Monday, April 26, 2010

Sneak Peek: The National

Set to be released on 5/11, the National's new album, "High Violet" is streaming on the NYT website HERE. If you're a fan of Alligator and Boxer, chances are you will love this one. It's vintage National - beautiful, haunting melodies and lyrics aplenty. Quite the interesting article on the band as well. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This is Happening

It's scheduled to come out mid-May but LCD Soundsystem's new album, "This is Happening" is currently streaming on his website HERE. After a couple listens, I can safely say it's his best album yet. It has been well worth the wait - thanks James. Get to it while you can, who knows how long it will be up.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fear Not

Friends, Carl has been shirking his duties, and for that he apologizes. Deeply. The blog will be back in full effect soon. In the meantime, I leave you with the following piece of pure majestic zen, courtesy of the Fuck Buttons ("Olympians").

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mum's The Word

Carl has something very special to share with you today, friends. Every once in awhile, a band comes along with talent so rare, it takes your breath away. On a recommendation a few months back, I began listening to a few of this bands' tracks and was absolutely floored by their beauty, complexity and brilliance. After peeling back the many layers, i quickly decided that musically, these guys were a few levels above anything I've heard lately. The band is Mumford & Sons, a newly-formed folk/rock/bluegrass hybrid Quartet from London. Members are Marcus Mumford (vocals, guitar, drums), Winston Marshall (vocals, banjo, dobro), Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboards, organ), Ted Dwane (vocals, double bass). While admittedly, it's a bit early to proclaim them as music gods, the appeal of their passion, energy and retro-yet-innovative sound is simply undeniable.

Their sound varies throughout their debut album, Sigh No More - you'll hear barn-burning, sweeping banjo-infused bluegrass romps, gorgeously fragile folk ballads and everything in between, but you won't hear a note void of meaning or urgency.

Yes, I realize it's preemptive to lay all these superlatives on a band in existence for less than 2 years, forgive me, for I am enamored - as I hope you will be after giving them a listen. Unfortunately, you won't be able to purchase the album in the US before March 2nd, however, I've posted some songs below on Lala. Because the album isn't released in the US, you cannot listen to the songs in full, only "Little Lion Man" which has been released as a single. Clearly 30-second clips don't do the album justice, but find it, order the UK import, steal it, do whatever you have to do to get the album. I defy you not to love it.

As an added bonus, they are "touring" the US/Canada soon, if you can call four shows a tour. Regardless, if you're anywhere near these cities at these times, I order you to go see them:

2/9: Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
2/11: San Francisco, CA - Popscene @ 330 Ritch
2/15: Toronto, ONT - El Mocambo
2/18: New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carl's On Your Side

Friendos, Carl's back with some new tunes and vids for your listening and viewing pleasure. Be excited. Be very excited.

If you haven't by now, join Lala. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Hands down the best music listening/sharing/purchasing community around. JOIN LALA

1. Paper Route - "Last Time": Admittedly, I hadn't heard of these dudes until a couple months ago. Upon first listen to their Absence album, this song stuck. And it stuck hard. Roaring guitar riffs, punchy basslines and a catchy melodies aplenty.

2. Pela - "Waiting on the Stairs": Indie rock magnificence is what these guys produce. If you're opposed to magnificence, don't listen. I've posted a song from them before - they aren't a new band, but I am just fully discovering them for the first time, and oh boy are they good. Their Anytown Graffiti album is Carl-Approved. That's how you do it. . . That's how you make indie rock.

3. Great Lake Swimmers - "Moving, Shaking": The Great Lake Swimmers churn out some tuneful, laid-back folk music. This one in particular, is beautiful. Tugs at the 'ol heartstrings a bit. If you dig, check out their Bodies and Minds album.

4. Julian Casablancas - "11th Dimension": This track has been all over the place lately but fuck it, I'm jumping on the wagon. It's too damn catchy. There's been a lot of hype surrounding the Strokes frontman's debut solo album Phrazes For The Young. Some of the hype is deserved, but it's a mixed bag in my opinion, there are some gems (when he sticks to the Strokes-type sound) and some duds (when he delves into other sounds). I applaud the effort as a whole, however.

5. Mumford & Sons - "The Cave": A folk rock group from London currently flying under the radar in the US. These guys are incredible. Banjos, piano, horns, lyrics and lead vocals all come together for a uniquely enjoyable sound. Their album Sigh No More is only available as a UK import right now, not sure when the US release date is, but be on the lookout if you know what's good for you. Carl Approved. A word to the wise: if you do search for the album, try not to get it confused with Sigh No More by Gamma Ray, which is a complete dumpster fire. A video for another Mumford & Sons song, "Little Lion Man" is posted below.

6. Pony Pony Run Run - "Hey You":
These Frenchies lay down some catchy dance-friendly pop hooks as evidenced here.

7. Washed Out - "New Theory": Another warm and fuzzy dream-pop gem off Carl-Approved Life Of Leisure. I thoroughly dig.

8. Lake - "Madagascar": As is customary here on Carl, we're gonna switch gears once again. Lake has a lazy, easy-going throwback sound and they do it well. Simple, yet calculated arrangements make them easy on the ears. I think you'll agree. As an added bonus, they have that echo-y 60's Mamas & Papas effect goin on in some of the songs. Their album Let's Build A Roof is Carl-Approved.

9. Why? - "This Blackest Purse": I've seen Why? described as a "Hip-Hop" Indie Rock band. Doesn't make any goddamn sense. Just because the lead singer has a terrible voice and sings in near monotone doesn't make it "hip-hop". I digress. Whatever it is, it's good and it's unique. Their recently released Eskimo Snow is a great listen.

10. Pretty Lights - "Finally Moving": I'm a sucker for sample-infused DJ grooves. This one fits the bill. It feels like it would fit the end credits of a movie where a gang leader just took revenge on the rival gang for killing his brother. Screen fades out as we see him walking out of a dark alley littered with freshly-dropped bodies, gun still smoking in the crisp winter night air.

11. Chromeo - "Night by Night":
Chromeo's new single. Hotness. Break out your skinny jeans and weird neon hightops and DANCE, hipsters!

12. Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - "Get Yo Shit": a blues band from Austin, TX influenced by James Brown. After you listen to this you'll make the JB connection immediately. More where this came from on Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!.

13. Jackson 5 - "I Wanna be Where you are (Dallas Austin Remix)": The only decent song off the new Michael Jackson Remix albums. Catchy as shit.

14. Monsters of Folk - "Temezcal": Monsters of Folk is a self-described folk "super"group, consisting of Jim James from My Morning Jacket, Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis from Bright Eyes and M. Ward. I'd ease up on the self-promotion a bit - their album cover shows their faces enshrined as a Mt. Rushmore of sorts, for fuck's sake. That said, their product isn't half bad. This song is one of the highlights off their (not-surprisingly) self-titled Monsters Of Folk.

15. Starfucker - "Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second": Feels like a care-free jaunt through candyland. This duo has some great tracks on their most recent album, Starfucker.

16. Volcano Choir - "Island, IS": A beautiful song by a newly-formed band consisting of Bon Iver and Collections of Colonies of Bees. Video below.

aaaaand some videos for your viewing pleasure. . .

Volcano Choir - "Island, IS"

I've become fascinated with the beauty and simplicity of this song and video.

Mumford & Sons - "Little Lion Man"
These guys are something special.

Air - "Sing Sang Sung"
New single from Air. And their trippy take on the 'ol bouncing ball effect.

Antlers - "Two"
Spectacular song. Interesting video.