Stranded In Stereo: April 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

Advance Screening: The Ten

While the rest of the blogging world was busy over the weekend talking about some festival in the middle of some desert in California and whatever in the hell it was Bjork was wearing (who cares anymore -- really?) I spent my weekend checking out Boston's fifth annual Independent Film Festival.

Alright, so, I didn't see every movie they were showing, just one. David Wain, famous for his great acting abilities in The State and Stella, and his cult classic directorial debut, Wet Hot American Summer, gave Boson audiences a look at his new movie, The Ten.

The movie revolves around 10 short stories, each one based on one of the Ten Commandments (sadly, there was no cameo or parody of Chuck Heston, but what can you do?) The movie was stacked with a great cast of characters, include State alums Thomas Lennon, Keri Kenney, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and so forth. The movie also featured hilarious performances from Liev Schriber as a police officer who competes with his neighbor on who can have the most catscan machines, and Paul Rudd as the storyteller with his own subplot to boot. But, the standout performance would probably go to Winona Ryder and a marionette puppet. That's all I'm saying about that.

The sold out audience seemed to enjoy the film, and I know I did.
The Ten hits theatres in the US on August 3rd. If you want to make an attempt to catch it before then, head over to the movie's official MySpace page to see a schedule of upcoming screenings.

View: The Ten [trailer]

Friday, April 27, 2007

MD Of The Week: Jay from WUTK

Admittedly, I don't know much about the South. Up until a few years ago, the furthest south I'd been was Virginia Beach, and that's really just some weird gray area between the North and the South. In 2000, I was finally able to explore every last weird area of the country, and one of those areas was Tennessee, as I made stops all over the state, including Memphis and Nashville. This week's MD is from Knoxville, a town that I hear a lot of bad things about, but is all of this gossip true? There must be something cool going on, as it's home to the University of Tennessee's WUTK, and the station's music directors, Jay Lewis. Read below and find out what the future of the music industry holds for us!

1. How and/or why did you get involved with college radio?

I left the military because I wasn't happy with what I was doing in life and really wanted to be involved with music. I started writing CD reviews for the campus newspaper as soon as I got to the University of Tennessee and then went down to the station just wanting to do anything. I was surprised to find out that hardly any students were down there working and it was totally in a rebuilding phase. They (the management) said they didn't have any room for me down there because all of the Journalism (I'm doing PR) students filled all the available DJ shifts. I just kept coming down and doing odd jobs until they found out how much I knew and was passionate about music. Three months later I was a music director.

2. Name five bands you are currently in to at the moment.
The Aracade Fire is probably everyone's obvious favorite record right now, so I think I will hop on that bandwagon. Here are four more I am digging: Blonde Redhead, Pterodactyl, The Pharcyde (I like some old school hip-hop) and Dr. Dog (one of the
greatest bands I have ever seen live).

3. What kind of show do you do? When is it on? How can people listen to your show (do you stream online, frequency, etc.?)
Our station is a little bit more accessible and has a more mainstream feel to it, so I host a show on Monday nights from 8-10 pm EST called "The Indie Aisle." I play a lot of artists like Animal Collective, Hella, Crime In Choir, Lightning Bolt, Cold War Kids, Dr. Dog, Frank Jordan and a bunch of hidden tracks from '90s acts like Sonic Youth, Nirvana and the Pixies.

We stream 24/7 at and I have my show available for download at our forum located on the site. I am also working on fixing the kinks to get my podcast up and running.

4. How does your station help the community?
We get out and sponsor and promote a lot of Knoxville events. I am particularly proud of the Knoxville Earth Day Event that we help with. We are one of the many sponsors of the event, but we also help to coordinate the live concert. This is a great venue to get our name out there to the community, while supporting a great organization that helps inform citizens on how to make an impact locally on the environment.

5. Can you give some advice to other MD's out there?
Don't be afraid to ask promoters how to do something, because they were most likely MDs once, as well. Be proactive, professional and don't act like you're too cool to play an artist -- people hate that. Also, don't lie on your charts. That's just wrong. Booyah.

The National: New Album (of the year?), Tour

One record I've been playing a lot of this year is The National's new opus, Boxer, the follow-up to the critically and audience lauded Alligator. Filled with a dozen new tunes, it's definitely my nod for Album of the Year. Where "Squalor Victoria" has a catchy piano melody and what I call an unconventional drum beat, "Start A War" sounds like the Sonic Youth of Rather Ripped jamming with their concert band during 7th period in junior high, what with the woodwinds coming in out of nowhere and all. Lots of cool hipsters will be overjoyed to know that Mr. State Songs himself Sufjan Stevens tickling the ivories on the opening song, "Fake Empire."

The band will tour the states in June after the album's release on May 22, but before then they'll play a handful of shows opening for the Arcade Fire. The tour kicks off with a five night sold out residency at the Bowery Ballroom in their home of New York with a revolving door of support. Shapes And Sizes and Talkdemonic will be on the road with the National for the rest.

Tour Dates:

supporting Arcade Fire:
05/01 - Atlanta Civic Center - Atlanta
05/02 - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium - Asheville
05/04 - DAR Constitution Hall - Washington
05/05 - Tower Theater - Philadelphia
05/07 - United Palace Theater - New York
05/08 - United Palace Theater - New York
05/09 - Radio City Music Hall - New York

Bowery Ballroom Residency:
05/28 - with The Broken West
05/29 - with Doveman
05/30 - with My Brightest Diamond
05/31 - with Elysian Fields
06/01 - with The Philistines Jr.

with Shapes And Sizes and Talkdemonic:
06/02 - Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia*
06/04 - Cabaret Juste Pour Rire - Montreal*
06/05 - Opera House - Toronto*
06/06 - Magic Stick - Detroit
06/07 - Metro - Chicago
06/08 - 400 Bar - Minneapolis
06/09 - High Noon Saloon - Madison
06/11 - Duck Room - St. Louis
06/12 - Headliners - Louisville
06/13 - The Earl - Atlanta
06/14 - Bonnaroo - Manchester
06/15 - 20th Century Music Theater - Cincinnati

06/16 - The Basement - Columbus
06/18 - Beachland Ballroom - Cleveland
06/19 - Rex Theater - Pittsburgh
06/20 - 9:30 Club - Washington
06/21 - Middle East - Boston
06/25 - Casbah - San Diego
06/26 - El Rey Theater - Los Angeles
06/27 - Bimbo's - San Francisco
06/28 - Berbati's Pan - Portland
06/29 - Richards On Richards - Vancouver
06/30 - Nuemos - Seattle
*with Shapes And Sizes only

Download: "Fake Empire" [mp3]

Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Music from Narrator

The Chicago based quartet The Narrator are back and are ready to drop their second album, All That To The Wall, on May 15th via the Flameshovel label.

