The Elephants: “Tart” (demo)

While I think there might be a couple other indie bands floating around with elephant themed names, The Elephants that I’ll be talking about are the ones from Lexington, KY. Jason Zavala heads up this quirky pop band, which has quickly become a staple of our musical community.

MP3: The Elephants – Tart (demo)
The Elephants are weird. Not in the Michael Jackson way, mind you. Rather, it’s weird that they don’t really have a standard sound. Every time they write a new batch of songs, they usually sound quite different from their last set. “Tart” is a little bit of some ‘classic’ indie bands all mixed together. They’ve got some build-ups and instrumental portions that remind me of an early Velvet Underground. And while you might think I’m crazy, Jason’s melody – and to a certain extent, vocals – remind me a bit of David Bowie. Hopefully the final version will be as nice as this demo’s potential indicates.

The Elephants on Myspace

BONUS MP3: Maupin and Zavala – Go ‘Way From My Window
When I spoke to Jason, he told me this would eventually turn into an Elephants song. But on the new ‘Know Your Own’ Lexington bands compliation cd (available at CD Central), it’s listed as ‘Maupin and Zavala.’ I assume Maupin is the pianist. Either way, it sounds like this song walked right out a broadway musical. The curious part is that Jason’s got some killer range. Those who’ve seen them live will no doubt remember his killer high range.

Sorry for the delayed post today. I fell asleep on the couch last night while watching my tape of Arrested Development’s finale. Repeat viewings are great! But now I’m back at UK, so I’ll be posing like a mad man again. Actually, let me correct that a bit. I’ll be posting regularly. I’ve got four exams, three papers and three concerts this week (Matt Pond PA, Sigur Ros, Carlos D/Parlour Boys). So I’ll be a little busy.

Figurines


I have the best father in the world. I called to tell him that I wasn’t going to be getting home until around midnight and asked if he could tape the two hour season (series?) finale of Arrested Development. Even though he and I are pretty bad with our VCR, sure enough, I came home to find that the entire thing had been taped and was waiting for me.

But Arrested Development wasn’t the only thing I had waiting for me at home. Apparently half the people who send me stuff are still mailing it to my home address. So I had a mound of CDs waiting for me in my room. Some were strange, others were ones I knew I’d want (the new Of Montreal EP!) and some were welcome surprises. Case in point, Skeleton by Figurines.

MP3: Figurines – The Wonder
MP3: Figurines – Rivalry
I remember doing a report on Denmark in middle school. I learned a lot of facts that stuck with me far longer than they needed to. For instance, did you know that their flag alledgedly came from Heaven? Also, there’s a nice statue of the Ariel there, since Hans Christian Anderson lived there (note: these facts might not be true – they’re off the top of my head at 2am).

So how come I didn’t find any mention of Denmark’s thriving music community in all my research? Granted, it was like six years ago, but you’d think there would be some mention. Figurines are a wonderful combination of a couple different musical styles. Vocally they’re a bit Built to Spillish; but instrumentally they remind me of Interpol, had they listened to more Wire. Their album Skeleton will debut in the US on March 7th.

The Figurines’ official site

So who watched the season/series(?) finale of Arrested Development? Unfortunately for me, it was the first I’d seen of the third season – I had to read episode reviews online. But still, I thought it was a pretty good way to end the series. Sure, some things seemed a bit rushed. For example, the whole relations thing in the last episode probably would have taken four more episodes to be completely explained. All in all, I was happy with it. In a way, I hope that that’s the end for the series. They did a great job of tying up all the loose ends, and had a season finale that was better than most others can muster. Your thoughts?

Petticoat, Petticoat: “Crosshair”

Mark this as the beginning of my attempt to focus more on Lexington bands. Petticoat, Petticoat should have been on my site long ago. They opened for Bishop Allen last November and have been carving a nice little niche for themselves in the Lexington area. Right now let’s focus on the present. Tonight they’ll be playing an acoustic set at Underlying Themes with other Lex-Vegas bigwigs. More importantly, though, they’re also opening for the 18+ Page France show at the Dame, Sunday March 5th.

MP3: Petticoat Petticoat – Crosshair
At the risk of overflattery, I really love the intro to this song. It sounds like it stumbled right out of a jangly pop hit from the 1960’s. Not only that, but it’s got a great melody sung by the group’s female member, Kristin. But as much as I love the first portion, I have mixed feelings about the refrain. I seem to alternate between loving and being bored with it I love the bit about ‘how the east was won’ but get a bit worn out with the actual ‘crosshair to your gun’ section. And now that I’m done being hard on these guys, let me say that I’m downright floored that this came from Lexington. It’s some great pop music and I can’t wait to see them perform again.

