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Moving!

Over the coming weeks, I am going to be moving this blog to a new address http://www.indierocklove.com.  The new site is live as of now, and has a new look.  It will still be about music that excites me, musings about making music and the music industry, and whatever else I feel like talking about.

If you have been following this blog, I sincerely thank you, and hope you will continue to follow me at the new site.  I will also be using Twitter to announce new blog posts, so that is another option for keeping up with this blog.  You can follow me on Twitter at @cathmfs.  Thanks for reading!

The best band in the world?

My kids have become absolutely obsessed with sports lately, and spend hours reading the sports page, making their own sports page, and more importantly, devising their dream lineups for any given sport.  As the only girl in the house, and one with only a mild passing interest in any sport except perhaps tennis in late June, I am feeling a bit left out.  Recently I told one of them that wouldn’t it be nice if just one of them could be music obsessed so I wouldn’t be lonely?  I thought this comment had fallen on deaf ears, but a few days ago, he asked me if I could have anyone in a band, who would it be?  The caveat, I am not to be in this band (this is surely a blessing for the band), rather, it is to be my dream lineup.

Keith Moon being unavailable, I started out with drummer Braedyn Krueger from the Lonely Forest.  I have said it here before, that guy can play.  I really like Keith Moon and John Bonham’s style and Krueger stands out as a pretty good replacement, with the added advantage of being alive.  Runner up: Keith Parry (Superconductor, The Gay, Pink Mountaintops)

Next came the keyboards/piano.  I am in awe of Jools Holland.  His playing epitomizes the phrase “tinkling the ivories.”  I can think of no one with more prowess than him, yet he seems to play with ease.  Runner up: Liam O’Maonlai (Hothouse Flowers)

Then I got stuck.  After much thought, I added a singer, Guy Garvey (Elbow).  He could be the Joe Cocker of our generation, blessed with a set of rock n’ roll pipes.  Every clip of live footage I have seen he is always spot on and sounds great.  In the era of auto-tune, this guy is the real deal.  Runner up: Michael Stipe

Bass player: Bob Hardy (Franz Ferdinand).  I bet even he would be surprised to see his name here.  I have read somewhere that he is an artist who happens to play music for a day job (that’s rough, isn’t it?).  What I like about his playing is that he is able to do the melodic bass lines, but he also knows when to just thump it out. Which is the perfect segue into the guitar player dilemma. (PS Runner up: Mike Mills)

The hardest one, the position that required an extra 24 hours to consider, was guitarist.  There are so many to choose from, yet, I asked myself who had amazing talents and abilities yet economy of playing when needed?  I am going to go with Joey Santiago from the Pixies.  I like the way he plays.  The problem with guitarists, is they wank and noodle all the time. C’mon, you all know some guitarist who if you put them within 50 ft of a guitar will absently pick it up and start noodling.  There are no fancy solos in the Pixies music, just catchy leads and little solos in just the right amount.  Runner up:  Okay, Stephen Malkmus makes it look effortless, but he does have a tendency to go off on little guitar tangents.

Songwriter:  Yes, my dream band has a songwriter.  After all, it is so eclectic how would that lot ever agree on a song? So Carl Newman will write all of the music.  He is certainly underated as a songwriter, but I think he is one of the best of our time.

So there you have it.  My fantasy music league.  I welcome your lineups…

It was a beautiful day in Seattle yesterday, so I took the opportunity to head down early and walk around a bit. Seems like TLF guitarist Tony Ruland had the same idea as we passed him on the street at least 3 times. When we all finally gathered inside the legendary Crocodile Cafe, the sun had gone down, but the heat remained. And by the time the Lonely Forest took the stage, they turned it up even further. I have seen this band a number of times over the last few years and I have to say the energy and set list last night was among the best of any of their shows I have attended.

One of the things that makes this band great is their live performance. They have an energy live that just doesn’t get fully captured on their recordings. Mixing up the set with selections from their recently re-released lp “We sing the body electric,” 2011′s “Arrows” and some selections from their upcoming new album the band blasted through their set to a packed house. In a charming moment, singer John VanDeusen was suddenly taken with a stubborn case of the sniffles. After the opening lines of “Two pink pills” he stopped and asked  someone to fetch him a kleenex, blew his nose, and then rather than start the song over, the band picked up where they left off.  The other strengths of this band include great songs, and a killer drummer, Bradyn Krueger. (Actually I came to hear of TLF because my former co-worker is his cousin).

