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, February 28, 2006

Song of the Day - February 28, 2006

The Briefs remind me of the new wave punk scene of the late 70's and early 80's. Bands like the The Buzzcocks, Devo, and The Knack come to mind when I think of the Briefs. The music is more about having fun, then anything else. The Briefs latest release Steal Your Heart is just great. Tracks worth giving a listen include: "Genital General," "Criminal Youth," "Getting Hit on at the Bank," and "Razorblade Heart." If you are looking for a change of pace, give The Briefs a try. One of their best songs is "Forty and Above," which is about young geek love and the older woman. Click here to listen.

A Musical Ode to a Hendrick's Gin Martini

Hendrick's Gin is an unusual gin that is infused with the flavors of cucumber and rose petals. It's unusual flavor appeals to only 1 out of a 1,000 gin drinkers. Most people shy away from what is different, but others seek it. Hendrick's Gin is for the seekers. Try it in a martini and you will never go back. Just as Hendrick's appeals to those seeking the unusual, there is a group among us that searches for such uniqueness in our music. The list below is designed to appeal to such individuals with its emphasis on avant garde jazz. There are two relatively new releases on the list that are worth a mention: Andrew Hill's Time Lines and Jack DeJohnette's and Bill Frisell's The Elephant Sleeps But Still Remembers. Both are excellent and worth exploring in more detail, but I have given you a small taste below. Make yourself a martini, preferably with Hendrick's and enjoy the sublime combination of great music and an excellent cocktail. Click here to listen.

1. Smooth - Andrew Hill
2. The Elephant Sleeps But Still Remembers - Jack DeJohnette and Bill Frisell
3. India (Live) - John Coltrane
4. Cruising With JJ - Art Ensemble Of Chicago
5. Space Jazz Reverie - Sun Ra
6. Conquistador - Cecil Taylor
7. 17 West - Eric Dolphy
8. Undersound 2 - Dominic Duval
9. Luc's Lantern - William Parker

Monday, February 27, 2006

Song of the Day - February 27, 2006

The Double are a Brooklyn based quartet that have opened for the likes of Interpol and Blonde Redhead. David Greenhill's vocals are slightly reminiscent of of The Smiths' Morrissey. Their music, however, is not your typical fare. They combine unusual, non-sequential drum patterns, burst of guitar feedback, and organ, with very pop-like choruses which make for a unique sound. The track "Icy" is one of the highlights on their 2005 Matador release Loose in the Air. Click here to listen

Friday, February 24, 2006

Song of the Day - February 24, 2006

His Name Is Alive is another studio project by Warren Defever. His latest album, Detrola, as the name suggests, was recorded in Detroit and is a mixture of styles, from the 70's era Steely Dan sound of "I Though I Saw," to the electro-pop leanings of "In My Dream." However, my favorite track is "After I Leave U," which mixes early 80's influences like Yaz, Human League, and one of my favorites D.A.F. I especially like how the synthesizer intensity level reaches an almost frantic pitch, while the vocals have an almost calm, chilly feel to them. Click here to listen.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Song of the Day - February 23, 2006

We Are the Fury channel David Bowie straight from his Ziggy Stardust era. On their debut album, Infinite Jest, I absolutely love the track "Anesthetic Parade" which could have came straight from a Bowie concert in the early 70's. The song has moments of relative quiet where only vocals and piano are featured, alternating with all out rock and roll. It definitely brings back the good memories from the 70's. Earlier this month while on tour, the band was involved in an accident in Colorado and almost slid down the side of a mountain. They luckily avoided the fall, but were pretty shaken up in the accident. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Song of the Day - February 22, 2006

Bosch, formerly named Hieronymus Bosch, who was a famous painter of the late 15th early 16th century, creates music to lighten your mood and forget your troubles. They definitely have been influenced by The Cramps, though I detect a touch of Devo and The Violent Femmes. In their latest incarnation they have added a sax player which just adds to the fun. Buy One, Get One is their most recent release and "Metronome" is definitely a standout track. It is reworked version of a previous release, but I love it the all the same. It is a catch sax solo that reminds me of The English Beat and an overall retro feel to the song that is very appealing. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Song of the Day - February 21, 2006

It is hard to put my finger on it, but Crown Aruba's music intrigues me. I suppose it is that slightly dissonant character to their music. The untraditional guitar licks and the somewhat monotonous vocal delivery coalesce into something greater than the sum of their parts. "Holding Hands" showcases the above tendencies while faintly reminding me of Captain Beefheart, especially the guitar work. Click here to listen.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Song of the Day - February 20, 2006

