Sunday, December 30, 2007

Best Albums of 2007!

I've been on hiatus but coming back for a finale of 2007 was certainly in order. This year has certainly seen dance music in it's Sunday morning dress. I'm sure that the new Glass Candy album would be on this list (which I've been waiting for ALL year) but due to certain actions taken by spoil sports around Halloween time, I've been unable to hear it. Party poopers 1; Taste Makers 0. Enough of this downer, here's my list for 2007.

In no particular order:

Panda Bear
LCD Soundsystem (Fabriclive.36)
Roisin Murphy
Liars
Of Montreal
Jens Lekman
Studio
Rilo Kiley
M.I.A.
Tough Alliance

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Farewell - Now Get Learnt

I have decided to not continue with my music blog for various reasons including school, dwindling and 'lack of' resources and honestly a lack of sincere interest. It was a fun experience and I certainly learned a lot, which was my intention.

In fact, I'm currently learning the ways of web and graphic design so there is a strong chance that I will be back (possibly under the same pseudonym) soon -- hopefully making money doing it. In the mean time, learnt yourself about net neutrality and take some action --> now. No wonder it's not getting coverage.


Save the Internet: Click here

*Feel free to take me off of your blogroll or leave it up for this cause - thanks to all for putting me there in the first place!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Motocade of Auckland, New Zealand



Motocade is a band from Auckland, New Zealand focusing on a multi-faceted sound stemming from the British rock discipline. Where they sound like The Strokes on one song, they turn around and pull off Muse on another -- my point; same country/sound, but very different approaches to making a good tune, giving Motocade the cake.

On their 2nd proper album, 'Into the Fall', 'My Friends' acts as the single; the song is self-described as generally pertaining to feelings, memories and people. A quirky song accompanied by a great video.
MY FRIENDS

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The tune that bibabidi and I are leaning towards though is 'Bomb Squad'. Great lyrics with raw emotion.
BOMB SQUAD

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New Liars Mp3 x 3


The running for my 'favorite album for the 2nd half of the year' has it's first contestant. LIARS with their new self-titled album, LIARS.

Amazingly, I dig this album after being null-setted from last years highly acclaimed Drum's Not Dead. My favorite song on that album was the first one, which didn't sound like ANY of the others. Go figure.

Here we have so many different sounds; worthy as a collection of 'The History of Indie Rock As We Know It, and Then Some'. I hear sounds from the likes of: Pavement, Death From Above 1979, Grizzly Bear, Porno For Pyros and truely so many more. Each sound plus it's respective lyrics go together as cohesive as it gets, and you can't forget about the psychedelic tunes speaking to the heart of the shroom-heads. Call it a concept album , call it art rock, call it zealous.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Swede Sunday - Swedish Love


Welcome to Swede Sunday! Swedish Looove

The Swedes continue their expertise in Swedish music again this week here on RawSteel's weekly special. Just when ya think you've seen the best of the tiny (relatively) country, they just keep coming. I think they're creating more acts than my feature can keep up with! There are a few more bands I wanted to feature this week, but figured this was enough. Next week you'll see a sultry trip-hop act from Sweden. A nice change of pace for an already multi-faceted sound. Don't forget to check out my other Swede Sunday's - you can find them on the left side bar above the flag.
sites used this week - - - - - - microclips.blogspot.com
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Absolutely love Sally Shapiro, she's secretive. Beautifully executed in that she doesn't let anybody know about who she really is (in the real life), yet her music reassures that she'll be there always. Despite the craziness of what I'm apart of here (blogging), that is a true stance. You may have to listen before you feel what I'm talking about. herspace <---> her site

Sally Shapiro - I'll Be By Your Side

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Throw back soundin', dance fulfilled. This here Cartwall is party crashin' with a sway. Who cares what this reminds you of, it's 2007 and we like to move! On theirspace is evidence of their diversity.

Cartwall - Frankie
Cartwall - Swe Could BeCloser

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and
Love Will Tear Us Apart Feat. Hanna

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Strip Squad - Hairless Youth of Bosnia

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The Bear Quartet - Birds Are Singing Deep Within the Greenery


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Rawdio Show - Beastie Boys 2 hour History












Here we have 2 hours of straight up Beastie Boys
. I've spent this week rediscovering the history of the Beastie Boys and it's all collected right here in 2 hours. I geared the show more towards the music, so the facts are at a minimum but serve as perspective for what was going on at the time. Also, I've found interviews that fit in well with the music being played.

This show is for both fans of the Beastie Boys as well as non-fans, as I'm hoping to pluck some converts. I've found a few live songs as well as some less heard songs for the fans to invest in. Of course I don't play the hits because even if you aren't a fan, it's almost certain that you've heard the singles. The landmarks are what I'm concerned with here.

Even though it sounds like I'm reading from a paper, I'm not. This is my first radio rockumentary and Casey Kasum status is imminent. There's actually a part where mine and Mike D's voice have the same goofy high-low syntax.

The history is focused more about the philosophy and personal journey of the boys rather than the public one. What more can be said. Sit back and listen. The show starts taking off on #3 Paul's Boutique.



mic-to-mic.blogspot
(The up to date guide to the Beastie Boys at this very moment on tour around the world. GREAT STUFF)

beastieboys.com


Cooky Puss (couldn't play this on the air, but wanted to)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Swede Sunday - Swedish Love


Welcome to Swede Sunday! Swedish Looove.

Like usual, I'm bringing you the holiest Swedish music from around the globe...huh?

