New music from Cold War Kids, Lupe Fiasco, The Temper Trap and more…

21 01 2010

Looking for a few new jams to tickle your musical taste buds?  Check out a few singles that I’ve been diggin’ lately.  No better birthday present than good music (that’s right, RockAngel is 28 today!)

Cold War Kids – Audience…If you’re a fan of Cold War Kids, this is sure to please.  Pretty catchy…they have that Indie vibe beatin’ hard in this one…

Next up…Lupe Fiasco with Solar Midnite from the Twilight New Moon soundtrack.  This hip-hop star brings his talents to a rock beat and he kills it!

If you haven’t heard yet, Paper Tongues are making quite the splash and their song “Trinity” is one of those that just sounds like an instant classic.  Haven’t quite figured out their sound from their singles so far but this is one of those songs I could hear again and again and never get sick of…

Ready to get real indie-electro?  “I go I go I go” by the Wave Machines takes a minute to get to the chorus, but once it does, I love it.  Don’t be put off by the beginning, make it to the end and it gets pretty catchy…

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard “Sweet Disposition” by the Temper Trap (500 days of Summer and all the drama shows on ABC) but their song “Fader” is what’s been rocking my world lately.  I just can’t help but to smile and get pumped up when I hear this…another instant classic in my mind…

And to be sure not to let their treadmill video define them, Ok Go makes another visually stimulating video.  Warning-it might make you feel like you are on drugs…(and btw, the song is pretty kick ass too)


RockAngel’s Radar brings you…The Temper Trap’s latest “Conditions”

3 11 2009

Heard of a little band called Phoenix lately? Even if it doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve definitely heard the song 1901 in a car commercial, a TV show, or just turning on the radio. Well that band is great…and now commercially popular obviously. But that’s old news, and now I’m on to the next big thing that Glassnote Records is bringing to the masses, and that’s The Temper Trap.

Hailing from Australia, The Temper Trap has already caught the ears of BBC’s Radio 1 and countless SXSW critics and bloggers, and now it’s time that The Rock and Roll Report gets a taste of their newest album Conditions. These emotion driven melodies can transport you to an inner reflection and still manage to keep your toes tapping. You may not know it yet, but these guys are the soundtrack to your future.

There’s not a detail missed in these meticulously crafted tracks from the heart pounding “Sweet Disposition” (recently featured in Indie film “500 Days of Summer”) to the anthem-like “Fader” and the electronic-experimentation “Science of Fear”. “Drum Song” really showcases how the percussion of this band keeps you on your toes, and acts as the epitome of their instrumental capabilities (I’m not even usually an instrumental fan).

Every time I listen to this album, I hear something new, and fall in love over and over again. Not since the Killers “Hot Fuss” album have I heard something so refreshing yet so instantly classic. If you can catch these guys at a small venue, do it now, because if they stay on this creative track, they’re gonna be up in the ranks with bands like Radiohead. This band deserves everything that comes their way and I truly believe this is one of the best albums of the year by far.

The Temper Trap Official Website

The Temper Trap Myspace

Conditions on Lala

New Music Tuesday – 06.02.09 – Dave Matthews, The Sounds, 311, Taking Back Sunday…all these album releases in one day, am I in heaven?ban

2 06 2009

If you know me, you should know that my favorite weekday is New Music Tuesday.  However, some are definitely better than others, and this week, the list of albums dropping makes me salivate (it was either the music or the delicious mango I just ate, maybe a mixture of both).

Dave Matthews New AlbumFirst off, we have the one and only Dave Matthews with Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King.  Whether you like him, or hate him, you can’t deny that he has become a permanent fixture in musical history, and hopefully one that’s due for a comeback.  I’m not going to lie, if he played music from his few albums, I would know a total of 1 song (I thought the collabo with Jurassic 5 was pretty cool).  I will always agree he is one of the best live acts out there because the energy at his show is only understood through the music (which is why his live albums have always been so much more popular), but I haven’t gone to his show in a few years because the new stuff just hasn’t had the same impact on me as his older stuff.

So what does the new album have to offer?  Is this the album that wins back his older fans?  I don’t think you can judge an album after just one listen, but I can say, it’s definitely worth listening to a few more times, and maybe many more.  I’ve definitely gotten chills a few times and I think he goes back to a more organic sound, but there is still a sense of wanting to move forward and not just produce what’s already been done.  One thing I can say, is he is still an amazing writer and creates some of the most unique melodies.  Take a listen for yourself with a free streaming preview of Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King from Lala below and let me know what you think.

Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King – Free album streaming

The Sounds Crossing The RubiconNext on my listening list…The Sounds.  You may not have heard of them before they opened for No Doubt this year on tour, but this band has been a fierce Swedish force since 1999.  They’re definitely a 180 from DMB with the electro-pop synth and new wave sound and their latest album Crossing The Rubicon doesn’t stray much from what we’ve come to know of them.  For some reason I never expect much from The Sounds, even though I have loved their music consistently since I first heard them.  Maybe the lack of expectation gives me a better appreciation for each album, but either way, I’m really digging Crossing The Rubicon so far.  It’s nothing that’s going to change your world, but it might just add a little extra flavor to your days.  The energy is totally upbeat and fun and their first single “Nobody Sleeps When I’m Awake” really doesn’t do the album justice.  The final verdict?  Can’t be sure, but I know it makes me smile, I’ll let you hear for yourself…listen to Crossing The Rubicon for free from Lala below:

The Sounds – Crossing The Rubicon – Free album streaming

311 Uplifter“My longtime friend”…311, oh how I’ve missed you. But if you’re like me, you probably think they’ve gotten a little soft in their progression since Music in ’01.  For the most part, I found Uplifter to be pretty mellow and their first single “Hey You” is a pretty good indicator of what the rest of the album is about.  There are a few songs that remind me of the good ol’ 311, like “Jackpot” and “India Ink”, but I don’t think I’ll be listening to the rest of the album again.  It does live up to its name, as I found the album to be very uplifting, but I was also pretty bored.  Listen to the album and judge for yourself though:

311 – Uplifter – Free album streaming

Taking Back Sunday New AgainAfter a very relaxing afternoon with 311, I’m pretty happy that Taking Back Sunday was here to rock me into the evening with their release of New Again.  My first take on the album is that it pretty solidly rocks, in standard Taking Back Sunday fashion.  It’s definitely one that needs a few more good listens to really judge, but so far, my favorites are “Carpathia” and the title track “New Again”.  Ready to do some rocking out?  Check it out:

Taking Back Sunday – New Again – Free album streaming

Also, don’t forget to check out Rancid’s new one Let the Dominoes Fall or Blood:Franz Ferdinand.  I didn’t have time to check them out today, but they are definitely in my queue.  Also, Patrick Wolf is flying under the radar with The Bachelor but it could turn out to be a real hidden gem if it’s anything like his older stuff (very indie, very unique).

And that concludes one of the best NMT’s in RockAngel history…some surprises, some let-downs, but overall, I have a few new albums, and a full queue of songs left, and have completely overindulged in music today so I am one happy little RockAngel.

Until next time…keep rockin’…

RockAngel’s Weekly Radar recommends The Working Title

15 05 2009

The Weekly Radar is here to bring you the artists, albums and songs that might not be on your musical radar, but should be. This week, I’d like to introduce you to Joel Hamilton—the mastermind behind The Working Title.

The new album Bone Island just came out on the 12th and is nothing short of a musical masterpiece. However, The Working Title has been releasing consistently well-crafted albums since 2003 and has since matured like a fine wine. Since their initial EP in 2003, the band has dwindled down to the bare bones of only Joel Hamilton and the producing genius known as Jake Sinclair with mixing done by Claudius Mittendorfer (Mars Volta, Muse, Maroon 5, Brand New). As the layers of the band peeled away, Joel really found his voice and the new album finds its way into contention for my vote of one of the best albums of the year so far.



The Working Title’s
previous albums are good; they vary between songs that sound like the Fray to Radiohead and even Bright Eyes. Every album is a great listen, but Bone Island has pushed them into a whole new arena. They still have a similar sound, but breakthrough to the realm of Musical Genius on songs like “Wolf” (my fav) and will become Indie Gods with songs like “Arms and Thighs” and “Dead Inside”. Bone Island manages to be original enough to please the Indie rockers, but catchy enough to not annoy the rest of us..which is an unusually hard balance to achieve. Even the slow songs have a movement and progression that you want to listen to over and over, because it just goes down smoother with every shot.

This isn’t an album you have to blast loud to enjoy (though I would recommend it), and it’s not an album you have to be on illegal drugs to see the beauty in…it’s more like a sampler platter, filled with lots of raw emotion, poetic lyrics, and some damn good producing. Joel tries a little of this, a little of that, and ends up with something completely original, and absolutely delicious.

