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Off to Ohio! (tomorrow)

[Oberlin: home to hippies and albino squirrels alike]
Today was actually The Glorious Hum's blog-iversary, but since I'm leaving tomorrow for Oberlin, Ohio (I've re-posted last year's off to Ohio mix, so you can still download it) there's been no time to do a summing-up-the-blog-year post. However, I may write up one when I get there.

For now:
Rilo Kiley - August
The Be Good Tanyas - Light Enough to Travel
Matt Costa - The Road
Belle and Sebastian - I Know Where The Summer Goes

I discovered yesterday that Radar thinks Oberlin throws one of the best college parties, otherwise known as Drag Ball. But last year they thought our ExCo's were bullshit, so I'm not sure how I feel about this designation.

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Joe Pug: Nation of Heat EP

I'm ashamed. Ashamed that I've been sitting on Joe Pug's EP since the middle of July and still haven't posted on it. He plays unpretentious old school folk, and I'll consider him a DC-area native for the sake of proving DC superiority (he's from Southern Maryland...). His songwriting reminds me of early Josh Ritter, which coming from me is a huge compliment. Must I continue?

Do the download:

Joe Pug - Call It What You Will [alt link]
Joe Pug - Hymn #101 [alt link]

The most remarkable thing about Joe Pug's EP: if you ask him, he'll mail it to you...for free. Otherwise you can buy it from iTunes or CD Baby.

Joe Pug's website/myspace

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The Packing Mix

This mix isn't so much about packing as about that wonderful feeling of knowing that everything you've feared was true is irrefutable fact. There's only one person I can thank for the clouds raining over my head, for the storm that I've been denying while it was brewing in the distance just out of sight. Please ignore this paragraph, maybe I'll take it down when I come to my senses.

Meanwhile, I'm packing to return to Oberlin on Saturday, so here's the mix (every song is either highly rec'd or download or die:

The White Stripes - Effect & Cause

The Format - Wait, Wait, Wait
Brendan Benson - Spit It Out
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Pangea
Bishop Allen - Central Booking
Matt Costa - Acting Like a Fool
Ryan Adams - Oh My God, Whatever, Etc.
Bright Eyes - Spent on Rainy Days


Mark Warner is THE MAN

I'm not so sure I have Democratic pride, but I do have Virginia pride. I love my former governor and future Senator (I hope - I am so not a Gilmore fan), Mark Warner. Admittedly, I'm also incredibly sad that John Warner is retiring...

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Motel Motel "Harlem"

Motel Motel - Harlem [highly rec'd!]

The first time I heard this song, I thought Devendra Banhart had released a new single. Maybe it's the way Motel Motel lead singer Eric Engel says the word "stoned." With a backdrop of violin, piano and cello to accompany his wandering voice, the song tells the story of wandering back to one's hometown - in this case, Harlem. It's pretty - pretty likely to be an indie hit.

Buy New Denver from CD Baby
Motel Motel's website/myspace

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Let me introduce: El May

El May - Hero
El May - Draining a Lake (Demo)

She's alone in a room with a piano, a guitar, a story. I've been listening to her for two weeks straight without knowing what she means by it, distracted by the sound of her voice. It’s lovely. That was an understatement.

Somehow she got my summer address. The envelope arrived, folded up with a handwritten note. Her name is actually Lara Meyerratken. I don’t know how you can get the EP she sent me, but she’ll have a debut album out sometime next year. In the meantime, El May will be playing a show in New York with Ben Lee at Joe’s Pub on August 27th.

El May's website/myspace


Tear Down The House

The Avett Brothers - Tear Down the House [download or die!]

One mild day in June I went to check up on a childhood friend: a holly tree, the perfect place for a hidden observer with binoculars, no taller than 5'3". I found new grass over uneven ground, bulldozed over what was for what will be. It hurts to remember what the clearing had looked like in the shade of great oak trees, hidden from the daylight.

I popped in the new Avett Brothers album one day after work, and it felt like the first time someone else knew what it meant to return home to bulldozed woods and an empty field. It hurts to remember. The Avett Brothers must know that it hurts even more to forgive and forget.

