Monday, March 31, 2008

These United States

Last Friday as I was on my way to watch the Jazz game at my buddies house when my friend Kate sends me a text to hurry up and get to slowtrain cause the band that was playing there was really good (run on sentence, deal with it). So I stopped by before I settled in to watch an awesome Jazz victory and caught the last half of These United States, and I have to say, it was really good.

I wasn't able to catch their set at the Urban Lounge later that night, so I'm not sure if the set they played at slowtrain was typical, but their sound had such an awesome stripped quality to it. They had a stripped down alt-country sound, sort of in the vain of phosphorescent, and they knew how to employ the sound of a slide guitar. When you listen to their stuff on myspace it's not as stripped down but definitely just as good. Check out These United States, I think you'll be pretty happy about it. Besides, you've got to love a band that blogs right?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

come swedes come all

I just paid $9.95 to have internet at the airport for a month. So I figured I'd better make good use of my purchase and use this crazy invention we call mass-communication.

So let's talk about The Social Services. Aside from being what I would call on Asher if he had a child, TSS is also a band from Sweden that has worked it's way in to my playlist over the last couple of days.

They're pretty happy, and poppy, and have both female and male singers... together! What!?!?! I know.

I'd describe them as a slightly more complicated, and Swedish, version of Mates of State. Check out their website, or their myspace. Listen to the song "The Baltic Sea", it's my favorite, so it's got to be yours right? Right.

Tim "Hello, Social Services? Yeah, my friend is feeding his child live gold fish" Glenn

eden is a hell of a place...

it's been two weeks now since the fine fellas of colour revolt mailed the ship an early copy of beg, plunder and curse, their new full length on fat possum records. after fighting with myself for two weeks on how best to write this, here is my in no way does justice to this album.

instead of writing a record that drives down the same road into the city of rock, colour revolt wrote a record that finds its own path out of the city and into the countryside. and this trail that they've created, is unlike anything i've heard. you couldn't recreate beg, plunder and curse if you wanted to.

colour revolt is talented enough to write a trendy record if that had been their aim, they just chose not to. they chose to follow their hearts and musical convictions and deliver a testament of dark, brutal honesty and daring truth. speaking of testament, you'll want to dust up on your bible stories: themes of moses, the garden of eden, God, good and evil, salvation and crucification are all explored.

while this album avoids being just another popular album, i think beg, plunder and curse will become a hugely popular album. fat possum (the blues label that's also home to andrew bird) has the resources and quite simply, this album is just too good to be ignored. we could bury this album in the swamps from whence it came, but it would find its' way out. this album beckons the music appreciator to chase after it and track it down. colour revolt have created a disturbingly haunting piece of art that's hard to shake and impossible to ignore. or as the new frontiers' jacob channing put it: "it's just too good."

beg, plunder and curse comes out tuesday, april 2nd at is available downtown at slowtrain.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'm new too!

Well kinda...

I've been working my magic on this blog & myspace page, but this is my first official post. So Helloooo, thanks for having me.
Just so you know, if things were the same as they were last month I'd have discovered 10 exciting new bands this week. I would be more than happy to be sharing them with you & how inspired they made me. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago I was finally given a new work computer to replace the nightmare of a computer I had been using for about 2 years. This is unfortunate simply because this new computer is without a sound card & I am without a good enough reason to need one for my job (increased productivity, maybe?) So I am in a bit of a music slump. I still have the use of my ipod for the 9 hours I sit at my desk everyday, but that's no help in the search for new undiscovered talent.

BUT no longer will I be held back by insufficient work computers. So without any more excuses, here is my latest discovery…literally about 10 minutes ago. Automatic Loveletter. I was checking this band out since I’ll be working their show this Saturday, & I am definitely looking forward to seeing them play. The lead vocalist is Juliet Simms. Her lyrics are real, emotional & very relatable. The way she sings, with so much passion, keeps me interested until the end of each song. She also has my support because she wears tube socks & jumps on beds, anyone who is that much fun gets kudos from me. So to sum things up; I can’t get enough. If I had her album in CD form it would most likely be my driving soundtrack for the next few weeks. Here’s the music video for “Hush” from Automatic Loveletter.