Minneapolis band Now, Now and fellow Anacortesians (?) BellaMaine opened up.  It was the last day of the tour for label-mates Now, Now and TLF and  the mutual admiration society was in full swing.  Near the end of  TLF’s set, Now Now singer Cacie came out and applied lipstick, eyeshadow and mascara to VanDeusen.  Continuing the feminine theme, Ruland appeared for the band’s encore sporting a strapless gold lame dress (it was prom night in Seattle).  It was a bit of a channeling Kurt Cobain kind of moment (or he lost a bet, take your pick).  The scary thing is, he rocked the dress. But Tony, we need to talk about those boat shoes.

Look for The Lonely Forest’s album “Adding up the wasted hours” coming soon.

Thanks to my buddy Shantel for the photo.

Thanks to my buddy Shantel for the photo.

Thank you Jools Holland!

One of my favourite music programs is the Later with Jools Holland show and I am so happy to have a station that airs it again.  I have my DVR set to record the episodes every week.  The funny thing is, sometimes the bands I think I will enjoy don’t do it for me.  And sometimes, I think, wow, I am going to just skip through this episode real quick and end up finding something I have never heard of that is a pleasant surprise.  So, I would like to take a moment to thank Jools Holland (whose piano prowess is a pleasure in and of itself) for introducing me to some things new:

First off, Foals.  Had not heard of them.  The two songs they played on Jools were great: Inhaler and My number.  The thing that struck me about Foals is they sound like everything and nothing else at the same time.  Inhaler had bits that were reminiscent of the Cure and Soundgarden (?!) and My Number kind of has a Two Door Cinema Club/Vampire Weekend meets the Cure/80′s pop feel to it.  There are bits throughout that remind me of all sorts of references, but combined it sounds like no one else.  Pretty cool accomplishment.  Is that not how music and art evolve?

My Number

Another great thing about Jools is the diversity of music presented.  Take for example Canadian (hurrah!) Erik Mongrain.  I don’t have patience for guitar wankers but this is in a different league altogether. This is bloody amazing!

And then there are the oldies, with a twist.  I totally love this version of Glen Campbell covering the Foo Fighters.  Great voice still, and still plays a mean guitar (check out Galveston on the same show).

So, if you get a chance, check out Jools and maybe find a new song or two to love.  I leave you with Foals-Inhaler

Playlist

For all the talk of how artists must use social media these days, word of mouth is still the best way to find new music.  So last week an old high school classmate posted something about having attended a Sex with Strangers concert on Facebook.  I went to check them out and the first track I listened to was “Born again liars social club.”  Holy smokes! I have listened to this song daily ever since.  All I can say it is really cool and kind of reminds me of TFUL 282 gone dancey.  But, a note to all songwriters out there, bridges that sound like bridges are not a good thing. Yes, that point (at about 2:30) where the song suddenly loses all its awesomeness is the bridge and it sounds so derivative and out of place. But, I’ll take that 30 or so seconds of WTH because the rest of the song rocks my world so much.

I don’t know, maybe I finally getting into dance music in my *old* age, because I am also totally digging LCD Soundsystem lately, particularly live versions.  This song is another one that has been on heavy repeat.  It guarantees me at least 11 minutes of cardio each time I listen to it.

Finally, just to keep things in balance, Sharon Van Etten continues to grow on me with each listen.  This song is my new favourite of hers after seeing her perform it on Jools Holland recently. So beautiful and Sharon seems utterly charming.

AC Newman

As Carl Newman passed through Vancouver and Seattle last week, I was disappointed that I couldn’t make it to either show.  If you have read this blog before, Carl is hands down my favourite songwriter.  I have been a fan for over 20 years.  The recent release of his third solo album Shut Down the Streets is a fine addition to his catalog.  As the primary songwriter for the New Pornographers, one would hope for the solo albums to be a slight departure from the NP sound, otherwise what’s the point?  Two-thousand-four’s The Slow Wonder was excellent, but felt like some not quite New Pornographers songs…and 2009′s Get Guilty seemed not quite up to his usual standard.  I read somewhere that Newman wanted to release it before the end of the decade because then he would have released four New Pornographers albums and two solo albums in a decade–a respectable output.  And I can’t help but feel that he rushed to get Get Guilty done. Sure, there are   great songs, like Like a Hitman, and All my days…but it is definitely my least favourite of anything he has ever done.

