I happened upon Lujo Records a couple years ago by chance when I bought The Fall of Troy's S/T. That CD was raw and amazing , especially for only being a three-piece, buy they've since moved on to Equal Vision and their sound went downhill with the move. Lujo is run primarily by one man: Erik Auccoin. He has been continually signing a wide variety of bands with two things in common: innovative sound and a great deal of talent. I recently picked up a bunch of releases from the sale on the website and I wanted to post to highlight some of my favorie artists on the label. There are some odds and ends on the Myspace site, but all of the mp3s I'm posting are from the media section of the website which I will link...

[link] Lujo Records media section

Suffering and the Hideous Theives is the the project upon which Jeff Suffering has been dwelling for the past couple of years. Suffering has found a much more mature and distinct sound then he ever had in previous bands Raft of Dead Mokeys and 90 Lb. Wuss which is definitely a change for the better. The sound is vastly indie with a certain twinges of alt country and folk. Although I have not heard the new release, Ashamed, the previous Rats in Heaven was simultaneously beautiful, epic, and excruciating. Soundwise think of a rougher, more brutally honest Ryan Adams mixed with aspects of Sufjan Stevens and Starflyer 59. That's the best I can do at describing them. The octave paired vocals in this song "The Potters Field" are one of my favorite moments of the record as well as parts of a semi-traditional rendition of "Amazing Grace" clocking in at 11:40.

[mp3] Suffering & The Hideous Theives - The Potters Field

Aforementioned The Fall of Troy put together an amazing debut for Lujo. This is probably some of the best hardcore of any sub-genre that I've ever heard. Amazingly complex rhythms and guitar and bass lines completely fill this record and there is never a lapse in the brutal talent.

[mp3] The Fall of Troy - The Circus ...

Now defunct Ateriavia pulled me in with a song that was never released anywhere that I know of and I'm guessing it was on the Lujo site ages ago for download called "Why are You Allergic to Bees, Bees are so Awesome;" you can hear and download that song on their Myspace. I'm pretty sure all of these guys were under 20. They had a really awesome sound going somewhere between At the Drive-In and Q and not U that I'm sure could have taken off with a little more touring, blood, sweat, and tears. I'm sure they had other things they needed to do with their lives, but I'm glad they at least released their EP Regarding the Midwest: Sleeping.

[mp3] Ateriavia - This Sierra Classic is of a Prestigious Fleet

I picked up the LP of The Evaluation's We Built the Gun That Causes This Unending Fear for a mere $3 when MakeBreak Records called it quits and cleaned out the closet. Now they are going the way of the buffalo too with their last show next week. In the same vein as MeWithoutYou, The Evaluation crafts catchy, but edgy songs and retains a distinctive sound.

[mp3] The Evaluation - Texas, Texas; No Tennessee

"Heart Like Locamotive" is infectiously catchy. It's the kind of song you can hear on the radio and have no idea who it is but still know all the words and the main guitar riff. Verona delivers straight up rock with the soaring vocals of Kyle Logghe that pull you in and make their 50 minute debut, Rumored to Whisper Suspicions, seem like 30 and having you wishing for more.

[mp3] Verona - Heart Like Locamotive

The Kidcrash pulls off pop-punk like they've released at least 5 albums. New Ruins has super slick production and songs catchy enough to be mistaken for the likes of Jimmy Eat World, but still holds a great deal of appeal for those who don't usually listen to the genre.

[mp3] The Kidcrash - Your Valley Is Our Volcano

Check out the rest of the Lujo Artists at the media page or their myspaces in the sidebar of Lujo's. If oddity is your thing, give Baby Teeth and Gena Rowlands Band a listen. Lujo has also made a bunch of releases for bands with quieter and acoustic material that is all really good. I recommend In Praise of Folly, Dame, and Hidari Mae.


rescue revisited

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I uploaded The Rescue EP by Explosions in the Sky. It has disappeared from the portion of the Intraweb accessable from my blog and since EITS said it was perfectly okay to share the EP in a statement on their website by merit of it being such limited release (Travels in Constants Series or they had a few on their European fall tour), I decided to reupload it on Rapidshare. Enjoy this awesome EP and long awaited (kind-of) new EITS material. The songs are shorter, as are the song titles (Days One-Eight) and it's a little different from any of the previous albums but still retains the signature EITS sound.

[zip] Explosions in the Sky - The Rescue

Also, The Secret Machines released the first single for their new album Ten Silver Drops earler in the month. Find more details on Pitchfork in the news section (the only thing it's good for). You can find a link to the single, Alone, Jealous, Stoned, on a post from earlier in the month on LiveMusicBlog.

