Links


  • Record Stores


  • Academy Records, LPs and Annex
    The Academy Annex in Williamsburg is my favorite place to buy used records.

  • Amoeba Music
    San Francisco, Berkeley and LA. Best in the West.

  • Boomkat
    UK based site specializing in Electronic, Ambient, Post-Folk, IDM and more

  • Generation Records
    This Greenwich Village staple has attitude. Great for punk, hardcore and much more.

  • Insound
    Top online independent retailer. Great deals and selection.

  • Other Music
    Among the best independent record stores in New York City.

  • Permanent Records
    Greenpoint, Brooklyn. My favorite store to browse.

  • Sonic Boom Records
    Along with KEXP, the reason that I could survive a move to Seattle

  • SoundFix
    Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They've developed a great website and have online ordering as well.



This past weekend’s After The Jump fest was a great success. The turnout was surprisingly good for our inaugural festival and a substantial amount of money was raised for music programs in New York City schools. This is only my opinion, but the younger “up-and-coming” bands totally blew the “headliners” away. Jukebox the Ghost played first on the side stage and may have been my favorite act of the day. I’m sure you’ll hear more about them in the future, but for now I’d like to introduce you to a band that I was reminded of during their set.

Whenever a pop band relies heavily on the piano it seems they immediately get compared to Ben Folds Five. The Five purposely limited their sound by eschewing guitars, yet they still turned out some of my favorite music of the 20th Century. While Robert Sledge’s melodic basslines and Darren Jesse’s drumming gave the trio their unique sound, the songs always felt like they could be realized a little too easily with only a piano – which many of them were when Folds began flying solo (“Steven’s Last Night In Town” being one exception with it’s clarinet and trumpet parts – still, these instrumental oddities were album-only cameos and were usually played by Ben on a melodica in the live setting). After two albums, the band seemed to go as far as they could within the confines of their three instruments. Their experimentations with additional instruments and broader styles on their third and final album seemed to upset their delicate balance. On Ben’s latest records he writes and records mostly all the parts himself and while the instrumentation is becoming more varied, the songs still seemed composed mainly for piano with the additional parts being layered on top as an afterthought. The ability and desire to compose and arrange music for an wider arsenal of instruments is where bands like Jukebox the Ghost and Fluid Ounces break free from the Ben Folds Five stereotype.

When I first happened upon Fluid Ounces they were touted as being “like Ben Folds Five, but better”. I knew not to take such a broad opinion at face value, especially when it seemingly put down one of my favorite bands, but there actually was something “better” about this new discovery, fronted by songwriter Seth Timbs. Much like Folds’ most recent efforts, Timbs plays most of the instruments on his albums. But compared to the defunct trio and their fearless leader, Timbs’ music sounds more adventurous. While the piano is central to Fluid Ounces sound, other keyboard instruments are also heavily used and Seth Timbs rocks a mean guitar. The songs themselves are less straight-forward, a little bit progressive perhaps – but in a Queen way as opposed to a Rush way – with quickly delivered, witty lyrics which remind me of the Dismemberment Plan or Stunt-era Barenaked Ladies. The arrangements are complicated yet easily accessible and he draws from a very wide variety of influences, from vaudeville and ragtime to jazz, tango and blues.

Here’s a review of their most recent album The Whole Shebang [via PopMatters].

from The Whole Shebang (2004):
Fluid Ounces – Paperweight Machines

The Whole Shebang is available on iTunes, but you’ll have a much harder time finding the band’s second album, the out-of-print In The New Old-Fashioned Way which is widely regarded by fans as Fl. Oz.’s most outstanding album. Unlike The Whole Shebang, ITNOFW was recorded by the late 90’s incarnation of Fluid Ounces as a full band and not by Timbs alone. It kicks off with Lend Me Your Ears (“what Vincent Van Gogh must have said”) and other pop gems then progresses on to more heartfelt and personal songs such as my favorite “Bigger Than the Both of Us”. You can buy the import version at Tower.com (which still exists?) or find cheaper used copies at Amazon.

Marvel Girl [from In The New Old-Fashioned Way]
“stop action heroine/better than heroin”

Not as expansive, but still worth your time and money is Fluid Ounces first album Big Notebook For Easy Piano. Foreign Legion is their third album, released in 2001 on Japanese label Cutti Records. I originally thought it to be a live album, but it’s actually a proper release chock full of songs I need to become more familiar with.

