Camera Obscura: My Maudlin Career


alt text

I was directed to this song just a few hours ago, and man alive I cannot stop listening to it. Camera Obscura‘s “My Maudlin Career” has such a great sound to it that I just wanna hear it again and again and yet again.

Tracyanne Campbell’s voice shimmers in this song, and the sonic world the band produces fits like a glove. I’m a huge fan of reverb, and as far as I can tell by this song, they are as well. There’s something about how reverb smoothes everything out… the blending of the instruments through this effect is also noteworthy here. The simplicity of the piano, the drums, the guitar, the bass… it all works so well here that when you top it off with Campbell’s voice… well, I’m a fan.

You can bet your sweet arse that I’m going to check out their upcoming album, My Maudlin Career. It’s slated to be released here in the states on April 21… but before that happens, I’m-a-gonna go take a listen to their previous album, 2006’s Let’s Get Out of This Country. If what you hear below in the Dig-It section catches your fancy, then Let’s Get Out of This Country will give you an ever better idea of their fine indie/pop sound. It received much critical praise, and to honest, I really haven’t found one single piece of negativity surrounding this album at all. I also haven’t found a shred of negativity attached to the band for that matter, aside from the fact that they’re not hanging out with me right now in my living room, watching Ratatouille and sipping on a beverage.

According to their MySpace site, the first single from the album won’t be this title track, it’ll be a song called “French Navy.” Well, if I like the title track this much, I can’t WAIT to hear the chosen single.

So take four minutes and change to listen to “My Maudlin Career.” I’m going to take my own advice and spin it again. Maybe I’ll just leave my Cd player on “repeat” for the remainder of the evening… sounds like a plan. Now, if only I could figure out how to get Camera Obscura to come hang out with me… they look like fun people, and I’m fun people too… let’s face it… I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!

(if you liked this article, please vote for it by clicking on the button below!)


Top Blogs

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: My Maudlin Career

Camera Obscura Official Site
Camera Obscura on Amazon
Camera Obscura on iTunes
icon

Gratuitious Guitar Face #373 (it’s a video this time, kids!)

I think this guy runs the gamut of Guitar Faces ala “Gotta Squeeze One Out Or Else My Colon Will Explode.” I LOVE his commentary on his own playing… and hey… Brian May (of Queen) wants his look back!

I guess this video is taken from the dude’s own “How To Play Da Bloos” video. Right when he hits his first notes, you tend to want to say, “Good LORD!!!!” And when he hams it up to the camera… ladies, look out!

Hit “Play.” You’ll be glad you did!

This Week’s Top 5 Most Played Songs From Swap’s iTunes


The Rules: I reset the play counters for all the songs currently on my iTunes. Then at the end of every week, I check to see what the top five most played songs are. Whatever happens to be in this top five are then presented in order here from most played to least. If I have posted a particular song in the past, then I will bypass that song and post the next in line. If one artist dominates the list, then I will write about that artist in lieu of a Top Five list.

It’s Friday, which can only mean ONE thing… it’s not Thursday anymore!!!!! Well, it can also mean that tomorrow is Saturday, or that the day before yesterday was Wednesday…

So now to make this even MORE anti-climactic, here’s This Week’s Top 5 Most Played Songs From Swap’s iTunes!

alt text

Sleep – Plumb

I’ve been a fan of Plumb since a friend of mine introduced me to her music way back in college. Plumb is actually the stage name for singer/songwriter Tiffany Arbuckle Lee. She’s released five studio albums, and has had her songs featured in a number of television and movie soundtracks (Bruce Almighty, One Tree Hill, Just Married, Felicity). She’s got a sweet voice and has been named as a major influence for Evanescence‘s Amy Lee (no relation).

This week’s most played song, “Sleep,” is off her 2006 album, Chaotic Resolve. This song has been a regular nightly spin for me… I usually play it right before I crash… to be honest, I still don’t know exactly what she’s singing about, I just know that it does me right.

“Sleep” was played 18 times this week. I guess I played it a LOT before crashing.

Your Dig-It Download:

Sleep

Plumb on Amazon
Plumb on iTunes
icon

alt text

Blame It On Your Heart – Patty Loveless

This Patty Loveless song is a classic. I’ve heard it a bazillion times before (a “bazillion” is actually just ONE more than a “bazoollion”), but for some reason, I played it a whole lot a bunches of times this last week. “Blame It On Your Heart” was released in 1993 and hit #1 on the Billboard Country charts. The song stayed on the charts for 20 weeks. To give you an idea of how long 20 weeks is, just think of it this way… 20 weeks is a LOT longer than one week.

