Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Rosebuds: And the winners are...

The winners of the signed posters are:

John from W. Lafayette, IN
Tim from Palm Coast, FL
Chelsea (I'm still waiting on her contact info)

And the signed cd goes to:

David from Forrestville, MD

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who entered. We hope to have many more contests to come! And yes, this means that our time with The Rosebuds will come to an end today. We have loved every second of the past two weeks, and would like to send a big thanks to Toolshed Media, Merge Records, and especially The Rosebuds. Remember that the MP3's are only available for download through tomorrow (when we announce our new featured artist), but will archive all the old posts so you can always access any info about The Rosebuds in our archive.

And, I'm sure you've bought the record by now, but if not GO GET IT HERE!

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Rosebuds Demo version of Hold on To This Coat

(MP3) The Rosebuds--Hold on to This Coat (demo) (LINK REMOVED)

The Rosebuds have given A Better Offer permission to post this wonderful demo version of "Hold on to This Coat." They originally posted it on their myspace page about 4 or 5 months ago. Check out how this song began. It's very similar to the final version but definitely worth listening to.

And the contest entries have to be in by midnight tonight. We have 3 signed posters and a signed copy of their new cd "Night of the Furies," courtesy of Toolshed media and Merge. We will announce the winners sometime tomorrow. Send an email to with the subject "Rosebuds giveaway."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Rearview Mirror: The Rosebuds

So I had this idea for a reoccurring feature here at A Better Offer. I think we should take the time to hear where our featured artist(s) have been. We'll take a trip back to their older music... So I have gotten permission from the Rosebuds and Merge to post the following two tracks from the Rosebuds catalog. They will only be available through Saturday, so make sure to get them while you can.

(MP3)The Rosebuds--El Camino. (LINK REMOVED) From the Unwind EP. Released April 2005. This is the song that sold me on the Rosebuds and their music. It was not the first song I heard, but there was a moment when I said to myself, Man these guys are amazing. I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do. You can purchase the EP from Merge records here.

(MP3)The Rosebuds--Hold Hands and Fight. (LINK REMOVED) From the Birds Make Good Neighbors LP. Released September 2005. If you've never heard this track, please do yourself a favor and download immediately. Then go buy the outstanding sophomore record from the Rosebuds here. This is pop brilliance at its best with some of the most outstanding lyrics ever written. And you can hear two other tracks (Shake our Tree and Leaves Do Fall) from this record on Shifted Sound Episode 52.

And don't forget about the contest. We have 3 signed posters and 1 signed cd to give away. Simply send an email to with the subject "Rosebuds Giveaway" and we will announce the three winners on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Review of "Night of the Furies"

With permission from the Rosebuds and Merge, we are posting an exclusive MP3 of Silja Line. It is the version from the record, but The Rosebuds and Merge have only given A Better Offer permission to post this MP3. It will only be up through weekend, so grab it now and listen. I am certain that it will convince you to buy the record.

MP3--Silja Line: On Settling for Normal (A BETTER OFFER EXCLUSIVE) (LINK REMOVED)

Night of the Furies by The Rosebuds

Well I’m sure it is apparent that I am completely enamored by the Rosebuds' excellent new record. I still however felt compelled to write a review of the record. So here goes... The Rosebuds left us in 2005 with Birds Make Good Neighbors—a indie rock gem. I was looking forward to Night of the Furies, but for whatever reason, I was not expecting what I got. When I first heard the record, a shy 9 days ago, I was a little surprised at the change in sound. This record is very danceable and very dark at the same time. This Rosebuds have found a way to write really beautiful songs that have very heavy subject matter. In our interview, they wrote, “we think, if you have a message you want people to care about, all the better if the song it lives in is good. There is a lot of beauty in things that are true—even if that truth is disturbing.”

The beauty of this record is that it is easily accessible for any music listener. Anyone can pick up the cd and have an enjoyable listen. It’s dancy, catchy, and the melodies are beautiful. But the more astute music listener can find meanings throughout. One can follow the story of the Furies throughout and find times when they crop up on the record. With this record, The Rosebuds have solidified their place as one of the most creative storytelling musicians today. The record opens with two instantly catchy songs, “My Punishment for Fighting,” and “Cemetery Lawns.” Lyrics such as “I’ve got blood in the palms of my hands/It’s only blood they’ll understand,” show that the catchiness is laden with the beginnings of the story of the Furies (see post below). The third track,“I Better Run,” brings Kelly’s vocals to a new level. She sings “she’s probably dead, but dead in a secret place/From drugs, dirty murder, or some such thing.” While these first few songs certainly set a tone for the record, The Rosebuds do not become complacent with this. They change things up musically with “Get Up Get Out” but keep the political fuel coming. In my mind the record really grabs you at track six. By that time you understand the way the records going. “Hold on to This Coat,” is a extra catchy little song and even it’s lyrics hint at the change that is coming. “Soon enough, the leaves will grow and your heart deep inside will start to show.” Now it’s on “Silja Line: on settling for normal” where this record really makes it’s statement. The track is absolutely beautiful. And I think it provides the most logical progression from where “Birds Make Good Neighbors” left off and where this record begins. Ivan sings about the “plain folks who don’t mind/the sound of screaming children”…and then continues with, “no way to change what’s been said and done/I’ve set my own course and I’ll try to carry on.” He is clearly ready for the inevitable—whatever that may be. Now The record ends as brilliantly as it began. Track 8 is “The Lights Went Dim,” and Kelly takes the lead vocals on this one. This is the first time I realized that the story of the Furies may not turn out like I expected. Kelly sings, “I'm certain that it’s true, though I hate to think my lover/Never made it through.” And finally the story of the Furies culminates on the last track on the record. “The Night of Three Furies” is another dark yet catchy track that tells the end of the story. And I’ll keep my theories to myself about what happens, and you go listen and make your own.

