Music

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!

Featured Album Fridays / Bowerbirds – Hymns For a Dark Horse (2007)

Another week, another album! This week, I’m sharing Bowerbird’s album – Hymns For a Dark Horse.

Here’s a description straight from Wikipedia:

Bowerbirds are a nu-folk band from Raleigh, North Carolina. The band members are Beth Tacular, Phil Moore and Mark Paulson. Their debut album, Hymns For a Dark Horse (Burly Time Records, 2007), received favourable reviews. Bowerbirds have toured in support of The Mountain Goats, with John Darnielle referring to the band as his “new favorite band in forever”.

Hymns For a Dark Horse was released in 2007, and if you are interested in purchasing it, you can find it here. And here’s the stream:

As per last week, comment if you enjoy the album.