Monthly Archives: January 2010

BTR Live Studio: Andrei Matorin

All Photos Copywrite Tom Miller –

00:00 Andrei Matorin
00:50 Silver Blue
08:21 Interview
12:54 Smile
22:24 Trancoso
28:56 Interview
34:34 Then and Now
42:31 Interview
44:42 One Last Spring
54:05 Interview
56:24 All the Things You Are

Link to this show:

Hello, My Name Is…

For this week’s installment of our recurring HMNI feature, we have three totally different musical entities. First, a master sampler with a fine singing voice, and  a former BTR Artist of the Week to boot, the rising Brooklyn loop manipulator, Elk!

Then, a Pixies-influenced rock quartet out of south Florida, currently basking in critical praise for their debut album, Astro Coast, Surfer Blood spills the story behind their salty red moniker!

Finally, promulgators of the most insane live music  show on Earth, here to tell us the tale behind their singularly drinkable-sounding name, ladies and gentlemen, Monotonix!

“It was nothing serious or anything, I was just coming up with funny names with one of my friends,” says Justin Stein, the man behind Elk. “He was saying stuff like ‘I am the Cobra,’ just playing around, and I was like ‘I am the Elk,’ and my friend said, ‘that’s pretty funny!’ But now when I talk about the band, or when my friends ask me about it on email, they always refer to it as ‘The Elk,’ instead of just ‘Elk.’

Which one do you prefer?

“I like ‘Elk.’ I think ‘The Elk’ sounds pretty ridiculous,” laughs Stein.

“We were going to play a show in Gainesville, so we were getting all our stuff together and transferring cars,” says frontman John Paul Pitts, of the West Palm Beach, Florida-based band Surfer Blood. “And TJ (Schwarz, drummer) used to surf a lot in high school, he had the bleached spikes, you know?”

“I was like, ‘I got a surfer pack on,'” says Schwarz, “’cause we’re all surfer buds, like surfer bros.'”

“And he’s like ‘yeah, we’re surfer bloods,'” says Pitts, “like Bloods and Crips, and I was like ‘no, that’s cool!’ And then when it came time to think of a name, we were like, ‘well, we came up with Surfer Blood, and that’s pretty rad,’ and everyone was like ‘yeah? Yeah!'”

“We liked it,” finishes Schwarz.

In an interview with Schmitty at Thrasher magazine, frontman Ami Shalev tells how the power trio from Tel Aviv, Israel came up with their name:

“A good friend of mine that played bass in a band had a song called ‘Mono Addictive Acid Man.’ Then we had a band called Mono Addictive Acid Man. We thought we should get a short cut for this long name. He said, ‘Monotonix?’ and I was good with that.”

Link to this article:

– Matt Lehtola

The Mixtape Show

On this week’s mix, I’m devoting an hour to cats by listener request. . Whether you’re cozying up to your favorite feline, or cursing their existence, I hope you’ll enjoy this great mix of music either way.

Got an idea for a mix? Email

00:00 Mixtape Show Theme Song-DJ Plumb Line
01:01 DJ Annie
01:24 Furr-Blitzen Trapper
05:23 Speak For Me-Cat Power
08:17 Shorty, A Bastard Cat-D. Charles Speer & the Helix
13:36 Demonic Cat -Graffiti Island
15:13 DJ Annie
15:33 Cat Bug Jeep-The Lines
21:26 The Truth About Cats And Dogs (Is That They Die)-Pony Up!
25:13 Black Cat-Ladytron
30:20 Cats and Rats-Yellow Fever
33:22 Swimming Underwater With a Cat on Your Back-Ahleuchatistas
39:25 DJ Annie
39:25 Cat Faces-Ugly Casanova
42:57 Cat’s Blues-Palace Music
46:08 Cat Piano-Seabear
49:31 Black Cat John Brown-Alamo Race Track
53:00 FUR-Black Acid
56:59 DJ Annie
57:30 Folk Wave Promo-DJ Maia
57:49 Catfood on the Earwig-Guided by Voices

The Lines
1/30 Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Winston Kingdom
1/31 Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso


2/18 Oslo, Norway @ BY: LARM Festival
2/19 Oslo, Norway @ BY: LARM Festival

Yellow Fever

2/19  Austin, TX @ Emo’s

Animal Collective Release Trailer for ODDSAC

Animal Collective have been working on a film for the past three years and it debuted last night at the Sundance Film Festival. Along with its debut, the band released a trailer for the film, titled ODDSAC to the masses. The 53 minute flick is being touted as a visual album and many fans of both music and cinema are stoked to catch a glimpse.

