The Covalent Bond

This site is dedicated to the sharing of ideas in the field of music, literature, and whatever else strikes my fancy. To play the music, you must have Rhapsody. I am just getting started. There will be more to come. "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Song of the Day - May 31, 2005

Yesterday I heard an infectious song by Lemon Jelly on KEXP, and I don't think there is a cure. The song "Nice Weather for Ducks" starts out with a British man singing what sounds like a nursery rhyme, "All the duck are swimming in the water, falderalderaldah, falderadleraldah." I know it is a strange thing to build a song around, however it works very well. The song mixes genres starting with folk style guitar, then a lounge feel sets in with rapid beats and groovy string accompaniment; however, that is not the end of the genre changes, there follows some 60's style jazz trumpet alla something out of Burt Bacharach, and then a Latin theme enters. It is as if they mixed a gigantic cocktail of musical styles where the whole is better than the individual parts. Click here to listen.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Song of the Day - May 30, 2005

From the land that brought us lutefisk, we have another great Swedish import, the Shout Out Louds. Their song "Hurry Up Let's Go" is perfect indie pop for the 21st century. It starts out with some frantic hand clapping, great jangly guitars, followed by some surprisingly non-Swedish sounding vocals, and an upbeat catchy rhythm. The bridge of the song is a simple repeating note from the keyboard, succeeded by an explosion of guitar and vocals. You don't have to like lutefisk to like the Shout Out Louds. Click here to listen.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Music For A Holiday Weekend

As the holiday weekend approaches, I thought I would put together a playlist to start the weekend with. The list is extremely eclectic, but I hope you will find it interesting. Have a great weekend and enjoy the playlist. Click here to start the weekend.

1. Tonights The Night - Coach Whips
2. Ahead - Wire
3. Noon As Dark As Midnight (Album Version) - Lucero
4. Across the Bridge - Great Lakes Myth Society
5. Ghost - Neutral Milk Hotel
6. Everyone Says I'm Paranoid - apartment
7. Excellent Waves - Haco
8. The Night Time Reaper - Apes
9. Blur My Thoughts Again - Auburn Lull
10. It Was A Pleasure Then - Nico
11. Linda Blair - Redd Kross
12. Be Sure To Loop - OOIOO
13. Lorraine Called, She Wants You To Work - Great Depression
14. Arnold Layne - Pink Floyd
15. The Parasite - Howard Hello
16. Don't Let Me Explode - The Hold Steady
17. Dirty Horse - Gram Rabbit
18. Hopeless - The Wrens"

Song of the Day - May 27, 2005

I thought I would go back in time to 1991 for today's song of the day. The Field Mice were a great band that was often labeled twee pop or dream pop. Whatever the label, their music is great. The track "Five Moments" I think shows the Field Mice at their best. The music is instantly appealing and very catchy; yet their is a sophistication to their sound involving layering of guitars, vocals, keyboards, and percussion that shows a deeper level of musical comprehension than a simple pop song. To enjoy the dreamy hazy feeling of the Field Mice, click here to listen.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Song of the Day - May 26, 2005

Aarktica excel at creating ethereal soundscapes composed of multiple layers of sound. The track "Aura Lee" causes one to go on a journey across just such a soundscape. The trip begins with the steady beat of a hi-hat, followed by a constant bass riff, and distorted guitar. The journey continues as Jon DeRosa's vocals enter into the mix, only to be joined by some lovely female vocals from Lorraine Lelis. At this point the trek across the soundscape is reaching a crescendo as the guitar feedback builds, only to fade slowly away soon after. I like this song quite a bit. In fact, the more I listen, the greater my appreciation of the music. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Song of the Day - May 25, 2005

It always is a challenge finding a new song of the day. However, as soon as I heard the Silent Kids and their track "The Bering Sea," there was no doubt, this is song of the day material. The Silent Kids, an Atlanta based band, specialize in complex layers of sound, reminiscent of the Smashing Pumpkins. This particular track juxtaposes a jangly, dreamy pop sound with alternating distorted guitar choruses. There are even slight psychedelic aspects to the sound. It is one of my new favorite tunes. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Song of the Day - May 24, 2005

Here's another all girl band, however, today's band Radio Vago hails from LA. Radio Vago reminds me of Siouxsie and the Banshees mixed with a tad of Joy Division. Their song "Blood on My Hands" is the one that gets my blood flowing. It definitely has that goth style of Siouxsie, mixed with an early Joy Division style, but not quite as cold. Nevertheless, it makes for an excellent combination. If you miss those early days of goth, but are tired of listening to the same bands, give Radio Vago a try. Click here to listen.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Song of the Day - May 23, 2005

