Friday, December 29, 2006

The Best Songs of 2006: Part 3

Hello Saferide - The Quiz

If her full length was released in 2006 instead of 2005 I probably would have chosen a different song. This one is from her 2006 EP and is still very lovable with great lyrics (as you would expect from HS)

Margot & The Nuclear So and So's - Vampire in Blue Dresses

I haven't really given this band a chance yet, but I really like this song. Video is live, but of decent quality.

Okkervil River - The President's Dead

Download mp3

The Bicycles - Gotta Get Out

Download mp3

The Thermals - A Pillar of Salt

Discussed here.

Saves the Day - Dying Day

This song has everything that once made me love this band. Nice comeback!

Download mp3

Stephen Brodsky - Sentimental Case

Discussed here. Listen to it here.

Belle and Sebastian - Funny Little Frog

The Mint Chicks - Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!

Listen to this song on their MySpace.

AFI - Kill Caustic

Decemberunderground was dissappointing to a lot of old school fans (including me). This song still rocks in typical AFI fashion. [unofficial video by the way]

The Brother Kite - Bringing it Back Home

Download here

That's last post of 2006. I will talk to you again in '07! Happy Newyear everybody!

The Best Songs of 2006: Part 2

Frida Hyvönen - You Never Got Me Right

I'm more than intrigued by this song.

Download mp3

Brakes - Hold me in the River

El Perro Del Mar - God Knows (You gotta give to Get)

Simply beautiful!

I'm From Barcelona - We're from Barcelona

Regina Spektor - On the Radio
I'm not sure what I like more about this song...the lyrics or the song itself.

On the radio
We heard November Rain
That solo's really long
But it's a pretty song
We listened to it twice
'Cause the DJ was asleep

Pipas - Riff Raff

The Format - Oceans

My favorite song of my favorite album of 2006.

Download mp3

Figurines - The Wonder

Camera Obscura - Let's get out of this Country/Loyd, I'm ready to be Heartbroken

I can't decide which song I like more. As stressed before, two of indiepop's finest songs of 2006.

Five O'Clock Heroes - Time on my Hands

White Whale - The Admiral

Classic rock 2006 style!

Download mp3

Be Your Own Pet - Bicycle, Bicycle, you are my Bicycle

Envelopes - Sister in Love

Lily Allen - LDN

While most Lily Allen songs have a tendency to lose their edge after a couple of listens for me, this song managed to stay more than enjoyable.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Best Songs of 2006: Part 1

I had this crazy plan to discuss all my favorite songs of 2006 and put them in order, but that proved to be impossible. There's only so much doubt a boy can take you know! Thus, I present to you my favorite songs of 2006 in no particular order, some I will discus and some will speak for themselves. This is part 1! Expect more very soon!

Islands - Rough Gem

The Fratellis - Flathead

Forget the singles, this is the best Fratellis song! Padapap padadadada!

Download mp3

MC Lars - Internet Relationships

Mc Lars has the smartest lyrics in hiphop, with songs about Moby Dick and emo instead of bitches and ho's. This song is a funny indictment of internet culture.

"SueChick1990: Hi, I’m Susie, I like your profile
I checked out your pics and I like your style
BOBSTER MAN: Sounds good Susie, I’ll be your friend
We can message each other again and again
SueChick1990: Comment on my pics and post on my page
Join my groups and guess my age!
BOBSTER MAN: You must be 18, how could you not?
You can’t be in high school you’re just too hot
SueChick1990: Let me send you pics for your personal collection
I hope they inspire you and give you a smile
Susie sent Bob pics that were borderline obscene
The cops showed up at his door – she was only 16"

Download mp3

Portastatic - (I'm in love with) Arthur Dove

Discussed here.

Download mp3

The Killers - When you were young

They don't make songs like this anymore...oh they do!

The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy!

The Pipettes - Pull Shapes

The Long Blondes - Once and Never Again

The Bronx - White Guilt
Rock and Roll!

Billy Talent - Red Flag
Anthemic punkrock song.

Grandaddy - Elevate Myself

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The 20 Best Albums of 2006: 10-1

10. Frida Hyvönen - Until Death Comes

Discovered late in the year, the album from this piano playing singer songwriter became one of the most played records in the previous weeks. In a way, this can be compared to Regina Spektor but it's a little less radio friendly. Very diverse, very beautiful, pretty weird and misleading at times (what about this lyric: 'Once I was a serene teenaged child/once I felt your cock against my thigh'). This album might make you a little uncomfortable, but you will be intruiged and you might even love this!

[video: The Modern]

9. Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit

I still don't get why this band isn't being played on Dutch radio. Forget the Scissor Sisters with their overplayed hit single, listen to Belle and Sebastian for you indiepop intake!!! The Life Pursuit is the most accessible and extravagant B & S album to date. Camera Obscura might have the best songs, this album is better as a whole. Sing along and dance!
[video: Funny Little Frog]

8. the Mint Chicks - Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!

"hardcore, punk, pop and rock are put in a blender with excellent results" is what I wrote about this band. One of the more surprising albums of the year. This record keeps sounding fresh and exciting, weird yet accessible, rocking yet cute.
[video: Welcome to Nowhere]

7. The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine

As I wrote here, I never 'got' this band until this album and I'm still blown away by it. Postpunk did not sound better than this in 2006.

[video: Pillar of Salt]

6. Be Your Own Pet - self titled

Discussed here. This album makes me hyperactive in a good way!

[video: Adventure]

5. The Brother Kite - Waiting for the Time to Be Right

To me, one of the biggest surprises of the year. Put Nada Surf, The Cure and the Beach Boys in a blender, add a dreamy production and you get a winner. There are some extraordinary songs on this, but what makes this album even more outstanding is the completeness of it. The combination of slower and more uptempo songs keeps this album interesting. Discussed here.
[video: I'm not the only one]

4. Sprites - Modern Gameplay

I have a weak spot for cute indiepop songs with keyboards. This is exactly what Sprites does perfectly on Modern Gameplay. Add some lyrics about computers, zombie movie directors, blogging, dj'ing and you get one of the most played albums of 2006 at FTC headquarters.
[mp3: George Romero]

3. Okkervil River - Overboard and Down (EP)

Can a five song tour EP (of which one is a cover and one a live song) end up this high in a yearlist? Hey! We're talking Okkervil River here! The few songs on it are of extraordinary quality. I can't wait for the new album!

2. The Walkmen - A Hundred Miles Off

The sound on this album is somewhat surprising considering their previous work, but to me it was a big improvement. They've created a style in which they sound really comfortable. What really makes this album end up this high on my list is the constant quality of the album. On most albums you'll find the urge to skip a few songs...not on this one!
[video: Louisiana]

1. The Format - Dog Problems

Discussed here. This album was my soundtrack to the summer of 2006. Break up songs never sounded this fun before. Great vocal harmonies and the diversity and musicianship showed on this album makes this my top album of 2006!

[video: Dog Problems]

So I showed you show me yours! I'd love to find out what your favorite records were this year!

Monday, December 25, 2006

The 20 Best Albums of 2006: 20-11

20. Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope

An album full of surprises that still gets better with every play. I wrote about her here.
[video: On The Radio]

19. Oxford Collapse - Remember The Night Parties

Solid indierock album. Reminds me of the Promise Ring at times.

[video: Please Visit Your National Parks]

18. The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes

I admit: at first I thought this album was fun and definitely nothing more. After seeing them live, I started appreciating it more. Well written pop tunes!

[video: We Are The Pipettes (live and acoustic)]

17. Rocky Votolato - Makers

Though I liked his previous album (Suicide Medicine) more, Rocky Votolato is still one of my favorite singer songwriters. What a voice!!!

[video: White Daisy Passing]

16. Bruce Springsteen - We shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions

This tribute to traditional American folk -that can be interpreted as a protest against the current (political) state of the USA- will have you singing along in no time. I love how this album manages to sound honest, energetic and joyful at the same time. [video: Pay Me My Money Down]

15. The Cardinal Sin - hurry up and wait

This album has everything I look for in punkrock. Rawness, energy, melody and passion. Often compared to the Alkaline Trio, I like this more than the last Alkaline Trio album.
[video: Eye opener]

14. Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country

Responsible for two of the finest indiepop songs of the year ('Loyd, I'm ready to be Heartbroken' and 'Let's get out of this Country') and those are not the only good songs on this album.

13. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Blood

I discovered this woman through her work in the New Pornographers. Beautiful voice, stellar lyrics...a great alt country album!

[video - Hold On, Hold On (live)]

12. Johnny Cash - America V: A Hundred Highways

Cash never sounded this vulnerable, which makes this album very special. 'Like the 309' still puts a lump in my throat every listen, leaving countless goosebumps on my skin.
[video: God's gonna cut you down]

11. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America

Rock and Roll!!! ...or Wak and Wol as my 2 year old nephew would say. Play this loud mutha!

[video: Chips Ahoy!]
The ten best albums of 2006 (according!) will follow soon!

O and whether you're into it or not...have a nice Christmas this year! My treat to you: I-pod X-mas by Hello Saferide (who would have been on this list if her album wasn't released in 2005). It's a typical Hello Saferide song, about breaking up in the Holiday season.

Some lyrical highlights:

"They say there’s supposed to be three wise men. Well, I’ve been searching, and I haven’t found a single one."

"As for presents, you fuck, I had an iPod Nano with your name written on it. It's going to fit well into my new life listening to Gloria Ganor singing I Will Survive." Ouch!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The 3 best shows of 2006

The Pipettes were totally fun live, the farewell show of Boy Sets Fire was suiting and intimate, the voice of Kate Jackson(the Long Blondes) blew me way, Islands and David & the Citizens were some of the pleasant surprises and singing along to Good Clean Fun was still fun in 2006, but these are the three best shows (in no particular order) I went to this year.

I'm From Barcelona @ De Helling (December 8th)
I was really anxious for this show with expectations at unreasonable heights, but I totally had a blast. Seldom did I have so much fun at a show and time never went by this fast at a show before (except for the Kiss reunion tour in '96 of course). My cheeks hurted from smiling all the time and I kept wondering why I didn't brought out more friends to this show. They would have loved it. Not a soul left the building without a smile!

