to eleven

What’s going on here?
January 5, 2012, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Meta

Hey all,

This is just a reminder that we’ll probably have some down-time tomorrow when we change servers. We probably won’t post tomorrow to make the transition easier on the tech staff, but feel free to stop by, look around, and contact us if any weirdness occurs. In the meantime, you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for any news. (And you should follow both, as jason runs the Facebook page and Jayson runs the Twitter account.)

If the machines haven’t taken over, we should be back to normal on monday with our Mash-ups.


Review:Tours- Stay
January 5, 2012, 10:24 am
Filed under: Review | Tags: , , , , ,

Tours-Stay EP
Tours-Stay EP. Bobby Cahn Records, 2011.

You may remember me going on about TUMBLEwoof, the mash-up producer behind the brillians Phoenix & Lil Wayne EP. Well, Dylan Sieh, the man behind TUMBLEwoof, is back with a new project: Tours.

Tours’ EP, Stay is a dreamy little electronic album. That’s really the best adjective for it: dreamy. You’re not going to get up and dance to this stuff, but you might sway in your seat with your eyes half open. And that’s not to say that Stay is boring because it’s not at all. There are layers of sound washing in and out like the tide. For electronic music, it has a real warmth, a natural rhythm that’s soothing rather than jarring.

What I think is most striking is that on my first listen, I could hear that this was TUMBLEwoof. Even though Phoenix & Lil Wayne was a derived work made from the music of others, this sounds like it was made by the same guy. Considering he’s putting this stuff together presumably on his home computer, that’s impressive.

Stay is available on Tours’ Bandcamp page for a dollar (or more if you really like it).

Mash-up Monday: Adele vs. Eurythmics- “Rolling in the Sweet Dreams”
January 2, 2012, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Mash Up Monday | Tags: , , ,

Daftbeatles took Adele’s Rolling in the Deep and paired it with the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” I approve.

Mash-up Monday: Justin Bieber vs. Slipknot- “Psychosocial Baby”
January 2, 2012, 10:00 am
Filed under: Mash Up Monday | Tags: , , ,

Isosine had the genius idea to mash up Justin Bieber and Slipknot. Like, this mash up is from early 2011, but I’m just hearing it for the first time, and it’s one hell of a way to start a year.

An Open Letter to 2011

Dear 2011,

You know what? You weren’t half bad. I often look at each new year as a chance for things to get better, but as far as years have gone, you were fairly decent. I mean, sure, we lost some musicians like Amy Winehouse, Heavy D, Warren G, but you know what? To quote a British Sit Com: “Death isn’t the handicap it used to be.” Just ask Tupac and Elliott Smith.

We also had some bland pop music, like that one song with the autotuned guy bragging about his car and asking a girl to come back to his place. You know the one I’m talking about, right? But every year has bland pop music.

However, we had some really good music, too, as my top 10 list and Jayson’s top best of list will attest. And even the bad music, such as Loutallica’s Lola, was entertainingly bad. “Hallucinaaaaaaation! Hallucinaaaaaaaation! I thought you were listening!” Heh.

And in 2012, we’re planning on moving the site over to a different server, getting another writer or two, and generally shaking things up at both To Eleven North and To Eleven South. This all means that we may look back at 2011 as “The year before shit got all fucked up.” That is, unless the 2012 apocalypse is the real one and we die before John Cusack can save us. Or, you know, if SOPA passes. Or that kid in North Korea launches nukes.

Damn. 2012 is looking worse and worse, isn’t it.

It is with this in mind that I say, “Don’t leave us, 2011.”

When the ball drops in Times Square, I sincerely hope the numbers light up to say “2011” again. We could really stand to have another one of you.

So stay if you will, but go if you must, and know that you were a good year.

To Eleven

Review: Elephant Goes West-Whirling Dervish EP
December 29, 2011, 10:00 am
Filed under: Review | Tags: , , , ,

Elephant Goes West-Whirling Dervish
Elephant Goes West-Whirling Dervish EP. Self-released, 2011.

One word comes to mind while I listen to Elephant Goes West’s EP Whirling Dervish: Beatlesque. Specifically, Paul-McCartney-post-Sgt. Pepper-Beatlesque. They have that kind of timeless-yet-old-timey thing that a lot of bands I’ve listened to lately have. I don’t know if that means this is a trend in music or just in my listening habits, but it’s a thing.

For the most part, the album is pretty innocuous, even when their songs are about a failing relationship, as in “First Time/Last Time.” It’s still pretty by-the-numbers pop music. That is, until the final track, “Apples.” On “Apples,” well, I’m not sure what’s going on. A recording of someone talking about how the Wisconsin Public Sector unions were warring against their neighbors and how Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme. These clips bookend a McCartneyesque pop song. I’m not sure what the band’s doing here…on one hand, this could be a pro-libertarian message. On the other hand, the mechanical distortion they put over it makes the whole thing sound kind of like the infamous Max Headroom pirate broadcast. I usually don’t like music to have a strong political message, but as I’m not sure what the message is here, I’ll let it slide this time.

