The Dodos made their network television debut on Letterman last Friday, finally getting their friends and family to believe that they’re a real, successful band. The performance has a charming little fish-big pond feel to it, exactly the kind that makes me wonder how Letterman feels watching the band. Does he spend the whole time spinning a pen on his thumb? Is he initially dismissive but slowly persuaded that “hey, these kids can play”? Something tells me that Paul’s probably paying more attention.
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Georgia Anne Muldrow and Declaime team up with Rapper Big Pooh and M.E.D. for the wheezy, smoky “Endure”, which stumbles only because of its whiny beat. Otherwise, the production remains moody and atmospheric as Big Pooh and M.E.D. deliver solid guest verses. This track is off SomeOthaShip, Georgia and Declaime’s upcoming album that is due out digitally Feb. 16 and in retail stores Feb. 23.
The Besnard Lakes
The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night
Releasing: 9 March
“Albatross”, the new single from the upcoming The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night LP, doesn’t have nearly as depressing a sound as the title would make you think. The effect of its dreamy vocals and elongated instrumentation is actually borderline uplifting; if the Ancient Mariner had this on his iPod, he might have been cool with his mates dying off one by one with cursed looks in their eyes. Two Canadian and many European tour dates are below the jump.
01 Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent; Pt 1: The Ocean
02 Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent; Pt 2: The Innocent
03 Chicago Train
05 Glass Printer
06 Land of Living Skies; Pt 1: The Land
07 Land of Living Skies; Pt 2: The Living Skies
08 And This is What We Call Progress
09 Light Up The Night
10 The Lonely Moan
The music webzine Stylus Magazine may have shut its doors back in November 2007, but there’s nothing like the end of a decade to bring music critics out of the woodwork. So now, as a one-off reunion, there’s the Stylus Decade, a relatively massive undertaking that all this week is posting (most of) the old staff’s top 100 albums and singles of the 00s as well as a new essay each day.
I’ll gladly admit bias (I wrote for Stylus from 2003 until it closed, and wrote several blurbs for the Stylus Decade), but I can honestly say I haven’t been this excited about a piece of online music criticism in a while. Stylus never attained the readership of a PopMatters or a Pitchfork, but we had a loyal, often rabidly hostile following of readers. The spark that set the Stylus Decade in motion was people on the massive I Love Music forums pining to hear what we had to say about the decade just past. We were never exactly the least contentious website around, so in addition to some great writing our lists out to spur some discussion among people who love lists. Enjoy!
San Diego singer-songwriter John Meeks is, by all accounts, a real quiet and unassuming kind of guy. So it was probably fitting that his newest song, “Been Down by Love”, crept casually into my inbox through a friend, and I didn’t look up again until I realized I’d hit repeat about 15 times. Meeks runs in some pretty esteemed circles (Black Heart Procession’s Pall Jenkins and the Album Leaf’s Jimmy LaValle both contribute with production and bass, respectively), and with heavy hitters like that in his corner, you know the guy’s got the sauce. His sound puts me in mind of Whiskeytown’s classic “Strangers Almanac”, Uncle Tupelo, and the solo work of Old 97s’ Murry Hammond. But at the same time, “Been Down by Love” could have fit in perfectly on Doves’ superb offering from earlier this year, Kingdom of Rust. Like Ryan Adams with humility.
Meeks has a full-length album currently in production, but for now I subsist on the four songs available through all the usual outlets (iTunes, Amazon, etc.). There’s also a pretty cool video for “Been Down by Love” that was shot out in the California desert around Pioneertown, set of many a Western movie and TV show. Gene Autry would approve.