An Education

This movie doesn't fall short in any respect. It was shot so beautifully; the story line was complex and thought provoking. And Dominic Cooper! It left me speechless.
Go see it. Go see it twice.


The Twees are this really adorable three-piece indie pop-rock band from New York.
Their backing is super light and Strokes-inspired; the vocals are deep and have Kapranos written all over them. And there's something just a little off about their guitar parts for whatever reason, which makes them a pretty fun and memorable listen.

Stream their four song EP "Lessons to Connect" on myspace.

Short Review: Yarn Owl - "Tiny Dots"

I'm definitely overdue to give these Washington State nature-rockers a couple of nice words on their recent release Tiny Dots.

The seven song album is a mix of older and newer tunes. It's been just about a year since I first stumbled on their myspace page, so the new songs (Stay in Tune with the Moon, Without You...) are a lot tighter than some of the older cuts, like Rubix Cube. Mind you, a first time listener probably wouldn't get this out of it, but the combination of older, charming recordings and the new crisper ones definitely makes for a nice compilation.

All and all it's perfectly crafted pop in its simplest form.

[upop+] Interview I did with Yarn Owl here
[official] myspace / website
[mp3] Their label LNA said I could offer a few tracks off of "Tiny Dots". email me.

Born Ruffians' Second LP Almost Done

Born Ruffians' follow-up to their 2008 super debut Red, Yellow & Blue is nearing completion: Luke (on the right, vocals/guitar) is currently here in New York working on the mix with their producer Rusty Santos.

There's no news of the record's name or any hint of album art, but everything should be wrapped up by early next year. Touring will follow- see them play if you can! These Torontonians are a fantastic live band that generate a lot more energy than you might expect from a three piece.

myspace / official site / fan tumblr

Yellow Dwelling (2 am Opinions)

Even though Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest may be topping everyone's 09 lists, never forget where the bears came from. A Yellow House. That, my friends, is the better album of the two.


While the guys are in LA, I went to scout some studios in NYC with Ryan today for what looks like Jan recording!!! mood = f***ing excited!

According to The Strokes' bassist Nikolai's twitter, they're finally back!!
This is really, really exciting.

VIDEO: Vampire Weekend - "Cousins"

Apologies for the excess of Vampire Weekend coverage, but here is the video for their single Cousins.
It's a bit weird, but also appropriately fitting for VW's quirkiness and love of using a single shooting track/angle for their videos (See Oxford Comma).

Fall Six ( A Playlist)

Know Better, Learn Faster
- Thao with the Get Down Stay Down
The Walls are Coming Down - Fanfarlo
French Navy - Camera Obscura
Lately - BOAT
Friends of P - Tokyo Police Club
Big Run - Luke Lalonde


Released Today

Here's the art for Vampire Weekend's second single Cousins, which was released today. Look for their sophomore album 'Contra' in January.


Review: Julian Casablancas - "Phrazes for the Young"

I think the reason people are so excited by this record is because Julian Casablancas is The Strokes. He's the icon of the iconic group. And it's been a long time since the collective's done anything (coming up four years). Because of this, it's easy to be disillusioned by the idea of a Casablancas solo, because there's a desire for the twenty-year-old Strokes who loved Lou Reed and Blondie (and made records to reflect it) to be resurrected. In all honesty, that sound was slowly lost over the three albums they've already put out and will probably never be again.
What we've got now is the thirty-year-old Strokes, who have sobered up on many levels. They're no longer drunk on Red Stripe and Velvet Underground vinyls, which was what made them so cool to begin with. Time will tell if they ever resurface again.

So with this eight-song mess of electronic beats and auto-tune that is Phrazes for the Young, it's essential to account for the past but not to let it weigh heavily on the present. The thing is uncohesive. Plain and simple. There's seemingly endless types of styles under depressing lyrics without any sort of thread tying them all together. Long gone are the untouched guitar and, most awful of all, the rawness of his vocals, something that defines Casablancas musically.

The most interesting track is probably Four Chords of the Apocalypse. It seamlessly loops around gospel-inspired verses, a singer-songwriter classic sounding chorus and a metal-esque guitar bridge. But at the same time, this is the oddball track of the album: the electro is toned down to the minimum and the vocals seem less warped. If only the rest of Phrazes could follow its cue.


Check out Seattle's indie pop-rock group BOAT.
Their debut album Setting the Paces is a lot of fun and pretty good.


VIDEO: New Born Ruffians

Luke Lalonde of Born Ruffians plays an acoustic version a new song, Oh Man, live in Toronto's Bellwoods Park. It remains to be seen if it will be part of the tracklist for their upcoming sophomore LP, which is due out on WARP Records early next year.

VIDEO: Moz Strikes Again

Yes, just shorty after Morrissey collapsed on stage from health complications causing him to cancel a show or two, a beer cup toss from a fan in Liverpool hits him square on the head.

To which Moz says, "Goodbye."

New Soft Pack: "Answer to Yourself"

San Diego's indie group The Soft Pack have just released their single Answer to Yourself from their upcoming untitled sophomore LP. Drawing from Strokes-y riffs, it's three minutes of indie rock in its most fun and perfect form.

Listen on myspace

Vampire Weekend & Your Cousins

The Vamps have announced that they will be releasing Cousins as the follow-up single to Horchata (released free last month) from their sophomore album 'Contra'.

The release date for the single is November 17.
California/Europe 2010 tour dates here.

Check out a preview of Cousins, performed in LA on November 1st...

Strokes News

Congratulations to Nikolai for completing the New York City marathon!
He came in 23,347th place, and over 100,000 runners registered.
His twitter page will now be doing Strokes updates.

Meanwhile, Julian Casablancas' solo album Phrazes for the Young is out in the US today ($4.99 on iTunes!), and he's done a Christmas song- I Wish it was Christmas Today. The song is available on iTunes as part of a Deluxe Edition of Phrazes.

John Lennon Biopic Film: "Nowhere Boy"

Director Sam Taylor-Wood recently debuted plans for his John Lennon biopic entitled Nowhere Boy at the London Film Festival.
Interestingly, a few of the trailer's cuts are narrated by weathered, archived recordings of John's voice, which provides an interesting contrast to the glossy footage.

No plans of release have been announced.