Sunday, March 25, 2012

Musique Non-Stop

Just a quick post and mixtape this time out as I'm about to start up a nonstop of week of shows in just a couple of hours. If all goes according to plan, I will be hitting 9 shows in 7 days and seeing at least 10 bands. I have been looking forward to this week for a while now. I almost feel like I've been training hard for it, almost like someone who would be training for a marathon but instead of actual running or working out, I rested up and stayed relatively on good maybe it's really the opposite of training for a marathon. Suffice to say, I'll be adding a bunch of ticket stubs to those pictured above. In the meantime, tonight's mixtape, creatively named Sunday Night Mixtape, is a collection of songs from the bands I intend on catching this week (in the order I'm seeing them, obvi.)

Sunday Night Mixtape
Check out this mixtape on Spotify: Sunday Night Mixtape [Random Ramblings & Mixtapes]

1. Cloud Nothings, "Cut You"
2. Band Of Skulls, "Wanderluster"
3. Delta Spirit, "Trashcan"
4. Tribes, "Sappho"
5. Andrew W.K., "Party Hard"
6. Swervedriver, "Last Train To Satansville"
7. Exitmusic, "The Hours"
8. A Place To Bury Strangers, "To Fix The Gash In Your Head"
9. The Joy Formidable, "Cradle"
10. WILD FLAG, "Boom"

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Morning Album Stream: Blood Red Shoes "In Time To Voices"

Monday mornings generally suck. In my case, however, all mornings suck...again referring back to that whole "me being kind of a night person"-thing. But today got just a little better thanks to me stumbling upon this. A full album stream of Blood Red Shoes' latest album, In Time To Voices (which is due out next week) courtesy of NME. Apparently, I have a thing for guitar and drum duos who make big-sounding songs (also see: Japandroids) and this duo from the UK fits that description to a tee. For some reason, aside from two or three friends of mine, not many people really know of Blood Red Shoes. Hopefully that changes soon. In the meantime, turn this up and become immersed.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"My So-Called Life" Marathon and Another Anticipation Mixtape

A lazy Sunday afternoon spent avoiding the daylight while watching a My So-Called Life marathon. I suppose a sentence like that is why I can't shake the whole "goth" tag; but honestly, I'm a night person. But seriously, My So-Called Life is such a great show that I can't watch just one episode. It reminds me about my big crush on Rayanne Graff. And my crush on Sharon who happens to be the only character on the show whose last name I never remember. It's also the original reason that I hated Jared Leto...or Jordan Catelano on the show. Which ties in to my whole anti-Pretty Boy stance. Aside from Jordan Catelano just being a total douche, I hated his band, Frozen Embryos, especially when they covered "I Wanna Be Sedated" and Jordan ended up singing it (after Rayanne ran off after getting stage fright) and sounding like that awful wussbag singer from the Goo Goo Dolls. This is also why I hate Leto's band, 30 Seconds To Mars...well, that and the fact that the band in actuality sucks. Anyway onto today's mixtape and things that don't suck.

As part of my never-ending search for cool new music, this is another set of songs off of forthcoming albums. So let's get to it - Anticipation 2012 - Vol. 3.

Anticipation 2012 - Vol. 3
1. Beach House, "Myth": Victoria Legrand has an intoxicating voice. For me, that's the key selling point to Beach House's music. Their follow-up to one of my favorite albums of 2010, Teen Dream, entitled Bloom is due out on Sub Pop on May 15th. And it turns out the band is offering this song as a free download.


2. Exitmusic, "Passage": Speaking of intoxicating voices, Aleksa Palladino is also blessed with one. Exitmusic is one of my favorite discoveries so far, this year. They're sound is not too far removed from Beach House, but there's also a little bit of Wye Oak thrown in there, as well. They follow up their mesmerizing 2011 EP, From Silence with their first full-length, Passage due out on Secretly Canadian on May 22nd. This is the title track which you can download here (Right click and 'Save Link As'.)

3. Magic Wands, "Space": Another boy/girl duo making lovesick indie pop. This one was thrown my way by a friend who thought I'd like it and he was right. A lush, hypnotic track that finds a way to make Kraut rock a little sexy.

4. Orbital, "New France" (Feat. Zola Jesus): I'll admit, I'm not what one would call an Orbital fan. But the mere vocal presence of Nika Roza Danilova (a.k.a. Zola Jesus) makes me love this song. It establishes what I call "The Zola Jesus Rule." It states that if Zola Jesus does guest vocals on a song it's automatically good. There's also the existence of the very similar "Robert Smith Rule."

