Featured Album Fridays

Featured Album Fridays / Pink Mountaintops – Outside Love (2009)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, I’m showcasing Pink Mountaintops‘ 2009 album – Outside Love.

Pink Mountaintops - Outside Love

A description of Pink Mountaintops can be found on the band’s Last.FM:

Pink Mountaintops is Black Mountain frontman Stephen McBean’s side project. The music resembles the style of Black Mountain but has a more psychedelic and experimental side with mellow tunes and complicated lyrics. Pink Mountaintops removed the “The” from its name on its second album, Axis of Evol.

Band members are:

* Stephen McBean
* Amber Webber
* CC Rose
* Lyndsay Sung
* Jonah Fortune
* Steve Balogh
* Cory Gangnes
* Brad MacKinnon
* Joshua Wells
* Matt Camirand
* Christoff Hofmeister
* Tolan McNeil
* Keegan Saunders
* Keith Parry
* Josh Stevenson
* Fiona Ackerman
* Ted Bois
* Ashley Webber

It’s a great album to relax to, so check it out in the stream below. Enjoy!

Featured Album Fridays / Fanfarlo – Reservoir (2009)

This week, I’m showcasing an indie folk band! Featured Album Fridays presents Fanfarlo’s 2009 album, Reservoir.

Fanfarlo - Reservoir

Here’s the band’s description from Last.FM:

Fanfarlo were conceived by Simon (vocals, guitar, keys, mandolin, sax, glock) while he was taking shelter in a forest from a particularly heavy snowstorm in Sweden. Inspired to move to London to form the band, he quickly found allies in Justin (bass) and Leon (trumpet/keyboards) when playing small gigs around the city. Mark (electric guitar, keys, vocals, accordian, fanfarlophone) then joined, and Fanfarlo’s electronic backing track was ceremoniously destroyed when Amos (drums & percussion, vocals) was enlisted to complete the rhythm section. After the launch gig of their first single, PlayTalking Backwards, in late 2006, Cathy (violin, keys, mandolin, glock, vocals, saw) was wooed over banana smoothies and the line-up was complete.

Their second single,PlayYou Are One Of The Few Outsiders Who Really Understands Us was BBC Radio 6’s single of the week, and they’ve released the double A-side, PlayFire Escape / PlayWe Live By The Lake (on White Heat records), Fanfarlo will be playing festivals in the UK throughout the summer and recording their debut album.

Fanfarlo’s latest single is another double A-side “Harold T Wilkins” with Sleeping States “call me” on Felt Tip Records.

Great album, so give it a listen in the stream below!

Enjoy!

Featured Album Fridays / Gentleman Reg – Jet Black (2009)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, I’m showcasing Gentleman Reg’s 2009 album, Jet Black.

Gentleman Reg - Jet Black

This is from Gentleman Reg’s Last.FM:

Reg Vermue, who records as Gentleman Reg, is a Canadian indie rock singer-songwriter. His folk-pop style has been compared to Rufus Wainwright, Aimee Mann and The Smiths.

Members of Royal City and The Constantines regularly appear as Vermue’s supporting band on his solo recordings; Vermue has also performed with The Hidden Cameras and Broken Social Scene. He has released three CDs and appeared on the tribute CD for The Breeders, Hellbound along with other Breeders fans such as Three Dollar Bill, performing the song “Doe”.

Reg Vermue appears in a cameo role in the John Cameron Mitchell film Shortbus, which was released in 2006. As well, songs by Gentleman Reg are featured on the soundtrack of the film.

The stream is below, enjoy!

Featured Album Fridays / Cymbals Eat Guitars – Why There Are Mountains (2009)

Picking up Featured Album Fridays on a regular basis again I hope! This week, I’m taking a look at Cymbals Eat Guitars’ 2009 album – Why There Are Mountains.

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Why There Are Mountains

From their Last.FM:

Aside from referencing a piece of Lou Reed’s philosophy about recording rock bands, the name “Cymbals Eat Guitars” is suggestive of a group of musicians infighting, vying for dominance over the sonic field— Reed and Cale on White Light/White Heat, organ vs. fuzz guitar. Well, we’d best put a halt to the Velvets nods so as not to mislead you… Cymbals Eat Guitars sound nothing like the Velvet Underground, and they have little interest in attempting to drown each other out.