ODDSAC is a collaboration between Animal Collective and Danny Perez who has previously directed music videos for the band. Perez directed the film while Animal Collective composed its soundtrack. The visual album is said to be quite experimental and the trailer confirms this as it is comprised of quick flickers of visually stimulating shots. The film has three more screening scheduled at Sundance and will then begin screenings across the country in March. It is slated for release on DVD in June 2010.

– Emily Smith

BTR Monthly Adds

Navigator – Bad Children

All too often, bands that should be getting praise and recognition from top blogs and magazine are left unheard and unnoticed. Some of these bands may quietly continue pursuing music because they are passionate about their art. This is the case of Navigator. These days, even the smallest bands, in the most remote places will get a nod from a blog. Navigator has had several mentions, but for some reason, this project has not broken into the so called “mainstream” of indie rock…yet!

Navigator is the project of Braden J. McKenna, he hails from Bone Valley, Utah and has release a number of projects under names such as Aye Aye, Sleepover and Mario Kart . All of his music is available at  Magic Goat is a free web label run by McKenna in which he makes his music available free for download.

Navigator can be filed into the lo-fi category but McKenna has a very unique approach that differentiates him from the likes of Real Estate and other groups that have followed in their path. His unique voice is charming and his music has a very poppy, nostalgic quality. There are songs of love and heartbreak and self discovery.

Although the fuzzy lo-fi may be his intention but his tunes recorded at a studio quality level are what I truly crave to hear. The tracks are intelligently layered, but it is often hard to differentiate the parts. If it is new, undiscovered music that you love, give Navigator a listen. I hope that we will be hearing from him in the near future. Big things are coming for Mr. McKenna.

The Knux – Fuck You EP

We have received more quality (old school meets new school) hip hop here at BTR. I had no clue who “The Knux” were when I received their elegantly titled Fuck You EP. I put the CD into my computer and began to listen. Within the first few seconds a hot bass line opened the track with lyrics that were extremely catchy : “She’ll steal your heart and take your mind. She’ll smoke up all your herb and drink your wine”. The song is appropriately titled “Floozy” and is the first of five songs on the EP.

The Knux are a duo which consists of brothers Kentrell “Krispy Kream” Lindsey and Alvin “Rah Almillio” Lindsey. Hailing from New Orleans, the two moved to Los Angeles after Katrina devastated their home. They had much success with their debut album, Remind Me in 3 Days. They have toured with the likes of Common, Nas and Travis Barker. And, the duo has had their songs on television and in movies.

The brothers have unique rhyming and singing abilities and their songs are well produced. The tunes can be very in your face when it comes to their message and lyrics. The tile track, “Fuck You” starts off with the words, “Fuck You” repeated over and over again. Of course, they counteract the shocking start and lyrics with an intelligent message and a good beat. These guys are too good not to break out into the mainstream. Yes, I said it, the mainstream.  Watch out for The Knux!!

Daptone  –  Daptone Gold

If you don’t know about Daptone Records and their artists, the album Daptone Gold is the perfect starter kit for all of your Funk, Soul and R&B needs. Daptone Records was formed by Gabriel Roth and Neal Sugarman in Brooklyn. They produce most of their releases in their studios in Brooklyn and the bulk of these records are recorded in analog; ignoring the new wave of digital recordings. Roth does most of the mixing for the artists. Daptone works with many artists including: Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, The Budos Band, Charles Bradley, Lee Fields, Menahan Street Band, The Mighty Imperials, Naomi Shelton, The Sugarman Three and Adam Scone and Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings. The Dap Kings are actually the house band for Daptone Records.