Until next time…keep rockin’…

The Working Title Myspace

Bone Island full album preview

Older albums by The Working Title

2009 – First New Music Recommendations of the Year

16 01 2009

Simon Wilcox – The Charm and the Strange

Simon Wilcox - The Charm and the StrangeDon’t let the name fool you, this is one badass chick…This one’s thanks to Pandora…”Awful Badly” came up on my station and immediately I was struck. She lures you in with her soft seductive voice and there’s no turning back from there.  I was expecting that this was probably the one song on the album that would rock me, and the rest would probably be a bore, as many female songwriter’s albums are.  To my surprise, the rest of the album is just as good and not for a second was I bored…on the contrary, I was quite intrigued, and totally addicted.  Throughout the album, instead of getting sappy, she gets super sassy.  If this was 2007, this would be one of my top 10 for sure.

Check out the album here

The Charms – Pussycat

The Charms - PussycatSpeaking of chicks that rock…If you love female vocalists, but prefer them to rock out and sound a little more raunchy, The Charms are sure to satisfy your craving.  This is not pansy chick rock, but it is a hell of a good time.  If you like bands like Morningwood, you’ll like The Charms.   I really like all the tracks on this album, but “Losing My Addiction” is a standout for sure.  This is not something to throw on as background music…it’s best when served loud where there’s ample room for dancing around the room in your underwear with an air guitar (think Heidi Klum’s guitar hero commercial)..I mean, if you do that kind of thing (and who doesn’t?)

Check out the album here

Matt Costa – Unfamiliar Faces

Matt Costa - Unfamiliar FacesJack Johnson finds another golden jewel…Matt Costa’s been around for awhile now, but I just recently rediscovered his 2007 album.  I liked him before, but since his last album, I think he’s become less folky and took a few more chances making “Unfamiliar Faces” much more fun.  The lead track “Mr. Pitiful” is just one of those catchy singer/songwriter songs perfect for driving to work in the morning.  It has a catchy uptempo beat that just makes you want to smile.  Some of the songs are a little slow for my liking, but the ones that are good, are really good, like “Trying to Lose my Mind”.  This is a pretty laid back album that would be great for chillin’ out on the beach…or maybe even making out.  And who doesn’t need a good makeout CD?

Check out the album here

Koufax – Strugglers

Koufax - StrugglersLike you couldn’t see this coming…Appearing on my top 10 list out of the blue, I have to make sure every indie hipster I know listens to this.  The first verse of the first song “Any Moment Now” hits you with a sax and never lets go.  Their sound is somewhere between Cold War Kids and Spoon, with a splash of Margot.  If you’re tired of all of the bore-you-to-death digital crap that’s being passed off as “Indie” right now, check out Koufax for a breath of fresh air.  This CD is awesome from beginning to end.  If they don’t hit the scene hard and soon, I’m going to start doubting the musical tastes of everyone in life.  Yes, I think it’s that good.  Oh, and stay posted…interview with them coming soon to…because yes, I am that good.

Check out the album here

Company of Thieves – Ordinary Riches

company of ThievesAnother intoxicating female voice…What do you get when you take a voice like Feist/Tristan Prettyman, add a little rock, a little blues, and a little jazz?  You get a delectable little treat known as Company of Thieves.  “Past the Sleep” and “Around the Block” are two of my faves on here, but this album goes down smooth like a nice glass of Scotch…or for those of us who find Scotch disgusting, it’s like a well aged glass of Syrah.  Yeah, I’m getting a little soft on this one, but everyone needs to be serenaded once in awhile, ya know?  If you like Tristan Prettyman’s latest, you’ll like this for sure (and if you don’t, she doesn’t like you either).  Perfect relaxation music after a long stressful day.

Check out the album here

And that’ll do it!  Happy listening, and…keep rockin’…

Best Albums of 2008…RockAngel Style

12 01 2009

Yes…we are 12 days into 2009, but I wanted to give the music of 2008 all the credit it deserved…meaning I had a top 9 list forever and couldn’t find any CD deserving of being in my top albums of the year…until now.   I know there’s no such thing as “the best album”…music is subjective…but I judge based on two things.

1-How much I want to listen to them.
2-  The level of skill, talent and creativity…but note this-creativity that you don’t want to listen to is wasted in my mind.