If you don’t own this record yet, I strongly suggest you purchase it here. OR ENTER OUR CONTEST WHERE YOU COULD WIN AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY!

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Rosebuds Contest

A Better Offer would like to announce our first contest! The fine folks at Merge and Toolshed Media have given A Better Offer 3 signed Rosebuds posters and 1 signed copy of their fantastic new album "Night of the Furies," to give away to our readers. All you have to do to win one of these prizes is send an email to by Friday. Please put "Rosebuds giveaway" in the subject line. We will randomly select 4 winners and post them on Saturday morning. Easy you say? That's right, Easy Like Sunday Morning.

Good Luck.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

An interview with The Rosebuds

Here at A Better Offer, we strive to give you the most complete coverage of the best music availiable. As you know we are midway through our coverage of the Rosebuds--we've got a whole other week to go. And now Kelly and Ivan have been so kind as to answer a few questions that we sent them about their music and their new record, "Night of the Furies." Enjoy!

ABO: Tell our readers a little bit about how The Rosebuds came to be.

A: Ivan was writing songs and playing the guitar and I was in an all-female performance group and just doing some stage acting stuff and he booked us a show at a local venue and then told me that we had a show later that night. I’d never been in a band but I wasn’t afraid of being on stage so I agreed. So he showed me some songs he’d written and we worked out a five-song setlist for later that night. We drove down there and hung up some Christmas lights, plugged in our Sears drum machine, and gave some girl in the audience a tambourine and just started playing. Everybody liked it and said that we should play again the next week so we said yes. The next week we played and when we finished this guy came up to me and said, “Man, you guys are fucking great! How long have you been playing!?” And I said, “It’s our second show.” So we got asked to play again and at the third show, we had our own audience. Some people even brought their own merch. One guy made T-shirts for us to sell and somebody made some stickers. The sound man taped the show and we started selling that to people who wanted to buy the record. So that’s how it started. We just kept playing and eventually Merge heard about us and when we sent them a demo in the mail, they invited us to put it out.

ABO: We’ve posted information about the creation of “Night of the Furies,” from the Merge website, but can you talk specifically about how this record was made and how that was different from how your previous records were made.

A: It’s different in that we produced it ourselves and so that gave us all the freedom in the world to do anything we wanted. That was everything. That’s what made “Furies” what it is—just having personal and creative freedom to do anything.

ABO: What about the change in sound... Was that a direct result of the inspiration for this record? If so is it a direction you see your band continuing to go?

A: We were playing a song live that was a garage-style, rave-up, rock n roll song and when we tried to get a version on tape, we weren’t happy with the way it was sounding. But we didn’t want to just kill the song so we went home and Ivan worked up a smoother version of the song, slower tempo and the same chords, and was singing the same lyrics until he accidentally went into this other thing, vocally, and then he listened back and decided to scrap most everything except that other little vocal thing. And the vocal thing was, “learn to forget” which became the first step into the song “Night of the Furies.” But it was still a smooth song—same vibe as the new demo of the old rave-up. So he added a bass to that, which is the first time we’ve ever had a bass that carried it’s own melody and just adding that bass is how the new sound was born.

ABO: What role do the three Roman goddesses (especially Tisiphone) play in this record? And how much did she affect the man who was charged with singing these stories? Are there specific points that they come out in the record? Or are they just consistently part of the songs?

A: There are so many things we were thinking about and writing about—heavy ideas and subject matter—that the Furies became a way for us to address these ideas lyrically. I’d like people to look back at us in 50 years and appreciate the music, but also the stories we tell and the style in which we tell them. The use of the Furies as a metaphor for political topics, life experiences, philosophical positions—all that stuff—protects us from sounding too prosaic. In other words, employing the Furies figuratively gave us a similar kind of freedom that the self-production step gave us. Concretely, however, the Furies are their own amazing story and we wanted to explore them for a while. If there’s ever been a time in the history of man-kind that we’ve needed the Furies, it’s now.

ABO: What about the live show…What can your fans expect to see on this tour? How many musicians will be part of your touring band, and how will the set list play out…and if this has changed at all from previous tours.

A: We are a five-piece band now. We played some shows with Yo La Tengo, then we went to Russia for a festival, and then we went to SxSW with this line-up and the response is like old times again—people see us now and like it in that way that makes them want to help us somehow. For example, we played at SxSW and so many writers saw us and then started writing about our shows and keeping up with us. And we realize how much that helps us but what the kick-ass part of it all is, it’s all DIY—they want to help and don’t expect anything for it. Unlike traditional/major print magazines and traditional media that rely on advertising and “one hand washes the other” dealings, these blogs and online magazines don’t give a shit about that—they just say what they want and what they really believe. Well, you know what I mean. So, even though we can’t buy all that traditional advertising (like bands on major labels can) and get the benefits of that exposure, we mean something real to real fucking people and it helps us more than all that other stuff anyway.

ABO: The first single, Get Up Get Out, is dancy and dark all at the same time (which is certainly a theme that runs through the new record). Can you talk a little bit about this track and how you go about choosing a single on such a conceptual album?

A: We were surprised to find a handful of early reviewers not acknowledging the darkness and heaviness of this song. And the others too. Writers who don’t understand metaphor. Or writers who don’t pay attention to lyrics. Baffling. But there is that darkness, like you say, amid the danceable music. Our last record dabbled in that as well. But for “Get Up Get Out,” we mean for it to be political and heavy but we don’t want to just write protest songs that have no hooks. Who gives a shit about that? We think, if you have a message you want people to care about, all the better if the song it lives in is good. There is a lot of beauty in things that are true—even if that truth is disturbing.