Wednesday, December 24, 2008

2008 Music wrap-up and tidbits

As the year wraps up, here are a few lead stories from the bigger bands, some stats to make you go "hmmm." Not a bad business to be in if you're the top dog huh? Let's just hope The Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, and the countless other "indie" projects reap some rewards for having their 2008 album releases on countless Top 10 lists.

OK, according to Billboard, here are some top lists and numbers from 2008 to ponder.

Top 5 Concert Tours of 2008 (Gross Revenue)
5. Celine Dion - $91 Million
4. The Police - $149.6 Million
3. Madonna - $185.6 Million
2. The Boss - $204.5 Million
and at an average income of $2.1 Million per show...
1. Bon Jovi - $210.6 Million

If you want to actually ponder those numbers, it's pretty astounding. Especially if you're Celine or Madonna and don't have to share that number with your bandmates. And FYI, because I KNOW you're itching to know...Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus was able to pull in $45 Million in 2008 concert sales alone...more than fellow newcomers like Elton John, DMB, Billy Joel and Tom Petty. Maybe she can buy Petty new vocal chords and Billy an AA meeting. Elton could still kick her ass if he really wanted to...I just know he could.

**Live Nation and AEG both pulled in over $1 Billion worth of concert revenue**

According to Billboard charts through the year...

Top 3 Artists
3. Rihanna
2. Lil Wayne
1. Chris Brown
(Miley Cyrus - 7, Coldplay - 11, Kanye West/Bueller? - 18)

Top "Independent" Artists
4. Radiohead
3. Mannheim Steamroller
2. Garth Brooks
1. Eagles
(Vampire Weekend - 7)

Top Digital Albums
3. Jack Johnson - Sleep Through The Static
2. Juno Soundtrack
1. Coldplay - Viva La Vida

Top POP Singles
3. Chris Brown - Forever
2. Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love
1. Flo Rida feat. T-Pain - Low
(21. Miley Cyrus - See You Again)

Top Soundtracks
3. Mamma Mia!
2. High School Musical 2
1. Hannah Montana 2
(8. Hannah Montana 1)

Back in the studio recording No Line on The Horizon. And after selling a modest 9 million copies of your album, why not continue to hire the best producer for your album? Enter Brian Eno. While we're already hiring one, why not make it two? Enter Steve Lillywhite.

DAVE and Company:
From The Lone Microphone we learn DMB is on a tour. Now don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be first in line to get tickets even if Dave DID stop in Colorado. But wtf, I'm almost offended that Red Rocks is not slated. Let's hope this is a prelim tour. Regardless, you'll notice some Mountain Tempo favorites such as Old Crow and Avett Bros. scheduled to open up for Dave and Co. offering these groups some needed attention...which I'm all for!

Dave Matthews Band Spring 2009 Tour Dates
Apr 14 ~New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden #
Apr 15 ~East Rutherford, NJ @ IZOD Center #
Apr 17 ~Charlottesville, VA @ John Paul Jones Arena ^
Apr 18 ~Charlottesville, VA @ John Paul Jones Arena ^
Apr 20 ~Pelham, AL @ Verizon Wireless Music Center Birmingham ^
Apr 22 ~Raleigh, NC @ TWC Music Pavilion %
Apr 24 ~Charlotte, NC @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre %
Apr 25 ~Nashville, TN @ Vanderbilt Stadium (Special Show)
Apr 26 ~New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Apr 28 ~Alpharetta, GA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre %
Apr 29 ~Alpharetta, GA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre %
May 1 ~The Woodlands, TX @ Cynthia L. Woods Mitchell Pavilion %
May 2 ~Dallas, TX @ Center %
May 5 ~Albuquerque, NM @ Journal Pavilion %
May 6 ~Phoenix, AZ @ Cricket Wireless Pavilion %
May 8 ~Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena *
May 9 ~Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena *

# = The Roots
^ = Old Crow Medicine Show
% = The Avett Brothers
* = Jason Mraz

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wisely (Wise"ly) adv. In a wise manner; prudently; judiciously; discreetly; with wisdom.

Willie Wisely - singer-songwriter, Jenna Fischer's friend.

Diggin up another gem and dusting off the earphones, I remember a lesser known artist that came to light with the help of Jenna Fischer, or better known as the reserved Pam from NBC's The Office? Apparently a big fan of Wisely, Fischer agreed to be in a video for his first bigger release, "Through Any Window."

Singing in a somewhat despondent tone as if here were in a permanent lull, Wisely gives us simply naked songs almost with comparisons to Elliot Smith or Nick Drake. Keep in mind I said "almost." Oddly enough, as you listen to more Wisely, you quickly dismiss any mysterious sorrow that accompanies any mention of Drake and Smith with his happier and poppier songs more along the lines of Train. Anywhoo...nothing HUGE about Wisely yet...but definitely worth a quick check for the needed pause in your busy Holiday shopping filled day. Wisely's self-titled albums has been out for some time now from Oglio Records...enjoy!

Wisely - Through Any Window

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Harmonica

My friend teaches elementary school to a handful of pre-double-digit potty lickers. She was asking her class to brainstorm all of the holidays celebrated by different people besides Christmas. One of her kids anxiously raised his hand and blurted out "Harmonica." So, happy first day of Harmonica to you all! I celebrated Harmonica's first evening by cooking up some mean matzoh ball soup full of the fixings for a crew of both Jews and Gentiles alike. And yes, I also drank a cup of eggnog.