Poet Tree [from Foreign Legion]
“so put your branches in the air/and wave them like you’re apathetic”

also from Big Notebook for Easy Piano (1997):
Fluid Ounces – Record Stack

Seth Timbs is somewhat of a local hero – a legend in his hometown of Murfreesburo, TN and nearby Nashville. He has also toured Japan, but hasn’t taken many trips around the States. This seems to suit him and his fans just fine, but I can’t help but try and broaden their fanbase. Unfortunately Fluid Ounces “final” album Instant Nostalgia will be released soon, but Timbs already has a new project lined up – a band called The Hot New Singles which plays guitar-based rock with a noticeably absent piano. Though Fluid Ounces got started before “Brick” hit the airwaves and stuck around much longer, Timbs himself admits that he’s “tired of the Ben Folds Five comparisons”. So I figured I’d do Jukebox the Ghost a favor and open the door for Fluid Ounces comparisons before they tire of hearing the name Ben Folds as well.

UPDATE: Juan posted a link to his fantastic blog Hung On Every Word in the comments. It’s a great resource for learning more about Fl. Oz. (which I wish I had when researching this post). You can also now find all of their music through Snocap at the bottom of his site.


7 Responses to “[You’ve (probably) never heard of…] – Fluid Ounces”

  1. 1 Chris

    Excellent post. I (probably) never have heard of Fluid Ounces.

    Agreed on the younger “up-and-coming” bands totally blowing away the “headliners” and Jukebox were my fav too.

    BTW – That’s is interesting that Tower.com still exists and supports the rumor I heard that Tower is soon going to be mounting a comeback and have plans to reopen in a few select cities.

  2. 2 Bryan

    oh man you’re so right on with the FLoz. comparison. It didn’t even occur to me at the time! and yes, I’ve certainly heard of them.

  3. 3 kathryn

    Holy crap. I haven’t thought about ANY of those Spongebath bands in so long.

    Thanks for the post.

  4. 4 bryan

    self is my second favorite band ever. just putting that out there.

  5. 5 Juan Horsetown

    Instant Nostalgia gives the rest of the albums (you didn’t mention Foreign Legion) a run for its money as the best Fl Oz album.

    I’m blogging about each and every Fl Oz song, and you can read about it at my website (linked with my name).

Leave a Reply





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mp3 blogs
The Hype Machine

Recent Shows


2011

I finally saw The Dismemberment Plan and my life is complete. Enjoy the archives.

Past Shows


2010

8/28 The National Rifle [KFN]

8/15 !!! [East River Park, NY]

7/24 Cap'n Jazz [Starlight Ballroom]

7/2 Busses [Johnny Brenda's]

6/24 Wakey!Wakey! [North Star Bar]

6/25 - 6/26 Northside Festival (Marie Stella, The Grates, Dinosaur Feathers...) [Brooklyn]

6/22 Villagers [FUC - Chapel]

6/16 The Most Serene Republic, Annuals [North Star Bar]

6/2 The Futureheads, The Like [FUC - Basement]

5/2 The Album Leaf [FUC - Sanctuary]

5/5 Bear Hands [World Cafe Live]

4/10 Pilam Human BBQ (Algernon Cadwallader, These United States)

4/9 Freezepop, Cannon Logic [North Star Bar]

4/2 Band of Skulls, The Whigs [North Star Bar]

3/16 - 3/21 SXSW (Octopus Project, The Megaphonic Thrift, Local Natives, We Were Promised Jetpacks...) [Austin, TX]

2/19 Memory Tapes, Neon Indian [Making Time - Voyeur]

1/22 Freelance Whales, Animal Tropical [KFN]

1/21 Savior Adore, Circadian Rhythms [KFN]

1/14 River City Extension [North Star Bar]

2009

12/4 The Wrens [Maxwell's]

12/2 Jaguar Love [Mercury]

11/29 Zero 7 [TLA]

11/17 J TIllman [FUC - Chapel]

10/20 - 10/24 CMJ [New York]

9/12-9/13 Monolith [Denver, CO]

8/28-8/30 After The Jump Fest [Littlefield]

8/14 Starlight Mints [North Star Bar]

8/8 A Crimson Grail for 200 Guitars [Lincoln Center]

7/18 Siren Fest [Coney Island]

7/16 Rit Mo Collective [Chris' Jazz Cafe]

6/26 The Most Serene Republic [North Star Bar]

6/11 - 6/14 Northside Festival

6/5 White Rabbits [Johnny Brenda's]

5/30 Jodienda [The Glass Door]

5/23 United Naitons [Delancey]

5/21 White Rabbits, Cymbals Eat Guitars, The Antlers [Bowery]

