Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Just When I Thought I Couldn't Love Rachel Maddow Any More...

She goes and makes a Wu-Tang reference!

It was during a segment where an Iraqi judge called someone an "Old Dirty Ba'athist." She followed up by saying something along the lines of, "not to be confused with the Ghostface Killah Ba'athist." The joke didn't really land, but she did giggle at it herself and trailed off saying something about the Clan, showing probably at least a passing familiarity with the Wu. Fantastic.

Then, just when it seems like she couldn't be any greater, I scour the internet for a picture of her to put in this post, and I find out that she hates coldplay. So do I! Awesome!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oy Division!

Last night, I had this idea. I realized that I want to start a Klezmer-Rock Joy Division cover band called "Oy Division."

Almost immediately after announcing my intention, I was informed that it'd already been done. I briefly flirted with the idea of a street punk version called "Oi Division," but decided I wasn't as crazy about it. Now you may be asking yourself, "where is all of this coming from?" Well, it's pretty simple. Last night I went to BAM to see the aptly titled documentary Joy Division.

The film was fantastic, far better than my last trip to the movies to see
Zach and Miri. The editing and composition were fantastic but the best part of movie was the involvement of so many people who were integral to the band's history. The surviving members of the band all gave lengthy commentary, along with Ian Curtis's extra-marital girlfriend Annik Honoré, Factory Records founder Tony Wilson, graphic designer Peter Saville, and Buzzcock Pete Shelley. The included interviews focused less on what happened and more on how it happened, which made for an extremely compelling story. Near the film's end, however, it was mentioned that the story doesn't conclude with Curtis' death, going on to gloss over the band's transition into New Order. This was the only part of the film I could say I was disappointed with. It seemed odd that filmmaker Grant Gee would make a point of saying how it's important to note that the story doesn't end with Curtis' death, and subsequently end his story with Curtis' death. I've always been curious how a band like Joy Division could evolve into a band like New Order, and I'd hoped this documentary would shed some light on that.

That gripe aside, the film was alternately funny and poignant, and informative. It was playing as part of BAM's Thanksgiving film series, Punk 'n' Pie, which unfortunately is over as of tonight. The movie is available on DVD, however, so if you're even a little interested in some of the stories behind an important band, check it out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pears, Plums, Books, Peaches

Even though it was released almost three years ago, I just recently heard the Final Fantasy cover of Joanna Newsom's "Peach, Plum, Pear." It's one of my favorite Joanna Newsom tunes and I really enjoy the cover too. Pallet's strings offer a pleasant parallel to the sounds of Newsom's harp and his voice is well suited to the song's delicate vocals.

I've also been really getting into the books lately. Ive had their first album for quite some time, but it never garnered anything more than passing interest; something I wouldn't skip in shuffle, but probably wasn't seeking out otherwise. Last week though, a friend showed me a video from their 2007 dvd,
Playall. This is "Smells Like Content."

At first I was drawn in by how wonderful the video is, but immediately after watching, I wanted to hear the song again. Initially I heard similarities to Broken Social Scene's "I'm Still Your Fag" (another great video and fantastic song) but the more I listened, the more I could hear Paul Simon in the melodies and harmonies of the vocals. I don't offer these comparisons to detract from the duo's originality, but rather to trace the development of my appreciation for the song. Since then, I've been listening to Lost and Safe near constantly and while "Smells like Content" stands out as my favorite, it is a solid album of experimental balladry.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Colin Meloy Sings...

Colin Meloy released his third (or sort of fourth) Colin Meloy Sings... record this past April focusing on five jams by the late Sam Cooke. Since I've been listening to a lot of Sam Cooke lately, I decided to put the Colin Meloy versions into rotation.
It's possible that this owes more to Sam Cooke's merits than to Colin Meloy's faults, but I had a lot of trouble getting into Meloy's versions of the songs. It's not that they weren't well executed, they absolutely were. It's just that I would rather listen to the original version of every song on this EP, if given the chance. In my mind, good covers expand upon or deconstruct the original in some interesting way. Meloy did it excellently with the first EP in the series, Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey. His versions of "I Know Very Well How I Got My Name" and "Everyday is Like Sunday" are stripped down to a completely bare and vulnerable sound and it suits both songs beautifully.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm a Mac, I'm a PC, and sweetie call me Toney Starks, Ghost if ya like ta

Some new Ghostface id making its way around the internet. The thing is, it's consistently linked within posts about Ghost's upcoming compilation album The Great Ghostdeini, yet it's never included within the tracklist. So where did this song come from? If I ever get an answer, I'll be sure to pass it along.