They draw little inspiration from the skuzzy, minimalist heroin-cooled din that group pioneered in the late 60’s. What do they sound like, then? One could sit around rattling off possible sources of influence for days—the highly unusual and infectious melodies could suggest an obsession with Pavement, the moments of hair-raising, goose bump-inducing, utterly anthemic sonic assault would seem to point towards Built To Spill or Sonic Youth… the streamlined pop of “Some Trees (Merritt Moon)” even suggests Wire circa Chairs Missing.

Check out their album below, real good listen! Enjoy.

Dropping the ball.

Well, it seems that reading week has broken me down and took away any hope of productivity on my end, but I wish to change that. I missed out on updates to Trivial Trivia and Featured Album Fridays, but I’ll pick them up again when I can.

For now, I guess I’m going to become hyper-focused, and complete all the work that I need to do ASAP, so I have a little more time to do what I want to do.

To Do:

  1. Complete all projects and assignments
  2. Ensure timelines for LIVE 2009 are on schedule
  3. Complete MESA Gala videos
  4. Get a co-op placement

Want To Do:

  1. Get cracking on PHP/iPhone development
  2. Produce a short film
  3. Build my Hackintosh

It’s going to take an enormous amount of focus on my end, and I’m going to get everything done. Wish me luck!

By the way, the answer to the last Trivial Trivia was 4615972308.

Featured Album Fridays / The Lonely Island – Incredibad (2009)

Very excited for this week’s Featured Album Fridays, because I haven’t been able to stop listening to this album since its release on Tuesday, February 10, 2009! The Lonely Island’s Incredibad consists of a bunch of songs they did for SNL, as well as a bunch of originals. Rather embarrassing to be that guy on the bus laughing at what seems to be nothing. But whatever!

The Lonely Island - Incredibad

From their Last.FM:

The Lonely Island is a group of filmmakers founded in 2001 by Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, and Andy Samberg (aka The Dudes). The group was originally from Los Angeles, California but now resides in New York. The Lonely Island has created numerous comedic films, shorts, parody songs, and music videos. They have written shorts for the popular television show Saturday Night Live, most notably “Lazy Sunday,” “Dick in a Box,” and “Jizz In My Pants.” They have made three full-length television pilots, all of which were rejected. The group operates a web site under the same name that showcases their collaborations. The site also includes a blog from second-tier member Chester Tam, often referred to as Chez (pronounced CHAY). The blog, titled Chez Chat, gives humorous summaries of the site’s updates.

The three core members currently work together as writers on Saturday Night Live. Recently, principal photography has wrapped on the Lonely Island’s first feature film, Hot Rod.

Such a great album, give it a listen.

WARNING: Explicit lyrical content.

Featured Album Fridays / Faded Paper Figures – Dynamo (2008)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, is Faded Paper Figures’ 2008 debut album – Dynamo. They are classified under “Indietronica” and their music has an interesting sound to it.

Faded Paper Figures - Dynamo

Here is the band’s description from Last.FM:

Faded Paper Figures began, like all great endeavors, as a side-project. Writing songs between dissertation chapters and frenetic bouts of southern California traffic, John (vocals/guitars) and Kael (guitars/keys/machines) were simply looking for an aesthetic and rigorous diversion. Two or three songs into the process, however, things started sounding incredible—much too good to have come from Kael’s apartment bedroom. Eventually Heather (additional vocals/keys) began adding some beautiful harmonies, and FPF became the brilliant blend of indie-tronic chamber pop that dazzles and sizzles on every track in their debut album, “Dynamo.

And of course, you can listen to Dynamo below! Enjoy.

Featured Album Fridays / Bishop Allen – Grrr… (2009)

Happy Friday everyone! This week on Featured Album Fridays, I’m taking a look at an indie band Bishop Allen and their 2009 release entitled “Grrr…”. Another sneak peek release from JonLim.ca, because this album is due out on March 10, 2009!

Bishop Allen

Here is their description from Last.FM:

Bishop Allen is an American indie rock band from Brooklyn, New York. The band’s core members are Justin Rice and Christian Rudder, who are supported both on stage and in the studio by a rotating cast of musicial collaborators. The band was formed in 2003; it takes its name from Bishop Allen Drive in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the two lived together after college.

