Who doesn’t love a good breakup song? Especially when it involves thrashing guitars and angry declarations peppered with moments of clarity that repeatedly descend back into the madness. Okay, so I just described a breakup song that mirrors an actual breakup. “Bird Balloons” is an absolute gem off Lady Lamb The Beekeeper‘s first proper album, Ripley Pine. While we adore the Kate Nash’s and Tegan & Sara’s of the heartbreak-filled indie music world, it’s a treat to see an up-and-coming female artist more in the vein of Martha Wainwright. 23-year old Aly Spaltro packs a lot of firepower into her unique brand of folk rock, with more than enough looks and intensity to stand out in the singer-songwriter crowd.
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The Spring Standards and Ha Ha Tonka are playing Mercury Lounge tomorrow night with Lucius and Alec Gross. Again, one of those great live shows where you can look forward to each and every artist. New York seems to be the last place you’d expect great alt-country/folk/bluegrass to come from (despite the ever present flannel shirt), but every artist on the bill is sure to deliver. Gross and Ha Ha Tonka are more centered in the country rock sound, while The Spring Standards and Lucius are built on the same elements with strong pop and indie textures.
No doubt The Spring Standards will be the highlight of the show. Their last album Would Things Be Different made our Top 10 Albums of 2010 list and it seems like only a matter of time before they’re truly “discovered.” Heather Robb and company put on surprisingly energetic live show that drifts from straight up chillin’ in Kansas-style folksy jams to upbeat cityscape indie pop tunes. Verdict: Extremely pleasant to listen to.
Pick up Would Things Be Different on iTunes
Pick up their new album, Death of a Decade, on iTunes
It isn’t too often that an artist can stick around for almost 15 years and still be coming out with fresh, real music the way G. Love has been doing all of his career. His latest, Fixin’ To Die, dropped today and is one of the best in his discography. Produced by fellow folk rockers Scott and Seth Avett (aka The Avett Brothers), the new album swings harder into folk and blues than previous releases but with a continued keen eye on the pop flavor that makes any G. Love album so addicting.
The Avett Brothers’ presence is felt strongly here, much like Danger Mouse had on The Black Keys’ “Attack & Release.” G. Love’s whimsical melodies are channeled deeper into his blues and folk roots, delivering a product honed by years of experience – rather than the usual deterioration of creativity you might find in other artists. The album’s first single has been out for a minute now, but download it here if you don’t have it already.
And yes we live in desperate times
But fading words and shaking rhymes
There’s only one thing here worth hoping for
With Lucifer beneath you and God above
If either one of them asks you what your living of
Say love, say for me love
As a general rule, the Electric Panda will stay away from being sappy whenever possible, but these are different times. Love is in the air, my friends. Today’s track isn’t new, and I’ve been listening to it for a while now, but what was once just a great song now has a lot more meaning.
Life doesn’t go how you expect it to go sometimes, and without a doubt it will throw whatever it can to make things rocky. Tangible things can all be lost in an instant. It’s a cliché notion to be sure, but were they ever important in the first place? Where does happiness come from anyway?
The Avett Brothers are probably right after all. True happiness – the kind that brings a smile to your face every morning, the kind that makes your feet feel a little bit light walking down the street, is found in the heart. The kind of happiness that is never forced, it just happens, and when you have it you never want to let it go. The most beautiful thing on earth, in it’s purest and most humanistic form. So, what are you living of?
Get their latest album “I and Love and You” for only $7.99 as a special Valentine’s Day sale
Consider me one excited panda. Pitchfork is reporting that Foals have just announced a North American tour with one of my favorite bands of 2010, Freelance Whales. They’ll be getting support from another great up-and-coming act, The Naked and the Famous. The trio will be stopping by NYC’s Terminal 5 on May 4th, and you can check the full tour schedule here.
Usually you don’t find a show that is good from the bottom up, but even the openers are worth a show on their own. New Zealand’s The Naked and Famous are a band to watch in 2011, along with (hopefully) a new album from Freelance Whales.