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

Friday, March 31, 2006

A Random Walk Down Rhapsody

Today's list is the result of my latest journey through the wonderful world of Rhapsody. As I started the list with one of my current favorites Kelley Stoltz, I proceeded to wander down the many forked paths of Rhapsody leading me to various artists and styles as they popped into my cerebellum. A melancholy theme does pervade many of the songs, but do not despair as moments of happiness do appear if you give the list a chance. Click here to listen.

1. Birdies Singing (Album) - Kelley Stoltz
2. I'm Alive Again - Super XX Man
3. Anger - The Czars
4. Catchin A Wave - Miguel Mendez
5. Southern Cross - Tarantella
6. Je Vous Ai Apporte Des Bonbons - Boister
7. Nesta - Antibalas
8. L - Om Trio
9. Syncope Riders - Shoplifting
10. Short Fat Pig - Hungry March Band
11. Skyscrapers - The Turn-Ons
12. Get Rid Of Him - The Cuts
13. Skeleton Key - Margot & The Nuclear So And So's
14. Margaret vs. Pauline - Neko Case
15. Obliteration Overload - Calvin Johnson
16. Shackle and Chain - Memphis Radio Kings

Song of the Day - March 31, 2006

I was immediately attracted by curiosity to the artist Cezanne and the album Breaking Bats for Jesus, while browsing Rhapsody. Curiosity paid off this time, as the album is a perfect blend of the indie aesthetic. This album simmers along walking the tight line between a mellow vibe and an all out rock assault. The opening track "I've Got So Much," is probably the most likely to get radio play and is a fine example of Cezanne's work. The psychedelic influenced "Memories Don't Work" satisfied my 60's leanings. "Two Wings to Fly," however, is my favorite track reminding me of Kurt Cobain on Prozac. This music definitely deserves a listen. Click here to listen.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Song of the Day - March 30, 2006

Have you had your morning Danish? If not, I recommend you take a bite out of the Figurines. These four fellows have taken Denmark by storm and our now poised to do the same in the US. Their second album and US debut Skeleton shows the influences of Neil Young, Cars, and Modest Mouse. It is a beautiful blend of indie pop aural candy. The track "The Wonder" was a hit in Denmark and it is easy to see why with its catchy bass line, jangly guitars, and Neil Young influenced vocals. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Song of the Day - March 29, 2006

Wow! I can't get enough of The Grates debut EP The Ouch, The Touch. This Australian trio creates a raw blend of music integrating various influences from the likes of Sleater-Kinney, Slits, X, Germs, Elvis, The Flying Lizards, and The Cramps. That is quite a musical cocktail which just leaves me thirsty for more musical refreshment. The EP is short, but there is not a bad song in the bunch. I love the spastic garage rock of the opening track "Message." "Sukkafish" starts out with sweet country influences, only to alternate back and forth between a much rawer guitar. "Wash Me" is a cataclysmic song that just builds and builds from its simple riff to distorted guitars and utter chaos. However, my favorite song is "Trampoline" with its rockabilly rhythms, Elvis like growls, naive sound alla Flying Lizards, and the lyrics. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Song of the Day - March 28, 2006

Dan Treacy, legendary founder of the Television Personalities, is back with Ed Ball, a reformed Television Personalities, and a new album, My Dark Places. As I am fond of saying, this is an acquired taste, but I love it. Dan Treacy had struggled with drug problems, mental illness, and actually spent time on a prison boat off the coast of England, when he reappeared on the scene in 2004. The title track, "My Dark Places," reflects on these past experiences and revels in Syd Barrett influences, a Treacy favorite. The interchange between Treacy and Victoria Yeulet on vocals is one of the most appealing aspects of this particular song, yet I also love that British psychedelic sound. If you are not familiar with Dan Treacy and the Television Personalities, I strongly recommend you give them a try. Click here to listen.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Song of the Day - March 27, 2006

The land of 10,000 lakes has done it again with the band Tapes'n Tapes. This Minneapolis based quartet's latest release entitled The Loon is an awesome album. Their influences range from The Pixies, Beach Boys, Pavement, Flaming Lips, and The Talking heads. Great tracks are abundant including the brilliant opening track "Just Drums," the tropicali influenced "The Illiad," the comic "Cowbell" and the Nirvana influenced loud and soft passages of "10 Gallon Ascots." However, most people that listen to The Loon find that "Insistor" is their favorite track and I am not an exception. I felt that the song had echoes of The Violent Femmes. The lyrics are great; the music has country leanings intermixed with a touch of gypsy like riffs and plenty of reverb on the guitars. Click here to listen.