"Hush" by Automatic Loveletter

DON’T MISS THIS SHOW – This Saturday, March 29, 7PM, Solid Ground Cafe

I'm the new kid...

Howdy blog nerds,

I'm the new kid round these parts. You can call me Asher. Chad and Tim have been nice enough to let me contribute to The Ship which should be fun. 

I thought I'd hop on and introduce myself. So there you go. I'll be posting some really good stuff in the next few days, so heads up...

In the meant time check out the new album from Son Lux, it's called "At War with Walls and Mazes". It's so good - probably the most beautiful electronica I've ever heard. He's a buddy of mine in New York and his album is turning heads all over the place. Believe the hype.


let's all put on our morning jackets

So this is something I meant to post quite a while ago, but it's still pretty relevant. I've also been experiencing a lot of music love this past week, and my brain needs to get this stuff out in blog form. So, here goes.

My Morning Jacket played some new stuff at SXSW and the concert is all over the inter-web. They've got a new album, Evil Urges coming out in June, and I'm crazy excited. Unlike some of the other sailors on this crazy boat (I don't know why I use the ship analogies, I kind of hate them), I think My Morning Jacket has firmly planted themselves in the "one of the best bands of our era" category, but that's just my opinion. Based on what I heard on the NPR feed of the SXSW show I'm a little nervous for this new album. They've got some songs where other members of the band are singing lead, and some songs that quite frankly I just thought were awful. However, I'm holding on to hope for another great album in June.

In other news, as Chad has already brought up, Explosions in the Sky played in Salt Lake last night, and it was simply incredible. Read his review, it's pretty spot on.

Also, last Friday I was able to catch the Jose Gonzalez show at the University of Utah. I was very impressed, I mean, I love his music so I'm biased, but probably one of the best singer song writer shows I've been to. I was wondering why they booked him at the union ballroom, but then as soon as I heard the crazy huge reverb it allowed it all made sense. Jose played just a few songs by himself and then had a percussionist and a female vocalist come up and accompany him for the rest of the set. His sound was just as good as on the album, and although usually I think light shows are incredibly overrated, his actually added to the mood of the show quite well. I would definitely recommend catching one of his shows if you get the chance.

Monday, March 24, 2008

hummingbird hands

just got home from tonight's explosions in the sky show. for those of you who missed it, it might have been one of the best shows i've seen this year (lawrence is thinking this might have been the best show he's ever been to).

imagine an hour and a half of solid music with crescendos and decrescendos but without breaks and you've got yourself an explosions show. add to that the emotional response to seeing four normal guys completely give themselves to the crowd without show, pretense, hype or glamor and you're getting close. add to that a huge crowd with a high musical iq that is perfectly content to skip the lyrics, the talking between songs, the sing-a-longs and just watch quietly, shuffling to the rhythm. i admit that i'm old, but it was so refreshing to watch a band skip all the rockstar antics and just give themselves to their instruments and music. it was also refreshing to be a part of a crowd that was happy to skip it as well. i should say: you high schoolers that went out tonight rule. i am way impressed by your taste.

this is supposedly their last tour for a while so maybe if you missed you can catch a rerun of austin city limits or something. i guess what i'm trying to say is that an explosions show is best experienced not read about.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Building my Life Track