Adam Sandler - The Chanukah Song #3

With the hundreds of thousands of Christmas themed music available now, it's even more difficult to keep up with the 22 songs about Harmonica that are understandable. At least us Jews have Adam Sandler to partially thank for letting some type of Chanukah song hit the mass audience. As of 2007, he was up to version #3. It seemed to be a slower 2008 in Hollywood in terms of new Jews getting into the movies and music scene...maybe they were afraid of the Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson wrath. Maybe #4 will be ready by the end of 2009.

Version 3

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This is Kate. Kate knows music.

Either I have no standards or Kate knows music. I've been told both! Now it's rare that I'll post on a friend though I've done it before --> here and here. Nowadays, it is once in a blue moon (and keep in mind folks, the full moon last Friday night was at it's apogee, meaning the moon was the biggest it will be all year...14% bigger!) that a friend actually gives me music that:
a.) I am not familiar with and
b.) Actually makes my skin tingle while
c.) Causes me to turn the speakers to '11' and eventually
d.) Causes me to write about the experience

Kate delivered me a peculiar mix at 5:55am this morning as we headed out to our bi-weekly morning climbing session. At 9:56am I popped in the album to let it take it's course. You see, John Cusack (via Nick Hornby) nailed the art of the mixtape on the head in High Fidelity by explaining the trivialities and hurdles of configuring a proper mix all through the composers thought process, mood, goal and various other influences that serve as the intricate ingredients to a successful product. Not that I'm judging and not that I really looked into it (ha!), but this compilation is one of two (thanks Wallstreet) ever given to me that has blown me away. That being said, I did just receive a mix from Melt Your Face Off that looks like it could raise a ruckus.

Kate's mix is full of radio staples, "unveiled" indie gems, obscura, orchestral soundtrack backers, forgottens of the yester-years, and the neck-out-on-a-limb singer-songwriter ballad. The disc has it all excluding The dreaded Police, the wrist cut inducing Steely Dan and "lord I wish I had a rope and stool" Van Halen song, for which I praise the lord and Kate for not including! Just some highlights that I implore you look into would be
Alec Puro - Concert Dream
Elvis Perkins - All The Night Without Love
Electric President - Ten Thousand Lines
Scott Matthews - Elusive
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Pin
Fruit Bats - When U love Somebody
James - Fine
Yo La Tengo - Stockholm Syndrome
Home - Slide
New order - Ceremony

Thanks for a better than great Thursday Kate!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Missed Joe Pug = mulligan

It was tortuous irony how I found Joe Pug. Every week I have to glance at my blog line-up and for some reason last Friday, I checked a new blog and scrolled the past months worth of entries. For some odd reason (I rarely click on videos) I decided to click the video. Short, simple name, with an honest tune. Joe Pug. Enthralled at the video and the stripped dusty sound that accompanied Dylanesque lyrics, I started my research. Within 5 minutes I discovered Joe Pug, loved the first two songs I heard and found out that he was ironically playing in my backyard for the next three days. Holiday Parties are fun but apparently can come at the wrong time. Damn it! Three chances to see this emerging powerhouse and I went 0 for 3. His videos, live sessions, myspace and tunes have been clogging my computer ever since.

Joe Pug - Hymn 101 from Sam Molleur on Vimeo.

So here's the dilly. So many out there are quick to judge a decent singer-songwriter with a bit of freedom and dust in their lyrics as "just like Bob Dylan." Sure they may have some similarities, but being a huge Dylan admirer, I usually scoff at the accusations as a knock to Dylan. But here is Joe Pug, a seemingly bashful personality with brilliant lyrics and some southern porch pickin.'

I'm sold. And though he is not Dylan and may never leave footprints like Dylan, Pug can at least fill the void for me while offering something new to my ears.

According to his site, Pug picked up his guitar after finding himself in a lull from his senior year at the Univ. of North Carolina. re-tuning the guitar he hadn't touched in a decade, the 23 year-old pug road-tripped toward Chicago and left his life as a carpenter behind. A friend snuck Pug into recording studios for late night sessions that opened up after cancellations from main artists. Initially slated for a play Pug was writing, the songs turned into his first EP released in 2006, Nation of Heat. Since then, Joe Pug has been a headliner to a sold-out Schuba's and is gearing to release another full-length album in 2009. I will be sure not to miss him again.

Courtesy of Joe Pug
Joe Pug - Hymn #101

Monday, December 15, 2008

Andrew Bird announces new album

Multi-instrumentalist virtuoso Andrew Bird is gearing to release another firecracker on January 20th and from the two songs that are floating around, it's impossible to see this album not making waves. Noble Beast is arriving as from Fat Possum Records as a deluxe edition, featuring an additional 16 instrumental tracks, or as a standard edition, featuring the following tracks (tentative):
Oh No
Fitz and the Dizzy Spells
Not A Robot, But a Ghost
Unfolding Fans
Natural Disaster
The Privateers
On Ho!
The first single rumored to hit us should be "Fitz and the Dizz Spells," another intoxicating pinwheel of instruments, whistling, and Bird's storytelling. Noble Beast will be Bird's 11th release to date. Not too shabby for the violin playing Chicago native that started his career with the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

To hear Bird's new tunes, head on over to Pitchfork or his MySpace

Friday, December 12, 2008

Need a Friday comedy break?

Leave it up to me to waste your time. It's worth it, I promise.