Viva Voce is the husband and wife team of Kevin and Anita Robinson. Based out of Portland, Viva Voce create psychedelic tinged swirling emo pop tunes. The track "Brightest Part of Everyone" starts out with some addictive hand clapping, surging melodies, and Kevin's vocals only to progress to a psychedelic jam session with pounding bass lines, the remote tinkling of keyboards, and Anita's floating cloud like vocal harmonies. The more I listen to this song, the more it grows on me. Click here to listen.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Song of the Day - February 17, 2006

Ladies and Gentleman is the solo work of Thomas D'Arcy, formerly of the Carnations. He specializes in simple, but beautiful pop melodies, which remind me of early video games but with a much warmer sound. "Throw It All Away" has a catchy, repetitive melody which is augmented by various synthesizer induced sounds, and the studio created harmonies of Thomas D'Arcy's vocals. Each element by itself would normally not get my attention, however, they are put together so artfully that the sum is greater than the individual parts. Ladies and Gentleman are now touring the country. Thomas D'Arcy has supplemented his solo project with keyboardists Todor Kobakov, guitarist Steve Krecklo, drummer Brent Follett, and keyboardist/handclapper Kevin Hilliard. Click here to listen.

MMM.... Musical Musings of the Mind

It's triple M time for The Covalent Bond. The musical musings of the mind is a playlist that is heavy on punk, garage,and a few other nuggets that I just can't keep to myself. Click here to listen

1. 45 Prayers - The Rogers Sisters
2. The Dirtbombs - Cedar Point '76 - The Dirtbombs
3. I Wanna Be Your Dog (Remastered LP Version) - The Stooges
4. M.I.A. - Black Lips
5. Do The Sleeper - The Cuts
6. Decent Days And Nights - The Futureheads
7. Screams - The Staggers
8. Hot Atomics - Naked Raygun
9. Civilizations Dying - Zero Boys
10. Ever Fallen In Love? - The Buzzcocks
11. Housewives Play Tennis - Come On
12. Luanne - Invisible Eyes, The
13. Crack Boom Bam - Stiv Bators
14. Beat On The Brat - The Ramones
15. Tass - .22
16. Discord - Fire Engines
17. Cherry Came Too - The Jesus And Mary Chain
18. Skyscrapers - The Turn-Ons
19. Moonbathing - Sky Cries Mary
20. The White Unicorn - Wolfmother"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Song of the Day - February 16, 2006

The Gossip have done it again with their latest release Standing in the Way of Control. They are often labeled part of the soul dance punk funk movement. I love the funky bass intro to the track "Fire with Fire," Beth Ditto's soulful vocals, and the explosion of Brace Paine's guitar about a third of the way into the song. This is the perfect combination of soul, punk, and funk. There are definite shades of the riot grrrl sound, which just gives the song the edge it needs. They have toured with some great bands including: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Le Tigre, White Stripes, Sonic Youth, Sleater Kinney, Les Georges Leningrad, The Kills, and many others. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Song of the Day - February 15, 2006

Boston's The Beatings have absorbed the teachings of their influences: Husker Du, Mission of Burma, and The Pixies while carrying the torch forward. We must respect the teachings of our elders. I know that doesn't sound very rock and roll, but when your elders are the aforementioned bands it is worth it. I especially liked the opening track "Feel Good Ending" from their EP If Not Now, Then When? The distorted layers of guitars and the rawness of the vocals quickly caught my attention and never let go. I really enjoyed the song and the whole EP. They will be playing live tomorrow on KEXP in Seattle tomorrow if you just can't get enough. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Song of the Day - February 14, 2006

I have featured Calla's music as the song of the day before and I must do it again. Their latest release from this NYC based band is Collisions. The opening track, "It Dawned on Me," immediately caught my attention with its reverb drenched guitars and march-like leitmotif which is repeated throughout the song. This recurring theme is interrupted by dark, melancholy vocals which further enhances the song's appeal. Calla has toured with Interpol and the Secret Machines and have been steadily gaining in notoriety. I imagine you will hear more from them in 2006. If you are in London today, you can catch Calla at Barfly. Click here to listen.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Song of the Day - February 13, 2006

