Commodities of the Abstract Sort

a hopefully-less-pretentious-than-other-pretentious-music-blogs music blog

Winterpills Tuesday February 27, 2007

Filed under: misc. good non-local music — Kayla @ 7:15 pm

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The Winterpills are a relatively new group (formed in 2004) out of Massachusetts. I hear so many other bands in their music, from Coldplay-esque guitar solos, to one song (“Eclipse”) that sounds a bit like Radiohead, to New Pornographers style overlapped male and female vocals, this band has a lot going on. Most of the songs on their second album, The Light Divides, open with acoustic guitar and crescendo into a electric guitars, drums, and both male and female vocals. This is another band that drew me in with simple yet beautiful album artwork. The Light Divides officially comes out today and you can stream it on their promoter’s website. Or you can check out these two tracks:

 

[mp3] Winterpills-Handkerchiefs

[mp3] Winterpills-Broken Arm

 

Official Website | Myspace | Buy The Light Divides

 

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Podington Bear Sunday February 25, 2007

Filed under: local-ish — Kayla @ 5:30 pm

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Podington Bear is an anonymous Portland artist who is putting out a new instrumental electronic song by podcast every Monday Wednesday and Friday of 2007. I’m usually not a fan of instrumental music, especially of the electronic variety, but I enjoy the vast majority of Podington’s stuff because he/she doesn’t try so hard to have every possible sound effect in every single song. I really admire someone who has the dedication to turn out consistently good music three times a week for an entire year. Recently on his/her blog Podington laid out a plan to save the slowly dying music industry through a system of patronage wherein an album would be released song by song for free with advertisements instead of album art. After all the songs had been released an advertisement-free version of the album would be available for purchase both in digital and CD format. These sounds like fightn’ words to me; people will see this system as another way for indie bands to “sell out” even though it is actually benefiting both them and the bands because they are getting free music legally and the bands are getting paid. Either way Podington is trying it out by soliciting patrons for the music he/she puts out from March on, it will be interesting to see how it all works out.

[mp3] Podington Bear-Caterpillar Brigade

[mp3] Podington Bear-Steppin’ In


You can get the podcast and all of the songs up to now through itunes for free.


Podington’s Blog | Myspace

 

This is why I want to be Colin Meloy when I grow up Wednesday February 21, 2007

Filed under: local-ish,music videos — Kayla @ 12:05 pm

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The Decemberists have done it again: come up with a truly amazing, well thought out, and well performed music video. This one is for O Valencia! off of their most recent album The Crane Wife. It is more of a short movie than a music video (it’s 9 minutes long, the song is only 4 minutes of that) and definitely reflects the fact that they are now on a major label and thus have more money to make ridiculously awesome videos. It goes through an involved story with Colin Meloy and Lisa Molinaro as lovers on the run from something which is revealed throughout the course of the video. Here is just a small sample of what this video involves:

a) Colin Meloy sans trademark glasses and looking disheveled

b) Nate Query in a track suit and loading an AK-47

c) chimney sweeps

d) multiple murder scenes

Talking about it really can’t do it justice, you just have to see it.


Watch Online

[mpeg4] Download


Decemberists official site | Myspace | Buy The Crane Wife | Fresh Air interview with Colin Meloy

 

Peter Bjorn and John Monday February 19, 2007

Filed under: misc. good non-local music — Kayla @ 11:27 pm

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I somehow managed to stay totally oblivious to Peter Bjorn and John (or PB&J as I like to call them) until just recently. They are from Sweden and have been around since 1999. Most recently, their song “Young Folks” has been featured on Grey’s Anatomy and has been a top 40 hit in the UK. I have to admit, the thing that drew me to them first was their album art, nothing will get me to pay more attention to your album than well designed art. Once I listened to their music though, it became clear that they deserved my attention. They manage to be both catchy and just a little bit different than anything else I’ve ever heard. They sound a bit like Interpol, but with lighter, more poppy melodies and more electronic effects. Be careful with these songs because I guarantee they will end up stuck in your head for days at a time, which I suppose is better than having something like the Best Pop Performance of 2006: My Humps (Honestly….) stuck in your head. Useless fact of the day: there are no commas in Peter Bjorn and John (which is a combination the three member’s first names) because they didn’t look good in the font used for their first record. What did I say about having good album art….

[mp3] Peter Bjorn and John-Young Folks

[mp3] Peter Bjorn and John-Amsterdam


 

Official Site | Myspace | Buy Writer’s Block

 

The Blow Saturday February 17, 2007

Filed under: local-ish — Kayla @ 10:53 pm

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The Blow is Khaela Maricich (that’s right, we have the same name, only she spells it way cooler) & Jona Bechtolt. They are from Portland, OR and have most recently been opening for Of Montreal, which is where I saw them (actually just Khaela because Jona was touring with his other band Y.A.C.H.T.). I have never seen a performer with so much energy. The entire hour-long set was filled with crazy dancing and out-of-breath in-between-songs stories about running to Karaoke bars in the middle of the night. I have also never seen a crowd respond so well to an opener, they were as excited to see her as they were to see Kevin Barnes in a caftan and crazy amounts of eye glitter. Her sound is what I would describe as “electro-pop”; strong beats topped with soft vocals. Her lyrics follow the classic pop sentiments of love and tumultuous relationships, but don’t fall into the realm of tired cliches as so many other pop bands do.

 

[mp3] The Blow-True Affection

 

myspace buy Paper Television Khaela’s blog

 

Ghosts and Liars Friday February 16, 2007

Filed under: Local — Kayla @ 2:20 am

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Yeah, yeah, yeah, first post.

I was introduced to local Tacoma band Ghosts and Liars last weekend at a Ubiquitous They show (for you non-UPS kids that’s a campus improv group) held at Tacoma Actor’s Guild. Ghosts and Liars was one of the three “openers” for that show. I was a little out of it after getting 4 hours of sleep the previous night and wasn’t really expecting a whole lot out of this local music because, come on, it’s Tacoma. As soon as these guys started playing I immediately changed my opinion of Tacoma bands and snapped out of my lack-of-sleep haze. With sweet pop melodies and both a piano and a cello to round out lead singer Chris Du Bray’s pleasant vocals you really can’t go wrong. Chris and several other members of the band are former members of now-defunct Tacoma band Some By Sea, which sounds similar to Ghosts and Liars, but doesn’t have the little added touches that make Ghosts and Liars worthy of the FIRST EVER POST on this here bee-log. Expect the first LP this Spring on Side Cho records and in the mean time, check out their myspace to hear a couple tracks.

post script: normally I will have direct and down-loadable links to tracks by the bands I’m talking about. Since there is no actual album in this case I would just be ripping a track from myspace, which would sound even crappier than the actual myspace player, so I might as well just send you there.