The song can be found off her Only What I Feel album. This record was the first one since having surgery to repair burst nodes in her vocal chords. Judging from her performance on “Blame It On Your Heart,” I’d say she made a pretty healthy recovery.

I played this song 13 times this week. Sometimes that country bug bites you, and you gotta scratch.

Your Dig-It Download:

Blame It On Your Heart

Patty Loveless on Amazon
Patty Loveless on iTunes
icon

alt text

Boy With A Coin (live 02/10/2007 @ Messiah College) – Iron & Wine

I was first introduced to Iron & Wine in San Diego, way back when Tower Records was still around. The guy behind the counter recommended it to me because I had bought a Megadeth album.

“It’s just like Megadeth, if you go the opposite direciton,” was what he said.

“Does it rock?” I asked.

“Only if you don’t want it to,” he replied.

I looked at him funny and bought it anyway. Later I discover that the guy wasn’t actually an employee there, it was the actual Iron & Wine guy, Samuel Beam! Ok, that story was completely fabricated… but it would have been cool, right?

“Boy With a Coin” is off of Iron & Wine‘s 2007 album, The Shepherd’s Dog. The version I listened to ten times this week is a live performance dated 2-10-2007.

Your Dig-It Download:

Boy With A Coin (live 02/10/2007 @ Messiah College)

Iron & Wine on Amazon
Iron & Wine on iTunes
icon

alt text

Night Lights – Golden Bear

Here’s another song that I had no idea I possessed. Golden Bear‘s “Night Lights” was a surprise for me. I remember sitting at my desk when it came on… my ears perked up and I said, “What IS this?”

Golden Bear has been called “Completely original and instantly memorable,” by The Onion, A blur of frenzied dancing and fist-pumping excitement,” by Spin.com, and now I will throw in my two cents with “Outtasite!”

Perhaps my commentary is not as deep as the others, but I think the message gets across. I totally dug the song and wonder where the heck it came from.

My guess is that Sherman snuck it into my iTunes.

I look forward to hearing more from Golden Bear. VERY cool find.

Your Dig-It Download:

Night Lights

Golden Bear on Amazon
Golden Bear on iTunes
icon

alt text

Moment of Truth – The Fervor

I discovered The Fervor through a friend of mine. She saw them perform live and was kind enough to send me their link, along with the words “Check them out or DIE.”

Well, never being one to want to DIE, I checked them out and the next thing I knew, I played their song “Moment of Truth” nine times. There’s a lazy feel to this song that gives me just the right vibes for a late-night listening session.

The Louisville, Kentucky based band was formed in 2005 by Natalie and Ben Felker (I believe they’re married). The two originally performed as a duo, and then expanded with drums and bass in 2005. By 2007 they had an EP under their belt, and released a full-length album, Bleeder. Like I said, the feel of the song, “Moment of Truth” got to me in all the right ways, but Natalie Felker’s voice also stood out as an appealing part of their sound.

The Louisville Courier-Journal says this about The Fervor: “If Natalie Felker’s voice doesn’t haunt you after one listen, buddy, you can’t be haunted.”

I tend to agree. Take a listen and check out their tour dates on their MySpace page.

Your Dig-It Download:

Moment of Truth

The Fervor on Amazon
The Fervor on iTunes
icon

Yes, it’s Friday, which can really only mean one thing… that Daylight Savings is getting closer. Anybody got an exact date for when we “spring” forward?

(if you liked this article, please vote for it by clicking on the button below!)


Top Blogs

1901 in 2009: New Phoenix Single, Album Details


alt text

Details about French band, Phoenix‘s upcoming album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, have been released, and the first single off the album, “1901” has hit the web with a vengeance. From what we’ve read around the web, people are pretty pleased with what they’re hearing in this new single. Make sure to grab it in the Dig-It section below before you leave the site explore all the other great news and music we have on the site (like here and here and here and here)… and let us know your thoughts on it.

Of the new album, the band’s press release states, “Born out of restlessness and a steady hunt for inspiration, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is a career-defining album, filled with the band’s signature melding of synthetics and organics, sharp, danceable rhythms, infectious choruses with a considerable dose of aural panache, and candy-colored pop sensibilities. These songs are some of their most exuberantly playful, yet also some of the most complex they’ve recorded, more layered and intensely propulsive than previous efforts. Indeed, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is nothing short of elative, creating what is sure to be the soundtrack to late-night summer adventures all over the globe. Staying true to what makes Phoenix so special, a sense of whimsical breeziness envelopes these songs, as if they’ve sprung fully-formed from the band’s collective creative hands in a state of utter pop perfection.”