5/20 St. Vincent, Pattern Is Movement [Webster]

5/15 Marie Stella, Coyote Eyes [Portland, ME]

5/9 The Lisps [Joe's Pub]

5/8 Mono [Society for Ethical Culture]

5/3 No Doubt [Bamboozle]

5/2 The Get Up Kids [Bamboozle]

5/1 The Beets, pow wow! [Red Star Bar]

4/22 Into The Presence [Pianos]

4/18 The Life and Times [Webster Studio]

4/16 Middle Distance Runner [The Annex]

4/15 Nada Surf [Bell House]

4/10 The Wrens [Bell House]

4/2 Asobi Seksu [Bowery Ballroom]

3/17 SXSW

3/13 The Wrens / Titus Andronicus [Bowery]

3/6 The Bird and The Bee [Bell House]

3/5 Antlers / The Physics of Meaning [Union Hall]

2/28 ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead [Bowery]

2/27 Uninhabitable Mansions / Spacecamp [Union Hall]

2/26 Bell Orchestre / Clogs / Brooklyn Phil [BAM]

2/26 Tally Hall / Oppenheimer [Union Hall]

2/25 Ben Kweller [Town Hall]

2/23 Jimmy Eat World [Terminal 5]

2/18 Sam Roberts Band [Bowery Ballroom]

2/17 Fugiya & Miyagi / School of Seven Bells [LPR]

2/2 Frightened Rabbit [LPR]

1/26 Beirut [Coco66]

1/3 Holy Moly [Pete's Candy Store]

2008

10/8 Barbara Morgenstern [Galapagos]

9/20 My Bloody Valentine [Roseland]

9/11 Land Of Talk [Mercury]

8/25 Lykke Li [LPR]

8/22 Lykke Li [Amoeba - Hollywood]

8/22 Radiohead [Hollywood Bowl]

8/20 Broken Social Scene, Menomena [Sunset Junction]

8/15 Manuel Göttsching [Lincoln Center]

7/31 The Long Winters [Castle Clinton]

7/24 Ambulance LTD [Bowery]

7/18 Deerhoof, Metropolis Ensemble [Prospect Park]

7/17 Ted Leo [Castle Clinton]

6/26 Devo [McCarren Pool]

6/21 After The Jump Fest [Williamsburg]

6/19 Man In Grey's farewell show [Delancey]

6/4 M83 [Bowery]

5/29 Hello Eden [Rebel]

5/28 Birdmonster [Mercury]

5/2 Stars of the Lid [Good Shepherd Church]

4/17 Gelsey Bell [Goodbye Blue Monday]

4/3 Helio Sequence [Bowery]

3/21 Jens Lekman [Hollywood, CA]

3/18 The Lisps [Los Angeles, CA]

3/12-16 SXSW [Austin, TX]

1/27 Laura Veirs [Union Hall]

1/16-17 Wordless Music Orchestra (Adams, Bryars, Greenwood) [St. Paul the Apostle]

2007

12/20 Wakey! Wakey!, Jason Joseph [Arlene's]

12/14 The Most Serene Republic [Mercury]

12/13 Cake, Brazillian Girls, Oakley Hall [Terminal 5]

12/12 Wakey! Wakey!, Jukebox the Ghost [Mercury]

11/28 Max Richter, Cepia, Assaff Weisman [Good-Shepherd Faith Church]

11/10 Mum, Hauschka, Bing and Ruth [Society for Ethical Culture]

11/9 Mum, Torngat [St. Paul the Apostle]

11/3 Grizzly Bear, Michael Harrison [Society for Ethical Culture]

10/16-20 CMJ (Spoon, The Octopus Project, The Most Serene Republic, Saturday Looks Good To Me,1900's, Biffy Clyro, Freezepop...)

10/5 Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurdsson, Sandro Perri [Good-Shepherd Faith Church]

9/24 Beirut, Colleen [Society for Ethical Culture]

9/21 The Most Serene Republic [Union Hall]

9/20 Beirut, Fifth Veil [Brooklyn Masonic Temple]

9/15 Do Make Say Think [The Middle East, Boston]

9/14 Do Make Say Think, Electric Kompany [Society for Ethical Culture]

8/29 Feist [McCarren]

8/25 After The Jump Festival [Studio B]

8/23 The Rentals [Nokia]

8/21 The New Pornographers [Bowery]

8/19 Wolf Parade [Warsaw]

8/12 Junior Senior [Soundfix]