[read a review in Dutch by 3voor12 here]

Okkervil River @ Rotown (May 13th)
The combination of intimate songs, rocking songs, emotional songs together with the sheer class of the musicians made this a memorable evening. Far to few people attented this show, but I was more than impressed. I liked Okkervil River before the show, but I'd never really got them until this show. Now they're one of my all time favorites.

I will never forget the 50 or 60 year old dude in the audience who sang along to every word, giving some other old dudes faith that they would also still be cool at that age...

The New Pornographers @ De Helling (May 14th)
It's hard not to fall in love with this band. On record, this band makes the finest (power)pop songs you'll ever hear. Live, these songs sound even better. With a beautiful intro working up to an extreme climax, their version of 'The Bleeding Heart Show' was my favorite live moment of 2006. This band doesn't have a cool image or a lot of personality on stage, but they don't really need with songs that good.

This show was so awesome that it turned my show going buddies Pete Moore and Jen from skeptical yet openmindend to awestruck and fans for life.

[read a review in Dutch by 3voor12 here]

So...what were your favorite shows of 2006?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Finally Friday Video's Part XV

I always get a little melancholic at the end of the year. Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's in the genes, but sometimes I just want to hide under the sheets until it's safe again to come out.

If that's not emo enough...this weeks finally friday video is 'I Will Follow You into the Dark' by emo darlings Death Cab For Cutie. This is the kind of song I would consider playing at my funeral.

If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark

Video: Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Follow You Into The Dark

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pitchfork's 2006 album top 50 and song top 100

Hipster website Pitchfork has posted their 2006 yearlists. Check the 50 best albums of the past year according to Pitchfork here and the 100 best songs of 2006 here. They've even put these 100 songs up for download to make your Christmas more bearable! Earlier this month they released their 2006 top 25 video's.

Of course in no way will their lists influence my own yearlist(s)...

Monday, December 18, 2006

God Knows (You gotta give to get)

These days I'm often scrolling through my music collection, with the main reason to find the best albums and songs of 2006. Yeah, it's yearlist time and as a first year blogger, I have not realized the complexity of this. I've given myself a deadline somewhere between Christmas and the New Year, so you might want to start working on yours. I would love reading them! Anyways, because of this time consuming activity, I probably won't be blogging that comprehensively.

Today the cool video to the more than beautiful (goosebump material) El Perro Del Mar song 'God Knows (You gotta give to get)'. [ that's what I call briefness]

Video: El Perro Del Mar - God Knows (You gotta give to get)

Website | MySpace | Buy@Insound

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Could a bandname be any simpler than Tralala? In the case of Tralala, the music is pretty simple as well. Think Ramones, Ronettes and Beatles inspired poppunk with four female singers. They're somewhere between the dirtiness of (though not as dirty as) the Donnas and the poppiness of (though not as poppy as) the Pipettes. The vocal harmonies are the band's strength and gives them a certain retro sound. They say it best themselves: "Tralala are boys and girls who play rock songs without strings attached...and they believe it is OK to shake your hips to rock and roll." Their new album 'Is that the Tralala' was released last month.

Tralala - Yellow Taxi
Tralala - Boys of St. Mary

Website | MySpace | Buy@Insound

Free Christmas sampler Fat Wreck!

For the punkrockers out there Fat Wreck put up a free Christmas sampler. It features unreleased tracks by NOFX, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and the Loved Ones and other Fat Wreck bands. You can listen to it (and download it!) here! Don't worry..these are not christmas songs!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Finally Friday Video's Part XIV

I think I've seen the Vandals live at least 5 times and every time they finished their set with the Simpletones cover "I have a Date". Guitarist Warren took over vocal duties for that song and he went totally crazy doing it, ending up naked more often than not. Their shows were always fun (not in an explainable way, but in a 'you had to be there' kind of way), though their records kept getting worse. I've kind of lost touch with the band, but they deserve a spot in the finally friday video series.

Video: The Vandals - I Have a Date

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

(Sing me to Sleep) Regina Spektor

Sometimes there is a thin line between mainstream and indie music, take Regina Spektor's single 'Fidelity' (watch video below) for example. It's a song that would not be misplaced on mainstream radio except for one thing if you listen closely: this song is really good! I love the break at 2:50 into the song. Spektor has an extraordinary voice (in a positive way) that she uses very dynamically: sometimes it's like she's whispering, sometimes she sounds very vulnerable, sometimes very strong.

Spektor's 2006 album "Begin to Hope" makes for perfect late night music. Listening to it will relax you, but has enough surprising moments to keep you awake. The Russian Born, American singer songwriter and pianist has made a very diverse album, that I'm liking more and more with every listen. It's the kind of album that unveals secrets every time you listen to it, sometimes lyrically and sometimes musically. Interesting stuff. If you like the video to 'Fidelity', she has a music player on her website. I've put up the bonustrack Uh-merica, where the uh sounds dangerously close to a vomiting noise but I'm sure that's not done on purpose hehe...

Video: Regina Spektor - Fidelity

Regina Spektor - Uh-Merica

Website | MySpace | Buy@Insound

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Stephen Brodsky

Lately I've taken quite a liking to the song 'Sentimental Case' from Stephen Brodsky's new album (Stephen Brodsky's Octave Museum). Stephen Brodsky is the singer of metal/indierock outfit Cave In, which I never got into, but then again this solo project, sounds really different. It's filled with laid back poprock tunes that fit in somewhere between the Beatles and the New Pornographers. Not really groundbreaking, but an enjoyable album nonetheless. Suited as background music, except for Sentimental Case, which you should play at a louder level!