Daptone Records have done an excellent job at highlighting artists with funk and soul roots and who are thought to be at the forefront of the revivalist movement. This is an amazing album, with amazing artists. Here are t tour dates for several of the artists!!!

Lee Fields LIVE!!!!

Feb 4 2010   New Morning  –  Paris, France

Feb 5 2010  The Bloomsbury Ballroom –  London, England, UK

Feb 7 2010  Stadtgardten –  Köln, Germany

Sharon Jones LIVE!!!

Mar 26 2010   Snoe Down Winter Music Festival –  Rutland, VT

Apr 17 2010  Wanee Festival-  Live Oak, FL


Mar 5 2010   Prince of Wales-  Melbourne,Australia

Mar 9 2010  New Zealand International Arts Festival –  Wellington,Australia

Listen up to BTR for music from all of these releases!!!

– Lottie Leymarie

BTR Live Studio: Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars stopped by the studio last December to perform for us. Enjoy!
00:00 Cymbals Eat Guitars
01:05 And the Hazy Sea
08:06 Interview
13:04 Some Trees
15:33 Indiana
19:16 Interview
21:18 Cold Spring
27:22 Interview
30:01 Plain Clothes
34:21 Wind Phoenix
39:47 Interview
40:13 Living North
42:31 Interview

3/5 @ Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
3/6 @ Rock N Roll Hotel – Washington DC
3/7 @ Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC

Link to this show:

Artist of the Week: Beak>

Geoff Barrow is usually known as “that guy from Portishead,” which is a bit like calling Jonny Greenwood “that guy from Radiohead”; technically true, but it really doesn’t do the man justice. With Beak>, however, Barrow proves he’s not just a one-band pony. Formed with fellow Bristol musicians Billy Fuller and Matt Williams, Barrow’s new project is a bleak yet fascinating exploration of krautrock rhythms and ominous atmosphere.

While plenty of tracks on Beak>’s self-titled debut have a considerable amount of rhythmic pep, the overall mood is unrelentingly dark; imagine a strange combination of Slint and Can, and you’ll have a good idea of what to expect on Beak>. The album opener, “Backwell,” encapsulates the album aesthetic well: opening with a minimal bass guitar line, distant voices, and a soft organ hum, the track doesn’t really get going until 3 minutes in, when it launches into a motorik groove backed by buzzing keyboards. The amount of restraint here borders on heroic, especially in the age of the iPod. Short attention spans beware.

People will undoubtedly try to make connections between the material here and that of Portishead, and they wouldn’t be totally wrong; there is certainly a similar thread of anxiety running through both of these projects. However, Beak> allows Barrow to push his ideas much farther into outré terrain. The vocals are weary and drenched in reverb, like Ian Curtis singing from inside a cave. There’s also more experimentation with noise here, for better or worse (even the most adventurous listener might have trouble getting through the two-minute electric slaughterhouse of “Barrow Gurney”). In the final analysis, Barrow and his bandmates deserve credit for creating an album with a clearly defined sound that borrows but never imitates, seemingly removed from any 21st century musical trends.

Beak> is out now on Ipecac Recordings. Want to catch them live? Check out the tour dates below!

Feb. 19th – Le Route Du Rock – Saint Malo, France
Feb. 20th – Le Grand Mix – Tourcoing, France

Link to this article:

– Matt Diamond

The Northwest Show

January 25, 2010

00:00 The Northwest Show w/ Joanna
00:28 If Ever There’s a Reason – Derby
04:12 Man Become Me – 31 Knots
07:54 Two Ghosts – Boy Eats Drum Machine
11:01 Gold Plated Shot – Champarticles
15:00 The Northwest Show w/ Joanna
15:41 Full Circle – Field Notes
18:52 Call To Love – Crooked Fingers
22:09 Young Crooks – Jatun
27:05 Los Nihongoristas – Long Distance Runner
32:25 The Northwest Show w/ Joanna
32:43 Age Of Reason – Magic Attic
36:59 Iceage Babeland – Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head
41:45 This Flimsy Traveling Machine – Small Sails
47:21 Old Thunder – The Apple War
52:41 The Northwest Show w/ Joanna
53:24 It Must Be Me – The Whitsundays
56:22 Torn Blue Foam Couch – Grand Archives

