Tuesday, January 31, 2012

LISTEN: The Big Beat 'cast 41


18 artists debut on this week’s show including BRETON, BEAR DRIVER, BLEECH, BLEACHED (it’s a good week for the letter B), LADYHAWKE, DEVIN, EXITMUSIC, PORCELAIN RAFT, DE STAAT, DU NORD, POLIḈA, and CHARLOTTE & MAGON.  Veterans FIELD MUSIC, THE MAGNETIC FIELDS, and SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS are back with new music, along with the first new song from SAINT ETIENNE in 7 years.  My Wild Card Pick this week might surprise you - the artist has a connection to the guy in the picture.  Press play to listen and find out.


SWISS LIPS "U Got The Power" (self-released), single
BOS ANGELES "Wild Things I Did Before" (Melodic), from Hearing Aid Vol. 2 (free download)
DEVIN "You’re Mine" (Frenchkiss), from You're Mine EP
DISCLOSURE "Tenderly" (Make Mine), from "Tenderly" / "Flow" single
SAINT ETIENNE "Tonight" (self-released), (stream)
DJANGO DJANGO "Default" (Because), from Django Django
DE STAAT "Ah, I See" (Mascot), from Machinery
BEAR DRIVER "Never Never" (Adventure Club), from "Never Never" / "Let The Club" single
PLAITUM "Late Night TV" (self-released), free download (TBB coverage)
POLIḈA "Lay Your Cards Out" (Totally Gross National Product), from Give You The Ghost
BLEACHED "You Take Time" (Art Fag), from Carter 7"
BLEECH "Mondays" (n/a), video
THE MAGNETIC FIELDS "Andrew In Drag" (Merge), from Love at the Bottom of the Sea
FRIENDS "Friends Crush" (Lucky Number), single (video)
PORCELAIN RAFT "Unless You Speak From Your Heart" (Secretly Canadian), from Strange Weekend
SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS "Lafaye" (Vagrant), from Ghostory
SHEARWATER "Breaking The Yearlings" (Sub Pop), from Animal Joy
DU NORD "The Sunset" (self-released), free download
CHARLOTTE & MAGON "The Mining" (n/a), from Life Factory (video)
FIELD MUSIC "A New Town" (Memphis Industries), from Plumb
BLONDES "Wine" (RVNG Intl.), from Blondes
FIRST AID KIT "Emmylou" (Wichita), from The Lion's Roar
BRETON "The Commission" (FatCat), from Other People's Problems (video)
EXITMUSIC "The Modern Age" (Secretly Canadian), from From Silence EP
LADYHAWKE "Black White & Blue" (Modular), from Anxiety
LIGHTOUTS "The Official Ironmen Rally Song" (self-released), from The Cure For Shyness EP

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Amazing Radio Debut (27 January)



If you missed my first show on Amazing Radio yesterday, fear not. Here's the tracklisting to give you a sense of what was played. Alas, the archived audio was only online for a limited time and I failed to secure a copy for myself. That's since changed, and I've posted every show from mid-February forward.

For my debut I pulled a ton of great tracks, all from the Amazing Tunes site, stuff I've not played on TBB for DIY Radio: ERRORS, 2:54, BRETON, ZULU WINTER, MILK MAID.  Plus, as a way of introducing myself to the Amazing audience, I spun a handful of favorites from the last few years just to give 'em an idea of what this new, funny soundin' guy was like. Hear it live on Amazing Thursdays from 10p GMT, 5p ET, 4p CT & 2p PT.

