Letters Have No Arms have packed their bags, put their travel hats on, and moved to a new land!

You should be automatically redirected to the post you were looking for (yes, the same one!) in 5 seconds. If not, visit
and please don't forget to update your bookmarks.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Letters Have No Arms Is Moving!

As we mentioned last week, Letters have no Arms will also be joining the Great Blogger Exodus Of 2010. We found a great new home over at www.lettershavenoarms.com and would be mightily pleased to see you there.

We're still ironing a out a few things over at the new site, but feel it's sufficiently presentable to welcome you there. Please bookmark/update your bookmarks! We'll probably keep this site up for a little while, but won't be posting here anymore. Blogger, you've served us well, but the time has come for our roads to part...

See you on the other side!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Commenting on this post is mandatory if you happen to be Japanese.

I'd like to introduce [clapclapclap] Akiko Hijichi - a person I know nothing about. I can only hope you will love the works of this talented artist as much as I do! (see how craftily I've avoided specifying gender there? If anyone here speaks Japanese or is familiar with Japanese names please let me know if that's a masculine or feminine one, please. Thanks. This is embarrassing.)


Hot from my inbox:

The e-mail said:
”Mayday Revisited is a one-off single from Swedish music producer Mojib (Staffan Ulmert). The track reconstructs the song ”May day” released in 2007 by UNKLE featuring The Duke Spirit. Using the vocals of Liela Moss the track is being mashed together with lo-fi indie act The Radio dept. Mojib then adds his own piano and acapella melodies."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

From the depths of my external hard drive: Valentine's Day Edition

For this year's Valentine's Day, we're time-travelling back to the 60s, folks. Enjoy!

Other LHNA V-day posts:

What would I do if I could have these songs dedicated to me today, but 10000 miles away someone else would fall off a bike and die ? Hmmm... 


(songs you should dedicate to someone today)


Give me my f**king songs back!


(songs you can no longer dedicate to anyone because they will be forever associated with that b***h/that bastard) 


p.s. the reason we haven't been very chatty lately is that we're working on moving the blog to our own domain, something I assume many blogs will be doing after the Blogger Scare of the past days. Worry not! We shall return mightier and awesomer* than ever.


*disclaimer: not a word; do not use in academical writing. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

If You Tolerate This Your Children's Blogs Will Be Next

 If You Tolerate This Your Children's Blogs Will Be Next

Phew, it's been quite a few days for the music blogging community. What happened? This week Google decided to take down (i.e. completely delete) a number of large and smaller music blogs hosted on the popular Blogger and Blogspot services. For supposed copyright infringement. While in the past, Blogger would simply delete the offending posts (if you've ever found a dead link to a post, that's usually the reason), they've now moved to deleting entire blogs. You can read the full story here.

This obviously places us in a rather difficult position (given the we're, you know, a music blog and all). We now run the risk of being deleted at any given moment if we post (or have already posted) music we have not been expressly given (or even that we have been given) permission to post. The same could apply to images/artwork used (like the one I stole to make the image above).

Clearly continuing like this would be impossible, so it looks likely that Letters have no Arms will soon be moving itself to an independently hosted site within the near future. So, unless they delete us before we move (please don't), you will therefore be seeing a few changes around here pretty soon! 
Until then, we'll simply have to be VERY careful with what we post, and will start with a few songs SENT to us this week. Of course we'll have to delete them as soon as any of these bands gets big and starts selling records,  after which their lawyers will hunt us down and delete our blogs. ;-)

Remember them? Dark clothes. A bit moody. Sounded a bit like the Jesus and Mary Chain, then didn't. Had a very pretty drummer, then didn't. Well, they're back (so is the drummer), and if you just ignore the horrific title (In fact I even suggest changing its title in the tag of the song, to something like, oh  don't know, how about, you know, just 'Beat the Devil'?), it's actually pretty good.
Speaking of names, how's THIS for you!? How could this NOT kick little fleeing human ass? Sounds a bit like Millionaire (early 00s and very overlooked - I know, what a fucking cliché - Belgian band) making out with Queens of the Stone Age in a dirty toilet somewhere. Listening to it might make you feel a little badass.

This one's all electropoppy and has a dark sexy vocal singing about ghosts (double sexy!). I can totally picture boys and girls in a club drinking cheap beer and doing that cute arm swinging thing they do to electropoppy music like this (you know the one where you kinda let it hang and swing it from left to right, occasionally mimicking playing a keyboard along with the music). Remix options aplenty as well.
Dreamy and sweet and perfect for Valentine's Day mixtapes.

