Saturday, April 04, 2009

Gold Sounds: Introducing...Dead Man's Bones

When it comes to celebrities-turned-musicians, there aren't many worth your time or hard drive space (unless you like really terrible rap ala Shaq or unoriginal modern rock like Phantom Planet). Hoping to change this trend is Dead Man's Bones. Dead Man's Bones, a band formed by Ryan Gosling and friend Zach Shields, play eerie folk music with a penchant for the dramatic: think a creepier Defiance, Ohio or Arcade Fire. Gosling's voice is haunting and from the sound of the songs floating around the internet so far, he and Shields have some major songwriting chops.

Here's the video for "Name in Stone" performed live, backed by two Los Angeles area choirs (choirs always increase musical drama, right?):

Yes, that is Ryan Gosling on guitar and vocals. Yes, he is that good. Keep a lookout for Dead Man's Bones' debut album, which should be coming out within the next few months.

Listen to "In the Room Where You Sleep" on the band's myspace

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Gold Sounds: Telekinesis - Telekinesis! reviewed

Telekinesis - Telekinesis!

Though Telekinesis is signed to Merge, it's easy to compare them to several well-known Barsuk bands; Death Cab for Cutie, Nada Surf, and Ra Ra Riot immediately come to mind when listening to this debut. "Rust" and "I Saw Lightning," the songs bookending the album, recall recent Death Cab but with a happier feel (think of what would happen if Ben Gibbard consumed numerous pixie sticks before performing "I Will Follow You into the Dark" and you might get the idea). On the other end of the spectrum, "Coast of Carolina" is one of the best upbeat, straightforward indie rock songs in recent memory. Really, that's what it comes down to; this album is 32 minutes of pure indie pop/rock (as popularized by The O.C., of course) bliss.

When recording the album, Michael Lerner (sole recording member of Telekinesis) made a point not to overthink things. The approach works for the most part: Lerner consistently sounds like an exuberant kid deeply in love with music, even if that love is for a specific variety of it. The Chris Walla (it' s like Lerner was trying to make it impossible for anyone to NOT compare Telekinesis to Death Cab) production works wonders, making each song sound crisp and gorgeous. Every track, even the acoustic "I Saw Lightning," has a bouncy feel to it, making for one of the most musically enjoyable albums released so far this year. If you're able to listen to the whole album without dancing a little, you may need to refill your Paxil prescription.

This approach has a negative impact on the lyrics, however: the catchiest choruses consist of sung 'oooohs' ("Foreign Room") and short, repeated phrases ("Tokyo," "Coast of Carolina"), and clunkers like "Tell me if I'm wrong/Tell me if I'm right/Tell me if you're something/I'm not feeling nothing" abound in multiple songs. Lerner mostly sings about girls using generalities as well, which isn't necessarily bad but certainly not terribly interesting. Only "Calling All Doctors" breaks the lyrical mold using some clever hospital-related metaphors, and the music also differs by prominently featuring piano rather than drums/bass/guitar (a nice change from the other ten songs). The song is a standout for both these reasons.

Telekinesis, like many other rising bands, is obviously influenced by Death Cab for Cutie and Barsuk Records artists in general. However, Telekinesis separates itself from the pack by embracing this influence and creating obviously passionate, joyous, and fun music. This debut may not be the most original album you'll hear this year, but if you enjoy the poppier side of indie rock then you'll definitely find something to like here.

Telekinesis! is the debut album from Telekinesis, out April 7th courtesy of Merge Records.

Listen: Myspace

Gold Sounds 4/1/09

It's April! Do people celebrate April Fools anymore? New music in red, of course!

Elvis Perkins in Dearland "Shampoo"
Mirah "The World Is Falling"
Pavement "Starlings of the Slipstream"

Hello Seahorse! "Won't Say Anything"
Richard Swift "The First Time"

David Bowie "Heroes"

Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Zero"
The Shins "Plenty Is Never Enough" (Tenement Halls cover, from new Merge Records compilation)
Little Brazil "Perfection"

Animal Collective "Who Could Win a Rabbit"
The Dodos "Walking"/"Red and Purple"
Maps & Atlases "Ted Zancha"

Rock Block - The New Pornographers Lunch Blocks
The New Pornographers "Sing Me Spanish Techno"
A. C. Newman "Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer"
Neko Case "The Needle Has Landed"

Zumpano "The Party Rages On"
The New Pornographers "Letter from an Occupant"
Neko Case "This Tornado Loves You"

The New Pornographers "The Fake Headlines"
Destroyer "European Oils"
Swan Lake "Battle of a Swan Lake, or, Daniel's Song"

