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

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Song of the Day - June 30, 2005

Another great band from Seattle is The Divorce. If you haven't heard them before, you owe it to yourself to spend a few minutes listening to their great power pop punk sound. I personally think they lean a little bit to the pop side of the equation, but regardless of your point of reference, their sound is excellent. They are due out with a new album in September, so we will have to make due with their debut album, There Will Be Blood Tonight. My favorite track and song of the day is "The Man Moan." This songs rocks! I love the guitar, the organ droning in the background, the catchy chorus, the whole damn song. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Song of the Day - June 29, 2004

A perfect, power, pop, punk, piece of summer music from the Midwest was released yesterday. The Soviettes hail from Minneapolis, but their northernly habitat is all they share with the Soviet Union. Three girls and one guy make the powerful noise of The Soviettes. Lately, I have been in the mood for high energy music, and this fits the bill for me. "Multiply and Divide" is my choice for song of the day. It is just what I need after a long day at work. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Song of the Day - June 28, 2005

It's time to enter the time machine again and travel back to my youth. Time machine setting - early 80's, location Chicago, the punk scene. Well, here we are back in my college days and I am listening to one of the great early punk bands, Chicago natives, Naked Raygun. Naked Raygun along with the Effigies ruled the Chicago punk scene. I couldn't believe my luck, when I came upon one of their albums on Rhapsody just the other day;needless, to say I only needed to pick a song of the day. That choice is "Coldbringer." This live version is bursting with energy, feedback, and punk angst. Oh, I miss this music. Time for a little slam dancing! Click here to listen.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Song of the Day - June 27, 2005

I love the sound of this band. The Deathray Davies are obviously heavily influenced by the Kinks; however, they have modernized the sound and made it their own. Their songs are appealing and catchy. One of the catchiest is "Plan to Stay Awake," a song that could have came from the early eighties new wave scene, and my song of the day. Perhaps, that is why it appeals to me. The song is mostly spoken/sung, and it feels like it is picking up speed, intensity, and about to veer out of control, when the chorus kicks in. I love it. Check out the rest of their album, The Kick and the Snare, you will not be disappointed.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Gang of Four - Entertainment

It's here! I was about to give up hope. I used to own this record, back in the vinyl days, but lost all my records when I went to college. I need this record. Music to soothe the savage beast, or cubicle dwelling office worker. The Gang of Four's Entertainment is one of my favorite records of all time. As anyone who looks at my blog knows, I am a huge Gang of Four fan. See my June 3rd posts about the Gang of Four and their influences, Song of the Day - June 3, 2005 The Influence of the Gang of Four, if you doubt my praise for this band. As I mentioned earlier this month, the band, and especially this album, have been hugely influential to the bands that are popular today;bands like The Futureheads and Franz Ferdinand. If you have never listened to this classic album, please do. You will immediately think this record is a new release, but it actually was recorded over 25 years ago. I love all the music on this record, but if I had to pick a few to recommend, they would include:Damaged Goods, Not Great Man, Outside the Trains Don't Run On Time, He'd Send In the Army, and for lovers of feedback, check out Anthrax. Click here to listen.

Song of the Day - June 24, 2005

I think it is time for a dose of emo. Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start, is a band from New Jersey, and also a cheat for a video game. The track "Down to the Day" is an excellent example of emo, alternating soft passages with loud thrashing guitars and screaming vocals. The musicianship on this particular track is a notch above many bands, layering complex sounds over each other, resulting in an enticing aural tidbit. Click here to listen.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Song of the Day - June 23, 2005

The Dudley Corporation is an unconventional name for a rock band, but strange names are not unusual in rock. The Dudley Corporation hail from Ireland, and are a welcome import to the States. Their track "Colossus" starts out as a very mellow track, with what sounds like a plucked mandolin, rhythmic vocals in a stop and go pattern, and a vocal chorus of floating, luxuriant, moaning. That soon changes with a paroxysm of distorted guitars, layered sounds, and driving drums in the style of The Smashing Pumpkins. Just as suddenly as the music changes tempo and style, the track stops leaving one wanting more, a mere appetizer of a song. Wet you musical appetite with The Dudley Corporation. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Song of the Day - June 22, 2005

