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

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.

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.

This (& last) week’s new music

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Thursday June 10, 2010

I’ve been wishing I had some more time to write here. It’s been incredibly fun so far, and really allowed me another outlet for my musical addiction. Alas, I do not make any money doing it. In fact, I definitely lose money — between tickets, t-shirts, albums and trips to Montreal, I’ve been spending what one might consider a ridiculous amount of money. So the job takes precedent when things get busy, and I’m stuck posting two weeks worth of music purchases instead of something more interesting to me. Soon enough…

Last week, I picked up Summer House from Gold Motel (a recommendation from Aaron, who was kind enough to post here last week), Treats from Sleigh Bells, and Doug Keith’s The Lucky Ones. I continue to distrust people with two first names, but if you’re into singer/songwriters (aka man-and-his-guitar), his album is worth a listen.

The Gold Motel album is a tasty pop treat – catchy and crisp and calling for a drive to the beach. Lead singer Greta Morgan has an impressive vocal range, and goes from sweet to syrupy with ease. As for Treats, the Sleigh Bells release, I’m actually quite speechless. It’s sincerely a natural amphetamine, and deserves a good week’s worth of heavy rotation before I can fully wrap my head around it. If you’re in the mood for something to share the room with and need a pick-me-up, get it. Might want to warn your neighbors before putting it on though, as it’s best experienced LOUD.

This week, I bought Champ from Tokyo Police Club and Before Today from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Champ is an an interesting take on Tokyo Police Club’s unique sound. It’s definitely a bit more refined, but I do find myself missing the edge of songs like Citizens of Tomorrow from their 2006 EP A Lesson in Crime. I suppose bands have the right to grow up too, though, and I plan on spending some more time with Champ summer.

Gold Motel - Summer House Sleigh Bells - Treats Doug Keith - The Lucky Ones Tokyo Police Club - Champ Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today

p.s. I’m skipping tonight’s Sharon Jones show on the waterfront in Burlington. Seems sacrilegious, but I’ve got a few excuses.

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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.

This week’s music purchases

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Thursday May 27, 2010

This week I picked up ForPlay EP by Saint Motel, Spiral by Dr. Lonnie Smith and Inter-Be by Peter Wolf Crier. I also pre-purchased the upcoming album The Suburbs by The Arcade Fire, and with it, got two free downloads from the album (“The Suburbs” and “Month of May”).

Saint Motel was recommended to me by two different friends, and I’d like to pass along the recommendation. It’s high energy pop-rock with a nice sprinkling of falsetto, lively drums and driving guitar. The album actually reminds me a bit of The Coral, whose 2005 release The Invisible Invasion was a favorite of mine from that year.

If you’re in the mood for jazz, (or what has been dubbed “soul-jazz”), I definitely recommend the album from jazz organist Dr. Lonnie Smith. Jazz organist? Yup.

Finally, the Arcade Fire tracks, particularly “Month of May” have me pumped for not only the full release (out on August 3) but particularly for their set at Osheaga. Have I mentioned Osheaga recently?

Dr Lonnie Smith - Spiral Saint Motel - ForPlay EP Peter Wolf Crier - InterBe


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.

This week’s music purchases

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Thursday May 20, 2010

It’s been a few years since the last Band of Horses release, so obviously I’ve been eagerly awaiting their new release, “Infinite Arms.” I was pretty disappointed in the first listen, but am slowly working my way into more rotations, and things are definitely looking up. I think my biggest complaint is that Ben Bridwell’s voice (and the accompanying reverb) has always so powerfully defined the band’s sound, but their latest effort seems to have toned that down. It’s not that they still aren’t making quality music — it’s that I feel much less of an emotional connection to it. You can stream the full album at the band’s website via the link above.

I also picked up “Brothers” from The Black Keys, “Revolutions Per Minute” from Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek) and “Saul” from The Whitsundays. The Black Keys continue to prove that two people can make an incredibly diverse and expansive collection of music, and I highly recommend their new album. I’m definitely undergoing a bit of a hip-hop renaissance, and Reflection Eternal is proving to be a wonderful vehicle for my trip down memory lane. I’m actually just listening to The Whitsundays for the first time now, so not much to report there as yet.

Band of Horses - Infinite Arms Black Keys - Brothers Reflection Eternal - Revolutions Per Minute

The Whitsundays - Saul



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.

This week’s music purchases

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Friday May 14, 2010

Better late than never – too many other things to write about this week, so this got pushed back til Friday instead of Tuesday or Wednesday (new music comes out on Tuesdays, for those of you unaware).

Anyhow, this week’s releases happen to come out directly in the middle of two epic release weeks, so I kept things reasonable. I picked up “High Violet” by The National and “Sea Of Cowards” by The Dead Weather (one of Jack White’s side projects).

I’m still settling in with The National effort – as with their previous two releases (“Alligator” and “Boxer“), it’s taking me a while to digest. And like the previous two, I’m sure that once I’ve been able to spend enough time with it, I’m going to be a big fan.

