Ben Folds Friday

I'm starting from the beginning. This album is truly the "Old Ben" that started the revolution. Ben's comic attitude and carelessness are evident while still holding a sense of meaning in every song. Here's a better review:

"Like the best guitar heroes, Ben Folds, pianist and leader of a guitarless trio called the Ben Folds Five, commands and fuels his small, tightly wound ensemble with an authoritative, nearly virtuosic style. Folds, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, borrows from everywhere but lends new inspiration and insight to the instrument's possibilities--he's the Jimi Hendrix of the baby grand. His frenetic keypounding eclipses old-time styles from honky-tonk to Jerry Lee Lewis rag, and he outplinks megastars such as Elton John and Billy Joel while sifting them both through the mondo hammerings of classic pop-loving alternative keyboard bashers like Todd Rundgren and Squeeze's Jools Holland. To complement Folds-the-pianist's clean and bright ivory tinkerings, Folds-the-singer's clear and dynamic tenor swirls through Folds-the-songwriter's very capably crafted, sugary pop gems. "Philosophy" starts with a rolling Joel-like intro, slips into a Rundgrenish verse and chorus--complete with the perfect Beatlesque harmonies of bassist Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jessee--and then breaks out in an overdriven piano quote from Gershwin in the climactic solo. "Underground" Sgt. Peppers us with faux theatrics and then plunges into a soul-gospel groove about the joys of the alternative rock scene. "Uncle Walter" is a character sketch Ray Davies wishes he wrote but couldn't; "Boxing" is an imagined confab between Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell that Tom Waits wishes he wrote but wouldn't. The rest of Ben Folds Five's debut achievement just does what any other timeless summer record should: it makes you feel sunny enough inside to last all through the year. --Roni Sarig"

Ben Folds Five - "Ben Folds Five"

Postal Service Music Videos

Available for download and iPod ready!
These two videos are the less popular music videos for the Postal Service. We Will Become Silhouettes was directed by the same guy who did Napoleon Dynamite, Jared Hess, and you can definitely tell by all of the things in the house.

The Postal Service - The District Sleeps Alone Tonight (Music Video)
The Postal Service - We Will Become Silhouettes (Music Video)

"Nicknamed "the gun album" (because a firearm appears on the album's cover and pops up in the lyrics of several of the songs), 2006's The Minus 5 finds Scott McCaughey indulging his passion for British Invasion-era pop stuff (not an uncommon development), with an all-semi-star collection of friends and collaborators helping to put it on tape, including Peter Buck, Jeff Tweedy, Colin Meloy, John Wesley Harding, Ken Stringfellow, Kelly Hogan, and even Morgan Fisher (yeah, the one who was in Mott the Hoople). Despite the wide range of high-priced help (collectively called The Minus 5) McCaughey's songs are the star attraction here, and as usual, the man is one of the underappreciated geniuses of pop songwriting. However, "the gun album" logs in a bit less wit and a little less playfulness than you've come to expect from the former Young Fresh Fellow; while "Aw Shit Man" is good frantic fun and "With a Gun" has a melody to die for, "Rifle Called Goodbye," "Cemetery Row," and "My Life as a Creep" graft a moody undertow to McCaughey's melodic structures, which fare well with the more downbeat tone of the lyrics, which often turn to dashed hopes and indecision. There's also a high-lonesome country accent to "Cigs Coffee Booze" and "Bought a Rope," which hardly breaks the record's mood. But if this is the relatively bummed-out Minus 5 album, it's still full of great songs played with genuine enthusiasm and imagination, and it says a lot about Scott McCaughey that even when the fates have him down, he still bubbles over with life and great music. Let that be a lesson to us all."

The Minus 5 - The Minus Five a.k.a. The Gun Album (Album)
courtesy of Una Piel de Astracan.

Hope you enjoy it, Greg.

Visit "A Sound Education"

Just a quick and special thanks to A Sound Education for linking us. Thats pretty awesome of you guys.

If you dont know about it, give the site a visit, its

The Thursday Roundup

The Thursday Roundup: Your one-stop-shop for everything I feel like linking.

HOLY SHIT, PEOPLE! There is a lot down there. A hell of a lot here. Forty Five Albums. Maybe more to come, too...

Boy Least Likely To - Best Party Ever 1, 2
Eurotrip - OST
Feist - Let It Die
Flaming Lips - Clouds Tast Metallic
Gipsy Kings - Greatest Hits
Gomez - How We Operate
Green Day - Warning
Jam, The - Snap! (3CD Special Ed.)
Morrissey - Ringleader of the Tormentos (2006)
Stars - Set Yourself on Fire 1, 2
Sufjan Stevens - Hark! Songs for Christmas Vol.1
Sufjan Stevens - Hark! Songs for Christmas Vol.2
Sufjan Stevens - Hark! Songs for Christmas Vol.3

