PEARL JAM have apparently got THE FIX(ER) for a lackluster decade? I know, JUST BREATHE.

backspacerwhen somethings bored i wanna put a little exciting on it

♫ Pearl Jam – The Fixer

I don’t care if Pearl jam were never really “your thing,” try and tell me that “The Fixer” is not a freaking jam. Edder and co. are back and they mean business with the recently released Backspacer, a solid listen that kicks down your door and then gets it’s angsty mosh on all up in your living room. Now lets be clear, Pearl Jam have never really been my guys, either. 1993’s Vs. is one of my all time favorites (possibly best opening 40 seconds of an album) and Yield was my pre-Y2K jam, but that’s the last I really listened to them. Various post-millennial singles floated through my ears but never laid roots. Then they go flip the script on me and nailed this one. Sure it’s front loaded with the real shredders but after 12 straight minutes of headbanging you will need a breath. (Cue fantastic slow jam)

♫ Pearl Jam – Just Breathe

It picks back up, don’t worry. Just buy it. Album art is by by brilliant editorial cartoonist Tom Tomorrow, and there is a pretty cool backstory at Wikipedia.

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CALVIN HARRIS and I are READY FOR THE WEEKEND full of ghostriding under the STARS. You going to COME OUT?

Calvin-Harris-Ready-for-the-Weekendcome and get the dream, ghostride* through the cemetery

♫ Calvin Harris – Stars Come Out

Calvin Harris’ sophomore album drops today in the US and it is definitely worth your time and money. A lot of people have been poo-pooing it as a falling off for the guy who Created Disco but after sitting on it for the past few weeks, I am on board. It’s not genre-changing or trendily lo-fi-buzzcore, but it is catchy, dancey, and fun. What else do you want from a dance CD? I think a major misstep for Calvin was pushing “I Am Not Alone” as the albums lead single. It isn’t the albums best by far and I think it sent peoples expectations down the wrong path. 2nd single, “Ready For The Weekend,” is much more Calvin, if you know what I mean. But it’s really “Stars Come Out” (above) that gets my goose. A funked-out bounce-fest about ghostriding* through a cemetery? Hell yeah. All I am saying is that if you ever enjoyed Calvin’s debut, then you should at least give this one a few listens. Hey, you might end up not liking it, but I would hate for you to miss out just cause you heard it was bad.

♫ Calvin Harris – Ready For The Weekend

*Lyric websites disagree. Whatever.

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SLOW CLUB’s album should have nobody GIVING UP ON it. I LOVE it.

slow_club_yeahif you’d given me straight answers I would never have had to guess

♫ Slow Club – Giving Up On Love

I know I wrote about Slow Club back in June but that was before their LP Yeah So was released and became one of my favorite albums of the year. I have been revisiting it a lot lately and it seemed like a good time to emphasize it’s greatness. People seriously need to get on these two Sheffield kids. Their tunes range from rollicking foot-stompers (“Giving Up On Love,” above) to subdued downer-beauty (“No Good Way,” below) but are always brimming with honesty and emotion. Their back and forth guy-girl vocals give all their songs a real-life-scenario feeling that I love. It’s kind of like a not-shitty romance movie. Only as music. And with less happy endings. Although often dealing with the darker side of life and love, their lyrics are one of the best things in the songs: always insightful, poetic, and beautifully delivered. If it seems like their darker tendencies would make for a depressing listen then you clearly did not press play on “Giving Up On Love” above. The title is self explanatory, yet it’s the kind of tune that makes you want to swing-dance with your sweetheart as you sing the lyrics out loud. The album acknowledges that relationships are tough but doesn’t wallow in misery and, appropriately titled Yeah So, it turns those complications into something to celebrate. Just remember the title of the track in our June post, “It Doesn’t Always Have To Beautiful Unless It’s Beautiful.” Amen.

♫ Slow Club – There Is No Good Way To Say I’m Leaving You

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«Flashback« Rancid – Ruby Soho/Time Bomb

rancid_-_and_out_come_the_wolves_-_frontall i got is this blank stare and that don’t carry no clout at all

♫ Rancid – Ruby Soho / 1995

Looking at that artwork, 14 years after the fact, it’s kinda funny to think ow how important this alum was to me. The truth is that it’s one of the first to pop in my head when I think of albums to be stranded on a desert island with. But then again, I am pragmatic as hell and 19 tracks is nothing to scoff at. I’ve never been remotely “punk” in my life (let alone at 13) but something about this collection of raspy guitar anthems just got me. It’s no surprise that …And Out Come The Wolves is Rancid’s most successful album to date (finally going platinum after 9 years), as it perfectly straddled that punk angst with upbeat ska-tinged fun. “Ruby Soho” and “Time Bomb” (along with “Roots Radical”) were the albums three singles but the truth is that all 19 tracks are solid.

