Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Arizona strikes again

I just wanted to throw up quick post to let you all in on some exciting news about Arizona. The guys sent me an email yesterday to let me know that they loaded three live songs up on their myspace page. These songs are available (for a limited time) for download. They were kind enough to give The Two Mirrors permission to post them here too. So below are the links to download them, but when they take them off the myspace page they will come down from our site soon. So get them now. They are stellar to say the least. And it ties in well with our contest. Don't forget to send us an email with the name of your IPOD and why. We will pick a winner next Friday.

Somersby (live)--Arizona. Wow. Wow. I don't know if I can say enough about this version of this song. Many of you know about my love affair with this track. It is one the best songs I have heard this year by far. And it translates so well live. You gotta listen to this version of the song. I think thier energy brings a new level to this song. And the outro is simply beautiful.

Stay Wit Who Ya Know (live)--Arizona. A rocking version of this track. It's a fun song that I actually like better live than I did on the album. Not to say that the recorded version of the song is not good, but I think this live version tells the story better. Check it out. You can tell how much fun they are having too while they play this song.

New Song/Surviving the Savior (live)--Arizona. So this is what the guys sent me about this song..."a new song from our upcoming EP". That is some of the greatest music news I have read in a while. I think we are all excited about where this band is headed and the fact that WBDC was just released and they are already planning a new ep release is outstanding. And wait until you hear how this leads into Surviving the Savior. Good stuff.

You can now buy thier fantastic record Welcome Back Dear Children at Insound. GO BUY THIS RECORD.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Contest

Ladies and Gentleman, may I present to you the first Two Mirrors contest. I have in my hands, not right now of course—it’s just a figure of speech, an extra copy of the fantastic EP from Arizona, The Sun and the Room. This EP consists of 4 super songs that is a must have for any music fan. These guys are making some of the most amazing music that we have heard in a long time.

What do I have to do you may ask. Well as you all know I just got my first IPOD. And I like to name things. My IPOD has a name, Sunday. That’s right Sunday is her name. My good friend DP once told me he was “easy like Sunday morning.” And since then I have stolen that motto and used it as my own. Now obviously DP stole that from Lionel Ritchie but hey who’s keeping track. Back to Sunday. She was so easy to use when I got her that I decided that her name should be Sunday. What in the world does this have to do with the contest. Well we are looking for the most creative, exciting, unique name for your IPOD (or faux IPOD). Just send us an email at describing your IPOD’s name and how you decided on his or her name and we will pick a winner. And if you don’t have an IPOD make a good name up. Hey we are easy here. And the winner will have the Arizona EP The Sun and The Room shipped to his or her door, free of charge. Make sure you email us your mailing address too.

Good luck.

Here is an MP3 from The Sun and The Room.


Oh and RD is going to drop the name of his IPOD in the comments.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Rosebuds

The Rosebuds have been one of my favorite bands for the last few years. I'm very happy to announce that they have released a new demo thru their myspace blog. Although they have used drum machines in the past, this sounds quite different than anything they have done previously. Buy Birds Make Good Neighbors - one of the best albums of 2005!


Taking on Goliath takes on music

The magnificent DP has donated his musical knowledge to the two mirrors in this fantastic guest post. If you have not already, you should be reading Taking on Goliath daily. Okay enough of me, let's hear from the DP...

So, my boy Zak was kind enough to post my unsolicited music post, and we thank him greatly.
If you don't know me, I'm Flavobean, the guy behind Taking on Goliath. I don't do music, I do politics. Well, sometimes I do music.

But for all intents and purposes, you want music, you come to The Two Mirrors. These guys do music and they do music well.

So enough with the praise and self promotion. I'm writing here at TTM because I have come across an upcoming CD that sounds pretty awesome.

It's Colours Are Brighter, a children's album curated by those sad sacky bastards from across the pond Belle and Sebastian.

Easily, not one of my favorite bands.

But it has all these children's songs done by some pretty big names (Snow Patrol, Franz Ferdinand, Rasputina). I'm personally addicted to The Four Tet's "Go Go Ninja Dinosaur" but I love all things strange and Asian.

