Author Archives: Craig Ness

CD Baby makes me smile


CD Baby may have one of the worst logos on the web, but I can’t think of a place to buy CDs with more personality. During the checkout process of ordering the latest aether album, they asked if I had any special requests. They said I could ask for “anything.” So I asked that they draw smiley faces on the shipping envelope. I thought the request would throw their shipping department into an uproar.

But then the package arrived and there they were: five smiling pen strokes.

Somebody actually listened to me. Try getting that kind of personalization out of your favorite retailer’s supply chain process.

Streaming hot Noise Pop performances is streaming some of the live performances from Noise Pop 2007. You can get your fix right here from the likes of Autolux, Clinic, French Kicks, John Vanderslice and Midlake. Favorite Music of 2006: Craig Ness

This year, I was more apt to be fond of individual songs from artists rather than entire releases. I can only name two albums from this year that shine from end to end. But there was no shortage of single songs that kept me hopeful about the state of rock music. So, here are a couple albums and a bunch of songs that made my year.

Album of the Year: Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, “Rabbit Fur Coat”
How does today’s modern blogger decide which album reigned supreme in 2006? The science of my method
simply comes down this this: far and away, this is the album that I
listened to the most this year. It’s airtight in theme and style. Although there’s a formula of simple
arrangements, acoustic guitars and harmonies in every song, it never
gets boring. It’s filled with gorgeous vocals, americana guitar
licks, and sharp lyrics from a narrator questioning modern morality.
MP3: Rise Up (With Fists!)

Album of the Year (runner up): Sparklehorse, “Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain”
The mysterious man who records music on a mountaintop in North Carolina has pulled off another beauty. As usual, Mark Linkous creates a surreal audio landscape through a steady diet of vintage distortion from obsolete instruments and staticky fuzz from wire recordings.

Songs of the Year

1. Beirut, “Postcards from Italy”
As we continue to mourn the death of Neutral Milk Hotel and get teased by the sporadic appearances of Jeff Mangum, we have this to keep us company.
MP3: Postcards from Italy

2. Thom Yorke, “The Clock”
I’m a sucker for Radiohead, Nigel Godrich production, and synthesized beeps. But after seeing a solo, live, stripped down acoustic performance like this one, I gotta believe this guy could make an interesting song by hitting a spoon against his teeth.
VIDEO: The Clock
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New Wolfmother video


AOL Music has Wolfmother’s new video for “Woman”. They rock so hard, your screen will crumple up.

Sunset Rubdown tour dates

Sunset Rubdown is a side project of Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade. Spencer’s other project, Frog Eyes, is on the bill for some of these shows as well.

Sun, 5/1 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echo (AA) w/ Okay
Mon, 5/2 – San Francisco, CA @ The Bottom of the Hill (21+) w/ Okay
Fri, 5/6 – Victoria, BC @ Logan’s w/ Frog Eyes (AA)
Sat, 5/7 – Vancouver, BC @ Richards w/ Frog Eyes (19+)
Tues, 5/9 – Calgary, AB @ Broken City (21+)
Wed, 5/10 – Edmonton, AB @ Starlite Room w/ Frog Eyes (18+)
Fri, 5/12 – Winnipeg, MB @ The Collective Cabaret w/ Frog Eyes (18+)
Sat, 5/13 – Fargo, ND @ VFW w/ Frog Eyes (21+)
Sun, 5/14 – Mount Vernon, IA @ The Orange Carpet in the Commons Building w/ Frog Eyes (AA)
Wed, 5/17 – Northfield, MN @ The Cave, Carlton Campus
Thurs, 5/18 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s Tavern w/ Frog Eyes (21+)
Sat, 5/20 – Montreal, QC @ El Salon w/ Frog Eyes (AA)
Tues, 5/23 – Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church w/ Frog Eyes (AA)
Wed, 5/24 – New York, NY @ the Mercury Lounge w/ Frog Eyes (21+)
Thurs, 5/25 – Cambridge, MA @ TT the Bears w/ Frog Eyes (18+)
Fri, 5/26 – Hanover, NH @ Fuel Rocket Club w/ Frog Eyes (AA)

Prince’s Willy Wonka impression ends on Tuesday

As announced last month Prince has hidden seven purple tickets inside of his new CDs (or via download on iTunes). The winners get a tour of his house in Minnesota where there’ll be a private performance.

I’m not sure if all seven tickets have been nabbed yet, but the contest ends on Tuesday. Good luck to everyone.

Podbop, I love you

I came across this site on today. You enter your city and get concert listings for the upcoming week along with songs from each band.

I love the simplicity and instant gratification (of being able to listen to the songs right away).

Check it out.

Stream the new Cat Power on MySpace

You can stream her entire new album (which is due for release on January 24th) here.

[ blatant cross-posting from StereoGum ]

The latest Donewaiting “Best of 2005” list

I know it’s difficult for you to celebrate the holidays before you read my “best albums of 2005” list so here ya go.

Katrina’s effect on music

Coolfer has a comprehensive wrap up of how Katrina is affecting musicians and music history related to New Orleans.

There are more important losses to mourn than those related to music. But the cultural artifacts that have been destroyed add another layer to the tragedy.