The First 2 entries come straight from one of my new favorite blogs: BiBaBiDi
One of the few blogs where EVERY post is well thought out + a great design

"Songs I Wish I Had Written, a Swedish pop label, has been behind many spectacular acts ... from the Lovekevins to Unarmed Enemies. The music on the label is consistently poppy and melodic and oh-so-charming, and I can't ever get enough of anything that's synthy and dancey. Clearly, Songs I Wish I Had Written is the label for me.

The newest release is Moto Boy. How to describe him? Hm ... imagine Antony (of Antony & the Johnsons) doing electro-pop with dancier hooks and beats.
Moto Boy has a very floaty, sweet voice, and in this case, I think it works perfectly. I bet he's super theatrical and dramatic when performing, but hey, good stage presence always spices up any show. "

Moto Boy - Blue Motor Bike


"Last year Familjen released an EP (some of the songs are below or up on the MySpace page)

One quirkier thing about Familjen is that Johan Karlsson (the one guy in the studio group) sings solely in Swedish! You never hear that anymore! It's always English these days! So I appreciate his willingness to stick to his mother tongue and work it from that angle. "
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'Bring Me the Fucking Riot... Man - I Sold My Soul on Ebay'


As I was first watching this video, I was thinking about turning that dial, then the chorus hit. Hehaw. Remember when Bart Simpson sold his soul to Milhouse? ----Yea, that's right, the name of the band is 'Bring Me the Fucking Riot... Man'. -->>where i found this<<--

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Loney, Dear - Saturday Waits'
"too cyoote"- Raw Steel

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Rawdio Show - "Nice Belt"


This week I just had a ton of music at my disposal, so I just played it all. The theme is new singles, which really made me feel like a legit Dj, ya know, making you wait and stuff. But here, you can obviously just fast forward to whatever you want. The official tracklist is below this here imeem gadget. I do love me some imeem, it doesn't allow a patron of my site to download my music, but it's a great place to store and play stuff effortlessly.

I am quite un-rehearsed and rather corny in the studio on this one, and it shows - that can still be entertaining though. 6.02 is by far my best show yet - but hey, it's all about the music, right? This show delivers in that department.

A lot of these tunes can be found on the left-side-bar (including the video of 'Bat For Lashes' that I rave on-and-on about).

Down below on my playlist, I've put an * next to music from Sweden, and a ^ next to tunes that are so fresh, they're raw.





1
New Pornographers - Unguided^
2
Bowerbirds - In Our Talons
Blitzen Trapper - Sci-Fi Kid^
Peter Bjorn & John - Tailormade*
3
continued
The Tough Alliance - Miami*
Architecture in Helsinki - Heart It Races (as played by Dr. Dog)
4
The Loose Salute - Mutineer
Liars - Sailing To Byzantium^
5
Beastie Boys - Electric Worm^
Bat For Lashes - What's a Girl To Do?
The Delicious - Seperated at Birth
6
Justice - Genesis^
Boy vs. Bacteria - Bloody Rainbow*
Hypo - Naughty Places*
Super Multifaros - Dr. Kreffer*
7
continued
Kalle J - Mauricio Espinosa Alvarez*
Totally Michael - Cheerleaders Vs. Drill Team
Ghostland Observatory - Silver City

8
continued
The Shout Out Louds - Tonight I Have to Leave It (Kleerup Remix)^
Boom Bip - One of Eleven^

9
Taken By Trees - Lost & Found (Victoria Bergsman)^*
Mum - Dancing Behind My Eyelids^
Interpol - Heinrich Maneuver^

10
continued
Dan Deacon - Snake Mistakes
Liars - Clear Island^
Spoon - The Underdog^

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Curious Commentary on That New Girl Voice

I've been loving me a lot of tunes with male producers and female vocalists. To keep a long and drawn out curiosity rant short, who is this girl? (This is part wonderment, and part fun by the way - needless to say, my charts show a spike in random female vocalists just kind of showing up and leaving without proper introduction. Yes, a little bit of research could work wonders, but hey, I'm a blogger.


Most likely these 2 songs
do have the same girl in them because of the Justice/Simian link
Justice - The Party
Simian Mobile Disco - Hustler

These 2 just sound all too alike
Lindstrom - Music on My Mind
LCD Soundsystem - Freak Out/Starry Eyes (the second half)

... and these 2 are just sexy
Purple Crush - Shopping on the Dancefloor
Armand Van Helden - Playhouse

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Montag - Going Places - Raw Steel Album Review


Artist: Montag
Album: Going Places
Label: Carpark
Rating: B


Vancouver based Montag (Antione Bedard) has a lot of friends; Final Fantasy, M83, Amy Millan, Au Revoir Simone to name a few. These are all regionally based collaborators/friends based in Canada. Despite each giving their own flair, all in all, it’s still a solo effort that Bedard is solely responsible for.

His album, Going Places, is characterized by everything positive. More up-beat than Air and Zero 7 and less lyrical than Belle and Sebastian.

Sometimes singing in French can be a good relief from listening to clichés leaving the sense that his words are exactly what we are thinking. That alone can make the song ‘our own’.

Bedard attempts to take the listener on a voyage through his ideas (musically) accompanied by simple poems set to simple harmonies. He goes back and forth between a tangible pop song and multi layered soundscapes leaving only those wishing to complete it left with it’s full potential.