In Pursuit of the Perfect Cocktail

My quest for the perfect cocktail continued this weekend with a study of the Negroni, that classic combination of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. A thoroughly enjoyable libation, but to many an acquired taste, the negroni has gained in fashion recently. My liquid research included the classic 1:1:1 ratio of Hendrick's Gin, Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth, and Campari. Though the drink was excellent, I felt that there was room for improvement. I would like to try various combinations of gin and sweet vermouth, in particular, I would like to try Punt e Mes Vermouth, both their regular and Antica formula. In regards to gin, there are a number of variations I would like to try including: Plymouth, Junipero, and Bombay Sapphire. Oh yes, music makes the research that much more enjoyable, jazz being the perfect accompaniment. Click here to listen

1. Straight Ahead - Kenny Dorham
2. Caprice - Ron Thomas Trio
3. The Calling - Alex Harding & Blutopia
4. Our Thing - Joe Henderson
5. For Giuffre - Lucian Ban & Asymmetry
6. Caravan (Ellington / Mills / Tizol) - Eyran Katsenelenbogen
7. Back In The Day - Orbert Davis
8. Fuego - Donald Byrd
9. Folk Song - Klaus Suonsaari
10. Breath of the Volcano (Geoffrey Keezer) - Geoffrey Keezer
11. Love In Outer Space - Sun Ra And His Intergalactic Arkestra
12. At The Ball - Jarmo Savolainen
13. Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year - Joe Locke and David Hazeltine Quartet
14. Adventures Aboard The Golden Mean - Wayne Shorter

Friday, March 24, 2006

Song of the Day - March 24, 2006

This is the number one song in my house right now. Every family member is addicted and my daughter is constantly singing the lyrics both at home and in her school. Sparks released "Ugly Guys with Beautiful Girls" a few years ago, and it flew under my radar. The song is not your typical rock anthem, rather it starts with subdued strings and mellow vocals, almost elevator like, only to disrupted by the female chorus of "wop, wop, wop..." and jarring guitars. This strange addictive chorus alternates with spoken vocals done in an almost documentary style. The overall effect just grabs you and will not let you go. I warn you that one listen will not be enough. Click here to listen.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Song of the Day - March 23, 2006

Close your eyes and you will be transported back to the early 70's and the voice you hear is not David Bowie, but Daniel Bejar of Destroyer. This Vancouver native sounds eerily like Bowie during his Hunky Dory days. This is especially apparent on the track "Rubies," which combines acoustic guitar, intermixed with occasional electric guitar, and Daniel's Bowie like vocals. This track is one of those that has lodged in my brain and won't let go. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Song of the Day - March 22, 2006

Tarantella late last year released their debut album Esqueletos on Alternative Tentacles, which is a departure from the usual fare associated with the label. Country gothic is a label that has been applied to Tarantella, as their music is dark, but infused with country, folk, and foreign influences. In fact, many of the songs on their record are sung in Spanish. The track "San Telmo" has just the right balance of indie rock influences with its fuzzy guitar chorus, while the organ and violin accompaniment contribute to the country side of their music. If you are a fan of Devotchka, Tarantella will definitely appeal to you. Click here to listen.

The Hair of the Dog

Like a massive hangover, sometimes the best medicine is a little bit of the hair of the dog that bit you. Here are the bands that have taken a chunk out of me and just may jar you back to life this morning. Click here to listen.

