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[2010’s Most Revered is The Hive’s version of a year-end list.  Right about now (or meow, if you will) we will highlight the albums, EPs (yes, EPs), and what-have-yous, that made us sit up and listen over the past 365 days.]

Dudes, let me clue you in.  This here is a music blog.  Yes, I ramble about personal shit and then throw some semi-related tunes at you but in my defense, this is what I know how to do.  I can journal; I cannot write a music review.  That requires like, college and shit.  But because this is a music blog there will be a year-end list.  There HAS to be.  However, I won’t pretend to be smart enough to analyze what jams and beats and albums were the best across the board in this Year of our Lord, 2010.  Again, college.  But I can tell you the albums that were most revered in this house over the past year.  I will say this: this series will be the most awesome and yet fucked year-end list you’ll find on the internetz.  Also, no #10.  Get over it.

All that said, we present Folk Hive’s Most Revered of 2010: The only year-end list on the internet that features intelligent input from a five-year old.  Let’s hop to it, shall we?

****

[Number NINE :: The War On Drugs Future Weather EP]

I’ve mentioned that ‘Taking the Farm’ was an important song in this house.  First, I had a simple love affair with this band’s chosen moniker (oddly enough, I was reading this when I got into War) and then, there was the music.  Wagonwheel Blues is still an album that is on consistent rotation around here and though Future Weather is an EP, it is so colossal that it defies that classification.  As much as I loved the previous, the new blew that shit right out of the water.  It was beautiful and expansive and it burned.  In a way, The War On Drugs remind me of the greatness of Petty in his heyday — it’s something that feels like maybe you could put it together with your friends in the garage after a lager or two because it’s that simple but then you really listen and your ass knows better.   There’s no way you could insert that emotion into an organ chord and there’s no way you could write and then sing out like Kurt Vile.  I mean, shit.  He’s Kurt fucking Vile, dudes.

**

The War On Drugs :: Baby Missiles [MP3]

The War On Drugs :: Comin‘ Through [MP3]

BUY Future Weather EP :: WEBSITE :: Secretly Canadian

****

[Number EIGHT :: Peter Wolf Crier Inter-Be]

Perhaps one of the most disappointing moments to me in this past year was learning that the GAYNGS show I had tickets to in Nashville had been canceled.  I was not saddened by my inability to see a supergroup in N’ville, per say, but by the fact that not being in that town on that night meant that I would not be in that town for the Peter Wolf Crier show the night prior.  “Crutch and Cane” reeled me in early this year and since that time, I have been enamoured with this band.  I have spoken of my love for these two men previously and considering that they’re members of the un-bearded sect of society, this is massive in Hive Land.  Inter-Be rocked my 2010 and expanded the musical horizons of this avowed folkie.  I suspect this album will get considerable play in the new year.  And to remedy this year’s sadness, I’ll be seeing them in live in 2011.  Also, Moen induces lady boners.  LADY BONERS.

**

Peter Wolf Crier :: Down, Down, Down [MP3]

Peter Wolf Crier :: Hard As Nails [MP3]

BUY Inter-Be :: MYSPACE :: Jagjaguwar

****

[Number SEVEN :: Eric & Magill All Those I Know]

All Those I Know hit me like a ton of fucking bricks.  Unexpected, storied, and unprecedented in that such a wonderful album was simply given away, it stayed in rotation for weeks.  When it was occasionally relegated to the back burner by the Blackbird, Blackbird’s and Arcade Fire’s of the indie world, it was immediately brought to the forefront again with a singular listen.  To say that the opening track (after which the album is titled) is massive and fan-fucking-tastic x 10 is an understatement.  The rest of the album follows that song’s lead and every tune is an eye-opener.

