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, September 29, 2006

Song of the Day - September 29, 2006

Can you say guilty pleasure? Brazilian band and Sub Pop recording artist Cansei De Ser Sexy's single "Let's Make Love and Listen Death from Above," definitely satisfies the criteria for a guilty pleasure: an embarrassing indulgement in low-brow popular culture. The band's name means tired of being sexy, yet their disco pop is irresistible. Their sound, and this song in particular, is very reminiscent of the great Tom Tom Club. In fact, lead singer Lovefoxxx sounds quite a bit like Tina Weymouth. If you love funky dance tunes give Cansei De Ser Sexy a try. Click here to listen.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bilateral Musings and Indian Summer Daydreams

Here's the latest from the mind of The Covalent Bond. A few songs for you to enjoy on this beautiful Fall day. Click here to listen.

1. Into The Meadow - The Asteroid No. 4
2. Tiny Holes - Jennifer Gentle
3. Kiss Off - The Violent Femmes
4. Tear The Room Apart - Favourite Sons
5. My Maraschino - Forget Cassettes
6. The Mixtape Song - Tennis Pro
7. Smoke Rings - The Beautiful Mothers
8. Break Up Your Band - Chavez
9. Something - Failure
10. Obsessed With The Excess - Les Savy Fav
11. Its a Beautiful Thing (I Like My Oranges Peeled for Me) - The USA Is A Monster
12. It's Your Time - Awesome Color
13. In The Ground - Chicken Legs Weaver
14. This Heat - Uzeda
15. Locomotion - The Big Sleep
16. Stigmata Martyr - Bauhaus
17. What's A Mans Paris - Darker My Love
18. Armalite Rifle - Gang Of Four

Song of the Day - September 28, 2006

According to Ken Griffin, lead singer of the Favourite Sons, the band's raison d'etre, "is to talk about the things you go through when you confront the big stuff: love, regret, fear." Their album Down Beside Your Beauty is a particularly fine collection of melancholy and bittersweet tunes. The band, despite the English spelling of their name, is based in Brooklyn and is composed of former members of Aspera with the addition of Ken Griffin on vocals. They have been compared to Lou Reed and Echo and the Bunnymen. Fine examples of their work are abundant throughout their album. I especially liked the Lou Reed influenced ballad "Tear the Room Apart," and the Echo and the Bunnymen sounding "'Round Here." However, song of the day honors must go to the title track, "Down Beside Your Beauty," which is an epic song with soaring vocals from Ken Griffin, pounding drums, and great guitars. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Stuck in My Thumb and Pulled Out a Plum

Lately I have had a fascination with plums. During my plum induced stupor, I concocted a number of treats based on plums including: an upside down plum cake, a plum tart, and plum sorbet. All very tasty, but the plum sorbet was extremely satisfying with its silken texture accented by tiny bits of skin, which served as the perfect balance to the sweetness of the plums. I also have a few plums, mostly newly harvested, below of the jazz variety. Click here to listen.

1. Calling - Kenny Garrett
2. Jack Baker - Branford Marsalis Quartet
3. Nights On Saturn - Ahmed Abdul-Malik
4. Bones, No meat - Chico Hamilton
5. Down The Tube - Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood
6. Refraction 2 - Jason Moran
7. The Arts of Tatum and Freddy Webster - Charles Mingus
8. Lucky Seven - Dave Holland Quintet
9. Ich, Bin, George, - Flat Earth Society
10. Yesterdays - David S. Ware
11. Puddin' Time - Sean Jones
12. The Birth of The Cool Suite - Boplicity/Postlude - Joe Lovano

Song of the Day - September 27, 2006

My fellow blogger Negative Creep and I have been listening to the Trashies for quite awhile. I was mighty pleased to see that their debut album Life Sucks Trash *uck has finally appeared on Rhapsody. Now I have the opportunity to share this 21st century punk band with the world. The Trashies combine humor, keyboards, and chaos for a delectable disc of discontent. The album is filled with great tunes from the surprisingly catchy "I Hate You Mother*******," to the belligerent "Science Sucks." However, I just adore the addictive "Bad Checks," with its aggressive sound that appears to almost spiral out of control. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Song of the Day - September 26, 2006