Boy Eats Drum Machine
Jan 28 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
Feb 19 – Ike Box – Salem, OR
Feb 25 – Sunset Tavern – Seattle, WA
Feb 27 – Jinx Art Space – Bellingham, WA
Feb 28 – Muse Lounge – Eugene, OR

Grand Archives

Jan 25 – La Casa 139 – Milan, Italy
Jan 26 – Covo Club – Bologne, Italy
Jan 27 – Hafenkneipe – Zurich, Switzerland
Jan 29 – 59:1 – Munich, Germany
Jan 30 – Teatar & TD – Zagreb, Croatia
Jan 31 – Wuk – Vienna, Austria
Feb 2 – Tacheles – Berlin, Germany
Feb 3 – Studio 672 – Koln, Germany

Feb 12 – Someday Lounge – Portland, OR
Feb 13 – Someday Lounge – Portland, OR

Does it matter Americans have rejected Sarah Palin?

Photo from Cover of Going Rogue

A new CBS News poll finds that a large majority of Americans say they do not want former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to run for president.

Specifically, 71 percent say they do not want the former Republican vice presidential nominee to run for president, while 21 percent say they do want her to run.

When the results are split out by party, 56 percent of Republicans say they do not want her to seek the office and 30 percent do. Meanwhile, 88 percent of Democrats do not want her to run. Among independents, 65 percent do not want her to run and 25 percent do.

– via Poll: Most Don’t Want Sarah Palin to Run for President (h/t Atrios)

I wonder if something like this even matters anymore. Sure, a majority of Republicans and Democrats agree (and when was the last time there was bipartisan support like this for anything?) that Sarah Palin should not — for the love of God — run for President.

But do they really mean it? And can the little people be trusted to make these big decisions?

Greenwald does a good job today explaining how our betters pick and choose which popular opinion polls they pay attention to. For example, David Brooks demands that Democrats abandon health care reform if the Republicans win the Massachusetts Senate seat today. But Brooks felt comfortable ignoring the overwhelming majority that eventually opposed the Iraq War, and wanted timetables for withdrawal. Not only did he ignore it — he actively undermined it.

The elite’s dismissal of popular opinion was best expressed by former Vice-President Dick Cheney. When asked how his glowing assessment of the Iraq War harmonized with recent polls that show about two-thirds of Americans say the fight in Iraq is not worth it, Cheney replied, “So?”

American politics isn’t a democratic process anymore. It’s controlled by wealthy elites in the media and Washington — the plutocracy — who pick which individuals ascend to the throne, and which policies are worthy of Serious Discussion. Your silly, little opinions don’t matter. Just shut up, and show up every few years to vote for Establishment Candidate A or Establishment Candidate B, and then go home.

Sarah Palin is a pretty good example of this profoundly undemocratic process. Here we have a joke of a politician: a one-term governor, who can barely string together a coherent sentence, thrust onto the national stage because of the decisions made by a coterie of rich, white dudes from The Weekly Standard (Kristol, Barnes, and Gerson,) who met with Palin during an Alaskan stop on a thinktank cruise.

By the time the Weekly Standard pundits returned to the cruise ship, Paulette Simpson said, “they were very enamored of her.” In July, 2007, Barnes wrote the first major national article spotlighting Palin, titled “The Most Popular Governor,” for The Weekly Standard. Simpson said, “That first article was the result of having lunch.” Bitney agreed: “I don’t think she realized the significance until after it was all over. It got the ball rolling.”


Indeed, as early as June 29th, two months before McCain chose her, Kristol predicted on “Fox News Sunday” that “McCain’s going to put Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, on the ticket.” He described her as “fantastic,” saying that she could go one-on-one against Obama in basketball, and possibly siphon off Hillary Clinton’s supporters. He pointed out that she was a “mother of five” and a reformer. “Go for the gold here with Sarah Palin,” he said. The moderator, Chris Wallace, finally had to ask Kristol, “Can we please get off Sarah Palin?”


On July 22nd, again on Fox, Kristol referred to Palin as “my heartthrob.” He declared, “I don’t know if I can make it through the next three months without her on the ticket.”


