Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Flaming Lips - 'Breathe'

Stream the Flaming Lips' video for their delicious cover of the Pink Floyd classic below:

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Broken Bells - 'The High Road'

Broken Bells is a new and brilliant musical collaboration, featuring Danger Mouse and James Mercer (of The Shins fame).  'The High Road' is the new single from the duo's forthcoming self titled debut album.   

Simply described, the tune is a gentle intersection of electronica, indie, and studio dynamism.  

You can stream 'The High Road' below.  If you are interested in preordering the rest of the album, it will be released March 2010.   

Broken Bells - 'The High Road'

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Murder By Death - "Pizza Party (At Gloria Estefan's House)"

Just in time for the holidays, Murder By Death has released a brand new track titled, "Pizza Party (At Gloria Estefan's House." You can download it now for free. The band calls it a "gift to you for being swell."

You can preview the track below... as if the name wasn't convincing enough.

<a href="">Pizza Party! (at Gloria Estefan's House) by Murder By Death</a>

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Antlers - 'Kettering'

Barney vs. the Dinosaur just posted on this great, great, great tune by The Antlers.  The song is called 'Kettering,' and it can be sampled here.  

'Kettering' is a melancholy, but beautiful, sonic foray.  It gracefully flows from one end to the other without a blink.

Stream 'Kettering' below: 

The Antlers - 'Kettering'

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stephen Colbert Duets with Alicia Keys

Love the song. Love the collaboration even more. Check out 'Empire State of Mind, (Part II)' below:

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The Communards - 'Don't Leave Me This Way'

Jimmy Sommerville began his falsetto-driven musical career with Bronski Beat in the early eighties. Bronski Beat enjoyed short-lived success with its hit, 'Smalltown Boy.' 'Smalltown Boy' was memorable because its video showcased the mal treatment of gay youth in Britain during the eighties.

In 1985, Sommerville left Bronski Beat and formed The Communards. The very next year, the new band had the biggest selling single that year in Britain. That single was 'Don't Leave Me This Way,' a cover of the hit popularized by Thelma Houston.

The Communards version of 'Don't Leave Me This Way' is notable for several reasons. Sarah Jane Morris' lower ranged jazz vocals provide an obvious contrast to Sommerville's high falsetto. Horns and piano are much more prominent. And the tempo is much quicker than Houston's original.

Check out the Orwellian-themed video to 'Don't Leave Me This Way' below:

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Check Out New Music Video Site,

New music video site alert! is a collaboration between Google and Universal Music Group. It just launched a few days ago.

So far, I've been pretty impressed with its offerings. The site has high quality feeds, as well as a large selection of videos to choose from. Currently, I've been jamming to their Celebrating the 90s playlist.

Check out when you get the chance.
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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Nick Heyward - 'Warning Sign'

Happy December everybody!

While the tenor of our site has been forward looking as of late, today we turn the lens backwards, and take it old school.

Nick Heyward was something of a new wave sensation in the UK during the early eighties. His band, Haircut 100, had plowed up the charts with the single, 'Love Plus One.' (See video here).

Abruptly, and amidst the band's fresh success, Heyward nevertheless left the band to go solo in 1983. Some accounts attribute Heyward's departure to his desire to shed the teenage veneer Haircut 100 had attained in the eyes of music critics at the time.

By the time 1986 rolled around, Heyward's solo endeavors had auspiciously molded the artist into the more mature and credible musician Heyward had hoped to achieve when he left Haircut 100 previously. In the same year, Heyward released Postcards From Home. 'Warning Sign' was featured on Postcards, even though 'Warning Sign' had been previously released as a single in 1984.

Although Postcards, in contrast to Heyward's other work, received horrible reviews, 'Warning Sign' is a brilliant pop canticle. It features an addictive hook, driving guitars, and welcome backing vocals that compliment Heyward's Rick Astley-esque croon.

Unfortunately, the video doesn't match the song's audio brilliance, and it leaves a lot to be desired.

Nevertheless, the video is worth a spin simply to become privy to the audio splendidness that is 'Warning Sign.'

Stream Nick Heyward's 'Warning Sign' below. (Unfortunately, the audio is faint on this particular stream, so you may have to crank up the stereo to fully hear the sound in this one).

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Artist Spotlight: El Perro del Mar

El Perro del Mar might be Spanish for "The Sea Dog," but the music is a solo endeavor by Swedish artist, Sarah Assbring.

For years now, Sweden has been successfully complementing it's tradition for heavy metal with a solid collection of indie-pop artists, including José González, Jens Lekman, Lykke Li and Peter Björn & John.