The Roundup:
Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
Band of Horses - Funeral
Beck - Ubiquitous (Unmastered Guero)
Bright Eyes - A Christmas Album
Coldplay - X&Y
Damien - O
Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism
Eels - Live With Strings at Town Hall
Eight Mile - OST
Flaming Lips, The - At War With the Mystics
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have Had It So Much Better
Futureheads, The - The Futureheads
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc. CDS
Green Day - American Idiot
Jack Johnson - In Between Dreams
Jeff Beck - Jeff Beck
Jose Gonzalez - Veneer
Hello Sequence, The - Love & Distance
*Iron & Wine - Creek Drank the Cradle
Iron Hero - Safe As Houses
Kaiser Chiefs - Employment
Long Winters, The - Ultimatum EP
M83 - Before the Dawn Heals Us
Magic Numbers - Magic Numbers
Maroon 5 - Live AcousticMates of State - Our Constant Concern
Minus the Bear - Menos El Ojo
Mystery Jets - Making Dens
Necks, The - Aquatic
Neutral Milk Hotel - Everything Is
*Pas/Cal - Oh Honey, We're Ridiculous
Queen - Greatest Hits
Sean Paul - The Trinity
Shins, The - Chutes Too Narrow
Shins, The - Oh, Inverted World
Snow Patrol - When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up 1, 2
Spin Doctors - Pocket Full of Kryptonite
*Stars - The Comeback EP
Stephen Lynch - The Craig Machine
Strokes, The - First Impressions of Earth
Text Adventure - Fantastic Disaster
The Vines - Vision Valley
Wolf Parade - Apologies to Queen Mary
Yellowcard - Lights and Sound

*Courtesy of The Indie Connection. Password is theindieconneciton.
Other links are from Regnyouth, The Indie Surfer, Rock Hindu, Smooth Tunes, Confused Frenchman, Baby Borderline, Heart and Greyout.
Hope you all enjoy, and as always, these links have been gathered from around the net. I didn't upload any of it.


Just a quick request here, but if you have the time, leave a comment just to tell me how we're doing. We want to supply my audience with the best music possible, so if you really like something, really hate something, have a request or just wanna say something... drop a comment below a post. It would really help us understand what kind of people are reading this blog and better inform us as to what you want to hear. Thanks a lot.
-Just Pretend

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness

If you enjoy Interpol and/or Joy Division I reccommend listening to ILYBICD. Obviously the music is a little dark, but everyone needs a few songs to put on their melancholy mix CD. Pitchfork gives their new album, Fear Is on Our Side a 7.6. Here are a few tracks for your listening pleasure:

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - According To Plan
I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - At Last Is All

Song of the Day - 4/30/06

AudioInformationPhenomemon label head Marc Bianchi began the electronic-based space pop project Her Space Holiday mostly as a bedroom endeavor in 1996, after departing the hardcore scene. (He'd played in bands like Indian Summer and Calm). Releases during that formative period included the "Audio Astronomy" 12", Astronauts are Sleeping, and the Something Blue EP. Then Her Space Holiday moved to Tiger Style for the 2000 full-length Home is Where You Hang Yourself, and the well-received effort led to touring and remix offers. After a 2001 move from San Francisco to Austin, Texas Bianchi and his girlfriend/collaborator Keely issued the Manic Expressive LP, and followed that with 2003's Young Machines (Mush). The Young Machines remix project appeared soon after, with work from notables like Matmos, Super Furry Animals, and Stereolab. Her Space Holiday's Past Presents the Future LP was slated for September 2005.

Today's song features the beauty of strings. Incorporating an orchestra into new music is no easy task. It's one thing to just put strings on a track, but it is a true feat to make the track feel like it was meant to have strings. Her Space Holiday takes song of the day out of sheer beauty. If you are a fan, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you don't know the band, then you are sure to be a fan.

Her Space Holiday - Tech Romance


The world needs to see this...

Song of the Day - 4/29/06

Simplicity is key for the lo-fi blend of folk/indie rock from San Francisco duo Two Gallants. Adam Stephens (vocals/guitar/harmonica) and Tyson Vogel (drums/vocals) have been playing together as Two Gallants since 2002, sounding more like a dirty Southern folk act than their Bay Area origins may initially suggest. They released their debut, The Throes, in 2004 on Alive Records and followed up two years later with What the Toll Tells on Saddle Creek.

Song of the Day today is "All Your Faithless Loyalties," by Two Gallants. Like the description above says, simplicity is the key. The song speaks honestly and powerfully but remains subtle, doesn't sound so simple, does it? And that, my friends, is the beauty of Two Gallants.

Two Gallants - "All Your Faithless Loyalties"

The Covers Mini-Mix

One of my favorite things in the world are cover songs. I always enjoy listening to another artists interpretation of another's work. It would be like seeing how Salvador Dali would interpret Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night." The idea is just a cool concept. I've made a "mini-mix" of some of my favorite covers. Some are more rare than others, but they are all good.

