James Mercer live at the Knitting Factory

Here’s an awesome little concert. James is in top form and his “duet” with Sam Beam of Iron and Wine is a classic. It can be found on the single for So Says I, if you’re interested. I’ve got more James Mercer shows that might interest you; but for now you should probably just go here and check out what Nell has. Anyways, download this one while you have the chance.

James Mercer @ The Knitting Factory
01 Caring is Creepy
02 Weird Divide
03 When I Goosestep
04 Known Your Onion
05 Sphagnum Esplanade
06 Bold City Girls
07 One By One All Day
08 New Slang (with Sam Beam)
09 Fighting in a Sack
10 Girl Inform Me

Choices for next time:
-Talking Heads – live CBGB’s June 1975
-Bright Eyes live 1-29-05
-Destroyer and Frog Eyes on CBC Radio 3 (my personal suggestion)

Prefix Magazine

Prefix Mag has videos of LCD Soundsystem’s performance on Letterman and New Order covering Love Will Tear Us Apart on Kimmel. These are worth looking at if for nothing other than the cowbell solo in Daft Punk…

You have to stream the videos, but if you’re smart you can figure out how to download them as well. I won’t directly link due to bandwidth issues, but if you can’t figure it out, catch me on AIM or leave a comment.

The Beat Has Gone Beaten Me Up

>>MTV reports that The Shins are going back into the studio. New record due out in six months?

>>The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy opens today. Celebrate with this totally unrelated (but good) song!

MP3: Speechwriters LLC – Hitchhiker’s Guide

>>Funny Ha Ha has opened to a great review by The NY Times (if you aren’t a member, click here). For info on how you can see it and attend a free concert by Bishop Allen in either New York or Boston, go here.

>>LHB has links to interviews with James Mercer, Chris Walla and others.

>>I’ll be seeing Animal Collective, Ariel Pink and Big Fresh at Arts Place in Lexington tomorrow. It’s only $5 and open to the public, so check it out if you’re in the area. Is it wrong that I really look forward to meeting a guy named “Panda Bear?”

>>All the Young Mod Soldiers has an interview with Decemberists artist, Carson Ellis. Don’t forget that I did one not too long ago as well.

>>I try to stay away from the “pop culture,” but I find this hilarious. (thanks and happy birthday, Stereogum!)

A New New Pornographers Song

Yeah, good luck figuring out a better title than that header. Anyways, you should know by now that The New Pornographers have got an album hitting stores very soon. In case you aren’t familiar with TNP, they’re a Canadian band (aren’t they all, these days?) comprised of such YANP-favorites as A.C. Newman, Neko Case, and Destroyer. Their unique name came from an article which called music “the new pornography.” They’re amazingly fun, and kinda like The Dandy Warhols but without the attitude. But for those of you who are familiar with their great rock stylings will no doubt be excited to know that Matador Records has put up a sample mp3. It’s the title track for the new album, Twin Cinema, which will be out August 23.

The New Pornographers – Twin Cinema

Ben Gibbard – 07-13-2002

I’m a little confused by this one, I won’t lie. I think this might actually be two concerts squished together. However, I’m presenting it to you as I received it. Best of luck sorting everything out. Also, may I add that if you’re looking for some awesome bootlegs and good discussion, head over to The Secret Unicorns Forum. They’re smart folks who know their stuff, and if you log in, there’s a section where people upload bootlegs by request. It’s a really great forum.

Ben Gibbard – 07-13-2002
01 – Intro
02 – Photobooth
03 – Debate Exposes Doubt
04 – The Sadest Story Ever Told (Magnetic Fields cover)
05 – You Remind Me of Home
06 – I Was a Kaleidoscope
07 – Title Track
08 – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (cover)
09 – New Song
10 – A Movie Script Ending
11 – St. Swithen’s Day
12 – Dinner at Eight in the Suburbs
13 – Sockhop
14 – Thriller (Jackson cover)

Choices for next time:
-James Mercer Live @ The Knitting Factory 2/07/03 (Sam Beam guest appearance)
-James Mercer Live 1/7/04 (lots of covers)
-David Byrne – Fillmore Audiorium 05 12 01

Architecture in Helsinki – In Case We Die

Architecture in Helsinki
In Case We Die

This Australian group seems dead set on capturing within their songs the essense of an innocent childhood. Each song seems to build upon the beauty of purity, right up until the final track. To get a feel for what Architecture in Helsinki sounds like, imagine if Arcade Fire and The Unicorns teamed up to write songs for children. Their unique take on music incorporates a wide variety of instruments and some inventive songwriting. The fact that each song has its own indivudual sound was a very pleasant surprise to me. Too often I’ll listen to a band that sounds like they wrote one or two good songs and then tried to copy off of themselves.

As far as picking singles goes, the fine folks at Bar/None really had their work cut out for them. I can’t imagine trying to select one song off this album to act as an example for the whole thing. On the whole, I think that their pick of Do the Whirlwind was a pretty good choice. It’s definetely one of the strongest tracks on the album and is very upbeat and dance-inducing. Another gem is the all-to-short beauty that is The Cemetery. It feels like they crammed three amazing songs within this classic that clocks in at barely over two minutes.

What impressed me the most about In Case We Die was its cohesive nature. It felt more like an indivisible creation than just a collection of songs put onto a CD. You can tell that this album wasn’t hastily recorded or ill-planned. Rather, the effort of the band is evident upon first listen. This album almost seems like a gift from Architecture in Helsinki to the listener. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I owe them a thank you and a big hug.

Buy It!

Now, I know that this is usually where I put up some MP3s of the band so that you can sample ’em and get a feel for how they sound. But this time around I couldn’t find any available for download. So you should go to their website and stream tracks from the new album. If that doesn’t do it for you, go here to download their first album. It was once hosted on their site, so I don’t see any harm linking to it.

The Motel Beds’ Full EP Available For Download!

Dayton natives and YANP darlings, The Motel Beds, have decided to put their entire “Hasta MaƱana” EP online for your downloading pleasure. I know that I just made a post about these guys, but this is some awesome news. HM is probably the best album that I’ve been sent as part of this nerdy blog. I mean, the entire EP is in my iPod playlist. So your homework today is to download this EP then report back here and tell me what you thought of it. I’ll pass along your comments to the guys (assuming that they don’t come here to check out what you had to say). What are you waiting for? Get to downloading!

If you need a little sample to convince you of their goodness, try one of my favorite tracks:
Talkin’ Sh*t