Weekly Roundup: Oct 16 – 22, 2011

CMJ: Three little letters, a whole lot of great live music. I had a good time at the events I checked out and, in terms of TWD, I have been really busy trying to get my interview posts up. However, I just couldn't bring myself to skip a Weekly Roundup, especially not when so much good stuff was sent this past week. So let's get to it!

Here's the deal. There are a few songs & videos I want to discuss, then it's just going to be super quick for a bunch of other stuff – which isn't even all that hit my inbox and pleased my ears, but all I can get to you at the moment.

-Perfectly timed with the soon arrival of Halloween, this video by Delta Rae is quite spooky. And quite awesome. It has a little bit of a "Thriller" thing going on with the zombie choreography. I dig the clip and I dig the song even more. I love this sort of tune, one that combines powerful voices in the blues/gospel tradition with off-kilter percussion and minimal instrumentation. This will make a great addition to your party playlists if you have any entertaining to do this coming weekend. Looking forward to the new LP from this band, it'll be out in Spring 2012. Website here.

Delta Rae – Bottom of the River

-A few years ago, I lived in the Triangle area of North Carolina (I went to UNC-Chapel Hill for grad school). I was in Carrboro most of that time, plus a summer in Durham. There are many things that make me miss it, and music is certainly one of them. Between Delta Rae and this next band Bombadil, the Triangle has a ton of great bands. Bombadil defies easy categorization, though I suppose one simple way to put it is "good." Or "very good" is even better. This track "Laundromat is really cool, musically and lyrically. It comes from the soon-to-be-released All That the Rain Promises (due 11/8/11). Here's the band's website.

-Are you ready to have a song stick in your head for several hours or possibly days? I hope so because I have a feeling you'll find "I Love Lamp" by RDGLDGRN super-catchy. Plus who doesn't love an Anchorman reference? I think the biggest draw for me are the drums, they sound so big and have an undeniable groove. The guitar lines create more an indie pop sound, but the vocal delivery is much more hip-hop. The drums allow both to make sense, a smooth fusion of rock and rap. You can check out the video below and the band's website here.

I Love Lamp by RDGLDGRN

-Here's a pretty cool video. It's from the band St. Motel for their song "Puzzle Pieces." You don't see a ton of first person point-of-view videos and this one is done quite well. It clearly conveys a story – about a man who has to fill in for an injured dancer – and there are a lot of clever shots. It's particularly interesting to see any reflections, showing us whose eyes we see through. The song is very infectious too. The piano part reminds me of calypso, like the use of Harry Belafonte in Beetle Juice. Anyways, good stuff all around. Click for the video and here's the band's website.

Saint Motel ?Puzzle Pieces?

SAINT MOTEL – Puzzle Pieces by saintmotel

-You didn't think we were done with the awesome music videos, did you? Ok good. Because here is another one. It's for "Love Teeth" by Drew Smith. It is a gorgeously animated clip, with many interesting images. Particularly the half-man. I found myself sucked in by the mood and visual style, so much that the story snuck up on me at its stunning conclusion. Very thought-provoking. This is a lovely song, with great piano, acoustic guitar, percussion, and vocals. Look for Drew's new album The Secret Languages within a few months. Here's his website.

-Ok, time for some quick hits, starting with Jessica Breanne and the Electric Hearts. Check out the soulful, bluesy rock & roll track "Be Mine," and visit their website.

-Here's some nice acoustic folk from Dan Garnett and his track "Find a Way." It has some words worth thinking about. Check out his Reverb Nation page.

-By now you may have realized that for whatever reason, I'm a fan of male-female duos. Here's another one I dig: Josh & Mer. Check out "From the Sea," the lead track from their album Planet Music. Website here.

From The Sea by Josh and Mer

-Here's a comfortable down-tempo track from The Asteroid Shop, "Ashes." I like its relaxed vibe that to me mixes country, Americana sounds with ambient spaceiness. Cool. Here's the band's website.

The Asteroid Shop – Ashes

-Lately I just can't get enough music from New Zealand. In the midst of all my interviews, here's another band for you all to enjoy: The Eversons and their song "Hyacinth Girl." It's a nice garage-y, surf-y tune. More info here.

Hyacinth Girl by theeversons

-Normally I don't condone or support anything that has to do with hippos (the jungle's most lethal killer!), but I'm willing to make an exception for The Pizza Thieves and their new album Hippotamus. Just listen to the first track "White Flag," and you'll see what I mean. Solid indie rock, good lyrics too. Website here.

-Alright, one more for you. It's perhaps an inappropriate selection for the season, but I think you'll like "Summer USA" by Tommy Toussaint no matter what month it is. A nice pop song that will take your mind other places as the days shorten and temperatures drop. More info here.

Tommy Toussaint – Summer USA by make-mine