DJANGO DJANGO "Default" (Because), from Django Django
ERRORS "Pleasure Palaces" (Rock Action), from Have Some Faith In Magic (video)
FRIENDS "Friends Crush" (Lucky Number), single (video)
WILD FLAG "Romance" (Merge), from Wild Flag
FANTASY RAINBOW "Cool Ridge" (Tiny Lights), from Teens EP (video)
ZULU WINTER "We Should Be Swimming" (PIAS), single (stream)
SHEARWATER "Breaking The Yearlings" (Sub Pop), from Animal Joy
MAX & GABRIELLE "Lights" (self-released), free download
I BREAK HORSES "Winter Beats" (Bella Union), from Hearts
ALT-J "Fitzpleasure" (self-released), download
BRETON "The Commission" (FatCat), from Other People's Problems (video)
SKY LARKIN "Molten" (Wichita), from The Golden Spike (video)
WE HAVE BAND "Watertight" (Naive), from Ternion
BLONDES "Wine" (RVNG Intl.), from Blondes
PLAITUM "Temptress" (self-released), free download (TBB coverage)
POOR MOON "People In Her Mind" (Sub Pop), from Illusion EP
CLOUD NOTHINGS "Hey Cool Kid" (Carpark), from Turning On
THOSE DANCING DAYS "Those Dancing Days" (Wichita), from In Our Space Hero Suits (video)
TEAM ME "With My Hands Covering Both of My Eyes I Am Too Scared To Have a Look At You Now" (Propeller), from To The Treetops
AIR CASTLES "Falling To Pieces" (Winter Hymns), single (stream)
WORK DRUGS "Swimmer Girl" (self-released), from Aurora Lies (video)
SPOTLIGHT KID "Plan Comes Apart" (Tri-Tone), from Disaster Tourist (video)
MILK MAID "Not Me" (FatCat), from Yucca (video)
MILAGRES "Glowing Mouth" (Kill Rock Stars), from Glowing Mouth
2:54 "Scarlet" (Fiction). from Scarlet EP (video)
STILL CORNERS "Endless Summer" (Sub Pop), from Creatures Of An Hour
YOUTH LAGOON "Cannons" (Fat Possum), from The Year of Hibernation
DUM DUM GIRLS "Bedroom Eyes" (Sub Pop), from Only In Dreams

Tracks via: Pitchfork, Epitonic

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

You Heard It Here First: Mike Taylor joins Amazing Radio



It's with great pride to announce that your Humble Curator will be hosting a weekly show on Amazing Radio. The two-hour program airs Thursdays from 10p GMT, 5p ET & 4p CT starting tomorrow.  This won't interfere with my work for KUT and DIY Radio so if you like hearing me and the music I play, well, there's just more to love.

Amazing Radio is based in Gateshead, England, and available throughout the UK on DAB (digital) and online worldwide. Amazing is the only national UK radio station dedicated exclusively to playing new and emerging music and my friends, that is no joke.

Amazing Radio is affiliated with Amazing Tunes, where music lovers can stream songs uploaded to the site, create playlists, buy music and grab free downloads.  Artists can upload their music and keep 100% of all sales profits.  Registration is super easy.  It'll take just a second, so go there right now and do it. 

Each of my shows will not only be archived but you can listen to the station on a time-shifted basis from each US time zone. I'll embed each show's archive here on the blog shortly after they're available, or you can visit my page on the Amazing site and stream it from there.  Believe me when I say there's a lot to like and I know you will. 

As with KUT & DIY, I'm honored be joining a lineup full of fantastic music radio people, all known for their keen ear for discovering and presenting new, exciting sounds.  I hope you'll listen.

LISTEN: The Big Beat 'cast 40



I've made it to 40 Beat'casts with this week's show. That's worthy of a celebratory drink, wouldn't you say? Have to admit, back in the day me and the boys used to play quarters with oh-so-deadly Olde English 800. Charcoal Filtered, yo! But it was either that or Mickey's Big Mouths, Robin Hood Cream Ale or other fine swill we youngins could pick up. Needless to say, I practiced getting good at sinking that quarter. Anyways...cheers.

This week, I’m spinning 10 artists for the first time including MIND SPIDERS, TINY VICTORIES, BLONDES, POOR MOON, & SANTIGOLD (U.S.A.); BUILDINGS, SWISS LIPS, and VIRALS (U.K.); FIRST AID KIT (Sweden), and ALPINE (Australia). I’ll give spins to the latest from GRIMES, HOWLER, ALT-J, NICOLAS JAAR, SIMIAN GHOST, LOWER DENS and AIR. Plus, new music from (putting it politely) veterans THE FALL and MAGAZINE, their first release in 30 years!