Over the course of the album's 11 songs, the band channels the indie rock styles of the late 80s and early 90s. "Panic at Puppy Beach" sounds like one of the better songs from the early days of Modest Mouse. with it's near-jangly guitars and vocal harmonies. Big guitars battle with drones and swooning wails in the chorus of first single "Surfjew," where the epic "Decade In Kentucky" channels it energy throughout its many chaotic and unexpected movements. By the time the song ends, you're surprised to know it's still the same song. And at the center of this
Wall is the somewhat stylistic rendition of Bob Dylan's "All The White Horses," a song I was only familiar with due to its inclusion in my favorite drug movie Blow. As opposed to a choir of female vocals, the trio sings the lone lyric ('All the white horses in the sun / How am I supposed to get any ridin' done? Hmm) for 3 minutes while banjos and organs creep in and become more prevalent as the song goes on.

For all you locals in Chicago, the band will throw
All That To The Wall a little release party at the Hideout on May 11th with Chicago's Tight Phantomz and Mannequin Men DJs in the roles of supporting bands.

Download: "Surfjew" [mp3]

Post Hardcore Archives: Black Eyes

I've decided to stay in DC, and I think I'll be here for a few weeks -- there's too many great bands to discuss.

Back in the early '00s, there was quite the resurgence in DC post hardcore scene, as bands like Q & Not U, Del Cielo and The Beauty Pill started playing out. Another big part of this "scene" was Black Eyes, a band made up of ex-members of The No-Gos, The Better Automatic, among others. The band was fierce, and from the moment they came together in 2001, they attracted the attention of just about everyone by melding pummeling post-punk dynamics with no wave, free jazz and dub. When I first saw them at a house party in New Brunswick, NJ in 2002, I was knee deep in beer an hour before the band went on, but lead singer Hugh McElroy was nice enough to keep me entertained with stories of random, almost forgotten DC bands.

The show was everything I expected it to be and over the next two years, I saw the band any time I could, including a way too hot set at Philadelphia's First Unitarian Church in the late summer of 2003 where the band played with Q & Not U and packed close to 500 people into the cramped church. Luckily for us, the set was worth braving, by far one of the best shows I saw that year. The following year brought a new album, but also the band's dissolution. Since then, McElroy has played in Horses and Sentai, runs Ruffain Records in DC, while Daniel Martin-McCormick and Jacob Long are in San Francisco, with Long records by himself under the name Earthen Sea.

Download: "Deformative" [mp3] /// "False Positive" [mp3] /// Buy here

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Stranded Local Q&A: The Eclectic Collective

With metal heads and jazz fanatics alike taking a penchant to their sound, Boston's The Eclectic Collective have been quite busy recently. Saturday night was their record release show for their newest effort The Flux.

And on Monday they graced the stage at Fox25 Morning News. You can see their live performance of the song "Ocean Of Tears" on the Fox25 Morning News Web site.

The line-up of eight (yes, eight members!) meld together to form a heavy rock sound meets an aggressive approach to R&B and soul.

The Eclectic Collective’s sound can be attributed to the cultural diversity of the band - - four of the members are first-generation Americans. Drummer Sheel Davé says this “has given us the opportunity to experience different worlds and bring our ‘sides’ together while writing and performing and living every day life.” These different “sides” are showcased on the The Flux, which was inspired by ideas of time travel introduced by the flux capacitor featured in the ‘80’s movie Back To The Future.

“This record is conceptually ‘what makes time travel possible,’” explains Davé. “I would describe it as a heavy rock record that is rooted in old R&B and soul, which is basically going ‘back to the future.’”

Read on to see The Eclectic Collective's guitarist Salim Akram answer the same five questions SIS always asks local bands.

Hailing from Boston, makes us better than all those non-Boston bands because

We have the East Coast Mentality and work ethic. We will outwork you and your band.

Name at least three bands that are still around and touring that you’d love to be on a bill with, and think it fits well
Gym Class Heroes, Gruvis Malt even though they are no longer around (straight up ignored the question but I don’t care), Rage Against the Machine

Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is
The Middle East Downstairs

Are there any genres that influence your music conceptually, rather than sonically? (In that you can’t hear from simply listening to the music, but from getting into the structure or mathematics of the song-writing, etc.)
Recently it has been more classic Soul and Rock music, our structure of songs has been more focused around the simple structure of a solid groove and catchy instrument and vocal melodies.

Your favorite local bar to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is
Usually most of us end up at Our House West in Allston.


My Formative Years: "Fashion Nugget" by Cake, 1996

This week, Rusty takes a look back at one of the most outplayed CD's in his collection, due in part to it being one that he was always finding himself listening to on the bus ride home from school. Lucky for him, though, he still has the his original copy and the cassette tape that started it all ...

We look to our parents for inspiration, and as inspirations. At least I did. If it weren't for some crucial actions that my parents took, I know I wouldn't be the person I am. If my dad didn't work at a factory making parts for tractor trailers for almost two decades, he wouldn't of been friends with a man who went by the nick name of Homer (real name - Brendan?)