I'm coming down from my musically induced hallucinogenic haze with the music of Graves. Graves specializes in sparse, melancholy music. Graves is the brainchild of Hush Recording artist Greg Olin and very much fits with the Hush style. The slow lethargic rhythms are a perfect match to Olin's sad, but very engaging vocal stylings. This may not be your cup of tea, but I for one tend to favor the bittersweet; the complexities of such music, just like a fine wine, are infinitely more interesting than a simplistic one dimensional song. Just give the music a try and decide for yourself. Are you ready for the bittersweet? Click here to listen.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Song of the Day - June 21, 2005

Here we go again with more psychedelic tinged music. The Impossible Shapes sound is a mixture of early Pink Floyd intertwined with the Violent Femmes. Not all the songs are of a psychedelic nature, but there is no denying that the track "The Beast" conjures up music derived from altered states. The repeating acoustic guitar mantra, the naive vocal style with a touch of reverb, and the hallucinogenic guitar solos all combine for a mind blowing trip. Listen to only under a doctor's supervision. Click here to listen.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Timothy Leary - Where Are You?

Where did you go Timothy Leary? The artist below have definite psychedelic powers, though some are more potent than others. Proceed with caution. The important point is that most of the bands are relatively new and not from the classic period of psychedelic music. Can this be a musical flashback? I am addicted; I cannot get enough whether it is neo-psychedelic or the classics from the 60's. The songs include tracks from the likes of The Gris Gris, Dead Meadow, and Bardo Pond. I did include one classic track from Vanilla Fudge, just for the sake of comparison. Click here to listen.

Song of the Day - June 20, 2005

Lately I have been listening to vast quantities of psychedelic music. I am not sure why? My latest find is The High Dials, a band out of Montreal. The most beautiful thing about The High Dials is their vocal harmonies. They immediately remind me of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, but with a psychedelic edge. It is clear that they have been influenced by the likes of The Byrds, Beatles, and Pink Floyd. One of my favorite tracks is "Fields in Glass." The song starts out with a distorted guitar riff, followed by the aforementioned beautiful vocal harmonies, and distinctly 60's style guitar licks. The song is a transcendental. Click here to listen.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Song of the Day - June 17, 2005

Modey Lemon is a band from Pittsburgh, but their roots are in seventies rock. One listen and you will notice the influence of Zeppelin and Deep Purple, but also psychedelic influences from bands like The Cramps. The music is dark, almost opaque, but every now and then you need to listen to music like this. Fridays are especially appropriate after a long work week, and you just want to let loose and scream. Remember primal screaming? Their song "Black Flamingos" is definitely music for screaming. Heavy metal for the new millennium. Click here to listen.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Song of the Day - June 16, 2005

If you are a fan of Iggy Pop during his David Bowie period or Lou Reed, I believe you are going to like Minmae. Minmae is a Portland based band named after an animae character during the 80's. The history of their name is irrelevant; it is the music that matters and their music is great. One of their outstanding tracks is "American Spear" and my choice for the song of the day. It does start out with some Iggy-like spoken vocals during the intro of the song, followed by an almost pop-like melody, but that soon changes. The hi-hat ticks off a menacing rhythm, while the guitars change from pop-like to angry, fierce, menacing riffs. The whole character of the song changes. This goes on until we are brought back to a repeat of the intro, this time with acoustic guitar. The whole album entitled I'd Be Scared, Were You Still Burning is truly a great effort, one of the best of the year. Click here to hear the whole album.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Song of the Day - June 15, 2005

You got to love a band named for observing the far out. Palomar is an observatory in California and also a rock band from Brooklyn composed of three girls and a guy. Their music may sometimes be stark like outer space, but is usually more in the optimistic vein as opposed to melancholy. One of their best tracks is "Underwater," which is not a melancholy song at all. The music is upbeat, with a popish sound, but not sugary pop. The discovery of bands like Palomar puts a smile on my face. I hope you will smile also. Click here to listen.

Hungry March Band - On The Waterfront

If you never heard of the Hungry March Band, you are in for a treat. If you have, why haven't you told me? The Hungry March Band is a 25 piece community marching band out of Brooklyn. They are truly awesome! Now, I know everybody is going to claim that their alma mater has the best marching band, but the Hungry March Band is unique. They blend a variety of styles into their sound such as: Eastern European Gypsy Brass Band, Bollywood Film Scores, New Orleans 2nd line, Jamaican Ska, Jazz, Punk, Klezmer, Afro-Cuban, Middle Eastern, and the list goes on and on. In fact, a band like this could probably only have come into existence in Brooklyn, the original melting pot for immigrants from all over the world. One of my favorites is "Disco Bhangra." Other standout tracks include "Short Fat Pig" and "Underground." Click here to listen to their whole album, On The Waterfront.