**

Eric & Magill :: All Those I Know [MP3]

Eric & Magill :: Vegetable Gardeners [MP3]

GET All Those I Know :: FACEBOOK

****

 

[Number SIX :: The Black Keys Brothers]

While I have heard it uttered by serious, life-long Black Keys fans that this album is not their strongest and that the band has sold out (Christ, shut up.), I can tell you as a new Black Keys fan I was in love with this album from that first guitar lick.  In my defense, I did not discover the band on a hyped list, I did not hear them first on a commercial and then search them out, nor did I get like, a Verizon phone accompanied by a free download of a Black Keys jam.  I heard Dan Auerbach.  It was over.  While I have not been a fan from the beginning (forgive me Father, for I did not know of this band’s existence), I am now devoted.  If Brothers is the sound of someone selling out, then more bands should get on that.  Also, Jude probably spent 90% of his time pretending to be Auerbach when I first put this record in rotation.

The Black Keys :: Howlin’ For You [MP3]

The Black Keys :: Everlasting Light [MP3]

BUY Brothers :: WEBSITE

****

[Number FIVE :: Megafaun Heretofore]

The discovery of Megafaun in early 2010 turned this year around.  It inspired me and opened my ears and heart to a brand of music I had never heard.  Casual fans were interested in the association with DeYarmond Edison and Justin Vernon; devoted fans are astounded at the speed with which this band, on its own, manages to race toward the resonance of new so quickly and easily.  Every album, mini-album, and live show is an exercise in family and love and the healing powers of music.  Heretofore is gospel but it’s an au courant gospel.

Megafaun :: Volunteers [MP3]

Megafaun :: Bonnie’s Song [STREAM]


BUY Heretofore :: WEBSITE

****

[Number FOUR :: Nathaniel Rateliff In Memory of Loss]

My love of Nathaniel Rateliff is nearly unsurpassed.  While I will admit that I prefer Rateliff in the real as opposed to in a sound booth, recording a record, I’ll take whatever I can get.  I feel the same way about this music as I do your mom — both are awesome.  I fucking dare you to listen to a Rateliff Daytrotter session, I dare you to observe a Rateliff wail in video or person, and not tear up.  It is his ease and his seeming comfortability with what he’s saying that makes this music so close to perfection.  “Early Spring Till” is a masterpiece.  Yes dude, I am pressed down.  Yes, I am full of that feeling.  Yes dude, I like that deep v-neck tee.

Nathaniel Rateliff :: Early Spring Till [MP3]

Nathaniel Rateliff :: Pounds and Pounds (from Daytrotter) [MP3]

BUY In Memory of Loss :: DAYTROTTER :: WEBSITE

****

[Number THREE :: GAYNGS Relayted]

Alright folk, shit is about to get real.  And cuss yes, I’m serious.  GAYNGS changed my life.  This is not an exaggeration.  I love The Rosebuds, that’s been said.  I love Megafaun and that too has been discussed.  I also like to get down with Solid Gold now and then and I sure as shit love Bon Iver, even more than your mother.  So naturally, a group composed of those and then some gives me a slightly odd and scientifically unjustified lady chub.  Along with the fact that I have to deal with these awkward boners daily is the fact that I am also affected by what is known as Undiagnosed (And Therefore Only Potential, Whatevs) Social Anxiety Disorder.  This means concerts and shit of the like are typically out of the question.  Hell, going to the local Walmart without my child is out of the question.  So it is a testament of my love for GAYNGS (or perhaps more specifically, the parts of its sum) that planned to first travel 800 miles for a show and then when that was canceled, that I traveled 2000 fucking miles for one.  Yes, I did that.  I drove from the middle of Missouri to Durham, NC for a goddamn Gayngs concert. Let me bullet point this shit for you:

  • I left my kid for more than two days.  Unprecedented.
  • I drove through rush hour traffic in like, 12 states.  I shit myself.
  • Day one I was in a vehicle for more than 20 hours.
  • I made this trip with my sister.  We almost killed each other.
  • We got lost in Durham.  For three hours.  At 3am.
  • I slept an hour and ventured downtown, suffering from PTSD resulting from GETTING LOST FOR THREE FUCKING HOURS AT 3AM.
  • I drank Sparks in a parking lot, which I think is illegal.
  • I met amazing and rather endearing folk.  I talked to them like I didn’t have this undiagnosed Social Anxiety shit.  It was good.  They are my people.
  • I grooved down at the most badass show I wintnessed this year.
  • I triple-fisted beers.  Dude, it was GAYNGS.
  • I participated in using words like “GAYNG-bang” and “GAYNG-over” and I didn’t feel like a dipshit for doing so.
  • I woke up the next day with a hangover.  Drove 8 hours.  Slept in Nashville.  Drove another 8 hours.  Pulled into my driveway.