At any rate, Homer was in his 20s, listening to the cool hip music I was slowly getting in to at my ripe age of 12. One day, MTV once again pulled through and showed me a video of a man talking about going "The Distance." That song was insatiably catchy: the song that went with the video sounded like it came from the 1960s or 70s. It could've passed for the theme song to some failed cop show, what with its "ah's" and "yah!" command after the first chorus. What I think sold me, though, on this clip from the "Buzz Bin" was the brass section (if you know me today, you know that I am sucker for almost any song featuring some form of horns. I about died two weeks ago at the Walkmen show where they had a brass combo on almost every song.) The trumpet just sold me. I was determined to track this album down, and was lucky enough to get a hold of the cassette tape copy of
Fashion Nugget by the band Cake that Homer owned. I forget what I traded him for it, but Dad told me he thought it sucked and held no qualms parting with the album.

"I should've changed my fucking lock" John McCrea stated in Cake's rendition of "I Will Survive" (is it wrong of me to say their version might be just as popular as Gloria Gaynor's original disco hit?) This song ended side 1 of the tape, but it just made you wonder how it go on after that. Really, after the great lament "Friend Is A Four Letter Word" and the piano-ladened "Daria," what was their left to be even better? Lucky for me, the entire second side of that cassette was filled with the finest moments of that album. Side B started off with "Stickshifts And Safetybelts" with its locomotive drum beat competing with the near country-twang guitar work that made you feel as if you were crusing the dirt paths with Bo and Luke Duke. To this day, the album's closer "Sad Songs And Waltzes" could fit on any break up mix I could make (I don't make those self-deprecated mixes, though.) Everyone's favorite moment, though, is probably the gem "Nugget." Any song that sings about Chicken McNuggets is a good one in my book (though I prefer the Chicken Nuggets of Wendy's.) It was an eclectic album, yet it wasn't; it was linear yet all over the map at the same time.

I still have that cassette tape somewhere, in a box, or maybe I got rid of it. I'd like to think I kept a hold of it for it was easily the most played cassette next to my copy of 1987's Album of the Year, Kick. Eventually I made the upgrade to CD and played that on very many road trips to the beach, sitting in the back seat listening to my Sony Discman. Today, I have a bunch of friends from high school and college who go as far as naming Cake their favorite band of all time. Lucky for me, when I was in 6th grade, thanks to Homer, I was the only one going the distance on the playground.

Download: "Stickshifts And Safetybelts" [mp3]
Download: "Sad Songs And Waltzes" [mp3]
Buy: Fashion Nugget [Here]

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New Release Tuesday

I was listening to XM on my flight back to the city last night, and a song came on that just kind caught me. As I was trying to sleep with my eyes were closed as tight as possible, this trudging beat came on with some keyboards and programmed hand claps and then this voice kicked in. I know it was a woman, but it kind of reminded me of Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip with that convicting falsetto she delivered. I looked down at my arm rest and found out it was a song called "Rock The Boat" by Dntel. It is actually one of the many projects of Jimmy Tamborello, who is most notedly known for his work with Ben Gibbard as The Postal Service. For fans of Give Up, Dumb Luck is just what you are looking for and you know it. It's 9 songs feature guest vocalists Jenny Lewis, Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear fame and Mia Doi Todd on the above mentioned "Boat." Heck, even fans of the Chip will dig this, cause as a fan of Hot Chip and more and more electronic music lately, it's definitely a fresh sounding record when I'm hearing a lot of the same things from time to time.

Dumb Luck [Here] /// [Buy Here]

The Name obviously gives away her heritage, but Charlotte Gainsbourg deserves to be living a life out of her father's shadow. She already has made a name for herself as a model and actress, and completes a trifecta with a new album. For her second album,
5:55, Gainsbourg channels her father's lush arrangements and plays with jazzy undertones for the song "Nighttime Intermission." Producer Nigel Godrich lends his helping hand to craft a record that will go over well with her new American audience (her first album wasn't made available upon its release in the states.) Pulp main man Jarvis Cocker lends a hand alongside Neal Hannon of Divine Comedy fame to make yet another record from across the pond that should make a lot of noise over here. Check out this neat vid for 5:55 track "The Songs That We Sing." Maybe you'll sing along, who knows?

[Buy Here]

Monday, April 23, 2007

SiS Blog is named Blogger Of The Week

A big shout out to all the fine folks over at BreakThru Radio for naming us their Blog of The Week. Go hit up their site and tune in and rock out.

Old Podrida Release Record, Having Record Release Party

I am a big fan when the music I list to has a sort of cinematic sound. It might make sense then that I have, of late, been enjoying the musically cinematic glory that is Ola Podrida.

Originally, Ola was started has a home recording project for film composer David Wingo. After scoring some films, he had returned to his hometown of Austin to write and record songs that were different from what he had composed before. A year later, Wingo returned to Brooklyn and began performing the songs live with friends Robert Patton and Matthew Frank, who would soon be joined by Johnny Christ and American Analog Set's Andrew Kenny. Together, they bring a sound that comes across as beautiful as it is bountiful.

For their self-titled debut, Wingo recorded everything himself at Home, and the results live up to their expectations. It's a record that is relaxed and warm, one you sit with the lights dimmed and have a drink to. I have a feeling, though, that they might be a totally different monster. The record is out this week on Plug Research and they'll be having a record release party at Union Hall in Brooklyn on Thursday. So, do me a favor and go see them and let me know if they're any good live since I'm too far away.

Tour Dates:
04/26 - Union Hall - Brooklyn
05/09 - Luna Lounge - Brooklyn
06/29 - Galapagos - Brooklyn

Download: "Lost And Found" [mp3] /// [Buy Here]

Thursday, April 19, 2007

New Phoenix Foundation Video: "Gone Fishing"

Horsepower, the debut album from New Zealand's The Phoenix Foundation, is finally getting released in the states May 15th. It's already been out for several years in their native land, but it will see the light of day in the U.S. and I hope they get the credit they deserve. It's a record I've been spinning tons already this year (according to my iTunes play count, I think the majority of the record takes the lead.)

One of my nine favorite songs, "Gone Fishing," now has a super-cool video to go along with it's happy go lucky melody. It's definitely the track that stands out from the rest of the album, which charts in to more electronic and sedate territory (the only other song that jumps out is the aptly titled "Celebrate!")