Song of the Day - June 14, 2005

It is hard to describe the music of Lungs of a Giant. There music is definitely eclectic;at times it reminds me of something I might here in a David Lynch movie. David Lynch take note! There is a forlorn, melancholy feel to their songs. The track "Charon, Take Me Away" is one of my favorites. It starts out with the guitarist running his pick up and down the strings of his guitar, creating an eerie scratchy sound. There is the almost carnival like keyboards repeating a simple riff over and over, and of course the sad vocals. Yes, I know it sounds strange, but when you put it all together it works very well. Click here to listen.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Song of the Day - June 13, 2005

Last week, I got into some very mellow music, and I was getting worried about myself. I did end the week with a brilliant piece of lo-fi music, as performed by Eyeball Skeleton, to stop that possibly disturbing mellow trend. Now it appears I am focused on lo-fi and the Coach Whips epitomize the genre. This San Francisco based band unleashes walls of distorted guitar, and raw, emotional power. They obviously have been heavily influenced by Iggy and the Stooges. "Couldn't Find Love" is a great track, but beware it is very raw, lo-fi, and may not be what you are used to. If you are like me, a little lo-fi is needed now and then, to remind you what rock and roll is all about. Click here to listen.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Music to Drive Ferraris By, If I Had One!

Last weekend I had the opportunity to view approximately 100 Ferraris in downtown Chicago. As a Ferrari fanatic, this was an awesome experience. If I had a Ferrari, what would I play on the stereo? The first thought is nothing, as I would want to hear the beautiful roar of the prancing horses. I wouldn't care if it was a classic 12 cylinder from the 60's, a 360's beautiful 8 cylinder, or the distinctive roar from a 6 cylinder Dino. They are all music to my ears. If my passenger insisted, I guess I would play a classic mix of rock, jazz, and a few more exotic tracks to go with my dream car. I start out the mix with my current fave, Art Brut. Of course, one must have a little Dino and Frank in the mix as well. Click here to listen.

Song of the Day - June 10, 2005

I think Eyeball Skeleton might be the ultimate lo-fi recording. Eyeball Skeleton are the eight and ten year old brothers Brown, who play bass and guitar. Their dad is on drums. I honestly didn't pick this song because of the novelty of the band's youth. I really like it; it is honest music made by kids who love what they are doing. Listen to it with an open mind, you just may be surprised. Click here to listen.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Song of the Day - June 9, 2005

Jennifer O'Connor's latest album is not on Rhapsody yet, however, we can make due with her self-titled release until Rhapsody posts her latest. Jennifer O'Connor has a melancholy, intense, sound. It reminds me of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, especially their unplugged recording. I can sense an intensity in her vocals, where I feel she is about to explode. However, unlike Kurt Cobain, she does not explode. One keeps wondering is it going to happen, especially in the song "You Did." When is she going to explode? Click here to listen and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Beethoven Experience

BBC Radio 3 is playing all Beethoven, all the time, at least through this Friday. It is part of their Beethoven Experience which you can listen to on the net. It is worth checking out, if you are a Beethoven fan like I am. I thought I would put together a small playlist of a few of my absolute favorite Beethoven works: the Grosse Fugue, the pastoral Symphony, and the Appassionata piano sonata. Their are many more works I would have liked to included, but check out the Beethoven Experience if you desire more. As you can see I included works from three different areas of which he was a master: the string quartet, the symphony, and the piano sonata. I am especially a big fan of the Appassionata sonata. It is hard to realize what a ground breaking piece of work this was. Beethoven was so hard on his pianos, that he actually used to routinely break them as he pushed the piano and his music to the outer limits. I like to think of the Appassionata sonata as a revolutionary work, in today's terms you might think of it as analogous to Jimi Hendrix's guitar work. Click here to listen.

