsible for that piece of musical bliss.

Twin Sister plays The Studio at Webster Hall tonight. I'm going to try my hardest to make their show on Saturday at The Tank.

Twin Sister's forthcoming Color Your Life EP will be released by Infinite Best Recordings. I can't wait to hear more. In the meantime, you can grab Vampires with Dreaming Kids here.

Nectarine - Twin Sister

I Want a House - Twin Sister


February 1, 2010

"Whaddya Wanna Know" - Cloud Nothings

via BrooklynVegan

Another album that's been getting me through this cold winter is Cloud Nothings' Turning On. I really have Tom of The Great Pumpkin to thank for this one. I was planning on seeing Real Estate and Woods at Market Hotel back on December 4th, and he strongly suggested that I make it to the venue in time to check out Cloud Nothings. As hard as I try to break bad habits, I'm known to operate on AST at times. When I arrived at Market Hotel, Cloud Nothings was onstage and the venue was already nearly packed to capacity. Apparently, I was not the only one who was curious about Cloud Nothings.

On the rise, the Cleveland-based band is a project of 18-year-old Dylan Baldi, with some additional help for live shows. According to Todd P, that Market Hotel performance was their first show ever. If that truly were the case, Cloud Nothings put on a phenomenal first show (and maybe they'd been rehearsing for days on end). Recently, I feel like some of the new bands that I've been seeing have fallen in one of following categories: bands who can actually play instruments, bands who cannot play instruments well, and bands who choose laptops over instruments. Cloud Nothings belong in the first category, and they put on a solid performance. Good song writing and good musicianship never fail to impress me.

I've shared "Whaddya Wanna Know" below. It's one of the very catchy songs off Turning On, and I often find myself singing it in public...by accident. My current favorite Cloud Nothings tune is "Crying Underwater," which you can grab from The Great Pumpkin. You should definitely see Cloud Nothings if they hit your area. This is a band whose recorded music didn't immediately click for me, but the live performance completely won me over. I tried to see them again a couple weeks ago at a show presented by Chocolate Bobka and Group Tightener, but I was too sick to make it. They will be back in Brooklyn on March 6th.

Buy Turning On on cassette or CD at Bridgetown Records. As of this moment, there are only 5 CDs and 7 cassettes left! Cloud Nothings has a bunch of planned upcoming releases, so definitely be on the lookout for those.

Whaddya Wanna Know - Cloud Nothings


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