Monday, July 17, 2006

Music to Be Covered in Sweat By

>> Featured Artist: Petra Haden

Thank god for National Public Radio. Mister Toaster was just a-drivin' down the street one Sunday morning last fall mindlessly scanning the radio when he was drawn to whatever it was that "All Songs Considered" was playing. Later, historians would discover that the song was "Satellite," an Elliott Smith cover performed by Haden and Bill Frisell.

But the story that day wasn't on sad, pretty Elliott Smith covers. It was about selling out. The Who's selling out, that is. And Petra Haden's dedicated, faithful covering of the entire album. Front to back, guitar solo to drum solo, screech to whine - it's all there. And, what's more, it was all created by Haden's voice. "Wait," you're saying to the screen, "you're telling me that that girl from That Dog is making all of that sound?"

Yes. We are.

Now Ms. Haden seems to be everywhere. From recording and touring with the Toaster-beloved and Capitol-signed Decemberists to releasing to free MP3s on her official site, she's become a hero of ours. It gives folks like us, who walk down the hall humming the bass lines from our favorite songs, reason to dream.

Listen to her recreation of MJ's "Thriller." It's all there, even that creepy laughing at the end, which is still - after all these years - so very hokey.

>> Album Lookout: Get Lonely, pt. 1

The Mountain Goats - Due Out: August 22, 2006 4ad

John Darnielle, many have said, is the indie scene's greatest songwriter. We'll one-up those pundits: John Darnielle is the only songwriter out there today whom we would follow to the ends of the earth.

His lyrics are always sharp; his melodies stick. His live shows are not just top-notch, they're never top-dollar.

And he delivers. So it with eager pride that we present to you, Woke Up New, the first leaked Mp3 from the Goats' upcoming LP.

We can't promise not to keep posting about this one...

>> Reverting to: 1971

No one has ever asked us what we'd say to Cat Stevens/Yusef Islam if we had the chance. Still, as the music zealots we are, we have been pondering...Oh, we know: Hey. Cat. Drop the Yusef bullshit and let's go on a goddamn reunion tour already. Journey is doing it. "

Mister Toaster bashfully admits he watched the brilliant "Harold and Maude" for the first time this weekend, and so we're here to post some Cat. These two tracks - "Don't Be Shy" and "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out" from the non-existent soundtrack were written for the film and not publicly released until they found their way onto a greatest hits album.

Of course, they're wonderful. Even "Sing Out," which we had pegged as hippie crap for years has come to take on a new life. But "Don't Be Shy," which greets the audience in the film's opening sequence, as Harold fakes his own suicide for fun. Needless to say, instant classic!

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