Stephen Brodsky - Sentimental Case

MySpace | Buy

Monday, December 11, 2006

Work! Work! Work!

A few weeks ago I might have mentioned something about a job interview. Well, that job interview went pretty well. In fact, last week I got offered a position as Ph. D. student at the University of Tilburg! That's right folks, I'm heading out for an adventure in the real world. My first concern is finding a place to live in Rotterdam, which is located between my home and friends and Tilburg. I'm starting January 15th, so if you have some knowledge of available livingspace, I would appreciate the heads up!

These are exciting times as you'll understand! For one of the first times in my life I know what I want to do (workwise at least). Perhaps more importantly, I finally have a good enough reason to buy an IPod. I know it's weird, but I'm not a shameless consumer, I have to be able to justify my purchases and now I can! Out with the discman and in with the IPod!!!

In changing times it's always wise to look for words of advice in your music collection. That's exactly what I did and here are some of the findings...

Welcome to the workin' week.
Oh I know it don't thrill you, I hope it don't kill you.
Welcome to the workin' week.
You gotta do it till you're through it so you better get to it.
Elvis Costello - Welcome to the Working Week

I don't wanna grow up,
I'm never getting old.
I'd rather work from 9 to 5
Than drink to stay alive.
I'm gonna stay young until I die!
7 Seconds - Young 'til I Die

We have the best job ever
We really got lucky
We're nobody's robot
We're nobody's monkey
Piebald - The Monkey versus the Robot

No it's not my-not my-not my place
In the 9 to 5 world
Ramones - It's not my Place (in the 9 to 5 world)

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Remember playing video games as a kid and whistling along to the background music? Knowing every riff to every level by heart wasn't a rarity in those days. If this sounds familiar or if you can relate to this, let's discuss a band whose goal it is to play the themes to all the Nintendo 8 bit games before they die: The Advantage. Not only is this an awesome goal, but these self proclaimed 'serious dudes that rock with good nintentions' execute these song very well. My favorite song has to be Goonies 2. Check out the live video and the original tune (!) below. I've put some other cool ones up for download.

Video: The Advantage - Goonies 2

Video: Goonies 2: the game

The Advantage - Bubble Bobble

The Advantage - Super Mario Bros. 2 - Overworld

Some live mp3's by The Avantage

Website | MySpace | Buy@Insound

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Show Review: I'm From Barcelona @ De Helling

The I'm From Barcelona show of last night was much anticipated at FTC Headquarters. Before the show I was already certain that this was going to be quite the experience...and it was.

Moss (from Amsterdam) had the pleasure of opening for these crazy Swedes and they did it well. No matter the style of music, it's always nice to see good musicians at work and that was definitely the case at hand. I expect to hear more from this solid indierock/pop band that will release their debut album through Exelsior in a few months.
The main dish: I'm from Barcelona! I was afraid that the band would show up at minimal strength, but from the number of microphones on stage it was obvious that they were with plenty: I counted 20 Swedes. They played a festival in France the night before and after a 12 hour busdrive they were anxious to play. From the Barcelona intro (Freddy Mercury style) until the last song, this band was all over the place. My expectations were high, but actually I enjoyed myself so much more than expected.

First let me try to paint a picture of the setting: a dozen instruments (ukulele, tuba, flute, xylophone, keyboards etc.), bubble blowing and so many people on stage that you don't know where to look. They seem to perform with only one goal: giving the audience as good a time as they're having themselves. Their enthusiasm is so contagious that in no time you find yourself participating with handclaps, hip shaking, headbopping, handwaving, almost dancing (I'm not a dancer) and smiling...lots of smiles. In fact...I don't believe the grin lost my face during the show, which went by much too fast (time flies when you're...exactly).
Though I wished they played more songs, I liked what they did with the ones they did play, adding elements, slowing and speeding them up and stretching them out. They added the chorus of Madonna's 'Like a Prayer' at the end of 'Rec and Play' and played a new song that was inspired by the fascinating though akward documentary Grizzly Man. After telling the audience that the bubble making machine was broken and some people started chanting "We want Bubbles", singer Emanuel Lundgren created a new song ("We want Bubbles") on the spot. Another example of his improve skills was replacing the "damn!" in the song 'Oversleeping' with the Dutch translation "verdomme".

This band should be added to your must see list. Sure, it might be a little to happy for your taste, but I guarantee that you have a great time. It was a shame that so few people decided to come to this party (I don't believe attendance reached more than a 100), but in the end everyone was standing as close to the stage as possible, smiling and dancing. Not a soul left the building dissappointed and for one evening the world seemed a happy place (Ok, I can't believe I've just said that...).

I don't just had to be there I guess! By the way, I found this awesome acoustic video (thanx to LaBlogotheque) which you might like.

Video: I'm From Barcelona - We're From Barcelona

[photography from the band's website, NOT from last night's show...]

Website | MySpace | Buy@Insound

Friday, December 08, 2006

Finally Friday Video's Part XIII

No introduction necessary...classic song/video!