The song is definitely better than anything off of Big Doe Rehab. That being said though, the Zapp sample, while enjoyable, is hardly original. Ghost is strong on the track, but not particularly strong enough to make this one a classic. Is it worth downloading? Absolutely. Are you going to remember you downloaded it a couple months from now? Probably not.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Blake Schwarzenbach Project

I went to a show last night at the Jerk house in Sunset Park and I got there kind of late, figuring that house shows never start on time. I was wrong about this one and ended up missing the first three bands. I did dance into people excitedly for a long set by Shellshag, but unfortunately that couldn't make up for the fact that I missed Blake Schwarzenbach's new band play a surprise set. I'm not sure what the band's called and since I didn't actually see the set, I can't really say much about the sound, but I heard from everyone that they were pretty awesome. Not terribly shocking.

This may not have been all that informative, but hopefully I'll start getting to shows on time and more Blake Schwarzenbach news will follow.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Modest Mouse at MHW 6/20

So I was lucky to get a pair of tickets yesterday afternoon to the late night/early morning Modest Mouse show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg last night and it was definitely one of the more memorable concert experiences I’ve had.

I showed up at 1AM (when doors were scheduled to open) only to wait outside the MHW for almost an hour and endure the endless “do you have an extra ticket” questioning by everyone who walked by.

When I finally got in I claimed a spot in the upstairs balcony right on the railing which was an absolutely perfect view of everything. At this point 2:15 rolls around (the show was scheduled to start at 1:30AM), and then by 2:30 they finally come on stage. They started off great with a couple older songs and then went into more familiar material. Here’s the set list slightly out of order:

Trucker's Atlas
Fire It Up
We've Got Everything
Dance Hall
The Whale Song
Wild Pack Of Family Dogs
Little Motel
Satin In A Coffin
Tiny Cities Made of Ashes
Paper Thin Walls
The Good Times Are Killing Me

I was hoping to see a couple more rarities although we did get a lot. One highlight of the night was when Isaac, who was admittedly drunk, during Tiny Cities Made in Ashes was screaming his “And the population’s you!” rant and jumped off the stage into the crowd. He started plowing through the crowd, grabbing people by the shoulders, and shaking the half-dazed hipsters while screaming in their face – it was quite a site from up in the balcony.

There’s definitely something to be said for the atmosphere a tired, bleary eyed, half drunk and stoned crowd creates but it seemed to work at this show. Overall it was a very late night, but definitely an awesome experience and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

TPC NYC BOWERY 4-20 & 4-22


i taped a lot of the 4-22 show and am figuring out the best way to host it but for now here's a tease

of things

to come.

(will post reviews, etc. as well)


give credit where credit's due is all I ask...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mind Control!

I was watching New York Noise last weekend (you can watch all of em here, if you don't live within the NY metro area) and I caught the video for "Mind Control" by Imani. At under a minute long, it was like the opening credits for some Nickelodeon show in an alternate universe (Imani is 10 years old).

I have to say, I really loved it, and was pretty pysched when they played the entire song again, immediately afterwards, while Mark Ronson talked about it (it reminds him of Nickelodeon too, but he also called her a Santogold mini-me, which I dunno if I agree with so much). The screams are one of my favorite touches to the song, and the video itself is visually stunning. The production is just so-so, however, so I've been looking around to see if I could find anything more by her. Turns out the production does get a bit better, especially on the tracks "BkLyn WhAAAAAAAT" and "Why U Runnin'". I don't know if she writes the songs herself, but if not, the writer certainly does a good job of writing lyrics that are age-appropriate without being boring to an older crowd (most of the time). There are moments in all the songs where the instrumentation enters really familiar territory, but the exciting flourishes make it worth while. If for any reason, you find yourself having to make a mix for a third grader, you'd probably do well to throw Imani on it. You'd probably do well putting it on a grown-up mix too.

"BkLyn WhAAAAAAAT" by Imani
"Why U Runnin" by Imani
Official Myspace

On an unrelated note,
I heard some talk about the new streets album being worked on, so naturally I've turned to the internet to see if I can back that up. It drives me crazy trying to find any information about him in google blog search though, because searching "Mike Skinner" gets me information on Craftsman Truck Series driver, Mike Skinner,

"Get 'er Done"

Who has not done very much to push things forward in the terms that I would like. The other option is to search "streets" or "streets album". Here we get, "Mike Jones: Voice of The Streets". Now, it was a nice surprise to see that Mike Jones had lost a lot of weight.

