Posts Tagged ‘School Of Seven Bells’

Near/Far 2010: The “Bonus Disc”

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

For the uninitiated: Near/Far is The Bulletin’s totally free, totally legal, two-disc compilation of some of the best songs of the year. The 2010 version — all 36 tracks of it, including Superchunk, Laura Veirs, Freeway, Das Racist, Black Mountain, Larry and His Flask, Mosley Wotta, Sara Jackson-Holman and more — can be downloaded by clicking here.

We’ve been doing Near/Far annually for the past four years, and you can still grab 2007 and 2008 here and 2009 here. That’s 138 awesome songs, for free. FOR FREE.

But that’s not enough for me. Each year, there are inevitably tracks I can’t use on the official Near/Far, either because I run out of space, or I can’t get permission to use them. So this year, I decided to take advantage of YouTube’s playlist function and put together a “bonus disc” of great songs that didn’t make it onto the 2010 version of Near/Far.

Click here to listen. (Please note that some tracks may include coarse language.)

Here are the artists in this mix: Kanye West, Big Boi, Band of Horses, Mumford & Sons, Deerhunter, Weezer, Surfer Blood, Fang Island, My Chemical Romance, Purling Hiss, Tame Impala, Peter Wolf, Junip, Janelle Monae, Sun Araw, School of Seven Bells, Jonsi and Cee Lo Green. (I had to cut “Bed Intruder Song” at the last minute, sadly.)

Also, sorry if you run into an advertisement.

The best music of 2009 (so far)

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Well folks, it’s early July, and that means one thing to obsessive music geeks everywhere: Time to make a list!

The first six months of 2009 have come and gone, and they were a bit of a roller-coaster for me, music-wise. For the first few months of the year, I didn’t hear much that I loved and was convinced this would be the weakest year of new music in quite some time. (I’m talking non-local here. Locally, it’s been a stellar year for recorded music. Click here or grab a copy of today’s GO! Magazine for more on that.)

In the last few months, though, things have picked up considerably. Truth is, I think running this blog has helped a lot. It has forced me to pay closer attention to new music, and to check out more stuff than I think I normally would’ve. As a result, there are a lot of names on the list below that I wasn’t necessarily familiar with on New Year’s Day.

And that, really, is what I love about music. I’m constantly on the lookout for what’s new. I love the thrill of discovering a new band, even if they’re not necessarily making a new sound. I like looking forward, not back. (Never mind the fact that I’ve listened to Kathleen Edwards’ 2008 album “Asking For Flowers” more over the past six months than any of the albums listed below.)

With that in mind, let’s look back (haha) at the records that really grabbed me in the first half of 2009. I’m not going to clutter this post up with CD covers or YouTube videos. Just click on the artist names to find out more.

The Best of the Best
Crocodiles, “Crocodiles” (slacker shoegaze)
Japandroids, “Post-Nothing” (noisy garage rock … read more here)
School of Seven Bells, “Alpinisms” (icy electro-pop … read more here)
Shabazz Palaces, “CD1″/”CD2″ (brainy Seattle hip-hop … read more here)
Weinland, “Breaks In The Sun” (graceful folk-pop … read more here and watch video of their live show in Bend here)

The Best of the Rest
Brakes, “Touchdown” (pure, perfect pop-rock)
Dinosaur Jr, “Farm” (guitars on blast)
Truck North, “Truck Jewels” (Philly hip-hop … read more here)

More Good Stuff
Animal Collective, “Merriweather Post Pavilion” (psychedelic Afro-electro-pop)
Arbouretum, “Song of the Pearl” (stoner blues)
Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound, “When Sweet Sleep Returned” (psych-pop)
Black Moth Super Rainbow, “Eating Us” (analog weirdness … read more here)
Gui Boratto, “Take My Breath Away” (twinkling electronica)
Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and David Lynch, “Dark Night of the Soul” (creepy pop … read more here)
The Decemberists, “The Hazards of Love” (indie-prog)
John Doe & The Sadies, “Country Club” (country)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, “The Pains of Being Pure at Heart” (throwback twee)
Sonic Youth, “The Eternal” (noise-rock)
Telekinesis, “Telekinesis!” (indie-pop)
Various artists, “Dark Was the Night” (indie-rock Mt. Rushmore)
Wale, “Back to the Feature” (D.C. hip-hop)

OK. Hopefully I didn’t forget something. If I did, remind me in the comments. Think I should’ve included your favorite album? Tell me in the comments. Think one of those albums stinks? Let me know in the comments! I love nothing more than talking about music…

Review: Black Moth Super Rainbow, School of Seven Bells at Holocene in Portland

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Benjamin Curtis and Alejandra Deheza of School of Seven Bells (photo by Ben)

Benjamin Curtis and Alejandra Deheza of School of Seven Bells (Photo by Ben)

It’s rare that I’ll drive up to Portland to see a concert. And I don’t think I’ve ever done so by myself.

But that’s exactly what I did Tuesday night to see Black Moth Super Rainbow and School of Seven Bells at Holocene in southeast Portland.

About two years ago, out of nowhere, Black Moth quickly became one of my favorite bands. I don’t remember why, exactly, but I bought their 2007 album “Dandelion Gum” and was immediately taken with the band’s warped pop music, filtered through vintage fuzz, never-ending vocal effects, and a decidedly warm, analog aesthetic.

I listened to that record non-stop for much of 2007, bought the band’s entire catalog post-haste, and picked up last year’s fine solo album by Black Moth main man Tobacco. All of them, generally have the same feel: Lying in a field of cotton candy, staring at a psychedelic, gold-flecked sky, breathing in stardust and breathing out earthy bubblegum-pop that somehow sounds both ancient and futuristic at the same time.

Add the fact that Black Moth would be joined on this bill by School of Seven Bells — an intriguing trio made up of former members of Secret Machines and On! Air! Library! — and I knew I had to make the trek.

It was a terrific show, but in a way I didn’t expect.

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Video: Grizzly Bear, Tortoise, School Of Seven Bells

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Ah, back at work after a long, wonderful weekend. So here’s a trio of interesting videos to help you kill time if you need time killed:

Man, the Internet unleashed a torrent of Grizzly Bear hype over the past few days, didn’t it? The band’s new album “Veckatimest” comes out today, and here’s the super-cool video for the song “Two Weeks.”

Here’s a trippy video from School Of Seven Bells, the newish shoegazer project from former members of Secret Machines and On! Air! Library! It’s for the song “My Cabal.”

I know a guy who claims Tortoise is not only the best post-rock band of all time, but, in fact, the only one that matters. That’s not true, of course, but the Chicago quintet is certainly one of the genre’s touchstones. They have a new album out in June, and here’s a video for one of its songs, called “Prepare Your Coffin.”