With Shut Down the Streets he has finally hit the mark of what a solo album should be, showing us another side of his talents (as if the wide disparity between Superconductor and Zumpano wasn’t enough to prove that point).  The album is a little more acoustic, a little mellower, yet still catchy. Dare I say, a little folksier.   Standouts include the first track “I’m not talking” which rivals the New Pornographers track “Challengers” in beauty, and “Encyclopedia of Classic Takedowns”. The latter’s title is typical of Newman’s humour (his on-stage banter is second only to Mudhoney’s Mark Arm).  This guy has yet to do any wrong in my book and is certainly under-recognized for his songwriting talent.  When I watched the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch I was impressed with Stephen Trask’s ability to write a great song in almost any genre, but Newman is right up there with him in versatility, albeit within the spectrum of pop/rock.  Go have a listen and support the guy.

 

Girl Rock 2012

Consider this: A recent Twitter post indicated that only 12% of respondents for Pitchfork’s Peoples List were female.  The LA Times reported that less than 10 female band members could be found in the Peoples List Top 50.  Earlier this summer, this article discussed the proportion of female to male band members at the Indietracks festival as well as at venues in Malmo, Sweden.  The numbers tell us that for all the progress women have made in the music industry, there is still a ways to go to achieve equality.  They also raise an interesting question—why are significantly more men voting at Pitchfork.com than women?  A MusicMetric of SXSW2012 festival attendance revealed a 57% male/43% female split in the gender of festival attendees, so it is not that indie rock fans are predominantly male.  Perhaps there is a difference in the male and female music fan? Perhaps they express their love of music differently?

I am in the midst of reading Courtney Smiths book “Record Collecting for Girls.”  This book promised to answer that question—to offer the female perspective on being a music obsessed geek.  Courtney Smith has worked in the music industry as a programmer for MTV, and she claims to have had a hand in breaking Death Cab for Cutie, Interpol, Franz Ferdinand, the Shins, etc. I was eager to read her perspective, hoping it would provide a welcome counterpoint to John Seller’s footnote centric memoir “Perfect from Now On” which I read earlier this year. Seller’s loves making lists. His book contains almost as many lists as footnotes. Quelle surprise, Courtney Smiths first chapter outlines her rules for making a list. Funny, am I the only one who doesn’t make lists?  Perhaps lists are for the young.  I could name my favourite movie, album, songs when I was younger but the older I get the more movies, albums and songs I have to choose from. It is nearly impossible to pick a single favourite, and difficult to even narrow it down to a top 5 (although I’ll bet John Sellers has a formula to resolve this dilemma).** Anyways, after outlining her rules for list making, we get treated to chapters on songs to make out to, songs to listen to when you break up, reasons why you should never date a diehard Smiths fan, reasons why you should never date a rock star, and “our songs”.  Talk about crushing disappointment. This is the female perspective to being a music fan?? This is what someone who obviously has some great taste in music as evidenced by her aforementioned resume can come up with?  For as far as women have come, we are still love-struck, emotional creatures from Venus when it comes to music? And when you look at the topics she is discussing: dating, love, breaking up, the focus is kind of on the guys, isn’t it? Ladies-music as the soundtrack to your romantic life.

So, if Courtney Smith represents the female opinion, then perhaps women are a different type of fan?  I hope not.  I am female and one of the most amazing musical moments of my life was hearing My Bloody Valentine’s “Only Shallow” for the first time.  It was late at night, dark, I was lying in bed listening to CBC radio’s Brave New Waves with Brent Bambury on my walkman.  The song came on and those opening guitars sounded like a herd of elephants stampeding back and forth across my brain (try it sometime).  That was music making an impact on me and it had nothing to do with a boy or heartache or what not.  I can think of no song that I associate with some particular romantic moment.  My husband and I do not have “our song” (though we both admit without shame to liking Elton John’s song of that name).   Music stirs me up, but my emotions don’t choose the music for me (one exception, when I am mad I want to listen to something loud and aggressive).  I suppose Myers-Brigg would say it is because I am a thinker not a feeler but that is a whole other can of worms. Let’s stick to the music.

On the performance side of things we still know that women are being asked (or told) to use their sexuality as a marketing tool.  Buzz about Lana Del Rey a few months back focused on her luscious lips, Lady Gaga may seem like she walks to her own drummer but do a Google image search and most of her outfits reveal a lot of leg, cleavage or both.  This is disappointing.  Women want to look good, sure, but using sex and looks to sell records sets back the cause for women being accepted as equally capable as men of producing great music.  Oddly enough, scantily clad men on stage have the opposite effect. I am still traumatized from seeing Dale Crover drum for Nirvana with his sweaty, pasty white skin covered only by a purple Speedo.

