A Random Mp3 Trilogy: The Dodos, The Octopus Project, The XX

The Dodos


Photo by Charlie Villyard

The Dodos‘ third album hits stores physically next week, but they have made it available digitally ever since it leaked on the torrents long ago. With Time To Die, they branch out a lot farther from their Sung Tongs starting point and seemed to have come into their own. The Animal Collective influence is still felt here, but it doesn’t seem to dominate it like their last record. When this band really connects everything together right, they sound amazing, but at times they drift into slightly boring and repetitive areas. That said, the 9 tracks on this album have a lot less fat on them then previous installments, and the thoroughly enjoyable results display a sharp improvement in a band that had already started ahead of the curve.

The Dodos : Small Deaths

Buy Time To Die

The Dodos myspace




The Octopus Project


Photo by Aubrey Edwards

Similarly to The Dodos, Austin’s The Octopus Project have slimmed down their newest release and do much more with less. The 5 track EP manages to demonstrate every strength of this band in less than twenty minutes. The first two cuts are some of the best pop songs this band has ever written. The final three instrumental pieces stand testament to the post-rock prowess of this talented theremin centric outfit. They are re-releasing their first two albums today, so once you pick this EP up and inevitably get hooked, there is plenty of old material easily accessible to dive into:

The Octopus Project : Half A Nice Day

Buy Golden Beds

The Octopus Project myspace




The XX

After reading the recent reviews and super-hype on the Internet, I totally expected to hate this UK band. But after getting through the whole album, I found myself really liking it. I often rail against overly simplistic bands, but I absolutely love a group that can accomplish something rather incredible with a minimal palette. This record isn’t going to change anyone’s life and I doubt it will end up near the top of my list of faves for the year, but I have to admit that it is a good one.

The XX : Infinity

Buy XX

The XX myspace

Photos and Review: Octopus Project, Tealights, Living Rooms at The Star Bar in Atlanta, GA (8/6/09)


All black and white photos by Clint Miller
All color photos by Kevin Griggs

I arrived at the Star Bar about halfway through the first song from an Atlanta based three piece called Living Rooms. Their sound immediately caught my attention, as it was extremely similar to Animal Collective. The only major difference that I could distinguish was their use of heavy bass in their sound. It had more of a club/dance feel than Animal Collective.

I was not the only person who felt this way. Almost everyone I talked to mentioned that they were good yet sounded just like AC or Panda Bear. They did, however, hold my attention throughout their entire set.

Even though they sounded like Animal Collective, they did not sound as if they had ripped them off. It was just apparent what they have probably been listening to them for years. I look forward to hearing more from these guys and would recommend them to anyone who is a fan of experimental pop or indie music.

After Living Rooms left the stage I decided to get some drinks and wait for Tealights, another Atlanta band, to play. Then I waited some more. Apparently there were some major problems with the sound and setting up. I found out later that the band was having difficulty with the sound guy. We waited about an hour before they actually took the stage. At this point it was nearing midnight and I was pretty tired. Tealights is a four piece consisting of Brett Kelly on drums, Mikey Johnson playing guitar/electronics and singing, Mary Knight who sings and plays cello, and Nancy Shim who plays flute, keyboard and sings.


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Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays to all of you Ohmpark readers! I’ll be dropping the rest of my year end lists next week, but here are a few stocking stuffers until then:

The Long Blondes recently broke up, but I only very recently learned it is because their guitarist suffered a stroke in June. That sucks. They did release a free anti-Christmas song at their myspace:

Long Blondes : Christmas Is Cancelled

Jambanders Umphrey’s McGee just released a free holiday EP complete with three live tracks from various performances, and you can get the whole thing here. Here is a cut from that:

Umphrey’s McGee : Greensleeves > Carol Of The Bells

Atlanta’s Black Lips have been getting into the spirit by giving away a track from their forthcoming album 200 Million Thousand, due out February 24. They are also challenging people to make as many videos for the song, “Starting Over”, in hopes of having 200 million thousand videos of it. Get all the details here.

Black Lips : Starting Over

Austin’s The Octopus Project have also given away a free song for Xmas, a Bee Gees cover. More info on that here.

The Octopus Project : I. O. I. O.

Finally, I already posted my holiday mixtape, but before it is over, here’s one more interesting Christmas song for you:

65daysofstatic : I’m Dreaming Of A White Noise Christmas

A Random Mp3 Trilogy


Oh No! Oh My!