More than just Bordeaux comes from France; the latest import is Melanie Valera and her solo project Tender Forever. Melanie is now based out of Olympia, Washington and has signed with K Records. Her debut release The Soft and the Hardcore showcases her beautiful voice backed by laptop, drum machines, keyboard loops, and whatever other sounds Melanie can create. She reminds me somewhat of fellow K Records label mate, Khaela Marricich of The Blow, especially in her arrangements of the music. Both use a relatively simple arrangements that enrapture the listener with their choice of sounds, rhythms, and vocals. I love Melanie's track "Make Out" which starts with a repetitive melancholy keyboard riff, that sounds like it could have came from the pen of Philip Glass. Her vocals soon enter the mix, then the Philip Glass influenced riff is replaced by long drawn out chords, only to reappear later. The song just has this lazy feeling that is just contagious. It feels like it was composed in the rain, and it may very well have been, given that Melanie has exchanged France for Washington. Click here to listen.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Song of the Day - February 10, 2006

It is funky Friday redux with the National Trust. Yes this is retro music, but of a funky nature, with a lineage back to the disco 70's and the funky 80's. It is hard to believe that this is the work of two white boys from Chicago, but the soul and funk of Chicago's musical history must have made an influence. The track "It's Just Cruel" just drips funk. There is the falsetto vocal influence of Prince, the horns of Kool and the Gang, and funky keyboards in the style of The Gap Band. Speaking of the horns, which are fantastic, I discovered that Chicago's Hypnotic did all the horn tracks on the National Trust's Kings and Queens. Kelan Phil Cohran, a one time member of the Sun Ra Arkestra and a cofounder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) is the father of the eight young men that make up Hypnotic. Click here to listen.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Song of the Day - February 9, 2006

Lori's "Came Through" has a retro sound that is a combination of Iggy Pop's spoken vocal style he used so well in the 80's and New Order influenced guitar. The song starts off with some feedback, but the bass line dominates the intro of the song with an almost Joy Division feel. The song slowly simmers along and just drags the listener into their sonic world until it eventually boils over in an anarchistic mixture of guitars, bass, vocals, and drums. Lori hail from Ohio and are named after band member and guitarist Lori Cantu. Click here to listen.

Sinusoidal Tendencies and Musical Aberrations

My musical desire is uncontrollable in both quantity and style. I find my musical palate shifting constantly to various styles and periods of music resulting in playlists like those below. There is plenty of cool, interesting music included in the music below like the Joy Division influenced Dears, The Bosch, Young People, early Zappa, and a few other surprises. Click here to listen.

1. Parody At The Masquerade - We Are The Fury
2. Zombie Killer - The Bosch
3. Detox Killer (Erotic Thriller) - Fifth Column
4. Stagecoach - Young People
5. Summer Of Protest (Single) - Dears
6. The Science of Your Mind - The Comas
7. Jealous Girls - Gossip
8. Der Spook - New Black
9. Sister - She Wants Revenge
10. Amorino - Isobel Campbell
11. Gun - Durutti Column
12. Top 40 - Free Kitten
13. Flower Punk - Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention
14. Stages - National Trust
15. Look Back In Anger - David Bowie
16. The STUBBORN HORSE - Mahjongg
17. Pull Up The Roots - Talking Heads

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Song of the Day - February 8, 2006

New Black hail from my hometown Chicago. I haven't had the opportunity to see them live, but I hope to soon. New Black are graduates summa cum laude of the art-punk school of rock. Despite being a US band, New Black made a name for themselves touring in Europe. They have opened for VHS or Beta, Electrelane, Secret Machines and others. I love their sound which is reminiscent of the B-52's, especially Patti Gran's vocals, though her guitar has shades of Gang of Four. Elements of their music have also been compared to the likes of Sonic Youth, Le Tigre, and X. On their sophomore effort, Time Attack, the track "Khalil!" has great squeaky, high pitched vocals, toyish sounding keyboards, dissonant guitar, and an unstoppable, relentless energy that will get you moving this morning. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Song of the Day - February 7, 2006

I am not sure when The Living Blue's Fire, Blood, Water appeared on Rhapsody, as it surely would have been a contender for my top 10 indie albums of 2005. The whole album rocks. Though the band hails from Illinois, they remind me of several British bands especially The Jam,The Cure, and Buzzcocks. The Cure influences are clearly heard in the vocals and guitar work on the track "Tell Me Leza." Other tracks such as "Serrated Friend" are just packed full of incendiary rock and roll that you can't help but from dancing. "Greenthumb" has psychedelic tendencies and a great keyboard solo in the middle of the song. If you are only going to listen to a single song, I recommend "Murderous Youth" with its great guitar licks, British influenced vocals, and a relentless stream of energy that doesn't stop until you reach musical ecstasy. Click here to listen.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Song of the Day - February 6, 2006