Video: The Proclaimers - 500 miles

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Show Review: The Long Blondes @ Rotown

It might have been a good idea to buy tickets in advance, because there was already a long line standing outside of Rotown when we got there. Luckily we were in time to still get in.

De Nieuwe Vrolijkheid, invited by the Long Blondes themselves had the honours to open for a sold out crowd. This young artpop band from The Hague didn't impress me. It's great that they try to be original, but last night their act lacked the personality to pull it off. Technical difficulties and weak vocals (couldn't tell whether this was the band or the sound guy) didn't help them either.

Up next: The Long Blondes. If you haven't heard their single 'Once and Never Again', you haven't been paying attention (at least not to this blog hehe). The first thing I noticed was the personality of singer and born performer Kate Jackson. She grabs your attention without asking for it and she can sing...boy can she sing!!! I can't remember when I was this awe struck by the voice of a female singer at a show. Every note was full on and with so much conviction; she truly held nothing back. The played boredom of the (female) guitarist en bassist seems to suggest: it's all about Kate, never mind us. But in this case, it's the tightness of the band that provides the opportunity to shine for Kate Jackson.

Now I have to admit that my likeness to this bands is limited to certain songs. This is the kind of band I skip certain songs of. Their set last night was enough to keep my interest, not to short and not too long. The Long Blondes are fun live!

Video: The Long Blondes - Weekend Without Makeup

Website | MySpace | Buy@Amazon

Monday, December 04, 2006

Chips Ahoy!

Quite busy this week...not much time to post...just wanted you to see the Hold Steady's video to Chips Ahoy! Great song/video by this a-typical but oh so hard rocking band. They have a new album out called 'Boys and Girls in America', which is as awesome as their previous one 'Seperation Sunday'.

Video: The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy!

Website | MySpace |Buy @ Insound

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Love is All

I'm aware that a lot of bands I've talked about in this blog are Scandinavian. I'd like to state that this is not on purpose. It's just that this region is filled with so many great bands that George W Bush would probably refer to it as the axis of evilly good music that is a threat to the US indie scene (of course if he had good musical taste, which is more than doubtful. That's a good thing though cause if he did, he might invade Scandinavia to stop this bands from being better than their American counterparts...).
Sorry for drifting off...let me introduce you to Love is All from Sweden. I highly recommend their critically acclaimed debut 'Nine Times That Same Song' if you like pop songs with a little punk chaos added to it. This is catchy but weird, danceable but rocking. I like their old school sound, which remind me of X-ray Spex at times, although the singer's voice alone might account for this. Looking forward to their Amsterdam show december 14th!

Video: Busy Doing Nothing

Love is All - Talk Talk Talk
Love is All - Spinning and Scratching

MySpace | Buy @ Insound

Saturday, December 02, 2006

FTC's Autumn Mixtape: the video's!

According to Mininova, FTC's Autumn Mixtape (or at least the torrent) has been downloaded 455 times already!!! This must be a mistake, but still: pretty awesome! It's also a nice opportunity for a follow up post: FTC's Autumn Mixtape: the video's!

Although not all songs on the mixtape have a video, these are the ones I did manage to find.

3. The Long Blondes - Once And Never Again

4. David & the Citizens - Graycoated Morning

9. Marit Larsen - Only A Fool (live)

10. Matt And Kim - Yea Yeah

13. Pipas - Riff Raff

14. Brakes - Hold Me In The River (live)

17. B.A. Johnston - My Heart Is A Blinking Nintendo (live)

18. Oxford Collapse - Please Visit Your National Parks

Friday, December 01, 2006

Finally Friday Video's Part XII

As promised: this week's featured artist is Pantera. I've put up the video's for Walk and I'm Broken. Brings back memories!


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Camera Obscura vs. Belle & Sebastian

The time for end of the year lists is only a month away and I haven't even discussed two of this years finest indiepop releases. Thus, A tad (and not so fashionably) late, I present to you 'Let's Get Out of This Country' by Camera Obscura and 'The Life Pursuit' by Belle & Sebastian.

There are a lot of similarities; both bands are from Glasgow and their music is easily comparable. Camera Obscura is often described as a lesser Belle & Sebastian, but with their latest album they're truly closing the gap. I can't really say which of these two albums I like best. Both albums are full of (so many) insanely catchy pop songs, which makes me wonder why their succes is still limited to the indie scene in a lot of countries. I've put up 2 video's by each band. Earcandy anyone?

Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm ready to be heartbroken

Camera Obscura - Let's get out of this country

Belle & Sebastian - Funny little frog

Belle & Sebastian - The blues are still blue

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Best Punk Albums according to Kerrang...not me!

Music lists are controversial. Musical taste is subjective and putting bands in order can be tiresome and arbitrary. Influential bands should be included, but influence does not necessarily equal greatness. However, you don't have to read Nick Hornby's 'High Fidelity' (actually you do if you haven't but that's another story) to know that making and discussing lists is fun. Everyone has their own idea about them and they can lead to heated debats!

Kerrang magazine made a pretty bad list of the top 50 punk albums of all time. I copied this list from punknews. I will give you my view on this list below, so you can make your mind up first.

1. Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (1977)
2. Green Day - Dookie (1994)
3. Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980)
4. Nirvana - Nevermind (1991)
5. The Offspring - Smash (1994)
6. Rancid - ...And Out Come the Wolves (1995)
7. Discharge - Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing (1982)
8. The Clash - The Clash (1977)
9. The Damned - Machine Gun Etiquette (1979)
10. Ramones - Ramones (1976)
11. NOFX - Punk in Drublic (1994)
12. Fugazi - Repeater (1990)
13. The Clash - London Calling (1979)
14. Blink-182 - Enema of the State (1999)
15. The Stooges - Fun House (1970)
16. Black Flag - Damaged (1981)
17. Minor Threat - Complete Discography (1989) [Compilation]
18. The Stooges - Raw Power (1973)
19. The Undertones - The Undertones (1979)
20. The Offspring - Americana (1998)
21. Bad Brains - Rock for Light (1983)
22. Buzzcocks - Love Bites (1978)
23. NOFX - So Long and Thanks for All the Shoes (1997)
24. The Ruts - The Crack (1979)
25. Crass - Feeding of the 5000 (1978)
26. The Vandals - Hitler Bad, Vandals Good (1998)
27. Operation Ivy - Energy (1989)
28. Refused - The Shape of Punk To Come (1998)
29. Rocket From the Crypt - Scream Dracula, Scream! (1995)
30. The Exploited - Punks Not Dead (1981)
31. Cro-Mags - Age of Quarrel (1986)
32. Quicksand - Manic Compression (1995)
33. The Descendents - Milo Goes to College (1982)
34. Sublime - Sublime (1996)
35. The Misfits - Static Age [1978] (1997)
36. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Let's Face It (1997)
37. Bad Religion - Suffer (1988)
38. Less Than Jake - Hello Rockview (1998)
39. Dwarves - Are Young and Good Looking (1997)
40. Supersuckers - The Evil Powers of Rock 'N' Roll (1999)
41. Social Distortion - White Light White Heat White Trash (1996)
42. The Get Up Kids - Something to Write Home About (1999)
43. Green Day - Nimrod (1997)
44. Will Haven - El Diablo (1997)
45. Stiff Little Fingers - Inflammable Material (1979)
46. Napalm - Death Scum (1987)
47. A.F.I. - Black Sails in the Sunset (1999)
48. Poison Idea - Feel the Darkness (1990)
49. G.B.H. - Leather, Bristles, Studs and Acne (1981) [EP]
50. Killing Joke - Killing Joke (1980)

Seen the complete list? let me give you a couple of reasons why this list sucks.

#1 There are two Green Day and two albums by the Offspring on it and only one Ramones album. That alone makes this list ridiculous in my opinion.

#2 There is only one Bad Religion and Descendents album on it while two Green Day and two Offspring albums made the list (as you'll notice...I'm having issues with this).

#3 No way that The Offspring's 'Smash' is better than '...and Out Came The Wolves' by Rancid or London Calling by the Clash or ... (enter 90-95% of this list)!!!!

#4 NOFX 'White Trash...' is so much better than the two albums featured on this list.

#5 Blink 182 is on this list and that's not all...they're positioned higher than Bad Religion, the Descendents and Minor Threat.

#6 Where are the following bands: X-Ray Specs, All, Screeching Weasel, Mr. T Experience, Dag Nasty, Lifetime, Husker Du, Minutemen, Lagwagon, Avail...etc.

#7 ...

What your opinion on Kerrangs list?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Get on the tour wagon!

I like to direct your attention to the show list on the left of your screen, because there are a couple of shows coming up that are in need of your attendance. No less than four bands I've talked about in this blog will play a show in the Netherlands in December and January. Next friday, I'm from Barcelona will play in de Helling in Utrecht. I can hear you scream from excitement already although I'm wondering if all 29 band members will be there...

January 25th, melodic hardcore outfit No Trigger will play as a support act of A Wilhelm Scream in Amsterdam. A couple of days later The Fratellis will perform at the same venue (Melkweg), followed by Ben Folds in Paradiso on January 30th.

I'm From Barcelona - Collection of Stamps

No Trigger - Fish Eye Lens

The Fratellis - Henrietta

Ben Folds - Rockin' the Suburbs (awesome video alert! directed by Weird Al Yankovic...definitely not his best song though)

Monday, November 27, 2006


Friday night on my bicycle, on my way home after a job interview I was rocking out to Say Anything's 2004 album 'Is a Real Boy'. This post is not about that album, but if you haven't heard it yet, you better get to it! It has been re-issued this year and on this e-card you can listen to three songs. This band shows that punkrock still can be energetic, exciting and original. Check out the video to ´Alive with the Glory Of love´, which is my favorite.

Anyways, there is this one song on it that made me wanna do this post. It's called 'Admit It' and it's a song with a narrated verse and a sung chorus. As you will notice when listening to it, it's a denounciation of the fake elititists and hipsters in the underground scene, as you´ll find out after these first lines: 'Despite your pseudo-bohemian appearance| And vaguely leftist doctrine of beliefs| You know nothing about art or sex| That you couldn’t read in any trendy New York underground fashion magazine| Prototypical non-conformist| You are a vacuous soldier of the thrift store Gestapo| You adhere to a set of standards and tastes| That appear to be determined by an unseen panel of hipster judges (bullshit)| Ouch! I've put the song up for download here (complete lyrics here).

