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The Rural Alberta Advantage – “On The Rocks”

Music for… those of us that miss the beautiful and raw and insanely addictive Hometowns.

Location: Toronto, Canada.

Future: New LP Mended With Gold is out Sept 20th.

[LP] THE RURAL ALBERTA ADVANTAGE are from the great white NORTH and often STAR in my itunes

will we ever take a chance or will we restart? the sky is a map that’s guiding back to my heart

♫ The Rural Alberta Advantage – North Star

The Rural Alberta Advantage’s debut album Hometowns stuck with me so long that it made my top albums list in both 2008 and 2009. To date, they are also the only band I’ve ever done a proper TBE interview with. Needless to say I am a bit of a fanboy of theirs and it’s exactly that fact that puts their sophomore effort up against some pretty ridiculous standards. Debut single “Stamp” took a little while to grow on me but eventually gained solid listening status and is now quite beloved. With that said, and a handful of listens to Departing under my belt, I can’t help but feel that RAA have lost that barely-holding-on energy that ran like wildfire through their debut. The songs were so loose and ragged that it felt they were mere beats from falling apart. Departing feels much more calculated and timid, the band plodding through the RAA playbook and Nils sounding much less like he is singing for his life. But maybe I am just too biased and like last year’s follow-up releases from Tokyo Police Club or Gaslight Anthem, this too will grow on me as my expectations cool off. “North Star” is quite a nice song, I just can’t help but hold it up to “In The Summertime” and find it lacking. I guess it’s a lot like going back to city you once lived in and expecting the same intensity of life that you remember. Everything pairs with a moment in time – with a part of our lives – that will never be repeated. Or so I keep telling myself as I come back to this album, waiting for it’s time to come.

All dramatic ramblings aside, I enjoy the album and play it regularly. “Stamp” is still a rollicking jam. “Muscle Relaxants” and “Barnes’ Yard” have a bit of that amped up folksiness that I loved on Hometowns. Truth is you’ll probably need to dive in and make your own call on this one.

Bury your face in MySpace /// eMusic /// Amazon too

[MP3] THE RURAL ALBERTA ADVANTAGE always leave their beautiful STAMP on my ears

and our love’s waiting tonight, and our love’s wasted tonight

♫ The Rural Alberta Advantage – Stamp

One of my favorite bands in recent years, The Rural Alberta Advantage, is back with a new track from their forthcoming follow up to their tremendous debut, Hometowns! “Stamp” is all steam engine drums, dancing guitar, and perfect ‘oooohs’ charging through my ears and growing on me more and more with each listen. Hometowns made such a sonic impact on me that I think my expectations were a bit warped and so I initially didn’t immediately love this jam. Listening to it now (especially that guitar that kicks in at 1:08!) it seems like a crazy thing to say because it’s so damn good and is perfect RAA. Funny how that stuff works. Departing is out March 1st. Damn, that’s far away.

Bury your face in MySpace /// Amazon too

SKYLIT SUMMER /// A Summer Mix, Vol 3

In true summer fashion this 3rd installment is coming a week later than promised but it’s all good cause you been chilling so hard that nobody noticed. Well get out of the pool, dry your hands, and get downloading cause the sun will be setting soon and you’ll want this sun-mellowed summer mix to close out your day. Throw your arm around your summer fling, settle into a chilled beverage, and let the sunset burn into your retinas. Don’t forget volumes 1 & 2!

1. ♫ Jay-Z – 99 Problems (Prince Ballard Royal Edit feat. The Dap Kings)

2. ♫ Miike Snow – Animal (Mark Ronson Remix/Cover)

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} TBE Digest 5 – 2.10.10 [Major Lazer, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, The Knife, & more!]

With this roundup I wanted to kick things off with a couple of great/interesting covers before I get into the dregs of what’s been popping up around the interwebs lately. Remember, these are just my humble opinions and an effort to keep you all abreast of the musical happenings that I don’t cover in their own hyperbole-filled post. If I make a poopy on one of your favorite bands just try not to flip out. We all float in different boats, or whatever.

♫ Major Lazer – Halo / Major Lazer and Elephant Man pay their own special kind of tribute to the Grammy winner with this cover. Not sure if they changed the lyrics or not, kinda hard to understand that dude.

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The Rural Alberta Advantage: Interview/live show at The Bell House, Brooklyn, 5/29/09

raa1

This is a post where I recap a lot of exciting things so prepare yourself accordingly.

The Rural Alberta Advantage is Nils, Paul, and Amy. They self-released a record called Hometowns which was one of my favorites of 2008. Having just signed to Saddle Creek they will be re-releasing that record on July 7th. This is exciting for many reasons, not the least of which is that it makes Hometowns can be on my favorite albums of 2009 list (which it most certainly will).

Before the show the band was gracious enough to sit down with me for a bit and talk about their album, touring, music videos, Subway sandwiches, self-googling, the origin of their name, eMusic, NYC audiences, and a bunch of other fun stuff. They were funny, gracious, open, and generally fantastic. I apologize for my over-use of “like” – I was a bit nervous – but otherwise it is an interesting interview. I learned a lot about the band. Before I get into that I want to talk about their live show. It’s amazing. Go see them. Seriously, I am not gonna freak out on you again like I did with Lykke Li but that’s only because The RAA’s awesomeness was not such a surprise. Look at photos of their live shows here or watch videos here but actually don’t bother because you should just go see them. Oh, but buy Hometowns first! Deal? Good.

Interview and a few other goodies after the jump…

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What Up ’08? (part 1)

2008 was a great year for music, blah blah blah. In fact it was a fucking santoGOLDEN year for music but you probably read some “Best Of 2008” lists like Forever Ago in some other Day & Age. In fact, you probably still remember when we got our Sex set On Fire, someone Lykked our Li, Hercules had a Love Affair, and it all happened over one big Circus of a Vampire Weekend. Well there were at least A Million crazy good songs/albums but I dont want to just Feed The Animals and Cut and Copy what some other blog said. You dont need that kind of Heartbreak on your new favorite music blog. As the Management of this here music blog I want to talk about my favorites, the ones that you may not have heard too much about but that certainly called out to me and said “Dear Science…” oh wait, I mean “DearBrandon, love us like you love chips!” And I did. Hard.

WHAT UP ’08? (part 1) <— Click to go to download page!

Notes on each track after the jump. (Mom, that’s the “continued…” below)

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What Up '08? (part 1)

2008 was a great year for music, blah blah blah. In fact it was a fucking santoGOLDEN year for music but you probably read some “Best Of 2008” lists like Forever Ago in some other Day & Age. In fact, you probably still remember when we got our Sex set On Fire, someone Lykked our Li, Hercules had a Love Affair, and it all happened over one big Circus of a Vampire Weekend. Well there were at least A Million crazy good songs/albums but I dont want to just Feed The Animals and Cut and Copy what some other blog said. You dont need that kind of Heartbreak on your new favorite music blog. As the Management of this here music blog I want to talk about my favorites, the ones that you may not have heard too much about but that certainly called out to me and said “Dear Science…” oh wait, I mean “DearBrandon, love us like you love chips!” And I did. Hard.

WHAT UP ’08? (part 1) <— Click to go to download page!

Notes on each track after the jump. (Mom, that’s the “continued…” below)

Read more