Song of the Day - June 8, 2005

Leslie Feist has lent her vocal talents to such bands, as Peaches, Kings of Convenience, and Broken Social Scene. Now, she has released her debut solo effort, entitled Let It Die. The album is in the jazz pop vein; some have compared Feist to Sade. However, I wouldn't say that she is that commercial. I particularly enjoyed the track, "Leisure Suite." The track is so laid back and mellow, I am beginning to wonder what is happening to me, yet I just can't seem to stop listening to it. There are beautiful, mellow horns, which introduce the song, finger snapping, and Leslie's beautiful vocals. I think it is the horn arrangements that has me coming back for more, or maybe it is Leslie's vocals. Whatever it is, I think she deserves a wider audience. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock and Roll

I was waiting for this album for quite some time now. It was supposed to be released in May, but nothing appeared on Rhapsody. Then lo and behold today I noticed Art Brut's debut album Bang Bang Rock and Roll magically appeared. Art Brut is another outstanding British import. The term art brut is attributed to the French artist Jean Dubuffet who defined it as "works executed by those immune to artistic culture in which imitation has no role; in which their creators take all (subjects, materials, transposition, rhythm, style etc.) from their own individuality and not from the base of classical art or stylish trends". Now that we have been edified, on to the music. Art Brut has some similarities to The Fall. They have been called the British Weezer. Lead vocalists Eddie Argos has a unique style of singing mixing mostly talking and raving, with a touch of singing. Their lyrics are witty and sarcastic at the same time. We are definitely talking British humor here. I love it. The outstanding track is "Modern Art," but I also love "My Little Brother" and its lyrics of "my little brother just discovered rock and roll, there is a noise in his head and he is out of control." I thought it was going to be "Formed a Band," their earlier single; however, they reworked the song and added a long instrumental introduction to the song, wait about 3:30 minutes into the song and then the song is basically how I knew it previously, which is great. Other great tracks include "Good Weekend," "Moving to LA," and "Emily Kane." Hell, I like them all. Click here to listen.

Song of the Day - June 7, 2005

Holiday Flyer - They are the new California sound, well, maybe not so new, as this record was recorded in 2001. Just one listen brings to mind visions of California in the musical style of late 60's or early 70's. Holiday Flyer are a California based duo of John and Kate Conley, who happen to be brother and sister. It is a melancholy, laid back pop sound, that reminds me somewhat of the Carpenters. Their song "Invincible" fits the mold perfectly. It starts out with some bongo accompaniment, followed by mellow acoustic guitar, and the vocal harmonies of John and Kate. A song for watching the sunset at the beach. Click here to listen.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Song of the Day - June 6, 2005

This is just an awesome discovery. While surfing the net on my classic long board, I discovered my song of the day and this truly great record, a relatively unknown masterpiece of psychedelic rock. The band is The Mirrors. The song is "My Lovely Lover." The album is titled "A Green Dream." What is even more remarkable about this album is that it is the work of Greg Ashley of Gris Gris; however, it was recorded while he was still a teenager. I thought I would never like a teen band. I guess one should never say never. This album came straight out of the 60's psychedelic scene, with influences such as Syd Barrett, The Electric Prunes, and even some psychedelic Monkees in the style of "My Stepping Stone." My favorite track and song of the day is the opening track, "My Lovely Lover." The song just hits you smack in the head and sends you spinning into psychedelic ecstasy. The song starts out with some beautiful acoustic guitar and piano accompaniment, putting you into a mellow mood, and then the psychedelic substances kick in, the beat quickens, the guitars roar with reverb, the vocals swirl and dart into your mind, and organ riffs float in and out. Wow, I can't believe I never heard of this album. This is a must listen. Click here to hear the rest of this unknown psychedelic classic.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Influence of the Gang of Four

Ok, I just got through raving about the Gang of Four and all the bands they influenced. Here's my list. It is by no means all inclusive. For some of the bands, the influence is dramatic and easily detected, for others it is much more subtle. It is just a start. If you can think of other bands, just leave me a comment. Click here to listen.