♫ Rancid – Time Bomb / 1995

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Miike Snow: The Band, The Facts, The Music

miikeI just got home from seeing Miike Snow for the 3rd time. As my mind recovers from their fantastic live show I figure we should go over the facts…

• Miike Snow is a band, not a man. They are made up of American Andrew Wyatt and Swedish producers/multi-instrumentalists Christian Karlsson & Pontus Winnberg (Bloodshy & Avant).

♫ Maroon 5 – Little Of Your Time (Bloodshy & Avant remix) ♡

• Andrew Wyatt, at 18, formed the Funkraphiliacs with Greg Kurstin (the “geggy” in Geggy Tah and Read more

Remix Roundup /// Vol. 10 – Good vs. Bad

VS.You know what sucks? Being underwear-bound at your laptop because your face-hair trimmer lost charge midway through it’s duty so you cant shower or go out. You know what is great? Remixes and beer! What happens when you put them all together?

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DRAGONETTE want you to PICK UP their new LP, your feet, and THE PHONE. OKAY, DELORE?

Dragonette Fixinyou’re still very young and we only just started having fun

♫ Dragonette – Pick Up The Phone

Dragonette’s 2007 debut, Galore, was one of those albums that I was fully ready to like but just never hooked me. It felt like they were trying to hard at the electro-pop game but were missing something. Whatever was missing, we had a taste of back in May when their “comeback single” Fixin To Thrill” dropped. Had little Dragonette finally grown up? The song was a huge, hook-laden rock-fest with big claims, but was it all bombast? Would the other tracks match up? 2nd single, “Pick Up The Phone,” (video here) kicks some big cracks in that worry, even topping “Fixin” in my book, getting stuck in my head in a great way. Yesterday Australia and Canada got the full Fixin To Thrill LP and it’s high time to take a look at the goods. I just finished my second spin through it and this stuff is no joke. It’s that mix of bounce, synth, big riffs, and perfect vocals that just get my goose. If the first 2 singles haven’t got you hyped then peep this late-album favorite of mine.

♫ Dragonette – Okay Delore

“Okay Delore” is like “Hey Mickey” only without the overplayed baggage and Wayne’s World connotations. Dragonette has truly outdone themselves with Fixin To Thrill. This is looking to be a favorite album of the year. Or at least October.

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FREELANCE WHALES are a GENERATOR that outputs jams. Jams stacked to the ^ 2ND FLOOR.

freelancewhalesdon’t fix my smile, life is long enough

♫ Frelance Whales – Generator ^ 2nd Floor

I struggle with finding music to accompany my mellower times. Whitest Boy Alive is one of my top artists on, not because they are one of my all-time favorites, but as a band with 2 solid chill-out albums, they are my frequent go-to for those moods. Freelance Whales ave just stepped into the ring with their debut, Weathervanes, and it sounds like the perfect soundtrack for fall. “Generator ^ 2nd Floor” is one of the bouncier tracks on their debut (so it’s not a surprise it would appeal the most to me) but it’s also the best track about accepting death since Jack Peñate’s “Let’s All Die.” Their softer fare is equally appealing and the whole album is like ice cream melting on hot pie: sweet and satisfying, with just a bit of a sugar high. Where does this magical music come from? Freelance Whales hail from Brooklyn, where they are known to play in subway stations and use instruments like the harmonium, banjo, glockenspiel, and waterphone. With tools like that it’s no surprise that they channel a bit of Sufjan Stevens, especially on the breathily-sung “Broken Horse.”

♫ Freelance Whales – Broken Horse

I recommend Sufjan get’s his next state-themed album rolling ASAP because Freelance Whales have already took his place this fall. Or not, Suffy. Stay lazy with your years-old King Of Indie crown. It’s time for a regime change anyway. If you like what you hear then buy Weathervanes at eMusic or iTunes. Seriously. Oh, and check out the fantastic live perfomance of “Generator ^ 2nd Floor.” Singing about death at midnight in the abandoned farm was never so fun and cuddly.

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