El Perro del Mar first came under my radar about a year and a half ago, surrounding the release of her sophomore album, From the Valley to the Stars. It wasn't until I heard the quietly seductive single, "Change of Heart" earlier this year that I was fully brought in, however.

Assbring's airy vocals drift with sadness through El Perro del Mar's understated pop ditties. The arrangements are layered in subtleties that emerge over repeat listens. These are not songs masquerading in darkness. They linger, sweetly intoxicating, but feel as real as pure heartache.

Watch the music videos for "Change of Heart" and "Glory to the World" below.

El Perro del Mar - "Change of Heart

El Perro del Mar - "Glory to the World"

Visit El Perro del Mar's official website for more information.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Mummers - 'Wonderland'

'Wonderland' is a whimsical ditty from experimental popsters The Mummers. It features horns, bells, and beautiful vocals from singer Raissa. Overall, it's an inspiring indie jaunt.

Listen to 'Wonderland' below:

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Concert Review: Minus The Bear - November 22, 2009

"Lions and Tigers and Bears - Oh, My!"

I'm referring, of course, to a concert by Minus The Bear, As Tall As Lions, and Twin Tigers.

The three indie-rock bands coalesced into a musical menagerie onstage Sunday night at People's Court in Des Moines, Iowa. The show certainly proved to deserve more roars of applause than growls from the crowd.

November 22nd was a cold, drizzly night in the Midwest, but the acoustics from the third floor of the Court Avenue music venue were nothing but warm. All three groups ran as scheduled, playing tight-knit sets that transitioned nicely into the next..

Minus The Bear and As Tall As Lions were well-suited to share the same bill. Both bands come from the realm of atmospheric indie-rock; reverberating guitar effects and synths coupled with solid pop hooks. The result is a lot of wistful, melancholic tunes that will still find you bobbing your head.

The members of Long Island's As Tall As Lions brought the groove with them, showing a penchant for mixing their act up onstage. There were moments when one drummer would suddenly transform into three and then a bandmate casually situated sidestage would break out a trumpet and the whole arrangement would shift.

The vocal harmonies between members were lovely - made even more so by how sparingly they were called upon. Singer/guitarist Dan Nigro's vocals were simultaneously soaring and understated; introspective and declarative. Julio Tavarez countered the deep rhythms of his bass guitar with an eerily high register vocal, which played stunningly well off those of Nigro.

On ATAL's parting song, Nigro sang into a megaphone, calling out to the crowd as if it were his last stand.


Minus The Bear took the stage quietly at first, and then took the stage loudly.

The band played a strong set of songs primarily from it's terrific 2007 album, Planet of Ice, mixing in several new songs and fan favorites. The title, Planet Of Ice, was apt for the chilly, dream-like quality of prog shown on that album.

Echoes swirled hypnotically in the rafters as guitarist Dave Knudson continued to layer pedal effects and harmonic tappings into sonic soup. Frontman Jake Snider's vocals were calm and collected with the occasional hint of pain. One of the night's most memorable moments was when the two guitarists both dropped to their knees onstage to play the effects pedals by hand.

Plips and plops of synth, like icicles melting, painted the backdrop while the drums splattered tempo changes. Bassist Cory Murchy sat on a stool all night, having injured his back on tour, but his rhythm was unshaken. Murchy's continual thumbs-up to the audience between songs seemed to offer reassurance while also gauging approval.

Minus The Bear's set kicked off with three songs from Planet Of Ice, and then gave way to the band's latest single, "Into The Mirror." In a live mix, "Into The Mirror" seemed like the perfect followup to the 2007 LP, showcasing the group's knack for experimental noodling and sleek melodies.

Minimal amounts of stage banter barely separated songs, as the band chugged straight through for more than an hour and a half. Few smiles - just a collection of songs performed to the impervious standard of a band that's played them many times over.

What I first assumed to be disconnect from the band, perhaps due to weariness from the road, I soon recanted for pensive reflection. Much like the music they perform, Minus The Bear had a bit of a trance-like quality to their live show. Occasionally that curtain would drop, and the band would reveal moments of vulnerability.

And on Sunday night, those moments were more than enough to break the ice.


For more information on these bands and where you can support them on tour, please visit:

Minus The Bear's official website

As Tall As Lions' official website

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lisa Hannigan - 'Personal Jesus'

If you've never heard of Lisa Hannigan, think "Irish-Bjork." Just as talented as the Icelandic pop-diva, Hannigan's songcraft tends to be enchanting and earnest.

Check out Ms. Hannigan's assiduous cover of
Depeche Mode's 'Personal Jesus' below:

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Instant Classic: LL Cool J - "Deepest Bluest (Shark's Fin)"

If there is one thing LL Cool J does better than acting, it's rapping.

