Off Beat Music Guide

New Music Tuesday September 22, 2009

Filed under: Music,Music News,New Music Tuesday,New Release — bethstephenson84 @ 6:43 pm
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I must say up front that I have not listened to either of these albums in their entirety, but I have been anxiously awaiting them both for months!

MOF Monsters of Folk- Monsters of Folk

When these guys first got together for some gigs, people were blown away by the folk awesomeness. And when they announced that they were going to release an album, people went into folk overload.  Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis (both of Bright Eyes fame) teamed up with M. Ward (She & Him) and Yim Yames (a.k.a. “Jim James” of My Morning Jacket) for some gigs under their own names, but after a few shows, their already large following dubbed them the Monsters of Folk, a name that as you can see stuck with the super group.

I purchase MOF’s EP a couple of months ago (mostly because of my love of M. Ward) and it was worth probably 100 times what I paid for it. The three songs from the EP are all on the self titled album released today, of which my favorite is “Dear God (Sincerely MOF)” because of its smooth, hip hop feel. You better believe that I will be devouring this album as soon as I get home today.

Check out their new video for “The Right Place” here:

davidgraydrawtheline David Gray-Draw The Line

I have been a loyal DG fan since my high school days. I can kind of chart my life (thus far) by David Gray albums, and when I play those albums now I am immediately transported back to a certain time in my life. His music, which ranges from slow and melancholy to pop and electronic, is diverse, beautiful and often odd but I have always found it irresistible…which leads me to his new album, Draw the Line. I tend to have this problem with a lot of artists I have had long-term relationships with: the problem being that I like their albums, even if they are mediocre, because of either nostalgia or loyalty.  I’m going to try desperately to be more discerning with Gray’s new album, but I must say that from the bits that I have heard, it sounds promising.


Now Hear This September 8, 2009

Filed under: Music,New Music Tuesday,Now Hear This — bethstephenson84 @ 8:43 pm

I’m going to substitute New Music Tuesday for Now Hear This because I was so disappointed in the albums I picked, that I couldn’t bring myself to put forth the energy to be that negative. So instead, I’m just going to pass along a playlist of music I am currently crushing on.

The Old Days-Dr. Dog

Blood Bank-Bon Iver

Annan Water-The Decemberists

Airstream Driver-Gomez

Can You Tell-Ra Ra Riot

Brackett, WI-Bon Iver

Lua-Conor Oberst and Gillian Welch

Army of Ancients- Dr. Dog

Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)- Mosters of Folk

Side note, but kind of related…I finally got my record player this weekend. Here are the records I immediately purchased:

Bon Iver: “For Emma, Forever Ago”

Fleet Foxes: “Fleet Foxes”

The Decemberists: “The Hazards of Love”

Fleetwood Mac: “Rumours”,  “Mirage”, “Tusk”

And I keep thinking of more I need to purchase. It’s such a different experience listening to the music on vinyl so I want to get all of my favorites. Please send any recommendations my way.


New Music Tuesday September 1, 2009

Filed under: Music,New Music Tuesday — bethstephenson84 @ 8:45 am
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So I’m always going to be a week behind on reviews because, well, I have to have time to listen to them.

Artic Monkeys- Humbug

pe-arctic-monkeys-humbug I’m a huge fan of this British band’s loud grungy sound. This album takes a small departure from their previous 2 releases and focuses on a much darker sound that can be felt throughout. Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) produced this album and while he doesn’t’ imprint the QOTSA sound on the group, his presence can be felt on every song. Singer Alex Turner’s voice and witty writing is about the only similarity between this album and their previous works. In truth, this album feels like a transitional album; like they are testing possible directions for future albums. Different, but good.

Song suggestion: Crying Lightening

Blitzen Trapper- Black River Killer

black Blitzen Trapper did something unique with this 7 song album. It’s a little too big to be an EP and not quite as large as their previous albums. It also reuses the song “Black River Killer” which was featured on their last album, Furr. The six members of this band are known for creating whimsical storylines with their songs, and this album is no exception. The title track is the story of the ups and downs of a ruthless killer; and even if the subject matter is dark, the music remains upbeat and whistle-worthy. This band makes folk rock fun.

Song suggestion: Black River Killer

Imogen Heap- Ellipse

ImogenHeap-Ellipse Ellipse and Imogen Heap, for that matter, are pretty much the definition of “Starbuck’s music.” Every cool hipster type has the IH musical catalogue in heavy rotation on their iPods and several of her songs can be found on numerous indie-love-story-esc films. Now, while I do not quite consider myself cool or hip, I find myself liking this album too. And I can reassure her devoted fans that the album doesn’t disappoint. My only beef with IH is that all of her albums sound exactly the same. Don’t get me wrong, her music is almost painfully beautiful, but I couldn’t tell you the name of one of her songs even though I own several of her albums. Oh, and one more thing, I have no idea what she is saying…ever. While there is nothing earth-shattering about this album, I like the overall feel of it. It’s really good, calm background music.

Song suggestion: First Train Home

Next week: Stars of Track and Field, The Black Crowes, The Pretenders