8/12 Ted Leo/Pharmacists, The Thermals [McCarren]

8/9 Daft Punk [Keyspan]

7/28 Benni Hemm Hemm [Union Hall]

7/23 Eastern Conference Champions [Pianos]

7/4 The New Pornographers [Battery Park]

6/11 Feist [Town Hall]

6/2 Man In Grey [Union Hall]

5/12 LCD Soundsystem [Studio B]

5/8 The Shondes, Beat Radio [Delancey]

5/5 Arcade Fire, The National [Tower Theater]

4/30 The Books [Society for Ethical Culture - Wordless Music Series]

4/24 Pela [Mercury]
Wakey Wakey, Casey Shea [Pianos]

4/14 Cloud Cult, Young Galaxy [Mercury]

4/12 Eastern Conference Champions [Union Hall]

4/2 Amiina, Eluvium, Gilles Vonsattel [Good Shepherd Faith Church - Wordless Music Series]

3/31 The Long Winters, The Broken West [Mercury]

3/28 Menomena [Bowery]

3/23 Toca Loca, Polmo Polpo, Social Music Work Group [Good Shepherd Faith Church]

3/14-3/18 SXSW

3/9 Matt & Kim, Professor Murder [Bowery]

3/7 Mirah, The Blow [NYU]

3/1 Thunderbirds Are Now!, Tigercity [Knitting Factory]

2/20 Explosions In The Sky [Society for Ethical Culture]

2/19 Explosions In The Sky [Warsaw]

2/18 Malajube, Rock Plaza Central [Mercury]

2/17 The Muggabears, Please Dept [The Delancey]
Gelsey Bell [Vivaldi Cafe]

2/16 The Arcade Fire [Judson Memorial Church]
Pela [Mercury]

2/11 Steven Malkmus and the Jicks [Maxwell's]

2/10 Sure Juror [Pianos]

1/30 Peter, Bjorn and John [Bowery]

1/27 Liam & Me, The GoStation, White Rabbits, Seth Kallen + The Reaction [Sin-e]

1/19 The Wrens [Knitting Factory]

1/18 The Hold Steady [Northsix]

1/13 Gil Mantera's Party Dream, Free Blood [Knitting Factory]

1/6 Matt & Kim, Meneguar, Aa [Studio B]

2006

12/20 Bridges & Powerlines [Pianos]

12/16 Rainer Maria, Pela, Daylight For The Birds [Bowery]

12/15 Bell, Lismore, Theives Like Us, The Ballet [Delancey]

12/13 Bound Stems, Ra Ra Riot, The Muggabears [Sin-e]

12/09 Oxford Collapse [Northsix]

11/28 ¡Forward, Russia! [Bowery]

11/22 The Hold Steady [Warsaw]

11/20 The Little Ones, Small Sins [Mercury Lounge]

11/15 A Hawk and A Hacksaw, Andrew Bird [GSF Church]

11/14 Bad Viens [Knitting Factory]

11/13 Modest Mouse [Nokia]

11/10 The Shondes [Brooklyn Lyceum]

11/6 Voxtrot [Bowery]
Cloud Cult [Knitting Factory]

10/31 - 11/4 CMJ [Everywhere]

10/21 Maritime, Bound Stems [Mercury]

10/17 TV On The Radio, Grizzly Bear [Irving]

10/15 Okkervil River, Sam Champion [Bowery]

10/14 Okkervil River, Elvis Perkins [Bowery]

9/30 Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond [Town Hall]

9/29 Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond [Town Hall]
The Long Winters [Bowery]

9/27 The Big Sleep, The Rogers Sisters, The Occasion (Movable Hype 9.0) [Spiegeltent]

9/26 O'Death, DraculaZombieUSA (Beg Yr Pardon #9) [Delancey]

9/18 Wordless Music Series (Glenn Kotche & Nels Cline, Jenny Lin, Elliot Sharp) [GSF Church]

9/15,16,17 Austin City Limits Festival (Explosions In The Sky, Okkervil River, The Long Winters, Nada Surf, Ben Kweller, Ted Leo, Stars, The New Pornographers, Husky Rescue, What Made Milwaukee Famous...)