Close your curtains, turn up the heater, fill your bath, close your eyes and pretend it's summer, you're at the beach, and those girls over there are actually looking at you.

p.s. Subscribe to Letters have no Arms via that pretty link I just installed at the top right of the page!

p.p.s. BUY a Metric t-shirt!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New music: Trash Kit

Album is out February 22nd.
No, I have no random trivia or annoying rants about it. You can sigh the glorious sigh of relief.
Just listen to the songs.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

[though said with hands in pocket, I mean it hand on heart]

So, Los Campesinos! rant today. Ready? Predictably, it's about the new Romance Is Boring, an album I've been listening to quite a lot these days. I am very perplexed by all the bloggers and journalists who have hastened to proclaim it the band's most "mature" work to date. Whatever they mean by "mature". This is the point where I feel the need to insert an innocent enough remark from a Pitchfork Guy that nonetheless quite bugged me. Here's what Pitchfork Guy said: "It's fun watching bands grow; it's been a pleasure watching this band grow up." My annoyance at that quote can be summed up thus: 

Change is not synonymous with Growth. 

 Yes, this is a band that has changed a great deal from that first EP but does that necessarily mean they've grown? Would you say the Editors' sudden decision to Experiment musically (ahem) is growth?* No, you wouldn't. Why? Because growth implies a (gradual, to the point of being sometimes imperceptible) change for the better. To me, what they're doing is more of a completely willful and somewhat stubborn change, something like an eight-year-old pounding his fists on the table and demanding to be a grown up already so he can eat whatever he wants and play video-games all day long. Growth doesn't happen like that. Growth happens instinctively, naturally, without you having to force its [metaphorical] hand.  We-don't-want-people-to-think-we're-twee-so-now-we're-moving-in-a-different-direction-just-so-they-can't-call-us-that-anymore is not growth.  [Parenthesis: there's nothing wrong with twee, you know. There's also nothing wrong with  catchy-ness and singalong-ability - both things the new album very much lacks.] Saying you're embarrassed of your previously-released material is really NOT growth. "There’s one or two songs that are a bit cringey, so we try to avoid playing them as much as possible. There’s one which I may have rid us of forever – 'We throw parties, you throw knives.' I don’t like it at all, I don’t think we’ll play that again. 'It started with a mix' is alright, but I doubt we’ll do that again either. But if I can get rid of Tweecore [2007 single 'International Tweexcore Underground'], I’ll be happy. Once that’s gone, onwards and upwards." Okay, I'm sorry: I respect this guy (for music he has made and lyrics he has penned) but that statement is just not nice towards your fans, especially towards that portion of your fans for whom the songs you now dis actually mean something. Personally, I LOVE "We Throw Parties You Throw Knives" and don't appreciate a) being made to feel self-conscious about that, as if my love for that song rather than the boring new These Are Listed Buildings means I am less intelligent/have bad music taste/don't "get" what they're doing now b) being told what songs of theirs I should have a preference for. Same with their statements about the new album. Okay, you might think that this is your best, most mature work and that's fine: most artists say that for every new album; they kind of have to. Just don't say- I can't remember the exact quote but something like - "anyone who doesn't think this is our best album is wrong." I'll pick my own favourite songs and albums, thank you very much. And because I suddenly feel I've portrayed myself as a whiny LC-hater (while I'm just an annoyed LC-lover) or, even worse, as the kind of person who thinks the first album or obscure EP (of ANY band) is always better than the new album because that's "too commercial, dude" I will also say the following. There IS one thing Pitchfork did get right:
For some, the cohesive, self-assured Romance will be their favorite Los Campesinos! record; others will continue to prefer the extremity of what came before. That's the breaks with an intensely personal band like this, I suppose; you're going to get intensely personal reactions.
Thanks for reading my intensely personal reaction. Now go listen to the album and develop your own. I'd love to hear all about it.

*Pitchfork's reaction to that debacle (Editors) was much more to my liking: "Give 'em credit here for going a long way towards dismantling what we've come to know about Editors." or "You know that kid in your dorm who took a semester's worth of intro lit and philosophy classes as a license to use the word "Kafka-esque" at every opportunity? 'In This Light and on This Evening' is for that guy."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Die Antwoord = the answer

These are dark days. Rain. Cold. Darkness. Unemployment. Swine flu. And it's times like these that call for futuristic rap crews like Die Antwoord. Coming on like some twisted Chernobylesque Chris Cunningham, Flight of the Conchords, Chris Morris, Tim Westwood, David Lynch hybrid love child, Die Antwoord hail from ever-cooler South Africa, and have come to give us the fokkin antwoord

Based in his grandmother's house, beat-monster DJ Hi-Tek (he owns a PC computer, see) cooks up next level beats for zef rap-rave master Ninja's (he's a ninja, see) zieker dan ziek flow and crack-baby-chic jail bait bubble gum fre$h futuristik rich bitch YO-LANDI VI$$ER's 21st century answer to 90's eurohouse vocals.


