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Monday, December 27, 2010

La Sera

Like the Vivian Girls? You should give La Sera a listen.

La Sera is a new band that features Katy Goodman, the Vivian Girls' bass playing vocalist. The group started forming back in February of 2010 and also features Jenn Prince (guitar, vocals) and Jonathan Weinberg (drums, vocals, keys).

In numerous interviews Goodman has said that her inspiration sprung from an attraction to early pop hits from the 1950's and you can hear it in songs like "Never Come Around" (in addition to a 60s flair). It's very Vivian girls (go figure - it is a side project after all) but wth a much less aggressive sound.

La Sera - "Never Come Around"

I just simply love the layering of tambourine, guitar, and ethereal vocals. Another track that I'm loving is "Hold" - it's slightly morbid, but it's a song about hugging each other to death (which doesn't seem like an awful way to go...).

You can expect a full length, self-titled album from La Sera on February 15, 2011 from Hardly Art.

La Sera's La Sera Tracklisting:
01 Beating Heart
02 Never Come Around
03 You’re Going To Cry
04 Sleeptalking
05 I Promise You
06 Left This World
07 Hold
08 Under The Trees
09 Devils Hearts Grow Gold
10 Dove Into Love
11 Been Here Before
12 Lift Off

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Playlist: The Winter Mix

Happy Holidays to everyone and soon Happy New Year!

I love the holidays - don't get me wrong - but some things I can't handle. I drove home from school to New Hampshire for some skiing. Needless to say it was a long drive, but 4 states and a solid 8 1/2 hours later I finally made it. But for some reason I was determined to listen to raido the entire time. I drove back December 23rd, so this was a bad decision because that meant a whole lot of Christmas music. I'll be honest, if I have to listen to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas" again there will be major problems.

So for those of you who love themed playlists (I know I do - my favorite time of the year is when I get to play halloween music on my radio show) here's one full of blizzards and hot cocoa and warm fires.

Banjo or Freakout - "Frosty the Snowman"
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - "In This Home on Ice"
Los Straightjackets - "A Marshmallow World"
Ra Ra Riot - "Winter ‘05"
Regina Spektor - "20 Years Of Snow"
+/- (Plus Minus) - "Snowblind"
The Main Drag - "A Jagged Gorgeous Winter"
The Walkmen - "While I Shovel the Snow"

Plus the East Coast is currently being attacked by a blizzard. The winter music is necessary.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Breaking Artist: Harlan Pepper

Do you ever have a day when you wake up and everything just goes wrong? Say your alarm doesn't go off and you miss class, or you have to dig your car out from an encasement of snow, or you ate too many delicious grapes and feel slightly nauseous. Maybe, just maybe, it's a day of all of those options and more.

So when I go into my email and find a bunch of spam about how I've won a large sum of money from some dead relative and another email about the possibility of a little magic pill that can make everything bigger and better, I worry that checking my email is going to make everything even worse in Morgan's terrible, no good, very bad day.

Well, thank you, Harlan Pepper. Your picking banjos, rich vocals, and full sound have made my day (which I thought was just going to stay awful) into a good one.

Hailing from Hamilton, Canada, the four piece band isn't too far out of high school, but their sound, both musically and lyrically, make them sound like they've had years of experience under their belts.

Comprised of Jimmy Hayes (guitar, pedal steel, harmonica), Dan Edmonds (banjo, keys, vocals), Thompson Wilson (bass, vocals), and Marlon Nicolle (drums, vocals), these guys have taken folk and combined it with the best parts of blues, country, and rock, perfectly mixing soulful organ pianos, head shaking harmonicas, and creeping guitar licks.

On the band's website they write that, "We grew up listening to music on dusty record players, and hissing radios. Those sounds have been channelled into these songs. It’s an album that we think encapsulates our love for raw roots, rock country, blues, and folk music, seen through our own 21st century kaleidoscope." And I couldn't have described their sound better if I tried.

Feel free to check out their song "Great Lakes" below:
Harlan Pepper - "Great Lakes"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Is that a Phonograph?

Up in the sky!
It's a bird!
It's a plane!
Actually, it's an iPod dock that looks like a phonograph!

I love the things that you can get on the internet (not that I could afford it anyway, but just look at it).

The company selling them, Science and Sons, calls this wonder the Phonofone III.

According to their website, "The Phonofone III is an elegantly designed passive amplifier crafted from ceramic and designed explicitly for iPhone. This clever device amplifies the volume emited from an iPhone internal speaker roughly 4x (approx. 60 decibels)."

The dock became available November 25th and thy are (as of right now) only selling 50 of them.

It's pricey ($195 Canadian), but it's awesome to look at. They have some other cool stuff at heir website too. Check it out!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm Still Here!

Excuse me, it seems that I just dug myself out of all of the work I've been doing. Whew!

This is ridiculous - I only did three posts in November. It's sad really. Now let me not rant and rave because while I am doing a lot of work I'm also trying to have a lot of fun. I just didn't think that meant I would ignore this blog as a result.

Interested in what I've been doing this semester? Here's one thing I'm really proud of from my anthropology class:

College Students and Music

See, it really is all about the music!

There are some changes to the title page - it was a group project and I took out all of our names/our professor's name (and the date for some reason). It was really interesting to do, especially the interviews.

Keep an eye out - by the end of December I'll having another paper up from that class about (drum roll) music blogs and the record industry. I love college!

Who knows...late December did I say? Why, that could be the post right after this one, but I certainly hope not *shudder*

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hello December!

Wow. I never thought I'd be saying this, but I hope I am just missing a lot of stuff that is coming out this month. Talk about slim pickings...Yet this tends to happen in December every year because hey, that's how the music industry works.

Note: Unless noted, the release dates are all for the U.S.

December 7th
Adam Lambert - Take Two
Anika – Anika
Celebration - Hello Paradis

Charlie Wilson - Just Charlie
Christian Kane - The House Rules
Daft Punk - Tron Legacy (Soundtrack)
Deadmau5 - 4×4=12
Duffy - Endlessly
Einst├╝rzende Neubauten - Strategies Against Architecture IV (Physical Release)
Hinder - All American Nightmare
Jessica Simpson - Happy Christmas
Natasha Bedingfield - Strip Me
Plain White T’s - Wonders of the Younger
Redman - Reggie
Robin Trower - The Playful Heart
Sufjan Stevens - All Delighted People EP (physical Release)
T.I. - No Mercy
The Sorrow - The Sorrow

December 14th
9th Wonder - 9th’s Opus: It’s A Wonderful World Music Group
Ciara - Basic Instinct
Crystal Bowersox - Farmer’s Daughter
Diddy and Dirty Money - The Last Train To Paris
Michael Jackson - Michael
Nas - The Lost Tapes: Vol. 2
R. Kelly - Love Letter
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - III/IV
Tank - Now Or Never
The Damned Things - Ironiclast
Young Jeezy - TM 103

December 21st
Avant - The Letter
Duran Duran - All You Need Is Now (digital release)
Ghostface KIllah - The Apollo Kids
Hex Hector - Allura
Jamie Foxx - Best Night Of My Life
Keri Hilson - No Boys Allowed
Keyshia Cole - Calling All Hearts