Buy The Second Gleam directly from the band
The Avett Brothers' website/myspace

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Setting Sun "How Long"

Setting Sun - How Long [highly rec'd!]

Setting Sun is here to jangle and bow your ears into submission, make you question your sanity, and sing along all for a simple question. You'll be caught in the catchy, you'll be waiting for the day the fuzz stops. You'll be left wanting more. I want more.

Buy Children of the Wild from CD Baby
Setting Sun's website/myspace

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Ever wondered what former TGH bloggers Joe and Alex have been up to?
Here's a clue:

Ad Wars! (Part Three)

Barack Obama: McCain can't remember how many houses he has!

McCain: Obama got quite the deal on his house...

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"The promise of the fall, and winter's lazy call"

All We Could Do Was Sing sounds the way the title would suggest: three scrappy guys playing guitar, sitting on the coast, having a good time. Before you stop paying attention, note that M. Ward named this trio as his favorite new band in 2007.

Back to the album: sometimes it's quiet and forlorn ("Will You Be There?"), sometimes it's exuberant ("I Woke Up Today"), sometimes there's unexpected Rock & Roll ("Pigeonhold"). I suspect Port O'Brien's folksy fun will remain on my radar for a few years to come.

Port O'Brien - Close the Lid

Buy All We Could Do Was Sing from CD Baby
Port O'Brien's website/myspace

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Leaks! Leaks! more Leaks!

Okkervil River - Lost Coastlines [highly rec'd!]

I've always admired Okkervil River's ability to self-reflect, to bring you into a song's desolation with Will Sheff and Jonathan Meiburg's deep vocals, fraught with dismay. Though "Lost Coastlines" sounds as though it could be a b-side from The Stage Names, I suspect that the song heralds the use of natural imagery in The Stand-ins. Or maybe I'm just dreaming.
"Cause who said sailing is fine?
Leaving behind all the faces that I might replace
if I tried on that long ride, looking deep inside
but I don’t want to look so deep inside yet."
The Stand-ins will be released on September 9. Watch a trailer on their website.

The Broken West - Auctioneer [highly rec'd!]

"Auctioneer" is at least as good as the best track on I Can't Go On, I'll Go On which makes me hopeful. The instrumentation is less brassy, more acoustic, and the band seems to be experimenting with more melodies than ever. So I'm psyched.

You can hear more tracks from Now or Heaven on their myspace.

The Little Ones - Morning Tide

Though their debut full-length Morning Tide was released two or so weeks ago in the U.K., I'm waiting until it's U.S. release in October to listen to the whole album, rather than getting a leak. This song has me particularly excited that the album, though less intensely pop-y than the EP's, will be sweet as ever and thoughtful to boot.

The guys got dropped from their label earlier this year, so go buy one of their EPs!

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Fed Up!

This man could be your next Vice President.

With the announcement of the self-infatuated, gaffe-spouting Joe Biden as VP pick for Obama at 4:48 a.m (of course, the wires had it earlier), it's time to "Let Joe know that you're glad he's part of our team."

I'm so excited to have a man who wastes air by opening his mouth (If you've ever watched CSPAN, you'll know. Did you listen to the Alito confirmation hearings?) as the democratic VP pick that I've been inspired to create this welcoming mix:

Saves the Day - Hot Time in Delaware
The Thermals - Here's Your Future
Sunset Rubdown - They Took A Vote And Said No
Wolf Parade - It's a Curse
The Ting Tings - Shut Up And Let Me Go
Hot Hot Heat - Island of the Honest Man

Though it's not like the other side makes me feel any better.

Update: Biden was okay at the Springfield rally, but I'm convinced we're going to see some classic slips-of-tongue before this race is over.

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The Rhumb Line: first impressions

I'm not sure how I feel about the new Ra Ra Riot album. It's not quite as catchy as I expected after hearing their EP, but it's still fun and complex, especially coming out of a dead city like Syracuse (sorry people, but that place is seriously depressed). More depressing: the band's drummer dying!

Stereogum has a live video of "Too Too Too Fast."