Mrs. Robinson - Lemonheads (Simon & Garfunkel)
Love Song - Death Cab For Cutie (The Cure)
Ice Ice Baby - Ben Kweller (Vanilla Ice)
Hey Ya! - My Summer As A Salvation Soldier (Outkast)
The Scientist - Johnette Napolitano & Danny Lohner (Coldplay)
Maps - The Arcade Fire (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
Love Will Tear Us Apart - Jose Gonzales (Joy Division)
Ocean Breathes Salty - Sun Kil Moon (Modest Mouse)

The Covers Mini-Mix

Vashti Bunyan - "The Lookaftering" (Album)

In one of the most unlikely comebacks in rock history, Brit folk-pop singer Vashti Bunyan released her sophomore album-- 35 years after her debut. After the indifferent initial response to her 1970 LP Just Another Diamond Day, a disheartened Bunyan left the music industry. Thakfully, following the a reissue of Diamond Day and recent guest appearances with Animal Collective, Devendra Banhart, and Piano Magic, Bunyan returns with Lookaftering, and it comes as a relief to hear not only how pristine her delicate vocals remain but that she has retained her understated abilities as a songwriter. This album represents the full-fledged reawakening of a still-vital talent, ready to cast aside her decades-long artistic hibernation and re-ignite her creative fires, and a wistful, measured reflection upon the long-ago daydreams of Diamond Day. (Pitchfork)

Vashti Bunyan - "The Lookaftering" (Album)

Song of the Day - 4/28/06

This one is brought to you by Nyman...

You may have already heard of Neko Case and her new album "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood." I bring to you today an earlier song off her "Blacklisted" album called "I Wish I Was the Moon." It's a beautiful song that you want to get stuck in your head. It's a very simple song but the composition of every crescendo and the way she belts her voice makes this song a memorable one. I would like to listen to this one while driving in the summer night.

Neko Case - "I Wish I Was The Moon"

[Req] OK Go - Oh No (Album)

To be completely honest, I requested this album to someone else and then got it from another person and then the person who I originally sent the request to replied, "Yes." when I asked him if he even wanted the album... but thats pretty much the definition or "Request," right?

The anxious and modern children of indie rock and new wave, OK Go will always have something you can love. In 2002 it was a squelchy, three-minute summation of what made the Pixies great called "Get Over It." Three years later it's a savvy batch of songs that are probably too calculated for their own good -- perfectly arranged like those natty suits the quartet wears in Oh No's photos -- but too prickly with excitement to really ignore. As tense and bursting as it is hooky and efficient, "Do What You Want" sounds a lot like the Hives. But it could also be a sly and modern Escape Club. This continues with "Here It Goes Again" and "Good Idea at the Time," songs that cut too jaggedly to be opportunistic revivalism but still whir with new wave's wiggy energy. Fans of OK Go's first album will love "No Sign of Life" and the weirder "Oh Lately It's So Quiet," while "Crash the Party"'s 1000-watt tingle is more the speed of Oh No. Sometimes that speed does seem factory-set, though. "Million Ways" is where the album's calculated feel really surfaces. Its modified disco swagger and three-note guitar lead is so perfect for 21st century modern rock, so edgy and hooky all at the same time. (Keep in mind: Franz Ferdinand producer Tore Johansson also handled the boards for Oh No.) "Television, Television" too, with its trash culture referential lyrics and hyper rhythms, winks with a knowing sense. But what are you going to do? OK Go has written an album that coats its incredibly accessible nuts and bolts with an effervescent rocket sauce, and that's just the way it is. It's got that unique zing, the one that says "modern rock sensation!" on the label.

Ok Go - "Oh No" (Album)

Because I love Ok Go, here is some great Ok Go footage...

First of all... those pictures are, hands down, the best promotional pictures I have ever seen for any band EVER. I especially care for the Lebowski one... but whatever.

The name is Gnarls Barkley: Gnarls Barkley is a musical collaboration between Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo. Their first album, St. Elsewhere, is due to be released on April 24, 2006 by Warner Music. What I have for you today will make you very happy. As you may know, Danger Mouse gained fame in the past three years beginning with the famed mashup of Jay-Z & The Beatles (The Grey Album) and most recently a hugely successful collaboration with the enigmatic MF Doom on their album DangerDoom whose theme included many Adult Swim characters... brilliant. Cee-Lo, on the other hand, is famous in the rap n' r&b world for being in the Goodie Mob and teaming up with producers like Timbaland.

This album "Bnarls Garkley?" is an eight-track promo album for their upcoming release, St. Elsewhere. Most noted is the song "Crazy," and it is very good. Gnarls Barkley would not be classified in mainstream rap, however. Dangermouse and Cee-Lo have captivated an amazing, indie & electronic feel and still have not sacrificed hip-hop roots. I can't say much more about it, but if you are going to download one thing today, make this it, because it is definitely worth it. Both musically and lyrically, Gnarls Barkley will definitely be contenders for 2006's Top Albums.

Gnarls Barkley - "Bnarls Garkley? St. Elsewhere Promo" (Album)

"I paid my money..."

I guess you could call this a rare one...

"Ok. This is Ben Folds (alone), not Ben Folds Five. As many of your probably know the band has broken up. However, at least for me, I know Ben Folds will continue to make great music. I believe this to be a highly experimental album on his part, and I know it will open new doors in his own music career as well as make people think about the state of music. Most of this album is spoken word, meaning he is either talking or screaming rather than singing. Maybe you'll see how fine of a line this is after a listen. The most popular song here must be In Love, this song features William Shatner, and honestly makes me wonder why he has not ever made music on a greater level. I know that this music is easy going and fun, but it is still real music. It's not a joke, and I love that about it.Ok, so my favorites must be Fear of Pop, I Paid My Money, and In Love, but the entire album is spectacular. If you go for it, you'll need an open mind, but I think you'll get some really enjoyment out of it. Give it a shot."