Also, I couldn't resist and had to post the video. Who doesn't enjoy a narrative that involves a big goofy teddy bear?

5. Saint Etienne, "Tonight": Irresistible dance-pop from these UK vets. "Tonight" is the first single off their forthcoming album, Words And Music By Saint Etienne. Band member, Bob Stanley describes the album as being about "how music affects your life. How it defines the way you see the world as a child, how it can get you through bad times in unexpected ways, and how songs you’ve known all your life can suddenly develop a new attachment, and hurt every time you hear them. More than how it affects and reflects your life though, the album is about believing in music, living your life by its rules." Just based on that, I can already tell I'll love it.

6. Bishop Morocco, "Old Boys": Toronto's Bishop Morocco just released their first EP for the Arts & Crafts label - the home of such acts as Broken Social Scene and Trust. "Old Boys," (the title track to said EP) mixes New Wave, dreampop, and Britpop a.k.a. all things I love. Download this song at

7. Craft Spells, "Still Left With Me": Dreamy synthpop straight from California. Their track "After The Moment" off of last year's Idle Labor got a lot of play whenever I DJ'ed out. This one is off the band's new EP entitled Gallery due out on May 15th and is destined for the same fate as "ATM."

8. Ladyhawke, "Black White & Blue": It's been 4 years since Ladyhawke's self-titled debut. This is the first single off of Anxiety a decidedly more rock-tinged album due out on May 29th. The shift in sound shouldn't come as a huge surprise as anyone who had seen her live could tell there was a rock star waiting to burst out.

9. Autochrome, "100 Series":  Yes, it's a well-known fact (especially around my friends) how obsessed I am with Autochrome. Easily my favorite band to come out of Boston in quite a long time. Post-Punk that is dark, danceable, and downright addictive. They've got a record release for the awesome Separation Realms (yes, I've already heard the album) on Friday, March 30th at TT The Bear's Place in Cambridge. This song is available to download from their Bandcamp page.

10. Moonface, "Teary Eyes And Bloody Lips": I'm a huge fan of all things Wolf Parade. The band's two frontmen. Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug could basically do no wrong in my eyes. I even love their non-Wolf Parade bands, Hansom Furs and Sunset Rubdown, respectively. But Spencer actually managed to put something out that I wasn't a big fan of under the name Moonface. That project's first album, whose title is too long for me to want to type out, was like a test of my patience as it centered around Krug's eccentricities. Moonface's new album, With Sinai: Heartbreaking Bravery promises to bring his music back down to earth a bit. It's due out on April 17th. Download this track here (Right click and 'Save Link As'.)

11. Blood Red Shoes, "Cold": It's a mystery to me how this duo isn't big yet. I actually got obsessed with Blood Red Shoes around the same time as The Joy Formidable. As a matter of fact, I got to see Blood Red Shoes about a month before JoyFo and they were just as awesome  and as huge-sounding live as they are on record. A pretty impressive feat for a stripped-down guitar and drums setup. "Cold" is the first single off their new album In Time To Voices due out later this month.

12. O. Children, "PT Cruiser": This young UK band plays up to my love of goth. Hell, they even get their name from a Nick Cave song. "PT Cruiser" is the first single off their new album called Apnea out on May 28th.

13. Crocodiles, "Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)": In an ideal world, shoegaze and psych rock would be huge. In said world, Crocodiles would be huge stars. Their last album, Sleep Forever was awesome and going by this first single to the new Endless Flowers (out in June) it promises to follow in its footsteps. The only thing I don't like about this band is that lead singer, Brandon Welchez is married to my dream girl (this time I'm referring to Dee Dee of the Dum Dum Girls)...ho hum.

14. Free Energy, "Electric Fever": An appropriate song to close out this mixtape especially since the Boston weather seems to becoming warmer and sunnier. This Philadelphia band makes the kind of music tailor made for blasting out of top-down convertibles complete with cowbell and dueling solos worthy of air-guitar. Download this song here (Right click and 'Save Link As'.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

By Request

Forgive me while I get on my soap box but It's no secret that I'm a bit of a music snob. It's also no secret that I'm a DJ. In this day and age, though, that second sentence is fairly common thanks to whatever software is out there that makes it so that anyone with a hard drive full of MP3s can call themselves a "DJ." I know I come across sounding like a bit of a jerk when I say this, but I never thought I'd be considered old-school for the way I spin music. To me, there's a certain badge of honor in lugging around a crapload of CDs and records - yes, actual vinyl records. I won't lie, though, I may not be the best at beat-matching or blending songs together, but in my mind, being highly proficient is secondary to the actual music. I don't judge DJs by how well they mix, but by the quality of the music they play. And yes, this is where my snobbery comes into play, but I tend to gain respect when I see someone using CDs and records. In some ways, it's about the hardware not the software (which may or may not make actual sense but it sounds good.)