Ra Ra Riot - St. Peter's Day Festival
Ra Ra Riot - Each Year [from Ra Ra Riot EP]

The Rhumb Line from Insound
Ra Ra Riot's website/myspace

Ra Ra Riot "Dying is Fine" music video

Though I've heard from a few people, The Glorious Hum is still looking for new bloggers. Read this and send me an e-mail if you're interested!

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The Hold Steady "Constructive Summer"

So I thought about doing a post on all these leaky things that keep leaking of late (think Okkervil River, Peter Bjorn and John, not to mention Bloc Party), but a moment of inspiration tore those plans asunder.

I'd never really understood the appeal of the Hold Steady (despite Daniel Radcliffe, who led me to listen to a few of their albums in search of a reason to enjoy them) until I decided to download a few songs off their latest album, Stay Positive. Last summer's unhappy theme song for me was "Stuck for the Summer" by Two Hours Traffic - this summer's theme song is a bit more...constructive.
"I met your saviour I knelt at his feet
and he took my 10 bucks and went down the street

I tried to believe all the things you said

My friends that aren't dying are already dead"

The Hold Steady - Constructive Summer [highly rec'd!]
The Hold Steady - Sequestered in Memphis [highly rec'd!]

If case you're having THAT kind of summer:
Two Hours Traffic - Stuck for the Summer

Buy Stay Positive directly from the band
The Hold Steady's website/myspace

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Random gendered hilariousness!

So it turns out I'm still hooked on this Mike on Ads widget...

I checked today and the results were:
Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 22%
Likelihood of you being MALE is 78%
As a matter of fact, I have - not one! - but two! X chromosomes.

The Breakdown:

SiteMale-Female Ratio

If anyone else checks this and gets a similarly hilarious result, can you tell me?

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Marching Band: Spark Large

During my first semester at Oberlin, I had a radio show called "Pop is Bliss" at the ungainly hour of 3 a.m. I feel as though Marching Band's August 5th release, Spark Large, is here to remind me why I named the show. Oftentimes indie pop edges on the border of being overly trite, and the band never quite crosses it - in part due to the distraction of great melodies and instrumentation. The album's great, kids!

Marching Band - Letters

Buy Spark Large at Insound
Marching Band's website/myspace

Make Up Artist music video

On a personal note, I am so wonderfully distracted from blogging, having traded in my Epiphone Les Paul today for a beautiful Ibanez electric-acoustic. Just two more weeks of summer for me!

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A new single from No Second Troy

TGH favorites No Second Troy are releasing a new single, "Masquerade," in conjunction with their 9:30 Club show on August 22nd (buy tickets, ortickets + the single). As usual, Jeff Wharen's ethereal vocals and the band's delicate instrumentation carry the song to the heights of radio-friendly alt rock.

No Second Troy - Masquerade

It's $15 for No Second Troy + three openers (one of them is Exit Clov?), so you have no excuse not to go. Please excuse my likely absence, I'll probably be stuck in Harrisonburg.

Previous posts on No Second Troy.

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Yellow Bird Project has a theme song!

Sometimes it seems like this whole blog operates on the motto, "better late than never." In this case, I can't believe I didn't post on this earlier.

Yellow Bird Project has a new theme song by The Tallest Man on Earth, and it's cute and folksy.

The Tallest Man on Earth - A Field of Birds [alt link]

In case you haven't heard of Yellow Bird Project, it's a non-for-profit initiative where indie artists design T-shirts and the proceeds go to a charity of their choice. The list of bands involved includes the National, Broken Social Scene, Rilo Kiley, Stars, and the Shins. This summer has taught me way too much about non-for-profit fundraising not to be impressed with their model.

A musical sample of participating artists:

The National - Secret Meeting
Broken Social Scene - Looks Just Like The Sun
Stars - Take Me To The Riot


A Saturday Mixtape

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

Dr. Dog - the Breeze
Old Man River - Trousers
High Tension Wires - Hibernate
Devin Davis - Deserted Eyeland
Vampire Weekend - Campus

Pandora, the internet radio website that creates a station for you based on music you like, may be forced to shut down due to skyrocking costs. Unlike traditional radio stations, Pandora has to pay set rates for every song its users play and, also unlike traditional radio stations, it doesn't include a lot of advertising, so its revenue isn't very high. Read more.