I just got finished listening to Oh No Oh My‘s new EP Dmitrij Dmitrij and it was pretty damn awesome. This was my first exposure to this Austin, TX band, and they are upbeat, poppy, and sound really, really good. I highly recommend checking it out. Cable And Tweed has been touting this band for a while, so thanks to Rich for the tip. Here is the single that is making its way across the blogosphere:

Oh No Oh My : Be A Star

Buy Dmitrij Dmitrij: [MP3]




I’ve been listening to the new Tobacco album a lot lately, it is such a chill jammer. It is a shame this album came out so late in the year, because it could have been the ultimate summer album. Anyway, instead of giving you another track from that, I’m going to go old school and give you a track from Tobacco‘s band, Black Moth Super Rainbow. As a bonus, the song is remixed by The Octopus Project:

Black Moth Super Rainbow : Drippy Eye (The Octopus Project remix)

Buy Fucked Up Friends: [MP3] [CD] [LP]

In a case of can’t-tell-if-it’s-ironic-or-not, Tobacco has hired the star of those anti-smoking “truth” commercials, Derrick Beckles, to direct and act in his music videos. Here are two to check out:





Au

Emusic is giving away a sampler album for CMJ 2008, going down in New York right now. To close out this trilogy, I give you a track from it called “Sleep” by Au, the closer of their amazing album Verbs. While many bands have been doing more conservative takes of Animal Collective this year (seriously, I can’t finish El Guincho‘s album without being bored, even though it sounds nice), Au takes the aesthetic and goes completely in a psychedelic direction that is fast becoming a favourite of mine from this year. David already talked about them a bit and dropped some tracks, but here’s one more (and go get this thing right now!):

Au : Sleep

Buy Verbs: [MP3] [CD] [LP]

What Up In The ATL?

Best shows in Atlanta from October 13th – 19th:

Monday:

A Fight To The Death @ 97 Estoria

Tuesday:

The Wedding Present, The Jealous Girlfriends @ The Earl

Wednesday:

Dead Confederate, Heartless Bastards @ The Five Spot

Talkdemonic, By Polar Bear, Nerdkween @ The Earl

Thursday:

Girl Talk, Grand Buffet, Hearts Of Darkness @ Variety Playhouse (SOLD OUT)

Friday:

Awesome Color, Graboids, This Piano Plays Itself @ Drunken Unicorn

Saturday:

A Place To Bury Stranger, Sian Alice Group, All The Saints @ Drunken Unicorn

Sunday:

The Octopus Project @ The Earl

Sian Alice Group : Motionless
The Octopus Project : Wet Gold
A Place To Bury Strangers : Don’t Think Lover
Awesome Color : Already Down
Talkdemonic : Civilian
The Jealous Girlfriends : Organs On The Kitchen Floor

SXSW 2008 Day 2: Thursday

Yesterday I started my day at Emo’s, but it was so crowded and I wasn’t really digging the bands I heard so, I dipped out across the street to the Brooklyn Vegan party at Emo’s Annex (there are about 700 different Emo’s venues) because the BV party the night before was so much fun. I caught a band called WHY? that was pretty good.

After that, I decided to just walk up and down the main strip and listen to the music coming from each bar and try to discover some bands I hadn’t heard of. Outside some Irish pub I heard a really intriguing band, so I went inside to check them out. It was a band from Dublin, Ireland called Delorentos. They were total dance-rock, like Bloc Party before they started getting all soft and lame. I got a live video, but Google video is acting hella lame today, so I can’t post the plethora of vids i took yesterday until a later date. But I did manage to find their official video(although I don’t think it is their best song):

After some more walking around I heard another band that sounded promising from a dive called Agave. The Brooklyn, New York trio Appomattox rocked really hard, doing loud post-punky rock.

After that it was time to head back to the Annex, where I caught Men, members of Le Tigre doing the laptop DJ thing. The day before, me and Biggie C were discussing this new trend where bands go DJ and how most of the time they aren’t that good at it, but this was an exception as they rocked the dance floor hard.

After that, it was time for Phosphorescent, one of the artists I was most excited about seeing at SXSW. He put on a great performance, doing much heavier versions of his stuff than I would have guessed considering how soft and low-key the album is.

Near the end of the show, I noticed Matthew Houck kept looking at someone in the crowd and cracking up laughing. I finally heard someone screaming stuff at him and turned around. It turned out to be Miles Seaton of Akron/Family acting like he was an obsessed fan. For the Phosphorescent finale, he came down into the audience and sang to the Akron/Family boys:

After that, we stuck around and caught Holy Fuck. I’m not much of a dancer and these days it takes something really special to get me to throw down, but Holy Fuck is just the perfect combination of dance music and noise for me to get really into it. You ATLiens who will be around town on Monday really need to go down to The Drunken Unicorn and catch them playing with A Place To Bury Strangers and Atlanta’s badasses All The Saints.

After a short break in the onslaught of great shows, I went and caught Islands. They played almost nothing but new material, and it sounds great. I took a ton of videos, so expect those to show up here sometime in the next few weeks.

After that, it was on to Mohawk’s patio to catch one of then night’s best line-ups. I got there just in time to catch the end of another Phosphorescent set, where he closed with a 10 minute vocal looping jam. After that, I discovered another great act from California called Bodies Of Water. Really cool stuff with lots of vocal harmonizations. They will be at The Earl Monday night with Sons And Daughters so there is another hot Atlanta St. Patty’s Day show you can catch.

