Archive for January, 2007

I AM BONES Wrong Numbers Are Never Busy

I AM BONES Numbers Are Never BusyOkay, I honestly haven’t heard the full album yet. But when I heard a MP3 of their song “Building Hospitals” I thought it was a pretty slick song. It totally reminded me of the good ole days of old school lo-fi four track recording Beck. I am not even sure if the song was recorded on a four-track but it definitely gave me that vibe. The quirkyness of the song also actually reminded me of Cake. But that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s a really fun and catchy song. I can imagine dorky indie kids somewhere at some small dance night definitely wiggling and trying to do some sort of organized dance when the chorus hits and “pants on fire you’re pants are on fire it’s just what you need” and that’s all you hear from their mouths as they raise their hands in the air going “pants on fire you’re pants are on fire.”

I have heard a few of the other songs and they’re not too shabby at all. Check them out!

MP3: “Building Hospitals” “The Ostrich Approach
Website: www.iambones.dk
MySpace: www.myspace.com/iambonesband
Label: Morningside Records
Video: “Building Hospitals”

CHATMONCHY Shangri-La ALBUM REVIEW

Chatmonchy - Shangri-LaI’ve honestly never heard of Chatmonchy prior to randomly finding them on MySpace. But upon hearing their single “Shangri-La” I was so hooked. “Shangri-La” is honestly one of the most darling songs I have ever heard. Even though I don’t speak or understand Japanese, the sugar-coated feeling I get when hearing this song is heaven. Hashimoto Eriko has one of the most adorable and innocent voices I’ve ever heard. Hearing her say “Shangrira Kimi wo omouto Kyou mo nemurenai Boku no koto” just makes my heart flutter! I swear the simplicity of this song along with the bouncy and almost disco-like bass beats just make you want to close your eyes and bob your head and shake your body over and over in a cotton candy filled field over and over. Can too much sugar ever be too much! Not with this song! If the it were possible to have this song playing through loud speakrs throughout the world there would be nothing but peace and harmony. I promise! There is no way that anyone can resist its infectious harmony!

This female trio from Tokushima, Japan have been playing since 2000. They’ve been together since they were in high school. Four years later they played out and received some recognition then recorded their first demo. Well, that’s how the story goes anyways. Now with their hit song “Shangri-La” out in Japan I really do wish this threesome success! I can’t wait to hear more!

MP3: “Shangrila

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THE SHINS Wincing The Night Away ALBUM REVIEW

The Shins - Wincing The Night AwayI can remember way back when all of the hoopla started about The Shin’s being on a McDonalds commercial. Remember that? “New Slang?” That they’ve “sold out.” That this was a thorn pressed into and a stab at the indie world? And what has happened since then? Well, nothing that has caused the world to cease its existence but The Shins certainly have made a name for themselves since.

Now roll forward to January 23, 2007 six years after their debut and we’re finally going to be either embracing Wincing The Night Away The Shin’s third album as a staple that they were meant to be so much more than some obscure pop band or that the novelty act has finally ended.

Having started as band that fellow indie pop kids cherished and kept away in the pockets of their cardigan sweaters with Oh Inverted World and then blowing our minds away with their second album Chutes Too Narrow with its incredible harmonies and James Mercer beautifully belting out falsettos that Just Timberlake himself would be jealous of what will Wincing The Night Away have to offer? I am sure Mercer labored hard. Tinkering with ideas back and forth for the past three years wondering how he can possibly top the last two albums.

Off the bat it wasn’t such a bad start. With “Sleeping Lessons” bringing back some of the old airy and ethereal feel from Oh, Inverted World and then “Australia” having some spring from Chutes Too Narrow…I thought to myself “wow, if the whole album is like this then they just may have proved themselves.” The hooks in “Australia” were irresistible. This must be it, The Shins are back! But I wish they would have picked this as the single instead of “Phantom Limb.” Because as soon as we’re treated to the single, the lazy feel had me at a turn. I heard that they were listening to Jesus and Mary Chain during the writing process and it shows. The sugar coated vocals with that slight dreamy buzz in the background…but for some reason this reminds me of a Phil Collins song.

Soon after…it all begins to trickle down. “Sea Legs” with it’s boring pitter patter drum beat, “Black Wave” with it’s Radiohead-like effect to lose yourself in some repetitious guitar riff, “Split Needles” with some harrowing guitar effects…these songs just seem to find themselves lost within this album. Perhaps The Shins may have been trying go a little further than simple walls of sound. But the inconsistency and out of placeness of these songs just seems to have me scratching my head. The only other songs that may actually remind me of The Shins were”Red Rabbit” “Turn On Me” and “Girl Sailor.” But even those two aren’t enough to save this album as a whole. I am not sure if some of these newer songs were James Mercer trying to dig deeper into his insecurities but the lack of congruency can give some old-time fans a hard time digesting this album.

But in the end we know that they will receive their praises. Having recently played SNL and featured on numerous magazines The Shins do deserve their share. Even though the new album may be lackluster in comparison to their previous work, they’ve kept the pop world a little sweet. But now that they’ve full-filled their three album contract with Sub Pop, where will we see them next? Only the next time warp will tell us.

MP3: “Australia

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PAS/CAL Dear Sir EP

PAS/CAL Dear SirHow long as it been now? I’ve almost forgotten the sweetness of PAS/CAL. With the two EPs and some vinyl singles and spilts to greater the appetite…once again they’ve managed to push out a little ditty. But a las! This is the ditty that’ll be the precursor to their first full-length since their inception. The high calorie desert before the meal!

