Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blogging a song a week into an album

Baby Teeth

Hustle Beach

Lujo 074

Chicago trio Baby Teeth’s third album is, in part, the by-product of blogging. 52 Teeth is songwriter and Baby Teeth member Abraham Levitan’s website, on which he posted a song a week for a year. Hustle Beach presents the cream of this abundant crop: a well-crafted collection of power pop.

Levitan’s voice bears more than a passing resemblance to Elvis Costello; and it’s clear that the elder songwriter’s omnivorous stylistic reach has also made a strong impression on Baby Teeth. But Levitan has updated Costello’s acerbity, zeroing in on the pitfalls of contemporary suburbia (he cites Philip Roth’s American Pastoral as a strong impulse for Hustle Beach).

There’s sophistication to the arrangements; recalling Badly Drawn Boy and Mitchell Froom, the multi-faceted keyboard textures, in particular, thrive. But there’s also a tautness and rhythmic urgency that propels the songs forward. In this, Baby Teeth are kindred spirits of the Hold Steady or even latter day Bruce Springsteen, channeling the anthemic as well as the intellectual.

MP3: Big Schools

Monday, July 13, 2009

Videos (and a video contest) by Thrill Jockey artists

Tik by Lokai is being used in a film by Gerald Zahn. A view from a single window in Iceland, the movie chronicles a day when those far north get nearly 24 hours of sunlight. The band’s album Transition is slated for release on 18 August.

Video: “Tik”

Meanwhile, Double Dagger is touring up a storm in support of their album More. They recently released a video for “Vivre Sans Temps Mort.”


WNYC's Soundcheck is holding a video contest starring none other than Brooklyn's rock sibling duo, The Fiery Furnaces. On June 23rd, Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger released their first single "The End is Near" from their new album "I'm Going Away" out on July 21st and now YOU get to try and make a video for the song. You can download the track now, right here.

You can use any video editing program of your choice and you have until August 31st to create your masterpiece. The winning director will appear live on the show with Cordero and The Fiery Furnaces in September.

There are but a few simple requirements to submit your video. Start by uploading your video to YouTube, then visit the Soundcheck Video Contest YouTube group page and click on "Join This Group". Once you have joined, click "Add Videos". Select the box next to your Fiery Furnaces video and click the "Add to Group" button, and that's it, you've done it. Be sure to include your contact information in either your YouTube profile or video description so you can be reached upon your win.

You have until August 31st to submit all entries. Good luck!

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Bird and the Bee; New Video

The Bird and the Bee have released a video, a single from their latest LP Ray Guns are Not Just the Future (Blue Note). The LP has been in heavy rotation around here – a delightful mix of electronica, Sixties pop, and suave jazz with Inara George’s winsome vocals and a bevy of trendy beats.

Video: My Love (YouTube)


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