Ben Folds - "Fear of Pop Vol. 1"

Final Fantasy - "The Dream of Emma and Cam"

So let's take Andrew Bird's violins and combine his vocals with Marc Bianchi of Her Space Holiday and then add a pinch of Postal Service and you have the Dream of Emma and Cam. I know what you're thinking "isn't that a Dntel song? the one that Ben Gibbard first collaborated with Dntel which then started the Postal Service?" No, it's not. It's not a cover, they just changed the name and it is its own song and it is quite good. Also, the band did get their name from the video game.

Final Fantasy - "The Dream of Emma & Cam"

The Glorious Revolution

Just Pretend has undergone a change today. After my four day hiatus I realized that something needs to be done about the music on this blog. There is so much great music out there that I know I can't do it by myself, I needed a partner... David Nyman. You may remember him from a few posts back when I had his cover of "Transatlanticism." Nyman was the greatest force in my musical life and now, with the success of the blog, he has agreed to co-blog.

While I continue with Song of the Day, Daily Featured Albums and The Roundup, Nyman will introduce his picks and new music to turn you onto more great stuff and round off your already stunning collection. Just Pretend is growing. With us and our sister site (The Poor Place) get ready, cuz life is about to get better....

Doves - The Last Broadcast (Album)

When Doves issued Lost Souls in fall 2000, Britpop was immersed in its melodic gloom-and-doom era, ushered in by the success of Radiohead. The likes of Coldplay, Travis, Elbow, and Starsailor followed in their wake, as did Doves. What separated Doves from the rest was a glint of passion, evident on their 2000 debut, Lost Souls. Two years later, the atmospheric dreamscapes of Lost Souls were torn asunder for the musical daybreak of The Last Broadcast. As it turns out, the psychedelic vibrancy of "Catch the Sun," the brightest track on the album, pointed toward this brave second record. Gone are the hazy space rock trips and the cheerless attitudes; Doves are on the sunny side of the street for The Last Broadcast. The seven-minute sonic boom of "There Goes the Fear" finds Jimi Goodwin sharing vocals with Jez and Andy Williams for a glorious chorus. Each of them switches up vocal duties throughout, lending a joyous feel to the album itself. From the bold front of "Words" to the fiery momentum of "Pounding," The Last Broadcast shows a refreshing rawness that was absent before. The High Llamas' Sean O'Hagan delivers sweeping orchestral arrangements for the sublime "Friday's Dust," while the electronic dewdrops of "The Sulphur Man" push Doves' divine ambience further to the front. Doves were caught up in making grand compositions on Lost Souls, which worked fabulously, but it was too much. They've stripped down to the basics, letting the optimism of The Last Broadcast take center stage. It's a brilliant moment. (AMG)

Doves - "The Last Broadcast"

Song of the Day - 4/27/06

Ok then! I am back, word to everyone who is comin back... ha... ha... Today's song of the day is one of the first songs that I was really turned on to by The Music Genome Project at I started "Sun Kil Moon Radio" a few days ago and this song came on about an hour into the project.
Born in the small gold rush town of Oakdale, CA & home schooled into his teens left Brett Dennen plenty of room to explore a wealth of artistic tendencies. Without a mold to conform to, or a classroom full of peers to be compared with, he developed a compelling natural voice. His instinctive ability on multiple instruments freed him to create the intricately groovin' guitar style he's fast becoming known for. That, and a charming, unpretentious nature enchants and captivates listeners whenever Brett performs.

Brett Dennen - "Desert Sunrise"

Sorry about that

Sorry to all who read this blog regularly. I wasn't able to post these past few days because... it was a rough weekend. But I'm back, although it's a midterm week, I'll try to post as much as possible.

The Thursday Roundup

Song of the Day - 4/23/06

A friend of mine (The Milkman) got me into Blink 182 a few years ago. Their last album as a band was nothing short of great rock music. After breaking up, Mark and Travis went on to form the band +44 while Tom DeLonge formed Angels and Airwaves (or AVA as they are called). Die hard fans have been patiently waiting for this to come out for months on end and just recently, AVA released their first single as an indicator of the wieght of the album that is coming soon. The song, "The Adventure" marks the beginning of something very special. If every song on the album is of this caliber, we are in for something truly epic...

Angels & Airwaves - "The Adventure"

Here's the video...

Since the release of Feel Good Lost, Toronto music collective Broken Social Scene became a bit more collective, swelling from two members to ten (plus guests). As you'd expect with such a dramatic rise in membership, there's a lot more variety this time out -- the first two tracks are a case in point, in fact: the first track is a fairly airy instrumental number with a Mark Isham-like feel, but track two slams it off the rails with a driving beat and wailing guitars. Main members Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew even sing this time around (on "Cause = Time" Drew sounds almost like J Mascis); Leslie Feist and Emily Haines take their turns on other tracks. According to one of the members of this incarnation of the group, trying to not "who did what" on this album would be almost an entire review in itself, as everyone took turns playing different instruments on different tracks and the whole thing was built from the ground up in a very collective fashion. Although listeners who found the first Broken Social Scene release a nice ambient pop treat may be put off by this one's all-over-the-map approach, it's certainly a much more accessible release overall and there's bound to be something in here that you'll enjoy.