[mp3] The Secret Machines - Alone, Jealous, Stoned on LiveMusicBlog



I'm going to lump a lot into on post today. Apollo Sunshine played here at PSU on Saturday night and it was an amazing show. I took a lot of pictures which I'll upload somewhere as soon as I take the time to do that. I'll throw a link in whatever post I'm on when I get around to that. Apollo Sunshine apparently just lost their fourth member, but they played an extremely lively and ecclectic set as a three-piece. You can stream songs from their new self titled on their site and I'll link two older songs. I was thoroughly impressed with them even though I hadn't heard of them before hearing about the show. It was organized by SOMA (students organizing multiple artforms) and I am slowly infiltrating the group and we might try to pull in Saxon Shore sometime this spring since I'm building their following here at PSU and everyone I introduce seems to love them. Also on that bill may be The Cassettes, from DC, but this is all still in it's very preliminary stages. Otherwise in the music world, I'd seen the name Akron/Family thrown around a bit this year in some best-of's and otherwise, but it wasn't until today that I took some time to dig up some mp3s and listen. It's kind of odd stuff, but that's expected when you are on Devendra Banhart's former label, Young God Records. Give them a try - it's all over the place musically, like you are bouncing back and forth between the last several decades, but by all means, that's a good thing. Especially since I'm starting off a classic rock kick that may continue well into the spring, but I don't think I'll be posting any Yes on here; I'll try to remain uninfluenced in what I post.

[mp3] Apollo Sunshine - I Was on the Moon

[mp3] Apollo Sunshine - May Day Disorder

[mp3] Akron/Family & Angels of Light - Dylan Pt. 2


one week until the greatest

Next Tuesday I will have my hands (and ears) on Cat Power's The Greatest. Matador has been keeping a tight fist over the blogging and music trading community and I have not seen the album leaked in entirity yet, but you can now stream it on myspace. That player is always so finicky though, I still haven't heard the whole album. Before I heard tracks from the stream, I had heard The Greatest (you can download the title track on Matador's website), Hate (on the B-side of the 7" single that was released December 7 for $.99), Living Proof, and Where Is My Love (the only 2 other tracks I could find which I'll upload as a zip if anyone would like them). Here's the tracklist:

01 The Greatest
02 Could We
03 Lived In Bars
04 Islands
05 After It All
06 The Moon
07 Living Proof
08 Empty Shell
09 Willie
10 Where Is My Love
11 Hate
12 Love & Communication

[mp3] Cat Power - The Greatest

[zip] Cat Power - Living Proof / Where Is My Love (link pending)

Stream the album from myspace

I finally got Castanets First Light's Freeze as a birthday present today. I'm on my second listen as I type and it's only getting better. I've posted a song before but check out this old post at You Ain't No Picasso for another.

[post] New Castanets Songs (9.21.2005)


more projects, ratatat

I got this sweet Moog t-shirt today and I'm pretty excited about the whole concept of owning a Moog shirt, let alone wearing it. Later on in the course of this lazy Saturday, I jammed with some people today since I'm back up at school and did the majority of my work during the week because as it turns out, the prof's assignments on Monday/Wednesday pretty much covered the next week worth of class. That gives me a three day weekend with very little work and that was a great use of my time. I'd say it's a little jazzy (cello and jazz, kind of a wierd combination), but prepare for your ears to be taken by storm with a whole new genre if we ever decide to play and you're in the State College area. The one guy is the drummer in the semi-local band Bullet Parade, which I may start to play with, but they seem pretty serious about getting non-local shows on weekends which would kill my grades if I went through with that. I would not have the motivation to buckle down and do extra work during the week.

Moving on to music you can download and not some boring anecdotes, I've had quite a few "hey, listen to this" run-ins with Ratatat this week. Drum machine, keys, and guitar in the indie fashion. It's infectiously catchy, but get all the Postal Service comparasons / expectations out of your head now because you are about to hear something else. Guitarist Mike Stroud played back up guitar for Dashboard Confessional and Ben Lee as they toured until he and his bandmate Evan mast got a proposal to release a record on XL Recordings. Reading interveiws, I also found out he played in Pony Express for a short time. I assume this is the same Pony Express that released their collection of EPs and singles, Oddballs, this year. But obvioulsy, just about anything is better than having to deal with the "emo"ness of Dashboard and the record was made. No need for vocals and weird Dntel antics of sampling, this is straightforward in terms of the technical realm. Their S/T released last spring and their website says they are working on another, so I'll be anticipating. There are also remixs in the audio section of their website that are worth a listen and a laugh.