"Hi-Skies" - The Morning After Girls
"It Fit When I Was A Kid (Radio Single)" - Liars
"Ceremony" - The Appleseed Cast
"I'm Not Your Typical Boy" - The Television Personalities
"All Tomorrow's Parties" - The Velvet Underground
"Painter in Your Pocket" - Destroyer
"You Were Born Inside My Heart" - The Duke Spirit
"Be My Wife" - David Bowie
"Turnstile Blues" - Autolux
"Girl On A Motorbike" - Swervedriver
"Cowbell" - Tapes 'n Tapes
"Serrated Friend" - The Living Blue
"Dog Food" - Buttersprites
"The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil" - Jefferson Airplane
"They're Coming To Take Me Away" - Lard
"Baraboo" - Queen Bee
"Trobbel" - Animal Alpha

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Song of the Day - March 21, 2006

Beware of the Scandinavian invasion! Animal Alpha is out to take our shores by the brute force of their music. This Norwegian quintet has gained a level of notoriety in their own country and now are here in the US; last week they played at SXSW. This band is intense, aggressive, and entertaining. The track "Bundy" has been featured on some PS2 releases, as well as reaching number 4 in the Norwegian singles chart. Lead singer Agnete Kjolsrud changes from subtle vocal stylings to brutal in your face singing combining the best of heavy metal and a more friendly indie sound. Click here to listen.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Song of the Day - March 20, 2006

The UK's The Duke Spirit finally saw the US release of Cuts Across The Land and it is worth the wait. Lead vocalist Liela Moss has been compared to Patti Smith and Nico and their influence is apparent throughout the album. I especially liked the mounting energy of "Love Is An Unfamiliar Name," the Gang of Four influenced guitars intermingled with psychedelic influences on "Win Your Love," and the sinister intro to "You Were Born Inside My Heart." However, the best track is the Velvet Underground influenced "Darling, You're Mean," and the sinister vocal chorus by Liela Moss, which I find strangely attractive. Click here to listen.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Song of the Day - March 17, 2006

Miguel Mendez's understated music beckoned me with its combination of indie and folk styles with a California bent. Miguel was a one-time physics major at Berkeley only to give it up for a career in music. Miguel's debut album is entitled My Girlfriend is Melting and some have categorized it as stoner rock, but I believe it is more complex than that stereotypical label. Outstanding tracks include the surreal "Catching a Wave," and the Neil Young influenced "You Got Me All Wrong." My favorite track is "Maniac Psycho" with its chorus of "I'm just in love, I'm not psycho." Click here to listen.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Song of the Day - March 16, 2006

Sam McBean of Black Mountain has released his second album with the Pink Mountaintops, Axis of Evol. The album comes from that drug enriched vein of neo-psychedelic folk and the title has obvious Sonic Youth influences. The track "Plastic Man, You're the Devil" starts out with some very simple guitar plucking and Sam McBean's subdued vocals all reminiscent of something you might have heard in the pre-Starbuck days of 1960's coffehouses. The song is spiked with brief moments of honky tonk influenced electric guitar and drum accompainment that reminds me of The Rolling Stones. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Song of the Day - March 15, 2006

Bling Kong is an 11 piece band from Brooklyn consisting of four cheerleaders, three drummers, two guitarists, a bassist, and a video DJ. They are famous for their legendary live shows and have gained a cult following on the East Coast. Their sound is a mixture of The Go-Go's, B-52's, and the sexual humor of Frank Zappa. A perfect example is the track "We Got the Bling," with its allusion to The Go-Go's "We Got the Beat" and the Zappa influenced sexual lyrics. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Song of the Day - March 14, 2006

It's time for something a little harder. Ani Kyd fits the bill with her blend of punk, thrash metal, and Siouxsie Sioux influences. Ani Kyd is an underground rock legend, especially in the Vancouver area, where she has played in the bands Spanking Machine, Rumblefish, and Spankin' Betty. On the Jello Biafra produced Evil Needs Candy Too, Ani Kyd rocks like a demon released from hell. My favorite track is "Creepy Feeling" with its gothic influences crossed with hardcore angst. Ani has even appeared in a Canadian indie film with Jello Biafra entitled The Widower. Click here here to listen.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Song of the Day - March 13, 2006