Another question to ponder is, of the bands that do have female members, why are women relegated to being the bass player in so many cases?  The token girl as bass player syndrome.  I can play a little bit of everything with varying degrees of success and I will say that playing the bass is not something someone with smaller hands (like, say, oh I don’t know, a woman) is built for.  The best thing to ever happen to my bass playing was to buy a short scale bass.  Not that I can now play like Flea or Geddy Lee, but I definitely can do more on it.  So why do women end up on the bass in such high numbers?  I am willing to entertain any plausible theories. My own cynical opinion is that the woman wants to be in the band and takes the position no one else wants.  Visit any music store on a Saturday afternoon to know that there are way too many male guitarists and their egos in this world (though I was pleased to discover recently that the Shins have a female guitarist).  Plus, we all know what part of the anatomy a guitar is an extension of and women don’t have one.  There is a dearth of female drummers and so unless they can sing, bass it is.  So, while women do have a greater presence in bands than ever before, there is still work to be done to be truly and fairly represented.

It is no accident that the acronym for this blog is GIRL.  Despite that, I try to keep gender out of what music I like and write about.  I don’t consider myself a feminist, really—just someone who believes in fairness, equality and justice.   But, it  just so happens that the three songs I want to write about that have been making me happy lately happen to be by women.  This weeks playlist is full of talented females who do not play bass (well maybe they can, I don’t know) and dress like real women.

Sharon Van Etten-Serpents  This album surprised me. It is more rock and roll than I expected and this track is my favourite.  Aside from the music, Sharon Van Etten’s interview with Nardwuar proved her to be thoroughly charming.  And, while I really like the song—interesting melody, cool guitars, etc. I do have to concede a Courtney Smith moment:  the verse that says “You enjoy sucking on dreams…I had a thought you would take me seriously…” reminds me of a guy who once callously sucked my dreams.  Been thinking serpents about him for a looong time now…(In my defense, this was not a romantic double cross fyi so maybe not really a Courtney moment after all).

Bell-Dialtone (acoustic)  I think I heard about this one somehow on Twitter. Bell’s Bandcamp has this song available re-mixed 5 different ways, and the acoustic is my favourite.  The women singing have lovely voices and the simple accompaniment highlights the vocals.  This is one of those songs that gets under your skin and you find yourself humming it for days.

PJ Harvey-Big Exit I was into PJ Harvey for a few albums in the 90’s.  When I was taking recording classes at Fairhaven College we all had to bring in a CD with an example of what we thought was good production.  The guys all brought in stuff like Led Zeppelin (not to turn around and stereotype you men but that is what they brought) and I brought PJ Harvey’s “Long Snake Moan” from To Bring You My Love.  Hearing that song over the studio speakers, everyone, including the Queensryche loving instructor was a bit stunned and reacted after a pause with “Wow.”  Anyways, I haven’t kept up with her but watching TV recently there was PJ Harvey performing this song and my husband fell in love with it (he has a thing for girl rock incidentally).  After a few listens, so did I.  I am always amazed at the big voice that comes out of this tiny woman and she is truly making original music that is all her own.  She really deserves more notice than she gets.

**Read Seller’s book and you will get the joke. Actually, read the book and this footnote becomes another joke.

Sometimes a good song is made great by that certain je ne sais quoi that makes you want to stop, rewind, and listen again, and again, and again.  Here are three performances that do it for me, give me that feeling of ‘oh, yeah” and have me reaching for the rewind.

First up, I recently got the classic Slint-Spiderland on CD (to replace the cassette since I no longer have a cassette player in my car).  Good Morning Captain is an amazing song and this is a perfect example how the tiniest thing can make a difference.  Of course the song builds to this Heathcliff and Catherine’s ghost type moment where the captain sees the hand of a child at the window (chills). At 5:54 he says “I’m trying to find my way home (hard swallow) I’m sorry…”  Yup, it is that hard swallow before the “I’m sorry” that is so perfect.  Of course the context surrounding it is crucial, but it’s the swallow.

Next up, classic Superchunk.  Throwing Things is one of my favourite songs by them and of course, you guessed it, there is a moment near the end that ramps the greatness up a notch.  At the 2:51 mark near the end of the solo the guitars sound like a rusty door creaking on it’s hinges. I am not sure how they got that sound but it is killer.  Finding that perfect sound can make or break a song sometimes (of course it would be hard to break this song but you know what I mean).