The band has also scored the awkward tale of love, Eagle Vs. Shark, starring the fabulous Jermaine Clement of Flight Of The Conchords fame (anyone remember seeing them at Sub Pop's SXSW party last year? Greatest. Performance. Ever. Now where's their album!? They will be at Bonnaroo, though.)

Anyway, to the point of this post:

Post Hardcore Archives: Bald Rapunzel

After I graduated high school in '97, I spent some time at the local community college, but I wasn't happy there, and I had a lot of shit going on. The following spring I packed a few bags and moved in with friends just outside of DC in Maryland. Washington, DC had always been a musical Mecca for me, as so many of my favorite bands were on Dischord or at least from the capital area, plus I was a huge Baltimore Orioles fan.

I got a job at a local Border's and spent all of my time on music -- from going to shows as much as possible and frequenting the racks at DCCD and Vinyl Ink. It was amazing to go to shows and see people like Ian MacKaye, J. Robbins and Ian Svenious just hanging out in the audience. It was mainly the fact that held these people in such high regard that I was in awe, and it didn't take very long for me to discover the new generation of DC bands, and the summer of '98 was teeming with them, like El Guapo, The Most Secret Method, The Better Automatic, Q & Not U and Bald Rapunzel. And the best part about these groups was not only the fact that they were making great music, but these kids were running the scene and doing everything from booking the shows, putting out the records and simply going out to support their friends.

I saw Bald Rapunzel many times during that year in DC, from small venues like The Galaxy Hut in Arlington to opening slots for Fugazi. Their sound was one that was popularized years later, but at the time, the genuine and effecting post hardcore they played recalled Rites of Spring in their heyday, albeit from a female perspective. The band released one album while they were together, the excellent Diazepam as a split release on Dischord and the now defunct Resin Records. The band split up in 2000, and I actually can't exactly recall why -- I think Mike and Drew moved out West. Katy and Bonnie also played together in Rouge, and after BR, Katy also handled the drums in Del Cielo and runs Exotic Fever Records while still remaining one of the most organized and politically active people in The District.

Interview: Splended [here]
Download: "Storm" [mp3] /// "Three Weeks" [mp3] /// Buy here

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Formative Years: "Blur" by Blur, 1997

Starting this week, SiS blogger Rusty turns back to look at what he calls his formative years that change his life forever. Musically, that is. Ten years ago were the most influential years with the releases of such pivotal albums that would make him stop spinning "Rhythm Is A Dancer" on his Sony Discman. That's right, we didn't have MP3 Players back then, folks.

They (or at least I will) say that you never forget how, when, where you first heard a song. It had to of been President's Day break when I spent the day at Grandma's since the parents had to work. While The Price Is Right was taking a commercial break before the first Showcase Showdown, I flipped over to MTV to see what fodder was going to try and corrupt me today. Instead of hip-hop and trite bubblegum pop, before my eyes was a man sitting in a room behind the drum kit. As he starts to play, the camera cuts to another young gentleman playing his guitar. This is followed by a close-up shot of a man about to say a word, a word that would be the first of the three most important albums to me in 1997: "Whoo-Ooh." The wind blows, the band members swirl around, before the calming of the words "I got my head checked / By a jumbo jet" come with an English accent. The chorus comes, explodes and the band members are brought face to face with the breeze again. This happens, another verse/another chorus, and end scene. Two minutes, one second.

I'm obviously talking about a song called "Song 2." Before becoming even more famous with the animated group Gorillaz, Damon Albarn fronted Blur. Up until 1997, they had been a rather huge success in their native UK, with such hits as "Country House" and "Girls And Boys," a song that had some moderate success in the states upon its release in 1994. "Song 2" would help make Blur and their self-titled fifth album a household name. It was a total departure from their former Britpop stylings, denouncing it for a more lo-fi approach and introducing some scant elements of Electronica.

As a 12 year old in 7th grade, everyone was listening to "Mmmbop" while I was walking to school or riding the bus to the tune of "M.O.R." Girls wanted to be my lover if I got with their friends, and I just wanted to be a killer for their love. Other outbursts of punk, like "Chinese Bombs," were balanced perfectly by something like the dub drowsiness of the climactic finale "Essex Dogs."

The band would go in 1999 to release the self-loathing yet near-perfect 13, and 2003's Think Tank, before what may be an definite hiatus (even though sometimes murmurings come about that Graham Coxon and Albarn might settle their differences enough for one more album.) Besides Gorillaz, Albarn has the amazing The Good, The Bad & The Queen, a supergroup of sorts featuring Paul Simonon of The Clash among others. But for me, I always like to look at Albarn and remember that baby-faced boy, teeth perfect, screaming "Woo-Ooh." Those are days I shall never forget.

Buy: Blur [Here]

The Stranded Local Q&A: The Luxury

Not only is Dave "Duncan" Virr an awesome Planetary staffer, he is also apparently a matchmaker. No, he's not a whiz with creating cute couples (or at least that i know of) but he is the one who was responsible for suggesting the original line-up of The Luxury.

Their newest album This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things is out now and was described by The Boston Herald as, "ambititous in its sweeping, majestic grandiosity ... a sound that echoes the grandest elements of U2, Coldplay and Stereophonics."

The biggest element separating The Luxury from the many, many other local bands is that not many times do you come across groups that are actually a functioning recording studio in addition to playing and singing. Whether for fun or working towards a project, Jason Dunn (vocals, guitar) and Steve Foster (drums, vocals) have been recording other artists for over two years. The new EP from The Lights Out will be Jason's fifth released project. Not to be outdone, Steve recorded the incredible "Steve Foster and His Christma Chickens" this winter, featuring 13 brilliantly produced sing-a-long holiday carols, re-written about befriending or eating chikens.

Jason took a few minutes to answer the same five questions SIS always asks local bands.

Hailing from Boston, makes us better than all those non-Boston bands because

The tap water helps you develop an immunity to spolied food. Seriously, we can eat anything. Also, our vans are driven by the most aggressive drivers on the road, whether necessary or not, so we always get to the show on time. Usually early.