AMG Score: 4.5/5
Pitchfork Score: 9.2/10

Broken Social Scene - "You Forgot It In People" (Album)

... and heres the crazy ass video for "Cause=Time"

Song of the Day Recap Mix

Here is a recap of the songs of the day for anyone who's just joining...
1. Nizlopi - JCB Song
2. Eels - Fresh Feeling
3. Belle & Sebastian - If She Wants Me
4. The Living Things - Bom Bom Bom
5. David Nyman - Transatlanticism
6. Matisyahu - Beatbox
7. Bishop Allen - Vain
8. Hotel Lights - You Come & I Go
9. Travis - Writing To Reach You
10. Sufjan Stevens - Lord God Bird
11. The Editors - Feel Good Inc. (Cover)
12. New Moscow - Slow Down
13. The Amalgamation of Soundz - Enchant Me

Song of the Day Recap Mix: Volume 1

Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire - "The Swimming Hour" (Album)

Listening to Swimming Hour is like taking a walking tour through 20th century musical history. Andrew Bird, a major contributor to nouveau-swing band the Squirrel Nut Zippers, mixes numerous styles and genres such as classical, Latin, and gypsy music, among others. The song "Why" feels like a jazz song from a 1950s film noir soundtrack, and "Satisfied" blends gospel with straight-ahead rock & roll. Also impressive is Bird's cover versions of the Mississippi Sheiks' "Too Long" and Nelstone's Hawaiians' "Fatal Flower Garden," a reworked rendition of an old Irish ballad. The vast array of musical styles are united by Bird's haunting vocals as well as lyrics that are both thoughtful and whimsical. While Swimming Hour is clearly an album obsessed with musical history, Bird manages to mix in enough of his own unique style to prevent the album from feeling like a musty old museum piece. The Swimming Hour is a masterpiece that only goes to show that being classically trained is not such a bad thing (all you haters) as Bird will blow you away with...

AMG Score: 4.5/5
Pitchfork Score: 9/10

Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire - "The Swimming Hour"

Song of the Day - 4/22/06

The Amalgamation of Soundz:

The Amalgamation of Soundz is a duo. The members are Mark Harbottle (working under the pseudonym of Dr Phar-C) and Jean Claude Thompson (recording as J-C). The London-based group has released two albums, The Amalgamation of Soundz and The Amalgamation of Soundz: Part II.

I have no idea who these people are... I think they're French... they make electronica... and do it well. In terms of chill zone music, it doesn't get much better than this. It's a blend of Brazillian and French world music with downtempo electronica. Let this be your song of the day.

The Amalgamation of Soundz - "Enchant Me"

Stars - "Nightsongs LP" (Album)

From AMG:

Sharing a fondness for sophisticated soul and pop artists (the Smiths, New Order, Marvin Gaye, et al.), Stars was formed by Torquil Campbell and Chris Seligman in New York. Along with friends Evan Cranley (also of Big Rude Jake) and Amy Milan (who contributed to the soundtrack for the film Drowning Mona), the band relocated to Montreal. Its debut full-length, Nightsongs, was released in early 2001, followed by an EP, The Comeback, later that year. Besides playing with Stars, Torquil has appeared in films, plays, and television (including Law & Order and Sex and the City). Seligman has performed with several orchestras, including the orchestra for the Broadway musical The Scarlet Pimpernel. Before 2002 came to an end, the band headed back into the studio to record a sophomore effort. The soft-hued Heart was released to critical accliam in the U.K. before Christmas; Heart appeared stateside on the Canadian label Arts & Crafts during summer 2003.

Stars reveal an obsession with stylish '80s rock on Nightsongs; the most obvious evidence is the band's cover of the Smiths' "This Charming Man." But that doesn't mean the Montréal group's debut sounds like it's from that decade. Drawing equally from new wave and the sophisticated electronic pop of acts such as Saint Etienne and Momus, Stars make every note painfully romantic. Even the vocals make a song about "stars on the ceiling" or words like "motherf*cking" sound innocent and respectable. Several guest musicians and vocalists contribute to Nightsongs (including labelmate Kendall Jane Meade of Mascott), resulting in a chamber pop ensemble comprised of keyboards, horns, and strings. Positively charming.

AMG Score: 3/5

Stars - "Nightsongs LP"

Song of the Day - 4/21/06

I could probably say this a million times, but Ben Gibbard is a genius. Some call him cocky and self-serving, I say that he knows his talent and he's using it. Today's song comes from an independently created mix of "B-Sides" that I got from Heart and you can grab the four track album here. The song I chose is called "This Temporary Life," and it is a solo outing for Ben, although he chose to record an array of instruments rather than his usual acoustic solos. The song continues in true Gibbard-ian style with complex lyrical structure on simple chords and music. Ben Gibbard is one of the true geniuses of our generation. Here you go!

Ben Gibbard - "This Temporary Life"

Pedro the Lion - Control

Pedro the Lion were an indie rock/slowcore band from Seattle, Washington, and, for twelve years, the main creative outlet of singer/songwriter David Bazan. Because of the biblical references in many of his songs, Pedro the Lion were seen by some to be a Christian band. Bazan and others did not consider the band to be as such.

