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

Listen to the new Mountain Goats album

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Thursday March 3, 2011

NPR is currently streaming the upcoming release All Eternals Deck from The Mountain Goats until it’s released on March 29. I’m only a few songs in, but so far I like it quite a bit more than their 2009 release The Life Of The World To Come. If you’re on twitter and not following Mountain Goats lead singer John Darnielle, you should definitely do so after hitting play. You can find him at @mountain_goats.

Here’s the original story on NPR.

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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.

Good New Music

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Monday February 28, 2011

I used to write a lot about new music, and haven’t so much in a while, so I figured I’d try and bring it back a little bit to share with you some of the stuff I’ve been listening to lately. Here are some songs from albums I’ve recently purchased that I really enjoy. If you like them too, click on the album name to hear more and/or buy the album.

Iron & Wine
“Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me”
From Kiss Each Other Clean

Apex Manor
“Under The Gun”
From The Year of Magical Drinking

The Mynabirds
“Let The Record Go”
From What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood

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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.

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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.

Good new music

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Monday November 29, 2010

Mariage Blanc - Mariage BlancThe last few months of the year tend to be a little lighter on the new releases, but there are always a few that stand out as noteworthy. Among this list, and not to be missed in the rush to put together year-end favorite music lists are the following:

Mariage Blanc by Mariage Blanc
This self-recorded indie-pop effort is the debut LP for Pittsburgh’s Mariage Blanc, and one that had me hooked at first listen. From sleigh bells and shimmering melodies in “Whatever You Say I Am” to feedback-laced guitar and bouncing bass in “Poor Portraits” and “Rag to a Bull”, these guys have put together an album with no holes and quite a few bright spots.

All Those I Know by Eric & Magill
This is a free album that I would have gladly paid good money for. Yup, it’s free. The album’s complexity brings about a wide range of emotions. “You Make It So Good” feels like an expanding bouncing bubble beneath you, buoyant and energetic before “Should We All Wake Up” throws a giant pin into the bubble and brings you crashing down.

Undercard by The Extra Lens
The Extra Lens, once The Extra Glenns, is a collaboration of John Darnielle (of Mountain Goats fame) and Franklin Bruno. This is their first release in 8 years, and definitely a quality one. If you’re a Mountain Goats fan, pick this up.

Speaking of year-end favorite music lists, I have begun thinking of mine. It’s going to be a very tough year to choose just 80 minutes worth of music. If you want a copy when they’re ready, just shoot me an email using the “Email Me” link at the top of the page.


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.

Good new music

Filed Under: New Releases, Standout Albums
Written by Brendan
Monday October 4, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about new albums. So long, in fact, that to list everything I’ve purchased since the previous post (July 22) would make this less a blog post and more a short story. So maybe just some highlights then…

First and foremost, if you haven’t yet picked up The Suburbs from Arcade Fire (side note – weren’t they once The Arcade Fire?), then stop reading now, click this link, buy the album, and enjoy. It’s only $5 on Amazon right now.

I recently picked up a few albums released earlier in the year upon recommendations from friends, and I highly recommend all of them. This list includes Teen Dream by Beach House, Broken Bells’ self-titled album, and Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More. All three albums are fairly mellow and pretty widely accessible.

Pick A Dream from Tumi & The Volume is definitely my favorite new release that I’d never heard of. A friend recommended it a few weeks back, and it’s been on pretty heavy rotation ever since. It’s like k-os with a little less rap, or some sort of Black Eyed Peas collaboration with an R&B artist. If you like hip-hop, check this album out.

Speaking of hip-hop, if you haven’t heard of Das Racist, it’s time to check them out. Dan Bolles first brought these guys to my attention, and while I admit that my first reaction was to laugh them off, I’ve come to understand their shtick and I have to say that am really impressed with their newest mixtape, Sit Down Man. The clever wordplay, dripping irony and ridiculous concepts they’ve crafted are definitely worth listening to – just be sure to give the whole thing a listen before passing judgment. Did I mention that it’s free?

Also available for free is the debut album from Burlington’s own Villanelles. While farm’s recent release Sat., Cloudy, Calm, 36º F, 10:44 p.m. is my favorite from VT this year, the Villanelles have earned themselves a close second. Give them a listen.

Of Montreal and Ra Ra Riot round out the recommendations with solid performances on False Priest and The Orchard, respectively. If you like the previous work by either, I recommend the new albums. If you’re new to Of Montreal, start with an earlier album before getting into this one. And if you haven’t heard Ra Ra Riot, I highly recommend both of their albums for the standout strings (cello and violin), frequent falsetto and general pop-rock goodness.

Broken Bells - Broken Bells Tumi And The Volume - Pick A Dream Ra Ra Riot - The Orchard Of Montreal-  False Priest Mumford & Sons  -Sigh No More farm

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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.

Live stream of the new Of Montreal album

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Wednesday September 8, 2010

Thanks to NPR, you can listen to Of Montreal’s new album False Priest in its entirety, until the official release next Tuesday. Also thanks to NPR, I am able to embed the stream right into this post. Thanks, NPR!

I just finished listening to the album, and I have to say, whoa. The album ends with these lyrics, spoken over a haunting hip-hop style beat:

“everybody’s searching for a cause, a reason to blow themselves up
it could be anything.
when will certain people realize that afterlife is nothing to live for,
nothing to die for, nothing to fight for.
if those in this life are not sacred then nothing that’s a part of it
is sacred either.
if you think god is more important than your neighbor
you’re capable of terrible evil.
if you think some prophets words are more important
than your brother
and your sister,
you’re ill and you’re wrong. you’re wrong.”