An all girl band from England that actually plays their instruments. What is not to love? On their second album, Axes, Electrelane has again collaborated with one of my favorite record producers/engineers, Steve Albini. One of the best cuts is the track "Bells." The song starts off innocently enough with a baroque pop sound: toy-like piano riffs, sweet vocals, and a steady beat. However, change is inevitable. The song builds to the point where loud distorted guitars cut in, altering the demeanor of the track from an innocent pop tune to an evil, demented, nature only to quickly return to innocence. It is this bipolar nature of Electrelane, that I find fascinating. Click here to listen.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Song of the Day - May 20, 2005

I recently discovered Auburn Lull, another great band from Michigan, and I have to say that I am very happy. Their music at times can sound like a not so polished Duran Duran (a good thing in my mind) combined with a Gang of Four spastic guitar sound. Not all of their songs are like this, but the song "Sinking Meridian" most definitely is in that category. The song has this unusual sound which I cannot identify. It could be a human voice or something else. Anyone that listens to this track will know immediately what I am talking about. If you know what it is, please leave a comment. Enjoy the music. Click here to listen.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Song of the Day - May 19, 2005

Loquat, not to be confused with kumquat, is a tasty oriental fruit, however, it also is a San Francisco band with some delicious sounds. Loquat long a favorite in the San Francisco area is gaining visibility across the nation. The song "Swingset Chain" is one of their most popular songs; it is a blend of dreamy pop and gentle rhythms. Kylee Swenson and Earl Otsuka's vocals are a perfect match to evoke their oneiric auditory sensations. Click here to enjoy the fruits of Loquat.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Song of the Day - May 18, 2005

Haco has taken traditional Japanese instrumentation and melodies to craft a new style of experimental pop. "Would You Like Some Mushrooms?" is a strange song, but in a good way. It reminds me if Captain Beefheart had a daughter with Kate Bush who they then raised in Japan. Now, that is never going to happen, but Haco is definitely different and in the genre of my acquired taste playlist of a few weeks ago. The surreal nature of the chanting chorus, "Would You Like Some Mushrooms?" makes you wonder just what kind of mushrooms you are being offered. Do you like mushrooms? Click here to listen.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Darjeeling and Douglas Part II

Back in February, I was ruminating about the beauty of Douglas' last recording, Bow River Falls while enjoying the last of my darjeeling. Well, this weekend I got a new shipment of darjeeling; First flush Puttabong estate and Margaret's Hope to be exact. The darjeeling put me in the mood for more Douglas, so when I went to Rhapsody, I was pleasantly surprised to find Douglas' recording from earlier this year, Mountain Passages. In a similar vein as Bow River Falls, the Mountain Passages album combines elements of classical music, and avant garde jazz. Nomad, Douglas' latest group, consists of five musicians on trumpet, reeds, cello, drums, and tuba. The music was commissioned for the Italian music festival, I Suoni delle Dolomitti, and also from what I understand Douglas' father, a mountain climber, who recently passed away. I believe the music is a homage to Miles Davis, particularly the great collaborations with Gil Evans, like Birth of the Cool combined with the funkiness of Mingus. The track "A Nasty Spill" evokes the spirit of Mingus. In this day and age, with the pressure of commercialisim, it is great to see Douglas putting out meaningful work such as this. Sit back, relax, and if you have some first flush darjeeling, enjoy a cup, with Douglas and his band Nomad. Click here to listen.

Song of the Day - May 17, 2005

The simple, unpretentious nature of Tullycraft's songs just draws me in for the kill without even realizing it. Once one listens to their songs, you can't get the melodies and lyrics out of your brain. One of their catchiest tunes is "Superboy and Supergirl." I wonder if Jerry Seinfield is a fan of this song? Anyways, I digress, back to the music. The song is from their debut album, Old Traditions, New Standards, recorded in 96, which was re-released on Darla Records. The song starts softly with softly spoken vocals, a driving bass, and eventually keeps building to an infectious conclusion. Click here to listen.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Song of the Day - May 16, 2005

I was immediately drawn to the organ riff in "Tapestry Mastery" by the Apes The pipe organ sound has always appealed to me, whether in a rock setting or in classical music. Don't worry, this is not church music. "Tapestry Mastery" sounds like a cross between Rick Wakeman's keyboard fantasies with Yes and the psychedelic odes of Iron Butterfly. This is definitely something you do not hear everyday. If you are looking for a change of pace from the mundane, click here to listen.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Song of the Day - May 13, 2005