[mp3] Ratatat - Seventeen Years


more albums for 2005

I really feel the need to denote my 11-20 for 2005 because there were some amazing albums that didn't make the first cut. So now I've posted my top 20 albums of 2005 a while ago but there are many more albums that deserve note in alphabetical list form ...

20. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
19. Iron & Wine/Calexico - In The Reins
18. Elliott - Photorecording
17. Dr. Dog - Easy Beat
16. Discover America - Psychology
15. Denison Witmer - Are You A Dreamer?
14. The Books - Lost and Safe
13. New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
12. Andrew Bird - Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Collection of Eggs
11. Jose Gonzalez - Veneer

The Album Leaf - Seal Beach (Rerelease) [EP]
Antony & The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now
Architecture in Helsinki - In Case We Die
At The Drive-In - This Station Is Non-Operational
Beck - Guero / Guerolito
Ben Lee - Awak Is The New Sleep
Between the Buried and Me - Alaska
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm / Silent Alarm Remixed
Boards of Canada - The Campfire Headphase
Bright Eyes - Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
Caribou - The Milk of Human Kindness
Castanets - First Lights Freeze
Clemsnide - The End of Love
Copeland - In Motion
The Dandy Wharhols - Odditorium or The Warlords of Mars
David Gray - Life in Slow Motion
Death Cab for Cutie - The John Byrd EP / Plans
The Decemberists - Picaresque
Devendra Banhart - Cripple Crow
Dios Malos - Dios Malos
Doves - Live at Eden [EP]
Early Day Miners - All Harm Ends Here
Engineers - Engineers
Explosions in the Sky - The Rescue [Travels in Constants EP]
The Fiery Furnaces - EP
The Frames - Burn the Maps
Great Lake Swimmers - Bodies and Minds
Half-Handed Cloud - Thy Is A Word & Feet Need Lamps
Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself
Jacks Mannequin - Everything In Transit
Kinski - Alpine Static
Low - The Great Destroyer
M. Ward - Transistor Radio
The Mars Volta - Frances the Mute
Mice Parade - Bem-Vinda Vontade
Minus the Bear - Menos el Oso
Mogwai - Government Comissions: BBC Sessions
Most Serene Republic - Underwater Cinematographer
The Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree
My Morning Jacket - Z
Neva Denova - The Hate Yourself Change
Pelican - The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw / March Into The Sea [EP]
Pony Express - Oddballs
Red Sparrowes - At The Soundless Dawn
Richard Swift - The Novelist / Walking without Effort
Ryan Adams - Cold Roses / Jacksonville City Nights / 29
Saxon Shore - Luck Will Not Save Us From a Jackpot of Nothing [EP]
The Secret Machines - The Road Leads Where It's Led [EP]
Spoon - Gimmee Fiction
Stars - Set Yourself on Fire
Steel Train - Twilight Tales from the Prairies of the Sun
Voxtrot -Raised by Wolves [EP]
Wilco - Kicking Television
Xiu Xiu - La Foret

Albums I hated: Wolf Parde, Rogue Wave, Of Montreal, Kayne West, Sleater-Kinney, Franz Ferdinand, The Boy Least Likely To, I'll more more as I think of them (if I remember both the album for long enough and to edit this post)

The Flaming Lips released their new single "The WAND" today. Someone was kind enough to upload it on YouSendIt so you and I can hear it without having to surrender a buck whenever it makes its way onto iTunes. It sounds pretty much like classic Lips, but of course with a twinge of ever evolving oddness. It's not as initially catchy/poppy as you'd expect a single to be, but it is growing on me. DoCopenhagen had this link up so check out his blog. He often has a lot of good stuff on there daily.