[translated by me, so apologies if I'm off on a word or two...]


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.

New music acquisitions

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Thursday July 22, 2010

But first, a quick update: life is good.  Thanks to the generosity of a near-stranger, I will now be in attendance at the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros show on Monday.

I can only hope it’s 1/10th as cool as this:

Anyhow, I’ve bought a bunch of new music in the past couple of weeks. On a friend’s recommendation I picked up Starfucker’s 2008 self-titled release. It’s pretty lightweight electro-pop with catchy hooks and danceable beats interspersed with grinding, grungy synths. I also picked up Eminem’s Recovery, Obadiah from Frazey Ford (of Be Good Tanya’s fame), Made The Harbor by VT’s own Mountain Man, More Grey Hairs from Reks (who I learned about from following Akrobatik on twitter…), Disconnect From Desire by School of Seven Bells, and downloaded SUUNS’ Zeroes EP for free, a promotion to celebrate their signing to Secretly Canadian.

While his ability to rhyme is impressive as ever, Eminem’s tired song subjects are, well, tired.  Also, since he admits multiple times that his last two albums were shit, I’d love my money back for purchasing those two.

Though I have a tough time during the work day listening to music as melancholy and at times depressing as Frazey Ford’s, her voice is so captivating that it’s worth an exception.  I highly recommend Obadiah.

I’m intrigued by Mountain Man, an all-female trio who met at Bennington College in southern VT. It’s way stripped down (at times a capella) folk, driven by vocal harmonies. I need to listen some more before offering anything more.

Eminem - Recovery Frazey Ford - Obadiah Mountain Man - Made The Harbor Reks - More Grey Hairs School Of Seven Bells - Disconnect From Desire Starfucker - Starfucker SUUNS - Zeroes EP


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.

New music

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Friday July 2, 2010

It’s been a few weeks since I posted about new music purchases, so there are a few to write about. In the past several weeks, I’ve picked up Night & Day EP by Chief, Star Tiger Star Ariel by Delays, Thank Me Later [Explicit] by Drake, Perch Patchwork from Maps & Atlases, The Five Ghosts and The Seance EP from Stars, Expo 86 from Wolf Parade and Carrots from Young Mammals.

While there isn’t a bad album among them, the standouts are definitely the releases from Maps & Atlases and Wolf Parade, which I highly recommend to everyone.

Two releases I’ve been thinking about but haven’t committed to yet are Delta Spirit’s History From Below and Blitzen Trapper’s Destroyer of The Void. Have you heard either?

Maps & Atlases will be playing at Metronome in Burlington on Monday, August 9, and I will most definitely be there.

Chief - Night and Day Delays - Star Tiger Star Ariel Drake - Thank Me Later Maps & Atlases - Perch Patchwork Stars - Five Ghosts Wolf Parade - Expo 86 Young Mammals - Carrots

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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.

Vampire Blues: reprise

Filed Under: Album Reviews, New Releases, Old Music
Written by Brendan
Monday June 21, 2010

Earlier this month, my friend and musical mentor Aaron wrote about the relevancy of Neil Young’s timeless album On The Beach. I want to both acknowledge that post, as well as pay the album, and particularly the song “Vampire Blues” some respect.

Since I purchased their 2010 release Vol. 2 earlier this year, I’ve been incredibly impressed with Wooden Shjips. And they certainly give a strong tip of the cap to Mr. Young in their cover of “Vampire Blues.” Amidst the throbbing rhythms and pulsating beats of this, Wooden Shjips’ second album of b-sides and singles, comes a tale foretold so long ago by one of America’s rock greats.

“I’m a vampire baby, sucking blood from the earth” opens the song.

“I’m a vampire baby, I’ll sell you twenty barrels worth.”

I find it hard to even discuss the catastrophe that is the Gulf oil spill right now. It’s too hard to comprehend the emotions that I’m feeling. But I feel like if I could possibly turn up Wooden Shjips cover of “Vampire Blues” to the point where every oil man and politician in this country’s ears were bleeding, it still wouldn’t be enough.

If you haven’t, pick up their album today.

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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.

Quick thought: Stars release new album, EP

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Monday June 21, 2010

Stars - Five GhostsLast week I pre-ordered the new Stars album The Five Ghosts on iTunes, and either by some iTunes mistake or a nice little “thank you” to those who pre-ordered, I was able to download the album – and accompanying EP The Seance – today instead of tomorrow. [Just checked their website and found this: "Due to demand of retailers in both Canada and the USA, the new street date for The Five Ghosts will be JUNE 21, 2010 - both physically and digitally."]

Upon first listen, the EP is outstanding and way outshines the LP. Though I really wanted to order the limited edition 7″ box set, I think now I’m probably glad I didn’t drop that $100. But I am definitely looking forward to spending some more time with this album today and in the coming weeks as I gear up to see Stars at Osheaga.

Late Update: I changed my mind, at least in terms of the LP. Damnit I love Stars. Call them — or me — what you will, but Stars are definitely top 10 favorite bands of the 2000s for me, and this album only cements that status. It’s time to make an interview with these folks a serious goal of mine.

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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.