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.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Au Revoir Simone

"Au Revoir Simone!" - Pee Wee Herman

The ladies of Au Revoir Simone look like daughters out of Big Love with that one piece of flare confirming their New Yorker indie-pop roots. The trio are prim and proper and during the show, you'll see them slip a smile here and there between their composed head bob keeping beat. Prim and proper and undeniably cute. NME called them "lush electronic hypno-folk." That seems easy to stereotype huh?

Au Revoir Simone has not broken in the U.S. as of yet, but if you listen carefully you would have heard their music in alongside McDreamy and Co. on Grey's Anatomy and on stage at some hefty festivals. And, like so many other bands that haven't fully blossomed in the States yet, Au Revoir's album sales have made a killing overseas in Asia and have been re-worked among the spinsters.

Au Revoir Simone - Lark (ruff and jam remix)

Brooklyn's Au Revoir Simone set up stage with a dozen or so instruments, most of them keyboards - few of which have been used on stage in the past 20 years. The alesis, rhythym ace, moog...all providing their sound which aligns them in the near ballpark of Camera Obscura, Viva Voce, Stereolab...hmmmm, this is tough. Remember the soundtrack to Napoleon Dynamite? Think that on caffeine with a touch of FrouFrou/Imogen Heap.

Friday, October 17, 2008

How would you propose? Robert Francis can help.

The album has been out for a year and some but who's counting? With the millions of songs entered into the copyright database each year and the barrage or artists sent to my inbox and work place, diamonds will continue to slip through the cracks. Luckily, through great blogs, commercials, music supervisors and hard work by the artist, the cream eventually rises to the top.

Robert Francis came to my ears through a great advertising blog, Everything's Better With Brentter. The blog showcased an adorable (yes, I used that word)Zales Jewelers commercial featuring Francis' song and a uniquely cute proposal strategy. Damn it! He totally stole my idea! I was so close to beating him if only I wasn't Mr. Bachelor! exclamation point. According to, Francis wrote the song "Don't Forget Love" specifically for this commercial.

Who comes to mind when hearing a few of the diverse tunes that Robert Francis delivers? Alexi Murdoch, Gregory Alan Isakov, Iron & Wine, M. Ward and maybe some of Josh Ritter or Conor Oberst when it comes to slide guitar or light twang-rock.

The debut record from Robert Francis, One By One, has been out for some time now and I'm starting to let his imeem and MySpace pages run on repeat as the songs continue to show his diversity of tempo and moods. The album is available from Aeronaut Records, though the song featured in the commercial should be a quick $.99 from iTunes. If you want a to download "Little Girl" from Francis, it's free here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ray Lamontagne on Conan

If this were his main music video for "You Are The Best Thing" I'd be happier than the one he actually chose. Nonetheless, it sounds damn good.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ethan Johns +1...
Sarabeth Tucek

Is this guy in protective custody or in hiding? Jesus! I can find the name 'Ethan Johns' in just about ever CD album booklet in my collection. Hell, he's either played an instrument, produced, mixed, and/or engineered most of them. Among his multi-credited history includes a suaree of powerhouse artists like U2, EmmyLou Harris, John Hiatt, Wallflowers, Stevie Nicks, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Ray Lamontagne, Joe Cocker, The Pretenders, Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams, Jayhawks, Ben Kweller...

Finding a photo or specific bio on Johns online is like trying to find an admitted Republican in Boulder, Colorado. He must either be running from the gov't or one of the very few who could care less about fame. Hmmm...coincidence he's so close to Lamontagne or Adams? The only thing I can find out is that he MAY have solo stuff coming out on 3 Crows Music and that he is represented by a big firm. Nice job self, I may start calling myself Sherlock Shit or start comparing myself to the janitor from Billy Madison. Seriously.

Here is another artist that Ethan Johns has recently worked with. I'm guessing this gal may be on the rise as most projects associated with Johns tend to become noticed sooner than later.