Portugal,The Man is an unusual name for this quintet currently based out of Portland, Oregon. Originally the majority of the band was from Alaska, a state I hope I can get back to visit again. The band was basically formed from ex-members of Anatomy of a Ghost. The roots and meaning of their name are not clear, but let their music speak for itself. Their debut effort Waiter: You Vultures was released last month and shows strong influences from the 70's like Elton John, with their use of piano alternating with more intense rock moments. The song "Chicago" best exemplifies this trait by starting out with a dissonant Gang of Four influenced beat, then 70's era vocal harmonies float over the lead vocals, which are intense and raw; out of nowhere a quiet piano passage is inserted into the song and then we are back to the chaos. The song eventually ends in a quiet hush. Click here to listen.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Song of the Day - February 3, 2006

I am continuing my exploration of Seattle bands with The Catch. A quartet of girls that specialize in very addictive pop sounds, which sometimes veer to a much harder aesthetic. "Nothing But Time" is a track that straddles the line between pop and the harder edge. Carly Nicklaus' vocals have just the right amount of edge to get away from that bubblegum sound, while the guitars have that rough, slightly unpolished sound, that remind me of early Clash. Click here to listen.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Song of the Day - February 2, 2006

Kuma have been compared to Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Cocteau Twins. Founded in 2002, Kuma has been taking the local Seattle scene by storm. On their debut full-length album Fast Colliding, Kuma leave no doubts about their talents. Check out the track "Every Girl." which features Bre Loughlin soaring vocals. I also love the guitar work which has touches of a David Bowie era Young American sound, but with a Seattle post grunge twist. Click here to listen.

Magnetic Doughnuts Tormented My Coffee

If you have any idea what the title of this playlist means, let me know. It may have something to do with the Earth's gravitation field, the Bermuda Triangle, and Starbucks, or maybe it's sleep deprivation. Click here to listen.

1. Driving Manual Auto - Kaito
2. Brand New Cadillac - The Clash
3. Don't Take It Personal, Dave - The Cops
4. Dead - Twinkie
5. Manimal - The Germs
6. Nothing - The Beatings
7. Breathe Like You're Dancing - Sybris
8. Way West Way - Mommy and Daddy
9. She's In Parties - Bauhaus
10. Caribou - Pixies
11. Tozka - Ex-Girl
12. Learning Makes You Handsome - The Washdown
13. Palookaville - LEVELLOAD
14. Too Many People - The Moaners
15. Sometimes The Sun - The Lashes
16. Cortina Mk II - The Lambrettas
17. Sleepers - Gossip/Tracy and the Plastics
18. belly of the beast - crown aruba
19. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue - The Byrds

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Song of the Day - February 1, 2006

I guess I just can't resist Japanese influenced music. The latest band to catch my ear is the Buttersprites with their self-titled debut release. This album will draw you in despite the fact that on many of the songs you will not be able to understand the lyrics. They even throw a few covers into the mix with Altered Images "Happy Birthday," their variation of PIL's "Public Image" entitled "Yellow Fever," and Iggy Pop's "Dog Food," which is a real treat. Other recommended tracks include the angry "Fever," the upbeat "Fresh Mochi," and the enchanting "Cherry Blossom." My song of the day however is the pop sounding "Panic Attack." I especially like the Lene Lovich dolphin like noises as described by The Negative Creep. Click here to listen.

January 2006 - Songs of the Day

January saw a tremendous amount of new and great music featured during my never ending search for the song of the day. I love the psychedelic sounds of The Purrs, the frantic punk energy of The Stnnng, the indie folk of The Espers, and the pop brilliance of Tennis Pro. There also is some of the most challenging music I have heard in Afrirampo's chaotic "I Did Are." You will know the song when you hear it. I can't wait to see what February brings. Click here to listen

1. Because I Want To - The Purrs
2. Christopher Lydon (Paradise Live) - Dresden Dolls
3. Sabrosa Purr, pt. 1 - Sabrosa Purr
4. Revelation - Invisible Eyes, The
5. The Best Day In History In Ever - Sybris
6. Shadow Of Grief - The Greenhornes
7. Deny! Deny! Deny! - The Divorce
8. Where Love Goes - The Robot Ate Me
9. Tomorrow - Espers
10. Come On - Super Deluxe
11. The One I Love is Gone - Lowlights
12. Blood Tuning - The Dead Science
13. Rainbow Flows - Husky Rescue
14. Medicine Jar - Queenadreena
15. THE rRABBITT - Mahjongg
16. Nothing Is Straight In My House - The Saints
17. I did Are - Afrirampo
18. Cool It - Starky
19. What I Saw In A Dream - Boondogs
20. Self-Harm Is The New Rock And Roll - The Stnnng
21. Up Circle - Mon Frere
22. Bellingham - Tennis Pro

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