I have not spoken here of the two months of anxiety that nearly crippled me before this trip.  I have not spoken of the doubt and the realization that driving like, 17 states away for a concert, was just ludicrous.  I have only spoken of my doing that very thing.  And looking back, it was one of the sweetest trips of my younger years.  I am a GAYNGS devotee for fucking life.

Another tidbit: My father, a truck driver who frequently pointed out how juvenile and potentially irresponsible I was in making this trip, says, “So, what does this…GAYNGS?  Is that what they’re called?  GAYNGS?!  Jesus, so what do they sound like?”.  “Well dad, they’re like a bunch of folk dudes I guess, maybe.  Anyway, they make…fuck jams.  Fuck jams, dad.”  Dad: “WHAT?!  So, like Foreigner?”.  No dad, not like Foreigner…

GAYNGS :: Last Prom On Earth [MP3]

GAYNGS :: By Your Side (from Daytrotter) [MP3]

BUY Relayted :: WEBSITE :: Jagjaguwar

****


[Number TWO:: Breathe Owl Breathe Magic Central]

No band brought me to more tears this year than Breathe Owl Breathe.  Good tears.  Tears of happiness and tears that were the sum parts of beautiful music and a sense of humor and seeing my child flabbergasted. I wrote about it. And it was probably the most fulfilling and yet gut-wrenching thing I’ve written about this year.  My child and I are involved in a love affair with this band.  Magic Central is the first vinyl that he ever owned (it is also the ONLY vinyl he currently owns).  Breathe Owl Breathe inspired my five year old to pick up a banjo.  And I wouldn’t be all facetious about this next statement but Breathe Owl Breathe made us both better people.  The urge to tattoo their lyrics all over my body is strong.  Magic Central has the most fitting title of any album this year.

**

Breathe Owl Breathe :: Across the Loch [MP3]

Breathe Owl Breathe :: Swimming [MP3]

BUY Magic Central :: WEBSITE :: Hometapes

****

[Number ONE :: Cotton Jones Tall Hours In The Glowstream]

To understand my love for Cotton Jones and this album is to understand me.  I cannot say that I was captivated by this band from Paranoid Cocoon or even prior, the Page France days, as I was simply unaware of their existence.  What sadness.  But when I discovered Cotton Jones first album (under that moniker) early this year, I was stunned.  I was even further flabbergasted when they turned out to be so much more than just a one track band and that’s saying quite a bit considering how great each track is on its own.  Cotton Jones soundtracked the aforementioned journey to North Carolina — all 17,020 hours of it.  Cotton Jones is my fall back band when I’m in need of a musical bump.  “Somehow To Keep It Going” is probably our most loved jam this year.  Cotton Jones was my 2010.

Cotton Jones :: Somehow To Keep It Going [MP3]

Cotton Jones :: Ma, It’s A Jungle [MP3]

BUY Tall Hours In The Glowstream :: WEBSITE :: Suicide Squeeze

My Wednesday was divided into four, very distinct parts: the earliest part consisted of coffee, cigarettes, and cooking brussel sprouts (fried in bacon grease, yo) and fresh asparagus.  Part A was decent enough — I’m not a cook but I made due.  Spaghetti-Os at the work Thanksgiving feast I myself had organized would have been rude as fuck.  Part B consisted of said dinner at work.  I spend my days making money to feed others who cannot feed themselves and so, to me, it feels like we should all have a day where we sit together as a work family to laugh and feed each other instead.  It was lovely.  I love lovely.

Part C came after the dinner.  I was at work, still.  There were hours more of the day left and I realized I was due at a staff meeting.  I hate meetings, dude.  They can be awkward and I hate awkward more than meetings.  There’s potential for it and that alone skeeves out my damn brain.  I had to drive to this meeting and the weather here is losing it’s damn mind, which also triggers a severe flight or fight response on my part.  Part C was the definition of ‘BALLS!’.