And don’t miss my Wild Card Pick of the Week, where I’ll dip into my personal collection to play something a little out of the norm. This time, it's the debut single from one of my very favorite bands, released 35 years ago this March. Think you know it? I hope you'll listen and find out. Bottoms up!




WORK DRUGS "Swimmer Girl" (self-released), from Aurora Lies (video)
SIMIAN GHOST "Wolf Girl" (Heist Or Hit), from Youth (video)
GRIMES "Genesis" (4AD), from Visions
MIND SPIDERS "Wait For Us" (Dirtnap), from Meltdown
-> Mike's Wild Card Pick of the Week <-
HOWLER "Back of Your Neck" (Rough Trade), from America Give Up
FIRST AID KIT "Emmylou" (Wichita), from The Lion's Roar
FANTASY RAINBOW "Cool Ridge" (Tiny Lights), from Teens EP (video)
SANTIGOLD "Big Mouth" (Downtown/Atlantic), from Master Of My Make-Believe
SWISS LIPS "U Got The Power" (self-released), single
POOR MOON "People In Her Mind" (Sub Pop), from Illusions EP
YOUTH LAGOON "Cannons" (Fat Possum), from The Year of Hibernation
BUILDINGS "Eyes On Sunrise" (Tall Story), single
ALT-J "Fitzpleasure" (self-released), download
LOWER DENS "Brains" (Ribbon), from Nootropics
VIRALS "Magic Happens" (Sexbeat), single (free download)
FRIENDS "Friends Crush" (Lucky Number), single (video)
TINY VICTORIES "Lost Weekend" (self-released), from Those of Us Still Alive
TEAM ME "With My Hands Covering Both of My Eyes I Am Too Scared To Have a Look At You Now" (Propeller), from To The Treetops
WE HAVE BAND "Where Are Your People?" (Naive), from Ternion (free album sampler)
MAGAZINE "Do The Meaning" (Wire-Sound), from No Thyself
THE FALL "Taking Off" (Cherry Red), from Ersatz G.B.
SHARON VAN ETTEN "Serpents" (Jagjaguwar), from Tramp
BLONDES "Business" (RVNG), from Blondes
AIR (feat. Victoria Legrande) "Seven Stars" (Astralwerks), from Le Voyage Dans La Luna
ALPINE "Hands" (Ivy League), single (video)
NICOLAS JAAR (feat. Scout Larue) "With Just One Glance You" (self-released), free download


Music via: The Last Python, Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good, mu-sique, Amazing Tunes, We All Want Someone To Shout For, This Is Fake DIY,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LISTEN: The Big Beat 'cast 39


There's 29 tunes stuffed into this week’s show and yet, I still found time to talk a bit.  I’m playing 14 artists for the first time including THE 2 BEARS, HOWLER, ALT-J, NICOLAS JAAR, BEAR IN HEAVEN, GRACE WOODROOFE, PLANNINGTOROCK, PHLO FINISTER, THE BIG SLEEP, DEATH RATTLE, THE COUCH and AZEALIA BANKS, who finally released a tune clean enough for me to play.  Hear the return of THE SHINS and A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS; plus I’ll revisit records by GIRL IN A COMA, ST. LUCIA, FLORENCE + THE MACHINE and ALABAMA SHAKES.  My Wild Card Pick this week is from a band that, seemingly, drew up the blueprint for HOWLER.  At least I think so.  Think you know ‘em?  Press play to listen and find out.




