William Fitzsimmons (and his beard…)

Tonight I’ll be finally getting around to seeing William Fitzsimmons at World Cafe. Will has a perfect songwriter’s background which includes being born to two blind parents and suffering from a variety of psychological struggles, most recently post-divorce depression. I’ve long been a fan of his heart-on-sleeve take on the soft-spoken folk genre (i.e. Iron & Wine/Elliott Smith though simpler) so seeing him upstairs at WCL should make for real treat and a much-needed change of pace as far as live shows go. (My ears are still ringing from the recent Joy Formidable gig…) His last few albums have been leaning towards a considerably more accessible sound (read: more Ben Gibbard or recent Jeremy Enigk than Sam Beam) but I feel compelled to at least see the beard him once. His latest, Gold In The Shadow, is seeing a vinyl release on April 16 (Record Store Day, posers) via the semi-giant Nettwerk and it’s easily his best since 2006’s Goodnight. Slow Runner is along for the ride and although I’m not at all familiar with their catalog I’ve heard some positive words spoken by others.

Bird Of Winter Prey (from 2011’s Gold In The Shadow)

Hold On With My Open Hands (from 2006’s Goodnight)

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Special Monday Morning Tape – #95

Little Screamcannons
(taken from their 2011 release The Golden Record)
(taken from their 2011 release Rare Forms)
TV On The Radiocaffeinated consciousness
(taken from their 2011 release Nine Types Of Light)
Kinchonce, i was a mainsail
(taken from their 2011 release The Incandenza)
Here We Go Magichands in the sky
(taken from their 2011 release The January EP)
Mathew Sawyer & His Ghostsrevenge of the extra from zulu
(taken from their 2011 release How Snakes Eat)
Cattle Drumssluts and coconuts
(taken from their 2011 release The Boy Kisser Sessions + 3)
Eksi Eksobellows to brass lens
(taken from their 2011 release Brown Shark, Red Lion)
Stormssweet cup
(taken from their 2011 release Lay Your Sea Coat Aside)
Alela Dianeto begin
(taken from her 2011 release Alela Diane & Wild Divine)
The Henry Clay Peoplecalifornia wildfire
(taken from their 2011 release This Is A Desert EP)
Let’s Wrestledear john
(taken from their 2011 release Nursing Home)
Hallelujah The Hillscountry before kings
(taken from their 2011 Spring 2011 7″ single)
The Killsdna
(taken from their 2011 release Blood Pressures)
Alexa Woodwarddarkest days
(taken from her 2011 release It’s A Good Life Honey, If You Don’t Grow Weary)

She & Him – Don’t Look Back

Celebration “Honeysuckle Blue”

Restorations – Strange Behavior from If You Make It (Pink Couch Session)

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Mini-Beats – March 2011 – Edition 39

