The Perm & The Skullet is a non-profit music blog devoted to bringing you music of all kinds.

Although we prefer that rustic, acoustic, unusual, whiskey soaked sound, we do like music of all styles and genres. If you have something you think we should listen to, by all mean, let us know.

All Links and MP3s are for sampling, evaluation, and introduction purposes only and are intended to provide exposure to said artist / film / site etc... If you like it, please go buy it.

Online, we recommend Insound, emusic or directly from the artist or their label. Locally, we recommend Schoolkids Records or Bull City Records.

Most Mp3 samples are only available for a limited time, usually a week or two. If there is something you missed, and it is currently unavailable or out of print, please let us know and we can see what we can do.

MP3s, Links, and Images can easily be taken down, so if you are the owner or their representation, and would like said link or file removed, just let us know and we'€™ll be happy to do so. You can E-mail me directly here for any questions or concerns or submissions.

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“As soon as it becomes your profession to critique a book, or movie, or record then, not only do you lose your passion for it, but it loses validity for whoever you’re trying to turn it onto because they’re going to be approaching it from a consumer’s point of view, not from a professional writer’s point of view.”

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The Perm & The Skullet
9100 Cub Trail
Raleigh, NC 27615

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Neil Young: Time Fades Away

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I'm taking Memorial Day Weekend off so here's a treat in my absence. I made this available back in 2005 and it seems only fitting to make it available here again for a limited time. Make sure you sign the petition to get this released onto cd. It seems to be working with Massey Hall and Fillmore finally being officially released, maybe we can get this one next. Enjoy the holidy.

"Anyone who has followed Neil Young's career knows enough not to expect a simple evening of mellow good times when they see him in concert, but in 1973, when Young hit the road after Harvest had confirmed his status as a first-echelon rock star, that knowledge wasn't nearly as common as it is today. Young's natural inclinations to travel against the current of audience expectations were amplified by a stormy relationship between himself and his touring band, as well as the devastating death of guitarist Danny Whitten, who died of a drug overdose shortly after being given his pink slip during the first phase of tour rehearsals. The shows that followed turned into a nightly exorcism of Young's rage and guilt, as well as a battle between himself and an audience who, expecting to hear "Old Man" and "Heart of Gold," didn't know what to make of the electric assault they witnessed.

All the more remarkably, Young brought along a mobile recording truck to capture the tour on tape for a live album and the result, Time Fades Away, was a ragged musical parade of bad karma and road craziness, opening with Young bellowing "14 junkies, too weak to work" on the title cut, and closing with "Last Dance," in which he tells his fans "you can live your own life" with all the optimism of a man on the deck of a sinking ship. While critics and fans were not kind to Time Fades Away upon first release, decades later it sounds very much of a piece with Tonight's the Night and On the Beach, albums that explored the troubled zeitgeist of America in the mid-'70s in a way few rockers had the courage to face. If the performances are often loose and ragged, they're also brimming with emotional force, and despite the dashed hopes of "Yonder Stands the Sinner" and "Last Dance," "Don't Be Denied" is a moving remembrance of Young's childhood and what music has meant to him, and it's one of the most powerful performances Young ever committed to vinyl. Few rockers have been as willing as Young to lay themselves bare before their audience, and Time Fades Away ranks with the bravest and most painfully honest albums of his career -- like the tequila Young was drinking on that tour, it isn't for everyone, but you may be surprised by its powerful effects."AMG

An outstanding live album and a must for any Neil Young fan. Enjoy Time Fades Away...

.: Time Fades Away
.: Journey Through the Past
.: Yonder Stands the Sinner
.: L.A.
.: Love in Mind
.: Don't Be Denied
.: The Bridge
.: Last Dance

.: ZIP File of Time Fades Away

Sign the petition to get the album released on cd

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 8:14 AM
12 comments

 

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Midtown Dickens: Oh Yell!

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Released May 15th, on Durham's 307 Knox Records, Oh Yell! is not only one of my favorite releases of the year, but one of the best Spring/Summer albums to be released in a long while. Road trip thoughts with star lit dreams, Midtown Dickens' Oh Yell! has been a long time coming.