Seriously, look at that! I didn't even recognize him! That's not the point though, the point is, I know nothing about the upcoming streets album, and I probably won't for a while, and that frustrates me. What doesn't frustrate me is the combination of two of my favorite things, the beat from "Still Tippin'" and Barack Obama.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Shame on you, Timbaland

So apparently this is sort of old news, but the Douchipster and I were listening to Crystal Castles the other night, and he played me "Courtship Dating", a tune I hadn't heard before. It sounded remarkably similar to 50 cent's "Ayo Technology", which dropped way back in the summer. I remember when that song came out that I was on a pretty strong anti-curtis kick, but I really enjoyed the synth on it. Well, now I know why.

The rumor that seemed to pop up most was that Timbaland had someone jack a sample from crystal castles through a concert soundboard. Not sure if that sounds 100% credible, but Crystal Castles have been playing this song live for far longer than the 50 cent tune has been on the airwaves. I'm all about sampling, don't get me wrong, but uncredited beat-jacking is something completely different. Shame on you, Mr. Mosley.

Here we see him listening to Beirut Demos, looking for his next hook

"Ayo Technology" feat. Justin Timberlake by 50 Cent (produced by Timbaland)
"Courtship Dating" by Crystal Castles
"Venice" by Beirut

Although I've mentiored Beirut here more than a few times, I haven't discussed that particular song. It's a pretty mellow, electro psychedelic jam.

On a sort of barely related note, I've been listening to "Rock With U" from Janet Jackson's latest album, Discipline, and it's really not bad (everything else I've heard is). My only question is this; why would you release a song called "Rock with U"? Your brother's similarly titled jam may be one of my all time favorite dancing songs, but that doesn't justify re-using the name. That issue aside, the song has a fun arpeggiator melody and well placed vocoder vocals, pretty much everything I look for in electronic music.

"Rock with You" by Michael Jackson (youtube)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

D Block, Dipset, and it's more like Yes Twist

I tried to get tickets today to see the Plug awards, but they were sold out on ticketmaster. I heard they were still selling on craiglist, but at that point I was already figuring I was going to be able to make it. It's too bad too, cuz it would have been insane to see Patton Oswalt, Dizzee Rascal, and Nick Cave on the same stage.


Thankfully, there has still been a bright spot in my life tonight.

The collaboration we've all been waiting for! Allright, so maybe That makes me sound a bit sarcastic, but in all seriousness this track is pretty cool and I'm still psyched for the Sheek solo album.


I'm pretty excited about the upcoming Notwist album, especially after hearing this track off of it.

that's all. peace.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Supreme-o Love

About a week ago, I made passing mention of the Miracle Fortress cover of Daft Punk's "Digital Love". Today I noticed a couple posts with a Mobius Band cover of the same tune. At first I figured it might be a mislabel, but then upon looking into it, I find that it's one of the songs on Mobius Band's free valentine's day cover EP. The cover strays from Daft Punk a bit more than Miracle Fortress did, to ehh results. Also included on the EP, however, is a fantastic cover of "True Love Will Find You In The End", one of my favorite Daniel Johnston songs.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

That's When I Reach for My Revolver!

I was listening to
Sound Opinions a few days ago (If you've never listened to it, do yourself a favor. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are both really knowledgeable and interesting.) and the main focus of the episode was an analysis of the my favorite Beatles album, Revolver. The piece focused a lot on the revolutionary aspects of the album's sound, particularly on "Tomorrow Never Knows". I listened to the show, then spun the album a couple times. Then in the few days that followed, I've found myself noticing the song's influence in places I didn't expect it.

First example

I listened to TKK a little bit when I was 13, 14, intrigued by their evil imagery. As it turned out, their music isn't terrible evil, so I sort of lost interest in them. After I listened to Sound Opinions, I happened to give Confessions of a Knife a spin, and heard it in a very different way. Their use of manipulated, backwards sounding guitars, and their use of layering of the vocal tracks creates a lush atmospheric sound, very much in the vein of "Tomorrow Never Knows". Even the inclusion of the Middle Eastern vocal sample shows the worldly feel the Beatles were striving for when they wrote the song with allusions to the Tibetan book of the dead (I think it was a tibetan book, don't quote me on that.)

Second example

Excepter's dense art-rock certainly takes things in a completely different direction than TKK's industrial dance music. The influence is still clear, however. The song has a feel of other-worldliness to it, a sense of the supernatural, completely in line with the themes of "Tomorrow Never Knows". While the Beatles song uses the lyrics and sound to create the scene, Excepter relies purely on their droning organs, the layered vocals, and sporadic percussion to bring the listener into their realm.