Name at least three bands that are still around and touring that you'd love to be on a bill with, and think it fits well
Kasabian, Mute Math, Richard Ashcroft, Foo Fighters, Marillion and Portishead. Would it ever work? Probably not. But that would make for a great tour, and even if you put all of that together and it DIDN'T sound like us, it'd still be one hell of a band. We'd tour with that band, in fact.

Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is
TT The Bear's Place. They've hosted our debut show, our CD Release party, and several of the best sets we've played. There are a lot of great clubs here, but once you prove that you know what you're doing putting a show together, it's a lot more fun than throwing four random groups on a bill. When we play Boston, we like to think of it as an over-the-top bash with all of our friends, some of whom happen to play their songs for everyone, and TT's trusts us enough to let us get away with that.

Are there any genres that influence your music conceptually, rather than sonically? (In that you can't hear from simply listening to the music, but from getting into the structure or mathematics of the song-writing, etc.)
We carry around some classical, progressive and electronica influence that isn't necessarily on the surface. You'll hear it in chord changes and inversions, and in Steve's drumming, but only if you listen very, very closely. Which you should, of course.

Your favorite local bar to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is
The Common Ground in Allston hosts a mean 80's night on Thursdays, so that's Jason's favorite, but Steve prefers the Avenue for their cheap wings and Daanen's all about the dollar drafts at The Draft. So we are, if nothing else, diverse in our selection of local taps.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New Release Tuesday

I'm not a big fan of the soundtrack much, but the films of Edgar Wright starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost always seem to have great morsels of tunes. For their inital collaboration, Shaun Of The Dead, only one of the greatest films ever, they combined modern alternative rock (Ash) with classic hip-hop ("White Lines") and spliced it all up with some of the more memorable dialog of the film. This week not only sees the release of their new movie, Hot Fuzz, but also its corresponding soundtrack. This time around, these boys will be shooting it up to the sounds of the new ("Baby Fratelli" by UK IT band for the moment The Fratellis, "Here Come The Fuzz" by Jon Spencer & The Elegant Too) and some classic brit rock (an XTC number and, cleverly enough Supergrass' "Caught By The Fuzz.") The soundtrack is rounded out by the 23-minute score, "The Hot Fuzz Suite," conducted by James Bond film composer David Arnold. Tunes: now, movie: Friday.

Download: Hot Fuzz [Trailer] /// [Buy Soundtrack Here]

Something beyond the typical that I am a fan of is the always treasured rarities compilation. Superdrag was one of the bands to come along and shape me during my formative years (that being 1996-7, when I was 12 and 13 years young.) "Sucked Out," their debut single from the near perfect album Regretfully Yours, didn't do it for my very influential young one when I saw the video on MTV. It was the follow up single, "Destination Ursa Major," that sold me as a long life fan of the 'Drag. As a fan, I joined the message board, trading for demos and rarities of the band, getting my hands on some of the rarest songs in the Superdrag canon. After the band broke up, there was all this talk of a rarities box set, because there were a ton of things us hardcore fans didn't have ("Malfunction Junction" being the most sought after track, an outtake from the sessions for Head Trip In Every Key.) This week, Arena Rock finally issues the single-disc rarities comp, Changin' Tires On The Road To Ruin. As a fan, I'm sorely let down by the songs included on this (2 live tracks!? What gives.) I have most of them, which essentially are from the sessons for In The Valley Of Dying Stars, but some of these songs are demo versions I don't have. Ah, whatever. Here's to the rumor of the original line-up reuniting. I offer you a rarity myself, "I Guess It's American," the demo version of "I Am Incerator" which is a demo in itself. Make sense?

"I Guess It's American" [mp3] /// [Buy Here]

Monday, April 16, 2007

OurStage is YourStage

Yeah, yeah, we all know about this great thing called YouTube but does YouTube give you the chance to win awesome prizes (like cash) for posting your videos?

Go visit the OurStage page and sign up for free and then you are ready to go and upload all the videos you want. They can be music videos or non-music videos. Users view each others videos and rate them and every month, OurStage picks their favorite music and non-music video and gives away nifty prizes. This month, each winner gets $5000. That's pretty nifty, don't you think?

So click here, sign-up, post some videos, and best of luck!

Jesse Malin at Great Scott Tonight, Apple Store in Soho Next Week

The rainy conditions aren't stopping the runners in the Boston Marathon this Patriots Day, and it's not gonna stop Jesse Malin from rocking out at the 3rd annual Patriots Day Blowout at Great Scott out in Allston tonight. The show, another one of the many Fenway Recordings Sessions, will also feature performances by Eli "Paperboy" Reed and Jake Brennan. The fun starts tonight at 6pm.

For those of you Stranded readers in the NYC area who are fans of Malin and will miss out on tonight's soggy BBQ, you are in for a special treat. April 24th (that's next Tuesday,) Jesse will take the stage at the Apple Store in SoHo for a 45 minute Storytellers-esque set of Jesse playing his stripped down renditions of his songs while telling the stories behind them. There will also be a screening of the documentary They're Way Ahead Out There, a film about the recording sessions for Malin's latest album, Glitter In The Gutter. The documentary was directed by JoJo Pennebaker, son of the legendary filmaker, D.A. Pennebaker. That even is free to the public and starts at 9PM. Also, check out the video for Jesse's song "Don't Let Them Take You Down." 'Tis a good one.

"Don't Let Them Take You Down [Here] /// [Buy Here]

Friday, April 13, 2007

MD Of The Week: Dima from WBMB

So we've been lazy with talking about some of our favorite MDs lately, but it's time to get back into it with no other than Dima from Baruch College's WBMB in NYC. He's a Mets fan, a soccer ref, a famous drinker and an all-around fun guy.

1. How and/or why did you get involved with college radio?

I originally got into the station because I was into this girl, but then I started listening to the music. At the time, there was very little rock and we were known as a predominantly hip hop/ R&B station. I started out listening to mostly loud rock and then when the indie person left, I took over and expanded my musical tastes.