Then it was time for Evangelicals. I have been in total love with their new album, so I had been really hyped up for this show. They did not disappoint. They came out with massive blacklights and a fog machine, dressed in a style that was half goth, half candy-raver, and went through songs off the new record. Again, expect many live videos to pop up around here in the near future.

Next up on the outdoor stage was Bon Iver. They went through a handful of the beautiful songs on For Emma, Forever Ago, and wow did they sound good. If you have yet to pick up this album, you are missing out.

After that, we switched up things entirely by seeing Indian Jewelry. I would describe their sound as Liars meets Atlanta’s Subliminator. It was a spectacle of strobe lights and minimalist percussionists that were there more to dance than to make music. Very interesting show.

We closed out the night at Emo’s Outside stage. I got there just in time for the end of Islands’ set, but this time they closed with the amazing “Swans (Life After Death)”. Unfortunately, the one dark moment of the entire festival came as some sound guy walked out on stage with a few minutes left in the song right and the PA shut off. They actually cut off their last song. Nick Thorburn found a microphone that was still hooked into the PA and yelled “Fuck SXSW!” Everyone started booing, it was a crazy scene.

After that debacle, We ended our night with an awesome set from Austin’s The Octopus Project.

It’s on to more music, so I’ll holla at you later.

Humpnight Randomnimity

Three interesting shows this week i didn’t mention earlier are:

I can’t decide which Saturday night show to hit up after Joanna Newsom, so I’ll probably coin flip or something. With the Thursday night show, I guess I’m going to offer the dissenting opinion relative to all the other blogs in town that I would recommend going to Smashing Pumpkins and Explosions in The Sky over the free Star Bar thing. I know Black Kids are somewhat local and blowing up thanks to the ‘fork, but I’ve listened to that EP a few times and it just doesn’t stand out to me that much. It’s not bad or anything, but it sounds like a dancier ripoff of the whole Swan Lake spectrum of indie-rock and its just not exciting me that much relative to all the other stuff I’ve been listening to lately. Also, I caught Judi Chicago last month, and as much as I hate ripping on locals, I have to call it like it is, and I think they just pretty much suck. Just because you perform crappy music in your underwear doesn’t make up for the crappy music you are performing. I mean, the show is free so it’s probably worth going if you don’t have the cash for the other show, but I just wanted to get my opinion out there.

Now I’ll cool off the haterade and give you a nice PJ Harvey vid:

Back to the haterade, Band of Horses are doing 3 New Years shows at the Earl and tickets go on sale Friday. BOH, or “Fisher Price, My First My Morning Jacket” as I like to call them, are another band that I think receive a little too much praise relative to what every other band on Earth is doing right now. Cease To Begin isn’t a bad album or anything, but it’s not a great one either.

Someone who is worthy of the hype is coming to Eyedrum in January:

The onslaught of My Bloody Valentine reunion rumors continue.

Want to see what Dethklok look and sound like live? Here you go:

Here’s a The Octopus Project vid:

In case you had forgotten how awesome Marnie Stern is or you are a new ohmpark reader, here’s a vid:

Between The Buried And Me are an awesome metal band that i’ve recently been jamming alot:

In case you don’t know, Radiohead did some crazy webcast stuff last week. I’ve got a huge-ass article planned as i haven’t really talked about the new album much and i’m still listening to it like crazy. Until i get a chance to go on an In Rainbows lovefest, here’s my favourite song from it done live on the webcast:

It’s Echo Project Week!

For me, this is gonna be a killer week. Wednesday I’m heading up to Asheville to catch Porcupine Tree. Thursday I come back and head a little OTP for Echo Project. Then on Monday I’m heading to Birmingham to catch Earlimart. A few Echo Project details I forgot to cover is that Common got added and that Dubconscious will be playing at the campgrounds Thursday night. As excited as I am about the festival, there happens to be a ridiculous amount of great shows in the Atlanta area this weekend, so if you can’t go to Echo, there’s still plenty of great tunes to be absorbed:

Tuesday night The Brunettes and The Preakness will be at The Earl.

Wednesday night Ghostface Killah will be at Georgia Tech.

Thursday night Octopus Project and Morning State will be at the Drunken Unicorn.

Friday night offers many great options: Caribou at the Earl, Minus The Bear at the Variety Playhouse, and Portugal. The Man at The Loft.

Subtle and Sunset Rubdown at the Drunken Unicorn Saturday night is pretty sweet.

Sunday is packed out too with Ryan Adams at the Fox, Band of Horses at Park Tavern, and my pick for best show of the week, Earlimart at the Earl.

Minus The Bear : Menos El Oso : Drilling

Portugal. The Man : Church Mouth : Shade

Earlimart : Mentor Tormentor : Happy Alone

The Octopus Project : Hello, Avalanche : I Saw The Bright Shinies

Caribou : Andorra : Eli

Sunset Rubdown : Random Spirit Lover : For The Pier (And Dead Shimmering)