THE 2 BEARS "Work" (DFA), from Be Strong (video)
PHLO FINISTER "Bang Bang" (Yolo), from Crown Gold EP (free download)
THE SHINS "Simple Song" (Columbia), from Port of Marrow
FRACTURES "Nicotine" (self-released), free download
WE HAVE BAND "Watertight" (Naive), from Ternion
NICOLAS JAAR "With Just One Glance You" (self-released), free download
ALT-J "Tessellate" (self-released), free download
GIRL IN A COMA "Adjust" (Blackheart), from Exits & All The Rest
BEAR IN HEAVEN "The Reflection of You" (Dead Oceans/Hometapes), from I Love You, It's Cool
PLAITUM "Temptress" (self-released), free download (TBB coverage)
ST. LUCIA "We Got It Wrong" (HeavyRoc), from single
A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS "So Far Away" (Dead Oceans), from Onwards To The Wall EP 
OF MONTREAL "Dour Percentage" (Polyvinyl), from Paralytic Stalks
GRACE WOODROOFE "Transformer" (Modular/Fontana), from Always Want
GUIDED BY VOICES "Spiderfighter" (GBV, Inc.), from Let's Go Eat The Factory
PLANNINGTOROCK "My Valuable Hunting Knife" (DFA), from DFA Holiday 2011 Compilation
FLORENCE + THE MACHINE "Lover To Lover" (Universal Republic), from Ceremonials
THE BIG SLEEP "Ace" (Frenchkiss), from Nature Experiments
HOWLER "Back To The Grave" (Rough Trade), from Give Up America
LANA DEL REY "National Anthem" (Interscope), from Born To Die
VICTORIES AT SEA "Future Gold" (self-released), single (video)
THE COUCH "The Way You Came" (self-released), from Old & Touchin' Blue
ARTHUR BEATRICE "What We Hoped To Achieve" (self-released), n/a (TBB coverage)
SIMIAN GHOST "Wolf Girl" (Heist Or Hit), from Youth (video)
ALABAMA SHAKES "You Ain't Alone" (self-released), from Alabama Shakes EP
DJANGO DJANGO "Default" (Because), from Django Django
AZEALIA BANKS "NEEDSUMLUV (SXLND)" (self-released), free download
DEATH RATTLE "The Dig" (self-released), free download (video
 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

HEAR / NOW: Phlo Finister

Phlo Finister | "BANG BANG" from 3qtr on Vimeo.


20 year old Elijah 'Phlo' Finister was born in Oakland to a half Portuguese, half black mother and an Irish father. Moving to L.A. as a child, she started singing in the church choir where her grandfather was pastor and took to modeling after dropping out of high school her junior year.

She met influential industry insiders after working as a stylist for artists on Def Jam and as an editor for the urban fashionista mag Persona.

Although influenced musically by R&B stars Aaliyah (see the video for "Shades" below) & TLC as well as classic rock (check her take on The Doors' "Riders On The Storm"), it's Finister's striking looks and fashion sense that really give her the total star package.

She's immersed herself in trying to revive the Youthquake movement of the '60s, when waifish models like Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton and Edie Sedgwick used Swingin' London as their daytime workplace and nighttime playground. It stands to reason then that even for a West Coast girl, she has a connection to the British capital, even shooting the stylish (of course) video for her take on the Cher hit "Bang Bang" (above) there.

Debut CD Silver Hill came out last year to little fanfare but she's faring a better with her follow-up, the Crown Gold EP, available as a free download.



Thursday, January 12, 2012

LISTEN: The Big Beat 'cast 38

...And Leon's getting LAAAAAAAAAAARGER!


I think you, like me, were ready to put 2011 in the rear view and move forward. This week, I've got two dozen new tunes for you. So much for a starting the year slowly. I’m spinning 13 artists for the first including FOE, TEAM ME, BOY (actually, two girls), U.S. GIRLS (actually, one girl), ARTHUR BEATRICE, FRACTURES, WOOWOOS, FAMILY OF THE YEAR and COUCHERON. I’ll also play you the latest from OF MONTREAL, WE HAVE BAND and THE TWILIGHT SAD. Plus, It girl LANA DEL REY, DAUGHTER, PAPER CROWS and THE BLACK KEYS. And don’t miss my Wild Card Pick of the Week, where I’ll dip into my personal collection to play something a little out of the norm. Press play to start the show.

