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Oct 052014

the-ghost-of-us-by-the-moon-chambers-is-toyota-songOK so I’ve been trying to track down this fucking song for a long time now. The commercial is running for over a year and it was the only one not on the official Toyota YouTube channel. I watched so many Toyota commercials (I feel like buying a Toyota for some reason) trying to find this fucking thing! I did numerous searches with keywords like “toyota corolla commercial” and “they tell you I’m the one who drives you mad” and found nothing but one other dude on Yahoo! Answers asking the same question.

I just heard the commercial again from another room and decided to try one more search. Voila! Right there. Yahoo! has an answer and some other asshole found the commercial on YouTube. There seems to be mini-cult built around this song; a disparate and dedicated group endlessly searching this phrase, ”they tell you I’m the one who drives you mad” and posting on forums: “does anyone know who sings that song in the Corolla commercial? It goes …”

Here’s the commercial that got my panties all knotted up:

And here is the song, “The Ghost of Us” by The Moon Chambers

Sep 282014

rome-fortune-reviewed-on-kisses-and-noise-friendsmaybeAfter jumping into an email from the folks at Life or Death PR I spent some time catching up on music. I went down a Soundcloud rabbit hole and found myself going back to Atlanta rapper, Rome Fortune‘s “FriendsMaybe” over and over. It’s catchy, sexy, and the bass drops. This song isn’t one of the few produced by Four Tet, but it is the production here that elevates the subject matter above the din of other rappers crowding Soundcloud. After sharing the tune with friends on our music snob Facebook group, they went fucking ba-nay-nays over it. In fact every hip-hop lover I share it with kind of lost their shit, so you best listen …

Mar 042013

david_byrne-st._vincent-review_by_kisses_and_noiseThis came out of left field for me. I’m sure the union of David Byrne and St. Vincent got a lot of press but I didn’t see it. The idea of these two working together was enough for be to buy the record sight unseen (sound unheard?). This is a phenomenal collaboration. I can’t say much more than it sounds like exactly like what you’d think David Byrne and Annie Clark together would sound like; fun, funky, weird, slightly dark but in a playful way, progressive and rockin’. It’s haunting in it’s modest brilliance. I really could pick any song from Love This Giant and get your attention.


Dinner for Two” is a clear example of the two musical worlds colliding:

Listen to Dinner for Two

They trade lead singing duties on most of the songs coming together in harmonies and backing vocals. “Lazarus” is the only true duet:

Listen to Lazarus

Buy Love This Giant on iTunes. Do it!

Nov 262012

Cover for the single, Low from Our Wild LoveFounding members of Orlando’s Plain Jane Automobile, Duke Crider, Paul McCorkell, and Luis Meija, regrouped as Our Wild Love. They have a new song available for free on their Bandcamp site called “Low”. If you’re a fan of PJA’s take on alternative Brit pop then you might want to sit down. Our Wild Love is big and new with the sound of “Low” landing somewhere between Depeche Mode and Muse. This is a bit of a departure for the band and this tune alludes to something exciting for the Orlando music scene.

Listen or Buy “Low” Here

Jun 212012

Smashing Pumpkins album cover for OceaniaOceania has the Pumpkins sounding like a full band again, blending the hazy charm of Pisces Iscariot with the roaring pop of Zwan. The guitars are big on the first two tracks, “Quasar” and “Panopticon.” More than just layers of Billy’s own guitar, there is another axe working just as hard alongside him in Jeff Schroeder. Young Mike Byrne continues to fill the enormous shoes (figuratively speaking) of the mighty Jimmy Chamberlin nicely. Both of the first tracks display that incessant, driving pitter-patter – chugging drums that use fills and flourishes to propel the music and carry it from line to line – which is a Smashing Pumpkin signature. Byrne is able to accomplish this in his own style, paying homage to his predecessor without marring the legacy or being a slavish knock-off. Nicole Fiorentino’s bass lines hum melodically adding the most vibrance to BC’s tunes since Paz’s work on Mary Star of The Sea. Fiorentino lends depth to the SP wall of guitar that is usually only accompanied by Corgan’s follow-along-with-the-guitar style of bass playing. Her vocal presence also stands out as a shining bonus across the record. This has historically been an underutilized weapon in a line up that always has a chick in it.

