January 31, 2008

Pontiak at Golden West Cafe 2/8

Not unlike the steady throttle of a black bean chorrito progressing through your small intestines, Pontiak's band o' bros (Lain, Van and Jennings) will post up heavy at Hampden's Golden West Cafe next Friday 2/8. Stream/buy their third release Sun on Sun from September here.

Pontiak - Night's Daughter (from 2005's White Buffalo)

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New Death Set Video: Negative Thinking

The Death Set - Negative Thinking

Two local videos in a week? Bmore ≥ YouTube. Hear about their full-length debut hitting in April over at Covert Curiosity.

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The More You Know: Threesomes

Magnetic Fields - Three-Way
Louis Bellson and the Oscar Peterson Trio - Threesome Shuffle
De La Soul - The Magic Number
Interpol - No I In Threesome

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January 27, 2008

Get Your Supercaliente Gutter Mambo On

So hard to keep up with the Bmore kids these days, what with 16-year-old Rye Rye touring with (and sometimes upstaging) M.I.A. and spitting over beats from Mad Decent mentors Diplo and Blaqstarr.

Diplo - Wassup Wassup (feat. Rye Rye)
Blaqstarr - Shake It To The Ground (feat. Rye Rye)

Recognize that nasty blue water?

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Special Pacific Rim Sunday Edition

A jumbo arigato to our fans across the globe for the Pacific Rim Emmy nomination/Best Baltimore-Based Blog, but we need to talk. It's wack you guys get special "Japanese Edition Bonus Tracks" where artists cough up b-sides and other studio scraps for your ears only. We're OK with the extra Smashing Pumpkins detritus and other stuff no one cares about, but don't hold back Daft Punk.

Daft Punk - Human After All / Together / One More Time (Reprise) / Music Sounds Better With You (bonus from Alive 2007)

Award for best Japanese b-side title goes to Beck for "Crap Hands" - basically the equivalent of Muscles releasing bonus tracks for Guns Babes Remonade.

M.I.A. - Far Far (bonus from Kala)
Beck - Crap Hands (bonus from Guero)
Boards of Canada - Macquarie Ridge (bonus from The Campfire Headphase)
Doves - Far From Grace (bonus from Last Broadcast)
Interpol - Specialist (bonus from Turn On The Bright Lights)
Underworld - Loads Of Birds (bonus from Oblivion With Bells)

Any other special Pacific Rim tracks out there we missed? Let us know.

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January 26, 2008

Drug Rug

With laissez-faire strums and beta-blocking lyrics including "you don't have to worry, you don't have to panic no more," it's no wonder the clean-cut youngsters from Boston's Drug Rug are quickly becoming the preferred pre-naptime performers for fans of all ages.

Drug Rug - Tiny People

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January 23, 2008


Portland's John Weinland and Co. have been courting crits by the dozen with a classic American winter sound - bare soul folk backed by lush arrangements including dobro, mandolin, pedal/lap steel and piano. Available through Badman next week, La Lamentor details the survival swing between hope and self-pity, harsh whiskey winters, and weary bones retreating under cold sheets. Plus check that dude's wicked riverboat face shelf on the left.

Weinland - Sick As A Gun
Weinland - The Devil In Me

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Eugene Francis Jnr and the Juniors

On March 8th 1977 at 8:13am Eugene Francis Jnr emerged into our world. Nine months earlier it is believed that a chivalrous, Apache Indian made love to an exquisite, Inuit Eskimo under the timid Welsh sun.

They traveled with Eugene from continent to continent, in search of work and enlightenment. They were stubborn nomads, who in turn raised an unshakable hippy…but their taste in music was impeccable. Eugene Francis was raised on country, blues and folk music, although when he misbehaved his parents made him listen to 80's synth-pop or ambient.

Bored and fed up one day, Eugene Francis packed his little guitar and some threads and headed off to America on a Kerouac. He was enlightened by a friend who told him to move away from the pop-rock music he had been making and look for something to call his own. Up to the challenge, Eugene Francis headed back home to the Welsh Hills to start work. He emerged four months later holding in his hand the proposed album The Golden Beatle and the word 'Folktronica' would never be the same.