Midtown Dickens are the lovable, laughable, and musically talented Catherine Edgerton and Kym Register. They play a hybrid brand of "Anti-folk / Naturalismo", that is more about having fun and singing from the heart than anything else. Their man-made tools of choice include banjos, accordions, guitars, and basically anything else that's laying around, but it's their god given gifts, their hands, their hearts, and their vocals that are what really shine.

On their debut, Oh Yell!, Edgerton and Register create songs that we can relate to wrapped in beautifully instrumented packages. They sing about visiting their mothers, love life, jobs, and even eating hot dogs at a Bulls game. But that's life, not just for them but for all of us. And that's what I think I like most about Midtown Dickens...Their real.

The cd features 16 songs, if you include the secret track, and, minus the Christmas material released last December, it seems to be in large part their repertoire. What I like about the lineup on Oh Yell!, and this might not mean much to some of you, but I like seeing the progression of a band. Because they have included not only their newest tracks, but some of the older fan favorites as well. You can definitely tell they have grown as musicians and lyricists, on the new material, it just sounds fuller and more alive, but it's nice to hear songs like AM Dial and Tetris be included here as well. I think it sets up a time line, and this is just me talking here, I could totally be wrong, but I think bands sometimes ignore where they came from and only look forward and I'm really happy that instead of releasing an 8 or 10 track cd like most bands do today, that we get 16 songs, the past and the present, all of pure folk delight.

They may remind some of you with hints of Kimya Dawson, (mentioned here yesterday, and that graced Durham for Midtown Dicken's cd release party), or a stripped down folk version of the nineties girl cuddlecore / punk band, and I use the term punk so loosely and in tongue and cheek it's not even funny, Cub. They take elements of what those two examples have done for music, and whether they are influences or not, take what they have learned and have only improve upon it.

My favorite tracks on the cd are the first three tracks, Eggs and Toast, Guitars, and Airplane. They possess a feeling that really encompasses what it is to see MD live. Whether it's the harmony that you fall in love with, the banjos and guitars that make me jealous, or the way Edgerton tells a tale, Midtown Dickens will be your new favorite band and if you listen just right, you can here them crack a smile.

On a youtube clip of the girls performing Tetris, we see them sharing a mic, laughing , and having fun, and I want you to remember that. When they perform, live or on cd, they seem to be one unit. One person, one heart, once voice. A lot is to be said about this, because in a world of a "me" mentality, it's inspiring to see someone who is thinking of "you" first.

Now I keep referring to sweet, and cute, but on a few tracks, including What A Bore, also one of my favorites, we hear something at the center of this sweeten shell that almost resembles, along with the instrumentation, a crashing wave... building it's musical crest as it gets closer and closer to the shore line where it's forced to break by end. A song that stands out in the field like a rock where nothing will grow and this is where I think most people start in life, a barren space and as we stroll further and further away we encounter grass, bushes, trees...life. Man it's a great song!

I know, it kind of seems like I've gone off in a tangent from the "review", take what you will from it, but I think to enjoy listening to any band really, to get the full picture, it's nice for someone to be able to tell you how they feel when hearing the band. You get a real sense, or worth, rather then to churn out clinched lines and.10 cent words. So that's my piece and I figure that's why you read in the first place.

Below are three tracks for you to enjoy and links to acquire. They will be performing at Bull City Head Quarters on June 17th with Kaia Wilson and later in the month on June 23rd with The Future Kings of Nowhere. The local scene here is blossoming more and more every time I look around and Midtown Dickens is near the front leading the pack.

.: What A Bore
.: Eggs and Toast
.: AM Dial

| Myspace | Download | purchase from 307 Knox |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 8:40 AM
4 comments

 

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The National: Boxer

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I've heard way too much about The National creating "grower" albums. If you can't hear great music from the start then...I really don't know what to say. From day one Alligator was a top album from last year, and I know Boxer will remain in the top ten of this year by the end. My two cents on an album that will be covered to death from now until Fall.

