26 November 2010

Weather Or Not #7

Location: Santa Monica, CA
Weather: 51 degrees, fair, wind NNE 3mph.
Song: Chicane - "Sunstroke (Disco Citizens Mix)"

{ Chicane - "Sunstroke (Disco Citizens Mix)" }

Chicane captures the warm and sunny vibe of Ibiza.

The amazing Disco Citizens remix of "Sunstroke" is one of the few things that are keeping me warm during the record breaking cold spell that we've been having in Los Angeles.

That and the sweater. And the thick socks. And the hot tea.

{ He has a new album out! }

25 November 2010

As American As Apple Pie

What song is just as American as apple pie? Well, that's "American Pie" by Don McLean, of course.

Most of you have heard the shortened-for-radio version but here is the song in all of its glorious eight minutes and thirty-three seconds.

Sit back. Relax. Drink a beer (American). Turn on this song and grab a second helping of America.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

| Pet Bear Sounds on Spotify | Instagram.com/PetBearSounds |
| @PetBearSounds | facebook.com/PetBearSounds |
| last.fm/PetBearSounds | g+/PetBearSounds |

24 November 2010

Quit Your Job, Start A Funk Band #5

Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow and in spite of all the troubles in the world there's plenty to be thankful for.

And if your primary trouble is your job. Well, thankfully there's the funk. Quit your job, start a funk band:

{ Incredible Bongo Band - "Apache" }

{ This song is worth many times the $0.99 it will take to get it into your hot little hands. }

23 November 2010

Top Albums: 2005

{ What happened in 2005? Well, Blink-182 announced they're going on an indefinite hiatus, Korn guitarist Brian Welch found religion, Cream reunites for four shows in London, Live 8 happened and it was massive, Britney Spears has a kid. So, 2005 was kind of a bland year for music dirt. It was also a year where I missed out on a lot of great albums. }

22 November 2010


On 22 November 1963 at 12:30 PM Central Standard Time, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

The number one album in the United States at the time was In The Wind by Peter, Paul and Mary which featured a lovely rendition of "Blowin' In The Wind" originally written by Bob Dylan.

The number one single was "I'm Leaving It Up To You" by Dale and Grace:

Interestingly enough, according to Wikipedia, Dale and Grace were in Dallas, Texas (they were scheduled to perform on Dick Clark's Caravan Of Stars show) on the day of Kennedy's assassination and had actually waved to the president from their hotel room moments before Kennedy was shot.

In a national tragedy of this historical magnitude sometimes we forget about the cultural context. From my perspective, it's always interesting to remember the musical context surrounding these events.

Music - more than film, television and even books, for me - has the power to really put you in a different time and place.

{ The Postal Service - "Sleeping In" }

Last week I had the strangest dream.
Where everything was exactly how it seemed.
Where there never any mystery on who shot John F. Kennedy.
It was just a man with something to prove,
slightly bored and severely confused.
He steadied his rifle with his target in the center
and became famous on that day in November

N.B. The "Top Albums: 2005" post has been moved to tomorrow.

20 November 2010

Weather Or Not #6 -- 61 degrees and rain

Location: Santa Monica, CA
Weather: 61 degrees, rain, wind from the SW at 13mph.
Song: Fyfe Dangerfield - "High On The Tide"

{ Fyfe Dangerfield - "High On The Tide" }

Rainy days are for hot coffee and cigarettes, thick scarves and cozy blankets, and English music.

As a self-proclaimed anglophile (though, unfortunately, one who has yet to step foot on British soil), I always re-imagine these rainy days in Southern California as a typical morning in the quiet, dreary suburbs of an English town, listening to records over and over again and daydreaming.

"High On The Tide" is a pleasant and wistful seaside tune. The lighthearted waltz of this song along with Fyfe Dangerfield's voice floating over the melodic bass line makes this a perfect song for these sort of days.

Now, I suppose some tea is a bit more appropriate rather than coffee.

Off to put the kettle on for a cuppa!

{ If you're a fan of Ed Harcourt's first record, you'll probably really like this album.
Click the link and get it. Now. }

17 November 2010

Meteor Shower Music

{ The Leonids are tonight! }

If you live in Los Angeles you're probably not going to see this meteor shower unless you drive, like, an hour away in some dark and desolate place with werewolves or something like that.

