Tag Archives: love

The National – High Violet

Woah woah woah woah woah! Listen to The National’s new album High Violet. This new masterpiece is going to drop in stores on May 11th.


Listen to the whole album HERE!
Listen to the whole album HERE!
Listen to the whole album HERE!
Listen to the whole album HERE!
Listen to the whole album HERE!

Let us know what you think!

The National’s Myspace
The National’s Website

Modest Mouse/764-HERO – 15 minutes in heaven

One thing you, our beloved readers, may not know about the wolf and the sheep is that we are addicted to long songs (Best Music of 2009 – check out Bay of Pigs and you’ll understand everything). The longer the better. This craze that we are currently in exploded with a one month obsession with Pink Floyd’s Dogs. We seriously just can not get enough of long songs! It takes a skilled group of artists to put together a sound that goes on and on and on, and not everyone can do it so well.

So, what happens when you combine Modest Mouse and 764-HERO? The result is this 15 minute single, Whenever You See Fit which was released in 2004. Modest Mouse is pretty mainstream but this song appears to have remained under the covers – a hidden gem, if you will. 764-HERO is a whole other (wonderful) story which may or may not be explored in the future of this blog. Together, these two bands have created two hauntingly distant vocals that seem to be fighting against each other throughout the whole song.

This song explores the lows of a seriously dragged out relationship that seems to never have the potential to come to a definite end. The only thing that this couple is addicted to more than each other is messing things up between them. The mistakes in any relationship are inevitable, nothing is ever perfect (at least, not for long) and sometimes its hard to call it quits. Once you get so comfortable with someone, the only thing harder than living through a bickering hell is moving on. That person is always there, always on your mind, always in your head, and always in your life even when they’re not.

Yeah, we’re talking on the phone again
Acting like we are our own best friend
And everything you ever said
Every thought I ever meant, I ever did
You’ll wake up early and you’ll live to regret

The ending of the song is a disappointment – just not in artistry:

Now and then, whenever you see fit
Nothing is clear
Tell the truth
Whenever you go wrong
Everything’s fine

Even though they know that “nothing is clear” and that no one is telling the truth, they convince themselves that, after all, everything is fine, everything will be okay in the end. A wonderful little (okay – not so little) song that sums up the drowning agony that is often associated with many relationships. But that’s just the way it is.

Okay, enough analysis for the day week month. We just love to analyze, have you noticed? What do you guys think? Personally, I love this song and I have been able to casually go back to it since I heard it about 3 years ago. Today I decided to take it more seriously and hopefully the result is not you reading this with a giant question mark floating above your head… hopefully.

until next time,
your neighborhood friendly man eater/grass grazer

buy the single here
read the lyrics here
Modest Mouse’s Myspace
764-HERO’s Myspace

Amo Joy – The Sane Design;

Amo Joy is a light that never goes out. Seriously. What a colorful mixture of sound. What a breath of fresh air.

It’s been a long winter and you’ve been covered in layers the entire time. What better way to break free than from the inside out? What better way to wake your sleepy cells than with the sounds of happy explosions? What Amo Joy provides us with on their full length – The Sane Design – is a lot more than a biological alarm clock, it’s music to move to – not even because you want to, but because you have to – because when you close your eyes you’re wandering through a grassy field, the sun is shining and there are frisbees, bubbles, babies everywhere – life is wonderful and all you want to do is kick off your shoes, let your hair down and just move – and even though it’s still snowing where you really are and you’ve ruined another pair of shoes because you’re too stubborn to fully convert your wardrobe to what is weather appropriate – it doesn’t matter because you can’t help how you feel and you feel warm sand between your toes and cool ice cream melting down your arm and you’re too caught up watching the waves roll in to keep up with eating it. And while the majority of The Sane Design is music to move (happily) to, what it also brings to the table is what other critics and genre experts alike are labeling ‘psychedelic indie rock,’ if that sounds anymore convincing. Whatever floats your boat, I guess – as long as it’s floating in the direction of the nearest Amo Joy show.

The music of Amo Joy is a lovely distraction from the distractions of every day life brought about by their contagious sound and creatively imaginative lyrics that make it hard to decide if you’re in the middle of a circus or a carnival or both. Like variety? How about some guitars, clarinet, ukelele, kazoo, toys, keyboard, drums, banjo and ‘noises,’ plus twisting, fun-house-esque vocals to spice things up? I bet your ears haven’t heard a mixture like that in – what, forever?