Tipped off by Stefania, I now just made my three co-workers waste 15 minutes, 90% of it filled with crying/laughing at the most humorous blog I've seen in a bit...unless your humor is opposite mine.

The blog: Fuck You, Penguin

Happy Friday folks!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Johnny Cash Giveaway!!!!!!

The lovely folks at Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings sent me over some previously unreleased Johnny Cash tracks to give away to you...making this the first official giveaway from The Mountain Tempo blog! What is it? Well, there's a 99% chance you've either seen Joaquin Phoenix portray John R. Cash in Walk The Line as he's about to perform to the Folsom Prison inmates OR have heard the actual live album. Columbia/Legacy released a new double disc + DVD of Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison featuring handfuls of previously unreleased recordings from the TWO shows he actually delivered to the inmates. The double disc includes unissued performances by road mates Elvis Perkins, June Carter and the Statler Brothers as well as radio announcer Hugh Cherry introducing Cash before the famous "Hello I'm Johnny Cash."

Johnny Cash Intro into Folsom Prison Blues

This two-disc CD covers Cash's 36 performances during both Folsom shows, 16 of them unissued until now. Aside from Cash's powerhouse staples, some of the highlights I got excited to see were the actual opening performances by Carl Perkins performing "Blue Suede Shoes," the hit Elvis ran away with, Cash and Carter dueting on "Long-Legged Guitar Pickin' Man" and Hugh Cherry's introduction of Johnny and his father.

If you want this double disc covering The Man In Black's two shows at Folsom Prison either comment on this post or email me (bodie*at*themountaintempo*dot*com). Remember that if you comment on this post, I must be able to contact you, so make sure you're registered on I'll compile all names and draw a winner early next week.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Black Ghosts

I was going to say, "maybe I live in my parents basement still since I've never heard of the book series or the box office smash, Twilight." Then, I realized that the only way a 27 year-old male would have heard of Twilight is if they still lived in their parents basement. Anywhoo, I was recently introduced to the movie through my cousin, still in high school and still in the demo that safely encompasses Twilight's appeal. Aside from how hokie or nostalgic this emo flick is, the soundtrack ain't half bad, nor fully good. Iron & Wine, Muse, Perry Ferrell (Janes Addiction), Mute Math and a the wrist cutting cherry on top to solidify the movie's emo stance, Paramore. Not shabby. Twilight did introduce me to a song that's been hogging my iTunes - Full Moon by The Black Ghosts. Some nice acoustic-ish guitar strumming backed your typical Brit singer full of 3 ounces of angst but still enough dignity to kick some indie ass and some nice beats thrown in to prove it's not a song for your mom.

The Black Ghosts - Full Moon

Another bad ass group not from the U.S., The Black Ghosts continue to prove that despite their oral hygiene, the UK (and hell, even Canada now-a-days) can still produce some great music. The electronic based duo is comprised of Theo Keating and Simon Lord, two artists that met on the Internet and produced handfuls of work together before meeting face to face. My co-worker tipped me off that these are the same two that were once a part of Simian. The Black Ghosts are still new to the scene (relatively) and should be picking up some steam now that they've trampled SXSW in Austin and are the buzz from the Twilight soundtrack.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A cold day in Boulder

The snow is finally here and the Colorado temps are starting to reflect what a winter should bring. In fact, it's finally cold enough that I've worn socks and shoes to work and not flip flops for the first time since the summer (business meeting days excluded!). I'm not complaining. The above photo is what I get to see on my ride/drive to work every morning after a nice snowfall just as the sun glances off of the great Flatirons.

Anywhoo, not much going on today except for a lazy winter Friday full of three cups of Peppermint Celestial Seasonings tea and two cups of joe...and some songs needed to warm up the coldness that is upon us. Keep your eyes peeled on The Mountain Tempo next week - I've just received a nice gift from Legacy Recordings that I must let a reader win next week. What is the prize? It involves a great performance and previously unissued moments from a momentous occasion in music history.

Enjoy some songs for a mild weekend ahead.

Ray Lamontagne - Winter Birds

Calexico - Corona

Marlena Shaw - California Soul (remixed)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Before The Goldrush: Covers and covers

So, here's a pretty damn nifty album that required a bit of licensing, organization, compiling and permission (perhaps)begging.
Before The Goldrush is a compilation album paying homage to mentors, teachers, and singer-songwriter artists of the 60s, 70s who influenced the music of today. Supposedly, an open call was made to all current singer-songwriters in an effort to cover some damn beautiful songs for the compilation. All the profits from the digital-only full album download from Amazon are going to Teach For America and is also tax deductible, if you're already itching for the $19 deduction before the close of 2008.

Before The Goldrush, released from A Nest of Eggs, is full of 26 covers ranging from some artists I guarantee you've never heard of to some break-outs of 2007/8 such as The Swell Season (remember Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova of the movie Once?'s their group), Okkervil River and Neko Case. Who are they covering? Here's the line-up

Here are two of my favorites that do the original great justice.
The Swell Season - Into The Mystic

Pete and J

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Frightened Rabbit
What does it take to keep warm?

I heard of this Scottish group a few back from my bud over at I Am Fuel, You Are Friends and have placed their song (Backwards Walk) on mix CDs to many friends last summer. The way Frightened Rabbit builds their clanging percussion and layered guitar through their songs almost reminds me a bit of 80's U2 circa The Joshua Tree with some indie rock trickled in with a kick ass whiny voice.