Petticoat, Petticoat on Myspace

So it looks like I’ll be attending the Sigur Ros show next Friday in Louisville. I hadn’t planned on it, but an opportunity fell into my lap and I’d be a fool to pass on it. Hopefully I’ll be able to return with a load of great photos and a halfway decent concert review. IGIF has some good photos in the mean time

Shannon posted some songs by Dirtfoot – a band who reminds her of Man Man. Frankly, that’s all the convincing I need!

The Paper Scissors: “We Don’t Walk”

What a curious little song this is. The only point of reference that I can offer you is that it sounds like Architecture in Helsinki covering LCD Soundsystem. Like I said, kinda strange.

MP3: The Paper Scissors – We Don’t Walk
The vocals on this song aren’t the best. I think they’ve got some weird post-punky reverb on it. Aside from that, this is a decent enough song. Like I said, it bears a strange resemblance to LCD Soundsystem insomuch as it’s got a nice bassline and a bunch of weird instruments randomly being hit.

The Paper Scissors on Myspace

Like I said, there will be a wonderfully large concert tomorrow in Lexington at Underlying Themes. The Elephants, Robert Schneider and Petticoat, Petticoat are all doing sets, as are a couple others. Tomorrow I’ll be posting songs by some local bands, and hope to eventually get some interviews done.

Sorry for the short post. I’ve got to get some things done before I run off to Office Space at the theater tonight!

New Features Demo: “Drawing Board”

I’ve been a fan of the Features ever since I saw them last semester at CD Central/The Dame. Their songwriting is a wonderful mix of the raw power of the blues and a poetic romanticism that I can’t ignore. Currently, these Tennesseeians (sic?) are in the studio recording on their new album and will be hitting the road soon. If you all enjoy this demo, let me know and I can rip the audio of the new songs they played last time in Lexington.

MP3: The Features – Drawing Board (demo) -LINK REMOVED-
Excuse the poor audio quality. I ripped this from their website and it sounds as though the band is in a box, underwater. But just the same, I think you’ll agree that it’s an interesting enough song to warrant listening at such a low quality. Anyway, on with the review. If you can get past the strange, almost circus-esque quality of the instrumentation then I think you’ll most likely fall for this song. It’s a fun little ride, complete with a minimal bass line and some wild, yet restrained, drumming during the chorus.

BONUS MP3: The Features – Me & The Skirts
I spent quite some time trying to decide which Features song best describes them as a band. This one does a might fine job, as it’s powerful, yet expressive. To me, that’s the Features.

The Features on Myspace
Read more about their recording process and hopefully stream more demos soon at The Features’ blog.

The Features will be playing at The Dame on March 25. As someone who saw them at their last stop at the Dame, let me tell you that you shouldn’t miss out on this one.

Just a reminder that Math and Physics Club will be playing at The Crocodile in Seattle tonight. They’re taking part in a show in which bands cover songs from the Magnetic Field’s 69 Love Songs. If anyone can get me a recording from this show, I’d love you.

Here’s a great little article on Thunderbirds are Now! in City Pulse. I completely understand where’s he’s coming from with that Weezer analogy. I would have fought for them too. But now? Good luck getting me to thumbwrestle for them (via LHB)

Is this not the coolest idea for your 100th post? A cover chain from Buddy Holly to Sufjan. Wild indeed.

David Cross on Carson Daly (YouTube)

Jens Lekman


After months of hearing blogs like Sixeyes and LHB rave about Jens Lekman, I finally got around to listening. For starters I gave his new album, Oh You’re So Silent, Jens, a couple spins at WRFL and was highly impressed. He’s got quite a few songs on there that remind me of the Magnetic Fields or the Lucksmiths.

MP3: Jens Lekman – You Are the Light (By Which I Travel Into This and That)
Aside from having a slightly overactive horn section, this song has some wonderful lyrics. Upon repeated listenings, I’m convinced that this might as well have been a rejected tune from 69 Love Songs. Jens not only gets darn close to Stephin Merritt’s unnaturally good singing ability, but his songwriting’s not too shabby either.

