Download: STROKED: A Tribute To “Is This It”

Just take a look at the track list for this: Frankie Rose, Peter, Bjorn & John, Heems, Deradoorian, Real Estate, Owen Pallett. It’s amazing artists covering an amazing album, and it is done fantastically. Is This It is one of the seminal albums of the 2000s, an album that inspired a generation and sticks with a generation. Seeing The Strokes open their set at the Sweetlife Festival in May with “Is This It” reminded me of the first time I ever heard the track on a CD somewhere. It had the same lasting effect, something that carried over to the entire album.

This tribute to Is This It showcases many songs in many different styles, but each style works. Frankie Rose’s “Soma” pulls back a little bit on the original, taking a little bit of the edge off the track. One of the coolest covers on the tribute is Owen Pallett’s magnificent orchestral take on “Hard To Explain,” a track that lends itself to his style perfectly. Of course, Pallett’s cover is right before Heems of Das Racist’s cover of “New York City Cops,” which invokes Jay-Z’s “99 Problems.”

My favorite take on The Strokes comes from New Jersey’s Real Estate, who take on “Barely Legal.” The boys pull the tempo back a little bit, allowing Martin Courtney’s vocals to waft over the shimmering guitars. It makes the song feel much, much more contemplative, like they are looking back over the 10 years of Is This It as opposed to just throwing down a cover at a party. The mp3 is down below, via Pitchfork.

Overall, STROKED is a must-have for anyone that had the Strokes play a part in their musical life, with a great variety of cool covers. Also, it doesn’t suck like the Nevermind tribute that SPIN put together.

Get STROKED from Stereogum here.

MP3: Real Estate – “Barely Legal”

–Daniel

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Stream: Widowspeak – “Nightcrawlers”

Widowspeak is slowly emerging as a band-to-watch this fall after a series of highly successful New York-area gigs, and this taste of band’s upcoming self-titled debut full-length, confirms that hype. Following two successful 7″ singles, “Nightcrawlers” uses haunting vocals and gritty guitars to create an atmosphere that pulls the listener in and keeps them there.

Widowspeak is due out August 9 on Captured Tracks.

The record release show is August 2 at Glasslands with Hoop Dreams and Crinkles, plus DJ sets from Beach Fossils’ Dustin Payseur and Captured Tracks’ Katie Garcia.

The band is also playing at the Bowery Ballroom on August 13 with Woods, Ducktails and White Fence, which is sure to be an amazing show.

–Daniel

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Video: Vivian Girls – “Take It As It Comes”

You have to admit that you knew this track was destined for a music video the first time you heard it. The dialogue between Vivian GirlsCassie Ramone and Katy Goodman was just too good to pass up. And, what do you know, they did in this Travis Peterson-directed clip.

“Take It As It Comes” is the seventh track off of Share The Joy, the 2011 release from Vivian Girls on Polyvinyl.

Vivian Girls are touring this fall and will play in Philadelphia at Johnny Brenda’s on September 6 and at Ottobar in Baltimore on September 7 with Widowspeak.

–Daniel

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MP3: Total Babes – “Be So True” (Plus Stream Others and Videos))

Over a month ago we posted the first mp3 from a seemingly unassuming Cleveland lo-fi pop punk band that had a few of the Cloud Nothings guys. But after a live show (that I never got around to reviewing), some live videos (after the jump), a cassette copy of Swimming Through Sunlight and now another mp3, it’s safe to say that Chris Brown’s Total Babes earworm melodies are here to stay.

“Be So True” is the second track from Swimming Through Sunlight and was dropped over on the Forkcast earlier Tuesday. When I gave the cassette its first couple of listens upon receiving it, this track was the first that caught my brain in my early forays into the album. Brown’s lyrics are clever and, although sometimes unintelligible (love you, lo-fi!), a little snarky. The chorus of “Be So True” stands out in that regard with the line, “I swear I’ll be so true to you, but there’s nothing to be true to.” It’s pretty simple, but it gets its desired effect. Plus, the backing vocals, done live by Joe Boyer, are a nice touch, softening a somewhat abrasive sound.
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Northside Festival: Day 4

So I fell of a bit in trying to finish my Northside Festival reviews and etc, but honestly, I don’t really know what to write about Sunday. The Saturday of Northside was incredibly epic and left everyone exhausted, so we decided to stay close to home and hit the Newtown Radio 1-Year Anniversary Party at Shea Stadium, which featured DJing from Rezound and Chocolate Bobka.
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Video: Kurt Vile – “Baby’s Arms”

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a video filmed entirely on a Windows Phone. Gimmick or not, this video, directed by Todd Cole, for one of Kurt Vile‘s standout tracks off of Smoke Ring For My Halo is so, so cool, with perfect aesthetics for the tone of the song. Also, get “Baby’s Arms” for free from the Matablog.

Kurt Vile is on tour and will be in Washington, D.C. on August 10 with Woods and White Fence.

–Daniel

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Video: Future Islands – “Before The Bridge”

A little under a month ago, Future Islands dropped the A-side from their next single due out on Thrill Jockey, and now they have a video to go with “Before The Bridge.” The clip is directed by Abram Sanders and vibes extremely well with the track. Watch it over at Pitchfork.tv.

MP3: Future Islands – “Before The Bridge”

–Daniel

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