[insert inappropriate Asian porn joke here]

I'm also digging Snow Patrol's "I Am An Astronaut."

Anyway, the CD drops October 16 (I guess Oct 17 here). You can here the Snow Patrol and Four Tet track at the website, Colours Are Brighter. You can also check them out at their MySpace page.

Alright, like my boy Tom Cruise says...

Much Love.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Shifted Sound and the D

The fine folks over at Shifted Sound are running a great podcast that you should be listening to. The Two Mirrors received an email from Shelby Miller, the host, about a recent episode that featured The Two Mirrors favs Arizona. So I went over and listened to my first ever podcast and was thouroughly pleased. Not only did Shelby provide a fantastic interview which provided much insight into the making of Welcome Back Dear Children, but he also played some fantastic tunes from Arizona. All of the tunes were preceded by an introduction by one of the members of the band. The Shifted Sound Arizona interview can be heard here:

Shifted Sound Episode 023

I highly suggest that you sign up and listen to Shelby's podcast. He has featured bands such as Bishop Allen, Irving, The Long Winters, Oh No Oh My, Maria Taylor, and many more. Upcoming podcasts will include exclusive live tracks from John Ralston, a show cohosted by Wintergreen's Drew Mottinger and more.

And for those of you who are wondering, the IPOD loading is still going on. I am up to letter T in my library and while I have been loading I have been reminded of some fantastic music that I own that I may have forgotten about. If you don't laugh at this song below than you should check your pulse. Good stuff that reminds me of Dinosaur World and mullets.

Tenacious D--Inward Singing

Friday, August 18, 2006

Another Reason To Be Proud Of Jacksonville

Thursday, August 17, 2006


I can't understand why more people do not listen to Mogwai. Most people I know have heard of them but didn't really pay much attention. For the last ten years they have been putting out some really good records. They released Mr. Beast this year and it's definitely in my top ten of 2006 so far.

MP3 - Mogwai - Glasgow Mega-Snake from Mr. Beast (highly recommended)

MP3 - Hunted By A Freak from Happy Songs For Happy People


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Isn't she pretty

So I got an IPOD. And I also got a Sounddock from Bose. Life is good. For years now I resisted getting an IPOD for reasons way to complicated and various to describe here. But I have one now. And life has changed. I know all you hipsters went through this life changing process years ago, but nevertheless I am here now. So I have been up countless hours adding music to my library and after tonight I will have added everything that I want on there up to the letter J. That is actually about half my cds. For those of you who don't know A-J is rather encompassing for me because of my obsession with Tori Amos, Bright Eyes, and Death Cab for Cutie. So in celebration of my first 1166 songs loaded on the old IPOD, I thought I'd try a little something. I just turned it one and pressed shuffle. Below are the first three songs that played. I did not edit or skip any songs. I kept it as real as it comes. I hope you enjoy the tracks.

Starlight Mints--Sidewalk. I posted this song before but it may have gotten lost in the shuffle. I actually really like the Starlight Mints. And this song happens to be one of top three favorite Mints songs. It got a great melody. The opening notes tell the whole story.

Bright Eyes--Everything Must Belong Somewhere. Oh you all can thank my IPOD another day. this track is so amazing. I think I may have mentioned my Bright Eyes obsession before. And this song is just stellar. Conor shows some of his most exceptional lyrics on this track. Please for your own good download this song. I can't promise it will stay up forever. I feel a little uneasy posting it as it is. But I set the rules for IPOD post and I had to follow them.

Death Cab for Cutie--Champagne From a Paper Cup. I really think this is the highlight from Something About Airplanes. The lyric "I think I'm drunk enough to drive you home now," tells the whole story.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Song of the Month--Somersby

Song Title: MP3-- Somersby

Band: Arizona

Album: Welcome Back Dear Children

Time: 4:08

So I have been listening to Welcome Back Dear Children nonstop for a month or so now. And I still have not quite found a way to describe to you all how amazing this record is. But as I was driving to work on Monday—that’s right it's back to work for this teacher—I was listening to Somersby and I thought I gotta find a way to spotlight this song on the two mirrors. So I came up with the (unoriginal) idea of spotlighting a song each month. However, my intentions were to really go deep into the song and share with you all my feelings and hopefully gain some insight from the band about the track. Well Ben, from Arizona, was kind enough to share with me an abundance of information about Somersby and I am going to do my best to synthesize it all together for you below. Anyway, we hope to keep this feature going but it’s going to be hard to top this track.