Whatever you say! I just think it sounds good… but what you said works, too.

Phoenix released their last offering, It’s Never Been Like That, in 2006 to much critical praise, and when work began on their next project, the band struggled at first to find the right environment to bring the group inspiration. They explain in their press release, “From attempting to work on a houseboat in the River Seine, to camping out at New York City’s Bowery Hotel, to eventually retreating to the Montmartre house of friend Philippe Zdar of Cassius to record in his studio, the band constantly challenged themselves to write the album they knew they had in them, but couldn’t seem to find, no matter where they went. With Zdar, who co-produced the album (a first for the band, who previously worked with little help from others, hence the undisturbed precision of Phoenix’s universe), they focused on the idea of greatness, determined to create something that would be exciting not only to their rabid fanbase, but to themselves. And thus, after a solid year and a half of tedious reworkings and endless going-back-to-the-starts, the record clicked. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, a tongue-in-cheek title meditating on the idea of ‘classic and upstart,’ was born.”

I love the line “they focused on the idea of greatness.” As if any artist would focus on the idea of pure suckosity.

Look for Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix to hit a record store or online retailer near you on May 26th.

Your Dig-It Downloads:

Download: 1901 (from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – to be released on 5.26.09)

Download: Everything is Everything (live Haldern Pop Festival 6.8.05)

Phoenix’s Official Site
Phoenix on Amazon
Phoenix on iTunes
icon

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Live at 9:30 Club (2006)


alt text

There’s so much buzz surrounding the Yeah Yeah Yeahs right now. Their album is set to be released in April. First, “Zero” leaks, then “Heads Will Roll” makes the rounds… then more and more YYY tunes hit the web…

So all this buzz made me dig into my boot closet and pull out one that I’ve often enjoyed listening to. This show was recorded live from Washington, DC’s 9:30 Club in early 2006. It was originally webcast live on NPR.org as part of NPR Music’s concert series from All Songs Considered, and the sound quality and set list are excellent.

I gotta be honest and say that I’m not quite sure about the new direction the band is taking, but I’m still looking forward to their new album… first impressions aren’t always the right ones. This bootleg reminds me of how unique their sound is already. I’ll say it again… Karen O’s vocals are astonishingly good.

We’ve posted a few songs for you to preview/download below. Check it out, and if you dig it, you can download a zip of the full concert in the Dig-It section (as individual files), or on NPR.ORG (as one large file).

Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Amazon
Yeah Yeah Yeahs on iTunes
icon

Your Dig-It Downloads:

Download: ZIP FILE OF FULL SHOW

Set List:

Turn Into
Way Out
Honey Bear
Black Tongue
Mysteries
Art Star
Down Boy
Phenomena
Cheated Hearts
Maps
Gold Lion
*Saying Thanks*
Warrior
Bang
Date with the Night
Porcelin

(if you liked this article, please vote for it by clicking on the button below!)


Top Blogs

Here Are the Most Important Bits of Music News EVER (or at least until later)


So much to talk about today! It seems like there’s a never-ending avalanche of music news every single day. We can’t hit it all, but we can hit the most important parts… yes, I’m implying that what WE talk about here at TheFrontloader.com is the most important stuff. I’ll buy THAT for a dollar!

alt text

New Music from Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Hysteric”

Yet another track from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ upcoming album, It’s Blitz!, has hit the interwebs. There is so much buzz surrounding this album, it’s crazy. “Hysteric” is, by far, my favorite track of the ones that I’ve heard so far. Makes me want to give this “new direction” another shot.

Yeah, I know that I’m a hard-ass about bands “reinventing” themselves… but one tends to get attached to a “sound” of a band, and well goshdurnitall, it’s like getting a brand new hair style: takes a while to get used to, and you keep trying to style it like you used to even though you can’t anymore because you lopped off five inches, and there’s no hair on one side of your head.

This new “leaked” track makes me wonder if these songs are actually “leaked” or not. Maybe this is just a huge PR stunt to get the buzz going? Either that, or somebody at their label is going to be F-I-R-E-D tomorrow. And if some DID “leak” these tracks, I sincerely hope they got paid enough to do it. True, it’s not like giving away the secrets of the CIA, but when it comes to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, it’s pretty damn close.

Ok. I’ll shut-up now. You listen and you like NOW!