More and more I have been noticing that while doing ordinary things like shopping, and walking walking their dogs, people are listening to ipods and other such musical devices (I dare not mention Microsoft's version or Apple may just strike me down). I will not debate whether I think this is a good thing or bad thing, but instead use this as a promotion for a band that I enjoy having in my ears quite often. This got me thinking about how I love to listen to music, but there are those times when you just do not want to hear some dude sing another freaking love song. The Album Leaf is an ambient/electronic/instrumental band based out of San Diego, CA. What I love about The Album Leaf is that no matter what time of day you listen, it is enjoyable. They have such a soft tone, and hardly any singing. I am very much not a morning person, don't talk to me when I wake up, don't wave at me when I wake up, I am not going to be your friend until I have come to terms with getting out of bed. So picking music that can put me in a mood to smile when i awaken seems quite difficult. I feel that with the Album leaf, brain child Jimmy Lavalie has been following me from my day to day activities and taking notes about how I live. Then with every song he writes it's like he wrote something that can be apart of my life track. The Album leaf would be similar to bands like Sigur Ros, or Explosions in the Sky, but then also have their own style and sound. So when Hollywood decides to make a movie on the life and times of Lawrence, don't be surprised when it is filled with The Album Leaf songs. So put in your ear buds, walk your dog, take a jog, or just browse through your local mall, but make sure you are listening to something as enjoyable as The Album leaf.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

joshy josh

there are still a few tickets left for josh rosenthal's cd release show on saturday night at rose wagner theatre. snag tickets at any arttix location. and on a side note: will anyone give this guy some credit? he's almost sold out a 500-seat venue at $11 a ticket.

john allred opens the show also.

for a review of josh's newest cd renaissance, click here.

something you shouldn't have missed. maybe i missed part of the manchester orchestra/say anything show at club sound tuesday night, but what i saw blew my mind. biffy clyro was up and judging from their first song i didn't like it. i didn't even know who they were and was later misinformed of the name (biffy clyro not buffy cairo). however, as soon as they went into their second song my mind was changed. i suppose i'm running out of new and interesting things to say, but they were unique and they rocked hard :]. i was suprised i enjoyed them to be honest. it was more...guitar(???)...than i'm usually into. anyway, i'm going to have one hell of a hard time describing their music past what i did so go check out their myspace and listen. but, i will warn you: they are one of those bands that are better live (which is great). and now ladies and gentlemen...manchester orchestra. since summer i've been listening to this band non-stop and i finally got the chance to see them live; it didn't disappoint. they come on stage and it made me very happy because they just look so normal - no "rockstar aura", no "trendy" clothes. just people. frontman andy hull looks like a badass country man with his big beard and trucker hat foiled by a voice so genuine and soft accompanied by a hint of some "country twang"(as described by sami p). their performance included "where have you been" and (my personal favorite) "i can barely breathe". they also included some new songs (off their album that comes out this summer) and mixed up an oldie/goodie song - "collie strings". everything was good and the whole thing made me feel good. i got chills i wanted to cry blahblahblah. it was fantastic and they're a bona fide band that's gonna keep it real and you can always count on that.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

daytrotter does the new frontiers

head over to daytrotter immediately and read their article/interview with the new frontiers. and as always with daytrotter, go download four free downloads of live new frontier songs, including some not on their militia group debut release, mending.

four free songs...and they sound extremely good, full band too.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm taking a break from studying just for you.

I've got a mid-term tomorrow that'll cover a plethora of events that took place in the first half of Utah's history, but I've just come across an artists that needs to be mentioned.

Some of you may have hear of Sera Cahoone before, she released a self titled album in 2006, and she has lent her drumming skills to both Carissa's Weird and Band of Horses. If you haven't heard of her, you've got agree that her track record looks pretty good.

In about a week she'll be releasing another full length record on Sub-Pop (which I have to say has cemented itself as one of my favorite labels, and should be giving the cafe a little more love) called "Only as the day is long". If the songs she has up on her myspace reflect the rest of the album I think I'll probably fall in love. She has the perfect "I'm relaxing, or eating dinner with friends, or laying in my bed thinking of a girl, or driving across the country, or buying a ferrari from a pikey" folk sound. I kid. Sincerely, she has an incredibly soothing voice, uses a slide, and a banjo, and makes my kind of music. Check out her self titled album, or just buy the new one next week, I know that I will.

like a fat kid loves cake

the new colour revolt album, plunder, beg, and curse comes out on april 1st. on the one hand, that's a long time for you to wait. on the other hand though, it's going to take me a few weeks to accurately review what is one of the best albums of 2008.

colour revolt sent the ship a privileged early copy (cr is being understandably tight fingered about early copies of plunder) and rather than rush to print with a decent review, i'm going to spend a few more days listening to what i've already noticed is an intensely personal, emotional release with a lot going on musically.

we've posted on it already, but in case you missed it, you can still download for free their first single, naked and red via their myspace. and if you really trust us, just go buy their ep from itunes and congratulate yourself for spending your money wisely.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

local kids are oh so dreamy.