Supporting Death Cab For Cutie, releasing The Midnight Organ Fight from Fat Cat Records last April, and the various instances I run into their songs at the most random of places has put them back on my radar...big time...again. Frightened Rabbit recorded that album in Connecticut and say the album's title is a "euphemism for sex." Not too surprising after you hear the endless stories of sex, relationships, and heartbreak that is set in a rather direct and "fuck you" tone. Here's another example:

Frightened Rabbit - Keep Yourself Warm

Sunday, November 30, 2008

From yoga teacher to main stage in one song

It's been done before and hopefully the trend of placing unheard music in national television campaigns will continue. Although Apple may not have been the first to exploit (it's not a bad thing) an emerging artist through an ad campaign, they certainly have been the most recent company responsible for the growth of dozens of new radio singles and iTunes downloads. Remember the Kooks, Yael Naim, The Ting Tings? Yes, they each charted and beyond that, it's hard to argue any of them would have reach mainstream ears if it weren't for conglomerate corporations helping them. Side note: people have given groups such as Aerosmith and Zeppelin shit for years now saying they've "sold out" by allowing their music to sync with car commercials and so on. Really? If someone came up to you and offered you $500,000 to use your song in a commercial that didn't offend anyone and all you had to do was say "ok", could you really turn 1/2 million down? Honestly? Ok, now what if you were Johnny Cash and Preparation H offered you $1,000,000 to use your song, "Ring of Fire" for their anal burning campaign? What then? Is it the money amount involved, the brand involved or a combo of the two that defines a "sell out"?Discuss amongst yourselves.

Batter up: Dell Computers and Kira Willey.

A children's yoga instructor, mother, and musician, Kira Willey founded Fireflies, a musical yoga program in Pennsylvania for children. Full story here. I may have been the last on earth to see this commercial until my brother urged me to hear the simple song that reminds quite a bit of Yael Naim or multiple Juno Soundtrack staples. It's a simple song with that innocent and feel good attitude. If I were a parent singing songs to children aiming to teach them a healthier lifestyle and then some computer company offered me 'x' amount of money and a possible fortuitous musical career for a song I'd written for fun, then I'd be a sell out any day.

Kira Willey - Colors

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 I remember

So I've been one of those that, despite their popularity and dent left on the history of rock, have never taken a liking to certain groups such as The Police, Steely Dan and Van Halen. Keep in mind that yes, I thing two of these groups actually have amazing talent. But for some reason, their tunes generally make me search for a new radio station. Though whenever I hear a song by Van Halen, I end up searching for a noose and I now I know why. A few days ago my co-worker showed me a video of David Lee Roth's vocal track of what he contributed to the 80s ballad, "Runnin' With The Devil." Simply put...embarrassingly talentless.


To justify his talent, or lack thereof, here is David Lee Roth with the rest of the group, allowing him to mask his minimal input.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rodrigo Y Gabriela Live in Japan

The seductive Mexican duo via Ireland can now add the country of Japan to the most recent list of swooners and oooh-ers and ahhhh-ers. Sure their songs get a bit repetitive if you listen to the album in it's entirety, but seeing Rodrigo Y Gabriela live is a completely different experience. The speed in which the metal influnced folksters hands explore and dance the necks of their one-of-a-kind handmade acoustic guitars will leave your jaw dropped. In addition to Rodrigo's humbleness and Gabriela's cutsie stage presence comes some great music. Are they dating? Are they married? Are they brother and sister? Let's hope it's not the Jack and Meg White question all over again. Rumor has it that they are definitely together, though on stage it's all about the music, picking and getting the crowd to clap along.

Rod Y Gab have just released a double disc CD/DVD of their time overseas from ATO Records. On it you'll find a handful of songs from their debut release with a bit of pepper. However, to make it worth your penny, the crew was able to capture a few newbies including a solo by each and a kick ass cover of Dave Brubeck's 1959 classic, "Take Five." Here's the original and Rod Y Gab's take on it for ya!

Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Take Five (live)

Friday, November 21, 2008

She & Him is the best 2008 has to offer.
Really? I mean, really?

I mean really Paste magazine, She & Him released the best album of 2008? Really? C'mon. So I'm at work earlier today minding my own when Jason walks in and slams down the newly released Paste rubbish on the table after announcing their choice for Best Album of 2008. Without hesitation, I facetiously respond: "did Paste even listen to the album?" Stereogum, please save us.

OK, I'm a realist and know it's just a simple poll. Before you think I'm one of those self-righteous music snobs who's "above it" and no matter who "they" ranked at #1 I would have disagreed, let me put in my own asterisk. *I love (Him) M. Ward. I think (She) Zooey Deschanel would never ever win an ugly contest...voice or looks. I own all of M. Ward's albums. I love watching Zooey and Buddy The Elf (Will Ferrell) duet in Elf. But really...the best album of 2008? It IS unique. It does stand out. Hell, he is an instrumentalist extraordinaire and she only adds to the skiked Kool-Aid. But trust me you, by no means does their talent, production, lyrics, melody or sound top the charts of 2008. Take a listen and then come right back.

OK, now I'm not stating that I'm important enough to compile a Top 50 list of 2008. And I'm confident that if I did, I'd have to stand up and take the punishment of the naysayers and critics, which is only appropriate after rating artistic talents...especially when my musical talent is confined to performances alone in my living room or at campfire in front of alcohol-induced onlookers. That being said and without posting these in any specific order, I'd like to remind you of some songs/albums that I believe got shoved aside by Paste when they hoisted She & Him's Volume One to the #1 slot of 2008. Really. Again, I'm not saying She & Him blows. I'm saying it was good but "good" should never be the cover of a magazine as big as Paste. In this man's humble opinion, each below are more deserving of the #1 stature than what Paste determined.

Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal

Vampire Weekend

TV On The Radio

Okkervil River - Lost Coastlines

Lykke Li

Bon Iver

Ray Lamontagne

Noah And The Whale

Girl Talk


Sigur Ros

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Belle & Sebastian!!!!!

They're back! I know there were never really gone, but when a new release arrives from such an influential indie band, it's a good day. Now I know the definition of "indie" has lost much of it's flare and has easily been clouded due to the ease of attaching those five letters to any old band that isn't on the four big labels. Hell, many of the bands on the big labels are still considered "indie" becuase of their roots and many of the bands on "indie" labels such as Sub Pop (bullshit) are anything but independent of politics and polish of the big boys they despise. Anywhoo...on with the main point huh? Indie pop staples, Belle & Sebastian, have released a new double disc album available digitally, on CD and if you want the true living room performance experience, it's available as a double vinyl. Right on.

It's a testament to Scotland's Belle & Sebastian and their volumes of stripped songs when a BBC sessions album full of bootlegs, live performances and rareties, can count as damn great album in it's own right. The first disc is full of BBC radio recording from 1996-2001 while the second disc provides some nice dessert via a live performance from Belfast. The BBC Sessions album is out now from Matador Records. If you want some more detailed information on the release from the band, check their Myspace here. Their BBC album on vinyl is the answer for a brisk fall Sunday evening with a slowly disappearing glass of wine.

Belle & Sebastian - (My Girl's Got) Miraculous Technique

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Le Scaphandre et le papillon

Hands down one of the best films I've seen in a handful. "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" is a true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who suffered a stroke causing him to be almost fully paralyzed apart from his left eye. Through family, transcribers and doctors, Bauby uses his left eye to blink a memoir describing "the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he'd only visited in his mind" (imdb). See the trailer here

Aside from the brilliant cinematography, the actors involved and the numerous awards that this film has secured (including a Golden Globe for best director), the music was sterling. Not only serving as the director, Julian Schnabel also supervised the films soundtrack. Watching the film and noticing the pastel layout of colors along with the surf and ocean scenes coupled perfectly with Tom Waits, Lou Reed and some grunge from the days forgotten, I immediately thought of another movie, "Basquiat". After making a trip to IMDB, it was no surprise that Schnabel also wrote and directed "Basquiat" He also composed the soundtrack's original music with John Cale, the man responsible for the now notorious "Hallelujah."

Anywhoo...Go see the film (or both!) and get the soundtrack(s). The Diving Bell and The Butterfly's bloated soundtrack is full of Lou Reed, traditional French gems from the 40s and 50s, The Dirtbombs, obscure(ish) U2, classic Tom Waits, Joe Strummer, Bach, and Ultra Orange and Emmanuelle. Speaking of...
The Velvet Underground - Pale Blue Eyes

Ultra Orange and Emmanuelle - Don't Kiss Me Goodbye

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Iglu & Hartly

I was at a concert recently when a friend asked me if the artist on stage had "made it." What is the status an artist should reach or is there an initial plateau, monetary amount, fan base, record deal, tour schedule, self fulfillment or combination that counts for "making it" in this political and cutthroat profession?

DJ Iglu and Hartly Dark, a young group of hip-hop artists that I used to help out a bit, is at that moment...or maybe they surpassed it months and months ago...I'm not sure. Micheal Jarvis and Sam Jantz used their imagination, light-hearted nature, musical experimentation's and various left-field influences to start up a hip-hop/rock/punk/beat-driven group when they attended the University of Colorado in Boulder. In the long months to come with late evenings spent locked in their college basement with a bunch of instruments, liquor, self-taught production skills and time, they eventually gathered a light local student following. Maybe enough of a following to pay for a few kegs and a three vintage sets of shirts. Through their small success grew the needed confidence to pick up everything and head to Hollywood to see if the college band/experiment could blossom.

Being a consultant, booker, blogger, and supervisor in this profession, I'd have to say about 1% of the bands/artists out there make it past the trudge of performing the free coffee shops and house parties decorated as a dive-bar. Jantz and Jarvis quickly proved to NOT be one of those. Eventually re-branding their band under the name of Iglu & Hartly, picking up some actual back-up musicians and making the move to California, they quickly found the surfer-girl following and rightly so. These guys are skinny Cali punks that haven't a care in the world other than what stage will allow them to dance and smile the following night. Hell, no one still knows whether to call them a rock band, punk experiment, garage rock or hip hop. Their influences range from 60s punk, The Cars, The Clash, to the 80s NY street rappers and probably today's underground indie bands that won't make it upstairs.

Weeks after establishing their fan demographic of flip-flop wearing surfer gals topping out at 22 years-old, Iglu & Hartly played the Viper Room, opened for acts that they've now surpassed ten-fold, appeared on MTV's The Hills and placed their newest single "In This City" on the UK charts. In roughly a year after the sun started shining bright, Mike Jarvis (now Jarvis Anderson), Jantz and full band found a home next to The Killers on Mercury Records and on an extensive tour in Europe. Regardless of all the success and fans now following Iglu & Hartly, the local "rock" station in Denver still passes them up for jokes like the Flobots. Maybe stations in the U.S. like KTCL will continue to let the UK fans establish bands and jump on in a few more months down the road. Why take the risk, right?