The Acid Mothers Temple soul collective is led by guitarist Kawabata Makoto. The group has had various incarnations over the years including the Acid Mothers Temple and the Cosmic Inferno, which was known for their heavy punishing sound. However, they recently reformed the heavily psychedelic Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. I love the band members descriptions, which include cosmic joker, dancin'king, wrecker & convoy, aesthetic perverted karman, erotic voice, astral easy virtue, and speed guru. Their album Have You Seen The Other Side OF The Sky? is a diametrically opposed mixture of heavy punishing noise rock and freaked-out psychedelica. I personally prefer the freaked-out psychedelica, though I admit I do not understand the lyrics. I especially like "Asimo's Naked Breakfast : Rice and Shrine," which has a dash of early Pink Floyd from their Ummagumma period crossed with Frank Zappa's "The Torture Never Stops." I believe it is Nao of the erotic voice and astral easy virtue that you hear on this track. Click here to listen.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Song of the Day - September 25, 2006

It is time for that naked roll in the snow, I mentioned during the last song of the day featuring the Daughters. Imagine a recording using instruments constructed entirely of ice. This was exactly the thought of percussionist Terje Isungset, who has released the album Igloo, in which he fulfills his vision. With the help of vocalist Sidsel Endresen, Terje Isungset has created a sonic world that is extremely fascinating. Recorded in the famous Ice Hotel in Sweden, an arctic architectural tourist magnet for everything at the hotel is made of ice including your bed, the bar, stools, and even your shot glass for vodka, quite literally a very cool place. Terje has custom instruments created out of ice including such creations as the iceofon, ice harp, ice horn, ice trumpet, and ice percussion. Except for the strings on the ice harp and the bass drum pedal, everything else is created entirely out of ice. One might think that the sound might be harsh, but it is an extremely calming, relaxing experience. The album is best listened to in its entirety. However, if you only have time for a quick refreshing listen, I recommend "Mammoth." Click here to listen.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Song of the Day - September 22, 2006

Ok, this may be a little rude this early in the morning, and granted, it is not the type of music that I normally listen to, however, I find it appealing. I like to think of the analogy of a Finnish sauna, where after sweating profusely, one takes a naked roll in the snow. Listening to Providence, Rhode Island's Daughter's is just as invigorating. Their latest album Hell Songs is clearly in the spazzcore vein, however, I find it slightly more complex than just someone screaming at me. Their sound is a strange amalgamation of The Birthday Party and The Fall, but on speed. I especially liked the track "Hyperventilationsystem," a spastic frenzy of drums, guitars, and vocals. Click here to listen.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Song of the Day - September 21, 2006

Despite doctors' recommendations, one should not limit one's intake of Salt. In fact, I crave Salt and I believe you should consume all the Salt you want. Salt is the sophomore effort from Nashville's Forget Cassettes and it is an awesome album. Forget Cassettes are masters of the soft/loud dynamic, yet they add a complexity to it with nice guitar work, tempo changes, and great vocals, not just screaming. Beth Cameron's vocals are the star. She reminds me of a Kate Bush and Siouxsie Sioux. Great songs include "Venison," "The Catch," "Nicholas," and "My Maraschino," but my absolute favorite is "Quiero, Quieres." I believe this translates to "I want, you want," whatever the translation, this is one hell of a song, the song literally explodes with an initial drum roll and clash of guitar chords, while Cameron's vocals soar above the pummelling drums and attack of the guitars. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Song of the Day - September 20, 2006

From the huge commercial success of Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, a side project developed that may not be as large a commercial success as the movie, but will appeal to the musically adventurous. Director Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp become fascinated with sea chanteys and songs of the sea during the filming of the movie, and thought it would be interesting to put together a collection of songs as performed by a multitude of artist, letting them have free reign as to their interpretation. They recruited producer Hal Willner, who traveled around the globe recording artists like Lou Reed, Sting, Bryan Ferry, Akron Family, Joseph Arthur, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and many others. The result is the double album Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys. I love this album. It is unique, interesting, take on songs that are rarely performed today. To pick a single tune as a favorite is extremely difficult. I suggest one give a listen to Nick Cave's belligerent version of "Fire Down Below" for a taste of this luscious album. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Song of the Day - September 19, 2006

Spencer Krug's is a man overflowing with musical ideas. He plays keyboards for Wolf Parade, but he is also a member of Frog Eyes and Sunset Rubdown. I suppose just one band is not enough for this Canadian genius. All three of his bands are great, but it is his band Sunset Rubdown that I would like to focus on today. The first full length album for Sunset Rubdown is Shut Up I Am Dreaming, and it has a space reserved on my list for best of 2006. I have been listening to this beautiful album for some time now, as it was released back in May, but I have been ruminating over which song to choose as song of the day, as basically every song is worthy of the title. The album reminds me of an amalgamation of David Bowie styles, a interesting mix from David Bowie era Hunky Dory and Station to Station. One of the most majestic songs on the record is the opening track "Stadiums and Shrines II." This is a brilliant song featuring an enchanting mix of guitars, keyboards, and Spencer Krug's vocals. It is a fitting intro to one of the best albums of the year. Click here to listen.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Song of the Day - September 18, 2006