[mp3] The Flaming Lips - The WAND


no class: thanksgiving

The beauty of the first week of classes is I have no class this Thursday since there is no way to have a physics quiz in the first week, so I have time for a pretty meaty post. Over the past couple of months, I have come to realize that The Glow: Part 2 by The Microphones is the sort of record everybody should have listened to and fell in love with at some point in their life. The progression into Mt. Eerie has only provided a new proving ground for the musical and writing abilities of Phil Elverum, despite what pitchfork has to say about No Flashlight (remeber - it was in my top 10). Elverum has also recorded for people other than himself ... namely Adrian Orange aka Thanksgiving. You can feel the tinge of Microphones/Mt. Eerie sound in Thanksgiving's material, but it's fresh, less dark (musically, almost poppy in some cases), and obviously a whole seperate entity/artist. Someone exposed my friend Neal to them at art school and he's mentioned them quite a few times ... I've just never had the initiative to hunt down some of Adrian's material until very recently. There's definitely quite a big tinge of the mid-fi Microphones sound, semi-monotone vocals, and very non-traditional percussion, but this guy has it all laid out to really make a name for himself. Thanksgiving really sits in a genre almost by itself that has essentially remainded under the radar to a lot of people who I'm sure would fall in love with this sound. I'd really love to see it explode in the indie scene, but one guy with one opinion isn't going to change much ... so listen up. Thanksgiving is touring like a fiend this spring so get out and see him. Look at the site for tourdates (Phili + Baltimore are on there for any local folk reading this).

The tracks you can download from his label, Marriage Records, are completely untagged and if you're like me that is a problem. I'll put the title, album, and track number behind each mp3 so you can be just as anal and properly tag your music too. The "A:" will denote the album the track is on and #/# is the track number out of the total tracks

[mp3] Thanksgiving - Dead Dear & Other Animals
A: Thanksgiving 6/24
[mp3] Thanksgiving - (you belong to the) blood
A: Cave Days and Moments 6/12
[mp3] Thanksgiving - Ageism
A: The River 2/10
[mp3] Thanksgiving - Track 3 (off with yr hats)
A: Nothing 3/10
[mp3] Thanksgiving - Before You Died
A: We Could Be Each Other's Evidence 1/11
[mp3] Thanksgiving - Now It is All Over
A: Now It's All Over Like the Birds
[mp3] Thanksgiving - The Ghost and the Eyes

Thanksgiving @ hivestudios.net

I just bought Mark Kozelek's If You Want Blood a 2xLP that is mostly completely reworked AC/DC covers. It's essentially the predicessor to Tiny Cities in my mind and I can't wait until my preamp ships so I can listen to this. After I bought it, I went on the label's site and saw that it's completely sold out for online ordering until restocks come back from records stores. I'm glad I'm the only one in State College who likes Mark Kozelek enought to buy this, otherwise I might have to pay up on eBay which doesn't even show a copy being for sale at the moment.

[mp3] Mark Kozelek - Up To My Neck in You
[mp3] Mark Kozelek - Love At First Feel

Another enormous find of the day (!!!) :
I was looking through the r5 website that puts together tons of shows in the Philly area and first I see The Books at the bottom of the screen. I just about freaked out when I saw that because I've really gotten into The Books big time this year and they've managed to creep their way into my top 10 favorite bands of the time being. I look up at the date and it's a Saturday so I get even more excited, now knowing it would be completely feasible to make it to a Philly show on a weekend as long as I'm caught up with my work. So I regain my composure and scroll down ... Jose Gonzalez is opening and The Books are going to have a full video backdrop playing during they're set which has the potential to be really mindblowing. This may be the most perfect show of all time. I'm extremely excited for this.

The Books
Jose Gonzalez
Death Vessel
Saturday, March 27th 7:30 PM $12
The International House, Philidelphia PA



There were two albums I could not stop listening to over break: Veneer and Milk-Eyed Mender. There's so much substance in both of these that I found myself getting completely immersed. First it was the music; both Joanna Newsom and Jose Gonzalez are amazingly talented musicians, but both also comprise equally impressive lyrical counterparts to their arrangements. If you want to say otherwise about either, I'll just say it outright: you're wrong. If you haven't heard Jose or Joanna, start now.

[mp3] Joanna Newsom - Peach Pear Plum

Jose Gonzalez @ myspace.com
stream 4 songs from Veneer



I did not take any pictures at the show on Friday so here's an alternate. I was just playing with my camera down on my neighbor's farm. They are in South Africa for a while and I was helping my sister take care of their dogs. It was screaming for me to take pictures so I took my camera over one day.

I don't have too much to post about amidst the bussle of the start of the semester so I'll just like to the the two bands Neal and I played with on Friday night. Sorry Where There Is Fire We Will Carry Gasoline doesn't have anything recorded ... we're too lazy. But listen to both of these bnads. The Art of Abandonment was some fun hardcore stuff if that's your thing and Mike of Passenger is a truely amazing songwriter. I hope he can go somewhere with his talent.

Passenger @ Purevolume

The Art of Abandonment @ Myspace