Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Suck It And See" by Arctic Monkeys

Suck It And See was released June 7, 2011 on Domino Records.
Arctic Monkeys took the world by storm with the unprecedented overnight success of their first album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, in 2006, after growing popularity on the internet (specifically Myspace) thrust them into the public consciousness. The band followed up with Favourite Worst Nightmare, which proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the band was more that a mere viral sensation and has since gone double-platinum in the UK. Sadly, it seems as though the Arctic Monkeys have lost their way since then. Suck It And See, which feels like a followup to 2009's lackluster Humbug, is a collection of faux-vintage guitar rock that feels more like an elaborate Alex Turner solo album than a true Arctic Monkeys outing. That being said, I have greatly admired Turner as a songwriter for quite some time and have enjoyed all of his solo output, but when the band's name is attached, music like this just feels wrong. Gone are the punchy melodies and whip-smart social commentaries that made us fall in love with this British quartet in the first place. In their place, we have more traditional oldies radio fare, albeit with a distinctive Britpunk edge (though this edge is often dulled until it's nearly unrecognizable).

From The 'Net: "Said That, She Did"

Full disclosure: I am a complete Star Wars nerd. That being said, I am incredibly fortunate to have come across "Said That, She Did". The premise is simple: take a Star Wars quote out of context, cut to Yoda saying his broken-English equivalent of "that's what she said." Sure, it seems a bit stupid, but the results are absolutely hysterical. The site just got started on June 1st so there's not a whole lot of back catalog to go through, but judging by the gems that are on here already this will be keeping me entertained for quite some time. Check it:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Cults" by Cults

Cults by Cults was released on June 6, 2011
on Columbia Records
Cults are a band that on paper fit the exact niche that most popular bands of last year fell into, lo-fi with surf-rock influence, male/female harmonies and reverberated vocals, however the band simply is too talented to fall into that blanketed category.  Cults' debut self-titled album is released through Columbia, the steam for this band picked up quickly when they released "Go Outside" back in 2010, it's full of sing-along melodies and catchy synth and bell parts, but this album is incredibly well rounded and knows exactly when to draw back from the poppy side and focus on their brilliant textures and melodies that make this album so enjoyable.

Raleigh's Hopscotch Music Festival Updates Lineup, Adds Venue

Building on an already impressive selection of bands including the Flaming Lips, Drive-By Truckers, Superchunk, The Love Language, and more, today it was announced that Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, NC would be adding 14 new bands, most notably: Titus Andronicus, Times New Viking, and the Vivian Girls. In addition to taking place in several different bars and nightclubs scattered across downtown Raleigh, as well as the outdoor stage set up in City Plaza, Hopscotch also announced an additional venue: a former warehouse known as the Union, conveniently located right around the corner from the brand new city ampitheater. For tickets, information, and a newly posted schedule for Hopscotch, check them out at

On The Cusp: John Maus

John Maus, May 21st, 2011 photo by Erez Avissar
Best known for his stint with critically acclaimed indie rocker outfit Ariel Pink, who skyrocketed into the public view after being signed to Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label, John Maus is gearing up to release his third solo album entitled We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves. Maus has an unmistakable passion for vintage electronica; his music seems like something you'd hear shaking the windows of a dingy nightclub in the 1980's where locals went to binge on acid. The analog synth trippiness and Maus' eerie, drawling vocals make for a bizarre atmosphere that can occasionally border on creepy but is always a joy to listen to. Below, you can check out the video to his newest single "Believer", made using vintage tape recorders and "video synthesizers" that add to the obvious 80's vibe. We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves will be released on June 28th by Upset The Rhythm. You can download a free mp3 of "Believer" from

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Myxaroo: Saturday & Sunday's Schedule

Presuming I can still walk and haven't been completely demolished by the first two days of rain and heat, I will continue to get down on Saturday and Sunday. Both very full days, but I'm excited mostly for Saturday's lineup, which kicks off with Cheer Up Charlie Daniels, Abigail Washburn and Old Crow Medicine Show. Just when I think I've had enough banjo, I move on to Deer Tick and Mumford and Sons. How can one complain, however, about a night that ends with Buffalo Springfield & Girl Talk?

Mountain Goats hit AV Club's Undercover

John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

The AV Club Undercover has a relatively simple premise. They've made up a list of 25 songs and invite artists to cover them one by one. As songs get covered, they get crossed off the list and are no longer available to be covered. I was not super excited to see "Boxcar" by Jawbreaker on this year's list. Not to say I don't like the song (though it is not among my favorites), I figure their list could be better this year all around. I was taken aback and slightly confused when I saw John Darnielle and the crew from the Mountain Goats step into the small round room that serves as the Undercover studio to cover it.

From the 'Net: The Library of Congress' National Jukebox

The Library of Congress is our nation's testament to the arts: collections of books as old as our country itself and galleries packed with monuments in visual art. Now, they've provided the general public with easy access to their impressive collection of historic musical recordings. The jukebox brings together sounds recorded all over the world between 1900 and 1929, and each culture and musical style is represented. The Library's database is categorized for easy browsing, so it's easy to find yourself getting lost listening to the array of echoes from the past. My Irish heritage inevitably led me to two Irish reels recorded by Frank Quinn in 1920s New York City (also found a "humorous song" by Billy Murray in 1904 about the Irish). There's a treasure trove of interesting material available for free at

Monday, June 6, 2011

London Philharmonic Orchestra Offers A Web Stream

The LPO played its first concert on October 7th, 1932 at
the Queen's Hall.
Couldn't make it to the London Philharmonic Orchestra last weekend? Me neither but, never fear, it's no longer a problem. The LPO will now be streaming recordings of their live performances for a limited time through the "Listen Again" program. For example, May 28th's performance of Brahms' Symphony no 4 in E minor and Haydn's Symphony no 88 in G major will be available to stream until June 20th, 2011. You can also look through their back catalog of other performances available to stream, which will be consistently updated throughout the performance season. Click the image above to access Listen Again on the London Philharmonic Orchestra's website.

