Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rock-a-bye Lullaby

Here's a top ten, short and listy, of the best songs to fall asleep to.

1. "Wildfires," The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, Josh Ritter. Most of Ritter's music reminds of saloon-style piano and whiskeyed lyrics, but "Wildfires" does stand as a subtle hush to the album's close.

2. "Green Gloves," Boxer, The National. Representing the best of rainy day sets, this one has great cadence balanced by the deepness of Matt Berninger's vocals, who let's not forget, is himself dreamy.

3. "Postures Bent," Beasts of Seasons, Laura Gibson. Gentle strumming and slightly crooked vocals make this a believable lullaby. Next thing we know Gibson will swaddle us and place a crown of daisies on our sweet little heads.

4. "Swing Low Sweet Chariot," Volume One, She & Him. Traditional? Yes. But any of this crew will tell you that Zooey Deschanel's version is well placed, well done, and sure to calm even the chirpiest of nerd birds into a restful mood.

5. "On Ho!," Noble Beast, Andrew Bird. No whistling or vocals in this one, just pure Suzuki method greatness. What's more, Bird's strong strides on the violin are known to transmit sleep spells.

6. "Only Four Seasons," You Can Tell Georgia, Joe Purdy. Purdy's melodic quality with piano accompaniment will make you wish there were more than four seasons either to sleep or to be sad--Purdy's got the blues.

7. "My Dear Acquaintance," My Dear Acquaintance, Regina Spektor. Sure it's a New Year's song, but I rarely stay awake for the ball drop anyway. Thanks to Regina Spektor, you won't either.

8. "Oscar Wilde (Acoustic)," Ordinary Riches, Company of Thieves. A contrast to the album's earlier and much zippier track, this one allows frontwoman Genevieve Schatz's voice to quietly break through the Oscar Wilde confrontation. Sounds like a fun dream.

9. "Marry Song," Cease to Begin, Band of Horses. This song just begs for a slow dance, or in this case, a slow slumber.

10. "Ignorant Boy," Citadel Band, Loney, Dear. You'll never feel more formally hummed to. Plus, Loney, Dear (aka Emil Svanangen) is from Sweden, and this fact has nothing to do with the degree to which the song makes us sleepy. Nevertheless, sweet dreams from Stockholm.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Record Store Day is tomorrow!

Record Store Day is an annual international celebration of independent record retailers. This year's festivities will take place April 18th at hundeds of stores across the country and dozens of stores in Colorado. Your favorite local record slingers will also be offering discounts, giveaways, DJ sets, in-store performances, and exclusive Record Store Day CD/DVD/Vinyl releases. It's a record store-lover's carnival. For an inside scoop on the action in D-Town, check out our quick run-down below:

Independent Records Denver
Live performances:
11am - DB & The Catastrophe
12pm - The Repercussions
1pm - Speakeasy Tiger
2pm - Heart Start Hero
3pm - Drew Danburry w/Desert Noises
4pm - Like Pianos Crashing
5pm - Mr. Verbal
6pm - Icarus Thump
7pm - Gloam
8pm - Improv

KTCL will be broadcasting live from the store 12-2 pm and Indie 101.5 will there from 6-8 pm.

The best part: Free food. Delicious Mezcal goodies, gelato samples and more.

Twist and Shout

20% off all used CDs, LPs and DVDs! Twist has invited a bunch of local organizations and business, like The Shoppe, Swallow Hill, The Tattered Cover, Denver Film Society, Dumb Friends League, Chipotle and others to join the party. KGNU, KUVO, Radio 1190, DJ A-What, and guest DJs from Meese will be spinning records throughout the day. Oh yeah, and Great Divide Brewery donated a keg.

Wax Trax

Well, I have no idea what Wax Trax is doing, because they don't have anything posted on their site and I am too lazy to call them. You should stop by and see for yourself.

Bart's CD Cellar (Boulder)
Bart's will be holding a sidewalk sale (a very wet and snowy one, I assume) with bargains like 2 for $4.18 CDs and buy 2 get 1 free used CDs and vinyl. They will also be having live performances:

1:00pm -
Pete Wernick & Flexigrass
2:00pm -
Alice Peacock
3:00pm -
Giddyup Kitty
4:00pm -
Radical Knitting Circle
5:00pm -
The Culhanes
6:00pm -
DJ Jens Irish

Take 10% off any $10+ purchase during record store day. Local rapper Julox will be performing at the Aurora store and both Aurora and Littleton will be giving out free tea. Yes, tea.

Don't miss out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Two Nerd Birds with One Stone

Maybe it’s the direly downward dollar or all this pirate talk. It could also be that it’s officially a month into spring and the grass is pigment-less and the flowering trees have been thwarted by our once-a-winter snow. It might even be the realization that Denver is now stuck with once-a-winter snow. Needless to say, we all could use some happy music. But since searching for happy music often ends in the discovery of sad and angry music—such a tricky process—I suggest to you this practice. To find the quintessence of musical happy, that which sinks the pirates, fills the grass with green, and restores Colorado water levels all at once, you must first test the album while you clean. It’s the whistle-while-you-work phenomenon: happy music channels motion and productivity, it changes our mood, and it actually makes us cheery to the point that we’d do something as undesirable as scrubbing toilets. It seems the degree to which and the speed with which we clean is directly proportional to the level of musical happy. Yes, that’s it. Kate Nash, Bishop Allen, and Ben Kweller go with rubber gloves while Fleet Foxes, Stars, and MGMT do not. It’s sensible though unproven. Nevertheless, you’re sure to enjoy both a clean apartment and smiley music.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Putting the "rock" back in "rock-a-bye baby"

So I really like Paste. The magazine, not the sticky stuff that I'm constantly having to tell kids not to eat. I also really like children's books (hence the whole librarian thing) and indie rock (hence my whole skinny-boys-that-look-kinda-like-Ira-Glass thing). So when the music mag announced their first foray into the hairy, scary world of book publishing with An Indie Rock Alphabet Book, I kinda peed my pants a little.

This book is the alphabet the way we all wish we'd learned it, from Animal Collective to the Zombies, with the kind of delightfully snotty musical insight that could only come from Paste. With high-color, blocky illustrations, An Indie Rock Alphabet Book ensures that the reader understands that y comes before z, and that Yo La Tengo is the only noteworthy musical act to come out of Hoboken since Ol' Blue Eyes.

And at a mere $12.95, it's a lot cheaper than that music theory degree you aren't using.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Beast makes me feel like James Bond

The Nerd Birds have just discovered Montreal-based band, Beast, and we are OBSESSED. Beast makes some of the most bad-ass and cinematic music we have heard in years. Beast is also very hard to describe. Beast sounds like Massive Attack meets Amy Winehouse + the best of James bond theme music. Oh yeah, and then there are the gospel influences...

Listening to Beast's self-titled debut makes me feel like an international man of mystery. When I pop this record in on the way to the grocery store, I feel like the journey is fraught with car chases, shoot-outs, and short-lived trysts with European babes. Then I buy eggs and cheese. A man can dream, right?

"Microcyte" marries a cinematic piano line with Betty Bonifassi's driving vocals and a jewel-heist worthy track. "Satan" makes you want to hug a whiskey bottle and kiss your friends goodbye before your heist turns south.

The new Beast record is so cinematic, it prompted us at Nerd Bird HQ to start writing a Beast and Guy Ritchie inspired crime-caper screenplay. That's how nerdy we are, and how incredible Beast is.

The Nerd Bird gives Beast's self-titled debut 4 out of 5 tweets.

Beast - "Out Of Control" live in Toronto:

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