The Decemberists "Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)"
Bishop Allen "The Lion & the Teacup"
The Boy Least Likely To "When Life Gives Me Lemons I Make Lemonade"
Architecture in Helsinki "That Beep"

Ticket giveaway - Ephemera Design Firm: for more info
Death Cab for Cutie "Cath..."
Telekinesis "Rust"/"Coast of Carolina"

Peter Bjorn and John "Living Thing" (the words in the chorus are exactly the same as in...)
Electric Light Orchestra "Livin' Thing"
Mates of State "Goods (All in Your Head)"

Systems Officer "Forever this Cyanide"
Times New Viking "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" (Arcade Fire cover, from new Merge compilation)

Ephemera Design Firm "Rheims"
Ticket giveaway - Ephemera Design Firm: for more info

Beep Beep "Mermaid Struggle"
Ace Enders "Reaction"

Sigur Ros "Gobbledigook"
The Dodos "Ashley"
Band of Horses "The Funeral"

Awesome show, thanks for listening and calling in for tickets. I'll see you next week!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ambient Signal - 3/31/09

WRPI 91.5fm! for webcast
Tuesdays 6-8pm

Pre show: Bell orchestre - elephant

Doves- Satellites
Khoiba - Pure hands
Bend Like Branches - Treefort
Patients - Mind Ur Manners
Brendan Canning - Hit the wall
Clare and the reasons - Pluto
Moving Mountains - With one's heart in one's mouth *Playing at ground zero this friday 4/3 at 8pm!* see for more info
Swan Lake - Peace
O+S - Haunts
Cursive - Mama, I'm swollen
Decemberists - The Rake's song
Dan Deacon - Red F
Long lost - Amiss
Quiet Countries - Williams, karate williams
Mirah - Shells
Little Brazil - Wasting time
Coathangers - Toomerhead
Azeda Booth - In Red
Amiina - Kolapot
Hammock - The house where we grew up
Gregor Samsa - First mile, last mile
Margot and the Nuclear so and so's - Cold, kind and lemon eyes
Broken Social scene - Anthems for a seventeen year old girl
My Bloody Valentine - Come in alone

pinkie swear.

death cab - grapevine fires
bishop allen - dimmer
modest mouse - 3rd planet
architechture in helsinki - that beep
mates of state - the re-arranger
yacht - see a penny (pick it up)
royksopp - happy up here
ladytron - tomorrow (great northern remix)
Mr. Scruff - music takes me up
Sebastien Tellier - Kilometer (A-trak remix)
Late of the Pier - Space in the woods
The Ephemera Design Firm - Rheims <----Playing at the Arts Center of the Capital Region on April 4th for more information - WRPI is giving away tickets later this week so stay tuned!
Mirah - La Familia (Guy Sigsworth)
Tilly and the wall - alligator skin
Mirah - Genorosity
The Mae Shi - Lamb and Lion
CocoRosie - God has a voice, she speaks through me
Mochipet - Girls and Boys and Toys
Lily Allen - The Fear
Santogold - L.E.S. Artistes
Tobacco - Backwoods Altar
Lali Puna - Boom Bip (Micronomic Remix)
Akoi Takamasa - When Night Falls
The Knife - Silent Shout
The Ephemera Design Firm - Notre Dame
Architechture in Helsinki - That Beep - Radioclit's French Mix


Monday, March 30, 2009

Weird Noises 3/30/09

Here is the playlist from today's show:

Jacques Berrocal - Rock & Roll Station
The Focus Group - Echo Release
Gavin Bryars - The Squirrel and the Ricketty Racketty Bridge (performed by Seth Josel)
The Focus Group - Inside the Rubber Box
Laurence Crane - "Jacques Derrida goes to a massage parlour" & "Jacques Derrida goes to the supermarket" (performed by Michael Finnissy)
Sonic Youth - Society is a Hole
Wolfgang Rihm - Die Eroberung von Mexico - Upheavals (performed by the Hamburg Opera Chorus and the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra)
Taku Sugimoto and Moe Kamura - Saritote (Tracks 5 and 6)
Richard Kamerman - fv form/bandit presentable/panacea truism
The Focus Group - Today's Rhythm People
Ruez - "Charter Grove Parochial" & "She Came from Money"
Olivier Messiaen - Catalogue d'oiseaux V - La Chouette hulotte (performed by Yvonne Loriod)
Taylor Dupree & Kenneth Kirschner - Live at the OFF Festival, Lisbon, May 9, 2008