The Myxem Staff Reviews "Circuital" by My Morning Jacket

Circuital was released May 31st on
ATO Records/EMI/Rough Trade
 Circuital is everything I've been wanting in a My Morning Jacket album. In my opinion, it's what their entire 13 year career has been building up to. Frontman Jim James' bizarre blend of psychedelia, folk, and jam-band showmanship is at its most streamlined, producing an album full of powerful grooves, catchy hooks, and razor-sharp lyricism. Borrowing elements from genres as diverse as 50's doo wop ("Slow Slow Tune", one of the album's many highlights) to their flagship quirky alt-country (which lays the groundwork for the album's title track) show a rapidly evolving musical style that still won't disappoint diehard fans. If you're hesitant to check out Circuital based on the off-putting cover art or the lukewarm first single "Holdin' on to Black Metal", rest assured: there's a lot to love here.
Rating: 9.3
Standout Tracks: "Slow Slow Tune", "Circuital"

Confirming Speculations, Apple Unveils iCloud at Developer's Conference

Finally mixing intense brand loyalty with cloud computing, Steve Jobs returned from a medical leave to address some three thousand web developers about Apples new iCloud. The new technology replaces the $99/year MobileMe application in keeping your iPhone, iPod, iPad and Mac computer synchronized both globally and wirelessly. There are a few drawbacks to the service, including a 5GB limit, a 1,000 photo maximum can be saved for a month and music not purchased through iTunes will require a $25/year storage fee. That is assuming, of course, that your music is still available from the retailer; the more obscure cuts in your digital library will not be able to be hosted at all. More on this situation as it develops but, given Apple’s track record, it’s more than likely we’ll be saying great things about iCloud 2 next June.

Media: The Weiner Scandal

Rep. Anthony Weiner [insert dick joke here]
Twitter strikes again as Representative Anthony Weiner of New York announced today, after many days of "dicking around" (I'll be here all day) that the alleged weiner picture sent over Twitter was in fact Weiner's weiner.  If you've been following this story then it comes as no surprise, Weiner has been dancing around the topic of whether it's actually his penis or not for a while, he even told ABC News last week that his Twitter was hacked as a prank when asked as whether or not it was him in the picture.  In a press conference today though Anthony Weiner stated that "The picture was of me, and I sent it."

The news comes after ABC News was preparing to release an interview with a 26-year old woman from Texas with whom Weiner was sexting.  The woman threatened to expose that Weiner had been sexting her for over a month.  To make it even better, it started through a Facebook comment where she called Weiner "hottttt" on one of his speech videos (yes, a speech video).  So not only does Anthony Weiner send dick-pics through Twitter, but he starts the game spitting process with Facebook.  It's pretty hilarious reading the messages sent from a US Representative though, especially ones that include him with his cats and a message of "me and the pussys".  God bless the internet.

But surprise surprise, a politician lied about doing something shady, so lets all just take a minute to stop and reflect on this situation.  Though we found out that we've got yet another dishonest man in our government, we also got to see major news networks make dick jokes for the better part of a week.  Fair trade.

"Dirty Radio" by Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside

Dirty Radio was released May 23rd, 2011 on Partisan Records.
With raw soul energy and infectious, classic Americana vibes, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside have crafted a perfect album. This is the type of album that sets the bar for itself quite high, and never fails to leap above it. From track one, I Swear, and its condemnation of the modern music landscape ("When I turn on the radio, it all sounds the same. What have these people done to music? They just don't care anymore."), you realize that is not your average throwback Americana album. This album has an honest and raw energy that is at once personal and pervasive. With a more than capable backing band, Sallie Ford's soulful howl propels the album into areas familiar and foreign, but always impressive.

Myxaroo: Thursday & Friday's Schedule

Happy Music Monday, everyone. Myxaroo is Myxem's Bonnaroo coverage. We've already begun covering some of the awesome bands on the undercard, like Walk the Moon (album review here) and Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, but it seemed as good a time as any to highlight exactly what we'll be attending during the four-day music festival. Below, the first half (Thursday/Friday) of the Official Myxaroo Schedule...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Myxaroo: Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside

Bonnaroo is pretty tight this year, a lot of great names stack one after another all throughout their schedule. I've already mentioned a bit about Walk The Moon, but as I dug a bit deeper into the undercard this year, I've been finding more and more to love. Most recently, it's been Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside. This Portland, OR band has been making some serious waves lately; most recently they've opened for the Avett Brothers at the Crystal Ballroom. With infectious songcraft and a genuine old time vibe, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside are a perfect fit for fans of the Avetts, the Felice Brothers, et. al., but their tunes transcend the throwback movement and stand alone as one of the best things to come out of it. You can get in touch with them on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Tumblr and their own website. Check the video of "Not An Animal" being performed live below:
Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside are playing June 11th at 7:00pm at Cafe Where?