White Fence…Is Growing Faith (2011, Woodsist) ♥♥♥½
-Tim Presley’s latest finds him exploring a more subdued assemblage of warm, jangly 60’s sounds not unlike Donovan and Left Banke; RIYL The Young Sinclairs
PJ HarveyLet England Shake (2011, Vagrant) ♥♥♥♥
-I’ve never before listened to a complete PJ album though I’ve been more than impressed with singles I’ve heard over the years but I think I have to work backwards after this LP; Let is bursting with personality and diversity and although I can’t directly relate to the Anglophilic politics they don’t hinder the album at all; easily one of my favorite releases so far this year-
Bright EyesThe People’s Key (2011, Saddle Creek) ♥♥
-I’ve had the nagging feeling that Conor has pretty much spent all his vigor and songwriting prowess on Lifted and everything before it; outside of the opening cut most of this sounds fairly cheesy with ho-hum 80’s synth sounds and lifeless vocal deliveries-
ArchesWide Awake (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-mellowed-out dream-pop that reminded me a lot of fellow Philly locals Creepoid or a sleepier version of Real Estate; as per the band, this is a concept album about a routine-driven city dweller who packs up shit for the country and wanders about without purpose-
Kurt VileSmoke Ring for My Halo (2011, Matador) ♥♥½
-I can’t seem to really align myself in the KV camp like many others; this just feels monotonous and devoid of character and the same can apply to the live show :( –
Toro Y MoiUnderneath The Pine (2011, Carpark) ♥♥♥
-another notch of swirly, sampley, synth-pop in Chaz’ belt; the few memorable tracks are outstanding (‘Still Sound’ and ‘New Beat’) but little else here moves me; CHILLWAVE…there I said it-
Hotel MexicoHis Jewelled Letter Box EP (2010, Second Royal) ♥♥♥
-I knew it wouldn’t take long for Japan to buy into the chillwave movement and these guys do a admirable take on the hypnotic beats, electronic noodling and, funnily enough, broken English that are all inherent to the genre-
LifeguardsWaving At Astronauts (2011, Serious Business) ♥♥♥
-from the opening seconds of this album you can deduce Doug Gilliard’s involvement is as profound as it was on the debut Lifeguards LP; the duo succeeds when they explore the bleak, guitar-buzzed, post-punk landscape (‘Sexless Auto’) but Waving drags when the tempo slows down-
Lykke LiWounded Rhymes (2011, LL) ♥♥♥♥
-you might not find the dynamic range in voice (assertive-to-twee/timid) and left-of-center percussion as you did on the debut but you can’t ignore the fact that Lykke has returned with a solid collection of organic, progressive-minded, dance-pop and as far as I’m concerned this is a noted improvement upon Youth Novels
J MascisSeveral Shades Of Why (2011, Sub Pop) ♥♥♥½
-outside of J’s mystical/tribal/forgettable meanderings on Sing+Chant you pretty much know what you’re in for here…quieted down versions of late period Dinosaur Jr. songs under different names; a treat, especially if, like me, you were all over the Martin + Me live recording; best artwork of the year thus far-
LubecNothing Is Enough EP (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥
-Richmond, VA collective putting on a sloppy, swirling mass of mid-fi pop/garage on display and doing it well enough to warrant a few listens; RIYL Cloud Nothings, No Age
Cut CopyZonoscope (2011, Modular) ♥♥♥½
-completely danceable synth-pop that managed to set my white ass in motion while cooking dinner the other day; however, it lacks the end of the album drags a little and overall its lacking individual character; extra half-star for one of my favorite tracks of the year so far ‘Take Me Over’-
Banjo Or FreakoutBanjo Or Freakout (2011, Memphis Industries) ♥♥½
-pffft…no banjo or freakout…pass…; but really, there are some ambient tones here worth exploring like the droney ‘Dear Me’ but this isn’t a particularly strong or memorable release-
Jon McKiel – Confidence Lodge EP (2011, Youth Club) ♥♥♥½
-Nova Scotian responsible for the 15 minutes of mid-tempo folk-pop found here…not life-changing by any means but totally hummable and I like that kind of shit sometimes; RIYL Matt Pond PA
Keep Shelly In AthensIn Love With Dusk EP (2010, Forest Family) ♥♥♥
-chillwave from, of all places, Greece released on the GorillaVs.Bear record label; this is of the sultry, synth-wave variety that taps into 80’s vibes and occasionally features the typically-maligned sax to good effect…decent but after I heard ‘Running With You’, I was expecting more-
Smith WesternsDye It Blonde (2011, Fat Possum) ♥♥♥½
-it took a few listens to glean all the influences on display here like 70’s glam, 80’s skinny-tie power-pop riffs and the entire 90’s Matt Pinfield scene; many have whined about Cullen’s vocals but I wasn’t moved one way or another with them; is it better than the debut? who knows…that one’s still sitting in my listening queue..-
James Vincent McMorrowEarly In The Morning (2011, Vagrant) ♥♥♥½
-soulful Irish folkie that’s every bit of Justin Vernon and Ray LaMontagne with more than a lion’s share of bittersweet lyrics, banjo and multi-part harmonies; amazing what Vagrant finds itself releasing these days…; rumor has it that James created a lot of buzz at SXSW so I expect this to blow up a little-
The DøA Mouthful (2008, Cinq 7) ♥♥♥½
-it’s safe to say that Olivia (the lead songstress/personality behind the duo) can be heralded as the French Björk considering she can draw on any influence/genre and weave it into gold; almost every song here has its own distinct charm…not unlike their latest LP if not slightly less stimulating; RIYL St. Vincent, Lykke Li
Telekinesis12 Desperate Straight Lines (2011, Merge) ♥♥♥
-strangely enough this didn’t move me as much as I had hoped based on the fabulous holdover EP from last year; it contains a few a tracks from that EP but little else of note; RIYL Fountains Of Wayne, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Maritime
Mind SpidersMind Spiders (2011, Dirtnap) ♥♥♥½
-MS features Mark Ryan from The Marked Men/High Tension Wires fame (also Dirtnap alumni) but really this is basically the same principle and just as catchy as anything he’s done previously, especially on the rippin’ garage numbers like ‘No Romance’ and ‘Don’t Let Her Go’; RIYL Jay Reatard or any of the aforementioned projects-
Five EightYour God Is Dead To Me Now (2011, Iron Horse) ♥♥♥½
-surely egged on by a ravenous local fan-base in the Athens/Atlanta area, Mike Mantione and the gang release only their 2nd effort since their magnum opus The Good Nurse in 2000; come for Mike’s poignant lyrics and delivery, stay for the surprisingly tight meat-and-potatoes, guitar-rock crunch-
The Appleseed CastMiddle States EP (2011, Graveface) ♥♥♥½
-another solid, if not brief, notch in one of the most consistently appealing bands of the modern indie era; the clean, paint-stroked post-rock formula they helped perfect remains intact-
WoodsmanRare Forms (2011, Lefse) ♥♥♥♥
-this album definitely has an omnipresent heartbeat which is what separates it from the now over-saturated field of 2nd wave Animal Collective worshippers; the ambient, percussive pieces reminded me a little of Mt. Eerie/The Microphones a bit as well; regardless of the influences, Rare helped me mentally wander through a few traffic-jammed rides home from work and for that I endorse it-
FaustSomething Dirty (2011, Bureau B) ♥♥½
-as sleazy as the title might imply; psyche freakouts, little bit ‘o Kraut, industrial splooge all make for an inconsistent affair, not unlike last year’s Faust Is Last
Dinosaur BonesMy Divider (2011, Dine Alone) ♥♥½
-I recall this Toronto-based group showing a bit of promise with last year’s 4-song EP and the standout track ‘N.Y.E.’ (also found here) but this LP oftentimes treads perilously close to vapid, top 40 radio-rock territory-
Foster The PeopleFoster The People EP (2011, Sony) ♥♥♥½
-I’m not sure where I’ve been while this dance-it-like-ya-got-it synth-pop, troupe from LA built up their seemingly unstoppable head of steam; Philly show sold out in minutes; RIYL Architecture In Helsinki, Peter Bjorn & John


