R.I.P. Dreaming Wide Awake (the ecotone)

It's been a good run for the kids here at the ecotone - and whilst every now and then you may get an update or two from myself or daniel - we are for the most part posting at our respective places these days. it was an amicable split by all accounts - and every now and then you'll see us sharing a dinner or a tender moment. in the meantime, engage in the cold reality of choosing sides. haha. find us at our respective areas:

Fone Culture

The Little Engine

much love.

LE June 07


New Mix For November....

For those parties interested. Check out a a new mix over at the little engine blog.

It was meant for november. another mix will be going up shortly.


dr thunder


Fall 2006

So it's here. I took a time out. I finished the Fall Mix for you all. I hope that you enjoy it. The process is simple - I try to focus on new music - but more importantly music that I love. I decided to do a cross-blog post as well - introduce some readers to different blogs.
So this is going up on the blog that I write on with my co-consipirator, Daniel, at Dreaming Wide Awake. Daniel plays in Judah Johnson - if you don't know them - head over to their myspace and listen to some music. While you are there - catch up on the band's blog - it's really quite good, Noah, Rodrigo, Charlie and Daniel all hold it down.
It's also going up on Tape Club - a blog of many friends - Twitchy, Grumblemouse, Nix, F-14, all the kids, from all over. Shout outs.
Lastly, but not leastly, it's going up on the Little Engine blog. All are invited. All are welcome. Stop by, but please remove your shoes at the door. And please, wear a thoughtful hat.

I hope you all are well - enjoy the mix - up for right now as a yousendit link - if you miss out - drop me a line at maxwellgosling@gmail.com // / / // / /


King Straggler // Drunk Again Waltz
DJ Shadow // This Time (I'm Gonna Try It My Way)
Rodrigo Y Gabriela // Tamacun
Citizen Cope // Awe
Devotchka // The Last Beat of My Heart
John Cale // Paris 1919
Junip // Black Refuge
Ray LaMontagne // Barfly
Marit Bergman // My Love
The Whitest Boy Alive // Don't Give Up
The Roots // Long Time (Ft Peedi Peedi & Bunny Sigler)
Murs // L.A.
The Presets // Girl and the Sea
Home Video // Sleep Sweet
The Rapture // Get Myself Into It
James Figurine // Apologies
The Blow // Pile of Gold
Van She // Kelly (Cut Copy Mix)

Happy Fall!


I bring gifts

Music. There's a lot to love lately. These have won my heart's prize:

Midlake – Rosco: Civil war vets reincarnated as indie rock band from Dallas. It's totally creepy, their displacement, but not a put-on.

The Roots – Baby: The roots have now blown my mind too many times. It's time I admitted that they are the best game in town - the new band I want to be. I thought that 'Crazy' by Gnarls Barkley was the best song of the year, until I heard this. I love how lazy the lead vocal is, not bothering to enunciate the last syllable of his sentences.

The Knife – Marble House: This song unfolds at a languid clip, but there is no excess. It takes exactly that long to sound immaculate. The singing skirts the limits of how much yodel overtones I can accept in a singer. She reminds me of the Cranberries' singer. Which is an uncool comparison and why Rod tried to redeem her by comparing her instead to Siouxie Sioux. Sorry Rod, she doesn't really sound like Siouxie Sioux, but there was no need to fret. This song is full of goodness.

Justin Timberlake – I Think She Knows
: This record has several really long tracks, which are comprised of a proper song and an interlude. This is just one of the interludes, which I chopped off in protools, but it's actually the highlight of the album for me. Justin T is just cool. He's got it. I like his singing. His beatboxing. His haircut. I have a crush.

Madonna - Get Together: I love the production on this. It sounds so much like Royksopp. I wish she made more tracks this good.

Husky Rescue – Hurricane (Don't Come Knocking): I know a secret. I have the new Husky Rescue album and it's amazing. It will break hearts next year. This should be the single. It's not going to be. But it should.