-Raw Steel

Best Boy Electric
No One Else
Going Places <----M83 influence to the max
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Teen Angst (Montag Remix)
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Tracklist
1. I Have Sound (with M83)
2. Best Boy Electric
3. Mechanical Kids (with Amy Millan of Stars)
4. Alice (with Ghislain Poirier)
5. 322 Water (with Ida Nilsen)
6. Softness, I forgot Your Name (with Final Fantasy)
7. Safe in Sound (with Amy Millan of Stars)
8. Hi-5 au DJ
9. Hands Off, Creature! (with Leah Abramson)
10. (Plus Grand Que) (with Victoria Legrand of Beach House)
11. No One Else (with Au Revoir Simone)
12. Going Places
-SixEyes

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Swede Sunday - Swedish Love


Welcome to Swede Sunday! Swedish Looove.

Sweden just has that sound to be desired. Christmas on a warm day, an oxymoron that becomes a reality through these gems.

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The following Mp3s and descriptions come from a site that features Swedish music to the brim-- SwedesPlease

Montt Mardie isn't the only swede obsessed with the past. Today we get two songs from Peter Nilsson someone as caught up in the past as Montt. Here's his own account of the meaning behind these songs:

Sometimes I make stuff on my own. Sometimes I hear something so good I want to incorporate it with my compositions. Sometimes I feel a little lost in my music and need to sense the presence of someone or something else in there. Sounds from the 70s, words from the 60s, machines from the 80s, things I’ve done and places I want to go. Roughly sketched out in these two songs.


Get Nowhere
Song For Stina

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Tor and Leo make up this dup who met at a rhetorics class and quickly discovered their shared interest in electronic music. Their first single, "Fasit", has received support and play by dj's around the world, Swedish National Radio and by stations in Austrailia, the Uk, Estonia and South Africa. Here' are two more tracks from 2007 that should appear on their Adrian Recordings debut sometime in the fall.

Norad

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For The Eardrums has already written up the new debut ep by Norma. He's gone ahead and used all the good adjectives (like "hypnotic", "panoramic", "ambient", "magnificent", and "warmth") leaving me with little else to say. "The Storm" is the first track off the ep and it builds like any big storm moving across the plains states. This is pretty EPIC stuff, the stuff of legends really. The single is over 8 minutes so these guys aren't going for teenybopper radio. You lucky Europeans can buy this Novoton release here through Klicktrack.

Storm

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Säkert!'s a band with an exclamation mark and "Sanningsdan"'s the kind of song that makes you stamp your foot in exclamation marks, each toe-tap leaving an aspirate gasp in the air. "Safe!" the band-name means, like safety is something awesome and amazing, which I guess it is, or like you're playing hide-and-seek and you totally just won. It's a new project by Annika Norlin, aka Hello Saferide, aka a voice who is dear to Said the Gramophone, but here singing in Swedish. And at 1:19 she squawks like a buzzard and at 1:43 the drums start playing fast enough to turn the worlds' oceans to ice, and the chorus is horns and ahhs and drums and harmonies and the certainty of new splendours always just around the bend.

Säkert! - Sanningsdan


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Thoughts and Impressions from a Beginner Blogger Turned Novice

It's been about 45 days since I started this blog, and I've learned an unsurmountable amount of skills and information embodied in the the fact that knowledge is gained through experience. I've dabbled in just about every type of blogging production; citizen journalism (when I showed up to a DJ set and was the only person in the room, busy taking gratuitously framed pictures of the performers), commentary (which I'm displaying now), self-produced materials (my Rawdio Show and the post shown below), features (Swede Sundays & Mix-Tape Wednesdays), and critiques (album reviews).

Promotions and networking are modes of the 'behind-the-scenes' nature of blogging that can be so ambiguous that it can rack the brain. How weird was it just a handful of years ago, talking to strangers online? The internet, back then was a realm for simple information sharing and casual contact with friends and family. Today, big media business has reluctantly stumbled onto the net where communication is preferred to occur online on both the sender and receivers' time. Where once blogs existed for personal use, they are increasingly commercialized drawing that line between professional and amateur in an area not even looked at or even cared about. The line does exist though.

My experience blogging has shown me exactly what it takes to be successful. The casual internet user doesn't have enough time to look at a website with original content when there is so much more 'relevant' news making headlines out there, in what seems, updated every minute. I chose my blog to be about music, and I couldn't have chose a more difficult topic because of it's subjectiveness and current saturation. I had to choose how I was going to go about my posts. Was I going to post what I've discovered online or create my own? Were those posts going to be the most popular occurances on the web (rewarding me hits), or were they going to be posts that I thought were cool (giving me gatekeeper power instead of reporting others' gatekept material)?

As you can see, there's a dilemma between how popular your site will be and what material is posted. My radio show, to toot my own horn, is more well produced than other blog oriented radio shows featured on much higher platforms (sirius). How frustrating is it to put material online and have 80% of your visitors spend less than 5 seconds looking at it or those who intend to hear it, but just don't have enough time. I am full aware that it is a rather large request to have someone listen to such a long show. This obviously shows that it takes a great amount of time and continuous effort to gain 'subscribers' to your site.

How do you even get people to subscribe to your site and actually care?

A vast amount of blog-surfers are resorting to viewing them in readers giving them the power to scan all posts of their favorite blogs consolidated in one frame. I just subscribed to google reader, and it certainly saves a lot of time, but can be an overload of watered down information as posts are shortened. It's just too easy to keep scrolling to the next item as they can be endless. Google reader gives a new meaning to the 'information age'.