And when there’s nothin’ left to do
You’ll fall down on your back and taste the shore
Of things you feel you never should’ve faced before
You’ll settle up the score
And when I leave the town of exponential bore
I know they’ll only be there just expecting more
They settle up the score
They settle up the score
They settle up the score


It’s Not An Artist’s World

This breathing need for completion
Unappeased after all we put in
It’s high time to change with the season
Said the bleeding comes to an end
From all the wind outside
You know I’m screaming strife
As I go to follow lines
It’s the end of time
How could we lose the rhyme


Barclay

Amo Joy is Adam Gross, Paul Cobb, James Furness, Steve Trowbridge and company.

Amo Joy is a member of a fabulous record label based out of Indianapolis, Standard Recording Co. I find it appropriate to give them a round of applause and a well deserved shout out before closing because they are as in it for the music as it gets and these days when genuine labels are hard to come by, we should always take an opportunity to shed some light on the good guys. If you get a chance, check them out and check out the rest of the bands they have lined up!

I know that it is a rarity for us to offer music that is not melancholy and does not require the wheels of your mind to forever turn in order to find the deeper meaning behind what’s being offered – so when we do take these leaps of taste, give them a chance! Especially if you just want to hang out, have fun and take it easy for a while.

Amo Joy’s Official Site
Buy ‘The Sane Design’ Here!
Amo Joy’s Myspace
Amo Joy’s Twitter
Standard Recording Co.

Peter Gabriel – Scratch My Back; For my daddy!

As many of you are probably aware, Peter Gabriel (Genesis) is putting out an album entitled Scratch My Back which consists of him covering various songs. The songs he has chosen to cover are by a handful of artists from our generation, including Radiohead, Regina Spektor, The Arcade Fire, The Magnetic Fields and….. BON IVER! Obviously, there is a reason behind why each song was picked, and according to this article, he chose songs that “are major reinterpretations of some famous stuff” today.

So, what do we think of this collaboration of classical rock/modern day rock? I think it is fantastic that artists such as Peter Gabriel, a legend, if you will, can appreciate the stuff new artists are putting out. Who said that its all been done and said? This simply confirms our belief that music we are getting today is, i repeat, IT IS, beautiful and worth our time and tears and dedication.

I have been able to form an opinion of Peter Gabriel; he is a true musician. He never stops listening, just as a true professor never stops learning, or a true mother never stops caring. Apparently, his daughter told him about Bon Iver; he is open to hear the progression of music from when he first started out to today. And this is the result;

https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/Public/04%20Flume.mp3?w=c098b652

Don’t turn it off too quickly; the beginning may make you go :|, if you are used Flume consisting of a howling Justin Vernon. But do not fear, you are sure to be 😀 -ing by the end!

So I can officially tell my father that he absolutely needs to listen to some of the stuff on my ipod! After all, Peter Gabriel does it!

Love,
the wolf & the sheep

Peter Gabriel’s Site/Photo Credit

Beach House – Daytrotter Session;

What a fantastic way to begin a brand new month! Ladies, gentlemen, sheep, wolves, tigers and robots alike, we present you with Beach House’s Daytrotter session! The song selection for this session is great and includes a bunch of our own personal favorites (one being ‘Zebra,’ of course).

What would life be like without Daytrotter? I never want to know.

Beach House on Daytrotter!
Beach House on Daytrotter!
Beach House on Daytrotter!
Beach House on Daytrotter!
Beach House on Daytrotter!
Beach House on Daytrotter!

What are you still doing here?!?! CLICK THAT LINK!