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Join TGH!

Ever had the urge to write about music?

The Glorious Hum is looking for contributors!

E-mail theglorioushum (at) gmail (dot) com to express your interest. Name a few bands you like, write a sample post (1oo to 300 words) and tell me how often you can post and I'll see if we can work something out!

- Kate

Damien Jurado "Gillian was a Horse"

Damien Jurado - Gillian was a Horse [download or die!]
"You must admit the turnips
have all been less than grand:
There’s no more police escorts
or the high school welcome band"
Damien Jurado says he’s no lie detector and the greatest of liars, and I guess I can see how the two could be incompatible. I say he was the sweetest of modern folk singers, but these days he’s picked up a drummer and a bitter sense of humor. We agree to disagree on whether this was inevitable. I’ll always be asking him "How far is Ohio?" not to mention the subway and the nearest water fountain. And I'll always wish for dawn, in the person of Damien Jurado, to introduce himself to me.

By September 9th he’ll be Caught in the Trees with the release of his album of the same name. The track list will go:

1. Gillian Was A Horse
2. Trials
3. Caskets
4. Coats of Ice
5. Go First
6. Sorry Is For You
7. Last Rights
8. Dimes
9. Everything Trying
10. Sheets
11. Paper Kite
12. Best Dress
13. Predictive Living

Damien Jurado - Denxton, TX
(from Now That I'm In Your Shadow, 2006)

Damien Jurado - Ohio
(from Rehearsals for Departure, 1999)

Damien Jurado's website/myspace


MSNBC vs. the Internet

So I'm a fan of the ever hilariously outrageous James Kotecki on Politico (previously on YouTube, he even interviewed Ron Paul and Mike Grivel in his dorm room), and after dueling with MSNBC anchor David Shuster (best known for his "pimping out" Chelsea remark) for two weeks straight, he finally went on Shuster's show to battle it out. And Kotecki was so crazy I could barely watch...

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Hyping the Hypers

MOKB is working on the 10 Commandments of Concert Behavior. Here's I, II and III.

Just last week I posted on Georgie James' break-up. Turns out John Davis already has new material up on his myspace. Thanks to the Music Slut for posting on it.

Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands
may soon be responsible for getting me hooked on Mixwit.

A fellow Obie and friend, Sandhya, just started an mp3 blog this month, The Umbilical Chord, that I urge you to check out.

Blitzen Trapper "Furr"

I'm of the opinion that Blitzen Trapper's Wild Mountain Nation was one of 2007's most solid albums, so I was excited to hear they're releasing a new album this September and have a song available for download. Truly super duper, giddily, excited. Sub Pop has more details.

Blitzen Trapper - Furr
[download or die!]

from Wild Mountain Nation:
Blitzen Trapper - Texaco [highly rec'd]

The band's website/myspace


Conor Oberst, adrift

Last year I was pleasantly surprised by the release of Cassadaga, which debuted a more mature, constrained Conor Oberst (recording as Bright Eyes). Conor Oberst's self-titled album, made without producer Mike Mogis, is stripped down, lacking the complex instrumental arrangements featured in every Bright Eyes album since I'm wide awake, it's morning. And if Cassadaga was an album about finding a strange sort of inner peace, Conor Oberst displays a new tide of responsibility and regret. In Danny Callahan, the repeated question is "How are you getting on alone?" and the song features lyrics such as:
Some wander the wilderness,
some drink cosmopolitans.
Some cold science, some glean astroplanes.
I can't tell where the canvas stops,
homesick as an astronaut.
Just keep drifting, but still can't explain.
The album is thoughtful, but inconclusive - Oberst leaves listeners with a new list of questions left unanswered. If you're an eMusic junkie like me, it's available there for download - I'd recommend going for the whole album.

"Souled Out!!!" music video (I'm so glad he cut his hair...)

Conor Oberst - Get Well Cards [highly rec'd!]
Conor Oberst - Sausalito

from Four Winds [EP]:
Bright Eyes -Reinvent the Wheel

Conor Oberst's website
Bright Eyes' website/myspace

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Santogold "Lights Out" music video

Santogold - Lights Out [download or die!]
See previous post on Santogold's debut album.