Nielson ratings recently came out showing that prime time television is at an all-time low, obviously citing the internets influence. I predict that the HD move in February '09 will be a massive bust as nobody will want to pay for television. At this point, almost anything is free online, pending copyright laws. It's hard to say what will happen. (what you need to know)

Back to my blog. I've learned that nobody really cares about 'your' blog. This isn't a self-deprecating comment. There is always the blog out there that is better and has more information. The blueprint to good blogging occurs in networking with other blogs in the same genre, even if it means sucking up and raving about how good they are. The rule of thumb is, "I scratch your back if you scratch mine". There is definitely a tier system involved as well. Indicators about how good your blog is aren't necessarily how well your layout is. Its more about how many posts you have and how many alternate links you have. Some of the best blogs in the music scene sometimes post every other day despite having the luxury of having musicians sending them massive amounts of material. The work is done for these bloggers. This obviously occurs after the site has a fair amount of subscribers, where advertisers then link themselves, and then BAM, an amateur making money off of a blog (does that then make them a professional?)

I caught myself in a fraud act when a few artists caught posts of mine about them and figured I had readership. They emailed me very nicely with thanks and even some exclusive material. I was super excited and flattered, but felt strange as they may not have known that I was getting less than 20 hits on any given day (*remember* 60% leave within 5 seconds). These kinds of connections were actually blessings unfulfilled as they did not give me a boost in hits.

I feel that 15 years ago, in order to get recognition in an artist circle was to literally be an insider. Blogging is the nerds way of getting 'inside' as artists would be 100% compliant in sending exclusive press releases their way provided readership were sufficient. My prediction presents a huge contradiction in the artistic process. (Just look at the newest media brands sweeping the net: Google, Youtube, the word 'blog', Joost, Yahoo!) Do you think the creative minds of old came up with these? Nope, nerds. That's right. I said it.)

The music scene is getting bastardized 20 times over. Need I even mention: Low sound quality, pirating, 20 second listen-and-go's, myspace hypes. Along with the impersonal qualities of the internet, promotions are abuzz about crap and hype is non-deserved quite often. The 'Ad Wizards' are getting smarter and their skills are getting honed in on the daily. The days of pop-ups may be over, but more wise, professional ads can be just as fake.

Routines and preferences are being made on the daily by the 'consumers' of the net, giving blogs like mine a smaller and smaller window to be successful, albeit, this is just a pessimistic prediction on my part. If you've read this far, you may be the only one.



Monday, June 4, 2007

LCD Soundystem vs. Beastie Boys - A Raw Steel Original MP3 Mash Up

The Beasties have released what they've got for now. It's been awhile since an update from them, so I took matters into my own hands. You may remember Leo Nevolis remixes from a few weeks back, if not, check 'em out. After that's done, check out my killer mixed track of LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great and The Beastie Boys - Triple Trouble. It has it's moments for sure.

Don't forget about my 'Beastie Boys Biography' show on Saturday, June 23rd 8pm EDT, only on WIUX.ORG.

here it is:

LCD Soundystem vs. The Beastie Boys - Raw Steel original
'Thank you' to anonymous for commenting so quickly on my mix, I'm not a producer/mixer/turntablist by any means.

Matthew Dear - Asa Breed - Raw Steel Album Review Mp3


Artist: Matthew Dear
Album: Asa Breed
Label: Ghostly International
Rating: A-


Spawning from a 'breed' of producers and DJ’s from Southern Michigan (Ann Arbor, Detroit), Matthew Dear isn’t as completely micro-house on this album as his biography suggests. A more accessible Matthew Dear smells of success.

Dear may be an accomplished booty-shaker maker, but his songs on his third album, Asa Breed, are composed as slower tempo-ed dance tracks sung (figuratively), not on a stage, but from the corner of a room. Dear holds attention despite his unique deep, guttural ‘air-voice’ (analogous with ‘air-guitar’). As exclaimed from the press release, Dear has decided to use more organic sounds on this album, and it shows. International sounds are prevalent, including the Caribbean track, Elementary Lover.

Lyrically, Dear lives in his own world... a world that is synonymous with everyday life but has a tinge of wisdom and 'tried and failed' experience with those who he’s close to. Dear doesn’t seem as if his life is a wreck as his lyric sheet may suggest though as this album is sung more on a bad day, than a bad year. The day when one stops and takes a look around to discover that nothing makes sense the way it should.

Dear seems to know more about life than he should which leaves him paralyzed to making music. Communicating with his audience, his lyrics are rather straightforward-- “There’s a big hole in my life”. Pretty straightforward. These types of lyrics can open up ears. We all can either relate, or just take enjoyment in hearing others break down.

Finding love is hard for Dear, but it sounds like his standards are quite high. He’s looking for the ever evasive girl with the right personality and not the girl who can be bought, as he sings, “I’ve got to figure out love, it’s such a tricky thing, can’t include diamond rings, will make you scream and shout, if there is no way out”.

M.D. brings a well rounded album and leaves room for a sequel. Refreshing for the mid-20 year old. The first 3 tracks provide a thesis statement for the rest of the album. His sounds and influences are too numerous to mention, as are many coming from a DJ background. Beyond track 3, Deserter (highlight of the album), Dear lets his hair down, as the album slowly gets less danceable and more personal.

-Raw Steel


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Rawdio Show, Like a Raw Needle on a Steel Record


What a show! This one could be one of my best. It's got everything really. If you're just stumbling across my page. I highly recommend putting my show on and sittin' back. There really is no down time. The tracklisting can be found below, pretty self-explanatory how it works.