MP3: Jens Lekman – Black Cab
As I said in the intro, I’m convinced that this is what a Lucksmiths/Magnetic Fields union would sound like. Jens isn’t afraid to use stomping drums and light guitar at the same time, and it really pays off.

Jens Lekman on Myspace

BONUS MP3: Jens Lekman – Tram #7 to Heaven
BONUS MP3: Pants Yell! – Tram #7 to Heaven (Jens Lekman)

Haley Bonar


After seeing Andrew Bird twice in two days, my brain is kinda dead right now. In an attempt to get to be somewhat early (3:30 is early, right?), here’s some songs from Andrew’s amazing opener, Haley Bonar. She’s opened for Arcade Fire, Andrew Bird, Low and a bunch of others. If you’ve seen her, I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with me that she’s absolutely wonderful.

MP3: Haley Bonar – Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy
MP3: Haley Bonar – Am I Allowed
Pair this girl up with Immaculate Machine and the world just might end. Haley’s got a beautiful voice and a songwriting talent to match. Most of her songs are either guitar or keyboard-based, but both are particularly beautiful. Sadly, I wasn’t able to track down my two favorite tunes: “Car Wreck” and, what I believe was called “Route 16.” If someone has mp3s of these, feel free to leave a link in the comments.

Nice, thoughtful Destroyer post at Popsheep.

I saw the Parlour Boys at the Dame tonight. We talked about how the blogs have been lovin’ them. They were particularly fond of Skatterbrain Matt’s post on them.

Jackie-O M… : “Hey Mr. Sky”

So like I think I mentioned, we had a little bit of snow spat at us in Lexington about three days ago. Today’s the first day that we’ve had a good deal of sunshine, so I combed through my iTunes for a semi-appropriate song. It had to be good, but nothing that I’ll eventually use on my ‘Hello Sunshine’ mix.

MP3: Jackie-O Motherf*cker – Hey Mr. Sky
First of all, with a band name like this, I’ve got to give a shout out to my parents who read this site. What’s up mom and dad! Anyways, this song is a lot more laid-back than its name similarity to ELO’s ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ might suggest. In fact, this gets downright close to a freak-folk-noise-fest. But just the same, the chorus of drugged-out voices chanting ‘Hello, Mr. Sky’ is worth it. If you plan on taking a nap outside in the sun anytime soon, definetely bring this song with you. There are few songs better to be a cloud watching soundtrack.

Unfortunately UK is having some internet troubles. Sorry if you sent me an urgent email or are trying to contact me on AIM. On the plus side? Tonight: more Andrew Bird!

Sean has a great new post up at STG. My favorite part (though it had nothing to do with the body of the post: Last night? Clap Your Hands Say Mediocre. Could you at least have tried, fellows?

If you live in or near Lexington, here’s a good show you might be interested in: Friday Feb 10th @ Underlying Themes, The Elephants will be playing with Thee American Revolution (Robert Schneider’s other, other, other band), Petticoat, Petticoat and an assortment of other locals. I’d ordinarily be dying to go, but I’ll be back in Etown then. Poop.

Here’s a contest to win a pair of tickets to the sold out Sigur Ros show in Nashville.

Kite Flying Society

Kite Flying Society are just as fun as their name might imply. These San Diegoians (sic?) sound a bit like the Kinks mixed with the Shins, but unfortunately have yet to release a full length album. Hopefully that situation will be fixed soon, as they’re in the studio right now.

MP3: Kite Flying Society – 6000 Shipwrecks
MP3: Kite Flying Society – Love & Seagulls
The subtle use of handclaps in the chorus of ‘6000 Shipwrecks’ caps off a pretty amazing song. It feels a bit like Rogue Wave Jr at times, but I mean that in the best possible way. All in all, it this band make me wish that we hadn’t just had a minor blizzard at UK. This is spring music, people!

Another MP3 here.

Andrew Bird’s show at the Louisville Free Public Library was awesome. He played a couple new tunes, all of which I got on video, as well as some old classics. Hello as well to the three girls who go to school in Louisville and came up to say ‘hi.’

Sixeyes did a nice interview with Dan Bejar.

Two new Vines songs up at IGIF.

Clever Titles Are So Last Summer is doing a cool ‘Love Sucks’ theme. With luck I should be doing something vaguely similar around V-day.

Vinyl is So In has the video of Broken Social Scene on Conan.

So I’d never seen the video for Feist’s “Mushaboom” – it is the cutest thing ever.