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Virgin Festival: Day 2, Part Two

For hypem clickers, etc. you can get Part One here.

After getting out of the incredibly squished South Stage (Lil' Wayne, don't be late for your own concert!) it was time to see Iggy Pop and the Stooges.

Soon, I discovered: Iggy Pop is insane, and a total queen. Somehow, listening to his albums growing up, I never picked up on this. With lyrics like "shake appeal / is so hot and low / hot and low baby/ hot and low," I feel like I should have realized that Iggy was shakin' his booty before it was bootylicious. I was always more into songs like "Search & Destroy" and "I am a Passenger."

Iggy Pop - I Wanna Be Your Dog

(photo courtesy of padebell)
The Black Keys came on late due to the Lil' Wayne madness, which cut their set short. I'm glad they made their feelings known. We all know the Black Keys can even rock an empty room, right?

The Black Keys - Your Touch

(photo courtesy of Padebell)
Bob Dylan, the love of my musical life, the master of the universe, The One...isn't really into audience interaction these days. Bob Dylan doesn't believe in having his image blown up on a screen so his fans can see him from far away. Bob Dylan doesn't think he should bother introducing his fellow band members. Bob Dylan doesn't have anything to say to ya'll. Bob Dylan doesn't even know you exist.

Bob Dylan's live set can be heard here.

Bob Dylan - Rollin' and Tumblin'

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Virgin Festival: Day 2, Part One

Last weekend, (Jason and) I decided that Day 2 of Virgin Festival was worth my $90-something dollars, due to the amazing convergence of Andrew Bird, Martin Dosh, Zooey Deschanel, M. Ward, The Go! Team, The Black Keys, Iggy Pop and Bob Dylan at the same place. I'm not sure I'd do it again (Pitchfork is starting to get pretty high on my agenda for next summer), but it was still a good time.
(photo courtesy of DaveGolden)
The day began with The Go! Team, who were playing for an audience of the walking dead: no one was dancing!!! I've never been a big fan, and consequently had never seen the Go! Team live before. Now, having seen them once, I'd go see them over and over
and over
and over
again. You get the idea.

Ninja has the hottest British accent I've ever heard.

The Go! Team - Universal Speech

We managed to get good spots for Andrew Bird, who was playing with Martin Dosh and two other tour-buddies. I don't think his performance came across as well as I'd hoped with the huge crowd and the summer heat, if I see him again it'll have to be in an indoor venue. He played a new song I rather liked, it may or may not be on YouTube (some guesses: here, here and here).

I also caught a spectacular whistling segment that you can see here.

Andrew Bird - Imitosis

Imagine this: You wake up a in field full of daisies and Zooey Deschanel, whose name I can't spell without help from google, is skipping about in a pretty baby blue dress and M. Ward is sulking in a corner and this isn't a dream, it's a nightmare, will somebody please wake me up?!?!

I lied, seeing She and Him live isn't exactly like that. Maybe it was Becky Stark who drove me to not-quite-insanity (even though I like Lavender Diamond). And maybe I just was disappointed because M. Ward did, in fact, spend most of the set in the corner of the stage on a separate plane from the rest of the back-up band to Zooey's one-woman-Powerpuff-girl-act. Loving M. Ward as I do, it broke my heart in two.

I think Jason explained the problem with She and Him to a T by describing Zooey as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, described by The Onion as,
"that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that 'exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures."
"Sweet Darlin'" was the last song of She and Him's set, and some frattish boys behind me, desperate to see the ever-late Lil' Wayne, seemed to miss the point of the song. Then they had to wait "just a little bit longer," for an extra hour or so, to see their beloved rapper. Lesson of the day: don't show up late to your own concert.

She and Him - Sweet Darlin'

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Mike on Ads has a widget that checks your browsing history and comes up with a probability of your male or female-ness.

Anyhow, I tried it yesterday and it came up:
Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 18%
Likelihood of you being MALE is 82%

Q: What websites in my browsing history had the most male-tilted male-to-female ratios?
A: Mp3 blogs and the Hype Machine.

Today it was:
Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 57%
Likelihood of you being MALE is 43%

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new Bishop Allen album + tour!