Sarabeth Tucek. The name almost gives her style away. Something simple with a twist. Now that I introduced her via the lengthy record that Ethan Johns brings to the table, you'd have high expectations, and rightly so. Sarabeth Tucek will fulfill those expectation with an almost Alexi Murdoch style of stripped, frail, simplicity. I almost hear a ghostly resemblance of The Velvet Underground's Nico, with some of the air-filled gasps and the hollow bass drum in the background. Her voice is definitely more clean and crisp with her steady falsetto. It's pretty easy to only catch yourself daydreaming as the song builds layers and creeps up on you. However, should you need another listen, the lyrics aren't to be missed.

Sarabeth Tucek has already opened up for Bob Dylan, Ray Lamontagne, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. You can hear her voice alongside The Brian Jonestown Massacre in "Seer," which is actually her own song, though titled "Something For You" in her catalog. If you watch the Brian Jonestown Massacre's video for "Seer," you can probably see where she got the idea for her debut album cover art. Small world...from Ray Lamontagne to Ryan Adams, all the way through Johns, Tucek and the Jonestown Massacre.

Take a listen.

Sarabeth Tucek - Something For You


The Brian Jonestown Massacre with Sarabeth Tucek - Seer

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ray Lamontagne - Sarah

Sheesh! It's finally here. The Mountain Tempo has been waiting patiently for the release of Ray Lamontagne's Gossip In The Grain from RCA. We even gave a listen of Ray's "You Are the Best Thing" a bit back...and today the album is finally available for all of us.

Joining Ray on Gossip In the Grain is Jennifer Condos on bass, guitarist Eric Heywood, drummer/producer Ethan Johns, and singer-songwriter Leona Naess. Now, it may be common knowledge to the few, but as I was memorized by some old Ryan Adams tunes this gloomy weekend I came to find out another web between two of my favorite artists while reading the liner notes. Johns and Condos are both a part of Adams' long discography while Johns has also produced Kings of Leon, Ben Kweller, Crowded House, Glen Phillips, Wainwright, and on and on...not so surprising such a kick ass producer/drummer appears with Lamontagne now is it?

And what is the result? Yet another jaw-dropper.
Ray Lamontagne - Sarah

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Spinto Band

My life-long music-guide, Abby Berendt, introduced the Spinto boys to me back in college as her radar was on full force as a trailblazin' music director. Since then, she's connected me with the band members and their publicity agent which has allowed me to use their music in a film and to see exactly what they can offer on stage. I watched The Spinto Band open for Rilo Kiley which didn't seem to work out well as a touring pair. Hear me out. I love me my Jenny Lewis, Sennett and Co. Who wouldn't? I was overwhelmed by the lightning-esque performance that The Spinto Band displayed, leaving my ears ringing and my laughing unhinged due to their energy, dancing and antics on stage. Combining 50's pop via Oneders/Wonders style, kazoos, cardigans and dancing as if they were marionettes controlled by erratic hands, The Spinto Band know how to wrangle fans.

Remember their first release a bit back?

The Delaware boys just released their 6th album, Moonwink, full of the indie-pop fun you'd expect. Their newly designed site, formatted for their new album, almost rivals that of the Arcade Fire in terms of interaction, layout and entertainment. The Spinto boys are on tour now and if you want a night out of great music, dancing and laughter, they can deliver.

The Spinto Band - Summer Grof

Friday, October 10, 2008

What was that song?

Blame Wes Anderson once again for infecting my head with amazing music that would have otherwise gone un-noticed. Yes, the director who clogs my MySpace movie favorites with dark comedies such as Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, Tenenbaums, Zissou, and the still rising, The Darjeeling Limited. Anderson also directed a prologue to The Darjeeling Limited titled Hotel Chevalier, which was originally left out of the film and offered for free on iTunes until the prologue's popularity made it necessary for Anderson to re-insert it with the main film. I digress.