And finally, because I never need an excuse to watch this for the 32nd time, this televised performance of Franz Ferdinand’s Outsiders turned this into one of my favourite songs by them, and I dub this clip all time best televised musical performance.  When I said I have watched this 30+ times, I am not kidding.  I can’t watch it once.  I usually watch it twice and then rewind and watch the last half a third time.  I am not a fan of the drum solo.  They are right up there with bass solos and spoken word passages in things that quickly ruin a song.  This, however, is a drum solo done right.  It seems like everyone in the band getting in on the extra percussion thing is de rigeur these days (see Thao & Mirah, Elbow, Arcade Fire, etc) but this still out-rocks them all.  Plus, I love how enthused Jools is about this (not shown in the clip here but if you get a chance to catch the whole episode he yells at them “I love you!!” after they play Do you wanna…I don’t see him get that excited very often.)  (one more P.S., also love Cee Lo in the red satin jacket shimmying along).  Andy Knowles starts the awesomeness around 1:57 and it just  gets better from there on in.

Cheers!

 

 

 

The demise of music revisited

The Twitterverse today is full of links to David Lowery’s articulate post regarding the morality and ethics of stealing music.  This post was prompted by a blog entry by Emily White on the NPR All Songs Considered site.  Twenty-one year old Emily claims to have 11,000 songs on her iPod, but has only ever purchased 15 CDs. Wow.  Emily cites the sources of her music as mixtapes from friends, and ripping CDs from her college radio station’s library.  David Lowery’s response is well worth reading and he says it better than anything I will say here.  This issue seems to ignite opinions from the “music should be free” camp to the “it is stealing” end of the spectrum. Of course you know my two cents are coming, and hopefully they tread a more middle of the road approach.

Of course the bottom line is, it is stealing. Lowery brings up morality and ethics and really this is what it comes down to–can you live with being a thief?  Is it okay to shoplift something because you can’t afford it?  There is no way that someone on the pro-free side can whitewash what is happening. It–is–stealing.  Anyone who doesn’t believe me should go check out the copyright laws.

I write and record music.  I put it out there.  I spend money earned from my day job to do this.  I get about a negative .05% return on my investment.  But it is not about investments, it is about loving music.  Music, or any art, should not be solitary.  Yes, for the artist there is some catharsis in the creative process but the end result should be shared.  I put out the songs I have made (that I like) in the hopes that someone else will like them too.  I don’t expect to earn a living from this, but it sure would be nice.  My day job is in health care and it is not uncommon to see signs in lobbies that say “The greatest compliment you can give us is the referral of your friends and family.”  As an artist, I think this extends to music as well–if you like me, tell someone.  But, I would add that really the greatest compliment you can give me is to support me.  If you like an artist, put your money where your heart is.  You can buy a latte that will give you enjoyment for 15-20 minutes, or you can buy 3 songs from iTunes that will bring you enjoyment for a lifetime.

As a music fan,  I have never been too ardently opposed to home taping. Generally when I have dubbed a copy of something I go on to buy more by that artist and attends their shows as a result. But the home taping problem was miniscule compared to the digital dilemma we have now.  That cassette you dubbed from a friend was second generation and it sounded like it. If you really liked it, you wanted the original.  Shared music files have no loss in fidelity, no matter how many generations removed from the original. That is a big problem.  Emily got some of her music from mixtapes made by friends.  Honestly, I don’t have a problem with that.  Friends turn friends on to new music. But the idea of a mixtape is that it is a collection of songs, a greatest hits if you will.  The hope is you will discover a new band and go out and buy the whole album.  But, my dear Emily, do you really think bringing your laptop into the college radio station and ripping a bunch of CDs is okay?  She mentions that they were “free” promos sent to the station by the labels as if this somehow justifies her actions. Yes, they are free to the station but I can tell you that with the cost of the CD, the mailer, and the postage, it cost the label anywhere from $3-5 to send your station that “free” CD and they didn’t send it so you could copy it.  It is for promotional use…probably says so right on the CD. That means, you play it on the radio so people can hear it and want it.