Also, you have to wake up at some ridiculous hour for optimal viewing.
The moon is always the enemy of meteor showers. The moon will set about 2:40 AM tomorrow morning and twilight will begin around 6. So the best time observe is between 2:40 AM and when the sun starts coming up at 6:00 AM.
[USA Today]
If you're lucky enough (i.e. you live in the desert) and crazy enough (i.e. you're going to wake up at some ungodly hour), this Explosions In The Sky song should be some pretty good meteor shower music.

Me? I'm just going to drink absinthe until I can see a meteor shower in my eyelids when I close my eyes.


{ Explosions In The Sky - "First Breath After Coma" }

{ Buy the MP3s, put it on your MP3 player, and enjoy the meteor shower! }

16 November 2010

Ho-hum: The Beatles are on iTunes

{ "This is gonna replace CD's soon; guess I'll have to buy the White Album again."
~ Men In Black }

15 November 2010

Top Albums: 2004

{ I suppose the second time is the charm. For the second time in 2004, Britney Spears got married. This time to Kevin Federline. Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunctioned at the Super Bowl. Usher sold over a million records. Lindsay Lohan released a record. Dimebag Darrell was murdered on stage. Ray Charles died. Lollapalooza died. And Ashlee Simpson died on SNL. But, for me, 2004 turned out to be an incredibly memorable year for music. }

14 November 2010

Snapshot / Live: Cage The Elephant

{ Cage The Elephant at Street Scene San Diego 2009. }

Cage The Elephant played one of the most exciting sets of the evening at Street Scene. There's really nothing better than watching an up-and-coming band playing with so much raw energy. The crowd loved it. I loved it. You should love it.

{ Cage The Elephant - "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" }

{ Support these guys. They're good! }

13 November 2010

Weather Or Not #5 -- 76 degrees and sunny

Location: Santa Monica, CA
Weather: 76 degrees, sunny, wind from the W at 9mph
Song: The Avalanches - "Since I Left You"

{ The Avalanches - "Since I Left You" }

The weather around these parts has been positively schizophrenic in last couple weeks. Temperatures reached 95 degrees a couple weeks ago, then within days we had some rain fall, then back to sunny temperatures but with powerful gusts of wind.

Today the mercurial mercury reached a lovely 75 degrees. The skies are sunny and cloudless with a light breeze. Taking into consideration that we're well into November, the weather is absolutely perfect.

The perfect soundtrack to this sort of weather is "Since I Left You" by The Avalanches. It's a sort of longing but uplifting tropical tune with a soulful voice crying out: Since I left you, I found the world so new.

There's a beautiful everything-will-be-alright sort of quality to the song that I adore. Only one other song can possibly give me this sort of feeling and that's "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys.

In cloudy times there's always pleasant coastal climes and beautiful music.

{ This album was in my Top 5 albums of 2001. }

12 November 2010

Quit Your Job, Start A Funk Band #4

Want to turn your weekend into an extended weekend? I've got just the thing: Quit your job, start a funk band:

{ Earth, Wind & Fire - "September" }

If this doesn't inspire you to start a funk band, I don't know what will.

{ For funky times, make it Earth, Wind & Fire times. }

Birthday: Neil Young

{ Happy birthday, Neil Young! }

Do you remember the band Saint Etienne?

This indie-electro outfit from England released a cover of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" back in 1990 and for their efforts, they were rewarded with a record contract. It's a delightfully groovy interpretation of the classic Neil Young song and the song stands as one of Saint Etienne's most popular singles.

{ Saint Etienne - "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" }

{ Some of you might not be familiar with Neil Young. Make it happen. }

11 November 2010

Snapshot / Live: The Walkmen

{ The Walkmen at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. }

{ It's all about Lisbon, Portugal. I want to write an album about Barcelona, Spain. }

10 November 2010

Beady Eye - "Bring The Light"

Not too long ago Oasis broke up. The Gallagher brothers couldn't play nice and Noel pretty much said, "Fuck it, I'm off."

So, the band is screwed, right?

Noel Gallagher was the heart and soul of the band. He was the primary songwriter and lyricist and the driving force behind the band.

When Noel left Oasis what was left was his brother and frontman Liam and the rest of the band. In the aftermath, Liam and the others formed a band called Beady Eye. But before you scoff at Oasis and the silly name of the new band, take a look at the pedigree of the band for a moment.

Liam Gallagher slowly emerged as a songwriter and crafted lovely tunes like "Songbird" that Chris Martin of Coldplay has covered and once declared that the song is so beautiful that it makes him cry.

