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Monday, Sep 28, 2009
Coming completely out of left field, electro-rock artist Motorcycles Are Everywhere has quietly released his debut album, 1983, and it's one of the most sonically dense, endlessly replayable discs you'll hear in 2009. Oh, and it's free.

For the longest time, Matt O’Hare has paid his dues by taking on one of the most thankless jobs in mankind’s history: theatrical sound designer.


Gathering rare and sometimes impossible-to-find songs, crafting sound effects and elaborate cues meant to be triggered at moments notice, and sometimes even writing songs specifically for a show can be a positively daunting effort. The person who can successfully tackle an effects-heavy production like Mnemonic or The Skriker is worthy of a medal of some sort, but—for the musically-inclined—sound designing is nothing short of the ultimate training ground for bigger things.


It is here where you have to deal with meeting specific challenges, often having to reach far outside your comfort zone to get results. It is through this process that Matt O’Hare has been able to hone his craft, learning everything he can before applying it to his own music. Back in 2006, O’Hare was once quoted as saying that he rarely writes music for himself, simply because he found it much easier to write for pre-existing material, like his score for the Hangar Theater production of Art built almost entirely out of soft guitar harmonics. Yet after tackling an expansive, ambitious design for the Trinity Rep/Brown production of The Maids in February of this year, O’Hare gradually began working on 1983, his first album under the pseudonym Motorcycles Are Everywhere.


What’s amazing about this little electro-rock gem is just how well it all holds together.  Playing every instrument himself, O’Hare manages to keep things propulsive, never once coming off like a laptop-rock project some kid did in his spare time.


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Sunday, Sep 27, 2009

Hush Arbors
Yankee Reality
(Ecstatic Peace!)
Releasing: 6 October


Dinosaur Jr. singer/guitarist J Mascis produces the new Hush Arbors album and shows up playing on a few songs too. The production is straightforward and lets the atmospheric folk music breathe. It’s not noisy and in-your-face like you might have expected with Mascis turning the knobs.


SONG LIST
01 Day Before
02 Lisbon
03 Fast Asleep
04 So They Say
05 One Way Ticket
06 Coming Home
07 Sun Shall
08 Take It Easy
09 For While You Slept
10 Devil Made You High


Hush Arbors
“Day Before” [MP3]
     



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Friday, Sep 25, 2009

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
Summer of Fear
(Saddle Creek)
Releasing: 20 October


His self-titled 2007 debut won hearts and minds with high-stakes, melodramatic folk-rock tunes like “Buriedfed”. The passion is still there in “The Sound”, from his autobiographical sophomore LP, Summer of Fear. He sings, “Why would I try to hate on anyone else? / It’s a hard enough time just trying to hate myself.”


SONG LIST
01 Shake a Shot
02 Always an Anchor
03 The Sound
04 Hard Row
05 Trap Door
06 The 100th of March
07 Summer of Fear pt 1
08 Death by Dust
09 Summer of Fear pt 2
10 Losing 4 Winners
11 More than a Mess
12 Boat


Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
The Sound [MP3]
     



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Friday, Sep 25, 2009

Various Artists
SCORE! 20 Years of Merge Records: THE REMIXES!
(Merge)
Releasing: 17 November


This, the latest addition to the Merge Records 20-year celebration (the covers album came out in April), doesn’t come out until November 17th, but the entire album is available to stream from the Merge website right now. The stream is only up for a limited time, but when it dries up you can check out a ton of Merge XX video over at Converse and Babelgum.


SONG LIST
01 Kalgon (Polvo) by Caribou
02 Mother of Pearl (Pram) by Barbara Morgenstern
03 Baby’s Way Cruel (Guv’ner) by Four Tet
04 Drill Me (I Was So There Remix) (Portastatic) by The Blow
05 The Ghost of You Lingers (Spoon) by John McEntire
06 No Cars Go (Arcade Fire) by Jason Forrest
07 Volcana! (I Hope Your Train Crashes Remix) (The 6ths) by Xiu Xiu
08 Bow to the Middle (The Rosebuds) by +/-
09 Irene (Caribou) by Hands Off Cuba
10 Washington, D.C. (The Magnetic Fields) by Mark Robinson
11 Nashville Parent (Lambchop) by Junior Boys


Tagged as: merge records
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Friday, Sep 25, 2009

There was a time a few years ago when Sufjan Stevens, if he gerrymandered a district in such a way as to include music fans of a certain indie persuasion, could have made a successful run for Congress. Illinois had just come out, and the more starry-eyed among us were ecstatic at the prospect of 48 more state-themed albums.


Those salad days are now long behind us, with nary a song to show for it, aside from a few outtakes, Christmas songs, and a multimedia project. But don’t despair! Yon multi-talented music-maker is on tour right now, and he comes bearing good tidings and the gift of new song. “There’s Too Much Love” has his characteristic charm and a sojourn into unexplored territory that is, to say the least, enticing. Video below, remaining tour dates after the jump.



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