1. Riot Radio - The Dead 60s
2. Helicopter - Bloc Party
3. Date With A Night - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
4. I Hate The Way You Love - The Kills
5. Inertia Creeps - Massive Attack
6. The Melting Moon - Vhs Or Beta
7. Whew! - The Bucketheads
8. Dance to the Underground (new version - radio edit) - Radio 4
9. House Of Jealous Lovers - The Rapture
10. Movement - LCD Soundsystem
11. Emancipation - Moving Units
12. Sweatbox - The Wolfgang Press
13. Decent Days And Nights - The Futureheads
14. Skinny Sweaty Man - Red Hot Chili Peppers
15. Let's Do It Again - Big Chief
16. God Killed The Queen - Louis XIV
17. Whiplash - Zongamin
18. Maybe If I... - Victims Family
19. Love Buzz - Nirvana
20. Don't Wanna Stop - Six By Seven
21. Fall Of Because (Live 1983) - Killing Joke
22. Will You Smile Again Fro Me - And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
23. Pattern Against User - At The Drive-In
24. New Teen Anthem - Les Savy Fav
25. Save Yourself - The Make-Up
26. Understanding The New Violence - Uncut
27. Picabo Who? - Free Kitten
28. Kill Yr. Idols - Sonic Youth
29. Deceptacon - Le Tigre
30. The Rat - The Walkmen
31. Hey Hey Hey (LP Version) - Pleasure Club
32. 3 Weeks - Ex Models"

Song of the Day - June 3, 2005

There was absolutely no question in my mind that the Gang of Four's "To Hell With Poverty" would be the song of the day. The Gang of Four are one of my favorite bands and I can't begin to tell you how revolutionary they were, when they first appeared on the scene in the late 70's. Their sound was unique, instantly loved by those in the know; however, I would hasten to add most people were not in the know and considered them a dissonant, unlikeable, sound. I, however, loved them. Today, it is hard to listen to any new music where the influence of the Gang of Four is not felt. If they had a patent on their sound, their wealth might approach that of Bill Gates. Just listen to the distorted, jangly guitar sound, frantic, spastic, rhythms, driving bass, no other band had an energy like that back in the 70's. Rhino has recently released the Gang of Four's Entertainment album. I can only hope that Rhapsody will soon make this record available, so that all fellow Rhapsody fans can listen to the original founders of such a powerful sound. Click here to listen.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Song of the Day - June 2, 2005

The Golden Republic is a four piece band out of Kansas City. Their track "You Almost Had It" is a wonderful piece of post modern indie rock. It reminds me somewhat of the Killers, though many reviewers have said Interpol. I should mention that the record was produced by Interpol's producer Peter Katis. The band has clearly been influenced by glam rockers, like Bowie. You just can't escape the retro sound these days. I would expect based on the strength of this song, that we will hear more from The Golden Republic. Now, when I think of Kansas City, I will think of more than barbecue. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

May's Songs of the Day

Yes, it is that time again for the review of last month's songs of the day. I must say I really enjoy putting this list together and looking at the wide variety of music I selected during the course of the past month. The selection of the music, many times is a reflection of my moods. In a way, one could look at it as a musical barometer. The music ranged from the surreal sounds of Haco, the splendid Midwestern rock of Great Lakes Myth Society, to the atmospheric renderings of Rothko. Click here to listen.

1. Coast To Coast - Love as Laughter
2. The Root Of Our Nature - 400 Blows
3. Solex Feels Lucky - Solex
4. There, There - Great Depression
5. On The Day We Said Goodbye - Rothko
6. Je Reviens - Autour de Lucie
7. Bright Neon Payphone - Cut Copy
8. Giving Up - Howard Hello
9. Charlemagne In Sweatpants - The Hold Steady
10. Isabella Country, 1992 - Great Lakes Myth Society
11. Tapestry Mastery - Apes
12. Superboy & Supergirl - Tullycraft
13. Would You Like Some Mushrooms? - Haco
14. Swingset Chain - Loquat
15. Sinking Meridian - Auburn Lull
16. Bells - Electrelane
17. Blood On My Hands - Radio Vago
18. The Bering Sea - Silent Kids
19. Aura Lee - Aarktica
20. Five Moments - The Field Mice
21. Hurry Up Let's Go - Shout Out Louds
22. Nice Weather For Ducks - Lemon Jelly

Song of the Day - June 1, 2005

In my mind, June is the start of summer and you have to start summer with a bang. The Charming Snakes, a band that hails from both Austin, TX and Seattle, WA, two towns that know a thing about music, satisfy that requirement and more. Appropriately enough one of my favorite tracks of theirs is "All Great Things." The song is full of fuzzy distorted guitars, Iggy Pop influences, and oddly enough hand claps. The song just rocks. The band has opened for The Fall, Apes, and Pretty Girls Make Graves. Pretty cool if you ask me. Click her to listen.

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