Have I&H made it? Major record label, full tour schedule, smiles, no need for t-shirts any more, chart position in the UK and great music. I'd cast a vote.

Here's a recently filmed concert at the famous Paradiso in Amsterdam via Fab Channel
And here is for your critique:
Iglu & Hartly - In This City

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

David Ford shows us how to go to hell

He was my favorite artist to break out in least to U.S. audiences. I'm lucky enough that after not touring in my neck of the woods for the past two years, UK singer-songwriter David Ford is coming back around! He's still not too well known in the states but has secured opening slots for gems such as Gomez, KT Tunstall, Richard Ashcroft and Elvis Costello. Not only a brilliant singer-songwriter that gleams passion, Ford actually calls himself as much a technician as a strict performer. A jack-of-all-trades is what you'll see if you don't pass up the common name on a billboard venue. David Ford awes fans on stage as most expect his backing band to appear any second to fill the vacant slots in front of the bass, percussion, guitar, drums, piano, guitars, and multiple mic stands. Not much time is wasted when Ford takes control and loops segments of dozens of instruments, resulting in a cacophony of perfectly synced sounds, dismissing any need of a backing band.

Ford has now released a few videos showing that everything you hear on his album may have taken a lot more talent you'd be quick to guess. Here's how he constructed the full sound of "Go To Hell"

David Ford - Go To Hell

Now how about this - a live recording, one take, four times

Ford is again on tour in the states, this time with New Yorker Ingrid Michaelson (yes, the gal responsible for making you remember Grey's Anatomy and Old Navy), and England's Newton Faulkner.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Margot and Nuclear W's Last Day In Office

The Mountain Tempo posted on Margot & The Nuclear So And So's a bit ago, featuring the two fantastic singles, "A Children's Crusade on Acid" and "As Tall As Cliffs" from their upcoming album. If you wanna get 'em and hear more about Margot's history and their relationship with George W., check out the post link above. The news coming out of the Margot headquarters is the hilarious new video for their single, "As Tall As Cliffs," documenting W's last moments in office. I'm no political jive-talker, mudslinger or high-hat spokesman, though I do take a firm stance in encouraging satire and dark comedy, no matter the victim. Take a look.
As Tall As Cliffs

Not Animal was released in Oct from Epic Records and I'll say it again. It's a hodge-podge of diverse influences, balanced noises, and uniquely titled songs like their single or the down-tempo'd "Hello Vagina." Don't let the titles and jolly video make you dive in with expectations of only silly and fun songs though. Both "Hip Hip Hooray" and "Real Naked Girls", buried deep in the album, threw me off as I expected something totally different from what the lyrics and tune delivered. The albums really does have it all. Your turn.

Margot & The Nuclear So And So's - Real Naked Girls

Margot & The Nuclear So And So's - Hip Hip Hooray

Friday, November 7, 2008

Music History:
How Springsteen changed Genesis

"Solsbury Hill" is arguably Peter Gabriel's most recognizable song which is saying a lot after the video success of "Sledgehammer" and Cusack's hoisting of "In Your Eyes." You know the song as a staple on adult radio and you know the singer, but do you actually know how it came to be?

According to Wikipedia, the song emerged after a spiritual experience Gabriel had atop the actual Solsbury Hill, located in Somerset England, after his departure from Genesis. In fact, Solsbury Hill is said to be a metaphor to the excitement and adventurous spirit Gabriel felt once he made the decision to leave Genesis. Wiki leaves it at that and misses much of the story that I find more interesting. Although most know Phil Collins as the lead of Genesis, it should be known that he only ditched the drums and sang in the mic after Gabriel's departure. So what ignited this song and Gabriel's ambition to depart such a prolific band in favor of a risky solo-career? Bruce Springsteen. The Boss.

As the story goes, Gabriel arrived to his decision at some point before 1977 after watching Springsteen in concert. His first verse describes Springsteen as an "eagle who flew out of the night" and "standing stretching every nerve." Some sites and reviews go line by line through the song dissecting Gabriel's concert experience, his reaction to it and how he paved his new solo path. Instead of regurgitating their words and sending you their direction, it may be more fun and eye-opening for you to re-listen to the song with this new information of how this song came to be and how Springsteen's heavy-hitting style might have served as a catalyst.

Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill

Since emerging in 1977, "Solsbury Hill" has appeared on over 50 albums, received countless cover tributes by people such as Dave Matthews, Sarah McLachlan, Erasure, Moe., and has seen millions of spins on our FM dial throughout the decades.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Decemberists Cover Velvet Underground

The Juno Soundtrack was the "Garden State" of the past few years. A pretty damn-strong soundtrack that served our highschoolers, college boys and girls with some of the great indie staples they may have missed out on while focusing on Beyonce, Bush, No Doubt or Modest Mouse only a few years before. Juno re-introduced the younger masses to acts like Mott The Hoople, Kimaya Dawson and her Moldy Peaches, The Velvet Underground, Belle and Sebastian and some Sonic Youth. The Juno soundtrack really didn't debut any new songs, it reminded us what needs to be re-added to our iPods.

Portland's The Decemberists are about to release another album and having listened to it in it's entirety, I'm now assuming Meloy and Co. are one of the few bands that just don't put out an average album. They didn't get the memo about the notorious one-hit wonder phase and they overlooked putting out a weak sophomore album. Maybe their last album in 32 years will suck.

