Saturday, August 28, 2010

Two Seconds Away - "Love Song" cover [free MP3]

Two Seconds Away have been running a project called New Music Monday for awhile, and today they released a great acoustic cover of Sara Bareilles's "Love Song." I really prefer it to the original. You can download the song, and read their post about it, here.

(Thanks to Sally for the heads-up).

Aaron and Andrew - "Rescue Me" [free MP3]

Aaron and Andrew just released "Rescue Me," a single off their upcoming album. It's a gem of an indie alt/pop song, with impressively polished soundscapes, and you can download it free for signing up for their mailing list. (I'd also recommend checking out their previous album, Pictures and Words, as well.) Take a listen:

<a href="">Rescue Me-Single by Aaron and Andrew</a>

on Myspace

Friday, August 20, 2010

Flooding in Pakistan - how you can help

I know this is normally a blog about music, but I noticed that not many people are aware of the damage from the Pakistan floods. Over a thousand people are dead, and millions are left without shelter, food, clean water, or medical care. If you want to help, there are several charities taking donations:

  • AVAAZ - donations will go straight to Pakistan
  • Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders - I'm not sure if you can earmark money specifically for Pakistan, but both are great organizations that are currently helping there.

Please spread the word. Even if you can't give much, every little bit can help.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Rescues - "Break Me Out" video

The official video for The Rescues' "Break Me Out," filmed at the Troubadour, was just released. It sounds great, and the editing and filming are top-notch:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is the new movie from Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz"), based on the comic series by Bryan Lee O'Malley. It's a love story with video game styling and indie music.

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) has met the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), but has to fight her seven evil exes to date her. He's also the bassist in the go-nowhere indie rock band Sex Bob-omb. The movie has a fast pace in the first half, with scenes going from day to night in the blink of an eye. However, it finds its pace, and has some great moments.

Scott Pilgrim's ex-girlfriend Envy Adams (Brie Larson) has a fantastic rendition of Metric's "Black Sheep," and Scott's gay roommate Wallace (Kieran Culkin) has a lot of great lines. The vegan police, Ramona's ever-changing hair, and the sister who's constantly on the up-and-up about Scott's activities were all nice touches. I haven't read the comics, but I adored the movie for its own merits, and especially loved the soundtrack.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Second Dan - "Angeline"

The latest band I've been adoring is Second Dan. Who was the first Dan, you ask? Who knows? They're a bit similar to U2 and Augustana, and are promoting their second album, Angeline, with a free show in New York on August 16th.

Their songs have a pop gloss, and they're lush and quite good. You can stream the album from their official site, but here are two you can hear off

Second Dan - Today
Second Dan - Angeline

Official Site

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Review: Color Theory, "The Sound"

Color Theory is Brian Hazard, who crafts electronic music and piano pop. I introduced you to his newest album last week, so here's a longer review.

The Sound opens with the clever "Song Named After a Girl," which takes the idea of a song about heartbreak and turns it on its head, and leads into the danceable "Extroverts at Play," which reminds me a little of Muse (but that's a good thing). "Too Close" is a bit softer and more tender, and we get into chiptune territory with the catchy "It Must Be Halloween."

"A Safe Distance" is a romantic, piano-driven tune; "Living a Boy's Adventure Tale," a fun A-ha cover. The next two songs are a little slower, but "Game Over" is quite endearing (especially with the quick, fluid piano solo), and "Two" is a track that shines, with stellar and haunting lyrics.

This is a good album to put on and just sit back and relax. Some of the songs could be tightened a bit, but overall, The Sound is an enjoyable album for electro music fans.

Tegan and Sara video: "Northshore"

Tegan and Sara just announced this video, and it features a very nice get-up-and-jump-on-the-floor indie rock song. Ripping up all those posters looks oddly cathartic, too:

Tegan and Sara | MySpace Music Videos

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Review of Will Stratton's "New Vanguard Blues"

Sometimes, it's not so much about how music sounds as much as how it makes us feel. Will Stratton's New Vanguard Blues carries a steady stream of quiet emotion, with acoustic guitar strumming and poetic vocals. It's indie folk, so understatement goes a long way.

From the lovely opener, "Bluebells," to the intense finale, "The War is Over," it's quite an enjoyable listen. The jangling guitar and impeccable vocals are quite charming. The album also has an intimate feel, and was recorded by Stratton in one weekend in July.

You can buy or stream it on his page at Bandcamp, and you can also follow him on Twitter.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Jonathan Coulton's "Re: Your Brains" - in sign language

Here's a funny and well-done video of music interpreter Stephen Torrence dressed up as a zombie and performing Jonathan Coulton's song "Re: Your Brains" - in American Sign Language.

I asked Paisley's most devoted reader (she gets every post delivered to her e-mail inbox) what she thought of that, and she said, "That's not possible. Zombies don't have the finger strength to do sign language." Well, too bad. Stephen does other songs in ASL as well, so I'd check out his Youtube channel. Thanks to MJ for the tip.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Color Theory releases new album

The Sound, the new album from Color Theory, is out today. Color Theory is the project of prolific musician Brian Hazard, who plays electronica and piano pop.

A full review is forthcoming, but let me just say that the first track, "Song Named After a Girl," is addictively listenable and quite clever. Check it out:

<a href="">Song Named After a Girl by Color Theory</a>

You can buy the album at or on iTunes, or become a fan of Brian at his Facebook page.