I realize the above paragraph may piss some people off and I'm ok with that. So to make up for it, here's a mixtape!

So the theme behind this mixtape is simple. The other night, I spun music with two dear friends (DJ Big Missy and DJ Chris Ewen) as part of a night that the three of us host and book called Weekly Wax. On this evening, we just wanted to DJ together since we hardly ever get the opportunity to just hang out and enjoy what we each have to offer musically. Plus whenever the three of us get together we also end up having a kickass poster made for our night:

(A million thanks to our good friend, Ana for designing this, by the way)

So as requested by our friend and fellow Amigo, Bridget (a.k.a. DJ Nemesis), who sadly, had to miss the event, this Wednesday Night Mixtape is a compilation of what I played on Monday. A little electropop, a little post-punk, some dreampop, songs from recent obsessions (School Of Seven Bells and Autochrome), and yes, even some Nine Inch Nails. In short, a very "DJ Brian L" kind of set.

Wednesday Night Mixtape
1. Labyrinth Ear, "Humble Bones"
2. Nine Inch Nails, "Ringfinger"
3. Cold Cave, "Confetti"
4. Depeche Mode, "It's No Good"
5. M83, "Intro" (feat. Zola Jesus)
6. I Break Horses, "Winter Beats"
7. Exitmusic, "The Modern Age"
8. Neon Indian, "Fallout"
9. Black Marble, "Pretender"
10. Blouse, "Time Travel"
11. A Place To Bury Strangers, "Onwards To The Wall"
12. Autochrome, "We Are The System"
13. Soft Kill, "From This Point"
14. School Of Seven Bells, "Low Times"
15. Light Asylum, "End Of Days"
16. Charli XCX, "Nuclear Seasons"
17. Niki & The Dove, "DJ Ease My Mind"
18. Ladytron, "Seventeen"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Late Night Streams

I'm forever in search of new music. Something that grabs me and demands my attention. And then it happens: I manage to stumble across one song. A single song that I have the need to share immediately. In spite of the fact that 2am is quickly approaching. So this is one of those rare occasions where there is no mixtape...just a few songs to listen to. Become immersed.

This new Beach House song is what triggered this late night post. I've listened to it 3 times already and plan on visiting my own blog tomorrow to listen to it repeatedly. I'll likely listen to Teen Dream again, too...just because hearing Victoria Legrand's voice reminds me how much I really loved that album and it makes me instantly love this song.

And since I can't post just one song, here's a few others that deserve repeated listens:

A new song from 2:54. I completely fell for their Scarlet EP from last year. So much so that the 10" record may have been a drunken late night EBay purchase. Anyway, this new song continues in the smoky, dreampop direction of their EP.

I came across this UK trio while doing one of my many random searches for new music. Had I heard Be Forest's 2011 debut album Cold. a year ago, it could have easily been my favorite album of last year. A band with all the right influences ranging from The Jesus And Mary Chain, Cocteau Twins, and even The Cure. "Hanged Man" is their latest single. A bit noisy but nonetheless hypnotic.

And the last one for tonight comes from Spiritualized. I have a strong connection to them since their 1997 album Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space. It was probably my favorite non-industrial album of that year. It also helped that that was the summer that I was the music director at WZBC and this album was in heavy rotation. They're set to release their new one, Sweet Heart Sweet Light in the Spring and if the near 9-minute "Hey Jane" is any indication of what to expect then I'm prepared to be blown away.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Two For One

For this entry of Random Ramblings & Mixtapes, I finally get started with collecting the songs I've pretty much obsessed over for the last month. But since we're at the beginning of March, and also since I only came up with this whole idea of doing a "Monthly Favorites Mixtape," I'm doing a little catch-up and I'll be including two (YES, TWO) mixtapes - a January 2012 Mixtape and a February 2012 Mixtape (obvi.) Also, this gives me an excuse to use that absolutely ridiculous image above of wolves sitting in the snow. I swear I don't actually own that calendar.

The idea behind this series of Monthly Favorites is simple: Put together a mix of songs that were on super-heavy rotation on BriPod. A lot of times these songs will have already appeared on previous mixtapes (in which case, I'll include a link to the original blog entry), but ideally these all got officially released in said calendar month. I'll aim to keep things concise, as in no more than 10 songs, but there will be times I'll get long-winded. Hard to believe, I know.