Anywhoo, The Decemberists are set to release a handful of singles through their Always The Brides Maid: A Singles Series from Capitol Records. A few are currently available through their site, iTunes or One released single covers Lou Reed's 1976 bootleg called "I'm Sticking With You," which resurfaced in early 2008 thanks to Juno and Velvet Underground. Seriously, take a listen to this and then get the rest of the singles for really is another strong output from the Portland quintet.

The Decemberists - I'm Sticking With You

Here's the Velvet Underground version

Monday, November 3, 2008

1 Vote DOES NOT make a difference

Only 537 people decided the 2000 election.

"537? There's more Baldwin brothers than that."

Here's a nice little viral campaign with a plethora of celebs. I think the best may be Braff's reference to "Tommy Cruise" or Justin's "I can do anything. I was in a boy band, ok?" Get up early tomorrow and do your part if you haven't already done so.

I like Toe Jam

Here's a funny and wonderfully edited video, showing us some music and hot buns that are to come in the middle of a cold winter.

"Toe Jam" is the first single from I Think We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat, the new album from Norman Cook or The Brighton Port Authority, or BPA for short. Norman Cook, the real name to the face behind Fatboy Slim, teams up with greats such as Lateef, Martha Wainwright, Simon Thornton, Iggy Pop, and Emmy The Great in the album which is set to drop from Southern Fried Records in early 2009. The video you saw above is none other than Cook with rhymester Dizzee Rascal and Talking Heads front man and musical experiment extraordinaire, David Byrne.

Toe Jam - David Byrne, Norman Cook & Dizzee Rascal

Friday, October 31, 2008

This is Halloween

Ahh...the sounds of Danny Elfman. The brain behind Oingo Boingo who also brought us the soundtracking for Pee Wee's Big Adventure, The Simpsons theme, Beetle Juice, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Edward Scissorhands, and more. Not that it has much competition other than your typical horror flicks, but I'd consider Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas a damn good movie to get you in the mood for Halloween, especially the Halloween Song from it.
Here's the song for you to play at your little Halloween shindig this weekend.
This Is Halloween

I'll admit I'm not a huge Halloween fan, but thanks to the plethora of concerts that headline Hallow's Eve and Halloween in my town, it's impossible not to participate...and I'm not complaining too much. Who do I get to see tonight? I almost feel guilty for not doing a full post on what their performance alone entails...yet alone a halloween show. This is a small clip of the Devotchka Halloween show I witnessed two years ago...tonight is gonna be great!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hell Yes I Lykke Her!

So I'm not the kind of guy to have a celebrity crush and talk about it. But, let's just say I HAD to be that guy for a day and let's just say that I had to choose someone outside of Rachel Bilson, Kate Beckinsale and Kristen Wiig. Lykke Li (real name: Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson), a young Swedish music vixen at the age of 22, is kicking some serious ass in the music industry as of late. And how do you pronounce it? Lykke Li --> (say this fast: "Youk-uh-Lee" with a small silentish "L" tucked just after the 'Y' in 'Youk')...pretty easy actually.

Lykke Li - Dance Dance Dance

Videos of her performing with artists young and old are now clogging up YouTube and she's even been doing a few projects with some of my favorites. How do I choose just one to show you, among dozens that are worth of your eyes? I don't. I let you waste some of your work day here by showing you the three Lykke Li videos I think you should see to familiarize you with my crush.

1. Lykke Li's acoustic live version of "I'm Good I'm Gone" with Robyn, members from The Shout Out Louds, The Concretes and a few more. See the produced music video here.

2. Lykke Li with another street performance...this time singing "Dance, Dance, Dance" with Bon Iver and Co.

3. Recently tipped off by one of my favorite blogs, I found out Lykke Li just covered Vampire Weekend's "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" in Paris while throwing a bit of her own flare and songs in there.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nik Freitas and his Mystic Valley

So I'm watching ol' Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band in a studio performance last week and he introduces bandmember Nik Freitas. So that's why his voice and Beatles-esque style sounded a bit familiar and oddly comfortable alongside the indie staple that fronts Bright Eyes!

Out of L.A., Nik Freitas sounds quite a bit like McCartney sans accent. But it's there, it really is...just listen to "Sophie" or "All The Way Down". Not only that, but his label puts his album in the same stylings of Paul Simon and a bit of Bowie. Such a big statement from an emerging artist and I'm quick to turn him off as Paul Simon is my absolute favorite. However, after only listening to his lead track titled "Sun Down," I agree with the bold statement and find myself making even deeper comparisons. Now, keep in mind neither I nor his label are saying he IS the next Paul Simon or the upcoming McCartney. It just seems we're both saying that Freitas has that same poppy-slash-carefree style with some musical genius. Sun Down, Freitas' fourth album and first by Team Love, came out last spring and showcases Freitas' all-around talents as he produces, engineers, writes and plays every note on the album. His talents didn't go un-noticed either as he initially began opening up for Bright Eyes and now finds himself in a solo career and part of Oberst's Mystic Valley Band. Not a bad start to a career that was started only a few years ago when Nik's co-worker sold him an antique piano for run. Take a listen. Team Love has offered up two of his songs for free download.

