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Not much to report when it comes to new releases.  Save your money for the next few weeks, with gems from Bright Eyes and other indie darlings waiting to hit your ipod.

The one spectacular release has been receiving buzz from all sorts of media and word of mouth: Barton Hollow from the Civil Wars.

I had the pleasure of seeing them at the Hotel Cafe in December, and it was, without a doubt, one of the best live acts I had seen in 2010.  Joy Williams and John Paul White possess a chemistry unlike any other duo I can think of.  Their folky acoustic sound can put one to sleep on one track, and be the perfect road trip device the next.

Check out the album live streaming here via Spinner, and see what I mean.

Then, buy Barton Hollow and have it forever and ever.


So much is happening in the music world — and since I have a fulltime job, it’s hard to post about each newsworthy item.

Enter the Facebook Page!

Click on the button and become a fan of Sarcasm And The City to get up to date info on bands you love or never heard of.  Get news of new albums streaming for free, ticket on-sales, and the like.

Like us.  Because I said so.

Nick Hornby and Ben FoldsLonely Avenue (Nonesuch)

Yes, that Ben Folds. And yes, that Nick Hornby.  Brick.  High Fidelity.  Teaming up for what is to be a very intriguing album.
Author Hornby and musician Folds collaborated on this album, with the former writing the lyrics and the latter taking care of the music.  Since Hornby has had no experience in songwriting, which is a different beast from the short stories and novels he’s used to penning, it will be interesting to see how Folds can translate them.
Buy Album: Lonely Avenue
download mp3:
From Above

GlasserRing (True Panther Sounds)

From two masters of their craft, we move on to newcomer Cameron Mesirow, who performs under the name of Glasser.  This solo artist has been getting a fair amount of play on indie radio, for good reason.  Her strong voice compliments the vast amount of strings and percussion she uses, without it being overwhelming.  She only broke out onto the scene last year with her first EP, and I doubt we’ll be hearing less of her anytime soon.
Buy album: Ring
Download mp3: Home

Listened to either album?  Think I missed one that deserves to be talked about?  Leave a comment.

Sufjan Stephens keeps his fans guessing.  His first two releases were his state-titled Michigan and Illinois allowing fans to assume that 48 more albums were to come.
However his latest album is titled The Age of Adz and that isn’t the only difference.  Gone is the wistful banjo strumming, and in its place are synths and other devices.

Take a listen, as NPR is streaming the entire album for free here.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about the album.

The Age of Adz releases October 12 on Asthmatic Kitty Records.

A new year, and finally some new music worth listening to.   Be excited.

Vampire Weekend - Contra

Vampire WeekendContra (XL Recordings)

I saw Vampire Weekend last year at the Glasshouse.  The place was nowhere near packed and the average audience member could not legally buy a Lotto ticket.  Fastforward to 2010: their upcoming album has been generating buzz since the summer, and last week’s show had been sold out for awhile.
I’m still not sure what I think of the album.  It’s been streamed on various websites, and leaked from several sources, making this album even more hyped.  Their self titled effort was so unique and well produced that Contra sounded a bit boring.  But with every play, I seem to like a new track.  My favorites for now are Taxi Cab, and Horchata (which I’m now craving.  Yum.)
Local shows: 4/14 @ Fox Theatre (Pomona)
Buy Album: Contra
download mp3:
Taxi Cab

Laura VeirsJuly Flame (Raven Marching Band Records)

So you’re in your third trimester of pregnancy and have gestational diabetes… what do you do?  If you’re Laura Veirs, you go on a European tour!  My new hero’s (who’s blog post about leaving for tour would probably hit any estrogen-filled human) seventh album released today, with some resemblances to Ingrid Michelson, and Jessica Hoop.  Veirs has the ability to allow the album to sound incredibly feminine with beautiful, wimsical string arrangements, yet not get too cute or predictable.  The title track has a bit of a haunting edge to it, while others are light and airy.  July Flame features guests spots from My Morning Jacket‘s Jim James, and the added harmonies are merely a bonus.
Local shows: 3/8 @ Casbah (San Diego); 3/9 @ Spaceland (Silverlake)
Buy album: July Flame
Download mp3: July Flame

Listened to either album?  Stoked for different music that released this week?  Leave a comment.

Only two albums worth your while this week, but these two are must haves.  I’ve been looking forward to both of these must have albums for about four months. Say it with me now: Must. Haves. Okay.  On with the show.

Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros – Up From Below (Community Music/Fairfax Recordings/Rough Trade)
Download MP3 Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Carries On
I featured Ed Sharpe’s song “40 Day Dream” on my June Playlist, and I wish I could have featured every song from his first full length album.  The LA band’s sound differs from song to song, though there’s a little 60’s throwback in each.
The group features Alex Ebert, who also fronts the dance rock band Ima Robot.  However, Ebert takes on the persona of Edward Sharpe for his new gig, and received tons of positive press during their set at Austin’s South By South West this year.  Reviews of “Here Comes” (their EP featuring songs also on the full-length “Up From Below”) have been solid.  Check out a show if you can, because I may have failed to mention that the band consists of Edward Sharpe and his 12 piece band.

The Dead Weather – Horehound (WEA/Reprise)

Download MP3: The Dead Weather – “Are Friends Electric?”
Jack White just doesn’t stop, and for that I am grateful.  The more I listen to one of his musical endeavors, the more I am convinced the guy is a musical genius.  Whether it’s making sweet melodies with his ex wife, or collaborating with the boys, White proves that he can consistently create unique music.  His third venture is no different.

Though White and lead singer Allison Mosshart (who also sings for The Kills) are arguably the most famous members of the newly formed The Dead Weather, the group also consists of guitarist Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) and bassist Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs and the Greenhorns).  Given Mosshart’s unique vocal styling, the Dead Weather definitely gives off a Kills vibe, but it will likely please many fans of harder alternative.

Honorable Mentions

The Fiery Furnaces – I’m Going Away (Thrill Jockey)
The Fiery Furnaces remind me of a more melodic, quieter version of the Dead Weather. I constantly repeat their single “The End Is Near” which is a slow number featuring lead singer Eleanor Friedberger.  The album’s digital release date is today and CD’s are releasing next Tuesday.

(500) Days Of Summer – Original Soundtrack (Sire/WEA)
A movie about (good) music?  Yes please.  This soundtrack features tracks from some solid artists in indie music: Feist, Regina Spektor, She & Him, and more.  It also highlights some greats such as Simon & Garfunkle and The Smiths.  If you’ve been finding yourself in a music rut, check out the soundtrack (and buy me a ticket to the movie, please)

I (translation: my bank account, and my fridge) am still recovering from last week.  Regina Spektor, The Phenomenal Handclap Band, Deer Tick, Pete Yorn, and Dinosaur Jr. put me about $50 in the hole.  Because, of course I had to download their albums the day they were released.  Um, duh.

Luckily, only two albums worth buying yesterday, the day of their release.  Take note, young samurais:

Moby - Wait For Me

Moby – Wait For Me
Download Moby -Pale Horses
Wilco, Wilco, Wilco.  That’s all I’ve been reading about on blogs and hearing about from all of the DJs.  I’ll get to them in a second.  The real gem of the week is Moby, Moby, Moby.  Wait For Me is creative, refined, and mature.  It is still classic, experimental Moby, yet it’s evident he has become more grounded than in albums past.  Definitely get this album.  As of 7/1, it’s only $3.99 at Amazon.  Even at it’s normal price, it’s worth it.  The title track is getting some play on independent stations, and is my favorite.

Wilco - Wilco (The Album)

Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
Download Wilco – I’ll Fight
Fine boys, you get your (deserved) time in the spotlight.  Where Moby is experimental, Wilco sticks to what they do best.  Jeff Tweedy and his band are on their seventh studio album now, and if you like the steady, mellow vibe they had going on Sky Blue Sky, then you will like this album.  Which means, I like this album.  For the nay-sayers who say, “This ain’t no Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” you’re right.  It’s Wilco (The Album). And use proper grammar.

Granted, other albums released on Tuesday: Bjork, Wu Tang Clan (yeah, they’re still making music.  Well, those that aren’t making memories in San Quentin, anyway) and other artists released material I won’t be listening to.  So I won’t tell you to… which means I get to stop writing and read go to sleep early get caught up on episodes of the Bachelorette.


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Any MP3 posted here is available to stream and/or download for two weeks or less, so get it while it's hot. Hopefully I can help steer you towards music you've never heard before. If you like what you hear, please purchase the album, and support the artist at shows. The music posted here is for sampling use ONLY. If you are a band or representative of an artist who is featured on this site and would like your music removed, please contact me directlyand I'll be happy to immediately remove the song(s).