As always, I recommend every single song to the casual listener. My show airs on Saturdays 8-10 pm EDT wiux.org.


1
Calvin Harris - Girls
Feist - Sealion
Roisin Murphy - Overpowered
2
Ghostland Observatory - Sad Sad City
Parts & Labor - Fractured Skies
Spoon - Don't You Evah (*NEW*)
Matthew Dear - Pom Pom
3
Dr. Octagon - Earth People
Glass Candy - Rolling Down Them Hils
Handsome Furs - Dead + Rural
Cut Copy - Going Nowhere
4
Professor Murder - Free Stress Test
Totally Michal - Cheerleaders vs. Drill Team
Tiny Whales - Same Shoes
5
Of Montreal - Oslo in the Summertime
Architecture in Helsinki - Heart it Races (Dr. Dog version)
Mix Master Mike - Bangzilla
6
Vicarious Bliss - Limousine
Subtle - Middleclass Kill
Yoko Ono - Everyman Everywoman
I Am the World Trade Center - Love Tragedy
7
Calvin Harris - Acceptable in the 80's
Ghostland Observatory - Silver City
Dan Deacon - Pink Batman
Pootie Tang


Welcome to Swede Sunday! Swedish Looove

Last week I caught you up on what's going on in Sweden that probably already know about, and if you don't. Why don'tcha catch up?

This week, Swede Sunday is featured by The Tough Alliance. Their short bio says it all:



The Tough Alliance is a music duo from Gotenburg, Sweden, that plays electronic pop. The duo first came
together in 2003 and consists of the childhood friends Henning Fürst and Eric Berglund. They used to be on
Swedish record label Service but have now started their own, Sincerely Yours.

With two EP's out, Make It Happen and Holiday, and one full-length studio album, The New School, they have been given much critical acclaim and have established themselves on the Swedish indie-scene. Their live shows have also been given much attention in the Swedish media when they often swing baseball bats on stage and sing to recorded music. Their critics claim they glorify violence in general and hooliganism in particular, something The Tough Alliance denies. During a show in Stockholm, Sweden, the two band members were thrown off stage after swinging a baseball bat.


Friday, June 1, 2007

"Never Mind the BuzzCocks", a Wonderful Show Chalk Full of British Jibba Jabba

I was introduced to this show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, recently and I love it! I don't know anyone on this show, but it appears they're famous across the pond. The guy on the far right is quite funny in his own comedic act, The Mighty Boosh.

Here's 5 videos. The top 3 are three parts of one episode of 'NMtBC', and the bottom 2 are from 'The Mighty BOOSH'. It's not all rubbish, mates.
p.s. I realize now why I'd never heard of 'Towers of London '(the band), the video reeks of British rock twatishness.






Don't forget about my show tomorrow night at 8 pm EDT wiux.org

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Handsome Furs - Plague Park - Raw Steel Album Review


Artist: Handsome Furs
Album: Plague Park
Label: Polydor
Rating: B+


Handsome Furs consists of Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) and his fiancée, Alexei Perry. This is their first album, entitled Plague Park. Boeckner has honed in on his voice, instrumentation, lyrics and has added a few new electronic sounds. Handsome Furs achieve what many bands these days are attempting, maybe they do so well because Boeckner was apart of writing those rules with Wolf Parade.

Listening to Wolf Parades Apologies For The Queen Mary, it’s hard to differentiate between Spencer Krug and Boeckner. Here, it is now revealed as to who is responsible for what sounds. Boeckner reminds us of the unforgettable sporatic keyboards, the lengthy bass synths, and song structure in general.

There are times where their songs can cause a loss of attention, never to redeem themselves, although, power and intensity remain driving factors throughout the album and make for some spine tingling moments. Tell that to Sufjan Stevens.

Lyrically, ‘ghosts, homes and towns’ remain a staple. The lyrics when looked at by themselves create a sense of strong pessimism but only through eyes that have experienced, like those of Boekner.

Notes act as pigeons, and Boeckner shoots/sings each one to pieces with laser blue-blocker glasses equiped. The album dies down near the end, but with as strong an effort given, Handsome Furs deserve much praise.

-Raw Steel


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mix-Tape Wednesdays



Hey, Mix-Tape Wednesdays here. Todays mix concerns people -- pessimistic, cynical, humorous and sarcastic views on people. People have always been a topic in music, but here is a collection of straight up PEOPLE. These are the kind of songs for those who are fed up. Each artist could care less if they sell their music to exactly who they despise. So, these songs are for those of you saying, RawSteel:

I Hate People, But I Love Talkin' Bout 'em



It ends with some hope for man-kind.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Maccabees Colour It In - Raw Steel Album Review


Artists: The Maccabees
Album: Colour It In
Label: Polydor
Rating: C-

The Maccabees hail from Brighton, England but a musical ear hears an American neo-yelp band trying to sound British. A few years back I made a forgotten wager with a girl that The Arcade Fire sound was going to be the new mainstream. After hearing Interpol, Bloc Party, The Futureheads, Franz Ferdinand, etc get so much attention, it didn’t take long until a band like The Decemberists burst on the scene (thanks to Stephen Colbert). The Maccabees are in the discipline of the former mentioned bands, placing them in limbo between trend-setting and mainstream acts.

Lyrical themes on their new album, Colour It In, suggest; teen angst, ‘new love insecurities’ and a feeling that even going to the supermarket is a struggle, as the song Lego suggests- “So look left and look right, cross the road and hold my hand”.