Now he needed a band to reproduce the layers of instruments and percussion. Not just any old band. An elite band, a concept band. Drawing from some of the most musical individuals of the current Welsh Music Scene (Vito, Broken Leaf) Eugene Francis Jnr assembled a democratic, harmonious beatnik supergroup - The Juniors. Tours with Tegan and Sara and a japanese banjo acquisition followed.

And now they plan to take over the world, this one and the next, right after The Golden Beatle drops in April.

Eugene Francis Jnr and the Juniors - Poor Me
Tegan and Sara - Back In Your Head

Other notable Jnrs:
Junior Boys - Double Shadow
Junior Senior - Can I Get Get Get

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Eyeball Skeleton!

Folks, nothing rules more than bands that name their first single the same name as the band. One possible exception would be bands where most of the members are still in elementary school and they are named Eyeball Skeleton.

Maryland's Eyeball Skeleton are eight-year old JJ Brown, ten-year old Charlie Brown and their Dad. The band met at a hospital in the mid-1990s. Each song begins with an image and title drawn by JJ or Charlie (could be a hamburger, could be an Eyeball Skeleton), then they write down ideas and lines for the lyrics, then work with Dad over waffles and coffee to organize the lyrics to fit their music. Catch them at the Talking Head this Friday, guessing this one is all ages.

Eyeball Skeleton - Eyeball Skeleton

Hope these kids are the openers. Damn sons!

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January 22, 2008

Ilad at Talking Head 2/1

With the state of the world today, most of our music choices wisely revolve around escape and detachment. Richmond's Ilad, however, have chosen to attack our country's foreign relations crisis head-on with the world's most powerful weapon - heady jams. But it's not all falafel wraps and hand claps - Ilad make political commentary fun with twisting foam snake flows for the carpool.

Ilad - National Flags*
Ilad - Holy Wars

Pick up their new LP National Flags, produced and recorded by John Mcentire of Tortoise and Stereolab, or better yet catch them at the Talking Head next Friday 2/1.

*A note for our ADD readers, this song picks up around the three minute mark and it's pretty dirty.

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January 21, 2008

Jukebox the Ghost and Bellman Barker at Black Cat 1/26

Heads up on a wonder twin weekend show that promises to scramble wigs indiscriminately - Jukebox the Ghost and Bellman Barker (above) play the chocolate meow this Saturday. Lesser blogs might call this show a collection of DC's indie darlings, but we would never say something like that. What if Ghostface is reading?

Jukebox the Ghost - Hold It In (link via Instrumental Analysis)
Jukebox the Ghost - Good Day (via IA)
Bellman Barker - Molly Maroon
Bellman Barker - Two Bees

And a quick flashback with Buffalo Tom playing the night before - BT were Boston's indie darlings back in the late 80s/early 90s before their popularity and self-worth peaked with a pole position on the My So-Called Life soundtrack (although we prefer MSCL's German Degrassi/teen situation comedy equivalent, Mein Leben Ich). Oh Wolke Hegenbarth, the vicarious shenanigans you managed to get us all into.

Buffalo Tom - Velvet Roof

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January 15, 2008

The Walkmen Interview

(photo: reinier asscheman)

We sat down with The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser and a glass of brandy to discuss new material (included here), a possible new label, the official Walkmen novel, and upcoming tour shenanigans.

BT: Tell us about the new album - sounds like you're about halfway through?

HL: Actually we just got a lot further yesterday, we finished two big songs, one of which we've been working on for literally a year and a half. It was the first thing we started working on for this record and we could never get it done, but we got it going yesterday and everyone's really excited about it.

Where are you recording this one - in New York?

Yeah we're recording at this place called Gigantic Studios in Tribeca. We've got plenty of new stuff, and I think we've got a really unique sound for every song. We've written a lot more than we need, so I think we're going to pick and choose based on what's best for the record and hopefully have some stuff left over.

Good position to be in.

Yeah, it's great. We're thrilled.

Is this one going to be released through Record Collection as well?

