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SESSION #42 - Yellow Ostrich

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Couch Session: Yellow Ostrich

Couch Session #42: Yellow Ostrich

Our love for this band is nothing new,
which is why this isn't their first trip to Big Ugly — it's #2.
We had them back on the couch in our old place,
but with so much new music, needed a second taste.
And ladies and gents: it's as good as before,
possibly better, potentially classic, well-worth an encore.
I sat through this session, having not yet heard Strange Land,
a beautiful pile of writing and music of which i became an instant fan,
and these songs, unknown and new, simply blew me away,
leaving me joyous, cheerful, and in awe for two days.
Because these three gents, unlike a lot of bands shilling their craft,
are a curious few who keep their main identity intact.
These songs are more grown up, more varied than before,
back when Alex and Michael first walked through our door,
but even with another member, a new album and a fresh set list,
it's still Yellow Ostrich, their objective never lost in the midst.
These new tunes are more moving — truth, one almost brought me to tears,
but considering I listen to it three times a day, I've got a few good years.
Which song? Well, I'll never tell,
but you'll know when the goosebumps on your arm start to swell.
So, take a listen to these three stunners, and see how you feel,
as Yellow Ostrich's brilliance is yet again revealed:



Yellow Ostrich - "Marathon Runner (live on Big Ugly Yellow Couch)"

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Yellow Ostrich - "The Shakedown (live on Big Ugly Yellow Couch)"

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Yellow Ostrich - "When All Is Dead (live on Big Ugly Yellow Couch)"

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Couch Session: You Won't

Couch Session #41: You Won't

It's weird, you almost wouldn't expect a kind sir named Josh to have that voice,
like it was assigned to him without reason or choice.
It could have been given to a weathered country lad, hands blackened from the soil,
Or a crooner long since passed, his talents a spoil.
You Won't, save for that high-flying apostrophe,
is in total, wholly and completely their own entity.
We keep hearing "The Shins," "The Shins!" The Shins on repeat,
but the comparison is lazy with a shade of self-defeat.
These comparative thoughts are just algebra to the listener's mind,
a broken-down equation to give feelings attachable signs.
In that case, at moments we see a newfound Dylan shining through each song,
with some of the most realistic, relatable lyrics we've heard in just as long.
We could say his songwriting's simplistic and brilliant, the melodies catchy as hell,
but there's just one word, one, simple word that resurfaces each time, and that is special.
At the end of the day, at the end of these tracks,
All we have left are the songs and the empty faces in the videos looking back.
But with each of these, and for some reason, this one like a hunch
we can reach into it, swim inside, and feel it so much.
I've done nearly nothing over 40 times, except for routines
(you know, pouring a glass of water, showering, calling a rude guy mean.)
But in the realm of thing I love, there are but few
that I think about, act on, and completely follow through.
We've shot so many sessions that they're their own new routine,
jamming them in on the days weekdays lie between,
but after this one, with its childhood infusions and shouts to Marty McFly,
well, shit like this just gets us high.
So take a listen to three songs you'll be enjoying like a seamless flow,
and let You Wont give you a spectacular, stunning show:


You Won't - "Televsion (live on Big Ugly Yellow Couch)"

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You Won't - "Who Knew (live on Big Ugly Yellow Couch)"

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You Won't - "Three Car Garage (live on Big Ugly Yellow Couch)"

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Live at Mercury Lounge: Matthew Hemerlein


Even if you haven't heard Matthew's music, there's something to grasp onto from just looking at him. No shoes necessary, perfectly on-point blue jeans, a sleep-ready henley, a haircut that's more Men's Vogue than musician and a handle on an instrument most typically used in folksy-throwback bands on Mercury Lounge's stage. Multidimensional in the finest of senses, it's tough to figure out what this guy's all about on the surface. And, as one of the kindest people we've ever met and deepest artists we've ever worked with, his music has a particular uncommonness that keeps us coming back for more.

Which, if your extend of knowledge about him still brims at the photos above, should change now. Now-now. Now-now-now-now-now. There are few people in this world who can master a spot-on Ginuwine cover or write a song called "Luminescent Braid" that's actually a chunk of musical poetry, and I'm confident in saying that Matthew might be the only name in that sliver between circles in the venn diagram of aforementioned skills. We're told he'll be bringing his weekly Washington D.C.-based Family Hemerlein showcases our way this year, and you can bet your butts we'll be urging the lot of you to come along with us. He may be far away for now, but soon, he'll be ours once again.


Couch Session: Tan Vampires


Couch Session #40: Tan Vampires

We just rarely find a band that sparks,
that certain song that lights an empty room left dark.
But with Tan Vampires, it was akin to a needle in hay,
that led us to their brilliant record all the way.
We're not religious, we don't believe in some things,
save for evolution, and perhaps birds and the bees,
but we wait and we wait while trying to find the right bands,
looking for that fit that's no less than iron clad,
and with these guys, we knew. It's that visceral tick,
the moment when everything seems to just click,
and even though we knew we were in love from the start,
it's their live performance that makes this stuff true art.
Jake's voice is undeniably special, just give it an ear —
he's the type whose shower singing will be the best thing you've heard all year.
Toy keyboards, accordions, a sack full of small cups —
even their instruments were a sign that we were in luck.
With dittys that share a border between heartfelt and sweet,
some sad, some reflective, but altogether a treat,
there were simply too many songs to capture, we got overwhelmed,
trying to pick a favorite was a decision we'd prefer not to helm.
So we recorded a bunch, and took the best out for you.
Here they are, Tan Vampires, a band it's time you knew:


Tan Vampires - "Digital Rot (live on Big Ugly Yellow Couch)"

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Tan Vampires - "Fool (live on Big Ugly Yellow Couch)"

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Tan Vampires - "Threads (live on Big Ugly Yellow Couch)"

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Donald, Carlye, Favorites, 2011

We're a little late to the Top Albums of 2011 party, but that doesn't make our list any less special. (what? there were cookies to eat and candles to light, you can't blame us for being preoccupied with anything tree-shaped) .

Just like last year, our favorite album list is just that -  our favorites. The albums we couldn't stop listening to, the ones we couldn't live without, the ones we told all our friends about, and the ones we'll play all throughout 2012.  We held no Pumped Up Kicks grudges, Someone Like You feelings or True Loves preferences back, and hope you can recognize that in our list.

As the year winds down on its final days, we give you, dearest beautiful young readers, our favorite albums of 2011 in no particular order.

ARMS - Summer Skills

The Antlers - Burst Apart

Yellow Ostrich - The Mistress

Wye Oak - Civilian

Hooray for Earth - True Loves

St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

Wilco - The Whole Love

Milagres - Glowing Mouth

Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See

Phantogram - Nightlife EP

Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean

Boy & Bear - Moonfire

Foster The People - Torches

Kanye West and Jay-Z - Watch The Throne

Adele - 21

tUnE-YarDs - whokill

Drake - Take Care


We leave you with one last thing, our Spotify playlist of some of our favorite tracks from the year.

Big Ugly Yellow Couch 2011 Favorites

See you in 2012,

Donald and Carlye