to eleven

Mash-up Monday: Dada Life vs. Usher- “Without the Epic Motherf**ker (DJs From Mars Bootleg Mix) by jason
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)” by jason

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

The To Eleven (South) Holiday Guide by jason

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 by jason
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.


Playing catch up and moving forward. by Jayson
December 21, 2011, 11:21 am
Filed under: Interwebs | Tags: , , , ,

I hate when this happens. I hated it last year too. Ok, so now I am back in action but there is a backlog of stuff that is staring me in the face and demanding attention. I am tempted to do pellet reviews, but that is not fair to anyone who sent me their music in good faith that I’d take the time with it.

Here is a thing:

Heinali and Matt Finney covered a Loutallica song and basically completely redeemed the project. I kind have this pet hypothesis that some stuff only exists so it can be covered by someone else down the line. So yeah, Loutallica existed so these guys could come along and do this.

Also, there is such as a new Soul Khan video:

Some blog news:

We’re hoping to have Matt back writing with us sometime in Feb-March of 2012.

We’re also still looking for another contributor or contributors. We’re also going to totally destroy ourselves at some point too. At least that is what I think will probably happen. What the plan is, is to migrate from our current setup to a install. Price wise, it’ll work out better for us than paying WordPress for all the assorted bells & whistles. We’ll be able to go back to hosting audio and can make some much-needed tweaks to our theme. We may take a stab at making some money for ourselves off of the site here too, I figure we can do $4 a month easy. The move will probably screw some stuff up, but hopefully not too much or for too long. Target date for this is beginning in mid-Jan with hopefully a week or two at the most of  downtime. In the end though, we should be better than ever going into our 3rd year doing this.

– Jayson

Review: Red Orchid – Blood Vessels & Marshmallows by Jayson
December 20, 2011, 10:27 am
Filed under: Review, Rock | Tags: , , , ,

Red Orchid - Blood Vessels & Marshmallows cover art

I miss the alternative rock. As a genre label there was a point in time where it was pretty valid and what I liked about it was that it communicated a broad and general sense of the prevailing trends in music rather than the hyperspecific genre descriptions that populate today’s musical discourse. The whole reason I bring this up is because Blood Vessels & Marshmallows makes me think of alternative rock in the best sense of the golden age thereof. Red Orchid is progressive rock though too. Progressive-alternative. And the strain of progressive that runs through it is a very true, classic style. Very King Crimson when it wants to be. All this leads up to one of the things I like most about Sanmeet Sidh’s take on the genres he’s fusing together in Red Orchid; the accessibility. Not that I mind, but a lot of the stuff I review personally is kind of “one step beyond” in terms of its experimental nature. Red Orchid is something I’d recommend to anyone, so I am. I’m recommending you check out this album, all of you.

Blood Vessels & Marshmallowsis available directly from the artist on CD with a 6 panel signed digipack accompanied with an immediate free download.

Also available as a download on iTunes, Amazon, eMusic and Bandcamp. 

– Jayson


Mash-up Monday: Lady GaGa + Beyonce vs. Foster the People- “Pumped up Telephone” by jason

MashKitten* took Lady GaGa’s “Telephone” (featuring Beyonce) and mashed it with Foster the People’s “Pumped up Kicks.” It’s nearly perfect.

*At least I think MashKitten is responsible for this, though I would like to propose we develop a Universal Citation System for the internet. Students ask me why MLA and APA have to be so exact. I tell them, “So we know what the hell you’re talking about, fool.”

Mash-up Monday: Queen vs. Depeche Mode- “Barrel of a Rock” by jason
December 19, 2011, 10:00 am
Filed under: Mash Up Monday | Tags: , , ,

I’m not sure who made this mashup of Queen and Depeche Mode. Is it awesome? Yes, it is.

Top Ten Albums of 2011-jason’s List by jason

Usually, I don’t do an actual Top Ten list; I do an “Albums that exceeded/met/failed to meet my expectations” list. This year, however, I heard a lot of bands for the first time, so I really went through the year without expectations (for the most part). I guess I have to do a top ten list for 2011.

OK. These albums are in random order, though the last five will be my absolute favorites for the year.

Tyler the Creator-Goblin

This one would probably be on my top 5 list if it wasn’t so misogynistic. I listened to Goblin about 20 times since I got it a couple of months ago, and I hear new things in it each time. Say what you want about this dude, but Tyler knows how to craft lyrics with layers of meaning, and his idea of a three-album concept where a man goes insane while talking to his therapist (who may actually be one of his split personalities) is awesome and well-executed.

10. Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling 2
Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling-Questions are a Burden to Others
Speaking of concepts, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’s second The Prisoner inspired EP is every bit as good as the first. In fact, everything Michael J. Epstein touches is fantastic, which is why two of the bands he’s affiliated with make my list this year, but more on that later.

9.Tumblewoof Phoenix Lil Wayne
Tumblewoof-Phoenix & Lil’ Wayne
TUMBLEwoof’s mash-up of Lil’ Wayne & Phoenix is pretty rad. It’s made Mash-up Monday more than a couple of times. I can’t wait to see what this guy’s doing next.

AC Deathstrike-Winter in Russia
This one might have actually ranked in my top five, but I feel like it was too new for me to make that judgement. But it’s a brilliant twee-rock album that pretty much sounds like the inside of my head does. And the frontman, Alex Dougherty, is pretty rad, too.

7. Eastern Phoebes Eggplant

Eastern Phoebes-Eggplant
Eggplant is another one I almost feel is too new to go on my list, but I love Eastern Phoebes, and I really think that this album is the most coherent work they’ve done. It’s going to be on my walkman well into 2012.

Dino DNA-Dino DNA
Dino DNA. They are rad. Go listen to them.

And now, my top five favorite albums, in order.

Nick Jaina-The Beanstalks That Have Brought Us Here Are Gone
Back in July, I said that this album was going to be on my top ten of the year list. In fact, in the press release that is sent out for this album, I’m quoted saying that, so I’d better put this on here so I’m not a liar.

Just kidding. The Beanstalks That Have Brought Us Here Are Gone would be on this list whether I had made that proclaimation or not. Jaina brings an all-star cast of female singers to bring his songs to life, and the whole thing really gels together as an album, despite the multiple singers. Great stuff.

4. Songs for Boats Talons'
Talons’-Songs For Boats
I waited for almost 2 years for Talons’ Songs for Boats, and it was worth the wait. I mean, it’s a soft-folk album about two lovers wandering an apocalyptic landscape. What’s not to love?

3. Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library
The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library-Volume 1

This is the second Michael J. Epstein project on my list. I described it as ” Magnetic Fields meets Peter, Paul, and Mary,” and in retrospect, that’s still accurate. Twee-folk-chamber-pop FTW!, Or, as Epstein would say, “!!!”

2.Soul Khan Soul Like Khan: Starve the Ego, Feed the Soul
Soul Khan-Soul Like Khan: Starve the Ego, Feed the Soul
A bunch of mash-up artists like Frail Limb Purity, DJ Schmolli, and DJ Lobsterdust took one of the best albums of 2010 and made it one of the best albums of 2011. FACT. Some of the tracks have replaced the originals as “the version i think of” when I think of Khan’s music. Khan released a few EPs this year, but this was my favorite thing he was connected to this year.

The Mountain Goats- All Eternals Deck
The last two years, The Mountain Goats have either met or failed to meet my expectations. Both Heretic Pride and The Life of the World to Come were dissapointing when compared to what John Darnielle had done before. that’s what I was so excited when I realized that this year’s All Eternals Deck was a frickin’ great album. It totally exceeded my expectations, and I expect a lot from them. The Mountain Goats are finally back to form, God’s in his Heaven, and all’s right with the world. I got to see them when they toured to support this album, and it was a great show. JD’s still got it, folks!

And that’s my top ten list. Do you disagree with any of the choices? Do you agree? Do you wish I had mentioned a different album? Let me know in the comment thingie below, and we can have a music snob ragefest civil discussion about it.


Where are we??? by jason

Ok. Remember last week when I said that it was our busy week? You see, Jayson is a student, and I teach students who can’t be bothered to actually go to their writing classes learn how to write at the last possible minute tutor. Therefore, the end of the semester is pretty crazy for both of us. I figured things would slow down this week, but they haven’t.

I CAN guarantee that next week will be better because, well, school will be out. If Jayson doesn’t have that project done, and if the students haven’t turned in those aassignments, they are all screwed.

Anyway, while we’re away, listen to some songs about school, or that mention school, and pray that we make it out of this semester alive.*

Alice Cooper-“School’s Out”

Belle and Sebastian- “We Rule the School”

DangerDoom (Danger Mouse and MF DOOM) feat. Talib Kweli- “Old School” (See what I did there?)

*If we don’t make it out, I, at least, still plan to post.