Monday, October 12, 2009

Music for Monday... Just Because

It's no fun running a music blog if I can't make random lists of music I love from time to time. In high school, I was the annoying friend who always thrust her mixed tapes into friends' car stereos and took over the boom box at parties. Music has always been a bridge to new acquaintances, and so, faceless new friends of mine, I present you with some random tracks to brighten your work week.

1. Port O'Brien: Threadbare (released October 6)

Percussive banjo, group chants, and Bon Iver-lite vocals abound. The two founding members of this band, Van Pierszalowski and Cambria Goodwin, wrote music together in Alaska while working, respectively, as a commercial salmon fisherman and a baker. This is their second studio album.

"My Will Is Good" by Port O'Brien

"Sour Milk/Salt Water" by Port O'Brien

2. Fanfarlo: Reservoir (released June 1)

If you like Beirut, you'll probably appreciate Fanfarlo.

"I'm a Pilot" by Fanfarlo

"Ghosts" by Fanfarlo

"The Walls Are Coming Down" by Fanfarlo

Fanfarlo playing "Luna" in what looks like someone's backyard. Don't look now: is that a melodica?!

3. Deer Tick: Born on Flag Day (released June 23)

I don't love Deer Tick. (I especially hate the blood-sucking kind, but that's a story for another post: "Songs to Repel Tick Hordes.") What I do love is this Deer Tick song with Liz Isenberg: it balances the band's whiskey-throated growl with her girlish voice.

"Friday XIII" by Deer Tick

(Deer Tick with Liz Isenberg)

4. The Most Serene Republic: ...And the Ever Expanding Universe (released July 14)

Serenity now! The Most Serene Republic is a Canadian collective featuring woodwinds, brass, strings, synths, piano, name it. The songs on their album shimmer and glitter and swirl like snow.

"Phi" by The Most Serene Republic

"Catharsis Boo" by The Most Serene Republic

"Heavens to Purgatory" by The Most Serene Republic

5. Patrick Watson: Wooden Arms (released May 5)

This reminds me somewhat of Andrew Bird—lots of plucky instrumentation combined with a soft voice, but Watson also sounds like a mushy version of Antony and the Johnsons.

"Big Bird in a Small Cage" by Patrick Watson

"Beijing" by Patrick Watson

Creepy and atmospheric? Why, yes. Watch Patrick sing "Wooden Arms" from the side of his mouth while a band member bows a saw for an oh-so-theremin-like sound.

And there you have it: five artists—one for each day of this October week. Enjoy!


  1. Re: Port O'Brien

    This record hasn't grabbed me yet. Someone's traded in his early 90's grunge and for some 1970's AM gold.

  2. "Wooden Arms" - Very, very weird but interesting! "Big Bird in a Small Cage" - much more mellow.