2. Name five bands you are currently in to at the moment.
Now I am listening to much lighter stuff. Right now, I'm really liking:
Peter, Bjorn and John Writer's Block
Decembrists The Crane Wife
The View Hats off To The Buskers
Busdriver Roadkill Overcoat
Lily Allen Alright, Still

3. What kind of show do you do? When is it on? How can people listen to your show (do you stream online, frequency, etc.?)
We have a very low frequency. Basically we can be heard only in the college, but we also stream online at I don’t have a show anymore because I need to focus a bit more on schoolwork, but our general “Rock Block” is from 2-6. That is all the time that is allotted for CMJ type music.

[Dima is on the left]

4. How does your station help the community?
We help by providing music other than commercial radio music. We don't really get a lot of support from the administration and the students here are all business, and some of them kind of suck. We also try to go outside the college as much as possible, hooking up with other radio station.

5. Can you give some advice to other MD's out there?
My advice would be to not take on too many projects at the same time. Do one or two things at a time and keep in contact with your music contacts. Maintain a good relationship with them, because college is only four years...we'll at least four years. Finally, you’re the Music Director and you direct the music, other than DJs that do specialty shows and get their own music, so you have the influence. Don't let anyone tell you that your taste in music sucks! Oh yeah, GOOD LUCK!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Midnight Movies: New Album, New Tour Dates

After doing the uber cool Spring Break thing with an enormous amount of shows at SXSW, Midnight Movies are finally releasing their new album Lion The Girl and hitting the road in support of the record with such amazing acts like Blonde Redhead, Autolux (where's their new album???) and The Raveonettes.

The quartet, fronted by Gena Olivier, channels new wave and psychedelic sounds and grooves, while paying homage bands like The Velvet Underground. A song like "Ribbons" could easily pass for Nico fronting Yo La Tengo, where "Souvenirs" could be an outtake from a My Bloody Valentine session. Make sure you check them out when they come to your town.

Lion The Girl is out on New Line Records April 24th.

Tour Dates
04/13 - Magic Stick - Detroit*
04/14 - Metro - Chicago*
04/15 - First Avenue - Minneapolis*
04/19 - Wonder Ballroom - Portland*
04/20 - Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver*
05/03 - Glass House - Pomona#
06/01 - Spaceland - Los Angeles**
06/02 - Cafe du Nord - San Francisco**
06/04 - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland**
06/05 - Triple Door - Seattle**
06/07 - Detroit Bar - Costa Mesa**
06/08 - Echo - Los Angeles**
06/09 - Casbah - San Diego**
*with Blonde Redhead
#with Autolux
**with The Raveonettes

Download: "Coral Den" [mp3] /// [Buy Here]

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Aqua Teen Coming To Your Cineplex Soon

It's always interesting to watch when TV shows make the leap from the small box in your living room to the larger viewing mechanism at the local movie theater. This summer, The Simpsons (voted all-time favorite show by yours truly, no matter what people say about a decline after Season 10 or 11. I mean, really, five years ago was the greatest season, what with Homer going to Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp and Krusty becoming a congressman!) will finally do what creator Matt Groening has threated to do with his 18 year old child and bring it to the big screen. Fans and other skeptics are a little worried about The Simpsons Movie and taking what is usually something viewed in weekly 23 minute installments to an 80 or 90 minute movie (think of it as watching 2 or 3 episodes in a row that just have an arc for a plot.)

What worries me more is this weekend's release of the longly-winded title
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters. Unlike your standard sitcom, Aqua Teen the show runs at an average of 10 to 11 minutes per episode. With a 75 or 80 minute movie, this will be like watching several streamlined episodes of the show in a row. Early reports I heard is that it starts out strong but gets old quick.

Should TV shows really move in to the big screen, or more specifically, should shows that are almost like shorts try to take one story and make it longer than an entire season of the show in which it is based on? I guess we'll find out this weekend.

View: Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters Trailer [Here]
View: The Simpsons Movie Trailer [Here]

The Stranded Q&A: The Rosebuds

Night Of The Furies is not your Mom’s Rosebuds record. Gone from this record are the 60s beach party that is “Boys Who Love Girls,” the lazy Sunday grooves of the amazing EP The Rosebuds Unwind. Instead, the listener is treated to a darker, more subtle Rosebuds. On Furies, their third album, the husband and wife duo of Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp trade in sand castles and guitars for make up and synths – and lots of them. Drum machines back up the seductive tale Kelly sings on “I’d Better Run,” while Ivan apparently looked to the most well-known “Smooth Operator” of the 1980s on "Silence By The Lakeside."

Kelly Rosebud took a few moments to answer some questions I had, much thanks to her.

So it seems that there is a concept running through
Furies, from the opening moments of “My Punishment For Fighting” to the closing trance-like beats of the title track. Please do elaborate on what the listener’s are in for.
The Furies are Roman goddesses who avenge crimes that go unpunished, especially crimes against women and animals. We summoned them during a tropical depression last summer and they came into our little music room and helped us write the record. The record covers themes of punishment and fear mostly.

Some people might say this is a departure, but I think it’s more of an extension on what you have been working and building on for the past four years. Yes the music and themes are much darker and show an influence on 80s synth pop and dance, but it’s still some of the most accessible music out there today. What inspired such a shift?
Ivan started writing a lot of these songs with a bass guitar and he writes a lot of Bill Withers-esque type basslines which lend themselves to dance songs well. He's always been a big Sade fan and I think vocally, it made sense for him to go in that direction. So they seem very smooth but the content is apparently disturbing to some people. We just did the best we could to reconcile the two--the jagged topics with beautiful songs.

For your upcoming tour, you guys are touring as a five-piece for the first time. I’m sure this is to augment performing the new songs, but how will a bigger band bring a change to the older songs live?
We've been rehearsing and playing some small runs with the five-piece band. We just played a special show in Moscow with the guys and then we did SxSW. So we're getting used to touring with that many people and we're falling in love with the bigger arrangements and the freedom that we now have on stage. I used to play all the bass parts with my left hand and Ivan used to sing and play guitar on every song. Now we are both more free and it helps the songs to open up as well. The old ones sound great with the band because our guys have so much good taste and understand our motto about less being more.

