ailleurs square

la cage au folk ~ ailleurs square (independent, 2009)

it's amazing the internet, isn't? there are moments when you feel like 'discovering something new', then you just start jumping from blog to blog... from myspace to myspace... or spend hours on sites like jamendo and randomly download albums from artists that you've never heard.
that's what happened a few days ago and from my research i ended up discovering la cage au folk, a band from nancy, france: 6 boys, most in their early 20's, making very interesting music, mixing chanson française with folk, celtic elements and a melody crafting with hints of belle and sebastian and french singer/songwriter essiar.
at the end of the album, you'll realise that you're taken into a trip on irish fields passing through a festival in a small french town lost in the 1920's. simply très jolie.

01. je t'emmènerai
02. le p'tit gars solitaire
03. souviens-toi
04. rodéo
05. a deux
06. matelot
07. un vieil air de musique


eternal summers

eternal summers ~ beko 16 (beko digital single label, 2009)

i know i talked about a beko release two posts ago but there's so many good things there...
eternal summers is a duo from roanoke, virginia: nicole plays guitar and daniel plays drums and their music has hints of shoegaze mixed with a twee feeling and lo-fi touch. for some reason talulah gosh came to my mind when i first listened their music (specially 'dye'). as for 'safe at home', it is a ballad with this sweet vocals and (during most of the 2'14'') minimalistic melody with the drums setting the rhythm and nicole's guitars appearing every now and.
it's very very good and extremely extremely appealing.

01. safe at home
02. dye


guess who seems to be back

le sport ~ dreaming/16 december/ love in stereo (2010, independent)

isn't nice the feeling of remembering a few years ago and the music that made your life happier? well, this is the case of le sport's music in mine... how can you not be involved by songs like 'tell no one about tonight', 'your brother is my only hope', 'if neil tennant was my lover' and (the superb) 'eurosport music baby!'? anyway...
after 4 years since they broke up, they seem to be back... well, at least at their website it's possible to download 3 new songs and watch videos for all of them. the music is darker than before, more serious and (guess what?) sadder.
like all of us, teenagers becoming grown-ups at the time they released their ep's and lp, örjan and fredrik also grew old. still, great music and, if they're really coming back, wonderful news!

------------ dreaming

------------16 december

------------love in stereo


woven tales

woven tales ~ beko 03 (beko digital single label, 2009)

holiday records (loved around here at chaotisch und chaotisch) release something every friday for free, as you all may know by now. but now it has some company: less than a week ago i discovered beko single label, an online label releasing a single every monday. i mean, this is fantastic! we got used to get into the weekend with holiday and now we start the week with beko!
there isn't much information about it and all we know is that it's been running for 6 months or so and it's from brest/nantes in france. the single's artwork are fantastic, with graphic designs creating some unity between them.
to present the label, i'll start posting their third release: woven tales, project by brian warden from saint petersburg, florida.
instrumental electronic music with warm melodies, shoegaze flirtations and some landscape-ish feelings. but i'm talking about a different angle when i say 'landscape-ish'... it has a sunny melancholy mixed with happiness that makes you feel as if you were walking - without touching the ground - heading to the place you cherish the most. it has this contemplation feeling that tops those (rare) moments of life when you see yourself being as if you were someone else.
beautiful, uplifting and depending if you're feeling too sensitive, may bring some tears to your eyes.

01. grazing storms
02. dried blueberries


electric virgin

the hairs ~ electric virgin ep (holiday records, 2010)

beloved record label holiday records couldn't have started the year better... the combination of alex from the pains of being pure at heart and kevin from knight school and beats (according to their myspace). the label sent an email a few hours ago saying that they had exceed the bandwidth (the first time in the label's history, as far as i know) but it's all back and running right now... two great musicians from two great bands delivering four great songs in a great label. couldn't get better than that.

01. duh! x12
02. ghetto control
03. vikings, pirates & dudes
04. houseplant song


the city and horses

the city and horses interview

here's our first interview of the year... with the super nice marc cantone, the voice and mind behind the city and horses, one of the best bands on brooklyn's musical scene. here we go then...
01. first things first... tell us about the origins of the band and the name the city and horses.
the name basically comes from the idea that horses don't belong in the city. perhaps they did at one point, even up until the early 1900s. but definitely not anymore. that's pretty much it. i live in the city and it's not like i feel like i don't belong so it doesn't really represent myself or the band. i just like the way it sounds. i also wrote a song and a screenplay of the same name back in college.

02. do you guys get to live of music or have 'real jobs'?
real jobs for the most part (considering the most we've ever made from a show is $60). the bass player, josh and i are freelancers (josh is a graphic designer and i do video production). domenica fossati (flute, vocals) is a professional musician who's in many bands. chuck palmer (drums) is also a professional musician as well as a producer. alvaro (drums, we have two interchangeable drummers) is a creative director at an advertising agency. katie (cello) has a very real job as a doctor at a hospital in manhattan.

03. how's the creative process? i mean, how the crafting of the songs happens... i ask that because a lot of the songs have this 'basic' melody played with the 'basic' instruments and suddenly start to develop in a wonderful dialogue of instruments...
i've been writing songs since i was 13 so it's just something i've always done. over the years i've gone from writing painfully (and embarrassingly) confessional lo-fi ditties to (hopefully) more structured and crafted pop songs. the songs most always begin with a lyric idea and then a melody. the best songs are the ones that take the least thought and effort. not to say that any of my songs are the "best" of anything. i'm always surprised to hear that anyone likes them (especially cool bloggers from brazil!).
as for the band, i didn't want to perform live (i still really don't). but a few years ago i met neil lipuma, founder of the excellent brooklyn indie label white shoe records, and he encouraged me to form a band. so i found all these amazing musicians (mostly via craigslist) and started the band. i write songs, demo them at home and then send to the band to learn who then really bring them to life. domenica is a huge help because she's classically trained and can translate what i'm trying to do into something that makes sense musically. she's also awesome with harmonies and can make whatever i sing sound really pretty.