 Die Antwoord - Enter the Ninja

 Check their interweb

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Little Lost

Hurray! Approximately 5 years* since season 5 ended with a pop, a bang and a collective WTF?, Lost returns to our screens tomorrow night - or for those outside the US, sometime Wednesday afternoon/evening (torrents permitting). As any true Lost fan and probably much of the rest of the TV-viewing world know, season 6 will be the final season of Lost, and the one in which fans will be looking for all loose ends to be tied up, their favourite couples to finally end up together, their favourite dead characters to be brought back to life and their least favourite characters to die spectacular deaths. Is it all a dream? Are they in Hell? A NYC block (a la Synecdoche, New York)? What's Smokie? Who's Jacob?
 Find out starting tomorrow night!

 Don't remember what's what or who's who? Catch up in just 8 minutes and 15 seconds:
 Songs, simply, with Lost in the title...
Phoenix - Lost and Found
 The Mary Onettes - Lost
Arthur Russell - A Little Lost
Radio Dept. - Lost and Found
Lightspeed Champion - Galaxy of the Lost

 Songs that may well bring back a few Lost memories...
 Petula Clark - Downtown
Mama Cass Elliot - Make Your Own Kind Of Music
 And, something you can play to make your friends think Lost has already started when they're still in the kitchen making that cup of tea...
Lost main theme (Michael Giacchino)

*or what sure felt like it

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just another day.

Today. Just another day, but at the same time, uhm, not really because today - of all days, today! - I HAVE BEEN SAVED. Someone has finally perfectly translated feelings I often have into intelligible English sentences:

"Have you ever made an effort to voice or give word-shape to your complaints or fears? Have you ever tried to articulate your reasons for stomping along the sidewalk glaring at everyone, or wanting to cry because of a snapped shoelace, or waking up in the middle of the night with a bunch of anxiety squatting on your chest like a copy of The Riverside Shakespeare? When someone asks you “What's wrong?” you try to tell them, and it comes out sounding stupid and petty and doesn't begin to touch the very deep sense of wrongness, you end up talking about the superficial things like the shoelace or how you have a lot of work to do or how you haven't been sleeping well. And that just makes you angrier with yourself, because now you have painted yourself as the sort of person who gets all bent out of shape about shoelaces and work stress. But isn't it easier to articulate the symptoms than the disease? The moral of this story is KEEP IT TO YOURSELF, BUCKO. It's easier for you. It's easier for others, because then they can just say “oh yeah work stress that sucks” and use that as a hook for them to launch into their own tale of woe, which call me cynical but sometimes that feels like what 90% of human conversation is about (everyone else asking, even demanding, that you share your feelings but listening only long enough to explain their own). Of course, the “keep it to yourself” maxim, when it comes to mental suffering, works only for a little while unless one has a safety valve, like a big mountain to look at, or a personal web page (ouch), or the opportunity and energy to go make a lot of extremely loud noise, or a friend who belongs to the other 10%.
I wish so much of my thoughts weren't all tangled up with my moods. I either want to (a) live up to my self-conception of being a logical and thoughtful person, all the time, and not let minor things like Crushing Despair With No Root Cause enter my world, or (b) become a creature solely of mood, and let my overdeveloped self-awareness muscles atrophy. Because when I am being stupid, as above, I know that I am being stupid, and when I am happy I think “Is this me, being happy? Is this what happiness is for me?” and when I am depressed I am never able to fully give in to it, because I totally recognize every little symptom for what it is, and I get all strict and disciplinarian and call myself on my bullshit, and I become irritated with my stupid overdramatic neurochemical system, and I end up just wanting to get over myself already. Which does nothing to fix the depression, but which does add another lovely little layer of self-loathing on top of everything."

Mimi Smartypants, I bow to you. I HAVE FOUND MY SAVIOUR, and it is you. Give it up for Mimi Smartypants everyone. She is one of my favourite bloggers. In fact, whenever Mimi Smartypants fails to update her blog for a few days at a time, I'm so starved of Mimismartypantsness that I have to go through the blog-archive and find something she's written in the past, like some lame, desperate smoker who scans ashtrays for cigarette butts that can be relit. Which is how I came upon the above text (posted back in 2002!) and nearly wept with "I'm not such a freak after all" joy.