Sparklehorse – Ghost in the Sky: He's kind of treading water at this point. Just repeating himself, but it's one of those things like Boards of Canada or Clinic where he was so original right off the bat that he's just regurgitating genius.

The Cardigans – Feathers and Down: I am really surprised to say that I'm getting into the Cardigans. I never liked them when they were famous in the 90s. I guess they kept making records, kept getting better, and a few years ago put out this beautiful alt-country album called 'Long Gone Before Daylight.' It's not a total winner - there is some cheese - but the songs that work are real heartbreakers. This track is flawless. I think Nathan Larsen from Shudder to Think has his mitts in this stuff. Which might explain the amazing bridge. Don't give me any shit.

The Cardigans – Low: So, after our band surprisingly bonded over the previously mentioned album while on tour, I came home, swallowed my pride, and looked into the Cardigans. They have a NEW, new record, called Super Extra Gravity. Some times it's some real Avril Lavign shit, but then will be all of a sudden brilliant. This track depresses me. That's saying a lot, since I've always listened to sad music. This song is sadder than I can be. "There'll be rain on our wedding day... in a Chapel we wouldn't play."


You and I/Analyse

I've never posted my own music on here, but since this isn't really mine per se, I'm making an exception today. As you might have gathered from my last post, I'm really into the new Thom Yorke album The Eraser. One of the tracks that I like the most is Analyse. But whenever I listen to it, I always hear melodies from Jeff Buckley's "You and I" – from Sketches for My Sweetheart, the Drunk – as vocal embellishments, even though the songs aren't really that similar. Or maybe they are... So the other night I decided to sit down and see if they would fit together the way I was hearing them in my head. And they did.

I'm working with a really low quality mp3 of Analyse, so the whole thing is a little lo-fi. Email me if you would like it in a higher-quality format.

Daniel Johnson – You and I/Analyse (Jeff Buckley and Thom Yorke)


It's Summertime

And the living is easy.

Music sounds good again.
In between early morning searches for fresh dandelions with my daughter and the endless joy that seeps out from heated pavement into summer dusks, there is the day. For me, the day is usually bogged down with brightness and and its own dry realities. And so a rhythm emerges of the hot hours, abrasive and stifled, sandwiched between a cool dream. This is the high-contrast trade off of the summertime extreme. A whole change of seasons in a 24-hour span. I accept this, but am always looking for ways to stitch those higher summer sentiments into the boring fabric of facts I call a job. And this summer, I have the music to do it.

Thom Yorke – This is a masterpiece of focus and restraint. A multi-instrumentalist, peerless composer, and leader of this generation's The Beatles, Radiohead's Yorke could have indulged his most avante garde whims for his first solo project and it would have been, no doubt, arresting. (When it comes to bold leaps of style, Yorke has never not nailed the landing.) Instead, he's chosen to work within a refined pallette – the slippery, crunchy drum programming he perfected records ago, a little slinky bass playing, and various shades of pianos bouncing around the stereo spectrum - all in service of his crookedly delivered croon and a smattering of songs in various shades of black. The result is crisp and current.

Carelessly described, it's just glitch beats under sad songs. But there's more nuance in here than normal for this micro-genre. This is electronic-based music that finds a way to be twisted, soulish, funky, and yearning, with lots of asymmetry written in. Yorke first mastered, and has now subverted, the grid, discovering how to make machine-based music with enough loose ends to still be an analog to the human condition. He has a strange sense of harmonic rhythm, flipping or dropping a beat without telegraphing it; changing chords in the wrong part of the measure... But that sounds academic. This isn't just geek-good. Its tunefulness and energy are accessible in the way that records felt when I was a teenager.

I have this theory that Yorke sings best when it's not Radiohead (duets with Bjork and PJ Harvey come to mind) - his delivery is more open, less constricted without the burden of warding off evil that his band has imposed on itself. Here he sounds like more of a human, and more of a man.