And then.  Then there was Part D.  Part D consisted of me standing in a circle, arms linked with people ranging in age from 16 to 82.  This last part was spent witnessing the inner workings of our program to hand out Christmas gifts to over 750 children.  This last part centered around 22 overworked people giving their best and their all this season to help our community’s most needy.  Really puts your shit in perspective, man.

After the meeting, in the rainy dark, I walked to my car alone and I felt really fucking good.  Like, “fuck yeah, life!”.  How stupid we all can be sometimes, you know?  Good shit happened to me today (dude who writes Muzzle of Bees said I knew my shit (!), I got to blow off an hour of paid work time to be with friends I genuinely care for, and I’m friggin’ alive so there’s that) and I let a damn meeting blow it out of the water.

On the way home, driving miles along a crowded interstate, weaving through the cars full of families making their way here from distant states to sit at tables with loved ones and gorge on ugly birds, I picked a random disc from the pile covered in sugary soda juice in my car’s console.  My ride was dimly lit and I could not make out my writing on the upside of that mix but I inserted it anyway.  And there it was.  It was all fine.  It had all gotten better.  I had moved on.  Music was the icing on top of the cake that represents my day and it just went and un-fucked it all.

Some jams from that mix, if you please.

**

Willie Nelson :: Time of The Preacher [MP3]

When I was little, there was more Willie in our house than anything.  Willie is our man.  We will travel for Willie, we will gather in familial groups larger than the one we had at Thanksgiving (we did last year) for Willie, we are a devoted Willie fan base within ourselves.  Also note, Willie is the only man I will accept covering The Allman Bros.  Look it up.

[BUY Red-Headed Stranger]

**

The Rosebuds :: Nice Fox [MP3]

Jam came on, I (re-)remembered how much I love the damn Rosebuds and then I started wondering whether or not Jude could draw a nice little fox.  He’s working on it right now under my feet as I type.  Also, tune’ll change your broad view of the shittiness of your day in a heartbeat: at least you’re not a dead fox.  For real.

[BUY Life Like]

**

Breathe Owl Breathe :: Sabertooth Tiger [MP3]

Seriously assholes, this song saves the day.  EVERY.  FUCKING.  TIME.  Mastadons, glaciers, river, and most importantly, moms.   In short, it’s really hard to be a pissed off grown up when you’re listening to music that makes kid’s dance.

[BUY Ghost Glacier EP]

**

Sharon Van Etten :: Consolation Prize [MP3]

The moral story is: SVE is badass.  Every time I listen to Van Etten I get newly pissed that some dude, a total fuck no doubt, ever felt like it was okay to make her feel like she wasn’t good enough.  The consolation prize there is that he surely now feels like the biggest dolt this side of indie chick rock.

[BUY Epic]

**

Dwight Yoakam :: Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose [MP3]

You cannot touch my love for Dwight.  My first concert was Dwight when I was in my early teens: a tornado ventured into the outdoor venue, my little brother cried and lost his cowboy hat, our chairs blew away, and we begged my mother to let us leave as we watched a funnel cloud make it’s way towards us in the distance.  She refused.  Because of her refusal, we got great seats when everyone else left fearing for their lives.  You cannot touch my love for Dwight.  Don’t even try, hipster.

[BUY If There Was A Way]

**

Saintseneca :: Wonderlust [MP3]

Wade on?  Yes, I think I will.

[BUY the Self-Titled 7″]

**

The Black Keys :: Howlin’ For You [MP3]

The Black Keys could literally un-fuck any day.  I do not like overtly sexual jams (on the other hand, overt sex I’m down with) and that’s not what this is but dude.  DUDE.  I think Stephen Hawking himself would agree that there is something in the musical combination of Dan Auerbach’s vox/guitar and Patrick Carney’s drumming skillz that make (good, smart) people wanna make babies with other (good, smart) people.

[BUY Brothers]

**

Bon Iver :: Wisconsin [MP3]

This is how you know I’m odd: I make mixes that include The Black Keys followed by Justin Vernon.

[BUY For Emma, Forever Ago]

**

The War On Drugs :: Baby Missiles [MP3]

The War On Drugs are my incredibly modern Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.  ‘Baby Missiles’ is to my 2010 what ‘Taking the Farm’ was to my 2008.