Finally, McCain’s top aides, including Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis, converged on Palin. Ed Rogers, the chairman of B.G.R., a well-connected, largely Republican lobbying firm, said, “Her criteria kept popping out. She was a governor—that’s good. The shorter the Washington résumé the better. A female is better still. And then there was her story.” He admitted, “There was concern that she was a novice.” In addition to Schmidt and Davis, Charles R. Black, Jr., the lobbyist and political operative who is McCain’s chief campaign adviser, reportedly favored Palin. Keene said, “I’m told that Charlie Black told McCain, ‘If you pick anyone else, you’re going to lose. But if you pick Palin you may win.’ ” (Black did not return calls for comment.)

Meanwhile, McCain’s longtime friend said, “Kristol was out there shaking the pom-poms.”

And there we have it. Palin entered the political world as a Serious Contender because the right rich men got erections in her presence deemed it appropriate. There’s nothing democratic about that. The American people never said she was the best woman for the job. Palin simply found the people with the right access (wealthy, white men,) and coasted her way into a position where she was almost one heart attack away from the presidency of the most powerful country on the planet.

Without that access, and its money, an actual populist candidate — one who wouldn’t, say, support illegal wars, or the expansion of the privatized insurance industry, or the bailing out of corporate America with taxpayer dollars — will never receive the same national attention as a would-be puppet dictator like Palin.

And now this joke, who abandoned her governorship riddled in shame, is going to be a Fox News contributor, which Kristol thinks is OMFG fantastic!

“It’s great,” said Kristol, a regular fixture on the network. “She’ll be a terrific addition to the Fox News Sunday panel!”

TOTALLY — Wait, she’s a moron. She’ll add nothing. And Americans don’t like her (even her December “popularity growth” showed a whopping 46-46 split rating — hardly overwhelming support).

At the very least, Americans certainly don’t want her to run for president. But that doesn’t matter. They’re going to be forced to choke on Palin’s stupidity even if they have already overwhelming rejected her. She is permitted to haunt the land like this because News Corp has been wowed, and once Rupert Murdoch’s The Weekly Standard loved her, it was only a matter of time before Rupert Murdoch’s Fox loved her, too.

It’s easy to dismiss Kristol because he’s constantly wrong about everything, but it is telling that his hand-picked banana got so close to the presidency, and is now still floating around the mainstream like she didn’t just fall on her face a thousand times in one of those more badly executed political campaigns in modern history.

71 percent say they do not want the former Republican vice presidential nominee to run for president.

I would advise polling companies ask Americans if they want her to blather on a national network, except I assume that’s one of the polls our betters will ignore.

– Allison Kilkenny

Blogger of the Week: You Would If You Had Robot Ears

You Would If You Had Robot Ears loves EDM and keeping up with the fast-paced genre. For you noobs, EDM is electronic dance music and Robot Ears highlights what will be hot in the months to come. Evan of Robot Ears has put together a very special playlist with artists like Teen, Lights over Los Angeles, Good Luck At The Gunfight, and more. He talks to BTR about the blog, the meeting of electro and hip-hop, and a Daft Punk rival. Listen now!

00:00 DJ Mimi (Friendly Ghost – Harlem)
00:46 Zombie Prom Night – Richie Beretta
07:21 Evan on You Would If You Had Robot Ears
08:15 Sugar – Teen
12:17 I Don’t Want To Die Like This – Lights Over Los Angeles
17:12 Evan on Electrolightz, electro & hip-hop, Tea Time
18:30 Kimberly – Good Luck At The Gunfight
23:16 Drummer – Boys Noize
28:32 Montage (Panther’s Salacious Sound) – Teen
32:14 Evan on Daft Punk rivals
32:47 Mitsubitchi (Tea Time) – The Subs
36:22 Midnight Walk – Barretso
41:06 Evan on rising artists
41:44 Shoes of Glass (Valery Gore) – Teen
45:14 Skeleton (Clockwork Remix) – Felix Cartal
51:11 Evan on future projects
51:50 Malibu – Good Luck At The Gunfight
54:54 DJ Mimi (Friendly Ghost – Harlem)
55:29 Written All Over Your Face – Electrolightz