"It would be easy to dismiss Control as a pompous, self-important failure were Bazan a vain and sanctimonious artist. But he's not-- he seems like a soft-spoken, thoughtful, nice-enough guy just like you and me. And while he may never make his own OK Computer or Soft Bulletin or whatever he set out to make with Control, I won't dock him points for trying."

I chose to feature this album for songs like "Penetration" or "Second Best" which show Bazan's amazing ability to make hooks and the most general subjects seem intimate. Truly a great album.

Pedro the Lion - "Control"

Here's David Bazan making alcoholic beverages...

Song of the Day - 4/20/06

new moscow is the solo project from division of laura lee guitarist david fransson.

"last summer i decided to make this happen. rented a room in my hometown trollhättan. borrowed a bunch of equipment and on my own i started to write and record. six months later i wrapped up and moved out. in my hand i had this album that i call verse chorus worse. it's yet to be released, but look for it early summer '06. in the meantime i'm working on this acoustic album. you can listen to 2 songs from each one of them here. enjoy." (New Moscow on MySpace)

New Moscow - "Slow Down"

My roommate at Precious Roy Studios made this video and now it's being featured on YouTube. I sang the chorus and mixed the song. These guys rock... love them

Song of the Day - 4/17/06

I was flipping through my school's student events calendar the other day when I found out that Ben Lee would be playing a free concert only blocks away from where I'm living. Now, I didn't really know much about the guy, I have his new album, but I thought that I would just go and see how it would be. Thank God I went.

Ben Lee put on one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen. Only about a hundred attended this acoustic set, but every single person left as a fan. Lee's complete honesty and staunch literalism give him a sound and style that keeps both a pop and indie feel. If you want to feel good... look no further than Ben Lee.

Choosing one good Ben Lee song is tough, but I'm just gonna pick one.

Ben Lee - "Into the Dark"



If you could make four road trips this summer, where would they be?
Break out that savings account and let yourself go, old girl!

Check out these lineups and cry about the fact that you can't go. lol, jk.

April 29 - 30: Coachella

June 16 - 18: Bonnaroo

June 29 - July 9: Summerfest

August 4 - 6: Lollapalooza

That's everyone short of Jesus Christ... oh wait, Kanye's gonna be there... sike!

Song of the Day - 4/16/06

The Editors - "Feel Good Inc. (Cover)" Just Right Click & Save As...

Like others do say, the editors are not the most genius or refined band out there, but an acoustic cover of an already great song is just what I need today, I hope that this is on repeat for you just like it is for me.

The Rounds: ALBUMS (March 16, 2006)

*NEW* Fiery Furnaces - "Bitter Tea" (ALBUM)

I alway's like to post new stuff and keep people on the cutting-edge, so, even before I listen to it, the new Fiery Furnaces album entitled, "Bitter Tea." Enjoy... I'll have a review up later.

All I really know about this is that they were signed to Fat Possum for this last one and it's said to be a little different.

The Fiery Furnaces - "Bitter Tea"

(Thanks to My Old Kentucky Blog and Baby Borderline for this.)

Sufjan Stevens - "The Lord God Bird"

I recently saw Sufjan Stevens play a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall, where he played a unreleased track that he wrote last year about a small town in Arkansass:

" Singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens has a lofty goal: exploring each of the 50 states in song. He's already released a critically acclaimed full-length CD simply called Michigan. His latest honors the people, places and history of Illinois.

Independent radio producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister were curious about how Stevens writes his songs, which, much like their own work, are filled with stories of places and people. So, they introduced Stevens to the Arkansas town of Brinkley.

Brinkley is a small farming town not far from where the ivory-billed woodpecker recently was rediscovered. News that the bird is not extinct has brought a ray of hope to the residents of Brinkley.

Producers Collison and Meister spoke with people in the town, then shared the interviews with Stevens. He wrote a song about the ivory-bill, known as the "lord god" or "great god" bird because of its breathtaking appearance. Together, they offer a portrait of Brinkley in word and song.

Sufjan Stevens - "The Lord God Bird" (Just Right-Click & Save As)

Travis - "The Man Who"

Along with Cast, Ocean Colour Scene, Kula Shaker, and Embrace, Travis was one of the most prominent British trad rock bands in the mid- to late- '90s. Following Oasis' lead of crafting down-to-earth, heartfelt songs in the vein of classic British bands from the '60s, Travis was more successful and enduring than some of their peers due to their lively, impassioned songwriting and performances. (AMG)

Travis - "The Man Who"

On The Man Who, power comes from restraint and space. There are enough subtle flourishes buried beneath the pillowy snow to reward repeated listens-- the chimes and ominous keyboard under "As You Are," the wind in "Slide Show," and the sitar strums on the dramatic chorus to "The Last Laugh of the Laughter." The hidden track even rewards those who need to rock with bellowing choruses, gong guitars, and unnerving cymbal ticks. (Pitchfork)

Pitchfork gives it a 7.8

AMG Bio (Score 4 of 5)


I can't even speak... but I can say this is one of the most amazing commercials I've seen... enjoy.

Here is another amazing ad by Honda.

and another...

Matisyahu On Jimmy Kimmel

Need i say anymore? No. Now is not a time for words... just listen and watch.