A band written off as ‘the same of the same’ is a hasty critique. The Maccabees won’t be your favorite band, but they will force you to either rethink some of your favorite bands of the genre or to simple turn them off and put your favorites in.

Orlando Weeks, ironically, can’t seem to get away from conformist lyrics as in the song Latchmere -- “Madames and Monsieurs please return to your cubicles”. He sure loves the ever-present anti-ignorant topic, ANTI-CHRISTIANity, which, must be said, is a beaten horse due to the Internets vast dissemination of atheist/agnostic values. In all, more of a conforming act is to dis on the almighty. Weeks makes one want to believe in God again to keep their statuscool, as he suggests in his own singing-- “Symetricool, hypocriticool, analyticool, so criticool”.

It’s not all bad for bands that come out with identical content to their predecessors. There’s always that person that stumbles upon a band like The Maccabees and gets introduced to a new sound --possible candidates: a tweener, a 52 year old man in a mid-life crisis, and that Geico caveman. The album does indeed sound solid (a positive) despite the review completed before it began.

-Raw Steel

Beastie Boys Remixes by Leo Nevoli



Heres a lil' mix for y'all to peep, it's called L-E-O Nevilo does it again.A few days back I posted some ill remix tracks from Leo Nevilo (myspace). You know, the man who's heralding in our NYC heroes' (Sirs, The Beastie Boys) new instrumental album, The Mix- Up <0-0-0-0-nice>

Monday, May 28, 2007

Swede "Sunday" (Swedish Love)


Welcome to Swede Sunday! Swedish Looove.

Sweden has come a long way invading our beaches with AWESOME music. Most notable acts include: The Knife, PB&J & Jens Lekman.
Other home country heroes include Jose Gonzalez, Hello Saferide & Hell on Wheels. This is not by any means where the list ends. It seems that Sweden has used the Internet in the past decade to unleash it's musical gems, and I'm here to reciprocate.

Andres Lokko is a Swedish music journalist who lives in London. He says that while the word “indie” is often associated in other countries with guitar-based music, in Sweden it has a broader meaning. “The Swedish definition of indie has much more in common with the original term: that it is independent music,” he says. “What would be labeled electronica or some other genre in the UK or the States is defined as indie in Sweden, whereas the music that is actually guitar-based – the post-Oasis pop songs – is considered to be pretty much mainstream.”

“You can tell that music is Swedish just from the melody,” says Lokko. “Because English is the language of pop music, there is always more emphasis in Sweden on melodies. And Sweden is cold, so maybe we need sweeter melodies.

“Perhaps there’s a higher level of musical integrity in Sweden. It seems that bands are less likely to follow the prevailing ‘scene’ than in the UK or USA. Having a government that makes some effort to be supportive of musicians must help too.”
– Huw Rees, boss of Stereo Test Kit Records, quoted on noisedfisk.com

Quotes from Sweden.se



I'm jumping head first into Swedish music so I'm using this post as a basis for further posts. Above is the "master playlist" for Swedish music (as we, Americans, know it). What I hope to discover, each Sunday, is that there are many more acts worthy of recognition.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Raw Steel - Rawdio Show

My first Rawdio show of the Summer was as well orchestrated as I wanted with a LOT of room to grow. I'm quite happy with this show and even got a few callers, specifically a dude at Subway who apprehensively requested The Mars Volta. I've got exactly what the doctor ordered next week. *Note* The Subway he called from was the same Subway that Jared completed his infamous weight loss walk/eat, all despite rumors that his apartment was less than 50 feet away.

These tunes have been backed up for about 2 months now, so they're extra fresh. These are mostly dance/disco from 2007. They are grouped by the name of the first song of each clip, but it is all one continuous show. For song listings; Click on that button on the top right ('open track in new window') while a clip is playing, then look around the middle of the page.



Tune in next Saturday 8-10pm EDT wiux.org (stream)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Kalle J - Unga Hjarten (exclusive b-side!)



The wonderful crew at Unga Hjarten (video) (a young label grounded in Sweden) have sent me, what I am dubbing, my first exclusive, and I couldn't be more excited!

This tune is just plain fun! A piano ballad turned disco. Imagine a slew of people running out to greet that young heart in the middle of the dance floor. If anyone can help me out on a translation on the lyrics, if at all, to this song, I would greatly appreciate it. I hear 'unga hjarten' in there, but maybe I'm just tricking myself because of the title.

If this is a b-side, well, the album is gonna rip some faces off!

Kalle J - Unga Hjarten (young hearts) buy

If you haven't heard what's causing the buzz around here, here's your chance to catch up. Song of the summer, ALREADY!

Kalle J - Vinglag buy

I was going to save this new track for my newest feature here on RawSteel, unveiled on Sunday, but I'll tell you anyways.

Sunday is Swede Sunday, soon to be called, simply, Swedish Love! I'm quite excited about new music coming out of Sweden, as well as the "love" pouring in from the country to my site. Check back soon.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Yeasayer is coming! Mp3 - 2080

Yeasayer

This Saturday, Frog Eyes is headlining a show here in Bloomington (IN) at 9:00 at the Bluebird. The Impossible Shapes and Yeasayer are the openers. I've heard a lot about Frog Eyes and homegrown heroes, Impossible Shapes, but never heard any of their music. . . unfortunately.

Another unfortunate thing is that Yeasayer is going on stage during my radio show!!! If you don't listen to my show (Saturday 8:00 PM wiux.org), then you'd better be there!