Somersby finds itself nuzzled in at track 10 on Welcome Back Dear Children and it follows Surviving the Savior which is a tough act to follow. However, it quickly proves itself as the highlight of this record. Somersby begins with a keyboard piece that according to Ben, “is some kind of vibraphone/Wurlitzer hybrid patch on a Yamaha keyboard.” This keyboard piece is crucial to the song, as it comes back in the end in a reinterpreted form as if to remind of where we began. After this intro keyboard, this “absolutely wild guitar orchestra” explodes to begin the story of Somersby. This explosion was the result of a “stream of consciousness style” that was suggested by Nick. In my humble opinion Nick’s most valuable suggestion was to “follow its form a little bit.” I truly believe that songs can take on a life of their own. And while I am not a musician myself, I certainly understand the power that a song can take on. Ben explains that the band began to feel like Somersby was about “a kamikaze deep space scientist who had reached the end of his wits and had set his space craft on a collision course for the sun.” If you can stay with this idea for a moment, in my mind, during this sound explosion you can envision the scientist freaking out and heading for the sun. At the conclusion of this explosion, the opening keyboards are reinterpreted and I can just see this scientist in slow motion heading for the sun as his life flashes before him. Ben let me know that, “The final ending is a reinterpretation of a riff I recorded 2 years ago at the same time I wrote the piano part, but I never intended the two to go together.” It’s rather interesting to me that the beginning and ending keyboard pieces were not written for the same track.

There are so many more layers to this song but one of the more interesting things that Ben shared with me was about the lyrics. He originally had many more lyrics to the song. However the line “Somersby, oh Somersby, a man with a thousand eye's can't see that all that I want... and all I must get... is everything that ain't happened to me yet,” is the line that is the focal point of the song. According to Ben, “it’s the only original vocal part that made it to the final song” I really like this idea that even the most visually astute person can’t see that you will eventually get everything you need in life. That little word yet is so powerful in this lyric.

And I think I would be doing a disservice to the musicians out there if I were to try and interpret what Arizona was doing technically. So here a few quotes from Ben about the technical aspects of Somersby and the entire Welcome Back Dear Children album.

The song starts off with a reversed sample of Danny Kadar dropping my Jamison 2x12 combo amplifier and causing its reverb tank to go haywire.

Another funny little piece of information about Somersby is that during the mix, either Alex (bassist/engineer) or Danny forgot to unmute the kick drum channel on the console (for the technical minded out there, WBDC was mixed on a super nice big format Neve console to tape) or something, because it was mixed to tape without a bass drum.

Alex actually had to go back and line up the original kick drum track to the master and blend it in before the CD could be duplicated. So if you really listen, you can hear the kick is separated from everything else just a bit.

Also, I hope to do a sequel to Somersby one day- Arizona has a lot of "character" songs, like Jubilee, David, Sylvester Wheat vs. Finneas B, and I think it would be fun one day to do a song or an album that was all about the goings on of these characters.

Somersby is a great example of how the drums got done on Welcome Back Dear Children. The majority of the song is played by Nick on drums, but that very ending part is played by Alex. A lot of the drums on WBDC are hybrid performances with Nick playing most of it with Alex adding his touches in key parts.

Okay, Two Mirrors readers, it’s time listen up and go buy this record. You can get it at itunes from the link below. It comes with the highest recommendations possible from both of the mirrors, RD and myself. You really should go out a buy this album, it is truly amazing.

Arizona--Welcome Back Dear Children via Itunes

Monday, August 07, 2006

Reasons to Own a Record Player

This is the first installment of "Reasons to Own a Record Player". There are quite a few hidden gems released on 7" or as extra tracks on Vinyl. I wasn't real high tech in transferring these songs. I just hooked up my record player to my computer and adjusted the volume. The first track is And Then by Pavement . This is an early version of the song The Hexx from Terror Twilight. In comparison to The Hexx, this song is very raw and rocking. Complete with off key vocals. One of Pavement's finest. The second track is a Blue Angels Air Show by Bright Eyes . This track is from a Devil In The Woods 7". This 7" came free with the magazine and was previously only available with limited copies of the magazine. The song will be included on the new Bright Eyes compilation Noise Floor.