VIDEO LINK TO Matisyahu - "Jimmy Kimmel Show" (Google Video)

Hotel Lights

Centered around the songs of former Ben Folds Five drummer Darren Jessee, the mellow, indie-pop quartet Hotel Lights also features multi-instrumentalist Chris Badger, bassist Roger Gupton, and drummer Mark Price. Guitarist, pianist, vocalist Jessee formed Hotel Lights after the Ben Folds Five disbanded in 2000. Recorded over a two-week period spent in Virginia, the band's debut eponymous album was released on Bar/None records in 2006. (from AMG)

These guys are gonna be big pretty soon, so... you heard it here people.

The album I have is DRM protected (iTunes) but "The Hotel Lights Sampler" has three songs from their self-titled album, "Hotel Lights"

1. You Come and I Go
2. I Am a Train
3. Small Town Sh*t

Hotel Lights - "Hotel Lights Sampler"

The Serious Problem

I knew it would be a bad idea when i started, but i did it anyway... and i still think Ben Folds is the greatest man alive... but i'm a bit concerned with the life of this site at this point. I honestly want you to take the disclaimer seriously, though. I'm going to pull these posts out very soon i think. But everyone should listen to Ben Folds. Thats really all I wanted to do here. I own the stuff, so theres no other reason I would want to put this online other than to get people into the music.

and because it seems to be cute... Love Ben Folds, he is the greatest person alive.

but i'll keep the rare mixes and truth and rumors up.

Ben Folds

The following posts contain most of the Ben Folds I have ever heard and felt worthy of being distributed. BUT REMEMBER: If you want to keep these tracks, you have to buy the albums (unless they were unreleased, i guess...) just out of respect for the great musicians mentioned here. Ben Folds is a god... 'nuff said. Enjoy it people, you deserve it.

ALSO REMEMBER, in order to keep this stuff up, it has to be downloaded at least once every 30 days (for rapidshare links and megaupload links) so help me out, i would hate to have to download these over and over every month.

Love Ben, he is the greatest person alive.

(also, i'll put up all the Ben Folds videos too if i get enough attention here. PEACE)
Heres a list for anyone who wants them from me, just IM me or say something on the .ORG.
1. Letterman 6-23
2. Austin City Limits
3. Bass Rock Out in Milwaukee [Courtesy of Natiest]
4. Bastard Video
5. The Hannon Show
6. MTV About The Bens
7. MTV Movie Awards (Ben Wrote It)
8. Rock This Bitch #75
9. Songs For Silverman Interview
10. Space Ghost Cameo
11. Summerstage DVD (AWESOME)
12. Wrecking an Old Piano Story
13. VH1 Before They Were Stars (BF5)
14. Potty Mouth Video (BF5)
15. Love Monkey Cameo

Ben Folds LIVE: B-Sides, Singles and Rarities

Here's just a few tracks I grabbed that were performed live and I thought that they are pretty awesome, so I made a Rare Live Mix. Here it is...

1. Smoke (WASO Version)
2. Pirate Joke Song
3. Tony Bago (Boston 11.4)
4. Dicking Around (Boston 11.4)
5. New York Times Song (Boston 11.4)
6. More Dicking Around (Boston 11.4)
7. Roll Out The Barrel and Hardees (Foellinger/UOI)
8. Bass for Rent A Cop (Foellinger/UOI)
9. The Turtle's Song (Madison 3.11)
10. Gracie Rock Version (Warwick)
11. Jesusland Radio Version (Melbourne)
12. Show Us Your Satan (Manchester)
13. Popcorn (Warwick)

Ben Folds - "Live: Rarities"

Ben Folds STUDIO: B-Sides, Singles and Rarities

These songs were either cut from albums, released as singles or just happened to be floating around somewhere. These are all studio or professional recordings, I'll put out a live compilation in a few minutes.

1. Bitches Ain't Shit
2. Eddie Walker (live single)
3. Red Is Blue (Hoodwinked OST)
4. Golden Slumbers (I Am Sam OST)
5. Leather Jacket
6. Hiro Song
7. One Down (acoustic)
8. The Secret Life of Morgan Davis
9. Make Me Mommy
10. Girl
11. Landed (Strings Version)
12. Doctor My Eyes (Banger Sisters OST)
13. Careless Whisper
14. All Shook Up

Ben Folds - "Studio: B-sides, Singles and Rarities"

EP's Galore!

I'll keep it short. All I have to say is that these four ep's mark the slow transformation into what people call "new folds." (feel free to argue with me) While we stil have Folds' trademark humor, we begin to become more political and heavy with some songs. On the whole, I call the "EP Trilogy + The Bens" one of my favorite Ben releases ever. The whole range is here people... enjoy it. AMG Gave the EP's all 3.5's and the Bens EP a 3.

Ben Folds - "Sunny 16 EP"
Ben Folds - "Super D EP"
Ben Folds - "Speed Graphic EP"
Ben Folds, Ben Kweller & Ben Lee - "The Bens"

Ben Folds Five B-Sides and Rarities

Here's some BF5 odds and ends, I'm missing a bunch, but this is a good roundup before I get into Ben Folds new stuff...

