The Dodos - "Black Night"
Back in 2005, singer-songwriter Meric Long had been regularly gigging the San Francisco area in support of his solo EP, Dodo Bird. It was during this time that Long was introduced to Logan Kroeber by an old college buddy. It was as though lightning bolts crashed down from the heavens and cosmically brought these two musicians together.
In a combination of Long's West African Ewe drumming influences - which utilize cross rhythms, polyrhythms and syncopation similar to jazz drumming - and Kroeber's metal music experience, the Dodos have created a blend of drums and acoustic guitar where the centric force is the near tribal, steely beats laid over airy, yet driving guitar rhythms and equally as thoughtful lyrics. It's folk, it's rock, it's beautiful.
The Dodos fourth studio album, No Color (Frenchkiss Records), was released early March and features Neko Case on backing vocals. Check out their latest single, "Black Night" here:
The Mountain Goats have done it again: the All Eternals Deck (Merge Records) is singer-songwriter John Darnielle's thirteenth studio album and he shows no signs of stopping.
Since his first release, Zopilote Machine (Ajax Records), in 1994, The Mountain Goats have undergone countless lineup changes with Darnielle remaining the only constant. Often performing by himself or backed by bassist, Peter Hughes, Darnielle creates a seamless blend of southern and midwestern folk encapsulated by prose ridden stories of drunken stupors, heartache and the pains of being alive. Check out The Mountain Goats newest single "Damn These Vampires" below.
During an NPR interview, Explosions in the Sky referred to their music as "cathartic mini-sympohnies". It is doubtful that anyone would be able to coin a better phrase to describe the masterworks that comprise Explosions discography.
Formed back in 1999, the Austin, Texas quartet of two guitars, bass and drums, have barreled through the new millennium with incendiary compositions of technical grace, emotional uproar, and a visceral image of sound-san-words that truly rockets one to another dimension. They have done nothing less with their latest adventure, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. Use their song titles as your theme and take the journey with them into the beyond. Be sure to pick up the album on April 18th and check out the kick off track, "Last Known Surroundings".
Parades - "Past Lives"
Parades aren't the most well known band in the world, but last year they released their first LP, Foreign Tapes. And my word, there is one track that actually changed my life. It's been a long while since a feeling of complete warmth joy has come over me from one track alone, but this one did it. "Past Lives" is the perfect way to introduce springtime to your soul. Check out their website here. But I urge you to listen to this track loud and in headphones. Enjoy.
For those of you that don't know, Cecil Frena is making EPIC dance-pop tracks. Who is Cecil Frena? After blowing out his voice in his early 2000's hardcore band, Cecil formed Push Pins - a conceptual DIY organization that "hosts unique all-ages musical events and shows in the area of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada."
But possibly more importantly - at least for those of us that don't live any where near Edmonton, or even Canada for that matter - Frena has been taking the underground scene by storm with his project, GOBBLE GOBBLE. He's unsigned and currently on a tour where the shows are, according to the Push Pins website, "sporadic at best". But the tracks this guy is producing are unbelievably moveable, grooveable and sexy as hell. Check out the latest remix of GOBBLE GOBBLE's own track, "Boring Horror (Sundance Remix)". It's like dub meets house and smoked a bunch of crack.