5 On A Friday : Language Arts

July 18, 2008 by · 3 Comments
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Some songs with a little bit of a world flavor today. Appr├ęcier!

1: Julie Doiron – Ce Charmant Couer
Buy Desormais
2: Buena Vista Social Club – Dos Gardenias
Buy Buena Vista Social Club
3: Los Lobos – Chuco’s Cumbia
Buy The Town And The City
4: Jorge Ben – Ponta De Lanca Africano (Umbabarauma)
Buy Beleza Tropical Vol1
5: Seu Jorge – Chatterton
Buy Cru

The Top 25 Albums Of 2007 – 1 to 10 And A Giveaway !

December 23, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
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Okay here it is the grand finale, my top ten of the year. The albums I listened to and enjoyed most this year. There was so much great music this year that a short list of twenty five doesn’t nearly it do it all justice. There’s obviously way more omitted than included.

And, as I promised I have giveaways. A copy of The SwimmersFighting Trees that most of you will need to wait until it’s March release to get your hands on, but I have it for you now, and a copy of The Broken West‘s I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On autographed by the whole band(Thanks Ross!)

Once again I’ll make it easy to win just leave a comment or send me an email to
bagofsongs@gmail.com with “Top 25 Contest” in the subject line.
You don’t have to, but feel free to get creative in the comments – your top albums, what I missed, etc. If you leave a comment make sure you leave an email or some way to get in touch if you win. I’ll pick 2 winners at random on New Year’s Day from all the entries. Good Luck !

1:The Swimmers – Fighting Trees
Back in January of this year when I received a rather unassuming email from Steve Yutzy-Burkey, not so unlike a lot of other emails I receive everyday from bands, letting me know they had shows upcoming and that their new album Fighting Trees was
streaming from their website if I wanted to give it a listen. What I found at the end of the link was a record I would unabashedly call one of the first truly important releases of 2007. Now nearly a year later, I’ve seen the band live more than a dozen times and there is no single album I listened to or enjoyed more this year. It’s the perfect balance of catchy hooks,vocal harmonies and intelligent lyrics that I just can’t seem to get enough of. The record saw a limited Philadelphia area CD release this fall on Mad Dragon Records, who signed the band and will officially release their record to the rest of the world in March 2008. Watch out for it.

MP3: The Swimmers – Pocketful Of Gold
[MYSPACE] [WEBSITE]

2:The Broken West – I Can’t Go On I’ll Go On
Guitar driven, smart, power pop. Reference points of Big Star,The Beatles,Cheap Trick and more come to mind but the sound ends up undeniably all The Broken West. A dozen songs here and each one could be a single in it’s own right, no filler here just great music.

MP3: The Broken West – Down In The Valley
Buy I Can’t Go On I’ll Go On

3:Julie Doiron – Woke Myself Up
The best overlooked album of the year. Emotional, ragged and real with a sound that falls somewhere between fellow Canadians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. Forget Feist you need this.

MP3: Julie Doiron – I Woke Myself Up
Buy Woke Myself Up

4:The Clientele – God Save The Clientele
Alasdair Maclean describes the band’s sound on this record: “The band are setting free their inner Monkees; a lovely blend of Big Star twisted power-pop and country achin’, with flashes of the Beatles at their most joyful and upbeat.” He’s dead on, it’s a perfect Sunday morning record, filled with smooth sixties overtones but never sounding retro or dated.

MP3: The Clientele – Here Comes The Phantom
Buy God Save The Clientele

5:Blitzen Trapper – Wild Mountain Nation
What Wilco could sound like if they didn’t sand all the edges off. The perfect mix of alt country and indie rock, they delivered one of the best live shows I saw all year.

MP3: Blitzen Trapper – Sci-Fi Kid
Buy Wild Mountain Nation

6:Josh Ritter – The Historical Conquests Of Josh Ritter
One of the best new songwriters of a generation, Josh amped it up a bit more than his earlier records for this one and created a new classic. And as good as this is, I somehow feel it’s still only hinting at the future greatness Josh has in him.

MP3: Josh Ritter – Right Moves
Buy The Historical Conquests Of Josh Ritter

7:Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
I’ll commit blogger heresy here and say other than a song or two,their debut Funeral did nothing for me. But with only one real clunker(Black Wave),this one is just shy of perfect. Anthmemic and engaging it grabs you right from the first listen. Openly embracing their Springsteen influences in their sound this time around didn’t hurt at all either.

MP3: Arcade Fire – Black Mirror
Buy Neon Bible

8:LCD Soundsystem – Sound Of Silver
James Murphy obviously honed his ear for what works during his time as a bouncer at Trenton’s alternative rock club City Gardens all through the mid to late eighties and delivered an album that put all that knowledge together for something relevant right now. Their live show is phenomenal, hearing All My Friends live was one of most transcendent concert moments I’ve ever experienced.

Listen To The Whole Album Here
Buy Sound Of Silver

9:Creeping Weeds – We Are All Part Of A Dream You’re Having
One of Philadelphia’s most original sounding bands this manages to run the gamut from desolate spacey piano, to jagged edgy guitar rockers and all points in between, and it all works. And having seen them live like 8 or 9 times this past year I can tell you they’re an awesome live band as well.

MP3: The Creeping Weeds – Eternity Is A Long Time
Buy We Are All Part Of A Dream You’re Having

10:Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha
Twelve solid midtempo pop songs filled with hooks,violin, whistling and more, from th eopening notes of Fiery Crash it creates an alternate world and holds you there right through to the final notes of Yawny at the Apocalypse. One of the best sequenced albums of the year, each song perfectly setting up the next, just like a great mix tape.