So when the multifaceted LL performed the character of Sherman "Preacher" Dudley in the 1999 blockbuster, Deep Blue Sea, it was only natural that he take a bite of the soundtrack.

In Deep Blue Sea, Preacher steals the show as the scripture-quoting chef aboard a shark-infested sea lab. Preacher plays the groundbreaking role of "funny black guy in a movie" - a man never afraid to crack a one-liner right when his life is in the most peril.

With perhaps his biggest contribution to film dialogue, LL delivers the epic line, "You ate my bird" mere moments before tossing his flaming Zippo lighter across a gas-filled room; thus blowing up one very unruly, robotic shark.

But it is LL Cool J's addition to the musical soundtrack that really kills. His song, "Deepest Bluest (Shark's Fin)" floats the movie's heroic ending safely into the credits.

The song finds LL rapping lyrical comparisons of himself to a bloodthirsty shark. Have a taste of this verbal assault:
"Struggling to flow with hemorrhages in your throat, Getting the lap dance while I smash through your boat"

Sorry. You are now, officially, shark chum.

In the accompanying music video, LL not only spits his rhymes between splices of movie footage; he re-acts scenes of the movie while slowly transforming into a ravenous shark. He also seems to get sprayed in the face by a fire hose during a synchronized swimming class. Make sure to watch the music video through the dramatic conclusion.

Many websites specializing in deciphering music lyrics still debate whether the main lyric to the song is truly, "Uh! My hat is like a shark's fin!" Forget that this lyric doesn't really make any sense. It's simply too deep (and too blue) for you.

Aside from the sheer entertainment value of the film and LL Cool J's raptastic soundtrack, Deep Blue Sea sits in good company with Jaws to continually remind us of a very important public service announcement: Sharks Are Trying To Kill You.

You have been warned.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Paper Tongues - 'Trinity'

Paper Tongues has received some heavy play on Alt Nation as of late, and I can't complain.

'Trinity' features an anthemic chorus, some fairly unique vocals, and a danceable beat.

You can stream the song below:

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jusice & Lenny Kravitz - 'Let Love Rule'

Although this video has been making its rounds on all the music blogs, it's simply too cool and too novel for me not to say anything about it.

While the remix of
Lenny Kravitz's nineties classic, "Let Love Rule," is quite tight, the accompanying video is genius. Who would of ever thought to make a video centered around the quintessential Hollywood trope: cheesy movie credits.

If you haven't watched this video yet, you can check it out below:

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

All Hallows' Playlist

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays - an occasion I grew up planning months in advance. I love the costumes, the atmosphere, the tricks and treats, and perhaps most importantly, the music of the season.

Recently, I dug up a playlist which I had compiled for Halloween a couple years back. There are so many great songs written for and inspired by this holiday that knowing where to draw the line is the hardest part.

This playlist is simply 26 cherry-picked tracks that get me in the spirit for an All Hallows' Eve party.

From dark and morbid, to danceable and campy, this mix should have a little something for every reveling ghoul and goblin this season.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

I'm certain I've left off some perfect songs here, so please let me know what you would have included instead!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Madness - 'Michael Caine'

I am Michael Caine. Enough said.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Owl City = Teddy Ruxpin?

Owl City, the brainchild of musician Adam Young, has been blowing up lately with the Death Cab-style hit, 'Fireflies.'

Recently, Owl City played to a packed house at a local venue, thanks in part to a surge in radio airplay. And it's no surprise; the single is catchy and whimsical, reminding me of growing up during the '80s.

And then, late last night, it hit me. The song sounds like it should have been the theme to The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin.

Remember Teddy Ruxpin?? Teddy was the animatronic, storytelling bear who was equally as creepy as he was lovable, and took over the good part of a decade with his popular toy line, cartoon, and live action TV series. His gentle voice and good-natured adventures wooed a whole generation of youngsters.

I hadn't thought of Teddy Ruxpin in a very long time, but something about Owl City definitely reminds me of him. There's a definite nostalgia in the song, a reminder of simpler times. After watching the official video to 'Fireflies,' I have to wonder if this connection was intentional.

Watch them both below, and let me know if I'm off my rocker.

Owl City - 'Fireflies' (official video, via YouTube)

Teddy Ruxpin - television intro theme

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Lonely Note on Twitter

In case you didn't catch it on our sidebar, The Lonely Note is now a part of the ever-growing, microblogging network that is Twitter.

Come follow our tweets at and say hello!

We have been using Twitter not only to keep you updated on our own blog, but to share music links and news tidbits that we scour from all over the web.

Come join us and be a part of the discourse!


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Thursday, October 01, 2009

LMFAO - I'm in Miami Trick'

'I'm in Miami Trick' is a pretty decent electro-rap tune. It's simple and to the point.

