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Still rocking We Are the Willows a year plus later

If you haven’t listened to yet, I highly suggest you check them out.

I’m still enjoying A Collection of Sounds and Something Like the Plague a year later. I actually seek it out on my iPod – particularly on planes. And with the amount of music I consume, that hardly ever happens with a band I first heard a year ago with no “new” material out.

MP3: We Are the Willows – “A Funeral Dressed As a Birthday

Also highly recommend “The Sorry Psalter.”

Block the addiction gene and quarantine his temper: Only Son orders the perfect child

Only Son released the official video for “It’s a Boy” last week. The video is directed by Peter Sand and the track is from OS’s forthcoming album, Searchlight, out January 18.

Frankly, the video is cool and all, but I’m really digging the track itself. Check out the opening lyrics:

Let’s start with the baby’s gender
Do you know what you both want?
Well, we’ve discussed it and we’re pretty sure we’d like to have a boy.

Block the addiction gene and quarantine his temper.

Earlier this week I was recommending a coworker check out E.M. Forster’s short story “The Machine Stops,” which is about the role of technology in our lives. The story itself is now 100 years old, and that somewhat adds to the eeriness of its truth.

I would say this song is reminiscent of that vibe. You can read the story here.

And I know just the soundtrack (hit play on the video below).

Dig Only Son? Wish it was richer, faster? Try “Magic” from the same album:

MP3: Only Son – “Magic”

Holiday MP3 Playlist: Part 2

Poly Styrene, the frontwoman and iconic face of X-ray Spex, sent over this one:

MP3: Poly Styrene – “Black Christmas”

More eggnog n’ brandy-worthy holiday tracks here.

Easy Star All-Stars have a remix hit with Dubber Side of the Moon

The Easy Star All-Stars are a New York reggae collective who made a name for themselves with their 2003 cover album, Dub Side of the Moon, which you can probably guess was a dubstep take on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

I never heard that one, but I did snag a copy of the All-Stars’ new Dubber Side of the Moon and have to admit I’m impressed. I wasn’t overly familiar with the dubstep genre — reggae-influenced, bass heavy electronic dance music which is usually syncopated and often shuffled or incorporating triplets — although I’m widely familiar with reggae covers of traditional records. The one that first comes to mind is Dread Zeppelin. Please pass me a trash can so I can vomit.

So being semi-naive and overly-biased, I was immediately skeptical. Reggae remixes of Floyd. It can’t be good, right?

WRONG. This record is really great. Roger Waters and friends are still there, but they are only the inspiration for these tracks.

Whether it’s the horns and cyclical base on Dubamatrix’s “Speak To Me/Breathe (In The Air),” the head-bobbing trip-rock of 10 Ft. Ganja Plant’s “On The Run,” or the ear bud singeing schizophrenic samples on Adrian Sherwood & Jazzwad’s “Brain Damage,” this album produces listenable tracks that stand alone as original works. Each song is remixed by a different experimental dub-step producer, so you get a lot of variety, too.

When I told my coworker about this album, he immediately raised his eyebrow like I was crazy. I played a bunch of tracks for him and raved on and on until he gave it a spin. I’m not sure he’s a super fan yet, but you can’t grow dreadlocks overnight.

Kurt von Stetten puts the Y in DIY

Boston’s multi-instrumentalist, photographer and BMX flatlander sent this track of true-blue DIY indie rock off his latest album, Pyramid.

It feels kind of old school-Malkmus-y, but only if Malkmus played EVERY SINGLE INSTRUMENT.

MP3: Kurt von Stetten – “Come Correck”

Holiday MP3 Playlist: Part 1

The music inbox is chock full of holiday goodness. I’ll be posting some of it to help spice up your holiday playlist.

Kicking things off, here are a few selections from XO for the Holidays Vol. III from XO Publicity:

  • MP3: Piney Gir – “Snow Snow, Beautiful Snow”
  • MP3: Pictures of Then – “Presents In June”
  • MP3: Paper Tongues – “Carol Of The Bells”
  • MP3: Prayer for Animals – “Riptide / Yuletide”
  • MP3: Triggers – “A Very Triggers Christmas”
  • MP3: Campfire OK – “Dreidel Song”
  • MP3: Captain Nowhere – “Holiday Song”

Iranian rapper goes green for the people

My pal Toby from Cryns #3 pointed me to this video from NYC rapper Miladic. The video is called “Blue and Yellow Paint,” which references the two colors mixed to form green paint — a color of paint that was banned by the Iranian government because of its use in anti-government graffiti. Uh-huh.

Video director Fifi 3PO also directed Cryns #3′s new video for “Run. Run! Run!!! RUN!!! RUNNNN!!!!”

Kind of like Sigur Ros at 2 mph

The Swedish label Service sent over this track from Forest. It’s a super falsetto slow-builder. Kind of like Sigur Ros at 2 mph.

MP3: Forest – “Soon Be Over”

Forest have a new album coming out January 20, 2011.

Greg Swan named to Twin Cities Top Ten Titans In Social Media 2010

Look Mom, I made a list.

The people who made the list have made an impact on Twin Cities society through using social media in the past year…One thing that that determined the winners is that they are people finding new ways to use social media and pushing the limits of the platforms they are using.

Nominations were open to the public and were taken from November 8 – November 30, 2010. Over 40 nominees were selected from the nominations received. From the pool of nominees a list of Top Ten Titans In Social Media were selected (by judges).

Here’s my write-up:

See the whole list here.

Sing us (all your songs) piano man! All of Billy Joel’s hits played at once