No, it's not. We're actually in negotiations right now with a new label, and we're all happy about that too. I think a little fresh blood will be good for us.

Do you have a name or release date yet?

We don't have a name yet but it'll be out in May or June we guess.

Got a chance to hear a few new songs you played for KUCI 88.9FM in Irvine recently - are those going to be on the new album?

I actually don't remember what we played but they should be.

Your loyal Marcata fan forum had a couple song titles listed for this set - "If Only It Were True," "I Lost You," and "Red Moon"...

Yeah, those are all going to be on it.

Well that's a great preview - we really enjoyed those (hear for yourself below). The first Walkmen album was developed in your own studio, giving you plenty of time to tinker with different sounds before playing anything live. Each album since has become more confident and energetic - how has playing in front of crowds affected your sound?

It's very different when you've played in front of a crowd and when you haven't. Sometimes it's a better idea to write in the studio, you know, and you sort of get a different kind of song. But with the live concert scenario you can learn so much more from getting out there and playing it in front of a crowd.

We actually just finished a whole batch of songs in the last two weeks that we'll be able to do on this tour, and since we're also recording it's great to be able to have that time to test it out.

And you've been able to vary your sound on each album without departing from what you're so good at.

Yeah you really want to vary your sound. I think on our last album (A Hundred Miles Off) we didn't do that, as it wasn't really a concern at the time - we just sort of slogged it out in the studio which was part of its charm. But this time we're really going for a completely unique package.

Songs like "Louisiana" and "Brandy Alexander" really surprised me because they were so accessible - previously The Walkmen had been dense and multi-layered with some of the best songs taking awhile to get into. But I could even slip those songs into the hold music at work...were these just sort of "pop accidents?"

(laughs) Yeah, those were actually sort of accidental songs. I mean, "Louisiana," we were just sort of strumming along and we all just liked the way the instruments sounded there and we ended up adding the horn part. I don't know. I guess they're just sort of light and happy and fun and maybe that's why people take to those. And that was a big step for us - it sounds like we were just screwing around, but everything we've ever done in our lives since we were like thirteen has always been so heavy. It's nice to be able to do things that aren't either dark, heavy, or super intense.

So are you able to continue that "lighter, breezier Walkmen" theme in some of the new material?

Yeah, we've got a really good variety on this one actually. Because we do have some heavier stuff but we also have some...much more "thought out" versions of some of the lighter stuff. We've had a lot of time between the records and it's given us a chance to get a new sense of what we should be doing.

You're probably the only lead singer to ever be compared to Bono, Bon Jovi and Bob Dylan.

Huh. Bon Jovi - I didn't know about that one. Like, "Livin' On A Prayer" kind of stuff?


I liked when we were doing our album Bows and Arrows and we finished a song, and Stuart the guy who was recording looked at me and said, "This sounds a little bit like Rod Stewart." It took me by surprise and never would have crossed my mind but I think he was right on.

"Thinking Of A Dream" (from Bows and Arrows) is probably my favorite Walkmen song because it showcases all of your different strengths together in the same song -

Yeah that's actually one of everyone's favorites because it took us by surprise. It was such a battle - it took so long to finish because there were several parts that weren't fully written when we got to the studio.

The Walkmen are the band every fan wants to be in - a group of friends that grew up together, constantly make fun of each other without too much drama and share their own brand of dry humor. Last year you each played different members of Sex and the City and recorded yourselves reading the script - how did that come about? Pure boredom?

That was Walt's idea I think, yeah. We were thinking about doing the show Entourage but then we realized Sex and the City would be much funnier. I don't know, that was just from being on tour a long time.

Any excuse to keep from finishing the book right?

Yeah (laughs).

Ever watch Family Guy?

I haven't seen it but my friend Mike loves it.

There's a scene about people that always talk about finishing their novel.

Yeah we shouldn't have gone public with that whole thing, you know? We really are trying to finish it even though it might take us 20 years.

Well, it shows people you don't take yourselves too seriously. I think a lot of bands could be having more fun these days and be a little less calculating.

We do have a good time and I definitely know what you mean.