It got me thinking. There are other narrative songs that are really good. Actually, the three songs that first came to mind are all pretty good to awesome even. Maybe songtelling is a recipe for succes? Check out the three songs that came to my mind first below. Now, I'm curious...can you think of some other ones?

Nada Surf 'Popular'

Eels 'Susan's House'

Suicidal Tendencies 'Institutionalized'

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Show Review: Strike Anywhere, the Loved Ones @ Bibelot

Some observations from last night's show in Dordrecht.

* Going to shows when you're tired is a bad idea.
* Bibelot, located in an old church, is a beautiful venue.
* This was the first time I had to pass a metal detector to enter a show. Luckily I wasn't stabbed to death, like at other venues.
* Churches are made for preaching, not for rocking. Well...there was some preaching. The sound however was really bad, but that's what you can expect with that acoustic.
* Support act The Real Danger was pretty good, solid cover of the Jam's 'In The City'!
* The Loved Ones were ok. They have some really good songs, but their songs really really sound the same. Watch their video for 100k below.
* Pretty lame crowd...
* I've seen Strike Anywhere once or twice before and their show was as energetic as the previous ones. Their sociopolitical hardcorepunk is done well and they show a lot of passion, but I wasn't really feeling it.
* Going to shows when you're tired is a bad idea.
* Don't judge a venue by its appearance.
* ...
* ...
* Actually, this evening wasn't that bad...or good...average

Friday, November 24, 2006

Finally Friday Video's Part XI

Just in time...this week I like to show you an awesome video that I came across this week (expect some Pantera next week, thanx again to B.Y.). The concept is quite brilliant if you ask me: album covers from the history of music battling each other to death! Some might've already seen this, but if you don' know what to do!

I'm still open for suggestions for this weekly post! Email me!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

50th post...time for a mixtape!

Fifty posts already! That's something to celebrate right? Let's just say that I believe this is a great opportunity for a first mixtape (actually mixed cd, but mixtape sounds so much better!) on File Transfer Complete dot Blogspot dot com. Let me introduce you to FTC's Autumn Mixtape 2006! 23 songs by 23 artists, most of which -for one reason or another- haven't been featured on this blog yet but are often listened to at FTC Headquarters.

The tracklist:
1. The Heavenly States - Look and Listen
2. Okkervil River - O, Dana [Big Star cover]
3. The Long Blondes - Once And Never Again
4. David & the Citizens - Graycoated Morning
5. Lucksmiths, The - Young and Dumb
6. None More Black - You Suck! But Your Peanut Butter Is OK
7. The Pipettes - I Like A Boy In Uniform (School Uniform)
8. Barcelona - Teenage Pop Star
9. Marit Larsen - Only A Fool
10. Matt And Kim - Yea Yeah
11. The Nice Boys - Teenage Nights
12. The Hold Steady - You Can Make Him Like You
13. Pipas - Riff Raff
14. Brakes - Hold Me In The River
15. The Cardinal Sin - Rough Road
16. Math And Physics Club - I Know What I Want
17. B.A. Johnston - My Heart Is A Blinking Nintendo
18. Oxford Collapse - Please Visit Your National Parks
19. The Bicycles - Gotta Get Out
20. Cruiserweight - There You Are
21. Irene - Stardust
22. Malajube - Ton Plat Favori
23. Susanna And The Magical Orchestra - Crazy, Crazy Nights (Kiss Cover)

The Artwork:
Free Image Hosting

Free Image Hosting

You can download the mix (including the artwork) in two parts (wind and rain) below...Enjoy!

Update: if you rather download using torrents, you can use this torrent. If you do, please seed, cause my upload speed is teribble.

FTC's Autumn Mixtape Wind side (tracks 1-12 + artwork) [53.94 mb]
FTC's Autumn Mixtape Rain side (track13-23) [43.7 mb]

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Show Review: David and the Citizens @ Rotown

I like going to shows. Most times, these are shows of bands that I already know and like, but last night I decided to check out a band I'd only heard a couple of songs of: David and the Citizens. The songs that I had heard were ok, nothing that special actually: just plain decent indierock. Therefore I didn't have high (if any at all) expectations for this show.

We were a bit late and missed the beginning of the set, but from the first song to the last this band this band was...really good! I was somewhat surprised by it, but these four sympathetic and humble Swedes put on a great show. With conviction they brought their songs with an energy I was missing in the songs I've heard from them before. Their pop/rock songs filled with the occasional trumpet and keyboards won the crowd over easily (imagine a lot of headbopping and dancing...). The singer told how they played the streets of Rotterdam in the afternoon (awesome!), which got them some money and food. From the number of people in Rotown (much more than I'd expected) I believe that also got some people wanting to check them out.

So, if you ever get the chance to see this band...please do! You won't regret it. For now, watch the two video's below! Click here to check out more of their songs.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Way to go Dr. Frank

Remember The Mr. T Experience, one of the finest pop punk bands ever? I've lost touch with them (they still perform occasionally so I've heard), but their 90's records still get played regularly at FTC Headquarters. The band revolved around singer Frank Portman aka Dr. Frank. Let me tell you...this man is a genius in writing simple songs with beautifully funny cynical lyrics like "Nixon had his puppy, Charles Manson had his klan, but god forbid that I get a girlfriend" (from 'Even Hitler had a Girlfriend'). With Brilliant one-liners like 'The future ain't what it used to be', 'Thank you (for not being one of them)', 'Who needs happiness (I rather have you) and 'The weather is here, wish you were beautiful' he could also have pursued a career at Hallmark. Instead Dr, Frank wrote a book, named King Dork! A fresh addition to my 'to read' list...