"Everyone has dreams and everyone's goal is to bring their dreams to great heights. Dream Balloons are the vessels in which your dreams can rise to realities." - Trevor Down

if you ask the boys from Dream Balloons how long they've been a band you'll get many different, and interesting, answers. according to guitarist/vocalist Bradley Ferreira they've been together "since the (indian) summer." but, just ask keyboardist/vocalist Trevor Down and he'll give you a more specific answer: "sam, adam, and i got together and wrote the intstrumental part of our songs less than 3 weeks before our first show on august 2nd '07. brad joined that band and wrote the guitar parts/lyrics 5 days before august 2nd." despite how long they've actually been making music they do it in a very unique and fun way. i sent all the guys some surveys to fill out and i was not disappointed with the answers i recieved in return. Dream Balloons is a local high school band with personality. they love to play their music because they "want to be able to meet new people and new bands by playing our shows. any show that we dont leave with a new friend [is] consider a show wasted (Trevor Down)." DB drummer Sam Funston says "i am only in the now" but, his goal in creating the music is "to create something we can all enjoy with utmost originality." however, when asked where DB wants to go with their music Bradley Ferreira's answer was my personal favorite: "solid ground cafe," he stated. how's that for some local love? bassist Adam Bedke says that he wants people to hear their music and "dance, experience epiphanies, [and] want to change their lifestyle to ours" to which he adds that "maybe [he's] being just a tad bit delusional." but, why wouldn't you want to change your lifestyle to theirs? DB is a go-with-the-flow sort of band. they describe their music as "different (Adam Bedke)", "[a] flow of neon silk notes woven to form rays from stars and nebulae in the universe (Sam Funston)", "a fusion of 4 people stretching a song into our own personal directions (Trevor Down)", and "a mixture of watercolors and pop rocks with some animal collective/clap your hands say yeah! vocal oddity (Bradley Ferreira)". if you can come up with a more accurate description i will be quite surprised. another great thing about these guys is that even though they are in the music biz for the fun and friends they also believe music has a purpose. Bradley Ferreira believes that "music needs to be created because it's a class independent art for the masses" and Sam Funston says it's important to create music to "put with emotions, moods, feelings, events, stimulating the mind, influencing people around you. everyone can understand music. it is one language, it is a universal language." so these boys are smart, as well as musically gifted. i want to go on and on about the wonderful Dream Balloons but, to get the full effect you need to see them live. they play many local shows around salt lake and they never fail to put on a good one.

p.s. the boys can't seem to agree on what animal Dream Balloons would be. go vote on our poll!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

new shows

be sure and check our myspace or the list here on the blog of our upcoming shows. we just added about 10 shows over the last few days and there are some good ones. tickets for almost every show are available online at 24tix and as the dates get nearer we'll likely have tickets for sale during other shows at the cafe. we try to keep the cost of tickets as low as possible and only do higher door tickets when necessary. don't miss out on a good show by waiting too late; some of our shows could realistically sell out.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Recently (recently as in like a month ago or more) I got ahold of the new Mars Volta record The Bedlam in Goliath. I have been trying to write this review for a month, but every time i listen there is so much more i want to write about. The Mars Volta have always been one of those bands that was so hard for me to get into, but once i did it was like it opened the floodgates to creativity. Listening to the Mars Volta is like watching your older brothers band practice in the garage. You don't quite understand it, but you know its way better than those Hannah Montana tapes in your bedroom. For those of you that aren't too familiar with the Mars Volta, they are a progressive/experimental band from California. The Mars Volta tend to ignore the music "standard" for song writing. Their songs usually run an average of 6-7 mins long and usually tend to have long jam sessions with all kind of instrument solos (guitar, bass, saxophone, etc). The Mars Volta have always been a creative band that has such a unique sound. Its hard to mix prog rock with 70's music, but somehow it works when The Mars Volta do it. Though it seems impossible The Bedlam in Goliath record took them into new territories. While on tour Omar bought a ouija board at a Jerusalem curio shop. This opened up the doors to new territories for them, they used the board to speak with the spirits. Through the board Omar was talking to the same spirits, and these spirits were an influence on the lyrics as much as the music. When the band headed into the studio to record The Bedlam, they encountered all kinds of problems with malfunctioning equipment and the studio even flooding. This scared Omar so he broke and buried the board. Listening to this record definitely feels like there was some interesting help. i recommend checking out the second track "Metatron" and also never playing with ouija boards.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Nice Form