I've listened to the album from start to finish more than once and it succeeds on all accounts. I'm no way comparing them, but Arcade Fire's Neon Bible (which I never choose to talk about here, but which is another exciting album from this year, better than Funeral imo just so you know) is torn from the same sacramental cloth as Boxer. Orchestrated more beautifully than you realize and Berninger is remarkable as our troubadour on this journey within the shadowed walls and shallow canals of our genesis. Below is the keys to the Fake Empire.

.: Fake Empire

| website | myspace | download | purchase cd or vinyl |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 7:23 PM
2 comments

 

Kimya Dawson

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Hopefully you had a chance to see Kimya Dawson at the Midtown Dickens cd Release party on May 12th. My wife's graduation from Duke and family and friends being in town prevented me from going to the event, but hey how often do you get a chance to see your wife graduate from Duke and how often now a days can you actually spend Mother's Day with your mom, so the trade off was fair.

Honestly I wasn't familiar with Kimya Dawson. I mean I knew she was in Moldy Peaches and I knew of her solo endeavors, but I never listen to them and that was by far my first mistake. Have you heard Kimya Dawson? Simply amazing!

I downloaded two albums, one entitled Knock-Knock Who?, and the other, My Cute Fiend Sweet Princess, and I downloaded them with no questions asked. I came away with two releases that have not only been on constant rotation here for the past few weeks, but are essential to my continued fascination with female "folk" singers.

The songs in these collections are raw stripped down acoustic numbers that lay bare boned on the cold cement floor of an abandoned cinder block home with tattered Strawberry Shortcake wallpaper. Plain and simple, her music is pure lo-fi, pop cultured laden, child-like anti-folk. And we like it!

Below are two tracks (one from 2004's My Cute Fiend Sweet Princess and two from 2006's Remember That I Love You) to sample and links to acquire. Enjoy.

.: The Beer
.: Underground
.: I Like Giants

| website | myspace | download |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 9:47 AM
8 comments

 

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

J. Tillman: Cancer and Delirium

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It's truly unbelievable how good J. Tillman really is. I could just leave it at that and the songs would speak louder than anything I have to say, but I'll try.

Morgan King, Yer Bird Records, (and congratulations to him for this amazing release) gave me a copy of J. Tillman's Cancer and Delirium recently and this has been near hands down a cd that has not left my side.

Gone are the overly striking comparisons to Neil Young and through his own abilities as a musician, took what was to be learned from Jason Molina, drunken nights with Ryan Adams (I'm imagining now), and has even surpassed, which I thought could not be done, Long May You Run J. Tillman, and has created the emensly rich and dark masterpiece that is Cancer and Delirium.

Banjos abound, guitars corralled, organs bellowing, and Tillman's broken cries make Cancer and Delirium one of the best winter albums I've ever heard. I know it's not winter, but some albums, Tonight's the Night for example, is a winter album to me. One that needs to be experienced in the dark, preferably cold, room alone with a bottle and your thoughts. Like a night alone in a cabin amidst the woods with Jeremiah Johnson ideas and a candlelight ceremony of epic proportions, J. Tillman is everything that is right with music today.

From the absolutely gorgeous Ribbons of Glass, to the somber, church like devotion of How Much Mystery, to the thoughts of the rusitc Tim Buckley dream I had when listening to A Fine Suit, J. Tillman's Cancer and Delirium must be placed in, not only "best album of the year" praise, but possibly, one of the top 25 albums of the past 5 years. It's just that good.

Below are two tracks from the release with links to purchase. I know I say "must own" alot, I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it, but if you don't buy another album all year, buy this one, you won't be sorry.

.: Ribbons of Glass
.: Evans and Falls

| myspace| purchase | Yer Bird |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 8:27 AM
20 comments

 

Monday, May 21, 2007

Gannon: Luck or Fate

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Beach Boy harmonies flood your earphones as Room 40 opens with organ keys and lyrics asking you to "Step into the room, everyone's waiting" This is the opening track, appropriately placed on Gannon's 2006 release, on Hot Rod Porta Records, Luck or Fate. With Shins thoughts and a Jim Noir cadence, only better, Room 40 is one of the most overlooked songs from last year...and this includes by me as well.