Guitarist Gem Archer joined Oasis and provided much depth and talent to later Oasis records. Andy Bell also joined Oasis and added his immense talent and impressive resume to Oasis (and now Beady Eye). Bell was in the influential shoegaze band Ride and later led Hurricane #1 which yielded the amazing hit single, "Step Into My World."

Rounding out Oasis/Beady Eye is drummer Chris Sharrock who has been official members of famous British rock bands like The La's and The Lightning Seeds as well as being the drummer for Robbie Williams.

Needless to say, there's a lot of talent in Beady Eye. But will it yield successful songs?

Beady Eye released their new single, "Bring In The Light," this morning and, well, I was certainly surprised at how good the song sounds.

{ Beady Eye - "Bring The Light" }

Liam's obsession with John Lennon is pretty clear and the lyrics aren't mind blowing but there's power in the simplicity. That's what made Oasis so brilliant.

Ultimately, their debut single is impressive. A powerful Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis sort of piano drives the song, a gospel choir adds soul, and slick guitar licks are pretty hot. This isn't anything clever or fancy but it's simple, fun, good ol' fashioned rock 'n' roll. All the things we've come to know and love from Oasis and apparently a sign of things to come for Beady Eye.

I'm really looking forward to their debut album. I have a hard time believing that the Beady Eye debut record can ever match the power and success of the first Oasis album, but if this single is any indication, we may have a really exciting rock 'n' roll record on our hands.

{ You like it? You can download it for free from www.BeadyEyeMusic.com! }

09 November 2010

Do Your Ears A Favor: Pulp - "Do You Remember The First Time?"

Oh, did you hear the good news?
The iconic Sheffield band's classic lineup-- Jarvis Cocker, Nick Banks, Candida Doyle, Steve Mackey, Russell Senior, and Mark Webber-- are set to reunite for a string of shows next summer, starting with a headlining slot at Barcelona's Primavera Sound Festival on May 27. The only other date announced thus far is at London's Wireless Fest on July 3, but more are to follow...
Along with bands like Oasis, Suede and Blur, Pulp practically defines mid-90s brit-pop but with that working-class sleaze that resonated more with me over the years than the Beatles-revival lad-rock of Oasis and the artsy-quality of Blur.

Songs like "Do You Remember The First Time?" (below) really defines that brit-pop sound: A bouncy, upbeat rhythm, big sing-along chorus, tightly compressed melodic guitar riffs, wistful lyrics. It's a sound that's reminiscent of a lot of melodic British pop music from the '60s and '70s but with influences from the punk scene from the '80s and a post-Thatcher-fuck-you edge.

I could wax poetic on the brit-pop scene for paragraphs and paragraphs but that's for another post. Simply put: I cannot contain my excitement about this reunion.

I sure hope they tour North America. It seems like they're starting off on the festival circuit, Coachella isn't a far off possibility...

{ Pulp - "Do You Remember The First Time?" }

{ "Do You Remember The First Time?" is actually on their album His 'n' Hers (a very stellar record) but their record Different Class just might be one of the defining moments in mid-90s brit-pop. }

08 November 2010

Top Albums: 2003

{ Yep. That happened. Remember this at the MTV Music Video awards way back in 2003? Know what else happened? Avril Lavigne kept releasing No. 1 singles. One hundred people died in a fire started by a pyrotechnics accident at a Great White show. Famed producer Phil Spector shot actress Lana Clarkson. Johnny Cash died. Linkin Park was pretty huge. All in all, a lot of depressing things. But it wasn't all gray skies, there were many sunny spots in 2003. }

07 November 2010

You'll Never Walk Alone

Earlier today Liverpool Football Club squared off against the reigning league champions Chelsea in a highly touted EPL soccer football match.

For much of the season and, frankly, the calendar year, Liverpool FC struggled with ownership issues and struggled to win matches but LFC had started to show form as of late. Meanwhile, Chelsea - fresh off a League title - picked up where they left off and started the season off with lopsided wins and looked unstoppable.

The seemingly unstoppable ran into an in-form Liverpool club and LFC emerged victorious with a two spectacular goals from Fernando Torres (watch his gorgeous second goal right here on YouTube) and the Liverpool defenders held the mighty Chelsea goalless!

Anfield was ringing and shaking with a powerful rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone."

As a huge fan of Liverpool FC (and, obviously, a massive lover of music), I always thought it was interesting that a Rodgers and Hammerstein song turned out to be the anthem for LFC (and other clubs).