Let's give it up for A Novel Form. Not only are these four guys showing up at the cafe to play, even though some others have cancelled, but they've created a sound that's easy on the ears. It's upbeat and (dare I say..?) poppy. And i've heard it to be compared a little bit to The Umbrellas. But as I always say you will just have to come and see for yourself; Wednesday, March 5.

free music mondays...

this may not be the normal free music you expect on the ship, but this has intrigued me enough that i thought i'd pass it on (and it's certainly no secret).

trent reznor and NIN, now free from the constraints of a major label (see: corporate devils, downfall of society, crooked, evil) is free to do as he likes with his music. and did he go big with this new stab as a label-free artist.

click here and you can buy ghosts: I-IV: four discs worth of instrumental music (described by umbrellas drummer sammy sharon as "reminiscent of thom yorke's eraser only with no lyrics and with a dark, nin feel to it"). or if you're like me and unsure of what you'd do with four discs from trent reznor, you can download the first disc for free. the site already says that they're experiencing high traffic so it may take you a few tries. let us know what you think when you get it, because we're currently trying to download it as well.

here's a quote from reznor that's certainly refreshing and certainly a spur in the side of the industry: "we encourage you to share the music of ghosts I with your friends, post it on your website, play it on your podcast, use it for video projects, etc. it's licensed for all non-commercial use under creative commons."

i don't agree with reznor often, but i love his commitment to create his art and make it available to his fans in the simplest, fan-friendly manner. and for you die-hards, you can buy a $300 record collection of it all that is limited edition and signed by reznor.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

march 1 at solid ground cafe.

so if you read up on the ship like a good kid you will already know that there was an amazing show tonight at the cafe. the photo atlas was definitely a crowd pleaser. if you were there: thanks so much for supporting music and our little venue. if you weren't: you suck. :/ not really, because we still love everyone. right right?!? (except high school kids that get the cops called on us, obviously.) alright well, it's 1:30 in the morning and it's been a long day. here are some sneaky peakys of a few shots i got tonight:

-check out the rest here or at our myspace-

Saturday, March 1, 2008

get destroyed...

other than and you will know us by the trail of dead, this will destroy you is my favorite name for a band. not just because it's funny and out there, but because it's such a misnomer for they type of music they play.

this will destroy you is an incredibly chill four-piece from texas very much in the style of explosions in the sky. their music is wordless, but still delivers emotion and heart. simply put, they just don't need vocals; they would only get in the way of their instruments. it's not so much that it's wordless, but that it's a half-painted canvas and i get to fill in the words myself. i have to admit that lately i've really been into wordless music (see te' and also maiou) but it seems that there is definitely a trend to have a side project that's experimental rock.

supposedly, according to an unnamed source (who also has a funny story about bailing twdy from a small county jail for undisclosed crimes), twdy has quietly sold 15,000 units of threads. according to their myspace, they have lined up a month long tour in europe for later this spring.

catch this will destroy you tomorrow night at kilby court. i already have the feeling that this will be one of those tiny shows that is incredible for those who are there, but missed by most everyone else who, a year from now will curse themselves for not being there.