The Walrus is a Philadelphia-based music blog written by Michael. You may send me stuff through the send a tip page or email me. All mp3s should be sent as links. NO ATTACHMENTS, PLEASE. If I like your music, chances are I will write about it.
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Surf City are probably my favorite band at the moment. Their debut EP, which made the #3 spot on The Walrus’ Top 20 Albums of 08, is a perfect blend of Flying Nun Lo-Fi and new power-pop, not to mention incredibly fun to sing-along to. Their videos are just as fun, as is the case with the video for “Dickshakers Union” which features a giant teddy bear on a pogo-stick:
If you dig this then you should definitely pick up the Surf City EP now on Morr.
I can always count on Philly’s electro/hip-hop foursome GANG to surprise and delight and this holiday season is no exception. The group has recorded their take on the ol’ Christmas classic “Little Drummer Boy”. I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say that Santa Klaus would’ve been proud!
I have written about Sweden’s folksy First Aid Kit before and they continue to impress me with their unbelievable vocal harmonies. For the holiday, the sisters Soderberg have recorded a stunning fireside version of the classic, somber tune “Blue Christmas”. That being said, listening to their voices I don’t know how anyone could be sad:
First Aid Kit’s debut EP Drunken Trees is available for download now at Klicktrack. Highly recommended!
Nearly 10 years ago, Minnesota “slowcore” band Low created a divine Christmas EP that has now become a holiday classic. Thankfully they have revisited holiday songwriting this year releasing a 7″ on SubPop entitled “Santa’s Coming Over b/w Coming of Jah”. The A-side is the classic, intense Low sound with a dash of creepy. Yep, kiddies Santa is coming for you!
Taken from his newly release album Holiday, Alaska in Winter, aka Brandon Bethancourt aka Zach Condan of Beirut’s good buddy, “Berlin” is a synthesized wet-dream of a pop song. A little bit of Justice here, a little bit of Daft Punk there, mix in some other obscure German robot-shmutz and you got yourself a tasty electro-snow-cone…Buuuurrrlin!
Stream the track below and download it from Amazon.
Chateau Marmont’s remix of HEARTSREVOLUTION’s new single “Ultraviolence” is a super-moody synth-fest drowning out most of lead singer Lo’s vocal moans. It’s sedated, delusional feel makes for a perfect end-of-the-night anthem.
The single “Ultraviolence” is available now feom Kitsune.
Legendary experimental composer and all-around genius Brian Eno will be scoring Peter Jackson’s (Lord of the Rings) upcoming adaptation of Alice Sebold’s novel The Lovely Bones. I have yet to read the book, but Amazon describes it as such:
On her way home from school on a snowy December day in 1973, 14-year-old Susie Salmon (”like the fish”) is lured into a makeshift underground den in a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer–the man she knew as her neighbor, Mr. Harvey.
Alice Sebold’s haunting and heartbreaking debut novel, The Lovely Bones, unfolds from heaven, where “life is a perpetual yesterday” and where Susie narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case. As Sebold fashions it, everyone has his or her own version of heaven. Susie’s resembles the athletic fields and landscape of a suburban high school: a heaven of her “simplest dreams,” where “there were no teachers…. We never had to go inside except for art class…. The boys did not pinch our backsides or tell us we smelled; our textbooks were Seventeen and Glamour and Vogue.”
This sounds like it could have a very surreal vibe, perhaps reminiscent of one Jackson’s earlier films Heavenly Creatures (watch the trailer). I am sure Eno will do an outstanding job.
The video for Bloc Party’s “One Month Off”, taken from their recently released album Intimacy, is a Hansel and Gretel re-telling with a much more violent spin. Hand-grenades, tanks and fire-bombs make the old-school animation style even creepier than it already is. “Grimm” indeed:
If I had it my way the debut album from Fever Ray, the alter ego of The Knife singer Karin Dreijer Andersson, would be out today. Unfortunately I cannot always have my way (wahhh!) and, along with the rest of you, I have to be patient. Thankfully we have the first spooky single to tide us over for now. It’s far more satisfying than the instrumental edit we were so cruelly teased with a few months back, but still not enough! Ugh release this album now!
Stream the single below and then buy it on Amazon. (It’s only 99 cents, so you have no excuse!)
Fever Ray’s full-length will be released on March 18th by Rabid Records in Sweden, March 23rd in the UK and March 24th through Mute in the US.
I am not crazy about Metallica’s newer music, but this video for “All Nightmare Long” from the recently released Death Magnetic has a great Grindhouse meets Pink Floyd’s The Wall meets 70’s high school film strip.
Directed by Roboshobo it clocks in at almost 9 minutes and features Soviet scientists, zombies and tons of other awesome shit!
Peter, Bjorn and John will be back this year with their follow-up to the album that everyone looved to whistle to, Writer’s Block. This new song which some are calling “Hey (STFU Boy)” or “Take Your Hands Off That Girl” doesn’t officially have a title, but it does have a more challenging and more bullish attitude than previous songs.
PBJ’s previous albums are available now on Amazon.
This past Saturday Baltimore’s Beach House opened for The Walkmen at Philly’s Theater of the Living Arts. I was unable to attend, but The Walrus’ good bud Laura Nunzi did make it out to the gig. She captured some awesome photos and relayed these comments…