[BUY Future Weather]

**

Feathe :: Messy Rooms [MP3]

Folk.  Chicks.  Eau Claire.  Fuck yeah.

[BUY Flora EP]

**

Wintersleep :: Weighty Ghost [MP3]

I have not seen your ghost, dudes, but I see those goddamn clouds…

[BUY New Inheritors]

**

The Giving Tree Band :: Circles [MP3]

Aw shit, if a dude’s woman NOT being alone when he gets home doesn’t make YOU feel better about your life then you’re just an ass.  As a sidenote, you’ve got to wait for this song to take off.  It will, a minute in.  JUST WAIT.

[BUY The Joke, The Threat, and The Obvious]

**

Elephant Revival :: Go On [MP3]

Sometimes the simplest of words and phrases make you feel like someone knows, like someone out there gets it.  Sometimes the words that you make you feel as such are “go on, it’s alright.  We all feel something similar sometimes.”

[BUY Break In The Clouds]

**

We all feel something similar sometimes.  On that note, until next time, kids.  Happy mixin’.

When I was young, there was always music.  When I was six or so my parents gave me my first record for Christmas.  I remember playing it on my tiny little box record player.  I remember laying on my floor when I was sixteen, the one carpeted with the same weave that was there when my mother spent her teenage years in that very same house, and getting the speakers to my cheap cassette player as close as I could to my ears.  I yearned to hear the words of ‘Let It Be’ on a deeper level.  I wanted to hear every little fleck of emotion in Paul McCartney’s voice when he sang of his friend, Jude.

Today, I’m 28 and I have my Jude.  He listens and he sings and he’s interested.  Not all the time, granted, but there are songs and bands that seem to move his little soul.  There are bands with the power to open his eyes a little wider and to hold his attention.  Breathe Owl Breathe is one of those bands (if not THAT band).

I know this is the Breathe Owl blog lately.  For that, apologies.  But here’s the thing: I cannot sing to my boy so I have to trust someone else to do that very precious thing for me.  Because music is not just music to me, because it can be so heavy and because it possesses the ability to hold so much meaning in our darkest times, I want to give him things — notes and instruments and an ear that can discern what could literally save his life one day (as it has mine)– more than I want him to have things.  Because he is so young I feel solely responsible for showing him that this thing — something as simple as lyrics and music — can change his life.

This is important to me.  I was ecstatic that he would get to see his band in real time.  I was beside myself that I’d get to see his face when they sang his favorite songs and when he sang along.  This is the singular show in my roster of concerts that during which I spent more time watching a little boy than I did the band.  And he was beaming.

We arrived at the art gallery and Andrea happened to be outside.  My slightly shy one walked over, with little hesitation, and told her he loved her band.  He gave her his drawings.  And I’ve never seen someone whose in a position to be jaded if they’d like be so much of the opposite.  She was kind.  She was smiling.  As a mother to that little boy standing in front of her, I wanted to cry and hug that woman at once.

Jude sat through the two opening acts.  After a day full of basketball games and driving, he was beat.  He wept, he wanted to sleep, his missed his doll, Andy.  The time came, Breathe Owl began to set up, and Andrea came out and taped his drawings to the speakers on stage.  The kid awoke.  The kid stared.  The kid was in it now.

The band was simply wonderful.  They held his attention, he laughed, he sang, and he danced.  To see the power of music in the face of a five year old is intense, especially when that little human is someone you’ve raised and cared for.  Andrea told the crowd about Jude’s bunnies, complete with appropriate beards for Micah and Trevor.  He watched her through the entire show, in awe of her multi-instrumentalism.  So did his mother, in awe of her kindness.

After the show, Jude got a hug from Andrea.  Jude got a drawing from her in his tiny little composition notebook he carries around, messily taped together at the spine and full of his doodles.  In twenty years, I have no doubt he’ll look at that page and really see the significance in that night.

Yesterday, I bought Canadian Shield.  I listened to “Your Cape”.  I cried.  Being a kid is fucking hard sometimes — in the midst of play and learning it all seems so simple and easy but we should all know better.  Everything is important when you’re young.  And that doesn’t change until we age, until we realize that a slight on the playground isn’t the end of the world.