So here they are…my favorite albums of 2008…(if you click the albums, you can listen to them for free)

10: Girl Talk Feed the Animals
This is probably the most random appearance on my list, but I can’t get enough of this CD.  I’ve never heard mashups that are so original and flow so well.  While I’m not a huge fan of vulgar rap, the way it’s used here actually makes it bearable to listen to. If you’re looking for something to get the party started…or keep the party going…check out this CD…before this guy gets sued for stealing everyone’s music…and doing it so well.

9.  Counting Crows Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings
I know I’ll lose any indie or rock cred I have for this pick, but this was a great CD…well written, well executed, and it makes you want to party and cry all at the same time..which I wouldn’t suggest doing, because you don’t want to be that girl (or guy).  The point is, there’s a lot of emotion in this album and you can tell they took their time to make it right.

8.  Eric Hutchinson Sounds Like This
This was a pleasant unexpected surprise this year.  This guy’s opening for O.A.R., and his single “Rock & Roll” is hittin’ the airwaves everywhere, but who knew this guy could write such a rockin’ blues inspired record?

7.  The Raconteurs Consolers of the Lonely
My old roommate burned me a copy of their last album and I couldn’t even listen to it all, because I just didn’t care for it that much.  Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t take the new CD out of my car for weeks.  Jack White and the rest of the band really nailed it on this one.

6.  Koufax Strugglers
I know what you’re thinking…”who??But every top 10 list needs the random indie band that no one’s heard of (some have more than others).  I’ve combed multiple top ten lists and listened to tons of random indie crap that people thought was the best of the year, and I still couldn’t fill in the missing place of my top 10.  iTunes Genius sidebar actually turned out to be pretty awesome on this one…Koufax came out of nowhere and just blew me away. I knew I’d love this CD after the first 3 notes of the first song.  I’d describe Koufax as being somewhere between Spoon and Cold War Kids with a splash of Margot & TNS&S thrown in for good measure…give it a try, it’s some delicious indie goodness for your ears.

5.  TV on the Radio Dear Science
If Rolling Stone got one thing right this year, it was putting this album at the top of their list.  While it wasn’t my top favorite, there’s no denying the creativity on this album is pretty f’ing awesome.

4.  Michael Franti & Spearhead All Rebel Rockers
I saw these guys at Street Scene and was an immediate fan.  When I saw they had a new album on someone else’s top ten, I got as giddy as a 10 year old girl.  Once I heard this, I knew it was something that my ears have been missing for awhile.  If you’re a fan of Ben Harper, and you haven’t heard this guy, you’re gonna love him.  This music is fun, and still full of great messages and a lot of heart.

3.  People in Planes Beyond the Horizon
If you want to rock, but found this year a little disappointing, People in Planes are sure to fill in that gap.  Every time I hear this I want to jump around my car like some chick from an 80’s Motley Crue video…which is almost as entertaining as this CD.

2.  Santogold Santogold
This CD was amazing and anyone who’s been in my car in the last year has heard it, over and over.  Perfect CD for the summer especially, and something truly unique, but still catchy as hell.  If you haven’t heard this…wtf are you waiting for?

1.  Kings of Leon Only by the Night
It should be illegal to listen to this CD as much as I have.  You’d think I’d get sick of it, but every time I hear it, I just love it more.  Kings of Leon really got it this time.  There aren’t words to describe how amazing every song is on this album is…it truly is a musical orgasm…and the best one of the year…

Let’s Ride It…My Pony, Sorry Daniel Wesley Band, Far beat you to it

9 12 2008

It was only a matter of time before a good rock band came along and remade Ginuwine’s “My Pony”. Well, after a surprisingly good act at 710 Beach Club in San Diego, I came home with a CD from Daniel Wesley Band with just that. It wasn’t the song exactly, but they covered the good parts, and filled in the rest with some musical sexiness.

So imagine my surprise when I turn on the radio and hear another cover of that song…but not by the little Indie Canadian band that I love, by another old highly influential band–Far. I’m not going to argue with their influence on the music world, but I was a little sad that they had to come back with this song, and steal any glory I think DWB could have had from its popularity. Far deserves the attention, but at this point, I think they could have covered Brittany Spears and people would love it because they are just so happy to have them back in the music scene.

Far’s version is good, I suppose….although I’m quite biased due to my original obsession with Daniel Wesley Band. Here are both of them for you, what do you think?

If you like Daniel Wesley’s version, check out the rest of their tracks below. I’m thinking these guys would be a huge hit in the San Diego music scene.