A song: Memories (Someone We'll Never Know), the soundtrack to one of the most beautiful scenes from Moon - which you have no excuse not to have seen by now, whoever you are and regardless of how you might feel about sci-fi movies in general.

A video: Kiwi! by Dony Permedi is a cute animation about - how'd you guess? - a kiwi. Which is a type of bird that can't fly. But this particular kiwi is not to be discouraged by this oversight on nature's part. Instead, he/she (I'll stick with 'he' this time, it looks like a 'he' to me) spends what surely must be his entire life nailing trees to the side of a cliff so that, when he decides to jump off it, the kiwi will have created the illusion that he is flying. Visually, this isn't impressive animation but if that story isn't motivational, I'm not sure what is.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm sorry if I've gotten sloppy with these electronic dreams, but they're all I have.

The colours were designed to promote the promise of a fantastic future,
A better tomorrow, instead we got this.


Hot Chip - Hand Me Down Your Love (One life Stand, 2010)
  Cold Cave - Heavenly Metals (Cremations, 2009)
Lali Puna - Remember (Our Inventions, 2010)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Don't Judge a Song by its Cover

I know, I know! I've been notable in my absence. Notably absent. Absence duly noted. Thankfully, Eliza's been holding down the LHNA fort in said absence. In my defence, I've been oh so busy; pretty much working non-stop since getting back from Spain a few weeks ago (more on that in the coming months...). And yet it's no excuse! So sorry, dear reader!
Here are a few pretty special recent covers (+ an older one) for your listening pleasure:

Grizzly Bear - Boy From School (Hot Chip)
Superchunk - Say My Name (Destiny's Child)
Ted Leo - With Every Heartbeat (Kleerup feat. Robyn cover)

Friday, January 22, 2010

I am a wolf in sheep's clothing.

These are the lovely songs of a band called Trouble Books.
What you should know about this band:
They are from Ohio. I like them.

Moving on.

The more astute of you might have noticed that something peculiar has happened to our last.fm widgets. There it is, on your right, first a drawing of a handsome-looking guy that bears the heading "Steven's Top Last.fm Artists of the Week". And underneath that, where an illustration of an equally good-looking girl is supposed to be (hey, if we can't make our alter-egos hot then why have them at all?) instead stands, smiling benignly upon our readers and blissfully chewing on some grass, a sheep. I have no idea how this happened. I guess I must have been messing around with it too much - anyway - the upshot of it all is that our blog appears to be written by a guy named Steven (unshaved, glasses, nonchalantly sitting in armchair reading books) and his charming even-toed ungulate.

It must be said that I'm a pretty cool sheep, thinking them thoughts and writing them words and listening to them songs like that. If you're completely in shock right now please, for the love of humanity, take some time to cool off and don't immediately go calling the news channels for I'll be submitted to horrid experiments and insane IQ tests and paraded on CNN like I'm some sort of freak and shoved in a cage for everyone to gawk at and my existence will be a bleak and miserable one. Take some pity on this unfortunate ovine and keep your awe to yourself.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dog days, MediaMonkey, the flu, Neil Gaiman. Wondering how all this could possibly be related? It's not.

Photo credit: Miles Aldridge

Lately, in the morning hours, you'll sometimes find me playing the shit out of these songs:
Beach House - Used to Be
But that's not all I do. I've also been obsessed with researching the etymology of random words and idioms lately. Which means I'm looking for people to annoy with my newly-found bits of trivia and I think YOU (yes, you!) fit the bill. Did you know, for instance, that the expression "dog days" is owed to an astute observation by those darling ancient Romans, who noticed that during the hottest days of the year (in late July and August) Sirius - the brightest star in the night sky, also called the Dog Star - was positioned in the same part of the sky as the sun? Nor did they believe this to be a mere coincidence (coincidence? in ancient Rome? HELL NO!) but they actually thought the presence of the star in the Sun's vicinity to be the cause of the heat. In a similar vein, (this is not something I discovered recently but it seems like a good place to mention it for those wondering) the word influenza (commonly known as the 'flu') takes its name from yet another phenomenon blamed on "the stars": the vicious flu epidemic that erupted in the beginning of the 1700s struck so many people in such a short period of time (SO not coincidental) that it was attributed to the, ahem, influence of a particular configuration of the stars. Thus, influenza - Italian for influence (derived from Medieval Latin influentia). I find all this fascinating. If you don't however - fair enough - don't think I stuck that song on top just because it had the word "dog" in it. I would never do that to you. Owen Pallett's newest album has been on repeat on my MediaMonkey. I kid you not. Go listen. To the whole album! - the song might sound weird out of context. (How many gazillions of times is the name Media Monkey cooler than Media Player? or iTunes for that matter? Even if you weren't convinced of the fact that it's a better program - which it IS - you should switch to MM just for the chance to utter the words Media and Monkey in the same sentence countless times a day. Parenthesis over.)