I feel like I owe this band a very big thank you card.  They give meaning to what Jude is feeling but cannot always say.  They make him laugh and they make him think.  They make wearing capes in public okay.  That’s a lesson I hope stays with Jude forever.

**

Breathe Owl Breathe :: Your Cape [MP3]

BUY Canadian Shield


Today I do not slave for the man.  Today I will ignore the cold (and it’s there) and I will put on makeup and socially acceptable clothing and I will drive 30 miles.  Today I will pick up Jude’s banjo.

It is a Christmas gift for my son and I’m hoping it’s one from which joy will come and one that will last longer than last year’s Wii or those drums I bought him two years that were favored not as an instrument but as something off which to jump.

About three or four months ago, I played this song for Jude.  It was a Saturday and he was, no doubt, Lego-ing on the floor under my feet.  He asked first, “What is making that noise?”.  I answered his query and he asked second, “Can I have one?”.

Today there is a banjo and tomorrow is Jude’s first concert: Breathe Owl Breathe.  The serendipity of these two things combining so close together in the timeline of our lives is not lost on me.  As a sidenote, it’s really fucking awesome to have a great kid.

Breathe Owl Breathe :: Toboggan

BUY Canadian Shield

Lately, the jams Jude prefers center on banjo.  But to be honest, the traditional banjo sound (unless plucked by Phil Cook, apparently) won’t hold his interest.  He’s fucking five, yo.  He needs something to interest his little brain and the banjo instrumental to ‘I Shall Not Be Moved’ just isn’t good enough, no matter what his mother (ahem) tells him.  The first time I played this pretty rad new jam from the Electric Owls he was sort of nonchalant about the whole ordeal but this morning, when I asked what he’d like to hear today his requests were for Breathe Owl Breathe (their kid-friendly sound he digs and the fact that he’s seeing them in concert next weekend — his first live show, by the way, and one I couldn’t be happier about, helps) and “that song that sounds like the river, the one with the banjo that sounds like it’s rocking out, the one about the flood, MOM!”.  I don’t know if his description does the tune justice but I don’t think I could give you a better explanation.  Sidenote: Jude speaks in extreme run-ons, just like his mother.  Do not judge us, English teachers of America.

The new Electric Owls EP, Cullowhee Songs, is out the 9th of November.  I assume you’ll be able to pick it up via Vagrant Records and we (that is, Jude and I both) recommend you snag it when it arrives.

**

Electric Owls :: When I Was A Flood [MP3]

In a time when most music listeners have no real concept of music labels (why in the fuck would they care who put out Katy Perry’s latest single?), one might get the impression that the involved label has fallen by the wayside.  Record labels exist to live behind the curtain and inaccessible to the listener, right?

The same could be said for the art of putting some tunes on vinyl and releasing it to the masses.  Today’s home doesn’t typically bear a turntable and if it does, its sat in the garage since Grandma died, gathering dust.  For the most part, people seem to have forgotten about the art of vinyl and how much more fulfilling it is to listen to your favorite musicians while they crackle away under a needle.  Turntables are cumbersome and unless you’re a DJ these days, they’re not on your radar.

When my own Granny died the only thing I asked to be given was her beloved turntable.  In her latter years the radio got more use than the record player did but the fact that this piece of Hitachi furniture had sat in her home, whether it was the farm or her old restaurant, for the last fifty years meant a lot to me.  And I’ve got a vinyl obsession, so that helped.  What surprised me was that even her grandchildren, who’d grown up under the magical spell of vinyl, had no interest in it.  Now it sits in the corner of our living room, still plugging away and still bearing the shrink-wrap plastic on its metal parts that she never removed, presumably because it was expensive in its day and it wasn’t her way to

The uneducated and those who prefer their music from iTunes might not have any idea that music labels still exist today that press vinyl and not only that, but record labels exist that view doing just that as an art form.  That’s how it should be, in my opinion.  While it can be said that quite a few of the artists that live on those labels wouldn’t be there if not for the accessibility of their music because of iTunes and computers and music at our fingertips, at the touch of a button, it can also be said that they wouldn’t be the artists they are without vinyl.  While there is certainly magic in our ability to discover new music often through the internet that doesn’t negate the beauty and the wonder of actually listening to that music on a 45.  It feels different — it’s personal and it’s homey and it’s spectral.  Like a fucking unicorn.  And everyone loves a unicorn.