Any other creative exploits planned for this tour?

We should have a lot of time to kill so I'm sure we'll come up with something.

You could make a Mentos commercial.

Walt just got a video camera, so maybe that will be our next thing.


Enjoy some confirmed new material from their upcoming album, performed live from Irvine's KUCI 88.9FM on 11.30:

The Walkmen - New Song (Unknown)
The Walkmen - If Only It Were True
The Walkmen - I Lost You*
The Walkmen - Red Moon

Needless to say you'll want to catch all of this live The Ottobar next Thursday 1/24. Purchasing advance tickets would be smart, particularly with
White Rabbits opening. More tour dates available here.

The Walkmen - What's In It For Me (live on Q101, 2004)
The Walkmen - Thinking Of A Dream (from Bows and Arrows)
White Rabbits - I Used To Complain Now I Don't
The Walkmen - Select readings from Sex and the City (via Daytrotter)
Stewie Griffin - That Novel You're Working On?

*Unfortunately this song is interrupted by an emergency broadcast system test towards the end.

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January 13, 2008

Beirut Exécute "Nantes" Sur LaBlogotheque

Beirut joue dans les rue de Paris avec ses amis et du matériel exotique.

Beirut - Nantes
Achetez "La Tasse de Club de Vol" ici.

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Soon There Will Be Justice In Baltimore (+ Fabric Update)

Like around March 9th at Sonar. And less of the socioeconomic sort, more industrial French house with special guest DJ Mehdi.

Justice - D.A.N.C.E. (live)
Justice - D.A.N.C.E. (Benny Blanco mix Feat. Mos Def and Spank Rock)
DJ Mehdi - I Am Somebody (feat. Chromeo)
DJ Mehdi - Signatune (Thomas Bangalter edit)

Last month Justice also told a Norwegian newspaper that their proposed Fabriclive mix had been rejected by the Fabric team...adding "We didn't want to do just another boring mix, so we put together a selection of tunes we absolutely love, mainly weird disco tracks and French novelty acts. But Fabric turned it down. They weren't ready for something like this. Maybe we'll put the mix out ourselves. People should really hear it, they'd be surprised."

You can hear the mix for yourself here courtesy of Gorilla vs. Bear.

01 Sparks: "Tryouts for the Human Race"
02 Rondo Veneziano: "La Serenissima"
03 Goblin: "Tenebrae"
04 Daft Punk: "Ouverture"
05 Surkin: "Next of Kin"
06 Symbolone: "Love Juice"
07 Korgis: "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes"
08 Midnight Juggernauts: "Ending of an Era"
09 The Paradise: "In Love With You [ft. Romauld]"
10 Justice: "TTHHEE PPAARRTTYY (Acapella)"
11 Chic: "Everybody Dance"
12 Frankie Valli: "Who Loves You"
13 Das Pop: "Underground"
14 Julien Clerc: "Quand Je Joue"
15 Daniel Balavoine: "Vivre Ou Survivre"
16 Richard Sanderson: "Reality"
17 Zoot Woman: "Grey Day"
18 Fucking Champs: "Thor Is Like Immortal"
19 The Rave: "Mother"
20 Fancy: "You Never Know"
21 Frank Stallone: "Far From Over"
22 Sheila: "Misery"
23 Todd Rundgren: "International Feel"

Seems like more of a lazy faves tape than anything you'd hear from the top-gear Fabric series - most of it's just unmixed obscure radio rock, hipster nods and weak tot action. What do you think?

Don't forget the Cut Copy and Spank Rock FabricLive mixes - easily two of the best recent DJ sets around (and you can sample every song before buying). We also had a chance to hear two recent additions to the series, Fabric 38: M.A.N.D.Y. and FabricLive 38: Craze which should both be released in the states around Feb/March (thanks James). From smart, understated Berlin house to shark-your-Mom club bangers there's something for everyone on this pair.

Back to DJ Mehdi, Romain Gavras' video for Signatune is a muscle car decibel battle classic.