Third example

This is one I brought up a long time ago with some folks, the Douchipster among them, and nobody agreed with me. I don't care, I'm sticking to my guns (my Revolvers if you will! yesss) on this point. Although not identical, there's a correlation to the way the drums sit beneath the track and the hook sample has the same eerie backwards feel to it.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Angelfuck You Friday

Last night I realized that the Shocking Pinks song, "Emily", that I talked about yesterday starts exactly the same way as "Angelfuck", one of my favorite misfits songs. Could that possibly be why I like Shocking Pinks so much? No, it's definitely why I like Shocking Pinks so much. Compare for yourself.


Have you listened to Santogold? There's a lot of similarities between her sound and M.I.A.'s, which is why I've chosen to confuse things a little further by including this picture of both of them, as well as cult hero Santo Gold.

"You'll Find a Way" is fire, with a heavy middle eastern sound. "Creator" is cool too, but a lot simpler. Analog Giant posted another amazing track today, the Xxxchange (of Spank Rock) remix of "L.E.S. Artistes". Definitely give that one a listen too.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rocking with the Shocking Pinks!

I've never been huge on Neil Young, which is why this post has nothing to do with his album Everybody's Rocking with the Shocking Pinks. It has everything to do with New Zealand's Nick Harte.

In my excitement over new LCD yesterday, I checked out a couple DFA acts I had never given a good listen to. Harte's band, Shocking Pinks, stood out as something I'll be listening to a lot more of. Check out the super new wavey video for the track "Emily".

Bonus points for the Black Flag Tattoo

I like "Emily" a lot, but my favorite track is definitely "Jealousy".
The track starts with this haunting atmospheric that's really well complemented by their grimy drum sound, then picks up with two beautiful interlocking guitar parts, one bleating and droning while the other melody dances over it. The song then jumps once more to a minimalist, percussion driven section, before returning to the lush atmospheric guitars. Like I said, it's definitely my favorite, but the rest of the album is absolutely worth your time.

I also found this video of Johnny Cash singing with Oscar the Grouch, one of several appearances he did with the muppets. It's fantastic.

It'd also be worth your while to check out Said the Gramophone for the Miracle Fortress cover of Digital Love, it's pretty awesome.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lively Cool Dancefloor Soundsystem

A new song went up on LCD soundsystem's myspace page yesterday. Apparently it's been written for the movie "21" which is coming out sometime soon, about Kevin Spacey teaching a bunch of kids to cheat at cards or something along those lines. It doesn't really matter, that's not what's important here. What's important is how nutty this track is. Two minutes plus chug by before the vocals kick in, with the usual dominant, fuzzed out bass. Then it gets layered with a spaced out synth, before this grimy guitar lead kicks in, then BAM vocals. The song is well over five minutes, atypical from usual Hollywood soundtrack fare, but it doesn't drag for a second. The guitar really shines throughout, although I think the destructive solo at the end might be my favorite moment for it. Check it out yourself.

No Rest for the Wicked (Awesome)

"Big Ideas" by LCD Soundsystem

I also listened to "Freak Out/Starry Eyes" for the first time, today. Although "Big Ideas" is an amazing track, I could probably have identified it as an LCD song without knowing that it was one. I can't say the same is true about "Freak Out/Starry Eyes", and I mean that in the best way possible. There's a lot of cool hand drumming, and triangles, and different synth sounds. I stumbled across it over at 20jazzfunkgreats, so do yourself a favor and do the same. I'm definitely going to be picking up the "Confuse the Marketplace" EP when I get a job.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mmmm, golden delicious

I caught an interview this weekend on NPR with former Soul Coughing frontman,
Mike Doughty. Now I know Druglas has long been a fan, but he was always an artist I just sort of enjoyed in passing. I liked Soul Coughing, and I enjoyed his solo work if I happened to hear it, but I didn't find myself listening to him all that often. But since viruses attacked my computer, and a chunk of my music collection with it, I've been getting into some stuff that I hadn't spent much time listening to before. I have to say, give what I've heard so far, I'm really looking forward to hearing the rest of Doughty's newest solo record, Golden Delicious, which drops today. His lyrics are written with a very unique pacing and have almost a percussive quality to them, something he discusses in the NPR interview. I'm really enjoying "Fort Hood", a song written about the situation in Iraq that gets his message across without becoming preachy or condescending. "I Just Want the Girl in the Blue Dress to Keep on Dancing" is a fun song, but hasn't grown on me as much as "Fort Hood" has yet. Maybe it's because "Fort Hood" references Young Jeezy. "27 Jennifers" is an older song, but it's given a really cool new treatment on this album.