Yesterday Christian posted a notice on the band's myspace:

"We're about halfway done with this thing. There's no title yet, but the songs are sounding really good; a bit more like our "Charm School" days than "Broken String". It's got a lot of energy, because that's how we're feeling: energetic. We got a slow start in the first half of the year, working on some other things, but the songs are coming quickly now. Sunshine always helps."

Bishop Allen - Click Click Click Click [download or die!]

Anyhow, the album will be released in February 2009, and they've also posted some tour dates for November:

Nov 01 Washington, DC @ Black Cat*
Nov 02 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
Nov 05 Norman, OK @ Opolis
Nov 06 Lubbock, TX @ Bash's Rip Rock #2
Nov 07 Denton, TX @ Hailey's
Nov 08 Austin, TX @ TBA
Nov 10 San Diego, CA @ The Loft
Nov 11 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
Nov 12 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Nov 14 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Nov 15 Denver, CO @ Hi Dive
Nov 16 Ames, IA @ M Shop
Nov 17 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
Nov 18 Bloomington, IN @ Bear's Place
Nov 19 Gambier, OH @ Horn's Gallery**
Nov 20 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
Nov 21 Swarthmore, PA @ Old Club
Nov 22 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

* I won't be there. *sigh*
** At Kenyon, goshdarnit! Why not the superior Oberlin?!?!

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All Broken Up: Georgie James

Issued earlier today:

*After 3 years, Georgie James is calling it a day. We're proud of the album we made and everything else that we were able to do during our time together. We are both working on our respective solo projects and hope to have albums out early next year. Thanks to everyone that helped our band over these past few years. Thanks to those who've listened to the music & come out to the shows. It's greatly appreciated. See you around soon.*
There goes my indie pop bliss. As The Yellow Stereo put it:

"Before I moved to DC I used to joke that it wasn’t any use getting into DC bands since the thing that DC bands do best is break up. Since moving here, I’ve realized that nobody that lives in DC is from here (self included) and nobody that comes here stays which tends to end the local bands’ lifespans considerably. Add Georgie James to the bucket list."

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Ad Wars! (Part Two)

McCain: "The system is broken, I'm the maverick who can fix it."

Obama: "McCain: The original maverick? Really???"

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Ad Wars! (Part One)

John McCain: "Obama's the biggest celebrity in the Paris and Britney"

Barack Obama: "McCain takes the low Road"

Paris Hilton: The Old Guy Must Think I'm Running for President

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The Apples in Stereo on the Colbert Report

Ha Ha Tonka: Buckle in the Bible Belt

Ha Ha Tonka - Up Nights

Ha Ha Tonka, who I heard for the first time on Sunday two weeks ago opening for SSLYBY, will draw you in with understated lyrics, impressive guitar riffs, and a certain darkness that runs through their debut album. At its best, the record seems meant to take you on a journey set in the dust bowl, relived in the waste land of post-modernity. “Caney Mountain” rides on a certain ambiguity about whether a crime committed was a crime at all, and who’s to blame. “Up Nights,” the energetic first track, is - surprisingly - about child abuse.

Onto more technical matters: the album feels under-produced, as though the guy at the soundboard listened to Ha Ha Tonka’s members individually in the studio, mixed them just a bit, and thought, "This doesn't really NEED anything, does it?"

Even in “Gusto,” a song driven by power chords and Brian Roberts’ vocals, the excellent drums (courtesy of Lennon Bone) sound like an echo of what they are live, or what they should be. Maybe if Ha Ha Tonka had recorded the album in a studio live (think Blond on Blond) the energy would still be there. But recorded, it gets lost somewhere.

Buy Buckle in the Bible Belt from Bloodshot Records
Ha Ha Tonka's website/myspace

By the way, I think Jason owes the blog a post on bad concert etiquette, as per the SSLYBY concert.

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MP3's are here for sampling purposes only (so please don't steal my bandwidth by linking directly to song files).

If you are an artist or label and want an MP3 taken down, send an e-mail to:
theglorioushum (at) gmail (dot) com
and the file will be down ASAP.

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E-mail me (Kate) at
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