All told, Whirling Dervish is a great little EP that leaves me anticipating their upcoming album. Whirling Dirvish can be downloaded from the band’s Bandcamp page for free.

Mash-up Monday: Dada Life vs. Usher- “Without the Epic Motherf**ker (DJs From Mars Bootleg Mix)
December 26, 2011, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Mash Up Monday | Tags: , , ,

DJs From Mars put this mashup of Dada Life and Usher together. I’m liking it, and now you are too.

Mash-up Monday: DJ Earworm- “United State of Pop 2011 (World Go Boom)”

Every year, I look forward to the new DJ Earworm mega-mash-up. They’re all amazing.

The To Eleven (South) Holiday Guide

Here at To Eleven South, my girlfriend, I, and J.A.Y.N.O.V.A. MK II(To Eleven’s Sassy Supercomputer) are celebrating the Holiday season. By this, I of course mean we’re having a month long drunk and setting shit on fire because, well, if you’re going to do a thing, you might as well do it crunk.

So here’s the To Eleven South Holiday Guide, with suggestions on how to make your Holiday season as awesome as ours.

Holiday movie: Die Hard. Of course.

Holiday Albums:
A Very Balthrop Christmas
Balthrop, Alabama-A Very Balthrop Christmas.

You can have a listen to it (and, if I’m reading correctly, download it for free? Is that right?) at THE LABEL’S WEBSITE. Lots of great songs, and though one song casually references a rather extreme sex act, it’s between two ladies, so it’s still fun for the whole family.

Peanuts Christmas-Vince Guaraldi Trio
Vince Guaraldi Trio-A Peanuts Christmas.

Christmas in the Stars
Christmas in the Stars

OK. I’ll admit that this one is only even marginally listenable if you are completely trashed, but as the party don’t stop here at To Eleven South, this one’s always on. Also, this album features Jon Bon Jovi before he got famous, died, and came back to life.

NOTE: If I had ANY artistic ability, this space would have a pic of Jon Bon Jovi floating above a cave with the words “He Is Risen” above him.

To Eleven Holiday Cookie Recipe:
Buy some cookies at the store
Soak them in mash liquor until they completely fall apart
Set it all on fire
What are we doing again?

To Eleven Cookies II:
To Eleven Cookies
I made these.

Favorite Holiday Song (not on one of the aforementioned albums.):

Pomplamoose- “Jingle Bells”
Pomplamoose- “Deck the Halls”
Jessica Frech- “I’m Glad I Bought a Hyundai”
Really any Hyundai commercial.*

*I mean, come on! Jeff Bridges does the voice over, except for the end bit that tells you to go to a Hyundai dealer. That’s voiced by the guy who played Flint on G.I.Joe!

And that should get you started with your Holiday celebration. And if your December holiday already came and went, well, I guess you’ll have to take a Mulligan so you can redo it the To Eleven way.

Happy Holiday’s folks! See you when the Holiday hangover passes!


Review: Dana Falconberry-Though I Didn’t Call It Came
December 22, 2011, 11:25 am
Filed under: Review | Tags: , , , ,

Dana Falconberry Though I Didn't Call It Came
Dana Falconberry-Though I Didn’t Call It Came. Crossbill Records, 2012.

Dana Falconberry’s new EP, Though I Didn’t Call It Came is a good example of how inadequate labels can be for music. I could call this a folk album, or even Americana, what with the acoustic guitars, and violins. And reading the lyrics, such as on “Maple Leaf Red” where Falconberry sings, “Brook feather green, robin egg blue/ penstemon lavender I dream of you,” as well as the albums many references to a specific, outdoorsy locale (in this case, Northern Michigan) it would be easy to assume that this is just folk music.

Sonically, however, the story’s a bit more complicated. There’s a string quartet, a harp player, and even some wine glasses at one point. See, when I think of folk music, I think of music that is easily transportable, music that would sound just as at home if played on a front porch in the woods as it would on a stage. On “Petoskey Stone” in particular, there’s a lot of subtle instrumentation going on. In fact, especially on that song, I’m reminded more of Andrew Bird than any folk musician.

I guess this is the counter to the argument I made a couple of months ago when I said that certain genres were dead languages, citing folk as a genre for historical reinactors. Dana Falconberry is making folk music for today, so I stand corrected.

Though I Didn’t Call It Came is out on January 24, 2012, on Crossbill Records.