The Great Lakes Myth Society is one great new band. If you are a fan of The Decemberists, I believe you will like, no love the Great Lakes Myth Society. The band has a strong sense of place, specifically the upper Midwest. If you ever lived in the region, you can just feel it in their songs. It is the same sense of place that Springsteen had and still has with New Jersey. My song of the day is Isabella Country, 1992. If you like that give the rest of the album a listen.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Song of the Day - May 12, 2005

The Hold Steady is two parts Bruce Springsteen, one part Lou Reed, and a dash of the Rolling Stones. If that is your cup of tea, not that any of the preceding are great tea drinkers, the Hold Steady is your band. The song "Charlemagne in Sweatpants" has that spoken-sung style of Bruce, crossed with the urban grittiness of Lou Reed, and that country rock guitar sound of the Stones. The Hold Steady combine the best of the aforementioned classic rockers to make a sound all their own. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Song of the Day - May 11, 2005

Howard Hello could be best described as ambient pop. However, that is not doing the band justice. The song "Giving Up" mixes repeated guitar riffs, computer noise-like sampling, and some very appealing but simply repeated vocals. The whole effect reminds me as if Philip Glass, Krsftwerk, and Air collaborated to produce a pop song. Click here to listen.

Extra Wasabi Please!

Yesterday, I was satisfying my weekly craving for sushi, when I thought why not put together a Japanese playlist. There is something about Japanese culture that I find fascinating. Their music can be very appealing. The Japanese have a unique style of power pop that has strong new wave influences with their own unique twist. They also excel at noise rock and experimental music, check out bands like OOIOOO and Haco. One discovery I made was the Japanese band DMBQ, which is sort of the Japanese equivalent of Led Zeppelin. Check out the Japanese style by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Song of the Day - May 10, 2005

Cut Copy is an Australian band that reminds me of a cross between New Order and Human League. They have a similar sound and feel to New Order, especially their guitar sound and the feeling they evoke. Many of New Order's songs make me feel like I am taking a walk on a beautiful spring day, after a long winter. Cut Copy brings similar emotions to me. I particularly like the song "Bright Neon Payphone," which is more in the style of New Order, as opposed to Human League. Click here to listen.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Song of the Day - May 9, 2005

Beautiful music is beautiful no matter what the language. The music transcends the language barrier. Autour de Lucie is just such a band. Their music is in French. The lead vocalist, Valerie Leulliot, sings "Je Reviens" in a melancholy tone that brings images of a foggy, misty night in Paris. She is accompanied by acoustic guitar and an electric guitar with tons of reverb, eventually the drums enter into the mix, and the song ends with violins. The whole mix is one of simple elegance, with nothing overdone. Click here to listen, translation not provided.

Allison's Music

Yesterday, while on a plane trip, a nice young girl by the name of Allison took the seat next to me and we preceded to talk about music. As always, I am on the search for new music and was hoping she could help me discover some new bands. The bands vary from The Matches, Cowboy Mouth, and Love45, plus a few others. Here's Allison's playlist, click here to listen.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Casual Friday

Yes, it is Friday and I don't have a theme for today's playlist. In the spirit of corporate America, I thought I would put together a casual playlist. There is no rhyme or reason, just some bands that I enjoy. I just reached into my bag of bands and pulled a few out. Click here to listen, tie not required.

Song of the Day - May 06, 2005

Rothko is named after the artist of the same name famous for his atmospheric abstract expressionist paintings. Rothko, the band, musically creates the aural equivalent of Rothko's, the artist, paintings. Their music is composed on a large canvas, with a relatively limited palette, however, this minimalist and monolithic style results in a very powerful composition. "On the Day We Said Goodbye," Rothko starts simply with a guitar and sparse vocals, however, there is a sense that something is gradually building, such as one might notice on the ocean as a swell builds. It is this subtle but gradual movement of the song to a level of higher intensity that is Rothko's appeal. Click here to enjoy the aural composition of Rothko.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Song of the Day - May 05, 2005

I suppose it is only appropriate that a band called the Great Depression has a melancholy sound. The song "There, There" builds slowly starting simply with keyboards, and eventually adds layers of guitars, vocals, and drums in a swirling of sound, which reminds me somewhat of The Smashing Pumpkins. Just as a slowly moving weather front proceeds to sneak up on us, the Great Depression music evolves to the point that it suddenly surprises us, as it whirls around our ears with lush atmospheric layers of sound. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Rebel Music

Do you ever feel the need to rebel? I think the modern world forces us to rebel with its constant demands for our time and attention. However, most of us need our jobs and prefer to stay out of jail. Music provides the best option. Listen to some rebellious music when the stress of everyday life is just to much. Click here to rebel.