Most of the world knows that you guys are married (you do go by Ivan and Kelly Rosebud and all – ha!) How does it feel to have to spend all that time working together on top of living with each other. Do you think it has made you guys stronger as a married couple as well as a working unit?
We are suited to this kind of thing because we're not normal people so we're great at being a not-normal couple. And I guess you have to have certain flexibilites with the touring lifestyle, but being around each other (all of us) all the time is not as awful as you'd think. It's like people ask how it is for me being a girl on tour with so many boys. It's fine because I really like being with them. I'm just into that kind of bohemian lifestyle so it's okay with me.

I read that some rather cool people (Portastatic, Dean & Britta, Roger O’Donnell of the Cure to name a few) are remixing songs from Furies. What kind of topic secret project might this be for?

These are people who responded to the music and thought they'd like to be involved. We started having so many people interested that we thought, "We should do something with these!" We still don't know what that is yet though. But we do have a lot of kick-ass remixes over here.

You guys have played shows in the past with some great bands (Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub to name some bigger names.) Is there anyone The Rosebuds would love to tour with, and if so who would it be?
I'd love to tour with a perforance artist--like a trapize artist or something. I always thought about writing a one-act play and casting my friends in it to be the opening act. But shit, that would take so much time and money to get together and just try to imagine the people. Knowing my bozo friends, it would either be a catastrophe or pure genius. Maybe both. I'm still thinking about it though so nobody better steal that idea.

Night Of The Furies is out today. Go buy it.

Stream: Night Of The Furies [Here] /// [Buy Here]

Monday, April 9, 2007

Band Of The Week: Office

No, no, it's not Michael, Jim, Pam and Dwight playing the pan pipe or something (that would be rather cool though, wouldn't it?) They do dress up in their 9 to 5 bests when performing live which is rather neat.

Office is a 5-piece from Chicago, and their album A Night At The Ritz will be out soon on Scratchie/New Line Records. Check out the normal Band of the Week jazz on the right.

Who could've thought being an Office worker could rock so much?

Vote Now For Boston's Best Music Poll

Boston's best music acts have been again singled out for a fight to the death as nominations have been announced for the 19th annual Phoenix/ FNX Best Music Poll. There are a slew of local Boston acts including Planetary office favorites The SnowLeopards (right). And don't fear if you don't live in Boston, as you can still give your two cents in national catergories such as "best act" and "breakthrough act." You can check out the complete ballot at

Peek at some of the more important Boston categories below.

New Act:
- Boys Like Girls
- Bang Camaro
- Campaign For Real Time
- Christians and Lions
- Hallelujah the Hills
- The SnowLeopards

Best Act:
- Bang Camaro
- Bon Savants
- Dear Leader
- Dresden Dolls
- Guster
- Mission Of Burma

Best Album:
Accidental Gentleman (Piebald)
Hooray for Earth (Hooray for Earth)
Let It Rise (Campaign for Real-Time)
Obliterati (Mission Of Burma)
Post Rock Defends The Nation (Bon Savants)
Yes Virginia (Dresden Dolls)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Grindhouse: In Theatres Now

It's about twice a year that I get super excited about a film, and Grindhouse is the first one of the year to make me want to jump up and down when someone mentions it. I mean, c'mon, we should all be getting excited about this prospect: two movies for the price of one, from two amazing directors (Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino) paying tribute to the great exploitation films of the 1970s. I don't know which half I'm more excited to see, or if I might be even more thrilled to catch the fake trailers that serve as an intermission. Mental note: don't get a large coke and slurp it down during this film, my bladder will not make it.

What some people might not know is that this isn't the first time they worked together. They sort of worked together when Tarantino "guest directed" a scene from Rodriguez' adaptation of
Sin City, but they have worked before in this sort of vein with a personal favorite, 1995's Four Rooms. That movie tells the mishaps of Ted the bellhop at a ritzy Hollywood hotel on New Year's eve with four separate stories, directed by four different directors including both Rodriguez and Tarntino. With Rodriguez' story in Four Rooms slightly outdoing Tarantino's, it'll be interesting to see who wins in the Grindhouse battle.

Grindhouse is out today.

Download: Grindhouse [Here]

Post Hardcore Archives: Slint

What exactly is math rock? Nevermind what Allmusic has to say about it, it's a genre that is rooted in indie rock, but has many complex elements , from complex time signatures to songs that stretch well past the three or four minute mark. Many good bands came out of this scene in the mid '90s, like Hum, Chavez, Slint and Rodan to the slew of great DC post hardcore bands. Once a week I am going to talk about one of my favorites from this genre, usually an older band that has been forgotten about, but sometimes a newer find as well.

Like most people, I got into Spiderland well after Slint dissolved. I must have been a freshman or sophomore in high school, and I read about them in way too many zines and mags too not pay attention to them. Finally, I heard a song from them on my local college radio station, forcing me to send away some well-concealed cash for a copy of one of their oft-mentioned albums.

When I finally listened to Spiderland, my mind was officially blown. Everything about it was spooky and rather scary, the perfect album to listen to with the lights out. I was also fascinated by the way the songs slowly built, and without any warning, there would be an explosion of guitars and drums. It was startling, but effective.

I've never seen Slint, nor will I ever. I don't do reunions -- there's something not quite right about them, but if I could somehow go back to the early '90s, I'd be all over their shows, I am sure they were massive.

Download: "Rhoda" [mp3] / "Good Morning Captain" [mp3] /// [Buy Here]

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Sea Wolf: Releasing EP, Touring with Silversun Pickups

I love me some Irving. What I just learned is that Sea Wolf is Alex Church, one time member of the Los Angeles collective that had one of my favorite songs of 2006 ("Hard To Breathe" being the name of that one.)