Sorry for being a day late on posting this.  I hope it's worth the wait.  And speaking of waiting, I've got some pretty cool news to share in the next week or so.  Watch this space.   



HOSPITALITY "Betty Wang" (Merge), from Hospitality
THE TWILIGHT SAD "Another Bed" (Fatcat), from No One Can Ever Know
LANA DEL REY "National Anthem" (Interscope), from Born To Die
FOE "One Man Down" (Mercury), from Bad Dream Hotline
OF MONTREAL "Dour Percentage" (Polyvinyl), from Paralytic Stalks
MAX & GABRIELLE "Lights" (self-released), free download
BOY "This Is The Beginning" (Grönland), from Mutual Friends (free download)
ARTHUR BEATRICE "What We Hoped To Achieve" (self-released), n/a (TBB coverage)
FAMILY OF THE YEAR "St. Croix" (tinyOGRE), from St. Croix EP
PAPER CROWS "Cloudbusting" (self-released), free download
REHEARSED LIVING "Hurdles" (self-released), from Rehearsed Living (free download)
COUCHERON "Outrageous (Original mix)" (Big Beat), from Coucheron EP
CHARLES BRADLEY "Stay Away" (Daptone), from No Time For Dreaming [expanded]
THE BLACK KEYS "Gold On The Ceiling" (Nonesuch), from El Camino
WOOWOOS "Fizzy Lettuce" (Moshi Moshi), single
LA SERA "Please Be My Third Eye" (Hardly Art), from Sees The Light
GUIDED BY VOICES "The Unsinkable Fats Domino" (GBV, Inc.), from Let's Go Eat The Factory
FRACTURES "Nicotine" (self-released), free download
PLAITUM "Late Night TV" (self-released), free download (TBB coverage)
Mike's Wild Card Pick of the Week
DAUGHTER "Youth" (Communion), from The Wild Youth EP
MINT JULEP "Why Don't We" (Village Green), from Save Your Season (video)
U.S. GIRLS "Island Song" (KRAAK), from U.S. Girls on KRAAK
WE HAVE BAND "Watertight" (Naive), from Ternion
GRIMES "Genesis" (Arbutus), from Visions
TEAM ME "With My Hands Covering Both of My Eyes I Am Too Scared To Have a Look At You Now" (Propeller), from To The Treetops


Music via Austin Town Hall, Pitchfork, Sunset In The Rearview, The 405, The Mahogany Blog, Spinner, Something For All of Us, The Steam Engine, The Guardian Music Blog, Faronheit, The Muse In Music         

Friday, January 6, 2012

HEAR / NOW: Arthur Beatrice


One song.

For me, that's all it takes. Give me one song from a new band that rings my bell, blows my mind, etc., and I'm smitten. And if I'm that taken, I don't need to wait for more. I'm off to the web to learn who/what/when/where and so on. Thanks to my friend Giselle, I was directed to ARTHUR BEATRICE. Boy, what a good call.

A quartet from London with absolutely zero releases to date, names like The Sundays, The Smiths, and The xx have popped up in coverage and for starters, those are reasonable touchstones to toss out. As you can tell from their site, they're keeping their cards pretty close to the chest. Still shrouded in mystery, they don't have much for anyone to go on. At all. Paul Lester's excellent New Band Of The Day column squeezed out about everything that's known about the group. But this performance video of "What We Hoped To Achieve" should be all you need. It's all I needed.


What We Hoped To Achieve (Recorded Live at Flesh + Bone) from ululation on Vimeo.

They're SXSW-bound so hopefully some music will appear prior to that. In any event, when I get more from Arthur Beatrice, you'll hear more. It could turn out that they'll be - indeed - golden in 2012.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

HEAR / NOW: Plaitum

In 2012, I'm going to try to blog more regularly about a particular artist or release (new or old) that I think's worthy of greater attention. Mind you, I load up every Beat'cast with bunches of 'em but realize that sometimes a larger spotlight is needed to really draw your focus. First up then is PLAITUM, a duo from Colchester, England: Abi Dersiley and Matt Canham.

