Song of the Day: “Baby Missiles” by The War on Drugs

Slave Ambient, by the War on Drugs, was another recent emusic download that took only a couple listens to win me over.

The overall sound of the album is fresh but familiar. The instrumentals are a mix of propulsive rhythms, interesting background synths, and multiple guitars that are layered, sweep-filtered, and perfectly jangle-y. But even with a good amount of experimental, psychedelic haziness, their music is all based in a well-known melodic framework reminiscent of artists like Bruce Springsteen, Arcade Fire and even U2. But it’s probably frontman Adam Granduciel’s vocals that really provide the familiar sonic pallete. It’s almost like someone took a little bit of Dylan, Springsteen, Petty and Westerberg and wrapped them all up into a younger, mellower vocal doppelganger.

“Baby Missiles’ is a great cut, but it’s only one of many standout tracks. In fact, I can’t really just choose one “song of the day” for this, so we’re going to include a couple more: Continue Reading…

Live Music in NYC: This Week’s Concert Calendar – August 16-22

Yellow Ostrich @ Antone's, SXSW, 3.18.11

I just posted my NYC concert recs for the week over at Live Music Blog. Lots of cool, intimate shows going on this week and plenty of bands I’ve flagged in my Song of the Day posts (including Yellow Ostrich and Deerhunter).

Check it: Live Music in NYC: This Week’s Concert Calendar – August 16-22

Two Summertime “Bliss” Mixes

Phish @ Susquehanna, Camden, NJ, 6.10.11

I caught up with my buddy Burke recently and he made a point to say how much he liked my live improv mixes, even though I don’t think he really considers himself a big live music/improv guy. In honor of summer, I recently put together two different all-improv, all-instrumental mixes around a “summer bliss” theme. I’m pretty darn happy with the final products, so I thought I should probably flag the new material on my site before the summer’s over!

Check ‘em out:

#1
Podcast #069: Bisco Bliss Mix:

Live Music Blog Podcast #069 – Bisco Bliss Mix by whitperson

#2
Podcast #70: Phish Summer Bliss Mix:

Podcast #070 – Phish Summer 2011 Bliss Mix by livemusicblog

By the way, I typically post most of my mixes over on Live Music Blog to add to our ongoing podcast series (which you can subscribe to via iTunes if you’re so inclined).

Song of the Day: El Ten Eleven – “My Only Swerving”

I came across El Ten Eleven on the eMu site yesterday and really dug their sound.

Check it out:

These guys put together a nice mellow style of instrumental music using drums, double-neck bass/guitar, a loop pedal and lots of effects. In that way, their music is actually somewhat similar to some of the mellow, lullaby-esque sounds I’ve been laying down on my loop pedal lately (though mine aren’t nearly as good and don’t include drums, double-neck guitar or nearly as many toys).

Side note: I like to think that if my blogging buddy Justin and I ever started a band, we’d probably play something like this.

Song of the Day: The Grateful Dead – “Second That Emotion” (Smokey Robinson cover)

I thought I’d do a short post in honor of Jerry Garcia’s b-day anniversary today, with a short but sweet clip of the Grateful Dead’s cover of Smokey Robinson’s “Second That Emotion.”

This track was on the first full live recording I ever heard by the band, which was on a crappy old cassette tape given to me by a random acquaintance in high school. It’s a great example of the sound that initially grabbed my attention. I think the fact that they covered a familiar Smoky Robinson tune probably allowed me to dig in a bit further, but it was the guitar solo from this take that really caught my ears. It’s a short, melodic, note-perfect instrumental rendition of what Jerry thought Smokey was trying to do with his vocals on the original tune. It perfectly captures that happy, major chord vibe that helped the Grateful Dead stand out to me among a sea of blues-heavy rockers that were gradually going down a darker road (which I also loved).

To this day, I never get sick of hearing this one: