Posts Tagged ‘The Yellow Bird Project’

YBP MixtapeHey guys. I made an extra special Mixtape this week featuring music from bands that are a part of my favourite non-profit organization The Yellow Bird Project. Check it out!

Oh and here’s the tracklist:

1. Stars – Division (B-Side from In Our Bedroom After The War)

2. Of Montreal – “Alter Eagle” (From ID Engager Single)

3. Uninhabitable Mansions – “Do You Have A Strategy?”

4. Broken Social Scene – “Needle In The Head”

5. k-os (feat. Murray Lightburn and Emily Haines) – “Uptown Girl”

6. Holly Throsby – “A Heart Divided”

7. Elvis Perkins In Dearland – “Slow Doomsday”

8. The National (feat. St Vincent) – “Sleep All Summer” (Crooked Fingers Cover)

9. King Creosote – “Camels Swapped For Wives”

10. The Tallest Man On Earth – “A Field Of Birds”

Click here to listen!

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Written For the Yellow Bird Project:
December 6th, 2008 by themiddledistancerunner

In the second installment of my “Best of 2008” series, I will be unveiling my top songs of the year. Just to warn you, this is a list of my most listened to songs. It’s not a list of what I think were my favourites throughout the year. Also, I only put one song by each band or artist. If I didn’t do this the list would be almost exclusively Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver. Other than that there aren’t really many surprises except for a few bands here and there where I thought to myself, “wow did I really listen to them that much?” Anyways, without further ado, here are my favourite 20 songs of 2008:

20. Stars – The Night Starts Here

I remember first hearing this song while in London. I was immediately addicted. It quickly became the song of the trip. By the way, have you heard Stars’ new EP called the Sad Robots EP? It was number 3 on my list of the top 5 EPs of 2008. You should really check it out.

19. Laura Marling – Cross Your Fingers

If you don’t know who Laura Marling is yet than you are really missing out on one of the top new artists of the year. She writes some of the most beautiful songs, and she is only 18 years old. Unbelievable talent.

18. Hot Chip – Ready for the Floor

This is my favourite song from Hot Chip’s new album, Made in the Dark. I don’t know if the album as a whole will stand up to their amazing previous album, The Warning, but it is nevertheless pretty damn good.

17. Chairlift – Bruises

This song is just catchy as hell. Every time I see that Itunes ad, the song stays in my head for the rest of the day. The rest of the album isn’t bad either. It’s called Does You Inspire You. Give it a listen.

Chairlift – Bruises

16. Plants & Animals – Bye Bye Bye

This one is by my fellow Montrealers, Plants & Animals. I absolutely love their debut album, Parc Avenue, which was nominated, but didn’t win the Polaris Music Prize. Have you seen their performance on Pitchfork TV’s “Don’t Look Down”? Check it out here.

15. The Hush Sound – Break The Sky

I don’t know if anybody knows about them, but I love them. Catchy tunes, singer with an outstanding voice, what more do you need?

The Hush Sound – Break The Sky

14. Horse Feathers – This is What

I became obsessed with this band for a good 2 months. Haven’t really listened much to them since then, but I still consider this one of my favourite songs of the year.

Horse Feathers – This is What

13. Dr. Dog – The Old Days

How can you not love this song? The whole album is amazing, but this was definitely my favourite and most listened to track on it. Check out this awesome performance:

12. Miniature Tigers – Hot Venom

I recently got into this band. They are really poppy and catchy as hell, and I love every minute of it. This song is a cute little ditty about falling in love….and venom.

Miniature Tigers – Hot Venom

11. Man Man – Top Drawer

How insane is Rabbits Habbits? Without a doubt one of my favourite albums of the year. This song is tied with “Mister Jung Stuffed” for most listened to song on the album. I was lucky enough to see them play live with Yeasayer opening. Yeasayer was just ok. Man Man was INCREDIBLE. One of the best live shows I have ever seen. If you get a chance to see these guys live, please do so. You won’t regret it.

Man Man – Top Drawer

10. Islands – Pieces of You

My favourite song on the new Islands album, Arm’s Way. Love the strings.

Islands – Pieces of You

9. The Dears – Money Babies

This song, along with “Demons” and “Lights Off” are my favourite songs from the new Dears album, MISSILES. I think it actually may be my favourite Dears album to date. Have you heard about the new Dears band members? Pretty talented company.

8. Vampire Weekend – Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa

I really could have picked any song from Vampire Weekend’s stellar self-titled debut album, but I think this just might be my fave. Afro-poppy goodness!

7. Tokyo Police Club – Graves

To be honest, I liked Tokyo Police Club more before they released their debut album, Elephant Shell. The album, does have some goodies though. And they’re Canadian, so they get extra points.

6. The Dodos – The Season

This song is just completely ridiculous. I was lucky enough to see the Dodos play it live at Sala Rossa in Montreal a few months ago and it completely blew me away. It is arguably the best single song I have ever seen played live. You can’t really get the same feel from watching a video, but hopefully this will give you an idea:

5. Pete & The Pirates – Bears

Awesome song by some talented Britts called Pete & the Pirates.

Pete & The Pirates – Bears

4. Pinback – How We Breathe

I love Pinback and everything they have ever done. It’s kind of weird how they are a completely different band live, but I still love them. This is the song I have listened to most off of their new album, Autumn of the Seraphs.

Pinback – How We Breathe

3. Born Ruffians – Little Garcon

I don’t know what it is but this song has a certain charm that just grabs me. By far my favourite song on Born Ruffians’ excellent debut LP, Red, Yellow & Blue.

Born Ruffians – Little Garcon

2. Bon Iver – Flume

This song could have easily been my song of the year. I got to see Bon Iver play in Montreal a few months ago and wow what a show. And lucky me, I’m seeing them play again on Thursday, this time in New York City, with the Tallest Man on Earth opening.

1. Fleet Foxes – Mykonos

But of course the best song of the year is by Fleet Foxes. So far they are 2 for 2 in my “Tops of 2008” lists. Their Sun Giant EP is my EP of the year, and now “Mykonos” wins for song of the year. Will they sweep the board with the best album of the year? Stay tuned to find out.

Now that you know mine…what are your favourite songs of the year?

Until next week…

The Middle Distance Runner

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I did another interview for The Yellow Bird Project. Here it is:

November 5th, 2008 by themiddledistancerunner

Boy do we have something special for you today! I’m putting my normal music drivel on hold for this week, because as you can already guess by the title of this post, I have had the opportunity to interview an extremely talented musician who goes by the name of Nicole Atkins. If you don’t already know her you are in for a treat. Along with this interview, Nicole has provided us with a song off of her new EP, entitled Nicole Atkins Digs Other People’s Songs. The song is a cover of “Under the Milky Way”, which was originally done by an Australian band called The Church. So here is the interview, I hope you enjoy:

Middle Distance Runner: To me, your music seems very dramatic and emotional. How important is emotion to you in the music you make?

Nicole Atkins: Extremely important. It’s really the biggest reason I write songs. To try to work through different emotions in life. Also, I like my songs to feel like mini movies. I try to not just sing about a situation or a place but also try to get (to) the listener about what it feels like to be in it or there.

MDR: When did you realize that being a musician is what you wanted to do with your life?

NA: When I was in art college and realized that I had way more songs and gigs than paintings.

MDR: If you could have any other job besides being a musician what would it be?

NA: Maybe an illustrator for science or medical journals, or an owner of a music venue.

MDR: Who has been the most influential person in your career as musician?

NA: Probably most of my family. They have always been really supportive and have all of these great tragic yet humorously dark stories that make good fodder for songs.

MDR: If you could sing a duet with anyone dead or alive who would it be?

NA: Definitely Roy Orbison or Edith Piaf

MDR: I love your song “Neptune City”. What is it about?

NA: The first half is about my mom’s little brother Dom that passed away when he was little. Its about him looking down on his funeral procession and realizing he can’t go home again. Then the second half is about me. I just moved back to Neptune City after living in NYC and was frustrated by being there and just saying that maybe if I could just learn to appreciate how pretty the river is and shit that I could love it there again.

MDR: Who is funnier in person? David Letterman or Conan O’Brien?

NA: They were both pretty damn funny! Draw!

MDR: What was it like to perform on those shows?

NA: It was really awesome. Super fun. We met so many cool people too, like Dennis Hopper and Slash. Playing on shows like that definitely makes you take a step back and just say “wow, how did i get here?!”

MDR: I hear you are a big fan of David Lynch. What is your favourite of his films?

NA: I always switch between Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive. He is the master of the haunt.

MDR: What is your favourite city to play in?

NA: Austin, Texas for sure. Great people, music scene and food. Can’t beat it.

MDR: Do you have any superstitions or rituals you perform before playing a show?

NA: A little warming up and a little Jameson.

MDR: What was the most memorable show that you have played?

NA: Off the top of my head it would be our set at Bonnaroo. It was the second time we ever played a festival and had a pretty good slot. Just having a bigger stage and a bigger crowd I had so much fun playing I almost cried. A couple times during the set I just couldn’t stop laughing too it was just such intense fun.

MDR: Finally, Are you a fan of any of the artists that have contributed to the Yellow Bird Project?

NA: I am! Big fan of The National, Devendra, The Shins and The New Pornographers. I actually just sang backup on Carl Newman’s new solo record that comes out this month.

So there you have it, Nicole Atkins has great taste in music! I just want to thank Nicole again for doing this, we loved her answers. You should all go out to see her play live. She has a few upcoming dates…take a look:

11/05/2008 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live

11/07/2008 – Washington, D.C. – The Rock and Roll Hotel

11/08/2008 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theater

11/13/2008 – Cambridge, MA – T.T. The Bears

11/14/2008 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom

11/26/2008 – Ashbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony

And here is that delightful little cover that I promised you:

Nicole Atkins – Under The Milky Way

Until next week…

The Middle Distance Runner

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It has just come to my attention via e-mail that the Yellow Bird Project now has a theme song. It is called “A Field of Birds” and it was written by The Tallest Man on Earth, who if you don’t know who he is you should definitely check him out. He makes some pretty beautiful country/folky kinda music.

Click here to download the theme song for free.

There are also some new designs by some pretty awesome bands.

Check out the New Pornographers/Immaculate Machine design:

Pretty snazzy if you ask me. I want one.

Click here to see what else is going on over at YBP.

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I am absolutely loving Tyler Ramsey’s newest album, entitled A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea. I have been listening to it non stop along with that Pete & The Pirates record that I have previously mentioned. My song of the week is the first song on the album. A very appropriate opener in which Ramsey sings about his inspiration for the album, which was a dream he had about swimming across the see (Duh!). Anyways, listen to the whole song through to the end…the outro is very nice.

Tyler Ramsey – A Long Dream

I also wrote a review of the album for my friends at The Yellow Bird Project, so if you feel like reading my thoughts on the album check it out!

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This band is my new obsession. Any time I have a chance to listen to music (which has been pretty often lately) I have been listening to Pete & the Pirates debut album Little Death. I am absolutely in love with this album. They play pretty simple pop rock music, but the songs just grab me. Each song is really catchy, yet there’s nothing pretencious about them. I love almost every song on the album, but if I had to choose a favourite it would have to be “Eyes Like Tar” or “Bears”. I haven’t been this excited about a band in long time so please check these guys out, you’ll love them!

Here are some samplettes:

Pete & The Pirates – Eyes Like Tar

Pete & The Pirates – She Doesn’t Belong to Me

On a side note, I have returned from my 2 month stint as an intern in New York City. I am now back in my hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Even though I am back at home and I am taking two summer summer courses I will still do my best to update my blog regularly. I will also continue to post my weekly blogs for The Yellow Bird Project, so if there’s nothing new here for a few days be sure to check in there.

Well that’s all for now. Hope everyone is having a good summer filled with music!

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(Au Revoir Simone Wearing the shirt they designed)

I have decided along with my friends at The Yellow Bird Project to write a weekly blog for their site. This doesn’t mean i will stop writing here. I’m just going to be writing more!

In case you haven’t heard, the Yellow Bird Project is a non-profit, charity organization, where they get artists we all know and love (Stars, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Hayden, Holly Throsby, My Brightest Diamond, Devendra Banhart, The National, Rilo Kiley, The Shins, Wolf Parade, Wolfmother, Broken Social Scene, King Creosote and Joseph Arthur) to design a t-shirt, with the proceeds going to the charity of the band/artist’s choice. Some charities that have been chosen are: The Elliott Smith Memorial Fund , The Nature Conservancy, and Art For Change.

This is a very awesome organization and i am honored to be writing a weekly blog for them!

To view my Yellow Bird Blog click here!

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