Heartless Bastards, a great name for a great rock and roll band, have released their sophomore effort All This Time. They are on the great label, Fat Possum, a label known for its blues artists such as R. L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. Lately, however, the label has been garnering attention for more rock oriented bands like The Black Keys and Deadboy & the Elephantmen. Now, you can add Heartless Bastards to the list. Heartless Bastards are first and foremost a great rock and roll band. They are not creating a new style of music, but what they do, they do very well, which is classic blues drenched rock and roll. Erika Wennerstrom vocals are awesome, she is the heir apparent to Janis Joplin. For a taste of the power of Heartless Bastards, check out the title song "All This Time." Click here to listen.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Song of the Day - September 15, 2006

I really enjoyed listening to the latest album from Blood Meridian Kick Up the Dust. Taking their name from the stark but bloody novel of Cormac McCarthy set on the Tex-Mex border during the 19th century. Blood Meridian's music clearly resides in the Americana genre, greatly influenced by Neil Young. However, there is a strong dose of the Allman Brothers, particularly in the guitar work. The band boasts members that also play in the Black Mountain and Pink Mountaintops. I was wrestling with my song of the day choice between the angst ridden "Work Hard, For What?," a song in which I clearly enjoyed the lyrics, and "Let It Come Down," a slow, mournful, beautiful song that clearly shows the influence of the Allman Brothers. In the end, I selected "Let It Come Down" for its beautiful guitar accompaniment. Click here to listen.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Song of the Day - September 14, 2006

Deadboy & the Elephantmen have been incessantly compared to the White Stripes, as they both are a male female duo. In the case of Deadboy & the Elephantmen, the band consists of Dax Riggs (formerly of Acid Bath) on lead vocals and guitar and Tessie Brunet on drums and backing vocals. Though their release, We Are Night Sky, came out early this year, the length of time between its release and my comments are no reflection on the quality of the album. Highlights include the heavy "Misadventures of Dope," which reminds me of a simmering Local H and the acoustic blues of "Walking Stick." Song of the day honors go to the opening track "Stop I Am Already Dead," which has shades of Lou Reed in it, but I absolutely love the choruses with its "ooohs." Click here to listen.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Song of the Day - September 13, 2006

There seems to be a resurgence in stoner rock lately, and that is not a bad thing if they sound like Darker My Love. Hailing from California, Darker My Love started as a side project for Andy Granelli of The Distillers and Tim Presley of Nerve Agent, which eventually morphed into Darker My Love with the addition of Rob Barbato and Jared Everett. Their self-titled debut album is an iridescent gem of stoner rock. The psychedelic spaced-out sound, combined with elements of crazed distortion reminiscent of The Stooges, meld into one glorious collection of blissed out tunes. The selection of a song of the day is an excruciatingly tough task. Does one select the Stooge-like "Summer's Here," the beautiful opening track aptly named "Opening," or the psychedelic haze of "What's a Mans Paris?" In the end, I selected "Claws & Paws," which starts out with Rob Barbato's bass and slowly builds to an apex of psychedelic stoner delight. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

23 Tunes for a Tuesday Afternoon

Here's a glimpse at the bands and tunes that I have been listening to recently. There is some great music here, like Electrelane's instrumental on "Film Music," the British rock of Dirty Pretty Things, and some vintage Roxy Music. Of course, I like all the music or I would not want to share in the spirit of The Covalent Bond. Click here to listen.

1. Opening (Album) - Darker My Love
2. Good Lover - Blood Meridian
3. Wind Driving Dogs (Album) - Chad Vangaalen
4. Climb A Tree - Jim Noir
5. Judas - What Made Milwaukee Famous
6. Film Music (Original Version) - Electrelane
7. Incommunicado - Man In Gray
8. Hot To Death - Scout Niblett
9. Fears Of Gun - The Birthday Party
10. Deadwood - Dirty Pretty Things
11. Dead Spit - The Mutts
12. Girl Is On My Mind - Black Keys
13. Set Us Free - Black Mountain
14. Cherry Lips - Archie Bronson Outfit
15. Sweat Sex - Thee Emergency
16. The Chisler - The Beautiful Mothers
17. Come Save Us - The Warlocks
18. Eat the Prize - The Mae Shi
19. Cover To Cover - Shoplifting
20. Re-make/Re-model - Roxy Music
21. Misadventures Of Dope - Deadboy & The Elephantman
22. The Men Are Called Horsemen There - Sunset Rubdown
23. For The Fourth Time - Conner