You see Gannon (AJ Pyatak) sent his cd along with numerous videos (for The Collective) last year and while the videos have been thrusted into the music scene here by way of the tv show, a proper review of the album was never given. Fast forward through an office move and misplacement, and luck would have it that Luck or Fate would fall back into my lap.

I will briefly mention some highlights from this release in preparation for the review of his latest release, The Company Pays and an interview with Mr. "Gannon" himself.

Besides Room 40, my favorite track on the release, a few other tracks standout as must listens. From the bluesy feel without being harnessed by the Blues / and instrumentation that conjures up thoughts of that background track from the Gorillaz on SM Skatepark, to the 60's rhythm pattern that makes me want to listen to Under the Boardwalk or Sam Cooke's Another Saturday Night again on Send it Back, to the excellent uke and vocal stylings that are so good you can't place them on Shipmates. Luck or Fate provides a song for everyone, and is an album that needs to be in every car for that road trip you've always dreamt of taking.

Throughout the album you will notice the layers of sound and music on almost all of the tracks. It's the intricate background instrumentation that allows for the catchy guitars, ukes and, more importantly Gannon's vocals to hover off the page into the forefront. One of the qualities I like most about Gannon is his unique sound that sits with you like a long lost friend. You might not think so at first, but wait, next week you'll be saying who was that --- And I'll be here to tell you it's AJ Pyatak of Gannon.

I keep going back and being bothered by the above paragraph in which I name a few of the excellent tracks as standouts, because as I listen more and more as I write this, it really occurs to me that this album as a whole, not just tracks, but from start to finish, is a true gem in the sea of lost albums. I implore you to visit Gannon, enjoy Room 40 below, and stay tuned here for The Company Pays review, and an interview with Gannon himself.

.: Room 40

| website | myspace | purchase | download |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 10:01 AM
1 comments

 

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Bowerbirds / Summer Hymns at Bickett Gallery

Had a great time last night at one of the final shows at Raleigh's Bickett Gallery. The night opened with the Deleted Scenes, followed by Pittsboro's The Never, and then a real highlight of the evening was when Billie Karel and Roger Gupton sat down for an impromptu acoustic performance.

I think this was, in some part, in honor of what Molly Miller, Bickett's founder, has done for this community. Karel's gorgeous vocals intertwined with Roger's acoustic guitar and harmonies made for a truly beautiful experience. Their cover of Emmylou Harris' Wrecking Ball was one of the best renditions of the song I've ever heard. I was floored and I'm still thinking about it today. Below is a photo and I hope to see them perform again sometime soon.

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After the first three acts, I was thinking what a great night, but nothing could prepare me for Summer Hymns' Zachary Gresham. This was an acoustic solo set that was just mind blowing. I don't think people liked it as much as I did as the room began to clear after only a few songs in, but the small group, who were nestled on the floor, got an amazing show. His solo renditions of (the set closer) Pity and Envy, Mr. Brewer (Cackle, Cackle), and Bombay Brown Indian Ink, were just a few of the highlights for me. It was as if time stood still as we watched and listend in awe. Gresham's intense and genius like lyrics where nothing short of inspiring. Below are a few pictures, but they really don't do this justice.

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Download Summer Hymns covering Neil Young's Mr. Soul live at the 40 Watt Club 2/7/7.

.: Mr. Soul

The reason I went out last night was for the show's headline event. A chance to see The Bowerbirds in an intimate space before they go out on tour with The Rosebuds. I had this feeling that if I didn't go and see them now, it might be the last time I would be able to witness them with a small crowd. Not because they won't play small venues, no, I don't get that feeling at all, but, as I wrote in the review, the band is about to explode...and with the release of Hymns for a Dark Horse, and after the tour with The Rosebuds, I have this feeling alot of things are going to change...and by change I mean for the better.

Once you hear them live, once you listen to their cd, you have no choice but to become a fan. It becomes second nature like taking a breath, only this breath is full of earth, life, and desire. I hope everyone has a chance to experience the absolutely beautiful song of The Bowerbirds. Below are a few photos from the experience.