Other Lives – Self Titled EP;

Hailing from the great state of Oklahoma, Other Lives began their musical journey some time around 2004 and have been successfully pushing forward ever since. The band’s most recent album, the self titled Other Lives EP was released in March of 2009 on TBD Records. With the ability to master a variety of instruments being a main component of their band, their sound is composed of perfect little layers of piano, guitar, bass, organ, cello, drums violin and guitar that blend so beautifully into one melodic life boat, placed perfectly within reach for Jesse Tabish’s vocals to find solace and be carried safely through the currents of our mind. The eleven songs that make up Other Lives’ Self Titled EP are powerful enough to skip the judgment of the mind completely and nestle instantly within your soul. Lyrically, Other Lives avoids in-depth and wordy stanzas but instead opt for a straightforward and uncomplicated deliverance of emotions that have the ability to sting almost as quickly and easily as they eventually soothe. Failed relationships and unrequited love do not seem to be as big of a theme on this album, instead, we are placed on a path towards coping. It is as if Other Lives’ Self Titled EP is one of those albums that can take on its own personal meaning as it nestles its way into the lap of your emotions and eventually finds itself lost within them. So, coping with what exactly, I am not necessarily sure and believe it is up to the listener to eventually figure out. Whatever gap that lies wide open that calls for patching up, whatever haunting voice within the mind that needs quieting down, whatever apathetic albatross that demands to be replaced with something of substance – must open itself up wide enough to allow Tabish’s life boat room enough to slowly drop its anchor and find a home.

Like many albums that I eventually fall in love with, Other Lives has been sitting, silently and patiently, knowing that I would eventually give it a chance when the time was right. I can not imagine another time to have been better than the present. I highly recommend Other Lives, especially if you are looking for something to fill your heart, not necessarily your mind. This album does not call for thought, it seems as if it does the complete opposite and begs, quietly yet persuasively, to be felt. To embrace this album completely, I believe, requires time, patience and above all, a deep breath. Close your eyes, you owe it to yourself – or better yet, ‘shut out the sound, perfect silence is all around, away from the crowd, a chance to figure out what they’re about.’

Other Lives is Jesse Tabish, Josh Onstott, Jenny Hsu, Colby Owens and Jonathon Mooney.

And I had called a name but no one heard
Sounds just like the noise of people talking words
I’d love to say a prayer
For all those that flew and all who wish to


AM Theme

When the whites of your eyes come through
You’ll see something new
With your body and mine raised up
It’s good to see you back home


Black Tables

A Daytrotter performance can be heard here.
Visit the Other Lives Myspace here.
Purchase the CD here.

The National; You know you have a permanent piece of my medium sized American/Canadian heart

Some people are just suckers for bands that have a distinct vocalist. With these bands, you usually love them right away, or you need to listen to them and “get used” to the sound to really love them. Either way, if you are one of those people, then you are sure to enjoy/love/get a tattoo of The National. Matt Berning sings in a sombre voice which makes even explosive songs (instrumentally) sound mellowed out. He takes his time to get each word out with absolute confidence and seriousness in what he is saying (even when it sounds something like: Karen put me in a chair/fuck me and make me drink). And why shouldn’t he? His amazing lyrics are worthy of such a strong voice. And trust me, they will make you feel like you could have written these words about someone you’ve been missing. One of my very favourite lyrics is:

Build a room for your love
Take your time when you tell her
How she lives in your blood
You should’ve looked after her better
You should’ve looked after her more
You should’ve locked the door

Val Jester

Val Jester is a beautiful song that is about taking things for granted. This is something we all do with things in our life, and also more severely with people in our life. We don’t appreciate them and what they do for us. We do not take the time to think about how our lives would be different if this person were not in it. Then, when they are gone, all we can do is live in regret and miss them to death and feel like you don’t deserve them. (At least, that’s my take on this song… Listen to it and tell me what you think!)

If you are new to this band, we recommend that you start with Alligator because… well it is the one we started with, and there are several outstanding tracks such as Daughters of the Soho Riots(!!!), Val Jester, All the Wine, and The Geese of Beverly Road( just to name a few). The key feelings that are expressed in the album are those of guilt, regret, and desperation; feeling like everything in your life is not right and was maybe better at another point.

Having said all of this, something tells me that this may be one of those albums where every song is about the same girl (uh… Karen?). It is usually boring and repetitive to listen to albums that revolve around one girl. But even though Alligator may very well be about the same girl or the same relationship, it explores many points where things went wrong in a relationship that has been dragged out. There are so many of these levels that you could literally write a whole album/book/great American screenplay about it..

The guys have a new CD they’ve been working on, which is hopefully coming out sometime this year! In the meantime, we will all just hold ourselves over with Alligator (or any of their other albums!) which is definitely music that everyone who has feelings can connect with, so give it a listen! (Unless you’re a robot.. or an animal… like a zebra.. in that case, we’d really like it if you said hi to us!).