Song of the Day - September 12, 2006

What Made Milwaukee Famous have just released their debut album Trying to Never Catch Up. It's a fun, but not too serious music from a band that is named after the famous Schlitz beer slogan. In fact, the band used to be known as Beer. Another interesting tidbit is that the band is from Austin, TX, not Wisconsin. They recently appeared on Austin City Limits with Franz Ferdinand and will be touring with The Long Winters and Menomena, both excellent bands. Their album is a mixture of styles with a heavy 80's synthesizer sound and a more lyrical post-Beatles sound focusing on pop sounding harmonies and catchy riffs. In the post-Beatles category, I would place songs like "Almost Always Never" and "Judas." However, it is the opening track, "Idecide," which immediately caught my attention with its quirky synthesizer riffs and vintage 80's sound. Click here to listen.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Jazz of a Higher Energy Level - Quantum Jazz

This is jazz at a extremely high energy level. One could call it a quantum look at jazz. As in quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle applies. One cannot predict what these musicians will do next. One listen will prove this point. The mix includes a few new artists like Skerik's Synocapted Taint and Acoustic Ladyland, tempered with older artists like Charles Mingus and Sun Ra. Click here to elevate your energy level.

1. Fry His Ass - Skerik's Syncopated Taint Septet
2. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting - Charles Mingus
3. Vulcano Boro - Actis Band
4. Paranoid - Hungry March Band
5. Iggy - Acoustic Ladyland
6. Night in Tunisia - 2 - Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber
7. Art Star - The Thing
8. Didja Get Any Onya? - Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention
9. Watusa/Discipline 27-11 - Sun Ra And His Intergalactic Arkestra

Song of the Day - September 11, 2006

Love Arcade is the work of 19 year old Christian, who played all the instruments on the record and even recorded it himself. Watch out Prince! Christian obviously has an immense talent and I am sure this will not be the first we will hear from him. His self-titled debut is full of pop heavy songs which show the influence of bands like Cheap Trick and Weezer. Check out the 70's sounding "Candy," the funky "Can't Stop," and the Weezer influenced "Sara." However, my favorite track is "Sweething," which reminds a little of T. Rex. I love the primitive trumpet accompaniment, which gives the song an edge I like very much. Click here to listen.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The End of Summer Daydream

I was listening to some music and decided to start a playlist. As I progressed on the list, I noticed that the songs had dreams in common, so I changed the focus to dreaming and was pleasantly surprised. In honor for the end of summer, I thought a little daydreaming would be appropriate. I am sure there are a multitude of songs that I could add to this list, but here's a start. Click here here to start your dream.

1. Shut Up I Am Dreaming Of Places Where Lovers Have Wings - Sunset Rubdown
2. Only Dreaming Now - Beau Brummels
3. Only In Dreams - Weezer
4. Dreams - Allman Brothers Band
5. Dreams Of Milk And Honey - Mountain
6. Daydream Believer - The Monkees
7. Dreams Of Home - Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers
8. Dreams - The Cranberries
9. The Dream's Dream - Television
10. In Dreams - Roy Orbison
11. Headful of Dreams - Snowy
12. Sweet Dreams - Yes
13. Dreams Of Leaving - Human League
14. Dreams Burn Down - Ride
15. Bad Dreams - The Floorwalkers
16. Amazon (River of Dreams) - The Band
17. Dream On - Aerosmith
18. Dream Weaver - Gary Wright
19. California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas
20. American Dream - Greg Walsh
21. Runnin' Down A Dream - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
22. Dream Police - Cheap Trick
23. Dream Lover - The Jesus and Mary Chain
24. Dreaming From The Waist - The Who
25. Sweet Dreams (Of You) - Patsy Cline

Song of the Day - September 8, 2006

More Brit pop, this time from Sheffield. The Long Blondes, who are not blond at all, have caused quite a stir in the British media. According to their website the band consists of Dorian on licks, Screech on sticks, Kate on lips, Reenie on hips, and Emma on high kicks. Recently signed to Rough Trade, they have released an EP entitled Weekend Without Make Up, which features the aforementioned tune. However, I find "Fulwood Babylon" to be the ultimate cut. Kate's vocals are reminiscent of Chrissie Hynde, especially during the spoken parts. In fact, it is the spoken vocals that distinguish this particular cut, and make it irresistible. Click here to listen.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Song of the Day - September 7, 2006