1. Rebel Girl - Bikini Kill
2. Silicon Valley Rebel - Allette Brooks
3. Am Rebel I (Punk Anthem) - Larry Weaver
4. Rebel Yell - Assorted Jellybeans
5. I'm A Loner, Dottie...A Rebel - The Get Up Kids
6. Rebel Rebel - Rickie Lee Jones
7. Rebel Music - Azeem/Variable Unit
8. Teenage Rebel - The Avengers
9. Rebel Waltz - The Clash
10. Rebel Robot - Voivod
11. Rebel Yell - Billy Idol
12. Rebel Grave - Nikki Sudden & Roland S. Howard
13. The Rebel - Johnny Yuma - Johnny Cash
14. Easy Morning Rebel - My Morning Jacket
15. Rebel Rock Me - The Pretenders
16. Rebel Am I - Aston Familyman Barrett
17. Rebel In Disguise - Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers
18. Whiskey Rebel - Hammerlock
19. Forgotten Rebel - The Virus (Punk)
20. You're A Rebel - Dropkick Murphys
21. Creation Rebel - Burning Spear
22. Run Rebel - Pseudosix
23. Urban Rebel - The Class Assassins
24. The X Rebel - Velocity
25. Rebel Rebel - David Bowie"

Song of the Day - May 04, 2005

Solex is the Dutch sampling/keyboard genius known as Elisabeth Esselink. Solex takes disparate sounds from unusual sources and combines them into a groovy mixture of beats, textures, and rhythms. The song "Solex Feels Lucky" combines jazzy elements like a recurring saxophone riff, trip-hop beats, and Elisabeth's sweet sounding vocals into an extremely catchy amalgamation of sounds. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Song of the Day - May 03, 2005

Are you ready for an exploding band? The 400 Blows are a mixture of alt metal and industrial and the sound is intense; the band truly sounds if it is about to explode. "The Root of Our Nature" is one incendiary song. It practically erupts with pounding guitars and drums, and Skot Alexander's vocals are a perfect match for the rest of the band. Don't play this song to early in the morning or you will spill hot coffee all over yourself. Click here to listen, but proceed with caution.

Monday, May 02, 2005

April's Songs of the Day

As part of my never ending search for the good, unusual, and the offbeat in music, it is time for my monthly review of the songs of the day for April. The songs are an eclectic mix of styles, with a little something to satisfy everyone. The bands range from lesbian funk rockers Isis to current psychedelic favorites The Dead Meadow. Click hereto listen.

1. April Fool - Isis
2. Why Won't You Call Me Back? - My Robot Friend
3. Texas Woman - Black Bird Stitches
4. Nagging Nimbus - Busdriver
5. Simon Diamond - The Coral
6. Baraboo - Queen Bee
7. No-one's wrong - Scout Niblett
8. 3 Weeks - Ex Models
9. Tourist in your Town - The Pink Mountaintops
10. Somewhere Up Above - April March
11. Mojo Pin - Jeff Buckley
12. No Quarter - Maktub
13. Mounds of Money - The Capitol Years
14. Dirty Horse - Gram Rabbit
15. Jack The Ripper - Error
16. Amplifier - Jucifer
17. All the Wine - The National
18. Don't Be Shallow - Sondre Lerche
19. Girl On A GoPed - Andy Votel (with Jane Weaver)
20. Geological Lust - Causey Way
21. Let's Jump In - Dead Meadow"

Song of the Day - May 2, 2005

Here we go back to Seattle again and Sub Pop Records, a classic combination practically guaranteeing great music. Today it is Love as Laughter and their song "Coast to Coast." Love as Laughter has a sound influenced by classic British rockers like Led Zeppelin, The Who, and The Rolling Stones, but with s Seattle twist. "Coast to Coast" starts out with a Who-like chorus, some rocking guitars, an infectious lick and never looks back. Towards the end of the song, you get a little bit of the Seattle grunge influence with some distorted guitar that sounds like something from Nirvana. Click here to enjoy

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