Stream 'I'm in Miami Trick' below:

PS: The 3:20 mark features a fairly entertaining sketch.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Hockey - 'Too Fake'

Hockey has been one of my favorite discoveries of 2009. And 'Too Fake' is one of the reasons for the joy.

'Too Fake' contains chic electronic beats and subtle (but effective) synths. It's a great tune to both rock out and dance to.

View the video for 'Too Fake' below:

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Inward Eye - 'Day After Day'

'Day After Day' is worth at least one spin, if only for its quite infectious chorus.

Watch the music video for Inward Eye's latest high energy release below:

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cage the Elephant - 'Back Against the Wall'

Cage the Elephant's 'Back Against the Wall' is a seductive blend of Blind Melon, Jane's Addiction, and The Kooks. The influences of Perry Farrell and Shannon Hoon are apparent as soon as the tune begins. Even the video for the song pays homage to the sub par video-grade and trippy effects of many grunge vids of the nineties. (Think 'Black Hole Sun' and 'I Stay Away').

You can watch the grunge-inspired video for 'Back Against the Wall' below:

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

How To Be A Jukebox Hero

Chances are, it's happened to you. You're out on the town, enjoying a tasty drink and good company when a song comes over the speakers that makes your skin absolutely crawl.

"It's okay," you say. "The next one will be better." But it's not. Some lush across the room has just pumped his life savings into the jukebox and the ear-torture shows no sign of ending. Ever.

As a public service announcement, we here at The Lonely Note have compiled a short list of the Top 10 Rules of the Jukebox, with the hope that this sort of behavior never has to happen again. Let the rules commence:

Pick songs that fit the general atmosphere of the establishment (ie: dive bar = classic rock/hair metal). You can't please everyone all the time, but don't go into a biker bar and play Spice Girls. Unless, of course, you enjoy getting your teeth kicked in.

RULE #2. Don't take over the jukebox by playing 10 songs in a row. Let someone else have a go at it. If you want to throw your money away, that's your prerogative. But, if you want to be a DJ so bad, throw a house party with your iPod or get a job with the local radio station.

RULE #3.
Don't play more than a couple songs by the same artist, and when possible, try to space those apart. It just gets monotonous, and isn't terribly original.

If the jukebox has a "Play Next" option, use it sparingly. If the guy in front of you just played something, wait your turn. It's like jumping ahead in the line to the bathroom. Nobody wants to wait two hours and never hear their song. However, skipping someone else's song may be acceptable if that person has carelessly violated any of the rules on this list.

RULE #5.
B-Sides and hit singles are both acceptable, but show some creativity and mix 'em up. The Rolling Stones have a lot of great songs, so don't feel obligated to play "Start Me Up" every single time.

Longer isn't always better. In other words, don't play "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" or "American Pie" unless the mood absolutely calls for it. It's probably one of the biggest jerk moves in the universe to monopolize an entire third of an hour with one long prog-rock song. Making somebody listen to a craptastic epic can be quite cruel.

RULE #7. Don't try to be an adjunct music professor by playing your obscure, super-niched music that nobody else has heard about. While you and your indie-trash friends may love to stay home and jam out to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or The Fiery Furnaces, most people's musical universes haven't expanded beyond Top 40 Radio. If they wanted to be schooled, they would have stayed home and watched Ken Burns' Jazz documentary on dvd instead of going out.

Don't be afraid to indulge your guilty side. So what if you want to spend your hard-earned dollar on the cliche jukebox song that everybody always seems to play whenever you're out? The reason some songs are constantly spun in bars is because they are timeless classics that everyone knows. These tunes may be cheesy, but they'll get the ladies (and fellas) dancing in no time. And that's the whole point of a jukebox, right?

Don't expect the neighborhood Irish pub to accommodate you when you experience a jukebox malfunction or other rip-off. Anymore, most of these machines are rented by the establishment, and complaints have to be taken up with the jukebox company itself.

RULE #10.
When you step into a bar, you need to realize that
you are likely to get screwed on the jukebox. Don't get too upset if it isn't playing your favorite music all of the time. Some people just have bad taste, but those people pay for songs too. And they have just as much right as you do to express that. So, stay calm. Your best bet to avoid this scenario is to frequent bars with old-school jukes - ones preloaded with good albums. Touch-screen internet machines are bound to have a wider selection, but the downfall is that other patrons can request just about anything they want.

Now, most of these "rules" are common courtesies and etiquette that you should have learned in grade school. However, when booze is involved and emotions run high, these rules are likely to be abused. Don't be that person. Take the higher path... and be a Juke. Box. Hero.

Do you have an important rule that we let slip through the cracks? Please share!

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