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Special Monday Morning Tape – #94

Phineas & The Lonely Leavesthe bros of summer
(taken from their 2011 release The Kids We Used To Be)
The Disappearing Acteverything you want
(taken from their 2011 release The Disappearing Act)
Street Chantthe fatigues
(taken from their 2011 release Means)
Vandaveerconcerning past and future requests
(taken from his 2011 release Dig Down Deep)
Shipbuilding Co.you tunguskaed my heart
(taken from their 2011 release Radios and Flying Birds)
Parenthetical Girlsthe pornographer
(taken from their 2011 release Privilege: Pt 3)
Heavenly Statesmodel sons
(taken from their 2011 release Oui Camera Oui)
Wrensas i’ve known
(taken from an upcoming full-length)
Anti-Social Musicbitter suite (fear)
(taken from their 2011 release Is The Future Of Everything)
Hunx and His Punxtoo young to be in love
(taken from their 2011 release Too Young To Be In Love)
Project Jenny, Project Jannadine
(taken from their 2011 release Home Sweet Home)
Davila 666esa nena nunca regreso
(taken from their 2011 release Tan Bajo)
David Kilgourdiamond mine
(taken from his 2011 release Left By Soft)

The Shivers » Cameron Hull from The Voice Project

Pandit – Pack Your Bags

These Things Are Mine – The End of America

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{MIXTAPE} March 2011


Artwork by David Litchfield

Ok, so I lied – the monthly mix continues…at least for now.

Disc One

1. Walter Meegostarlight
(taken from their 2010 release Wondervalley)
2. The Wiggly Tendrilsbeat the indie drum theme song
(recorded upon BTID request!)
3. Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed & The True Loves am i wasting my time?
(taken from their 2008 release Roll With You)
4. Foster The People pumped up kicks
(taken from their 2011 release Foster The People EP)
5. PJ Harvey on battleship hill
(taken from her 2011 release Let England Shake)
6. Cloud Nothings should have
(taken from their 2011 release Cloud Nothings)
7. The Diggs this emphatically
(taken from their 2008 release Ctl-Alt-Del)
8. The Raveonettes forget that you’re young
(taken from their 2011 release Raven In The Grave)
9. Toro y Moi still sound
(taken from his 2011 release Underneath The Pine)
10. Code Pie muddy shoes
(taken from their 2011 release Love Meets Rage)
11. High Highs horses
(released as a digital single only)
12. Astronautalis barrel jumping (man of letters) (daytrotter)
(taken from his 2011 Daytrotter Session)
13. Radical Facewrapped in piano strings
(taken from his 2007 release Ghost)
14. Hammer No More The Fingerssteam
(taken from their 2011 release Black Shark)
15. Generationals greenleaf
(taken from their 2011 release Actor-Caster)
16. Acid House Kings would you say stop?
(taken from their 2011 release Music Sounds Better With You)
17. The Barettas touche
(taken from their 2010 7″ release Touche b/w Black Sheep)
18. The Strungsthe rules are
(taken from their 2011 release Vol. 02 EP)
19. The Binary Marketing Showblue glass
(taken from their 2011 release Because Of This, This and This)
20. Lia Icesice wine
(taken from her 2011 release Grown Unknown)
21. Say Hi take ya’ dancin’
(taken from their 2011 release Um, Uh Oh)
22. Gypsybloodtake your picture
(taken from their 2010 release Gypsyblood EP)
23. Creepoidenabler
(taken from their 2011 release Horse Heaven)

