A collection of musically themed musings by Brendan Bush in Burlington, VT

Listen to this: Tumi And The Volume

Filed Under: Standout Tracks
Written by Brendan
Wednesday January 26, 2011

Don’t ask questions. Just listen to this song, because it will make you feel good. It’s called “Tine Blues” and is a hidden track on Tumi And The Volume’s 2010 release “Pick A Dream.”

Comments Off

Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Wrapup: Split Tongue Crow @ Shelburne Steakhouse 1/22/2011

Filed Under: Album Reviews, Concert Reviews
Written by Brendan
Tuesday January 25, 2011

I wrote about Split Tongue Crow’s self-titled debut album last year. What impressed me then was the same thing that I enjoyed about their show last weekend at Shelburne Steakhouse: vocalist Cara White’s voice.

Though I was a little skeptical of the venue, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at the general ambiance and setup of the “stage” area at the Shelburne Steakhouse. For the most part, folks sat at tables that basically surrounded the floor to enjoy the easygoing folk sounds of Split Tongue Crow. The majority of their music doesn’t exactly lend itself to dancing, so the empty dance floor didn’t feel as awkward as it might have otherwise.

The show was well attended, and the band played many songs from their new album as well as several others. They had a good rapport with the audience, and drummer Matt Marro’s dry-humored (if perhaps overeager) banter kept things light.

Electric guitarist David Anderson, who spent much of the night re-tuning his cold weather averse instrument, could have spent a little less time with his back to the audience, as his impressive guitar work is certainly worth watching. Lead vocalist Eoin Noonan and bass guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Woods both sounded great — particularly Woods on “Midlife Missile Crisis,” my favorite from their album and from the show.

Like I said, Cara White was definitely the highlight for me. I didn’t actually pick up how much her vocals play into harmonies throughout their album, but her impressive contribution was on display on Saturday. Not to diminish how good the band sounded as a whole though – I’m significantly more into their music than I was before seeing them play live.

I definitely recommend seeing Split Tongue Crow when they come to your town (they play The Skinny Pancake in Burlington on Feb. 5). You can check out their full schedule, listen to their songs, and buy their album via this link.

Comments Off

Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Bowery Presents: Broken Social Scene @ Terminal 5

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Wednesday January 19, 2011

Last night, I had the opportunity to join my friends at a concert in New York, while sitting in my living room in Burlington. Not to say that watching a concert on the internet is at all comparable to actually being there, but with all the lights off, my laptop plugged in to my TV and the speaker system turned way up, I have to say the experience was still quite something.

I want to sing the praises of The Bowery Presents, who brought me two nearly flawless hours of live-streaming of a Broken Social Scene show from Terminal 5 in Brooklyn. Arcade Fire tried this last year, but it was way buggy and drove me so crazy I ended up turning it off. Not this time. I had 2 or 3 quick hiccups, and we did have to refresh the page once when the video froze just before “Meet Me In The Basement.” But overall the quality was outstanding, and the end result was that I got to see BSS for a third time in just a few months.

I know I shouldn’t be so surprised about seemingly straightforward technology, but with quality as good as last night, I now consider catching a show online a viable option. We get some amazing bands coming through Burlington, but not all bands do — and even when they do, sometimes one show just isn’t enough. So it’s incredibly exciting for me to imagine what other bands I’m going to be able to see if promoters, venues and bands continue to do live events like this.

It doesn’t look like they’re going to post the complete set, but here’s “Forced to Love” from last night’s show:

As a side note, I loved how much they filmed drummer Justin Peroff — it really drove home just how incredible and incredibly hard working he is.

** LATE UPDATE **

They’ve put the whole show up. If you haven’t had the pleasure of attending a BSS show, I highly recommend that you find 2 hours to sit in front of your computer, in the dark, with the sound turned up loud, and watch this. Seriously.


Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Well that explains things

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Wednesday January 12, 2011

Interesting article from the AP on why listening to music can give you chills…

To your brain, music is as enjoyable as sex

By Malcolm Ritter
Associated Press

Whether it’s the Beatles or Beethoven, people like music for the same reason they like eating or having sex: It makes the brain release a chemical that gives pleasure, a new study says.

The brain substance is involved both in anticipating a particularly thrilling musical moment and in feeling the rush from it, researchers found.

Previous work had already suggested a role for dopamine, a substance brain cells release to communicate with each other. But the new work, which scanned people’s brains as they listened to music, shows it happening directly.

While dopamine normally helps us feel the pleasure of eating or having sex, it also helps produce euphoria from illegal drugs. It’s active in particular circuits of the brain. [...]

Comments Off

Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.



Bands you probably already love without knowing: Freelance Whales

Filed Under: Standout Albums
Written by Brendan
Thursday January 6, 2011

I’m continually impressed with the musical choices ad makers are using, from Langhorne Slim or The Black Keys to Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, my favorite bands are popping up all over television these days. I do find it strange that the ads rarely, if ever, identify the band or song they are using, but hopefully they are making up for that in cash to the artists.

An ad I’ve seen a lot recently (I ditched cable TV a couple of months ago, so I’ve seen the ads mostly on hulu) is another great example, and a song I’m sure any reader of this blog would like. Without further ado, here’s an ad for the 2011 Chevy Volt, featuring “Generator 1st Floor” by Freelance Whales:

If you like that little snippet, I suggest listening to the song in full in the video below, and if you like that even more, I suggest picking up their most recent album Weathervanes (currently just $5 on Amazon).


Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Listen to the new Decemberists album

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Wednesday January 5, 2011

Thanks once again to the good folks at NPR, here is the upcoming Decemberists album, The King Is Dead, in its entirety. The album will be released on Jan. 18. Coming off their previous release, the incredibly indulgent rock opera The Hazards Of Love, this new effort is an intentional step away from the excessive.

Let me know what you think — I liked what I heard at first listen…

Here’s the original story on NPR.

Comments Off

Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

On the road: albums to travel with

Filed Under: Guest Post
Written by Susie
Tuesday January 4, 2011

[ed. note - to help sustain this blog over the busy holidays, I asked a few friends to write a guest post. This is Susie's contribution]

I spent much of 2010 alone, traveling in planes and rental cars for about a quarter of it. Awesome (seriously). For company I had my iPod and the AUX cable that traveled 42,000 miles with me. I listened to a lot of music, but these are three of my favorite albums.

I was introduced to Mumford and Sons by my friend Caitlin, who instant messaged me and said only, “you are required to come to this show with me (at the 9:30 club).” Knowing that I acquire new music almost solely via Brendan, Aaron and Caitlin, I enthusiastically agreed to go. The show was great. I knew none of the songs and still felt part of the event and went home and expressly bought “Sigh No More”. Their soulful, English accented love songs are wonderful to sit with regardless of my mood and the wailing interludes are especially conducive to my experimental singing (I’m awful and it’s best done in cars alone).

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Up From Below” tap straight into my hippy love-of-everything and the universal nature of life and living. Through and through love fest music, I swoon when I hear Alexander’s story to Jade of how he fell in love with her in “Home”. Seeing them live brought a whole new level of understanding of their soulful works, recognizing that performing, singing and dancing are to the level of religious for them and some members of their audience. I dig.

Broken Bells blends my affinity for electronic (Ratatat, Fila Brazilia, AIR, El Ten Eleven) and indie rock. With lyrics I can sing along to, droning choruses I love, and beats that work at 5am or 10pm, these folks can come with me anywhere I go.

Honorable mention goes to The National, Lissie, OK Go (mostly because I accidentally bought every song they have on iTunes and I’m largely not disappointed), Starf*cker, Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson, She & Him, Phoenix, Interpol, and that one song by Pearl Jam (fine, it’s called Breathe).

Thanks to the real music gurus who know what they like and shed a great deal of light on the music I listen to – can’t wait to hit more shows with you and do exactly as you say. Finally, here’s to whatever 2011 brings – may it be accompanied by a rich and varied soundtrack.

Comments Off

Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.



2010 Albums That Fell Short

Filed Under: Album Reviews, Guest Post
Written by Preeti
Monday January 3, 2011

[ed. note: to help me get through the holiday mayhem, I asked a few friends to write a post. Here's Preeti's contribution.]

I know I’m always asking what music other people recommend — bands you might never have heard of, exciting new albums from old favorites, etc. I mean this blog is a perfect example since it highlights just those artists (if you haven’t checked out Brendan’s 2010 Favorites you should). Here’s the thing, there are also those bands in the last couple years that you loved and then somehow, after waiting at long last for their next album it just didn’t seem to match up OR it was a vicious disappointment. The 10 albums below are just some of those for me this past year.

Maybe I’m whining but imagine it this way, one day you go to Cirque de Soleil and the next you go to a Circus. Mine ears have seen the glory.

I write this not in criticism (though I guess one could take it as such) but really, some of these artists have made amazing near perfect albums in the past, albums I play over and over and over. I write this as a proposition to these artists to reach back into their Mary-Poppins-like bags of talent and dig deep for what again could be musical mastery. In the interest of being concise I will follow the Twitter-inspired 140 character limit for notes below.

P.S. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder — what may be disappointing for me, may be listeners gold for ye.

Band of HorsesInfinite Arms
Love the band but Infinite Arms lacked heart. Similar calm and ease from Cease To Begin but felt too rehearsed.

Belle & SebastianWrite About Love
Love The Boy With The Arab Strap forever. Couldn’t play this album more than twice. Need more instrumental (strings/brass) less synthetic.

Broken BellsBroken Bells
I was all psyched for Mercer + Danger Mouse but this album was less than the sum of its parts. [ed. note - though it didn't quite make my favorites of 2010, I thought this album was fantastic]

Hold SteadyHeaven is Wherever
Hopefully this is a transition album (to something better), until then we still have their other three albums.

M.I.A/ \ / \ / \ Y / \
WTF? Let down + crazy town. “Born Free” video controversy is the only reason this could have been popular. Maybe her wedding distracted her?

The NationalHigh Violet
Is everyone overproducing these days? Boxer, Alligator – great albums. I wanted to like it but just didn’t feel growth here.

Of MontrealFalse Priest
After Skeletal Lamping I wanted to like this but I couldn’t. Nothing stood out. Too much orgy, not enough music. I’m sure this is just temporary.

Rogue WavePermalight
Hard to beat Out of the Shadow & Descended Like Vultures, Permalight didn’t succeed. Reinventing with poppy electronic is a trend this year.

SpoonTransference
Indie band with a long history of great albums. This was not one of them. Everyone has a bad day.

Sufjan StevensAge of Adz
I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m not supposed to get it. Electronic + Sufjan = disaster.


Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.