Happy Listening!
Love,
the wolf & the sheep

myspace
official site
tumblr (because who doesn’t have one these days..)

The Republic of Wolves – The Clouds (demo);

One of the best things about having the original version of a song is being able to compare it to a demo version or a remixed version when a band is kind enough to share it with you. In this case, one of my personal favorite tracks on The Republic of Wolves’ EP His Old Branches (#1 EP of 2009) The Clouds, has been released as a demo with a link to a free download on Gregg Andrew Dellarocca’s – one of the five wolves’ – tumblr page.

This song brilliantly covers a wide spectrum of emotions ranging from what seems to be experiencing, dealing with and attempting to move on from loss. As the song begins, we are immediately introduced to inevitable death in the face of what was once patient hope. The inability to comprehend and accept the concept of ‘being without’ follows shortly after, where alcohol is introduced as a method to erase what realities are present and flood the mind with the delusion that the taller the bottle, the easier it will be to bring back what is missing. The ‘floor’ (or ‘ghost’ in the EP version of the song) gives no response to the main character’s attempts at finding closure through carrying on conversation with open space and though his attempts are tireless, they are fruitless as well and it is then that he begins to realize that there is no changing the certainty of death. There is, at this point, an immediate shift in the mood of the song, which is complimented by the sound itself – no longer attempting to stretch the realms of reality and giving rest to the inner battle that one faces when trying to achieve the impossible – the song hits a cathartic stride. What is left to bring back memories of what is lost is to be buried, hidden and tucked away – not to be forgotten but to be done because it is necessary for rescue, release, rebirth and growth. However, what takes a piece of us remains a part of us forever – so, no matter how deep we bury our memories, we never actually bury them deep enough to let go completely – ‘and they will stay there underground but no matter what I do I never will stop talking to you.’

(At least, that is how I interpret the song, have a listen and let us know what you think!)

After downloading the free The Clouds demo be sure to purchase His Old Branches (if you haven’t already!) which includes the released version of The Clouds along with 6 other songs that are just as amazing! It’s Friday, you had a long week, treat yourself to something you are sure to fall in love with!

I still see your face in the day.
And I see your eyes in the bottle that was way too tall
I finished it just to see if we could talk.
Now I’m speaking with the floor again
It’s telling me that I don’t listen.

The Republic of WolvesThe Clouds (demo)

Also featured on Mr. Dellarocca’s tumblr page is a link to receive a free download of Canossa (demo) by Tigers on Trains (an equally amazing band made up of Christian Van Deurs and Mason Maggio- two out of the five wolves), which we’ve mentioned in a previous post, here! And while you’re there, be sure to pick up Tigers on Trains’ debut album Grandfather as well!


And sure enough we spent the day
Dreaming of ways to make the past come back
We drew the sky up on the wall
You drew the sun and I drew the clouds
That’s when I realized I was casting all this shade

Tigers on TrainsCanossa (demo)

We haven’t steered you wrong yet, have we? These albums will change your life.

Oh and this isn’t the last of The Republic of Wolves’! Stay tuned for a full review of His Old Branches(#1 EP of 2009) in the very near future!

The Republic of Wolves Myspace
Tigers on Trains Myspace
Gregg Andrew Dellarocca’s Tumblr
The Republic of Wolves’ Tumblr

Rachael Yamagata; Elephants (and emotions too)

There is something about a beautiful song that makes it beautiful, obviously – but what is it? Is it how it captivates you to the point where you are unable to focus on anything but the sweet sound filling the space between your ears? Or maybe it’s the pattern of foot prints that your mind makes, walking in circles trying to wrap itself around how everyday words, woven together by the simple keys of a piano and gentle strings of an orchestra can, with repetition, relieve your body of an invisible weight that you know you’ve been carrying but were never really sure why? Perhaps it is the tidal wave, you know that tidal wave that takes you down and washes you clean of the creeping feelings that have been lingering above your head like three floating question marks; setting you free and pushing you forward.