04. the range of sounds we hear on the album is as wide as the type of music people say you play... and some of them create magical moments like the twist in 'i don't want to dream ' (the song) that has to be among the best song twists of the year. talk a little about the creation and construction of 'i don't want to dream' (the album).
thanks! the song "i don't want to dream" was originally a very quiet acoustic number. when we practiced it and got to the last part (where the twist is) josh had the idea to play it hard and loud. that's all Josh and a great example of how the band members contribute to the songs. ss for the album as a whole, about half of the songs were written two or three years prior to me forming the band (like "abigail adams," "i miss it all," "i love the girls," etc.,) and the other written specifically for the band (like "russian military badges," "i am such a drag," "a thousand lashes," etc). we recorded basic tracks over a few days but spent a lot of time doing overdubs in the studio and at home. it's really just fun to layer and build songs with different things so that's where the range of sounds comes from. the guys who produced the album, aaron nevesie and john davis at the bunker studio in brooklyn, are excellent musicians and also played a variety of instruments they had lying around.

05. as i said before, there's a countless number of definitions for the music you make... what's the funniest you've ever heard?
somebody compared us to bruce springsteen once which is flattering but couldn't be more wrong. there's really nothing in our sound that resembles him. sometimes we play live with a saxophone and perhaps the person thought: saxophone = clarence clemens = bruce springsteen.

06. what about the writing process (well, you can see i'm very interested on creation processes)... i like the way that the songs in a first hear make you think 'oh, it's cute' but as you hear for a second, third time you start to see shades of a very peculiar irony and bitterness.
thanks. i love bands that write really pretty songs with catchy hooks but have lyrics that aren't always as shiny as the sound. the smiths, belle and sebastian and the field mice/trembling blue stars, are the best examples. i also just really love pretty and simple melodies. this isn't to say that that's all we play. i'm also a huge fan of early 90s indie rock like sebadoh and pavement. so we get dirty sometimes. well, as dirty as the purell will let us.

07. time to name some heroes and/or inspirations... movies? cartoons? historycal figures? abstract paintings? anything?
i love artists who do their own thing without regard for success or popularity. and if the artist can make a living off of that, then all the better. woody allen is a great example. he's mostly done whatever he's wanted regardless of popular opinion (marrying his step-daughter being the exception). charlyne yi, who's become a friend of mine, is another good example. she's completely and totally herself.

08. any song you'd like to cover?
rum and coca-cola by the andrews sisters. it's a pop song from 1944 about alcohol and prostitution. 1944.

09. if you could give a place and hour to hear your songs, what would they be?
on this blog. now. :)

10. finally, recommend something you've been listening lately...
the band. their first few albums. they're actually pretty much all I've been listening to lately. i'd love to be able to play and sing like them but i'm not good enough.

11. anything else you feel like saying?
i recently helped white shoe founder neil lipuma record his own first album under the moniker scaresthedaylights. the album, "burn the bed," is gorgeous. and it was great fun to make. i even got to play drums on two tracks.
i'm currently trying to finish up a new city and the horses album now. it follows a similar pattern as 'i don't want to dream' in that some of the songs i wrote a few years ago and some were written for the album. the newer songs are a little different stylistically. i've recorded half of it so far at the bunker studio in brooklyn and a couple tunes with my friend man man producer craig van hise in philadelphia. i've also written a couple of proper duet songs to sing with my friend and amazing singer/songwriter katie costello.

oh, "i don't want to dream" is being released in the philippines on universal records. so to all of our filipino friends, check it out!

here you can download little finland and i love the girls.

buy it

on a side note, marc is a movie maker/ producer / editor (just like me!) and he directed, produced and photographed a documentary called bowling blind that may be soon in a film festival near you... if so, check it out!

the champagne anthem/ xmas safari

champagne riot ~ the champagne anthem/ xmas safari (independent, 2009)

it's the 5th day of the year and if you still don't have a musical addiction so far, you should try this...
champagne riot is a danish duo formed by caspar bock from northern portrait (my choice to be the band of 2010, like the pains of being pure at heart were in 2009) and anders reuter.
the champagne anthem is a spoken track with awesome words filled with pop references (including sarah records) and an incredibly catchy chorus with dancey bits.
xmas safari was released as a christmas gift less than a month ago and follows their brilliant way of making the perfect pop song.
two years ago, they released an ep called 'paris and i' on the lovely shelflife records.

so here's the champagne anthem

and xmas safari


music to see. 07

after the ep's, singles and albums, as someone that works with video and editing i couldn't start another year without posting some nice music videos from 2009. i won't post here 'paparazzi' by lady gaga because we've all seen it a lot of times... (and the blog is about more underground artists) but i think it's an awesome video. it has an unique aesthetic and that must be praised, specially when it comes from a mainstream artist.
anyways... here are some of my favorite videos from 2009.

-----symfoniorkestern - tänd eld på dig själv (för det du tror på)

-----washed out - new theory

-----tada tátà - hit the wall (live)

-----jonathan johansson - en hand i himlen

-----all india radio - lucky (best video of the year, maybe?)

----- the bridal shop - ideal state

-----linda guilala - nadie se dará cuenta

-----the tremulance - dance trap

-----my sad captains - bad decisions

-----hiawata! - valley boys

-----money can't buy music - we will all asphyxiate

-----moofish catfish - ten days in my room (live)

-----la patère rose - pacemaker

-----the city and horses - a thousand lashes (funniest video of the year?)

-----jj - things will never be the same again