Dear Sir has the same bounce and pep that The Handbag Memoirs and Oh Honey, We’re Ridiculous had to offer. The same 60’s thrills and frills fun that you expect to get. Even with the time off that they’ve had off they’ve definitely been able to keep the fuzzed out noise in tact. The same memories of beached out summers and sand-filled sunny days. But the artwork by Sean McCabe definitely had me thinking…

In the beginning “Little Red Radio’s” fuzzed out organs will electrify your mojo and just may cause you start a little c0-motion. Then off to make us sway during a breezy bright summer day in “CAU (Sans Muscle)” And you know? It’s odd. I’ve always felt that PAS/CAL’s love for that fuzzed out 60’s love sound always made me feel the same way I’d feel everytime I’d listen to anything that came out of the Elephant 6 collective. I can’t believe that there was never a connection. But where it starts to deter is in the psychodelic swerve of “Dear Sir.” I am not sure whether this is just a distraction within the EP or maybe a possible direction that PAS/CAL may be heading. With the droning distorted bass lines and the blips hanging in the background you would’ve never thought that this may have been one of their’s. But in the end “Wake Up Wake Up Wake Up” brings us back to the reason why we started listening to PAS/CAL anyways.

If this little tease of an EP is a taste of what their full-length will be like, then it looks like 2007 is going to be bright and sunny ineed.

MP3: “Little Red Radio
Website
: www.pascalgoespop.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pascalgoespop
Purchase:
Dear Sir

Label:Le Grand Magistry

BEIRUT Lon Gisland

BEIRUT - Lon GislandThough not slated to be released in the states until January 30, 2007 I’ve once again had the pleasure to hear his music before its release.

I am sure that the world is scurging all over to get this little EP that has followed the hype raved full-length Gulag Orkestar. After having made its world-sound mark on the ears of many indie hipsters world-wide Lon Gisland, this little supplement surely has soften the starving stomachs everywhere aching for more, more, more Beirut.

Though not surpassing its predecessor by any musical means, it still has that subtle charm. The soft strokes on the ukelele, the breathe pushing through the canals of the brass horns, the pull and tug of the accordians, the fingers laying down on old rustic keys, the beats beating down on skin are all still aiken to this little gem of an EP.

“Elephant Gun” being the lead into the short horde of five new songs with one being a remake of popular “Scenic World” does its duty. We realize that Zach Condon is still fond of his Ukelele backed by his orchestra of brass instruments and accordians and gypsy percussion beats. We can still hear that Zach beckons to story tell us about war ravaged old Europe and bunkers. “Far from home, elephant gun – Let’s take them down one by one” he croons “Let the seasons begin take the big king down” he croons.

Soon after we’re met with the wonderful mariachi like “My Family’s Role In The World Revolution.” Though just an instrumental, this my favorite of all these little tunes. The raw energy spouting and starting from the drops on the keys like raindrops and then followed into a full blown parade. A masterpiece? no. But fun? yes.

But oh how does he do it? The intro to “Carousels” (the last song) alone brings out these nostalgic memories that have never even existed. The feeling of “this is just hello” for “goodbyes” can be quite nostalgic no? We’ve all been there. How does he capture it so well in calyspo type churning music? I really don’t know. But he does and he does it well. Is he saying goodbye to something? To someone? Maybe to music? Or is he turning his back to someone? Timewill only tell…I hear he’s been listening to a lot of French pop lately…is this true Zach? is this true?…

MP3: “Postcards From Italy” “Mount Wroclai (Idle Days)
Website: www.beirutband.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/beruit
Purchase:
Gulag Orkestar, Lon Gisland

Label: Ba Da Bing Records

BEIRUT Gulag Orkestar ALBUM REVIEW

Beirut - Gulag OrkestarHere’s my first post into the world of blogging and I will begin it with my guaranteed new favorite album of 2006. Even though I’ve already had the pleasure of hearing it months before the official release, none the less I am quite still in love with it.

Zach Condon the sole proprietor of Beirut has really created something unique and special. Though the official release will have the tinkering of Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost of A Hawk and a Hacksaw, they are only slight. This is album is so warm and picturesque and it really does take you through the Alps through the Balkan plains then back. Taking you to a time where gypsies traveled massive amounts of distance only to lessen their tedious journey through song and dance.

Just recently turning 20 maybe one can asses Zach Condon has traveled an insurmountable amount of time having been recording since he was 15. He has been able to amass an orchestra in his bed room playing everything from the horns, ukulele, piano, glockenspiel, accordion, mandolin, violins, cellos, tambourines, organs, farfisas, congas and whatever toys lay around. That’s right no guitar no bass. But not only is it the fullness of his bedroom orchestra that he is able to recreate a romantic mood with, it is his sultry vocals. Crooning and resonating lyrics as simple as “The times we had, oh when the wind would blow with rain and snow were not all bad, we put our feet just where they had, had to go” from Postcards from Italy, Zach is able to sweep your heart and water your eyes with that subtle joyous feeling. Zach is able to create a nostalgia that only master story tellers are able to do.

With his debut Gulag Orkestar at hand the world should be prepared for something they’ve never heard before. From the beginning with the chilling and moody “The Gulag Orkestar,” the Latin beats and rhythms in “The White Whale” that will get you ready to salsa, the light hearted “Scenic World” and of course the brooding ukulele in “Postcards from Italy,” Gulag Orkestar will take you on a breath taking voyage.

MP3: “Postcards From Italy

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About

Twentyseven Views is primarily a music blog (although sometimes I will do the random post on a film or something culture or art related). All posts are genuine and honest opinions by the writer.

The writer is based in New York and has run a small indie record label, was a former publicist and has done freelance publicity. The writer has penchant taste in music that lean towards pop. Whether that be indie pop, dance music or hip-hop.

MP3s are used to help promote the artists and musicians. Please buy their art!

If you have any questions regarding any posts please feel free to contact the writer.

Contact

Please feel free to contact me at twentysevenviews(at)gmail.com.

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