“One Heart, One Diamond” opens with a chill wave-like synth intro that could easily belong to Washed Out sans the fact that it is actually a dynamic rock song. The near-epic title track allows the new band to sprawl and flex leaving an open-ended Floyd-ish outro that will lend itself nicely to live jams. Oceania seals the deal with the 1-2-3 attack of “The Chimera,” “Glissandra,” and “Inkless” to close the album. This record ripples and shimmers with ole Bill Corgan at the helm of a band that, from the sound of it, is all in.

   Listen to “Inkless”

Listen to Inkless

Apr 152012

Lee Fields & The Expressions

Sarah Jaffe was sort of an indie-folk type, but just broke her mold with “Glorified High a sticky, muddy, electro-infused dance rock tune: (Embedding is turned off on this track which is stupid – click link above to visit)

British sisters comprise the braintrust of 2:54. “You’re Early” rocks just enough to catch my attention amid the tidal wave of new indie music – strong enough to break through the wall of laptop artists, 2:54 is driven by real guitars and drums … thank god:

2:54 – You’re Early by 2:54 Band

Formed by some of the dudes in Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty is a side project that flexes a little more straight forward rock muscle than the Foxes usual somber folk. Listen to “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”:

Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings by subpop

Another side project, this time from some of the guys in Tame Impala, is Pond. “Elegant Design” embraces the psychedelic trip-rock of Impala more than some of the other tracks on their album and that’s probably why I like it:

Elegant Design by POND

White Rabbits are back with a new album. Now I never loved them nor hated them before, they just kind of existed. Their latest album pushes the Rabbits another step away from their percussive, nearly Latin debut album toward a more fully integrated rock sound. I absolutely adore the first single “Heavy Metal”:

White Rabbits – Heavy Metal by theinsound

Now this motherfucker has soul! Lee Fields & The Expressions have a new album called “Faithful Man” and this is the title track. Like Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Fields takes the roots rock ‘n soul approach with a traditional sound that is neither tired or contrived, but spot-on:

Lee Fields – Faithful Man by Rodion Gusev 1

Jeff the Brotherhood is another 2-person outfit, but instead of fleshing out songs with synth and loops they opt for the layering of crushing organic rock guitar. “Hey Friend” lays thick guitar tracks on top of a drum kit for a more traditional White Stripes meets 70′s guitar rock feel:

Mellow Out by Jeff The Brotherhood

Like Lee Fields, Nick Curran and the Lowlifes embrace tradition. Curran evokes early Sun Records Elvis or Gene Vincent with a retro garage rock blast that is so authentic you would never know it came out last year. Check out “Rocker”:

Rocker (Nick Curran & the Lowlifes) by aphasiac00

Feb 202012


I was instantly smitten with the song “Oblivion” despite its close approximation to Tiffany’s version of “I Think We’re Alone Now.” NOTE: I made this assertion before NPR Music, but that isn’t really a big deal since it’s so obvious) In fact, Grimes, aka Claire Boucher – the Canadian musician and visual artist finds melodic muscle in 80’s pop-ster kitsch that’s bathed in her own brand of ethereal gloom on the latest album, Visions. It almost sounds like Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam produced by Trent Reznor on “Circumambient.” The second track, “Genesis” is like a Friday night, 5th grade couple skate on psilocybin.  Although, my instinct is to distrust another lush, 80’s influenced bedroom laptop act, Grimes builds on the dark and beautiful, yet sonically ambivalent soundscapes of 2010’s Geidi Primes and 11’s Darkbloom to create a more polished sound. Visions reveals a more cohesive approach to crafting songs which lends more direction to the album and gives Grimes a distinctive songwriting signature.

See my review of Visions on Tampa’s best music blog, Suburban Apologist

Sep 222011


Hysterical, the new release from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah sounds anything but.  The album is refined and mature. It is closer to Some Loud Thunder being heavier on more elaborate orchestral-type pop arrangements than the thundering disco beats and clean bass lines adorned with jangly duel guitars that made their debut album remind me of an east coast Modest Mouse.

It is actually a nice compromise between the sounds of the first two albums.  On the first song, “Same Mistake,” old disco beats marry-up nicely with new strings and the ever-constant forlorn and unintelligible vocals of Alec Ounsworth. The title track, “Hysterical,” combines a quickened pace with a more soaring and tonal guitar approach inflating the song beyond mere indie whimper. Ounsworth’s lyrics ring true with sentimental conviction as always on “Misspent Youth” as he sort of hits the nail on the head.  “Maniac” is the first song I hear that sounds like it would lend weight to a live show. “Into Your Alien Arms” feels like Talking Heads until it breaks out into a loud and feedback drenched solo outro a la Sonic Youth and “Ketamine and Ecstasy” is what I’m on right now – ha – no – it kind of sounds like The Cure with echo-y guitars conjuring feelings of 80’s new wave.