I don't know if I can listen to this awesome tune by Yeasayer much longer seeing as I will be unable to make the show. Hopefully I can make it for the Impossible Shapes and Frog Eyes to take some candid snaps for RawSteel. are those meese making out?

Here's Yeasayer. Wonderful! (hope there are malfunctions that delay the show ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mix-Tape Wednesdays!

The site needs some regularities besides Beastie Boys updates, agree? Me too.

Every Wednesday I will be delivering a mix with a theme. Nice and straight forward. We all love making mixes. I just learned recently that it's actually a good move when looking to score to make a "mix" for her, and it's not considered cheesy. Similar to Tiny Mix Tapes, I'll be taking suggestions for mixes, so throw me a line in the comment box or just check in every Wednesday, I've got mix ideas for life! Mix ideas can be as vague or specific as you'd like, challenge me!

My first mix is one I've honed in for the past few years. The theme. . .

I'M A PROCRASTINATOR AND NEED TUNES TO GUIDE ME SUBLIMINALLY
-or-
THE KITCHEN NEEDS TO GET CLEANED BEFORE THE RENTS GET HOME!

I tell people that I'm able to wake up at 5 in the morning and complete an 8 page paper from scratch that's due that day. They believe me (I think), but always say they could never do it. For free, this is my secret. Coffee and hard nosed, subtle shifting instrumentals. Pop it in and faghetaboudit!

Some say listening to music while studying or sleeping is distracting. I'm begging to differ.


(I've got another daily feature to be unveiled this Sunday after my show, it's gone make headlines!)

Beastie Boys Remix - Oh word?

Leading up to the release of The Mix-Up, the Beastie festivities continue.

Awhile ago, the Beatsies sent out a cappella tracks to be used for home-made remixes. I downloaded them for their lyrical quality, and forgot about them since. A dude from Austria didn't forget. This little mix is nice on the ears and brings out the timbrel qualities of a true Beatsies flow . Copped from Covert Curiosity, here's the home-made remix of 'Oh Word?' by Leo Nevilo

Oh Word? (Leo Nevilo remix)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mp3s: Codebreaker, Artymove, Apparat, Bjorn Torske, and New Justice Mp3

An international mix. From Milwaukee, Sweden, Germany and Norway respectably. (and Justice for all!)

Artist: Codebreaker
Mp3: Exiled! & Are You Ready to Love?
Album: Exiled
Myspace
Codebreaker put together an awesome album all around. I could sit here and compare it to old 70's stuff, but frankly, it's very disco-themed 2007. I see 2007 at a pace to bat .400 in dance beats with a slugging % well over .700 in retro funky bass lines. Codebreaker has set a new standard this year and you DON'T NEED NO INVITE.
______________________________________
Artist: Artymove
Mp3: Say No More
Album: Bones
Website myspace
Not sure that I would have found Artymove if it hadn't been for my love of what's coming out of Sweden right now. As a duo, these 2 deliver some good electronic music. The video on the site is, first of all, in high resolution/awesome quality. Not sure where I've been, but I'm throwing my youtube away. The antagonist/boyfriend in the video looks like that dumbass from Fallout Boy. Besides him, the Swedes have done it again and I look forward to more.
______________________________________
Artist: Apparat
Mp3: Arcadia
Album: Walls
Website

The intro sets the tone for further discovery. Apparat (from Germany) is similar to one of my favorite IDMers Julian Fane who just came out with an album himself.
______________________________________
Artist: Bjorn Torske
Mp3: Loe Bar
Album: Fiel Knapp
Myspace

Norse electronic guru, Bjorn Torske has done it here with some dreamy poppy doodoo beats. The song is what you hear, what you get. What you may not expect is his picture on hispace. Love it. He's right, don't let yourself be programmed, but what he didn't mention is that he's a master programmer. The off-beats near the end may put take the listener back to earth avoiding programming, but not before a breech of mental security.

Artist: Justice
Mp3: Valentine & Let There Be Light
Album: †
Website

One of the less known tracks to be released or leaked. Valentine shows that the album isn't all about dancing to hard industrial beats even though Phantom and Never Be Alone are stupendous (not to mention the video sweeping the net D.A.N.C.E.) There really is no wonder why this album is getting so much hype. This is certainly at the forefront of trend-setting here in the beginning of summer. Like I've said before, I could see this album pulling a Gnarls-Barkley crossover sparked by the internet and it's 'mysterious buzz'. Awesome to see the album isn't based solely around singles as the song starts and ends as if it were a cohesive part of something larger. Hold on albums, the single hasn't taken you over yet!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

New Spoon Video, from GA GA GA GA GA (Five Ga's. . . I think?)

****I didn't expect this video to be posted EVERYWHERE, but hey, I posted it on Sunday. That says something about RS' on the cutting edge abilities, right? My post is still the best out there (bringing you sticky opinions and concretables!)**** 5/21

No really, we're being Spoon fed? Why are you guys holding out? And why are you using the omnipresent 'Ghost' cliche?

I saw these guys play a free concert here in Bloomington a few months ago, and it most certainly rocked, catapulting me into a bona-fide fan.

I've put Ga Ga Ga Ga on many spins and am pleased. That's not the issue. The song, 'The Ghost of You Lingers' Spoon has chosen for their first multimedia taste of the album is suspect. Can it be said Spoon has reached the Rock n Roll holy grail and can. . . do whatever they want?! I hope this is the case, because the tune is lackluster at most, worthy of being nothing more than a closer. A connection I see with today's music scene approach links to LCD Soundsystem's faster tempoed, 'All My Friends', which takes the cake. (Does James Murphy look like GW in this video to anyone else?)