Rachael Yamagata may best be known to the masses for her hit Be Be Your Love which was featured on the Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants soundtrack in 2005. Like most artists with actual talent who find mainstream popularity, it is very often not their best work that garners attention, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how protective you are of beautiful things). Yamagata’s most recent release, Elephants…Teeth Sinking into Heart, is a 2 disc set with Elephants offering up a weighted, darker expression of emotion while Teeth Sinking into Heart allows Yamagata to release herself from the chains of life’s vulnerability and gives her the opportunity to tighten her vocal chords and grit her teeth, with a more aggressive delivery of expression. However, despite the differences between the two halves of Yamagata’s final product, they compliment each other beautifully and either would be incomplete without the other accompanying it.

So, do you remember that beautiful song that we were talking about? The one that stops you in your tracks, sends your mind spinning and knocks you over? Now, you may think that we’ve fallen in love with this song because of our mildly inappropriate obsession with all things having to do with animals (we refer to ourselves as The Wolf and The Sheep, must we explain further?) but we can assure you that if only for this instance in the history of instances, the relationship between title of this song and our love for wildlife is a total coincidence – we would have felt the same if the song was called Feta Cheese Omelet, Yum – but it is not. Elephants, the opening track to, um, Elephants is that beautiful song that we were talking about. It seems as if the only way to offer this song to new ears would be to simply suggest that you open a separate tab, find the lyrics and read along. What is most phenomenal about this song to us are the lyrics (c’mon don’t act like you didn’t know) – Yamagata relates human behavior to animal characteristics while divulging the listener in a perfect depiction of the vulnerability of the human heart in the reflection of what went wrong and the struggle to move on when what it is you are trying to forget will not allow you to. What finds its way into the finale of the song, however, is a sugges- no, more like encouragement to be fearless, and while there is always the 50% chance that you will find yourself “ripped to shreds and laughing as you bleed,” once in a while the flip side of the coin may just be in your favor. Never miss the opportunity to dive head first into love but always remember to keep “one eye open at night.”

Have a listen and let us know what you think, actually, have a couple of listens and then let us know how it makes you feel.

And I am dreaming of them with their kill, tearing it all apart
Blood dripping from their lips and teeth sinking into heart

And how dare that you say you’ll call
When you know I need some peace of mind
If you have to take sides with the animals
Won’t you do it with one who is kind

http://www.myspace.com/rachaelyamagata

http://www.rachaelyamagata.com/music

– the wolf & the sheep

Tigers on Trains; new demo on myspace

Tigers on Trains. Simply put, we love this band.

We fell in love with them fast and hard.

Their latest full length album, Grandfather came out this past August, as their fan-base increased at a rate which was probably exponential. This is due to the youtube-brand new-fiasco (Google it?). At least, that’s how we shamelessly discovered them (Ok, maybe there’s a little bit of shame considering we didn’t discover them earlier .. But whatever, it’s great music). The two guys, Mason Maggio and Christian Van Deurs, have also started a new project, called The Republic of Wolves. Their first EP (His Old Branches – check it out if you know whats good for you and your ears) dropped last month with a beyond smooth landing.

Along with the simplicity of our love for this band, so is the strumming of their guitars – which must be endowed with magical powers  – in practically all their songs. All of their songs, new and old, have a serious folk sound – so much damn strumming and nothing else! No piano, no drums, just strumming along. For someone like me who is tone/pitch deaf and overall musically retarded (what am I doing writing a music blog?), their songs do not tend to differ from each other musically. But this simplicity  just WORKS for Tigers on Trains. That is because the beauty of their music lies within the lyrics and the simple raw transition of emotion into instrumental sound. These men have the ability to isolate a moment so beautifully that the music is all you care to hear.

There is now a new demo on their myspace, Canossa:

And sure enough we spent the day

Dreaming of ways to make the past come back

We drew the sky up on the wall

You drew the sun and I drew the clouds

That’s when I realized I was casting all this shade

Or listen to Canossa on their myspace .

As for us, we are still trying to wrap our heads around how two guys that are this young (they must be at least under 25), are capable of thinking such complex thoughts and creating such beautiful words and music; It is at the level of someone who has gone through life and figured out all of the great questions of what it means to be alive. They must have a hell of a life filled with a mountain of heartache!

My last thoughts for you; trust me when I say that that best way to spend a lonesome snowy day is in bed under a warm blanket while listening to Tigers on Trains.

Tigers on Trains – Interview
www.myspace.com/tigersontrains

– the wolf & the sheep