Many Birthdays Sub Rapid Express intrigued me with their Japanese influenced cocktail of musical ephemera. The music is transitory, changing styles and rhythms, which put me in a strangely relaxed state. I felt as if I had one too many cocktails, and the room was whirling around my head. "Iwaisuru" and "Spirit No. 9" are two excellent tracks for sipping cocktails, but "The Story of Inazuma" is my favorite track to have the room spin around my head. This track could appear on some ultra cool indie film at Sundance that only a few people ever hear of and much fewer actually see. Click here to listen.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Song of the Day - March 10, 2006

The Nine Black Alps have released one rockin' album in Everything Is. The US again may be ruled by the British, as these four British lads invade our shores. The track "Not Everyone" is my favorite and will satisfy those who still mourn the death of Kurt Cobain. The quiet passages followed by maniac screaming and distorted guitar thrashings are all Nirvana trademarks. The Nine Black Alps are not Nirvana clones despite the similarities of "Not Everyone" to the Nirvana sound. Other tracks show a definite British twinge like the track "Unsatisfied," which has that peculiar guitar sound that is found in many British Bands like Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, and the Kaiser Chiefs. Click here to listen.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Song of the Day - March 9, 2006

It's time for a caipirinha and some Apollo Nove. The caipirinha is a hint that something Brazilian must be on my mind. Apollo Nove is the talented Brazilian producer who has put together a melange of tropical sounds in his release Rex Inexplicata Volans, which is Latin for unexplained flying thing. He is assisted with some mighty fine talent in the likes of Cibelle, Seu Jorge, Tita Lima, Holly, Fred 04 and Céu. The tropicalia sounds of "Inexplicata" transformed me into a mellow mood and made me wonder about the wisdom of living in Chicago in the winter. I love the spoken word intermixed with the singing and the keyboards. The slack key guitar and the nostagalic percussion pattern further contribute to the exotic nature of this track. If you are looking for something a little different to warm your soul, check out Apollo Nove. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Song of the Day - March 8, 2006

Here come the Brits, and I couldn't be happier. I am addicted to the British music scene, and Clearlake satisfies my jones. Clearlake creates dreamy British pop with lush instrumentation on their latest release Amber. This is truly a great record. The styles vary throughout the album from the bluesy "Neon," the psychedelic "Hear to Learn," the mournfully melodic "Amber," and the indie pop sounds of "No Kind of Life." It is difficult to pick a favorite track, but I am enamored with "It's Getting Light Outside." The song evokes memories and sounds from the 60's. It is a classic 21st century interpretation of those bygone days. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Song of the Day - March 7, 2006

Field Notes is the solo project of Chad Hanson, formerly of the Dutch Flat and Mines. His album Color of Sunshine recently appeared on Rhapsody and has been playing quite frequently at my home. My favorite track and the most upbeat track on the album is "Sister Says." I described it as the most upbeat track on the album, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is upbeat. The recurring chorus of, "Do you feel like this when you're dead?" is not exactly upbeat, but the song has lodged itself in my brain, with its catchy guitar intro and lonesome vocals. Click here to listen.

An Assortment of Ambiguous, Alternative, Aural, Aggregations

Alliteration was the inspiration for the title of this playlist, which features a random collection of my latest musical inclinations. The list begins with some of the latest by the Nine Black Alps, and concludes with a humorous song by Lard. Interspersed amongst the list are various songs from artists both new and old. Click here to listen.