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Download two tracks from The Bowerbird's Hymns for a Dark Horse.

.: Dark Horse
.: In Our Talons

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 3:13 PM

 

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Nathan Oliver

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When I heard Nathan Oliver's music, literally my first thoughts were, "where has this guy been?". How have I managed to overlook a great talent in my own backyard? ( Unfortunately I'm sure this happens more often than I like to think) Then I read his one sheet and the first line reads, "Where has Nathan Oliver been hiding all this time?" See I'm not the only one, but I'm glad I found him.

On his S/T release on Pox World Empire, Nathan creates somber/shaded pop-folk with just enough edge, just enough to get you moving and excited about what music in the Triangle area can be.

He belongs somewhere in between an Elliott Smith heart with a Shins/Spoon feel, scoring a Wes Anderson film, and underlying it all is something I've yet to put my finger on. That something that is waiting to break out. Who knows, maybe it has and I'm just not privy to it yet, but what I do know is that Oliver joins a growing cast of amazing troubadours living in the area and you just need to listen to the tracks below to hear it.

.: Black Ship White Sails
.: State Lines Pt. 1

Nathan will be performing tomorrow night (May 20th at 8pm) at The Blend in Chapel Hill with The Watchers (Chicago), Shakermaker, Betty and the Boys, and LA Toy.

[website] [myspace]

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 10:03 AM
1 comments

 

Dawn Landes

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Dawn Landes’ bluegrass cover of Peter Bjorn & John’s “Young Folks.” Dawn recorded the song with WST (We Sorta Tried) Bluegrass Band from Austin, TX.

Unfortunately it's not just the pretty voice of Landes, because the background singers kind of get on my nerves, but I got this in the mailbox and thought I'd post it. I love when people cover great songs...sometimes it works.

.: Young Folks

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 9:56 AM
0 comments

 

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Avett Brothers

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At over six years of perfecting their art, The Avett Brothers have become one of North Carolina's premiere acts. Sold out shows, the constant touring and perfecting of their sound, a recent gig on Conan, and now a new lp released May 15th entitled Emotionalism.

The Avett Brothers are the trio made up of brothers Scott and Seth Avett, alongside friend Bob Crawford. They make acoustic folk music in the sense of their instruments of choice, but through the intertwining of guitars and banjos, we hear perfect 60's harmonies and lively backdrops, that create a perfect hybrid of rustic thoughts and pop dreams, not to mention the overly sincere vocals that are to die for.

Emotionalism is a culmination of a passion that runs deep. The album expresses a beauty and desire for love, laughter, and heartfelt memories, all the while, living in coffin thoughts. The desire for such things, no matter how presented, are forgotten in today's world, on not only a musical level, but in life in general. Listening to the brothers Avett is like being washed with creek side waters emerging clean and refreshed and reborn in hope.

If you haven't experienced The Avett Brothers by all means follow the links. Below is a sample track.

.: Will You Return?

| website | myspace | purchase | download |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 2:50 PM
0 comments

 

The Bowerbirds

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Hymns for a Dark Horse marks the first release for the aviary known as The Bowerbirds, released on the newly formed Raleigh/Durham label Burly Time Records (Grayson Currin and Brad Cook)

There is a real sense of passion and heartfelt warmth that I hear on this release that was only sparsely played out on the prior material I've heard from the band. A polish that has yet to fade as I spend these summer days opening my wings to dry out and be embraced by the comforts of The Bower Birds.

Without a doubt, The Bowerbirds (Phil Moore, Beth Tacular, and Mark Paulson) are the latest gem to be mined from the earth in these parts...and for good reason. They make acoustic wind with gypsy eyes that blows over the brook and through your hair like a graced hand, providing that sanctuary I know you've been looking for.

A real sense of comfort and openness overcomes me as they take flight --- Moore's vocals fill the speakers and don't let go as he plays with the instrumentation and harmonies of Tacular, and we get a real sense of a band being stronger as a whole than it's individual parts.

Let go and enjoy the ride as they perform their dark earthy folk/pop tunes for all to hear--- Trust me, they'll bring you back upon the shores in which you started the journey, only this time your heart has been warmed and you're ready for the release.

