Monthly Archives: March 2011

Hello, Spring!

One of these days, I will start a blog about growing up Russian-Jewish, and expound on the many things that can be found in sour-cream containers (not usually sour-cream), how many types of horseradish it is appropriate to have in ones fridge, the various illnesses cured by tea, and the uncanny ability of non-English-speaking grandmothers to communicate with ones American friends using food. However, for now, you’ll have to content yourself with music.

Home was good. Gah, new quarter has started whether or not I’m ready to face it. I wish I could sleep another week…

My goals for this quarter: play more instruments, take my vitamins, buy all the CDs…and of course, gradesgradesgradesgradesgrades.

Illinois is a state whose music scene I became intimately familiar with when I got into pop-punk, back in the day. It’s always kind of a surprise to get into a band from there and have them not be pop-punk/on the same label as a bunch of other Illinois bands I know/touring with three other bands from Illinois. The band of the day is not a pop-punk band and not part of the Chicago scene. They don’t even live in Chicago, but in Champaign, Illinois which Wikipedia tells me has a population of 81,000.

Their sound is…not what I would expect from a band residing in a small, Midwestern city. Though, truth be told, I’m not really sure what that would even be…Less upbeat, probably. Elsinore, however, is upbeat, staunchly alternative-based indie-pop. The song I will be gushing about today is off their 2010 album Yes Yes Yes. It is awesome, and I will tell you why!

The song in question has verses that sound a bit like early Strokes, with prettier vocals, and you know, elves playing the instruments. (In case you need to ask, I mean Tolkien elves. Please.) Bear with me! There’s this ethereal touch to the music that one does not recall the early 2000s garage rock revival. And then, counterpoint to the alternativeness of the verses, there’s this big, orgasmic, pop-tastic chorus. Which, anyone who’s read any of this blog at all is probably sick of hearing about how much I love those already. This one makes me want to jump and dance around like an idiot. Okay, “want” and “to” probably should not be in that last sentence. They imply that I do not actually do these things.

The whole thing is tied together with a good guitar part, what I’m pretty sure is synth, and a really nice vocal delivery. If you listen to this song, which has a rich sound that belies the absolutely ridiculous amount of studio time that was spent on the album it’s on, and a warmth that has nothing to do with recording and everything to do with the awesome, talented, possibly-elfin musicians who wrote and recorded it, you will want to jump and dance around, too. Also, ridiculous music video.

Here is “Chemicals” by Elsinore.

Hey, love,
I’ve got you on my back I’m thinking of
the chemicals
are something to be reckoned with, oh


This band….

Every once in a while, when listening to an album, I’ll think about how it found its way into my life. There’s lots of different paths that music takes into my collection—a veritable cornucopia of online radio stations, favorite playlists, and random occurrences. The way I came to know this particular band is probably the most interesting story out of the bunch. Now, I am really, really shit at taking music recommendations. “Listen to this band,” someone will say, and I won’t mean anything by it, but I will have forgotten all about it fifteen minutes later. I need to hear music to care enough to commit it to memory.

This band was recommended to me by a very interesting person I once met and knew briefly. And um, the only way I can cope with some of the memories of that particular acquaintance (when they come to mind) is by telling myself that outbreaks of skull-crushing awkwardness are an essential part of every teenaged life. Man, thinking about myself at sixteen makes me feel old…That being said, that first meeting definitely numbers among the most interesting first meetings I’ve had, and it was during that first meeting that I was recommended Nightmare of You. (Just ‘cause a story’s interesting, doesn’t mean I’m actually telling it. :P)

I wound up actually listening to this damn band, of all the bands anyone has ever told me to listen to. And man, I am really, really glad. They are so cool, you guys. Their lead singer, one Brandon Reilly, previously of The Movielife and even more previously of The Rookie Lot, a band that contained most of the people that would go on to form Brand New, is a pint-sized collection of cynicism, sweaters, awesomeness, and really good quotes. Their music is some combination of upbeat, 80s-via-Smiths-and-Cure melodies and riffs and fabulous, vitriolic, clever lyrics. It’s everything anyone could ever want. You and everyone you know should love them.

The song I have for your consideration today, from their self-titled, while one of the best songs on the album and anywhere, is not usually my “let’s pimp Nightmare of You out to everyone I know!” song of choice. Granted, that is because that album has a song called “In the Bathroom Is Where I Want You” and a song with a music video that involves a clone of Brandon Reilly being beaten to death by the band. However, I am really feeling it today, and shouldn’t a song that can beat out those other, ridiculously awesome things get your attention? The song in question is upbeat as fuck with a really fun riff, and some brutal, accusatory lyrics. There are horns and synth and a catchy chorus driven by a strong beat. There is what is possibly one of my favorite bridges in any song ever. There is Brandon Reilly’s awesome voice. This song is so good. So, so, so good. “Why Am I Always Right?” by Nightmare of You. Listen to it. Listen to it now.

Stick a fork in a socket
Do what you like
Just make sure that I’m far out of your life
Take an axe to your fingers
Carve your eyes
Cut out your tongue and we’ll call this a tie
Cut out your lying tongue and we’ll call this a tie

What’s my excuse for this one?

So, I may have skipped almost a month again. Oooops. Can I just blame the insanity that is the end of the quarter and ignore the fact that I’ve been done with finals for almost a week? I’ve been sick, okay! Still am, actually. :/ See, none of this has anything to do with laziness! See how I am suffering to share some pretty music with you, overcoming my illness, all that? (Okay, I’m done now. )

Today, I bring to you some absolutely adorable indie-pop from Houston, Texas. (One of these days, I will get around to blogging about something less indie. I promise I’m not actually this cool. Anyone who has any illusions to that effect will have them shattered VERY SOON.) My brief inquest about the band in question turned out very little information, other than the fact that they hang out in Texas, and sell out shows there. They look very young in their photos, and did I mention ADORABLE?

So, this here song has everything anyone (namely, me) could ever want. There’s those boy-girl vocals I like so much, plentiful harmonies, some really sweet keys, and a pleasing, mellow drum-beat. They remind me a bit of Ra Ra Riot – strings + a lady. This is a good thing. There’s some really pretty voices, a really nice instrumental part, and all of it blends together just…way too nicely. So uh, just relax, let the harmonies wash over you, and enjoy “Skin Collision Past” by Wild Moccasins.

swollen tears swallowed by a pavement sea
authority figures look for me

If you would like to see the adorableness in action, here’s a video of an in-studio session they did for All Our Noise. (

And here is their facebook, if you’d like to look at pictures or follow links to their various holdings on the internet! (