Bishop Allen has released two albums and 12 EPs:

Charm School (2003)

Charm School was Bishop Allen’s first record. Recorded in fits and starts over two years, it grew song-by-song as Rice and Rudder wrote and played in their spare time. They recorded all the instruments on the album’s 13 songs themselves, using drum loops to hide the fact that neither is a drummer, and almost everything on the record was recorded one track at a time in an ordinary bedroom. Backing vocals by Bonnie Schiff-Glenn and Kate Dollenmayer and supplementary drums by Coll Anderson, all added in the album’s final stages, completed the songs.

The EP Project (2006)

In 2006, Bishop Allen recorded and released an EP every month of the year. Each record was titled for the month of its release (January, February, and so on), and, with the exception of August, which was a 14-song live disc, each contained four new studio songs.

The Broken String (2007)

It’s a great sounding album and I very much enjoyed listening to it. But I’ll leave it up to you to form your own opinion on it. As usual, the stream is below, and comment if you like it!

Featured Album Fridays / Hey Ocean! – It’s Easier to be Somebody Else (2008)

I’m very excited for this week’s Featured Album Friday, because I’m featuring a Canadian indie band! I think that I should take any and all opportunities to support home grown talent, and their music is pretty damn good too!

Hey Ocean!

Without further delay, this week, I am taking a look at Hey Ocean!‘s 2008 album, It’s Easier to be Somebody Else. You can find more information about them on their MySpace. Here is their description and bio from Last.FM:

If asked, the members of Hey Ocean!, will probably tell you that they are a Canadian band, however their humble beginnings swapping songs on the beaches of Costa Rica are undeniably where the spirit of their music resides. Stemming from the minds of Vancouver songstress Ashleigh Ball and British-born singer/songwriter David Beckingham their mix of focused surfer energy, tight harmonies, and clever lyrics are supported by the recent additions of groove obsessed bassist, Dave Vertesi and master of all things percussion, Benny Schütze.

With the release of their first full length album, “Stop Looking Like Music,” Hey Ocean! has been spreading their sound across southern BC; their shows serving as reminders to their fans (young and old alike) that there is still a place for music that makes you feel good. Drawing on influences in folk, jazz, funk, hip hop, pop, and more, the young band incorporates whimsically poetic lyrics, finely crafted pop and funky freeform jams. Playing packed club shows for up to 700 people, their own enthusiasm at live shows is matched only by that of the growing audiences who have come to know Hey Ocean! as one of the best shows vancouver has to offer. Passionate voices, pensive words, and frivolous fun keep this music honest and pure: from the heart, for the soul.

The album itself sounds fantastic, and is great music to just play in the background while you work. I spent this morning and afternoon listening to it, and I have to say it has grown on me! As per usual, you can stream the album below. If you like it, leave a comment!

Featured Album Fridays / You Me & Iowa – The Adventures of You Me & Iowa (2008)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, I’ll be showcasing You & Iowa’s 2008 album – The Adventures of You, Me & Iowa.

Here is the band’s description via Last.FM:

In a city known for its silicone, soy lattes, and off-duty actors, it is no secret that Los Angeles is a city drenched in the unreal.

For You Me & Iowa, it is from this environment of artifice that their songs emerge. “This town has imaginary spotlights/ everyone thinks that they’re center stage” Andrew Carroll sings on “Runways and Freeways,” his voice reaching over the musical traffic bustling underneath. Carroll’s vocals wander from manic and vulnerable to powerfully loud while drummer Tony Benedetti deals out quick beats with dizzying precision.

Combining the raw intensity of Pinkerton-era Weezer, with the percussive chops of The Dismemberment Plan, and the melodic, pop meanderings of Death Cab for Cutie, You Me & Iowa is a force to be reckoned with.

Since their beginnings in 2003, You Me & Iowa played their dues around the West, performing with their up-and-coming peers: The Velvet Teen, Midnight Movies, Mellowdrone, Monsters are Waiting, and Rx Bandits. It is their vivacious live show that not only keeps their loyal fanbase fixated, but even won them “Best Alternative Rock Band” at the 2005 L.A. Music Awards.

You Me & Iowa build their songs upon a skeleton of pop sensibility filled with the flesh of experience. Tizoc Estrada holds an MFA in guitar and bassist Ryan Julio is trained in operatic performance, while multi-instrumentalists Ryan Ross and Ryan Marx man the keys and horns. With a resume like this, it would be easy to fall into the musical masturbation of prog-rock, but the band seamlessly juxtaposes musical technicality with the accessibility of unabashed ass shaking.

It’s a fantastic album and you should give it a listen! As usual, the stream is below. Be sure to comment if you liked the album!