This is not a post about Irving, though, it's about Sea Wolf. After garnering some blogger acclaim and some memorable performances at SXSW, the Wolf will be releasing his debut EP,
Get To The River Before It Runs Too Low, on May 8th on the Dangerbird label. To celebrate, Sea Wolf will go on tour with Dangerbird mates Silversun Pickups (honers of the song "Lazy Eye," a tune getting noted as a very much Siamese Dream's long lost thought.) He'll also be playing a stray date with Canadian rockers Sloan and supporting Earlimart as well. Do me a favor and don't fret; if you fear River won't wet your pallet, the full length effort will be coming out in September. That should give you something to howl about.

Tour Dates w/Silversun Pickups (unless noted)
04/12 - Richard's On Richard - Vancouver
04/13 - Neumos - Seattle
04/14 - Crystal Ballroom - Portland
04/16 - The Independent - San Francisco
04/26 - ExPlx (The Echo Downstairs) - Los Angeles*
05/01 - The Troubadour - Los Angeles**
05/08 - Water Street Music Hall - Rochester
05/09 - Lee's Palace - Toronto
05/10 - Town Ballroom - Buffalo
05/13 - Recher Theatre - Towson
05/14 - The Trocadero - Philadelphia
05/15 - Webster Hall - New York
*with Earlimart
**with Sloan

Download: "You Are Wolf" [mp3] /// [Buy Here]

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Annuals Coming To Town

Annuals, the Raleigh, North Carolina collective that played only umpteen sets at CMJ and SXSW, are hitting the road supporting the NME sponsored Kaiser Chiefs and Walkmen co-headlining affair. The band's debut, last year's amazing Be He Me, was easily one of the finer debuts released in 2006. Yeah I'm gonna have to agree with the masses and say it has that whole vibe of Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire and Animal Collective, but at the same time the band holds their own ground. Lead singer Adam Baker pulls from personal experiences of life and death to write the band's powerful lyrics, while dueling guitars and powerful drums help him carry out his message.

Be a kind fellow and show up the venue early and catch their set. The Kaiser Chiefs/Walkmen jaunt starts this Friday. Annuals then will play some west coast dates with Blonde Redhead and a few headlining gigs along the way.

"Brother" video:

Tour Dates (w/Kaiser Chiefs & The Walkmen:)
04/06 - Electric Factory - Philadelphia
04/07 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC
04/09 - Avalon - Boston
04/12 - Roseland Ballroom - New York
04/13 - Century Lounge - Providence*
04/14 - Pearl Street - Northampton*
04/17 - Spectrum - Montreal
04/18 - Kool Haus - Toronto
*Headlining dates

Tour Dates (w/Blonde Redhead:)
04/21 - The Showbox - Seattle
04/23 - Bimbo's - San Francisco
04/24 - Bimbo's - San Francisco
04/25 - Glass House - Pamona
05/01 - Granada - Dallas
05/02 - Stubb's - Austin
05/04 - Varsity Playhouse - Atlanta
05/05 - Cat's Cradle - Carrboro
06/17 - Bonnaroo - Manchester

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Band of The Week: Mouthful Of Bees

Stranded in Stereo: the Blog welcomes our newest feature, the Band of the Week. Located in the top right corner and rotated on a weekly basis, we'll be featuring a new up and coming artist each week by providing a link to their MySpace and an MP3 download.

For the flagship Band of the Week, I've chosen Minneapolis, MN's rocking Mouthful of Bees. Their debut album,
The End, is out now and you should go and buy it. It's a rollicking good time for sure.

Buy: The End [Here]

New Release Tuesday

Because Of The Times is the third album from the super cool Tennessee family band, Kings Of Leon. The album kicks it off with the 8 minute jam "Knocked Up" which is about, you guessed it, getting knocked up. The odd pick of a single, "On Call," is one of the album's standout numbers. Times stands out from the rest of their output; it's their make-it-or-break-it moment, their Adam & Eve. Sadly, though, I think it lacks some of the fire that came through with their earlier albums, especially 2004's stellar Aha Shake Heartbreak. What I find sadder though is that bands like My Morning Jacket and Drive-By Truckers get such great recognition here in the states, when a band like the Kings has to go over to the UK to get that high command. Oh well, at least they rule some kingdom somewhere. Head over to MySpace and stream all of Times and formulate your own opinion. I think the album could benefit from another "Four Kicks" or "Holy Roller Novocaine." They'll be touring the states beginning at the end of the month, so do go check them out. I know I will.

Stream: Because Of The Times [MySpace] /// [Buy Here]

We also get treated to the fourth album this week from the pop monsters known as Fountains Of Wayne. After the huge success of 2004's Welcome Interstate Managers, the New Jersey quartet return with another batch of super catchy tunes, chock full of great melodies and lyrics. You know what I learned recently? Guitarist Adam Schlesinger wrote songs featured in the movie Music & Lyrics. He was also responsible for the great songs in a personal favorite, the Tom Hanks vehicle That Thing You Do! On this album, though, they return with some new memorable songs. I currently enjoy the album's closing number, "Seatbacks And Traytables," or the cleverly titled "Michael And Heather At The Baggage Claim." The band have a few shows lined up in the east coast, with the great Robbers On High Street supporting. Do catch them.

Tour Dates:
04/22 - Paradise - Boston
04/24 - Webster Hall - New York
04/25 - Trocadero - Philadelphia

Download: "Michael And Heather At The Baggage Claim" [mp3] /// [Buy Here]

Finally, another record to pick up at your local Thrifty today is the fifth album from Scottish rockers (and office favorite) Idlewild. On Make Another World, their first album on Sanctuary since leaving Capitol, the band are back with an album that is both anthemic and concise. Songs like "A Ghost In The Arcade" sounds just like that: pulsing drums come colliding through guitars that are layered in effects that sound like Space Invaders. There's also the ever poppy and dancey "No Emotion," but for me, it's the opening moments of the record and the song "In Competition For The Worst Time." With an opening guitar crunch that comes across as equal parts Placebo and the Free All Angels era of Ash, it's definitely one of the more memorable songs of early 2007.

Download: "No Emotion" [mp3] /// [Buy Here]