Download Zip File 140MB

Disc Two

1. High Tension Wiresbackbone
(taken from their 2011 release Welcome New Machine)
2. Computer Magic grand junction
(taken from their 2011 release Spectronic EP)
3. French Films take you with me
(taken from their 2010 release Golden Sea EP)
4. Cotton Jonesdown beside em
(taken from their 2011 release Sit Beside Your Vegetables EP)
5. Should turned tables
(taken from their 2011 release Like A Fire Without Sound)
6. Vit Pälsturning torsos silhuett
(taken from the 2011 Piren OST)
7. Scattered Trees a conversation about death on new years eve
(taken from their 2011 release Sympathy)
8. Lab Coast really realize
(taken from their 2011 release Pictures On The Wall)
9. Owen Temple mountain home
(taken from his 2011 release Mountain Home)
10. The Dodos don’t stop
(taken from their 2011 release No Color)
11. Asobi Seksu trance out
(taken from their 2011 release Fluorescence)
12. Auida walked away
(taken from their 2009 release Versions EP)
13. Nathan Edwin willow
(taken from their 2011 release Willow Spillow EP)
14. Judson Claiborne song for dreaming (good ol’ wobbly version)
(taken from his 2010 release Time and Temperature)
15. The Go! Teambuy nothing day
(taken from their 2011 release Rolling Blackouts)
16. The Megaphonic Thrift candy sin
(taken from their 2011 release Decay Decoy)
17. Radical Facewelcome home, son
(taken from his 2007 release Ghost)
18. Heavy Cream watusi
(taken from their 2010 release Danny)
19. Man/Miracledon’t waste it
(taken from their 2011 release Don’t Waste It)
20. Eastern Conference Championssummertime
(taken from her 2010 release Akustiks EP)
21.  The Døbohemian dances
(taken from their 2011 release Both Ways Open Jaws)
22. U.S. Royaltygive up the ghost
(taken from their 2011 release Mirrors)
23. Spirit Spineocean of sand
(taken from his 2011 release Glossolalia)

Download Zip File 158MB


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Special Monday Morning Tape – #93

This week’s mix is in memory of my father, Frank Marcinowski, who passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 56. Though we didn’t always see eye-to-eye on everything we, undoubtedly, shared a common love for music.

The Byrdsturn! turn! turn!
(taken from their 1965 release Turn! Turn! Turn!)
The Grass Rootssooner or later
(taken from the 2001 release 20th Century Masters – The Best Of The Grass Roots)
Pat Boonemoody river
(taken from his 1961 single Moody River b/w A Thousand Years)
John Denverannie’s song
(taken from his 1974 release Back Home Again)
Simon & Garfunkelmrs. robinson
(taken from their 1968 release Bookends)
Carly Simonyou’re so vain
(taken from her 1972 release No Secrets)
Kenny Rogersthe gambler
(taken from his 1978 release The Gambler)
Neil Diamondcracklin’ rosie
(taken from his 1970 release Tap Root Manuscript)
Jim Croceoperator (that’s not the way it feels)
(taken from his 1972 release You Don’t Mess Around With Jim)
The Beatleslucy in the sky with diamonds
(taken from their 1967 release Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band)
The Monkeesdaydream believer
(taken from their 1968 release The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees)
Ben E. Kingstand by me
(taken from his 1962 release Don’t Play That Song)
Bee Geesi started a joke
(taken from their 1968 release Idea)
The Moody Bluesin your wildest dreams
(taken from their 1986 release The Other Side Of Life)

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