1. Unsatisfied - Nine Black Alps
2. Save Yourself - The Make-Up
3. Neon - Sybris
4. At 1 AM - The Subways
5. Sweet '69 - The Pink Mountaintops
6. Foggy Eyes - Beat Happening
7. I'm About To Crack - The Methadones
8. Spanish Eyes - Souls She Said
9. Seventeen - New Black
10. Getting Hit on at the Bank - The Briefs
11. Noise Annoys - Buzzcocks
12. Empty Your Pockets - The Catch
13. sexy robot - crown aruba
14. Paper Tiger - LEVELLOAD
15. Train - 4 Non Blondes
16. 70's Rock Must Die - Lard

Monday, March 06, 2006

Song of the Day - March 6, 2006

For all you Naked Raygun fans out there, both the old and the young, Jeff Pezzati has reformed his band The Bomb and released the album Indecision on Thick Records. Back in the 80's, I had the pleasure of seeing both Naked Raygun and Black Flag perform together. It definitely was one of the highlights of my concert attending life. Jeff Pezzati and his bandmates recapture some of that energy in the track "Up From the Floor," with Jeff's trademark vocals, and a high energy performance by the band. The rest of the band is guitarist Jeff Dean, bassist Pete Mittler and drummer Mike Soucy, who also plays with The Methadones. Click here to listen.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Song of the Day - March 3, 2006

Swearing at Motorists have released a brilliant album in Last Night Becomes This Morning. It is their first release since 2002's This Flag Signals Goodbye. This two man band from Dayton, OH have created what I believe is one of the best albums of 2006. The year is young, but this album excels in recreating the bleak world of a band on the road, never quite reaching the level of fame they deserve. There are echoes of Lou Reed, The Smiths, Kinks,and Thin Lizzy in their addictive music. It is almost impossible for me to pick a favorite track on their latest release. I love "Northern Line," Waterloo Crescent," "Still Life with Bottle Rockets," and "You Will Not Die Tonight (probably)." However, if forced I would pick "Timing is Everything," which has a great catchy chorus with the added benefit of horns. Click here to listen.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Song of the Day - March 2, 2006

The Rogers Sister released their album Three Fingers in 2004, but released two singles in 2005 from the same album with a slight linguistic twist. The tracks were recorded in French and Japanese. I preferred the French version of "Fantasies Are Nice." to the English version. The track starts with a squealing saxophone before Jennifer and Laura, the Rogers Sisters, exchange a few French syllables. Meanwhile, there is a somewhat primitive pounding beat, and clanging guitars swirling around the mix which eventually builds to a climax. There are shades of the B-52's in their sound and echoes of the 80's. If you are looking for something with a new wave edge to it, The Roger Sisters are your band. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Song of the Day - March 1, 2006

New Radiant Storm King have released their latest on Darla Records entitled The Steady Hand. Like one of their major influences, Mission of Burma, the New Radiant Storm King's are also Massachusetts natives. The band has been around quiet a while, and there still is definitely a 90's feel to their music, but that is not a problem. "The Winding Staircase" immediately jumped out at me when I first listened to the album. It has a slightly jagged rhythmic feel to it, that is smoothed over by the harmonious vocals and guitars. Click here to listen.

February 2006 - Songs of the Day

February had a tremendous amount of new musical discoveries. I love the fantastically fun sounds of the Buttersprites, the crazed juxtaposition of 70's sounds with wild dance punk rhythms of Portugal, The Man, and the 21st century power punk of The Briefs. The state of Illinois had a good showing this month with the likes of The Living Blue, New Black, and the funky National Trust. Ohio also contributed with the New Order influenced sounds of Lori. I know I am leaving out many other contributions by other states, notably New York and Washington. Let's see what happens next month. Click here to listen.

1. Panic Attack - Buttersprites
2. Every Girl - Kuma
3. Nothin' But Time - The Catch
4. Chicago - Portugal.The Man
5. Murderous Youth - The Living Blue
6. Khalil! - New Black
7. Came Through - Lori
8. It's Just Cruel - National Trust
9. Make Out - Tender Forever
10. It Dawned On Me - Calla
11. Feel Good Ending - The Beatings
12. Fire With Fire - Gossip
13. Threw It All Away - The Ladies And Gentlemen
14. Brightest Part of Everyone - Viva Voce
15. holding hands - crown aruba
16. Metronome - The Bosch
17. Anesthetic Parade - We Are The Fury
18. After I Leave U - His Name Is Alive
19. Icy - The Double
20. Forty And Above - The Briefs

Site Meter