Your Dig-It Download:

Hysteric

Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Amazon
Yeah Yeah Yeahs on iTunes
icon

alt text

New Future for Barenaked Ladies

Through a news post on the Barenaked Ladieswebsite, it was announced that by mutual agreement, lead singer for the band, Steven Page, is leaving the band to pursue solo projects. According to the site, the remaining members will continue recording and touring together as Barenaked Ladies.

Page says, “These guys are my brothers. We’ve grown up together over the past twenty years. I love them and wish them all the best in the future.” Band member Ed Robertson says, “It’s the start of a new chapter for all of us. Here’s to the future!”

The band plans to spend time in the studio recording their next album followed by a tour in the fall. ‘Tis a shame, but sometimes you gotta cut off an arm to set yourself free.

Your Dig-It Download:

One Week/Medley (live MTV Video Music Awards 9-10-98)

Barenaked Ladies on Amazon
Barenaked Ladies on iTunes
icon

New Tour Dates from No Doubt

Last month we told you that No Doubt would be heading back on the road for a summer tour with special guests Paramore (and The Sounds, Janelle Monáe and Bedouin Soundclash on select dates). The band will be kicking off their tour May 3rd at New Jersey’s Bamboozle Festival, and tickets go on sale to the general public Saturday, March 7th (Tour Club pre-sales beginning Thursday, February 26th). For a list of the tour dates and venues, check out the band’s official site. And make sure to grab the live version of “Don’t Speak” that we’ve posted in the Dig-It section (right below the video).

Your Dig-It Download:

Don’t Speak (live in Hamburg)

No Doubt on Amazon
No Doubt on iTunes
icon

Whew! If you’ve made it to the end, then you can now safely tell all your friends and family that YOU know the most important pieces of music news for this day!!!! Congrats, but don’t let it get to your head… all you really get is a cookie.

(if you liked this article, please vote for it by clicking on the button below!)


Top Blogs

Stream Neko Case’s New Album, “Middle Cyclone” & Download Two Tracks NOW. AHORA. XIAN ZAI, man.


alt text

If you’re unfamiliar with Neko Case, then you have come to the right place (nice rhyme, huh?). Don’t worry, there’s still time… everything’s fine (another rhyme!).

Here’s a chance to get acquainted with Case… her upcoming release, Middle Cyclone can now be heard in its entirety at NPR.org. Middle Cyclone is a beautiful album (Case’s sixth) and has one of the coolest covers we’ve seen in a long time. I mean, look at her! She’s got a sword in hand while kneeling on the hood of a Cougar! Regarding this most awesome cover, Andy over at Razingthebar says, “It’s the sword that really does it for me. Without the sword, Neko merely looks like Tawny Kitaen in that Whitesnake video. Merely. But with the sword she looks like a Fair Elven Maiden Warrior, Liv Tyler ready to kick some Orc butt.”

Middle Cyclone hits the stores on March 3rd. The album is already getting rave reviews from all over the web, including Spin Magazine, who has already given the album 4.5 stars out of 5. It’s really a wonderful listen and deserves whatever praises it is receiving.

In celebration of the one year anniversary of the Anti-label blog, they will be giving away free stuff all week. They’re kicking off their “swag-fest” by offering the title track to Neko’s Middle Cyclone album for free download (grab it below in the Dig-It section). Also, Neko signed five copies of the album to be given away. Just enter your email address in the comments section here on Anti-Label’s blog. Four will be chosen randomly and one will receive not only the personalized new album, but her entire ANTI- catalog. Very cool.

Along with the album’s title track, you’ll find the album version and a live version of the first single, “People Got A Lotta Nerve,” posted in the Dig-It section below. Check it out and if you’ve got some time on your hands, go out to your car with a sword and take a picture like Neko’s. Send it here and we’ll post it!

To stream the album, click here.

Your Dig-It Downloads:

Download: Middle Cyclone

Download: People Got A Lotta Nerve

Download: People Got A Lotta Nerve (Live At Triple Door, Seattle on 1/25/2009)

Neko Case on Amazon
Neko Case on iTunes
icon

(if you liked this article, please vote for it by clicking on the button below!)


Top Blogs

Top 4 YouTube Videos That Never Cease to Make Me Laugh (for now)

Every now and then I go peruse YouTube.com for some laughs. There’s just a wealth of material on that site that can bring some serious guffaws to my life… most of the time YouTube.com is more entertaining than actual television.