The Eraser finds him working again with Nigel Godrich, Radiohead's in-house producer on their last four releases. Not to slight a brilliant sonic innovator like Godrich, who has become a star in his own regard – this generation's Phil Spector, a leading name-brand producer – but I've never been a big fan of the way he records rock bands like electronic groups, putting the instruments in neat sonic drawers, everything in its right place. However, this compartmentalization couldn't be more appropriate for a collection of recordings which is essentially the sound of Yorke and his toys.

The record, titled The Eraser, comes out July 11.

Thom Yorke - Harrowdown Hill
Thom Yorke - Analyse

Augie March - You probably haven't heard of Augie March. That's not a dig on your with-it-ness, just the sad reality. The reason for this is something as stupid as distribution. They are a magical five-piece of Australians making literate, inventive rock on par with all the records you reach for in moments of weakness. But nobody's done much to put their records out in the states or for sale digitally, and paying import prices to discover new music is not something the kids are willing to do lately. So they toil in genius an ocean away while entire continents miss out on their glory sound. The thought of this should scare the shit out of people who are serious about music. Imagine if Jeff Buckley had been German but never signed a stateside distribution deal and we never heard of him here. Remember the bleak alternate reality of George Bailey's dream lesson in It's a Wonderful Life, where he sees what the world would be like if he hadn't lived? We are living in such a dark version as American music fans. An Augie-free reality.

That was a bit dramatic. But I've made my point. Don't feel bad for Augie March. They're kind of a big deal where they're from. Feel bad for us.

Augie March and I go way back. Through an Aussie friend, I became obsessed with an EP they released in '98 called Waltz and followed them as they made the antiquey, smoky masterpiece Sunset Studies in '01 and its refined but overly wordy, grown-up successor Strange Bird three years later. The staggering breadth of this triple feat established enough of a track record to expect excellence from anything they might do. But the beauty of this new album is beyond even that promise. There's a point where the artist looks back and recognizes that all of his periods, most now neglected, are his children, and embraces them again as part of himself. Augie was definitely on a path from fumbling brilliance to cool headed craft, which was a less interesting trajectory for me. But their singer Glen Richards seems to have summoned his dead strengths from the tomb, finding a sturdy resonance in his throat that didn't exist before. It's commanding and above all true. Richards has always aspired to understated honesty in the tradition of Gillian Welch, only working the sentiments he truly owns. And the meticulous arrangements (featuring the best use of piano in a rock band I can think of) have such chiseled simplicity that you are forced to look at Richards' new creations for what they are: his best writing yet.

The new record, unfortunately titled Moo, You Bloody Choir, is out now. (Warning, their songs are "growers" and this record also makes more sense turned up loud.)

Augie March - Victoria's Secrets
Augie March – Stranger Strange

The French Kicks – I don't really understand why this band isn't a bigger deal than it is, even among the indie. My guess is that there's a backstory. Like, the lead singer broke the heart of a sexy witch and they were cursed by some kind of rock hex. I've always had a thing for bands with rock hexes though, so this is right up my alley. The French Kicks are kicking it exactly the way a band should kick it in '06. A modern approach to a live rhythm section informed by electronic production, understanding the value of space in arrangements (another five-piece on par with Radiohead and Augie March in terms of knowing when not to play), insisting on yin for yang – prettiness for every crudeness - and employing their secret weapon: falsetto harmony. Harmonizing in a falsetto voice is a difficult thing to pull off and keep the in tune, but they don't seem to have any problems with it. In fact, they make everything they do seem easy, like the groomed, privileged prep schooled pretty boys of their press photos. I smell rich kid all over this band, and yet I hate them not. Maybe it's the hex. I mean, these guys are better looking than the cast of most TV shows. So if the masses won't join me in valuing their artistic merits, I can't figure out why the superficialities haven't made the broader case.

A friend (who doesn't exactly love them) described them as Motown by way of Morrissey. Totally. The new record, with its out-of-date title Two Thousand, comes out July 18.

French Kicks – Cloche
French Kicks – Also Ran


It's raining in LA.

Enjoy this mix - it will get you thru the grey weather.

Love you.

Miss you.