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January 11, 2008

Butter Team Weekend Beats Vol. 20

While most Bavarians are stingy with their beats, we are not, so get nice with a new toaster from Melbourne's hottest mothercutters, pre-order In Ghost Colours here and check the stateside tour dates below. This is all very exciting for us.

Mar 10 2008 - Echo - Los Angeles
Mar 15 2008 - Studio B - New York
Mar 17 2008 - Mercury Lounge - New York

And sweet Pete, if you haven't heard this Holy Ghost track yet (from the DFA crew) get ready for a proper face melting. It's part of the So Cosmic mix Cut Copy dropped last month, and follows Daft Punk's Face to Face and the Airwolf theme on my "let's chase chickens in sweats" athletic training montage mix.

P.S. Dr. Octagon posts up in the B tonight at Sonar with king of microphone techniques Jeru the Damaja. Going to bars is fun, going to bars where Kool Keith spits is tops.

Cut Copy - Lights and Music (stream only by request)
Holy Ghost! - Hold On
Calvin Harris - Disco Heat
Giorgio Moroder - I Wanna Rock You
Kool Keith - Break U Off
Jeru the Damaja - Ya Playin Yaself

If you're just joining us for the Weekend Beats series check the rest here.

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January 8, 2008

Potent Postables

Occasionally we have lots of great music to bring you without any specific format, and when that happens, it's time for Potent Postables!

Locals first - we've been enjoying a few samples from Devotion, the sophomore LP from Bmore mazz-folk masters Beach House that should be available sometime next month (pre-order here). They also kick off a support tour Feb. 28 at the G-Spot, check their MySpace for more dates.

Beach House - Gila


We first learned of DC residents Jukebox the Ghost from neighbors Instrumental Analysis last summer. Homeys have done well for themselves since with a fair amount of piano rock blog froth since; and word is their live shows bring more game than Scott Van Pelt, so. Additional tracks and balloon photos here.

Jukebox the Ghost - Hold It In (link via IA)
Jukebox the Ghost - Good Day (link via IA)


Who could argue Ezra Furman doesn't remind you of Clap Your Hands' Alec Ounsworth or old school Violent Femmes with an extra shot of rail-hopping Americana? He's much better than the last Ezra at least.

Ezra Furman - I Wanna Be Ignored
Ezra Furman - How Long Diana
Violent Femmes - Add It Up

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January 5, 2008

Butter Team Weekend Beats Vol. 19

Mother Superior rations out two more Cut Copy rarities to fix all you street walkin' cheetahs proper whilst awaiting the 'cutters next psyched-out star folk voyage. And not unlike a 1984 romantic adventure featuring the Turner/Douglas combo, the Cribs: CSS redux, Japan, and Human League offerings below are 1000% exotic gems and crocodile skin boots.

Cut Copy - Rendezvous
Cut Copy - Stars
The Cribs - Mens Needs (CSS Remix)
The Human League - Things That Dreams Are Made Of (Kissy Sell Out Mix)
Japan - Life In Tokyo

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Wye Oak (formerly Monarch) Play Skee-Ball, Sign To Merge

A hearty congrats to Bmore residents and Butter Team faves Wye Oak, formerly Monarch, who recently signed to Merge and will re-release their outstanding full length debut If Children with a bit more indie muscle.

Wye Oak - Warning

If you were wondering about the name change, "Monarch" was already used by a bunch of other bands and the new name is a shot out to the honorary Maryland state tree, so. People just don't name drop their favorite trees enough and we applaud this move (also would have accepted Baby Superstore, Sans Pants, or Super Tight Blazers).

You can catch Andy and Jenn at The Talking Head on 1/17, or see our November interview along with some live stuff here. Maybe R. Kelly will return their calls now!

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Goodtimes Goodtimes

Invite this man to the campfire, but be warned your game will suffer.

That's alt/pimp/folk at it's best. Not sure if he's coming stateside anytime soon, but look for our boy Franc to melt the hearts of many a UK-based yoga instructor in 2K8 operating as Goodtimes Goodtimes. Florida Evans would be proud.

Goodtimes Goodtimes - Kids (studio version)

You can buy/sample his debut album Glue on iTunes and check out his other happenings here.