Hotel Chevalier features a song that Jason Schwartzman casually plays as his ex-girlfriend (Portman) announces an unexpected visit. "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)" by Peter Sarstedt eventually became a buzz for quite a few ears as the movie re-popularized his old-world tunes after the theatrical release. It also gave us a perfect setting for the scene to follow. Although the scene in which this song debuts takes place in Paris, the main movie takes place in India - an odd bridge and coupling of cultures to cover with a song, right? Kudos to Anderson and/or his music supervisor for finding this song. Sarstedt was born in India, yet this song has that rooted Parisian, Moulin Rouge-era feel...a perfect fit. I mean, it's no surprise that Anderson yet again delivers an amazing soundtrack...but the (re)discovery, placement and use of Sarstedt's song is abnormally unique.

Peter Sarstedt - Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)

The song never rocketed in the U.S., though it reached #1 in 14 other countries. Sarstedt even won an Ivor Novello Award back in 1969 for his composition and songwriting.

Seriously, nice hair.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blue Merle Then & Now

I love to keep track of the tiny webs of musicians that seem to keep popping up in my life, reminding me that although the music world is growing at an exponential rate, it isn't THAT huge. I was working on a soundtrack for a video last month when I ran into their manager who provided the missing link between four bands. Back in 2005, Nashville's Blue Merle hit the radio waves with their mandolin filled, light rock hit "Burning In the Sun."

Blue Merle - Burning In the Sun

The group was started by singer/songwriter/guitarist Luke Reynolds and bassist Jason Oettel who were actually offered a quick deal by Sony only 4 months into recording together. The duo passed on the offer, decided to start a band, and acquired singer/mandolinist Beau Stapleton and drummer William Ellis. Quoting Zeppelin's "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp," the band named themselves Blue Merle. Queue the split of Blue Merle.

After the split of Blue Merle, Luke Reynolds started a new project, Pictures and Sound. In the self-titled album from Vanguard Records, Reynolds plays a dozen different instruments, ranging from lap steel to guitar. According to their MySpace, Reynolds aimed to "create an album that is modern in its arrangements and soundscapes, yet a throw back to an era when songs were written and recorded in a more organic atmosphere."

Pictures and Sound - It's You

Beau Stapleton, the other key component behind Blue Merle joined with Johnny Mann to start Computer Vs. Banjo, an experimental sound combining kick-ass beats with some rooted, almost bluegrass melodies. Based in Nashville, Computer Vs. Banjo have had their sounds in a lot of speakers lately due to MTV, a Kenneth Cole campaign, KCRW, and the outdoor adventure flick I worked on (which also featured Pictures and Sound and their mutual acquaintance, Ki: Theory).

Computer Vs. Banjo - Give Up On Ghosts

Monday, October 6, 2008

New Ray Lamontagne video

Ray Lamontagne released a video for his new single "You Are The Best Thing" last week. I think a great video can sometimes catapult an emerging artist to a much higher level. I consider myself a huge Ray fan and luckily for him, I think a crappy and cheesy video can never extinguish a great artist. I keep watching this waiting for the "Heineken" or "Axe" logo to appear until I remember that even those companies would never let a lackluster video like this be a part of their campaign. Urgggh. It's a great song (see a slight review on my previous post)...think of what they COULD HAVE done with it!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Felice Brothers. American music. Period.

The Felice Brothers, American music. Period. Can't argue too much with that. I've been a bit addicted to Americana and rooted music lately as you can probably tell from my recent posts lately of Flynn, Bingham, Avett Bros., Dylan, Floozies, goes on, just scroll down. I hadn't noticed until a co-worker called me out on it while noticing a stack of Ryan Adams albums sitting on my desk awaiting a revisit from my ears.