Out soon: New Adam Green album! New Album Leaf album! New Alex Tucker album! Hurray for the letter A! (The letter A is so cool that it actually rhymes with 'hurray!')

Delving into that tiny little corner of my heart reserved for juvenile, emo-sounding hardcore bands, I've been enjoying - in the masochistic sense of the word? - A History Of lately. Some of their songs sound like a less eloquent and less religious mewithoutyou. The latter is a good thing.

Neglecting the songs in your inbox, on the other hand, is a BAD thing. Very bad thing. And this band's why:
B for Butterfly - Photograph

Photo credit: Miles Aldridge

Finally, the bit we've all been waiting for (fine, I've been waiting for): These New Puritans have a new album. Aww yeah. I have only listened to two songs from it thus far but cannot wait to get my hands on it. Drowned In Sound have awarded it a 9 out of 10, which bodes well and, fortunately, so do the aforementioned already-heard songs. I better be careful how I use my hands today because I'll need those fingers for crossing. They have potential for great things, this band. State Shirt now on the other hand are not a band I expect much from. Though they are tagged "experimental" on Last.fm, I confess mine ears hear no experimenting with new sounds being done. However in a way, they make me think of TNP, by way of contrast. They are less interesting, perhaps, but also more accessible and, one could argue, catchier. So the two songs perfectly complement each other - at least to my (booze-addled, twisted) mind.

Lastly, and in no way related to the above, I quite like Neil Gaiman's answer to the timeworn "If you hadn't been a writer...?" question in the New Yorker today:
"I would have wanted to design religions. I’d have a little shop, and people would phone up or come into the shop and they’d say, ‘I’d like a religion’. And I’d say, ‘Cool, O.K. Where do you stand on guilt, and how do you want to fund it? And would you like sort of a belief in the universe as a huge beneficent organ? Or would you like something more complex?’ And they’d say, ‘Oh, we’d like God to be really big on guilt.’ And I’d say, ‘O.K., how does Wednesday sound to you as a sacred day?’

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Terrible Yellow Eyes

A grand statement to start the post:
"Terrible Yellow Eyes is a wonderful website."

Music to establish the right mood before elaborating:
Jams Dean - Where the Wild Jams Are
Language-Arts - Where Were You in the Wild?

Terrible Yellow Eyes is a project initiated by Cory Godbey in an attempt to pay tribute to one of his favourite artists, Maurice Sendak. If you have managed not to get sucked into the "Where the Wild Things Are" craze, congratulations. You must either have been living at the bottom of the LOST hatch, or you're much less impressionable than I am because, man, I'm such a sucker for it. Now Cory Godbey here appears to not only have fallen for it as well but also managed to convince a bunch of other talented artists to go completely Sendak-crazy and create their own rendition of Max and the wild things. Some drawings are scary, some happy, some nostalgic, some colourful, some dark, some in ink, some in watercolor - but they are all unique in their own little way. Terrible Yellow Eyes has thus managed to amass a most enviable collection of illustrations. We here at LHNA highly recommend you pay the site a visit, bookmark it, and go back to it again and again. Guaranteed mood-lifter.*

P.S. The illustration on top was made by mr. Cory Godbey himself, to whom we are so very grateful for not minding (?) that we've used some of the pictures. (that's one huge-ass assumption there)

Sample drawings

Sarah Caterisano:

Jason Caffoe:

Aurélie Neyret:

Shaun Pendergast:

Kyle Pierce:

David Müller:

Alina Chau:

*We guarantee your satisfaction with the site for at least 120 minutes from the date of mouse-clicking for all of our products. If you are not satisfied, we will refund the time you spent browsing aforementioned site according to the policies and conditions stated in our policy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Magnetic Fields!

"But know that I love you, know that I wrote my last words to you from a  sinking boat..."

 The Magnetic Fields - From a Sinking Boat

 Pre-order Realism here (UK)