January 2012 Mixtape
A majority of this mixtape is also available to be heard on Spotify: January 2012 Mixtape [Random Ramblings & Mixtapes]

1. Big Deal, "Chair": Boy/Girl UK duo sometimes talk dirty, sometimes get sappy with just a touch of fuzz. No drums needed. Originally appeared on File Under: Miscellaneous

2. Porcelain Raft, "Drifting In And Out": A fuzzy and dreamy synthpop standout off of Porcelain Raft's beloved album, Strange Weekend. The single, "Put Me To Sleep" appeared on Looking Forward - Part 2.

3. John Talabot, "Destiny" feat. Pional: A surprisingly emotive album from a techno/deep house producer hailing from Barcelona. John Talabot's ƒIN is a truly addictive listen. This record reminds me a bit of Four Tet's There Is Love In You which is a good thing.

4. Expensive Looks, "Nothing More": This bit of indie/dance music is a bit more my speed. This one also originally appeared on Looking Forward - Part 2.

5. Motor, "Man Made Machine (feat. Martin L. Gore)": Stompy EBM with vocals from Depeche Mode's Martin L. Gore. Originally appeared on what is essentially the first part of my Looking Forward series.

6. The Big Pink, "1313": This band's sophomore effort, Future This, is one of those rare albums that gets constant play on both BriPod and on my record player (the vinyl is pink, of course.) So rather than stick with one of the singles, I figured I'd go with one my favorite tracks off the album. Have I mentioned how much I love this band?

7. TOY, "Left Myself Behind": This one is holding steady as one of my favorite songs of the far. It originally appeared on Looking Forward - Part 2.

8. Pop.1280, "Bodies In The Dunes": Some evil-sounding noise punk straight out of the gutters of NY. Originally on Looking Forward.

9. Cloud Nothings, "Stay Useless": Cleveland power pop wunderkind gets bratty with some help from Steve Albini.

February 2012 Mixtape 
Some of this mixtape is also available to be heard on Spotify: February 2012 Mixtape [Random Ramblings & Mixtapes]

1. Band Of Skulls, "Sweet Sour": UK power trio out to save rock one big, Zeppelin-sized riff at a time.

2. Black Marble, "On My Head": New York duo combine minimal wave with post punk and end up sounding like early Cure submerged underwater.

3. A Place To Bury Strangers, "Onwards To The Wall": The title track to these New York noise-mongers latest EP shows some surprising restraint and even more surprising, some guest female vocals. And just so I can bring up The Cure again, fellow DJ's should take note: this song mixes really well after "Grinding Halt."

4. Young Boys, "It's Alright": A friend of mine suggested this band to me by describing them as "a little like The Jesus And Mary Chain." He had me at "Mary Chain." If you're into fuzzy basslines and laconic vocals like me, then I highly recommend downloading their EP here:

5. Sleigh Bells, "End Of The Line": It's no secret that I have a huge crush on Sleigh Bells, particularly, Alexis Krauss (see: Valentine's Day Crushes, Commercial Music, or even Looking Forward - Part 2.) Reign Of Terror has been on constant rotation on BriPod and honestly, picking one song that I was obsessed with more than another is pretty tough. So I went with a Sleigh Bells slow jam.

6. School Of Seven Bells, "Low Times": Probably my other favorite album of the last 2 months is SVIIB's Ghostory. It perfectly mixes dreampop and shoegaze with just a touch of goth. Before even hearing the whole album, I would have guessed that "Lafaye" was a shoe-in for this Monthly Favorites Mix since it appeared as a stream in Looking Forward and as part of the Anticipation 2012 - Vol. 2 mixtape in Looking Forward - Part 2. But the decision as to what song to include was tough so I went with the one I most want to hear in a dark dance club setting.

7. Labyrinth Ear, "Humble Bones": Speaking of a dark dance club, this one from UK synthpop duo, Labyrinth Ear, would totally fit on strobe-lit dancefloor.

8. Trust, "This Ready Flesh": OK, admittedly, I leaned towards dark, goth-tinged dance music. Trust fulfills every part of that last sentence. The cover to their debut full-length, TRST, is totally goth. I would totally sneak this song into an industrial set...possibly following some Front 242.

9. Gorillaz featuring Andre 3000 and James Murphy, "DoYaThing": Who doesn't like Gorillaz? Or Andre 3000? Or James Murphy, for that matter? This one appeared in File Under: Miscellaneous.