The Felice Brothers do play American music. Not Americana or bluegrass or folk, mind you. Music form our backbone. Hailing out of Palenville, NY, nestled in the Catskill Mountains, the three Felice Brothers started their band in the subways of New York City busking for a living. It's Simone Felice (drums, guitar, and vocals) Ian Felice (lead mic and guitar), James Felice (organ, piano and accordion) and their buddies Christmas (bass) and Farley (fiddle and washboard). When they say they make "American music," they mean it. Think porch music times ten and then add some oddly looking fellas from belly of our eastern hills. Place these roughians in a scrappy bar with whiskey-soaked wooden planks for a stage and you begin to get the feeling of the brothers Felice. They were a jaw-breakin' kick-ass, beer swashin' surprise when I saw them a few months ago touring with Justin Townes Earle, yes a boy named after Van Zant and Steve's son. It was something similar to this and yes, my toes and sandals were sopped with beer by the end of the evening.

The Felice Brothers released a self-titled album from Team Love Records last March and they're on the road again and I beg you not to miss a tour date in your neck of the woods. Not sure if the crew is still traveling around in their big, sluggish, white special education (the short bus) bus this go 'round. Seriously, if you come across a sketchy bar and you see the white "short bus" parked in front, there's a 60% chance it's the Felice Brothers making smiles and drunken stoopers and not the local charity bus on a night out. Team Love has offered up some Felice songs to wet your whistle

The Felice Brothers - Frankie's Gun

The Felice Brothers - Wonderful Life

Thursday, October 2, 2008

There's still more Dylan tunes out there?

Well, Happy October and L'shana tova to everyone. The leaves are dropping, my bike riding time slot is becoming quite slim and will soon be filled with snow and skis. October is here with yet another release from Bob Dylan. It's hard to imagine an artist has enough material the he can release eight bootleg albums full of material that didn't make the cut onto his main, "released" albums. I was hesitant to post on Dylan at first in fear of displaying some of his songs that were under lock and key. But, low-and-behold his record label has now released the CD to the "public" enough that many of the songs are already available if you know where to look. That being said, I still encourage you to purchase this entire collection of tracks from Dylan that are either unreleased, live or alternate versions of songs that did make his major album releases.

Dylan's Tell Tale Signs: the Bootleg Series Vol. 8 is out on October 7 from Columbia Records. I tend to enjoy these "raw" albums from Dylan's vault more than many of his released albums due to their jagged edges that make for more of a living-room-performance feel to many of them. One great example is on this album with Dylan's alternate version of his recent single, "Someday Baby."

Bob Dylan - Someday Baby (from Modern Times, 2006)
Bob Dylan - Someday Baby (alt. version from Bootleg Series Volume 8)

The entire double-disc album is full of these gems as well as songs stripped from all the luster, backing instrumentation and production that accompanies most any released album. The 8th Bootleg Series opens up with Dylan's "Mississippi" which is unreleased from Time Out of Mind. On this gorgeous down-tempo blues tune, everything seems to be revealed as Dylan's graveled voice and strumming is only backed by Daniel Lanois' simple riffs on electric guitar.

Bob Dylan - Mississippi (unreleased)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Brusha Brusha Brusha

Sorry for the sub-par post today...I was at home all night nursing a sore jaw. Not to let you know too much about me, but I consider myself a well kept young man. I brush twice a day, floss a few times a week and even bought myself a tongue cleaner! Never even had a cavity for the first few dacades of my life! Anywhoo...I had some work done and I'm a sore pup on Vicodin and will get back to the music soon. In the meantime, I leave you with some Dentistry and oral entertainment. And I'm not talking dirty either!

Remember the notorious dentist played by Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors? Great lyrics about qualities only found in dentists* such as "shooting puppies with a bb gun...I'd find pussy cat and bash it's head..."

And his victim/sadism junkie played by Bill Murray?

For my female readers here's the original commercial made famous by Grease:

And one of the few songs I can even find with "teeth" involved. Eh.
Death Cab For Cutie - Crooked Teeth