Thus, let’s talk about some labels.  Or rather, A label.  We’ve made our love for bands like Megafaun and Breathe Owl Breathe common knowledge on this here blog and while I’m sure that I’d love these bands if my only listening option involved my cheap Dell computer speakers, I’m sure I wouldn’t love them as much as I do if I weren’t able to simply give their amazing label, Hometapes, a mere 15 bucks — little more than the cost of a disc and yet, with a much bigger return than one gets from a CD — for some sweet vinyl, conveniently shipped to my home.  And these things from Hometapes are not just records and music and tunes, mind you.  They are the epitome of works of art — the new Breathe Owl Breathe record, Magic Central, contains a newsprint poster featuring the prints of the half the band, Micah.  That ain’t just music people, that’s fucking art in it’s most awesome form.  The most recent release from Bear in Heaven is multi-colored vinyl.  The Segni EP from All Tiny Creatures is pressed on white vinyl with concept packaging by the formidable in more area than one, Thomas Wincek (seriously, when was the last time you saw a stark white piece of vinyl?).

This is all to say that perhaps we’d be a better people — a better country, too? — if more people were invested in things as simple as vinyl records.  And that’s not me being facetious.  I’m fucking serious.  If people took more of an interest in their music perhaps we’d all move away from mass produced to something that takes time and delivers the listener a product that gives the impression that those who made it care about us, their humble listeners, just as much as they do themselves.  It’s not about money and it’s not about MTV, it’s about giving someone they can hold and feel the weight of.  It better represents the work and care put into making music for fans of music.  When it’s done right, it’s heaven.  And Hometapes sure as shit does it right.

BUY from Hometapes.

Bear in Heaven :: Bag of Bags[MP3]

Brad Laner :: Eyes Close [MP3]

Slaraffenland :: Polaroids [MP3]


As mentioned previously, here at our house, the weekends are typically reserved for playing with Legos at a leisurely pace fitting of an off day, walking about the street, Wii duels, and whatever the fuck one else might want to do.  I choose to spend a large chunk of that time following links here and there, perusing aggregators, and digging out old records to stare at.  So…music.

All the while I’m doing this, my tiny little prodigy chimes in with his thoughts.  He recommends things for the playlist.  And sometimes he totally gets the feel of the weekend and knocks out a sweet one.  And when that happens it gets saved and I flip up the volume and we let it run, over and over.  All day long.  Really loud background noise.

So, Jude made the playlist this morning.  Currently I’m googling Virgil Thrasher and cleaning at a snail’s pace while the kid is currently blowing fart strawberries onto his own knees in the bathtub (“I don’t know what I’m gonna call this game yet.”) and I just noticed that these same few songs have been on repeat today.  The massive amount of banjo?  Yeah, we just went to the music store and picked out the banjo that Jude is asking Santa for.  No big deal, just the most awesome thing ever.  Anyway, you want in on Jude’s list (I could tell you did) so here it is*.  It’s linked quickly and in a non-music blogger fashion because…it’s fucking Sunday, I guess.  And because on Sunday one does whatever one wants to.

Breathe Owl Breathe :: Toboggan

Breathe Owl Breathe :: Own Stunts

Breathe Owl Breathe :: Across the Loch

Akron/Family :: River

Andrew Bird :: Sythian Empires

Arcade Fire :: We Used to Wait

Megafaun :: Bonnie’s Song

Yes, seriously, there are 3 Breathe Owl Breathe songs.  Shutup about it.  We’ll be seeing them next month.  It will be The Jude’s first live concert/show and we’re both equally stoked.  Also, banjo.

*It’s probably worth noting that unfortunately, Jude is only allowed to choose songs that I already have on this here computer.  I love him lots but I’m not gonna go download the Scooby Doo and Indiana Jones’ soundtracks.