“Into Your Alien Arms” by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Hysterical is getting critically pounded because a 5-year hiatus returned a safe, middle-of-the-road effort. I can see how it fails to achieve the charm of their first album and the wild experimentation of the second, but I feel they defined themselves by taking some of the best bits of those two approaches. It’s an album that warrants more than one or two listens before all the nuance of the instrumentation and John Congleton’s (Walkmen, David Byrne) production sinks in.

Sep 102011

Billy-Corgan-in-hoodie-with-fender_black-and-whiteIn usual fashion, Billy Corgan is cranking out music and wading through a pile of projects. In addition to getting behind a wrestling promotion venture and very slowly releasing the 44 free online tracks for Teargarden by Kaleidyscope as well as putting the final touches on the album-within-an-album, Oceania (Due out in November), he is also digging through the mighty SP’s vast archives. They are putting out remasters of their original albums that will be augmented with extra discs that include demos, alternate takes, live performances, and unreleased music from each record’s era.

If you enroll in the Smashing Pumpkins Record Club by visiting their home page and leaving your email you will immediately get a demo version of “Drown.” You will also be able to find this raw, mean-ass instrumental demo of “Geek USA:”

Smashing Pumpkins — Suicide Kiss Geek No Vox by Smashing Pumpkins

This project will connect fans with loads of free material as it is uncovered in addition to the remastered sets for sale. This could prove to be a massive amount of music. As fans of SP know, most songs have several alternate versions and for every one song that makes it to an official album there are dozens of others that don’t. What makes this exciting is that SP b-sides are just as epic as their album material. “Starla,” “Plume,” “Bye June,” “Chewing Gum,” “Drown,” “Slunk,” “Meladori Magpie,” “The Aeroplane Flies High” and hundreds more are considered b-sides.

This is the first version of “Here’s to the Atom Bomb” which appeared on the original free Internet album, 2001′s Machina 2: The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music and again on Judas O: B-Sides and Rarities. This is the rockin’ version:

“Here’s to the Atom Bomb” by Smashing Pumpkins

Here is the more new wave-y alternate take. In addition to the musical approach, this version also has alternate lyrics. Despite these changes it is still the same song at the core. This is what I mean about how much stuff could possibly pour out of this SPRC project.

“Here’s to the Atom Bomb” (alt) by Smashing Pumpkins

NOTE: I actually stole the name of my blog from this version: “With Kisses and Noise / Now they belong to you all.” I feel like I have to put that out there because there is a song by The Used called “Noise & Kisses” and I dread the mistaken connection.

Aug 272011

morning-teleportation_expanding-anyway-album-reviewFinally! A band named after a technology I could totally use! Modest Mouse frontman, Isaac Brock, discovered some serious talent in Portland via Kentucky’s Morning Teleportation and signed them to his new Glacial Pace record label. Brock also took production duties on the band’s debut album Expanding Anyway. Their sound is frantic and eclectic. They sometimes even sound like Modest Mouse with a dash 70′s guitar rock and a large intravenous dose of methamphetamine.

The tunes are frenetic, changing tone, tempo, and style on a dime. Large rock choruses give way to folk undertones then charge straight into psychedelic math rock. The descriptions are schizophrenic, but the bipolar shifts in the music are always held together with creativity and strong songwriting. The album is varied, but never seems to make a misstep. There are grinding, off-kilter guitar progressions, fiery guitar solos. samples, bits of synth, banjos, horns, and lots more sprinkled throughout the Expanding‘s solid rock core. Singer, Tiger Merritt’s voice shifts from indie rock to folks-y balladeer to a howling, angry Frank Black – often in the same song. It is hard to pick a track that sums up all their sound. The title track, “Expanding Anyway,” “Snow Frog vs. Motor Cobra,” and the epic, 9-minute “Wholehearted Drifting Sense of Inertia” (sounds like it could be a Modest Mouse album title) are great examples, but the slightly shorter “Just a Figment” may be easier to digest on first listen:

“Just a Figment” by Morning Teleportation