Today I was in need of some uber-serious guffawing, so I went to YouTube.com for my fix. There are four videos that always make me laugh, no matter what time of day, day of month, month of year, year of decade, or decade of century I am in. I’m sure there are more out there to be found, but these are my Top 4 YouTube Videos That Never Cease to Make Me Laugh (for now).

I hope these bring a smile to your face as well… laughter is the best medicine!

4. Bill O’Reilly’s flip out outranks Christian Bale’s only because there is actual video to the episode. Plus, it’s just hilarious to see someone of this stature lose it for really no apparent reason. I love the dance remixes people put together to these videos… it takes a lot of creativity to piece one of these together, and this O’Reilly one is just as about as classic as they come.

3. Here’s another fine example of the dance remix video. This one is fantastic, especially at around 0:45 when the Teletubbies make an appearance. I bust up every time I see Johnny Depp say, “Why is the rum gone?”

2. Just press “Play” and you’ll see why this makes me laugh every single time I watch it.

1. This video has got to be my all-time favorite YouTube video. I remember laughing for about 45 minutes the first time I saw it… I just watched it again and laughed my butt off again. The video takes about 15 seconds to start, so be patient… keep your eyes on the drummer dude. He’s the kind of drummer that I want in my band. I think any band would go global if they had this guy sitting in behind the kit. Perhaps the greatest part of this video is the fact that the singer has no idea what’s going on behind her. She probably hired him because he was a friend of a friend of a friend’s friend. I wish I were there when the band watched the final footage for the first time. The head-banging at 3:00 absolutely slays me.

If you’ve got a YouTube video that you think we’d love here at TheFrontloader.com, send us the link!

Depeche Mode: “Wrong” Video Premiere & Exclusive iTunes Pass


alt text

iTunes has just launched a new “iTunes Pass” promotion, and Depeche Mode is the first artist tapped for the launch. By purchasing an iTunes Pass for $18.99, you’ll receive not only the Sounds of the Universeicon album when it’s out, but also extended singles, remixes, videos and more… all to be released over the next few months. If you buy the pass now, you also get the single, “Wrong”, as well as the Black Odyssey club remix of another new track, “Oh Well” before the release of the full album.

Not bad for less than the cost of… something that costs more than $18.99, huh? Click hereicon to grab your pass.

Along with the cool new pass thingy, the song and official music video for “Wrong”, the first single off the album, has surfaced on the band’s MySpace page. Check the video out below. “Wrong” is a bad-ass song… Gahan’s voice sounds better than ever and the rhythm of the vocals is effectively as intense as it is contagious. The video is also weird enough to be considered REALLY weird. I totally dig the cameo DMode has… they’ve got this collective “What the f***?” look that is priceless.

As we told you earlier, Depeche Mode will be heading out on their “Tour of the Universe” (such a cool name for a tour) in a couple months. For the full tour schedule (Europe & North American dates), stop by DepecheMode.com. To celebrate this news of The Mode, we’ve also posted a live performance in the Dig-It section below of one of their best songs, “Stripped.” VERY cool.

Depeche Mode – "Wrong" (official music video)

Depeche Mode on Amazon
Depeche Mode on iTunesicon

Your Dig-It Download:

Stripped (live, Santiago de Chile – 1994)

Apple iTunes

(if you liked this article, please vote for it by clicking on the button below!)


Top Blogs

New Yeah Yeah Yeahs Song: Heads Will Roll

alt text

Last week we told you about the Yeah Yeah Yeahs new song, “Zero” from their upcoming album, It’s Blitz (due out April 14th). As we said in that post, “Zero” is a departure from what we’re used to hearing from the band.

Well, now a second song from It’s Blitz, “Heads Will Roll” has leaked, and all we can do is repeat ourselves… “Heads Will Roll” is definitely a departure from what we’re used to hearing from the band. Karen O still sounds great, though. She’ seems to be the only thing remaining from their original sound. The song is pretty good, actually… but it just doesn’t quite seem to fit what I thought the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are all about. Maybe I’ll just have to change my impression of the band.

Is the swing from punk rockers to disco rockers a good or bad move for the band? Only time will tell.

Stop by Stereogum to take a listen to the song. If you’ve been following the band since the early 2000’s, what are your thoughts on this new direction? If you’re not too familiar with the YYYs, let us know what you think as well!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Amazon
Yeah Yeah Yeahs on iTunes
icon

Your Dig-It Downloads:

Download: Maps (Peel Session 8/02)
Download: Y Control (live at Coachella 2006)

(if you liked this article, please vote for it by clicking on the button below!)


Top Blogs