So here's the video for the new "single" (we'll have to call it)... (neglecting more radio friendly candidates such as 'Don't You Evah' and 'You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb' (shown far left under headlines). The video belongs as a bonus on a DVD, and not something to be premiered on YouTube. I could have been patient.



Here, a video that does belong on Youtube, on the other hand. The song/video that cemented Spoon as a mainstay through repeated plays on the boob - 'I Turn My Camera On'

VIDEO plus Mp3 - 'Kalle J - Vingslag', from SWEDEN

From the Label Unga Hjartan

If you haven't been keeping up to date with RS, then here's your chance to catch up!

Kalle J's video for the top summer 2007 song (so far), Vingslag (translation -> 'translation'*or* 'in the context') evokes many things: intense emotion, sincerity and auralgasms, all accompanied by a powerful synth orchestra and other sounds possibly coming from some kind of interplanetary angelic choir. If you have been keeping score, you'd know, there's LOTS OF LIONS!

The video can be seen here and an Mp3 here

Directed by well-tuned cinematographer Marcus Soderlund, the song couldn't have been put to visuals any better. Marcus' site is a true delight. Each and every video shown in stellar quality resolution, needless to say they're great by themselves!

Vingslag (heard in much better quality!) will be the highlight of my first radio show of the summer which kicks off this Saturday night starting at 8 pm EDT(MARK IT!). WIUX.org


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Beastie Boys *teaser* Video "Off the Grid" from 'The Mix-Up'

Just give 'em some wood and they'll build you a cabinet, the Beastie Boys announced just weeks ago a new album is coming out, then came hitting the ground running. It's nice to see they're not prolonging the release. What great anticipation, nonetheless (June 24th). BOOM! in the studio...



Hey, Beastie Boy updates up the whazoo to come.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Gunz n Budda Issue Singles, Child Proof Magazine to Follow


Home grown here in Bloomington, GunZ n' Budda (pronounced like butter) Productions is hard at work cranking out songs that soak the heart with a carefully fermented wine.

A proper mixed album is on it's way, headed by the 3; Nicholas Peters, Kristin Emery and Paris myspace

Setting moods to sit on the porch or clean the house, swish these 3 songs around in your ear to get the sweetness in it's entirety.






This sounds similar to another new beautiful voice, Sofia Talik (mp3)of Sweden, a country that's coming out with some incredible acts and... videos of lions :)

**Attenntion** A side project associated with the 3 an online magazine with features stemming from all sorts of multimedia. The site isn't quite up and running yet, so be patient, updates to come!

Glass Candy - Chameleon (from 'I Always Say Yes')


Glass Candy

Glass Candy has been lighting up the blogs since January.

She holds my award for 'most mysterious anticipated album of the year'. The song 'Chameleon' has just the right beat for my pace of walk. What a sultry voice to be accompanied by!

Below is a song previously posted but can't be posted enough.



Thursday, May 17, 2007

Dan le Sac VS scroobius pip + My favorite existentialist - David Shrigley

Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip (myspace)

Here's another double video entry of epic proportions (found below). The theme today is - thinkin' bout stuff.

Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip (Dan, the better twin brother of Matisyahu), rips off commandments one after another, forcing the watcher to. . . think 'bout stuff. These 2 guys appear to be huge in England right now as their space views indicate. Part of the music scene he discusses in the video keeps me in check for posting on this very blog.

"I agree with everything he says and I also disagree with everything he says" -me
What a trite as well as profound thing to say, me. Whoa, he really does have an effect. He's right, The Beatles are just a band. A band that had a ton of moldable minds and resources at it's dispense. You know, I hate The Beatles (their music being the LAST of the reasons for my disliking of them, but still a part, i.e. paperback wriiiiiiter).

I found the first video in Pony Stone Hands' space, where he is the keeper of many more videos that 'delight the soul', well, not so much.

The video far below is from my favorite "existentialist", David Shrigley. Just thought I'd throw it in there.



Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Beastie Boys **UPDATE** - dUN TolD YA so! Rat Cage & Electric Worm

If y'all haven't heard, why don'tchya catch up!?

Got my grubby lil' fingers on these 2 mp3's fast. Freshess like lettuce, tomato & munster on rye, these two new ditties gonna make ya'' cry. Waking up at 5 in the morning does have it's benefits. I don't have much news about these 2, so sit back and peep with yaearhole.





A collective less than 30 plays total. THIS IS RYPE! I'm buyin a copy on June 24th (lil promo)

Moi Caprice & Gui Boratto

Hey, this is a video oriented website. Here are 2 that go well together.

Moi Caprice has been hiding in Denmark since the late nineties, all the while winning a TON of awards, including 'best Danish band'. The video goes through the typical story of some dude, named Michael, whom is supposed to be the lead singer. There are a ton of subtleties in this video, pay close attention.
(the high-res version - highly recommended)



Here's the video for 'Beautiful Life' by Gui Boratto. I first discovered this song on a basement dance floor. It pretty much kicked off the night. (I've been coppin' a lot from pitchfork, but hey, don't bite the hand that feeds ya.) The video just has that touch of GawD. It's as if it was just kind of . . . filmed, without any directing involved. That can be both good and bad for director, Cadú Datoro