MP3 Pavement - And Then - And Then from the Spit on A Stranger 7"

MP3 Bright Eyes - Blue Angels Air Show - from the Devil in the Woods 7"

I'm having troubles with EZarchive right now, so I had to use to post these songs. If you have trouble downloading them let me know and I'll refresh the link.


Saturday, August 05, 2006


First and foremost, RD, my idea about song of the month is only unoriginal if you do it like you did. That was one sorry post. I may be a little dismayed too that you found that pic. of me after your star wars themed birthday party at your house last year. Just wait until I find the one of you as princess lea. And I am going to blow this thing song of the month thing up. I have been in contact with the band who is going to provide us with my song of the month and I have some AMAZING stuff.

On a more important note. I am 30 today and I am leaving for Tampa to watch my beloved red sox play. I will not be updating until mid-week and again I hope RD will hold down (and not bring down) the fort. Those pics above were from the whiffle ball/birthday party we held last night in honor of my last day in the twenties. My wonderful wife convinced all my friends and family to go in for the 60 GB ipod for me. So far I have taken it out of the box and put it back in the box three times. I know once I hook it up I will not put in down. So I am waiting. And I cannot say enough incredible things about what my wife, parents, friends, and family did for me last night. You guys are amazing. It feels good to be thirty when you surround yourself with such amazing people.

And on a final note, Clea, over at (sm)all ages, put up my guest post yesterday of the kiddies favorite tunes from August. Check it out here.

ZC (Happy birthday to me)

Friday, August 04, 2006

August: Song of the Month - r.d.

Here at the Two Mirrors we wanted to find a way to be even more unoriginal so, ZAK came up with Song of The Month. The new feature will most likely last 2-3 months... that's my guess anyway. So now I guess I'm supposed to describe the song to you...

MP3 BRIAN BORCHERDT - MOTEL from the album The Remains of Brian Borcherdt

I feel kind of late to the party on this one. This album was released in 2004 but I didn't hear it until June 06. Motel is a very simple and straight forward song. Actually, it's perfect. Just listen to it.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A teacher and his deceiving songs

I gotta say that this is gonna be a short post. For those of you who don't know I am a 4th grade mathematics teacher. Yeah that's right, out there saving the world one knucklehead at a time. For the record, I absolutely love my job and I wouldn't change it for the world. Anyway, I bring this up because I started school on Tuesday (we have four days of planning and the kids return August 7th) and life is gonna be a little wild for a little bit. But the other mirror (RD) is gonna hold down the fort over here at the two mirrors.

Anyway I was driving to work today listening to Control by Pedro the Lion, and track five, Progress, came on. For those of you who know that song it starts off really convoluted and messy. It sounds like it was recorded super indie and then about 50 seconds in these big drums kick in and the recording is great. It then reminded me of another song who starts off like it was recorded in the basement and was intended to be a demo of some sort, yet then kicks in like it was recorded with some of the best equipment and has a really big sound. That track is Title Track from Death Cab for Cutie. If you can think back to the first time you heard that song, I know I thought well this recording sucks. While this change is a little more subtle than Pedro the lion when it kicks in around 1:40, you understand.

Check them out

MP3--Pedro the Lion--Progress

MP3--Death Cab for Cutie--Title Track

So this leads me to your challenge. Are there other songs that I am forgetting that are structured similarly to those two above. As a matter of fact, I am sure that there are I just can't think of them right now. So leave a message in the comments if you can think of another track structured like this. Remember, I'm a teacher.

On a somewhat related note, if you go back and read the comments from my last post, Cash has an interesting connection with these two bands that I did not think of when I thought of this post. Again you should check out these two Cash related sites

Also Jeremy Enigk has released two MP3's from his new album on his website. Check them out and someday soon, I'll give my opinion.

ZC (It wasn't as short as I thought)