"Tom Henderson (a.k.a. King Dork, Chi-mo, Hender-fag, and Sheepie) is a typical American high school loser until he discovers the book, The Catcher in the Rye, that will change the world as he knows it. When Tom discovers his deceased father’s copy of the Salinger classic, he finds himself in the middle of several interlocking conspiracies and at least half a dozen mysteries involving dead people, naked people, fake people, ESP, blood, a secret code, guitars, monks, witchcraft, the Bible, girls, the Crusades, a devil head, and rock and roll. And it all looks like it’s just the tip of a very odd iceberg of clues that may very well unravel the puzzle of his father’s death and–oddly–reveal the secret to attracting semihot girls.
Being in a band could possibly be the secret to the girl thing–but good luck finding a drummer who can count to four."

The book has been getting a lot of good reviews and this week I read on that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay have grabbed the rights to the novel. It's not yet clear whether Ferrell will actually play in the movie. All I can say is: way to go Dr. Frank!

(if you're wondering who Will Ferrel here)

Some MTX mp3's:

The Mr T Experience - Even Hitler had a Girlfriend
The Mr T Experience - I Fell For You
The Mr T Experience - She's Coming Over Tonight

Finally Friday Video's Part X

Last week I asked you for your participation in the 'Finally Friday Video' series. Maybe it's the quality that counts and not the quantity, because I got only one recommendation. However Steve Vai's 'The Audience is Listening' is a video I've never seen before and it's a great one too. Thank you Boris Yeltsin ( :] ) for your contribution! This song reminds me a little bit of Van Halen's 'Hot For Teacher'.

Speaking of Steve Vai, I'm afraid I'm not really familiar with his work. I do know he played the guitar in David Lee Roth's solo act. Therefore, I added the video of my favorite song (Yankee Rose) of his 1986 album 'Eat 'em and smile'. In this song Steve Vai literally lets his guitar do the talking and after watching it you'll understand why Van Halen stopped being cool when David Lee Roth left the band. It just doesn't get more over the top than David Lee Roth. I'm sorry that the sound is a little off sync, but I couldn't found a better one...

Wanna share your favorite video with the rest of the world? Leave a comment or e-mail me at

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Illusionist...and other (potentially) interesting movies

Most monday evenings, you can find me at the sneak preview in Leiden. The reason I rarely talk about the movies I've seen there in this blog is because most of them aren't really worthwhile. It doesn't happen very often that you see a movie you actually like, but it's always nice to hang out with friends discussing the weekend and making up stories about the lives of other people in the cinema. After last weeks dreadful movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (I read this on the internet, which sums up the movie best: "When the Dawn of the Dead remake features a better chainsaw kill than your film with the words "chainsaw" and "massacre" in the title you know you've made a stinker") it was definitely time for something more interesting, more entertaining, thought short: something better!

...and for once the cinema's manager Leo Lek (you gotta love his name) did not dissappoint. He played The Illusionist, a romantic drama/mystery with Edward Norton, Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti. The story's got a bit of a fairytale kind of feel to it. Though the romantic subplot is a little cheesy at times, it's a good story as a whole. It's the kind of movie that helps you escape the real world for an hour and a half. Now, when I'm watching a movie I'm not really paying attention to the acting. I mean, I notice when the acting sucks and that can be really annoying, but I rarely say that I'm blown away by an actor's performance...until I saw Giamatti's performance in this movie. Already nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in Cinderella Man, he really deserves one for this one. The depth he gives his role is a pleasure to watch. For his performance only. you won't regret seeing this movie!

Speaking of movies. I came across two movies that could be really interesting, especially if you're fascinated with American culture, like me.

The first one is Jesus Camp: "directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (The Boys of Baraka), it follows Levi, Rachael, and Tory to Pastor Becky Fischer's "Kids on Fire" summer camp in Devil's Lake, North Dakota, where kids as young as 6 years-old are taught to become dedicated Christian soldiers in "God's army." The film follows these children at camp as they hone their "prophetic gifts" and are schooled in how to "take back America for Christ." The film is a first-ever look into an intense training ground that recruits born-again Christian children to become an active part of America's political future". With a synopsis like that my interest is definitely triggered. Watch the trailer below.

The second one is Fast Food Nation. The book was on my to read list, but I never got to it. Let's see how this one turns out. Again, watch the trailer below.

"When it was published in 2001, Fast Food Nation quickly became a New York T
imes bestseller, with its no-holds-barred, non-fiction exploration of "the dark side of the All-American meal." The big screen version FAST FOOD NATION is a dramatic feature penned by Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser and Oscar nominee Richard Linklater, who also serves as director. Explains Linklater: "The movie is not a documentary, but a character study of the lives behind the facts and figures. I'm more interested in fiction than non-fiction. You get to the point through human storytelling."