The Dead Weather album I’m not so sure about. Full disclosure: I’ve found the White Stripes releases to be pretty hit-or-miss, and I really loved the previous album from The Dead Weather (“Horehound“), so I think I might just be a sometimes-fan of Jack White. But I just didn’t get the same visceral response from this record as I did for the last, and what I liked most about “Horehound” was indeed that raw emotional connection and subconscious head nodding/foot stomping.

p.s. The National has four previous albums on sale for $5/each on Amie Street right now.

The Dead Weather Sea Of Cowards The National - High Violet


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.

Standout Album – “Down The Way” by Angus & Julia Stone

Filed Under: New Releases, Standout Albums
Written by Brendan
Thursday May 13, 2010

Angus and Julia Stone - Down the WayAngus & Julia Stone are a brother/sister duo hailing from Sydney, Australia. Their recently released album “Down the Way” is a mix of lushly arranged, rootsy folk and quieter, more breathy bedroom pop. Both of their voices are outstanding, whether it is one or the other or both singing on a track.

Each of the songs definitely stands on its own, and as an album create a beautiful picture that’s had me hooked since I first picked it up a couple of months ago.

I can’t find any of their mp3s available for public use, so I’m embedding a video below for a sample of their music. The album is on sale for $5.00 on Amazon now, and I highly recommend picking it up.


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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.

New Black Keys “Brothers” streaming on NPR

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Monday May 10, 2010

Black Keys - BrothersThe Black Keys continue to impress with their upcoming release “Brothers,” due out May 18. NPR’s First Listen has the whole thing streaming in its entirety or song-by-song. Hop on over to the NPR site to check it out. The first half of 2010 is turning out to be a ridiculously good one for music releases.

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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.

This week’s music purchases

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Wednesday May 5, 2010

I’ve been really looking forward to this week for quite a while. 5 years, to be exact. It was way back in 2005 that Broken Social Scene last graced my ears with a new album (that self-titled album, coincidentally, still stands as my favorite of this decade). Anyhow, yesterday I picked up the new Broken Social Scene album “Forgiveness Rock Record” as well as “Together” from The New Pornographers, “Heaven Is Whenever” from The Hold Steady and “A Balloon Called Moaning” from The Joy Formidable.

Forgiveness Rock Record is easily the best album of the year. I’ll write a more formal review of it at some point in the near future. But until then, just go buy it. Seriously. Right now.

I’ve never been much of a fan of The New Pornographers, but I really got into A.C. Newman’s solo album “Get Guilty” from 2009, so I figured I’d give them a try, and I have to say that I love this album. Maybe Neko Case, who recently moved to VT, can convince the band to come to Burlington for a show?

The Hold Steady album is a significant improvement from their last effort (which was almost enough to make me give up on them altogether), and definitely a departure from their signature sound without completely redefining who they are. The Joy Formidable album is also definitely worth picking up.

p.s. JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound tonight at Monkey House in Winooski – don’t miss it!

Broken Social Scene Forgiveness Rock Record The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever The Joy Formidable - A Balloon Called Moaning The New Pornographer - Together


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.

Podcast 1 (alpha) – Hip-hop since 2008

Filed Under: podcast, Standout Albums
Written by Brendan
Thursday April 29, 2010

OPRcast 1: hip-hopThis is the real reason I started doing this actually. I don’t get to spend enough time with other music junkies these days, and it’s really tough over email to communicate about every new album that comes out and every show you’ve been to. The year-end compilations are definitely the best method I’ve had up until now of sharing the really staggering amount of good music that my ears consume every year.

But I feel like there has to be something better. So I’m giving this a whirl – 30 minutes podcasts of varying genres and inspirations, mostly from albums that have come out in the past several years. Looking to try something new? Give it a whirl. I’ll post them here for streaming over the web, and they’ll be available via iTunes Podcasts for those of you so inclined.

This one is specifically for Eric and Erik. I’ve been sporadically buying hip-hop albums over the past few years, and felt like I’d finally put together a small collection worth sharing. Also, I’m seeing k-os at The Higher Ground on Saturday, so I’ve been on a bit of an afternoon hip-hop kick (like Red Bull, I think my days of hip-hop in the morning are over).

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download mp3 | iTunes (not available yet)

Track List
Fornever – Murs and 9th Wonder | Fornever (3:38)
What About Us? – Mr. Lif | I Heard it Today (3:00)
I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman – k-os | Yes! (3:12)
Say What’s Real – Drake | So Far Gone (3:51)
S**t is Real – Tech N9ne | Killer (3:43)
Get it right now! – Del The Funky Homosapien | Funk Man (4:52)
Scared – Jake One f/Blueprint | White Van Music (2:30)
The Leak – Elzhi | The Preface (3:34)

p.s. Lil’ Kim is coming to Higher Ground!?! How is she still touring? Or not incarcerated? Or alive? Were only it 1997, I’d be there in a heartbeat (admittedly, I put on Foxy Brown’s “Ill Na Na” as I began writing this post).


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.