Electrelane has released a stunning collection entitled Singles, B-Sides, & Live, which is exactly what the title describes. Most bands would sell their souls to the devil to have an album this good. Their brand of music which is heavy on keyboards, create sonic paradises for the ear, such as the instrumental "Film Music." This album includes a few covers such as Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" and a live version of Roxy Music's "More Than This." One of the things that help create Electrelane's unique sound is the Farfisa organ. An instrument championed by early Pink Floyd and new wave icons The B-52's. Electrelane's "I Love You My Farfisa" glorifies the unique sound of the Italian made organ and brings back memories of the original psychedelic era. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Song of the Day - September 6, 2006

It's time for a little musical antipasti with Jennifer Gentle. Jennifer Gentle are the first band from Italy to be signed to Sub Pop. Last year's release Valende is a masterpiece of post sixties psychedelic music. Syd Barrett has been a huge influence on Jennifer Gentle's sound and his recent death is honored by the likes of Jennifer Gentle and others who have followed his musical lead. It is hard to believe that this record is the work of only two Italian guys from Padova playing a wide variety of instruments to create their musical gems of psychedellica. Though their brand of music may never catch on with the masses, it is a beautiful expression of musical thought, and worthy of attentive listening. I recommend "I Do Dream You" for the ultimate taste of Jennifer Gentle. The high pitched vocals, frantic keyboards, guitars, squeaky balloons,and drums all scream instant psychedelic classic. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Song of the Day - September 5, 2006

The Mountain Goats' latest release Get Lonely is a great record, however, it is a subtle album, a quiet album, a contemplative album that may require a few listens before the greatness is apparent. This is an album to listen to late at night; a bittersweet, often sad album that is best accompanied by your favorite alcohol beverage. Lately, I prefer a single malt scotch, preferably from Islay. John Darnielle is a master storyteller and lyricist. This album requires concentration, one must listen to the lyrics, let them be absorbed into your brain. It is not unlike great literature. If you let yourself get lost in the world of a good book or great song, you will be richly rewarded. "Maybe Sprout Wings" is my favorite track; it goes wonderfully with my Laphroaig and I love the cello accompaniment. Click here to listen.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Song of the Day - September 4, 2006

Touted by many to be the loudest band in England, Part Chimp's I Am Come will lay waste to any naysayers among the non-believers. One listen to their album will prove their claim to kings of loudness. Whether your set your stereo to one or 11, there is no escaping their power. The Melvins and The Stooges are surely heavy influences on Part Chimp. For a sonic dose of Part Chimp, I recommend "Punishment Ride," which starts off innocently enough, but soon releases a sonic tsunami that will destroy everything in its path. Click here to listen.

Friday, September 01, 2006

August 2006 - Songs of the Day

August abbondanza! Summer's new releases and recent discoveries seemed to be boundless during the month of August. From the great garage rock of Thee Emergency to Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace releases Tam and Black Helicopter, the great tunes overflowed on my playlists. I particularly enjoyed Dirty Pretty Things, The Archie Bronson Outfit, and Chad VanGaalen. The variety of music was a true summer harvest. Click here to listen.

1. Girl You Should've Known - Thee Emergency
2. One I Love - Nick Castro & The Young Elders
3. Champion - Professor Murder
4. This Year - The Mountain Goats
5. Return Of The Rainbow Shoelace - Boat
6. Incest At Best - TAM
7. Dart For My Sweetheart - Archie Bronson Outfit
8. Bring Me Rocks - Marvin Pontiac
9. Distress - Oneida
10. The List Of Everyone - Free Diamonds
11. Kidnapped By Neptune - Scout Niblett
12. Well Thought Out Twinkles - Silversun Pickups
13. Holding The Pilots/Holding The Facts - The Foundry Field Recordings
14. Toxic (live) - Local H
15. Buick Electra - Black Helicopter
16. Don't Worry - The Mutts
17. Yellowcake - Kaki King
18. I Spread The Disease - Black Fiction
19. Gin & Milk - Dirty Pretty Things
20. Also Ran - French Kicks
21. Welcome To The Arborary - Our Brother The Native
22. My Patch - Jim Noir
23. Gubbbish (Album) - Chad Vangaalen

Song of the Day - September 1, 2006

The Thermals have released a concept album of sorts called The Body, The Blood, The Machine involving a supposedly hypothetical situation in which the US government becomes controlled by a group of fascist Christians. For some reason, lead singer Hutch Harris' vocals remind me of John Darnielle; possibly it is their vocal patterns or how they structure their lyrics. Regardless, they both make great music. "Here's Your Future" begins with a church-like organ, only to launch into Hutch Harris' rant about the second coming and a dismal outlook for a misguided USA. The guitars rock, the energy is high, the riffs are catchy, and the lyrics make you contemplate what can happen here in the USA. What more can you want for the song of the day? Click here to listen.

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