9/13 The Grates [Pianos]

9/12 The Dears, The Grates [Bowery]

9/3 Mono, Fridge [Bowery]

9/2 Explosions In The Sky [Bowery]

8/31 Asobi Seksu, Say Hi To Your Mom, Cassettes Won't Listen [Maxwell's]

8/29 Casey Dienel, Inlets [Union Hall]

8/25 Ted Leo (free) [South Street Seaport]
Beirut [Mercury]

8/24 My Brightest Diamond [Speigeltent]

8/23 826NYC benefit w/David Byrne, Sufjan Stevens, John Roderick [Beacon Theater]

8/21 The Diggs, Slowlands [CBGB]

8/18 The Mugs, The Isles [Union Hall]

8/17 Takka Takka, Slowlands [Union Hall]

8/12 Sleater-Kinney, The Thermals [Portland, OR]

8/8 The Long Winters [Mercury Lounge]

8/7 Silversun Pickups [Union Hall]

8/4 Hot Chip [South Street Seaport]

8/3 The New Pornographers [Summerstage]

7/23 Pretty Girls Make Graves [McCarren Park Pool]

7/21 Jens Lekman, Beirut [Bowery]

7/19 Jens Lekman [Mercury]

7/15 Casey Shea [Knitting Factory]
Siren Fest [Coney Island]

7/14 My Brightest Diamond [Joe's Pub]

7/13 Okkervil River [Castle Clinton]
Oh No! Oh My!, The Big Sleep [Supreme Trading]

7/11 Movable Hype 8.0 [Knitting Factory] w/ Takka Takka, Femme Generation, Goes Cube

7/9 Cursive [Mercury]
Les Savy Fav [McCarren Park Pool]

7/7 The Undisputed Heavyweights [Rockwood]

7/6 Broken Social Scene [Prospect Park]
Mates of State [Castle Clinton]

7/4 Belle & Sebastian [Battery Park]

6/30 Birdmonster, Tally Hall, The Talk [Sin-e]
Matt Pond PA, Voxtrot [Prospect Park]

6/29 Land of Talk, Tokyo Police Club, The Ballet [Syrup Room]

6/28 Gil Mantera's Party Dream [Knitting Factory]

6/27 The Grates [Mercury]

6/25 The Undisputed Heavywights [Rockwood]

6/22 Asobi Seksu [Mercury]

6/17 Beirut [SoundFix]

6/15 Saturday Looks Good To Me [Northsix]

6/14 !Forward, Russia! [Mercury]

6/13 Eels, Smoosh [World Financial Center]
The Boy Least Likely To [Knitting Factory]

6/11 !!! [Northsix]

6/6 Nada Surf, stellastar* [Starlight Ballroom]

6/2 Radiohead [Tower Theater, Philly]

5/27 & 5/28 Sasquatch Music Festival [The Gorge, WA]

5/22 Art Brut [Soundfix]

5/20 Pela [brooklyn rooftop]

5/19 Land of Talk, Slowlands [Mercury Lounge]
Land of Talk, Dr. Dog (KEXP in NYC) [Gigantic Studios]

5/17 Art Brut, Art Brut 47 (We Are Scientists) [Knitting Factory]

5/12 White Rose Movement [Bowery Ballroom]

5/10 Nada Surf (acoustic) [Mercury Lounge]

4/25 Jamie Lidell [Bowery Ballroom]

4/21 The Undisputed Heavyweights, Cloud Cult [Arlene's Grocery]

4/17 Cloud Cult [Knitting Factory]

4/11 Art Brut, The Rogers Sisters [Southpaw]

4/10 Wolf Parade [Webster Hall]

4/9 Voxtrot, Irving [Mercury Lounge]

4/7 The Hold Steady [Warsaw]

4/5 Art Brut, Gil Mantera's Party Dream [Bowery Ballroom]

4/4 Art Brut, The Ponys [Bowery Ballroom]

4/1 Dream Theater [Radio City Music Hall]

3/31 Nine Black Alps [Bowery Ballroom]

3/30 Editors, The Big Sleep [Webster Hall]

3/28 Editors, stellastarr* [Warsaw]

3/22 The Go! Team [NorthSix]

3/21 Magnet [Living Room]

3/11 Belle & Sebastian, New Pornographers [Riverside Theater, Milwaukee]

3/8 The Wedding Present [Bowery]

3/2 Ted Leo/Rx [The Hook]

2/11 Gelsey Bell [Cafe Vivaldi]

2/10 Feist, Mates of State, Jason Collett [Webster]

2/9 Jason Collett [Mercury]

1/27 Broken Social Scene [Webster]

1/16 Nine Black Alps [Mercury]

1/14 Sufjan Stevens [Lincoln Center/Allen Room]

1/12 Tapes 'N Tapes, Sam Champion [Rothko]

1/11 Imogen Heap [Avalon]

3K2 theme by Hakan Aydin


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