I’m not 21.  Far from it.  When I was a tween and buying my first non K-Tel LP’s it was a risk to buy an album because chances were there was a radio hit or two, and a bunch of filler (case in point, some of my earliest purchases J.Geils Band’s Freeze Frame and REO Speedwagon’s Hi Infidelity).  I soon made a personal rule that I would not purchase any album that I did not know and like at least two songs from.  This rule, to by dismay, prevented me from buying R.E.M.’s Fables of the Reconstruction sooner than I did because I had only heard one song. Without trying to sound like an old person here, you kids have it easy.  Between Spotify, YouTube, and artists websites there is hardly anything that you can’t try before you buy.  You can make risk free purchases.

So lets get down to that promised middle ground.  There are laws, ethics, and morals.  Laws are black and white.  Morals and ethics have grey areas.  The law says thou shalt not steal.  Copyright laws mean that the creator of any given work has the sole right to decide how it can be used.  This means, if the artist isn’t giving it away, it is not free.  If you have it, and did not in some way pay for it, you stole it. Period.

Morality and ethics are more of a personal code of right and wrong. If you believe stealing is wrong, you shouldn’t do it. If this is your personal morality, refer to the previous paragraph.  If you think it is okay to steal music, then how about placing some parameters on your criminal activity? The following work within my ethics and morality, but you can adapt them.

If your friend makes you a mixtape. I say, “cool.”  Enjoy it. (Moral justification: this is free promotion for the artist…potential new fans)

If your friend lends you a CD and you really like it, buy it, don’t copy it.  With all the sales Amazon is constantly having, you can almost always buy a download of a whole album for under $10.  Same goes for borrowing a CD from the library. Try it out, if you like it, buy it.

If you want an album that is out of print, never to be in print again, and it is nowhere to be found except that one guy on e-Bay and the bidding is up over $45 already…if you can get a copy of it, go for it. (And here the moral justification would be the band is not offering the album themselves and would neither gain nor lose from this action)

If you don’t want to buy music, subscribe to Spotify and listen often.  They pay a fraction of a penny per play but it’s better than stealing.

Finally, if you still think it is okay to take music for free, I suggest you re-think your priorities.  If you are a fan of music you will want to ensure that it continues.  In the past artists needed patrons.  Today, we, collectively, are the patrons.  If you are unwilling to support music, you cannot call yourself a true fan. If you can’t “afford” to support music 100% of the time, how about most of the time? 

Playlist

So here is another installment of what has been rocking my world lately.  Two things:  my local library’s surprisingly good CD collection and the Palladia channel on TV.  I have been checking out a lot of CD’s from the library lately. This works great for me because I do most of my music listening in the car on the commute to work.  Palladia is a channel new to me since I switched service providers recently.  I think it is affiliated with Blockbuster somehow–at least it comes with the Blockbuster @ Home subscription.  It is all music (remember that MTV?) all the time, predominantly live shows.  There are a lot of highlights from festivals such as Glastonbury, Benicassim, Coachella, etc.

Peter, Bjorn & John-Amsterdam:  I got the CD “Writers Block” from the library and instantly loved the first 4 or 5 songs.  I have listened to this one about 10 times in the 3 weeks I had it primarily because of this track, and as a result the rest of the album has grown on me.  Right after I post this, I will be adding this CD to my birthday list.   This song is so catchy with a slight repetitive drone to it (but in a good way!). Of course I also have a soft spot because it mentions going to  Amsterdam and my Dutch roots like that.  Wish I were going back to Amsterdam.

LCD Soundsystem-Daft Punk is Playing at my House:  I saw them perform this at the Hurricane Festival on Palladia.  The live version rocks the pants off of the album version.  I have watched it 3 times in less than 24 hours.  I kind of like LCD Soundsystem on a song by song basis (and I have really only scratched the surface of what they have to offer–too much music, so little time) and it is not really the type of music I normally consume.  But did I mention the live version of this rocks?  Other than that, one of the bass players has the same bass as me, and it is reassuring to me that James Murphy is in his 40′s and not too old to rock.

Elbow-Leaders of the Free World:  Another Palladia find, from coverage of Benicassim 2009.  I have never heard of Elbow but apparently they have been around for awhile.  I suspect they are bigger on the other side of the pond than in North America.  Honestly, when I watch these festival highlights, not too much impresses me that I didn’t already like.  This song, and one other by Elbow (Grounds for Divorce) caught my attention (the rest did not).  What I love is the strong heavy beat.  Plus, any band that successfully incorporates the word “feckless” into a lyric gets a thumbs up from me.

I can’t find the Hurricane clip but this is almost as good…

Again, couldn’t find the exact clip, but this is good quality…

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