BROKEN BELLS are like THE GHOST of the band I used to listen to INSIDE at my old job

she got no future just a love to endure, this gives some matter to shaking her hide

♫ Broken Bells – The Ghost Inside

I’ve listened to the first 2 Shins albums a lot. But not because I love them. They were just 2 of the few albums that were deemed appropriate to play in the chocolate shop I used to work in near Wall Street. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the Shins, I am just t not a fan, per se (their 2007 snoozer didn’t help). Anyway, as you might know, Broken Bells is the musical project of Shins frontman James Mercer and Danger Mouse. Their first single got poo-pooed by me a few months ago but now that their album has made a few spins through the ears I have a different impression. I guess I was expecting something more Danger Mouse-y with vocals from the dude from The Shins but Broken Bells is much more a Shins-sounding group with a touch of Danger Mouse. If you know The Shins then you will be at home in tracks like “October,” “Vaporize” and “Trap Doors.” However, the real album standouts are when Mercer steps off of his own well worn path and ventures into something interesting. “Mongrel Heart” takes fantastically dark spin on Mercer’s vocals and Danger Mouse’s simple percussion. The real winner is “The Ghost Inside” which sees Mercer change up his vocals over some infectiously bouncy handclap-based production and a great bit of guitar work. So if you loved The Shins I think you’ll be down with Broken Bells. If The Shins were always a bit bland for you then there may be only a few standout tracks here. That’s my feeling. You?

Bury your face in MySpace

«Flashback« Sparklehorse – Someday I Will Treat You Good + Dark Night Of The Soul w/ Danger Mouse & David Lynch

i left my baby on the side of the highway, she just couldn’t se things my way

♫ Sparklehorse – Someday I Will Treat You Good / 1995

By now most of you have heard about Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous shooting himself in the heart a few weeks ago. Beyond a free poster of the image at right on my wall in middle school I was never a big Sparklehorse fan. “Someday…” was always a jam but I just never got in further. Mark’s passing has brought forth a lot of heartfelt tributes and it;s clear that the man and his music touched a lot of people. His death also came on the heels of the announcement that his long-shelved Dark Night Of The Soul collaboration with Danger Mouse, David lynch and a roster of gust artists, was finally getting released through EMI.

♫ Dangermouse and Sparklehorse – Little Girl (featuring Julian Casablancas)

I have been loving Julian Casablancas’s contribution, “Little Girl,” for a month now and finally got ahold of the whole album. It’s interesting stuff but nothing is grabbing me like the drumming and guitar riffage on this jam. I’ve heard lots of positive review of the album and I’ll give it a few more listens (maybe). Anyone else who has sat on it longer have some thoughts?

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap

} TBE Digest 4 • 12/30/09 [Hot Chip, Ted Leo, Crookers, Wiley, R Kelly, Smashing Pumpkins, & more]

Because sometimes good songs have no place in a post of their own. But mostly, just because I am not down with a jam doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hear it too.

Get caught up with the last tidbits of 2009 after the jump.

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