I can't really see a song from a musical quickly becoming an anthem for a sports team. But I suppose it was different times back then.

Originally, "You'll Never Walk Alone" was from Carousel:

It's a powerful song. And, not surprisingly, it was covered quite often by dozens of artists over the years like Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Doris Day, and Johnny Cash.

But what endeared Liverpudlians and LFC fans to this song was the amazing rendition in 1963 by Liverpool natives, Gerry & The Pacemakers:

The song became the slogan and anthem for Liverpool FC and it was so quickly entrenched in the culture of the club and for soccer football that in 1971 Pink Floyd used the sounds of the crowd singing this song at the end of one of my favorite songs, "Fearless."

And here are the Liverpool supporters in more recent times singing the song before a match. I get chills when I hear that mass of people coming together as one to sing.

Who knew that this show tune could carry so much weight? I guess it really goes to show the fantastic quality and versatility Rodgers and Hammerstein songs.

You'll never walk alone!

{ For $0.89 your living room can sound like Anfield! }

06 November 2010

A Little Change

A quick little change here at Pet Bear Sounds.

From this point forward, I will not be posting any "Pick Me Up" posts. Instead, all of those sorts of posts will be under the "Do Your Ears A Favor" title. There wasn't very much difference between both of them, so, I figure I just consolidate those posts under one heading/label/tag.

Older posts will still bear the title "Pick Me Up" but the tags/labels have been changed to "Do Your Ears A Favor."

Just a little clean up here on the ol' blog.

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Warm regards,
Pet Bear Sounds

{ Speaking of change, here is "Change" by Tears For Fears on Top Of The Pops! }

05 November 2010

Birthday: Ryan Adams

{ Ryan Adams - "To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high)"

Happy birthday to Ryan Adams! Nono, not Bryan Adams, I'm talking about Ryan. The B-less Adams is certainly the better songwriter and so much more eclectic.

Now before you go and think of Ryan Adams as some dark, heavy songwriter (which he is many times and he does it so well), take a listen the rollicking song "To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high)." He can rock.

The guy is an obsessive record collector and a ridiculously prolific songwriter. Both admirable qualities in my book.

He's quite possibly one of the most underrated songwriters of our generation. And if you want more an alt-country vibe, please do your ears a favor and check out Whiskeytown. I almost like that stuff a lot better Ryan's solo work.

One more thing... Ryan Adams and Bryan Adams? They have the same birthday. Seriously. Wikipedia doesn't lie. And IMDB.com definitely does not lie (Ryan here. Bryan here.). That should blow your mind for a few moments there.

Happy Friday!

{ His - Ryan, that is - debut solo record is fantastic. Pick it up, please. Thanks.
I'm sure Bryan's first record was good too. ... Maybe in an ironic way. }

04 November 2010

Quit Your Job, Start A Funk Band #3

Listen it's all pretty simple. You take an amazingly beautiful and classic song ("Sunny") by Bobby Hebb and then have James Brown cover the song.

The result is this delicious concoction below and should inevitably inspire you to quit your job and start a funk band:

{ James Brown performing "Sunny" by Bobby Hebb }

{ Buy the Bobby Hebb version 'cause it makes you feel good. }

03 November 2010

Pick Me Up: Guillemots - "Trains To Brazil"

{ Guillemots - "Trains To Brazil" }

It's Wednesday, hump day, and you're just trying to get to the other side of the week. Don't reach for that 5 Hour Energy drink. Take a listen to some Guillemots and their up-beat romp, "Trains To Brazil."

Perfect. Now carry on with your day!

{ Buy it! It's easily worth the $0.99 }

02 November 2010

Do Your Ears A Favor: Two Door Cinema Club - "Something Good Can Work"

{ Two Door Cinema Club - "Something Good Can Work"

Going to see these guys at the Music Box at the Fonda tonight. Really looking forward to it!

01 November 2010

Top Albums: 2002

{ In April of 2002 Avril Lavigne announced her psuedo-punk presence with her massive hit single "Complicated" and then released "S8kr Boi" in October for her second number one single. Graham Coxon left (kicked out?) Blur. Kelly Clarkson won American Idol, Christina Aguilera went "Dirrty," and R. Kelly was charged with 21 counts of having sex with a minor. But, in spite of these pop-culture horrors, there were some fantastic albums released in 2002. }