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January 3, 2008

Hey. Just Wanted To Make Sure You're Watching The Wire

Just wanted to remind you that The Wire - by far the best police crime drama of all time this side of the Commish - begins its fifth and final season this Sunday at 9pm.

Not having seen the show before and/or not having HBO are ridiculous excuses. If needed, may we recommend you get premium cable for two months and then cancel it, and maybe during this time you purchase four fewer grande skim lattes with cinnamon and low foam. Also know that Mel's husband from Flight of the Conchords plays a writer for the Baltimore Sun, so.

HBO says this season "will center on the media's role in addressing - or failing to address - the fundamental political, economic and social realities depicted over the course of the series, while also resolving storylines of the numerous characters woven throughout the narrative arc of the show." As the material digs deeper into the Baltimore media scene over ten episodes, we can only hope Butter Team's high-integrity staff will escape the mudslinging.

Hey world, check out how silly and disfunctional Baltimore is (Season 5 Trailer):

Semi-related potent postables:

The Meters - Live Wire
Fischerspooner - The 15th (Wire cover)
Rogue Wave - Bird On A Wire
The Commish Theme

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January 1, 2008

A Note From Daniel James (Canon Blue)

"The story goes that in the old days, during the winter solstice, all the oceans in the world would lay calm and the bad weather would subside. It was then that the kingfisher bird would fly out into the open sea to build its nest and lay its eggs, believing they would hatch in time before the waves began to rise again. This time came to be known as the halcyon days.

The Halcyon EP was recorded in my bedroom during the month of November 2007. Winter always seems to be a more creative time for me, and the sudden cold and slower pace that was settling in over Nashville provided a welcome excuse to stay inside and work. A few friends came by as well, each with their own special sounds from cellos to horns to live drums, adding new colors to the mix.

This EP, for me, is a way to reflect on yet another year quietly slipping by, enjoying the present stillness of a Tennessee winter, and looking forward to what is coming up over those yon there hills. I hope you are to able find something in it too. Thanks for listening..."

Download the four-track Halcyon EP here; we included one song below to explain why you should do this.

Canon Blue - Ennui

Big ups to James for sharing some perfect winter music with everyone. Visit his MySpace to say thanks.

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Butteriest Butter Team Posts of 2007

Here's a quick rundown of quality BT content you may have missed since April:

Baltimore Beats
Our Buttermore Mixtapes Volume One and Two are a good sample of local flave with mp3s from 24 artists. We also covered the big Whartscape throwdown in July along with smaller gigs like Bob's House Show.

Tough Investigatory Journalism
We probably enjoyed doing these interviews more than you'll enjoy reading/watching them, but see the list on the right for our favorites, including a phone interview with Of Montreal, pregame couch time with Bonde Do Role and Spank Rock, or waxing The Office with Tokyo Police Club.

General Beats
First and foremost an mp3 blog, BT takes pride in providing fresh bangers you can't easily find elsewhere on the interweb. Enjoy our quasi-regular Weekend Beats or The More You Know series, or check the labels on the left for exclusives from Cut Copy, Daft Punk, etc. or lesser-known heat from artists like Ben and Bruno.

Here's how we sample, give an example:
Daft Punk - A Six Minute Tour of Discovery

We've also pulled together a ton of downloadable live performances from artists including Arcade Fire, Beirut, Ratatat, The National, Belle and Sebastian, The Hold Steady, Simian Mobile Disco and others courtesy of NPR, KEXP, and of course the Baltimore Taper.

Thanks for staying classy and stopping by.

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Did You Catch The Scotch Mist Webcast?

Thanks Radiohead. Send Me Dead Flowers has a few mp3s from the performance you can download, or visit Radiohead's YouTube channel to see the whole thing or watch individual songs.

Jigsaw Falling Into Place:

Watching this on TV was nice, but we're holding out for a possible stateside visit this year as well (so far only European stops have been scheduled). In the meantime, pick up In Rainbows in stores or enjoy this heady retro jam.

Radiohead - Knives Out (acoustic live 2003)

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