On a slightly more embarrassing note, once I heard the interview, I got a song stuck in my head. I knew it was a song of his that I hadn't heard in a while, but I couldn't remember what the name of the song was, or any of the words. So after searching through older albums and listening to various tracks, I realized it was actually a combination of two songs. One was "Sunken Eyed Girl" off of Haughty Melodic, a really great tune.

The other was a song that a character on Degrassi wrote and sang while he was in Vancouver becoming a coke addict. Sooo, I was kind of embarrassed for myself when I realized that.

Friday, February 15, 2008

New Music Pt. I

A couple times a year I’ll go on a kick to find something new (to me at least). Partially because I’m bored of what I have and because I like being able to understand what people are talking about. That happened to me a couple weeks ago and I’ve been digging up new stuff since. Couple hits, couple misses.

British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?

I’ll admit that I haven’t listened to this album enough but I’d like to think I get the appeal of this band. Unfortunately, they’re too reminiscent of an aggressive joy division which was never a sound I liked to begin with but if that’s your style I’m sure they’d be up your alley.

Menomena – Friend and Foe

From what I’ve read this came out last year but I found it after browsing a couple favorites lists. The vocals, the piano use and the layering immediately reminded me of TV on the Radio. The instrumentation makes the songs lush and have character, especially the bells and keyboard and the occasional groove from the barisax which is funky and awesome. This is one that’s growing on me and I’d definitely recommend.

Vampire Weekend – ST

Someone reincarnated Paul Simon during his tribal years and made him the lead singer and song writer for Vampire Weekend. That’s not to say this isn’t good but it feels like I’m listening to a stripped down version of “In the Jungle” all over again. As I was first listening to it my girlfriend walked in the room and without knowing what band it was automatically started dancing around which says something for the grooves on this album. It’s undoubtedly a fun album and worth a listen if post-tribal Paul Simon sounds good to you.

Lightspeed Champion – Falling Off the Lavender Bridge

I don’t know the back story of this guy but judging from the cover of this album and his myspace page this group is slightly tongue-in-cheek. Very country/Americana/folk sound he’s developed, and I read he was from the UK, which is convincing and well produced. The instrumentation on this album ranges from merely him singing and an acoustic guitar to a mini-orchestra with a string quartet and piano. I need to listen to this one more to digest it but the stand out tracks so far have been “Devil Tricks for a Bitch” (I’m obsessed with the pizzicato strings in the beginning) and “Midnight Surprise”.

I’ll continue this thread with part II after I’ve listened to a couple other releases I’m sitting on at the moment. To be continued.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Goooooooooooooooo Team!

Have you seen the video for "Doing It Right" by the Go! Team?

It looks exactly like what I picture in my head when I hear the go! team.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Conor and the Chipmunks

So I was doing some studying last night and I went to put a record on, unintentionally leaving the speed on 45 rpms instead of switching it to 33. It's not the first time I've done it, but this time I made a startling discovery.

When you play Bright Eyes at approximately 1.36x the recording speed, it becomes cheery.

I was pretty surprised myself, considering that side 1 of Digital Ash in a Digital Urn is not something I'd ever thought could be cheery, no matter what the tempo.

Yet, it was.

Side 2... eh, not so much. "I believe in Symmetry" just sort of sounded like a TV theme song and the song after that was still really mopey sounding.

Listen for yourself.

I've never really liked this tune. It's just such a bummer, even for a bright eyes song. But, damn, listen to it fast. It's a completely different song.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

I Went Bonkers in Yonkers

Right now, I am all about "Good Love" by Sheek Louch, from his upcoming album Silverback Gorilla. I've actually been meaning to write about it for a while now. I've been a fan of the D-Block boys since the Lox, but I have to admit I always thought Sheek was overshadowed by Styles P and Jadakiss. This song has totally changed my mind. I wouldn't say he's my new favorite, but he's definitely come up in terms of my admiration. Aside from being impressed with Sheek's performance, the production on this song is untouchable. Maybe I'm just a sucker for soul beats (I am), but I think it's nice to hear Sheek rapping over something a little more interesting than the standard 808 claps.
I'm a little surprised this song hit the radio when it did. The soulful hooks, the bubbly instrumentation, even the lyrical content, this has all the makings of a summer jam. Plus, it's one of those instances where the clean version is just as enjoyable as the dirty version, so listen to it while you're driving your Grandma around Florida. Hopefully when the album drops in March, the warm weather will have kicked in and this song can enjoy a little success. This is a track that deserves it.