Below are two tracks, with Dark Horse being a more fair representation of the album as a whole, but I had to include In Our Talons because it's a favorite (along with The Ticonderoga). The Bowerbirds are currently on tour with The Rosebuds, but you can get your fill locally this Saturday, May 19th at The Bickett Gallery alongside Summer Hymns, The Never, and Deleted Scenes.

.: Dark Horse
.: In Our Talons

| website | myspace | Burly Time | purchase |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 12:40 AM
0 comments

 

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Black Dragon

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Eating Birds finds that balance between uneasiness and sanctuary. As the bells chime, you are tranced to ease, but when they slow, an empty ocean of despair and unknown sets in - Reverbing at your inner membrane, awaiting what is to come. You shutter with Lynchian fear, and what you hear, and you will find out if you let yourself, is at the heart of the Black Dragon.

I've written about Black Dragon (Adam Hudson Spittler) before and my amazement with his tape-scapades of near madness and soul searching trips, His first album, Terrible Tide, is no exception. I keep trying to have Black Dragon be my first cd release under this "label" I want to create. Maybe one day...and yes it's that good.

Below is "Eating Birds"...

.: Eating Birds

|myspace|

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 10:14 AM
1 comments

 

Son House

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When you're dragged out, scaly skinned from the heat of the sun, laid up on the desert floor searching for the precipitation between the cracks of time...This and only this, is when Son House can be revealed to you in all his glory.

Pure Delta Blues in all it's heavenly glory ---Pony Blues has been quenching my 2 & 2 is four thoughts of fish bone nights and Pony $ blues....

.: Pony Blues

| purchase | download Son House |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 12:16 AM
0 comments

 

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Melanesian Choirs

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More material from my trip to Brazil.

This album was not only a favorite on the trip, but the children that we visited loved the music just as much as we did. The chants on this album have always held a special place in my heart and have comforted me through many a day. I highly recommend the purchase of the album and will list a few tracks below for download. A limited post so experience while you can. A really moving experience.

.: Jisas Yu Holem Hand Blong Mi
.: Jisas, Masta Mi Save

|purchase|

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 8:31 PM
0 comments

 

Dennis Wilson: Pacific Ocean Blue



When I was in Brazil, did I mention that, anyway, one of the staples on the ipod was Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue. I think I've ran this into the ground here, but if you are still not sure where to find it, I 've re-listed it below. I have a whole bunch of cds to review from some really amazing artists. A desk full to be exact. Thanks for being patient and thanks for sending me your material. More to come now that life is settling back into it's mold... I promise.


.: River Song
.: Dreamer
.: Thoughts of You
.: Pacifc Ocean Blues
.: You and I
.: Farewell my Friend
.: End of the Show
.: What's Wrong
.: Moonshine
.: Rainbows
.: Friday Night
.: Time

[zip file]

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 8:15 PM
0 comments

 

David

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Is this just David or David & the Citizens, either way Now She Sleeps In A Box In The Good Soil Of Denmark is an outstanding track. This Swedish band bridges the gaps between my days and nights as of late and the above track is available for free download along side a slew of other free tracks from the Friendly Fire Recordings Record Sampler on emusic. Other highlights include another David track, Elk City, Faunts, and The Old Soul. A great little sampler and the track below is a great example of the release.

.: Now She Sleeps In A Box In The Good Soil Of Denmark

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 7:56 PM
0 comments

 

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Please excuse the mess as design changes are being made.

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 11:39 PM
0 comments

 

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bishop Allen

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Dead Oceans first release is a long awaited one for me. After a year long adventure and 12 eps later, Bishop Allen releases it's sophomore effort, The Broken String, on July 24th. Below are three tracks from the release that demand your attention. This is setting it self up to be a must own!

(mp3) Rain
(mp3) Click Click Click Click
(mp3) Butterfly Nets

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 8:33 AM
0 comments

 

grindhouse posters!

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The guys over at Something Awful have implored their minions to create "grindhouse" style posters for some of your favorite films. 11 pages so far and a great read! See them all here.

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 8:25 AM
0 comments