MP3: Andrew Bird – Fiery Crash
Buy Armchair Apocrypha

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Wrapping Up The Week

April 3, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
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Wrapping up the past week and looking ahead a bit.
What I’ve been listening to the most this past week :The Broken WestI Can’t Go On,I’ll Go On, Warren ZevonExcitable Boy(remaster), Julie DoironWoke Myself Up, Bright EyesCassadaga,LimbeckLimbeck,The SwimmersFighting Trees,The Creeping WeedsWe Are All Part Of A Dream You’re Having


The ~K’nise Music Maker Of The Week is the lovely piano playing Skyler Stonestreet.


Bag Of Songs Artist To Watch Chelsea Taube has gotten her song Desperate Winters placed on an upcoming Loose Music Country Girl compilation and is playing a couple shows in New York City this week.

Wednesday April 4th Wicked Willy’s on Bleecker St. 7pm
Friday April 6th Googie’s Lounge Above The Living Room 154 Ludlow 7pm


One of the bands that blew me away when I saw them recently for the first time was Canada’s The Constantines. Someone stole one of their guitars at a recent show @ Lee’s Palace in Toronto.

From the band :
Hey Friends,
Thanks to all who came out to the show last night (March 30) at Lee’s Palace in Toronto. No thanks to the person who walked out of the club with Will’s guitar in Steve’s guitar case. We are asking anyone in the Toronto area to be on the look-out for a Black 1995 American Stratocaster with a white pick-guard, a rosewood fretboard, and a rainbow coloured guitar strap. The serial number is: N55 7313. The guitar case is a black Fender hardshell case, covered in Constantines, Threegut and Subpop Records stickers.
If whoever took the guitar reads this, you can contact us via cradlerock1@gmail.com and we can figure out a way for you to return it, no questions asked.
Thanks to everyone who has come to the shows in Eastern Canada so far. We head off to Winnipeg tomorrow and I am going to write another message in a few minutes announcing further tour dates in the Northeastern United States in late April.
xo.
Cons


Good Sounds Good is a collective of amazingly talented female artists mainly based out of Toronto consisting of Emer, Emma-Lee, blueVenus, Melissa Bathory, Sarah Shafey, Moulann, Kirsten Jones, Clare Love and, Saidah Baba Talibah. They have a big showcase show coming up as well as shows by a few of their members.

Tue Apr 3 2007 9:30P GSG Monthly @ The Cameron House featuring Melissa Bathory, Moulann and Sarah Shafey! Toronto
Wed Apr 4 2007 7:00P Clare Love Solo @ Arlene’s Grocery – New York City NYC, New York
Thu Apr 5 2007 9:00P Clare Love – The Lei Lounge at Niagara New York
Fri Apr 6 2007 8:00P Clare Love – Freddy’s Bar and Backroom Brooklyn
Sat Apr 7 2007 9:00P Emma-Lee & Emer @ The Cameron House Toronto
Sat Apr 21 2007 10:00P blueVenus at The Cameron Toronto, Ontario
Tue Apr 24 2007 8:00P Sarah Shafey- Renaissance Cafe(Emma-Lee hosts) Toronto, Ontario


My favorite Philadelphia band of the moment, The Swimmers, bring their amazing sounds to the midwest this week. Be sure to stop out and see them and tell them I sent you.

Tue Apr 3 2007 1:00P WHFR in-studio Detroit, Michigan
Tue Apr 3 2007 8:00P Lager House Detroit, Michigan
Thu Apr 5 2007 8:00P Schubas Chicago, Illinois
Fri Apr 6 2007 8:00P Constant Spring Goshen, Indiana
Sat Apr 7 2007 7:30P Senorita Burrita Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Grab Bag : This Week’s Releases

January 25, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
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Here’s a random handful of the many new releases that came out this week.

Julie Doiron – Woke Myself Up (Jagjaguwar)
Julie Doiron started out in 1990 playing bass in Canadian Sub Pop band Eric’s Trip.
Woke Myself Up is Julie’s seventh solo disc since the breakup of the band in 1996. It’s a stark emotionally charged affair that falls sonically somewhere between the icy chanteuse of Cat Power and the folky warmth of Joni Mitchell

MP3: Julie Doiron – You Look So Alive
MP3:
Julie Doiron – No More

[BUY IT] [WEBSITE] [MYSPACE]

The Broken West – I Can’t Go on,I’ll Go On (Merge)
At the risk of sounding Bandwagonesque I’m going to throw in another blogger vote for The Broken West as a really great power pop band. Throw in equal parts Teenage Fanclub and Guided By Voices, season to taste with a little Big Star, and you’ve got LA’s The Broken West. Enough chiming guitars, harmony vocals and handclaps to keep any power pop fan happy.

The Broken West is :
Ross Flournoy (guitar, vocals)
Dan Iead (guitar, backing vocals)
Brian Whelan (bass, backing vocals)
Rob McCorkindale (drums, percussion)
Scott Claassen (keys, backing vocals)

MP3: The Broken West – So It Goes
MP3:
The Broken West – Big City

[BUY IT] [iTUNES] [MYSPACE]

The Shins – Wincing The Night Away (Sub Pop)
Sure, like everybody else we’ve been listening to the massively hyped new Shins album for a couple months now. But now everyone can buy their very own copy. This baby will probably suffer some severe hype backlash, so why not one more gratuitous listen before it goes down, it’s actually pretty good. Here’s a couple for you, the super catchy pop single Phantom Limb and the very Enya-like Red Rabbits. Enjoy.

MP3: The Shins – Phantom Limb.mp3
MP3: The Shins – Red Rabbits.mp3

[BUY IT] [WEBSITE] [MYSPACE]