They've described themselves as Witchhouse/Dub/Electronica/??? on their Facebook page and as muddled and uncertain as that may seem, it's actually not too far off.   For the most part, the dreamy and at-times-spooky vocals are buried under a deep, dark layer of synthesizers. The duo's been adding music to their Soundcloud page pretty regularly for the last few months. 

The creeping "District" was featured on the Beat'cast in October (TBB 28) and new song "Late Night TV" was dropped into the mix last week (TBB 37). That one, my friends, is a tune!  It's been rockin' my world and have had it on repeat ever since.  What's more is the downtempo "Temptress", a delightfully surprising turn that shows a softer, more delicate side of the pair.  Now, this may sound like an awful comparison but for the old-timers especially, they remind me of the Kelli Ali-era Sneaker Pimps of the mid/late 90's, albeit all updated for 2012, and I'm quite OK with that.  Hear 'em now, because some label's surely gonna come along to sign 'em up....any minute now.








Wednesday, January 4, 2012

LISTEN: The Big Beat 'cast 37


Unless you’re still nostalgic for 2011, let’s move forward with a bunch of new music on 2012’s first edition of The Big Beat 'cast.  This week, I’m spinning 16 artists for the first time including DOLDRUMS, WORK DRUGS, MOZART PARTIES, BEN KWELLER, DR. DOG, VICTORIES AT SEA, MINT JULEP and more.  Plus, I’m launching a new feature: my Wild Card Pick of the Week, where I’ll dip into my personal collection to play something a little out of the norm.  This week’s selection is a stone cold classic.  Press play to start the show.



DOLDRUMS "I’m Homesick Sittin’ Up Here In My Satellite" (No Pain In Pop)
MINT JULEP "Aviary" (Village Green), from Save Your Season (video) 
MOZART PARTIES "Where Has Everybody Gone?" (self-released), from Memory Thunderstorm EP
DR. DOG "That Old Black Hole" (Anti), from Be The Void
FOLKS "Skull and Bones" (Big Flame), from I See Cathedrals
BEN KWELLER "Jealous Girl" (The Noise Company), from Go Fly a Kite
NERVES JUNIOR "As Bright As Your Night Light" (sonaBLAST!), from As Bright As Your Night Light
VICTORIES AT SEA "Future Gold" (self-released), single (video)
GOTYE "Smoke and Mirrors" (Universal Republic), from Making Mirrors
THE BAMBOOS FEAT. MEGAN WASHINGTON "The Wilhelm Scream" (Tru Thoughts), single
WORK DRUGS "Swimmer Girl" (self-released), from Aurora Lies (video)
FANTASY RAINBOW "Cool Ridge" (Tiny Lights), from Teens EP (video)
NIGHT FRUIT "Dark Horse" (Forty Four Distro), single
MAX & GABRIELLE "Lights" (self-released), free download
Mike’s Wild Card Pick of the Week
JUST AN ANIMAL "Kamikaze" (self-released), from Lonely Hunter
TRAILER TRASH TRACYS "You Wish You Were Red" (Double Six / Domino), from Ester (video)
FOTOSHOP "Becoming Zen" (self-released), from Lifeforms
SOLA ROSA FEAT. IVA LAMKUM "Turn Around" (Melting Pot), from Get It Together
FEAR OF MEN "Doldrums"(self-released), from Alice Munro Demos
THE HISTORY OF APPLE PIE "Mallory" (Rough Trade), single (video)
THE ABC CLUB "Get Set Go" (MAP), free download (EPK)
PLAITUM "Late Night TV" (self-released), free download
REHEARSED LIVING "Hurdles" (self-released), free download
TOY CAMERA "Tall Trees" (self-released), from Blissful Youth EP (video)

Music via: Over Muziek, Austin Town Hall, Faronheit, Buzzbands LA, Tympanogram, Altered Zones (R.I.P.), A New Band A Day, Indie Here