Nik Freitas - Sun Down

Nik Freitas - All The Way Down

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I was lucky enough to see Ray LaMontagne perform twice yesterday, in studio and in concert. Most that follow him even remotely close will easily find that his stage persona or demeanor is not typical of an entertainer. He often comes across as shy, brief, cold and unfriendly to crowds. The first time I saw Ray perform in Denver a few years ago, he asked a crowd member to quiet down as a person cheered his name during the silence between songs. Many are put off by his coy attitude, but those that dig into his rocky past and atypical childhood often find solid reason for his unique banter or lack thereof.

I'm no biogrpaher but I do know a clouded outline of some of Ray's not-so-glamorous childhood lowlights, which is why I am one of the fans that cares less about the stillness left in a room after an uncomfortable interview with him. You can find more information on Ray Charles LaMontagne if you dig on this blog or head to one of many attempts on the web that outline "his story."

During the one-minute elevator ride I took with LaMontagne and his band, I saw a completely different side of him than I had witnessed on stage over the past years. He was laughing, joking, and hell, nearly gregarious. A complete 180 from the quiet, reserved man that emerged only minutes later when being interviewed in the studio or congratulated by his manager. During an interview on eTown last summer, the host and crowd were able to catch Ray in the light I saw him yesterday, as he quickly responded to a question not immediately knowing his answer was a complete sexual innuendo. Ray, the host, and crowd were all on the same page, if only for a few minutes.

Watching Ray's show last night at Macky Auditorium in Boulder gave me the chills numerous times. I was on the first row in the balcony with all the speakers aimed directly at my face. My friend and I could even notice the difference in volume, pitch and bass when we leaned over the balcony 6 inches as compared to leaning back in our seats. Ray LaMontagne was armed with full band, which included Jennifer Condos and the legendary Ethan Johns. His smoky voice bellowed emotional stories in the aged theater while Johns provided the catchy backing rhythms and much of the new-style arrangements. His recently released album covers a new spectrum of Ray with the gorgeously down-tempo ballad of "Winter Birds" in contrast to my favorite, the Americana, bar-stomping, gospel chant of "Henry Nearly Killed Me (It's A Shame)". It sounds like this

Ray LaMontagne - Henry Nearly Killed Me (It's A Shame)

and felt something like this last night:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kings of Leon - Notion

Yes, I saw Kings of Leon for my first time last night and better late than never. I'm saying I'm not going to do a concert review for ethical reasons, but in reality, it's because it's Friday morning and after a late night, I'm not in the mood to see where the lack of sleep and absorbed double-Americano takes my ramblings today. I will say I've been a fan of the Followill boys since my first listen of "Fans." And for those of you who know the KOL timeline, you'll realize I'm a rather new fan.

I wasn't a huge fan of the first single RCA and Kings of Leon pushed from their new album, Only By The Night. I finally sat down two nights ago and listened to the entire album straight through, allowing the album's ordering, production, composition and build-up to run it's course. Because of my listening session with the volume up to '11', another song has been on constant repeat on my iPod and in my car. Why? Take a listen.

Kings of Leon - Notion

Here's a snippet from KOL's video diaries during the recording of "Notion." It's not bad to have a producer who'll lay it straight out to you. And by the sound of the entire album, I'm glad he took his time to provide fans with a spectacular album full or depth, great production and something new from KOL.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

hey yoU. THANKS!

So I logged on yesterday and I realized that The Mountain Tempo has now had over 15,000 visitors. This may not be much to many posts out there, especially those that post upwards of a dozen times a day to keep their masses happy. But, 15,000 viewers are a lot to me especially since I only started this blog a few months ago in order to keep a small handful of friends up to date on the music that frequents my ears. Thanks to them and a few labels out there, I'm glad this has blossomed a bit further. On that note, I ALWAYS appreciate comments and feedback both good and bad. And, should you ever have a tip or artist you'd rather make me do the leg work to research and post on, please don't hesitate to let me know - bodie @ .

So, thank you very very much for taking the time to come by this little music outlet of mine. If you haven't told your friends about it yet, please do, and maybe their friend's friends will eventually visit and I can start to do this during the day instead of at the Boulder coffee shop circuit at night! Please keep this going by passing along this blog address and supporting the artists that work their asses off to make you smile.

And for those of you that need entertainment for today, this should give you a good chuckle.

Again, thank you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jens Lekman goes black in black

Jens Lekman, the Swede who stormed the blogging world with his last two pristine albums, has joined the celebrated list of performers who have taken stage in the Black Cab. With their "one song-one take-one cab" format, the Black Cab Sessions have hosted emerging greenbacks and the hall of fame sluggers by driving aritsts such as Death Cab For Cutie, Fleet Foxes, Cold War Kids, Brian Wilson, My Morning Jacket, Okkervil River, Spoon, The Kooks and The National.

Jens Lekman visited the Black Cab crew and performed his "Black Cab" among the active streets in the background. "Black Cab" debuted on Jens' 2003 EP titled Maple Leaves, but was made more popular by appearing on the 2005 release, Oh You're So Silent, Jens.

Jens Lekman - Black Cab

Within the lines of a solo David Byrne, Belle and Sebastian, Sondre Lerche, and Architecture in Helsinki, it's tough to strip down Jens more than his typical album will naturally convey. In the song above, I even hear a bunch of The Velvet Underground. Is it just me? Despite his ability to show up and perform with a backing choir or even a guitar in hand to amplify his style a bit more, the Black Cab Sessions catches Jens with only his voice and a kalimba (finger piano). It's stripped and quite gorgeous.