Ben Folds Five - "B-Sides and Rarities"

1. Air
2. Prince Charming (live)
3. Tell Me What I Did (live)
4. Amelia Bright (live)
5. Barrytown
6. Champagne Supernova (live)
7. Jackson Cannery (Best Version/Ziggy's Version)
8. Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head
9. Lonely Christmas Eve
10. Hava Nagila
11. Honey Don't
12. Freebird

Truth and Rumors

This is just a little treat for hardcore fans. It goes in companion with The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner. It's a Q & A session with the former band... if you like Ben a lot... it's worth adding to your collection.

Ben Folds Five - "Truth & Rumors with Ben Folds Five"

Sorry I was gone for a few days, I spent the weekend in Madison seeing Ben Folds. Needless to say, it was AMAZING. I'm not going to do another review, but here's the setlist:
1. Missing the War
2. Gone
3. Bastard
4. Jesusland
5. All U Can Eat
6. Zak and Sara
7. Still Fighting It
8. The Turtle's song from "Over the Hedge", It sounded pretty good. I took an audio clip with my cell, but that didn't turn out so well.
9. Trusted
10. You to Thank
11. Annie Waits
12. Landed
13. Losing Lisa
14. Bitches Ain't Shit
15. Don't Change Your Plans
16. One Down
17. Gracie
18. Evaporated
19. Army
20. Ascent of Stan
21. Give Judy My Notice
22. Narcolepsy
23. Late
24. Philosophy
25. Underground
26. Rockin' the Suburbs, including a bass preformance on Ben's part..
27. One Angry Dwarf

Brilliant... theres no way i can upload all of this, but I'm gonna put a ben album up every day this week, so by the end you will have em all by next. enjoy!

"We'll wander off a wasted night..."

Indie rock in all of its glory... BISHOP ALLEN!
I'm in a rush, so I'll leave you with this track.
Bishop Allen - "Vain"
Bishop Allen - "Corazon"
Bishop Allen - "Things Are What You Make Of Them"
Bishop Allen - "Eve of Destruction"

Youtube FUN!

This is so ridiculous...


Name all the ridiculous things about this...

Most ridiculous band ever (taken from Are You Afraid of the Dark?)...



Countinuing the theme of Ridiculous...

The Rounds

We're gonna wake this city tonight...

These guys have a chill, carefree attitude that makes it the song of the day. The bass and the drums are perfect and the lyrics just kill.
We're gonna wake this city tonight
Oh, watch it burn into the twilight
I said hey, hey, hey this is our birthright
To be bought and sold, shipped off ready to die. We're ready to fight

Taken from Wiki:

Living Things are an American rock band based in St. Louis, Missouri. Their lineup includes three brothers: drummer Bosh Berlin, bassist Eve Berlin, singer/guitarist Lillian Berlin, and a fourth member, guitarist Corey Becker.

In 2005, they released the album Ahead of the Lions on Jive Records. The first single, Bom Bom Bom was used in advertising for iTunes which helped the song's success.

Living Things - "Bom Bom Bom"

The Human Beatboxen

I am feelin good. Beatbozxen on tha radioz. Listen Matisyahu or Rahzel plus compare!

Covering Gibbard

The genius that is Ben Gibbard has no end. Whether you're listening to All-Time Quarterback, Death Cab For Cutie, The Postal Service or any of his solo ventures, you are sure to be stunned and pleased; and his genius does not go unnoticed either. Today I'm throwing out three songs written by Ben Gibbard and then three excellent covers. Enjoy!

First is an unlikely cover from The Shins. Released on the Such Great Heights single, "We Will Become Silhouettes," The Shins put an amazing spin on an already great song. Listen for the blues riff in the bridge, it's sick...
The Postal Service - "We Will Become Silhouettes"
The Shins - "We Will Become Silhouettes"

Next up is a song from their last album, Plans, called "Soul Meets Body." Someone brought this to my attention from a girl from Waukesha, Wisconsin. She covers Ben Gibbard so beautifully, sometimes I prefer this one to the original.
Death Cab For Cutie - "Soul Meets Body"
Rose Polenzani - "Soul Meets Body"

Last, but definitely not least, is one of my favorite covers of all, and it's from my good friend David Nyman. He sent me this cover of Transatlanticism at about four in the morning and, even when sleep-deprived, Nyman made this song his own. Brilliant.
Death Cab For Cutie - "Transatlanticism"
David Nyman - "Transatlanticism"

***Also: Here is a video of David Nyman getting hit in the balls

"I’d rather hang around with my best friend if she wants me..."

Belle & Sebastian are amazing... that said, today's song is "If She Wants Me" by those British indie rockers. From their critically acclaimed and most popular album Dear Catastrophe Waitress, "If She Wants Me" fits the signature profile of Belle & Sebastian's feel-good style. With classic, sunshine pop melodies with intricate and passionate lyrics, this song made it onto the blog as it was brought up by a good friend of mind who found the subject matter pretty befitting of his own life. I took a closer inspection and it made me realize why Belle & Sebasitan are one of the best bands of the generation. Their ability to transgress their own genre while constantly reshaping is an ability that seldom bands possess, and B&S have it... be sure to come back later, when i get to school, i will definitely put up more of their albums (Baby Borderline has the new one[Scroll Down] and a live one up now). But for now:
Belle & Sebastian - "If She Wants Me"

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