Saturday, August 23, 2008


I'm really quite bad at remembering my favourite bands' birthdays, but hey lookie here I actually remembered Jules because he has an August birthday, like me

Julian Casablancas, singer/songwriter extraordinaire, turns 30 today. In 2001, he and 4 of his friends changed the world of music forever by bestowing upon us lowly mortals the brilliant record, Is This It.

Thus ended a long streak of crappy rap/rock that had stripped rock and roll of everything we love about it. The Strokes inspired many bands to come, and truly revolutionized music. They made rock and roll cool again. With 2 equally strong (but very different) follow ups (Room on Fire and First Impressions of Earth), The Strokes continually gave us tasty, brilliantly crafted tunes. As the band's primary songwriter and the common denominator between the band, Julian is the cornerstone of my favourite band ever ever ever, and one that I consider to be the best in the world.

Also to be noted, Julian has recently cleaned up his crazy party habits, and has given up most drinking and smoking, as he realized that it began to affect the music. His most recent work was a collaboration with NERD and Santogold for a Converse commercial, with a tune called My Drive Thru

The Strokes will be back to grace our lives from the mundane in 2009, with a new record and tour dates to follow.

now, watch this interview with early Julian (circa 2001), and try not to fall in love with this man. yep, I know, it's impossible

I am addicted to his voice in these two live videos:

The Strokes - Is This It [mp3]

The Strokes - Ize of the World [mp3]

The Strokes - Last Nite [mp3]

The Strokes - Take it or Leave It [mp3]

The Strokes - Under Control [mp3 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.]

The Strokes - NYC Cops [mp3]

finally, if you are already a fan (or still need to be convinced of this band's coolness), and haven't seen In Transit yet (or even if you have), feast your eyes on this. greatest thing ever.

Saturday Music Definitions: Red Light

Kings of Leon - Red Morning Light [mp3]

Arctic Monkeys - Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured [mp3]

The Strokes - Red Light [mp3]

all excellent songs from 3 fantastic bands.

new Kooks video: Sway

most of the video is composed of Luke looking a bit pained while lipsynching the song from their latest record, "Konk"

Friday, August 22, 2008


Albert Hammond Jr has just posted a load of European tour dates on his MYSPACE ending in October. Apparently he is going to open for Coldplay on their Euro trek.

here are the tour dates:

Sept. 1 – Strasbourg, France – Zenith
Sept. 2 – Manheim, Germany – SAP Arena
Sept. 4 – Lyon, France – Tony Garnier Hall
Sept. 6 – Barcelona, Spain – Palau St. Jordi
Sept. 7 – Madrid, Spain – Palcio des Deportes
Sept. 9 – Paris, France – Bercy
Sept. 10 – Paris, France – Bercy
Sept. 12 – Cologne, Germany – Koln Arena
Sept. 14 – Hamburg, Germany – Colorline Arena
Sept. 15 – Berlin, Germany – O2 World Arena
Sept. 17 – Stockholm, Sweden – Globe Theatre
Sept. 18 – Stockholm, Sweden – Globe Theatre
Sept. 19 – Oslo, Norway – Spektrum
Sept. 22 – Prague, Czech Republic – Sazka Arena
Sept. 23 – Budapest, Hungary – Budapest Arena
Sept. 24 – Vienna, Austria – Stadthalle
Sept. 26 – Munich, Germany – Olympiahalle
Sept. 28 – Zurich, Switzerland – Hallenstadion
Sept. 29 – Bologna, Italy – Palamagotti
Sept. 30 – Milan, Italy – Datchforum
Oct. 2 – Rotterdam, Netherlands – The Ahoy
Oct. 3 – Rotterdam, Netherlands – The Ahoy
Oct. 4 – Antwerp, Belgium – Sportspalais

please please please come to the SF area Albert! and then rush back to NY to work with your fellow Strokes and blow us away with a fourth record. yeah, he'll probably never read that, but whatever, you just did, and are now informed not only of his new tour dates, but of my freakish tendencies induced by my ridiculous love of his (and the Strokes' of course) music.

Albert Hammond Jr - Bargain of a Century [mp3]

band of the week: MGMT + record review

I've been meaning to blog about my love for their debut record "Oracular Spectacular" all week, so this works quite nicely. This NY based duo (Andrew and Ben) have taken psychedelic rock on a whole new level. I remember, hearing "Time To Pretend" for the first time, thinking that this was just another band with a catchy single who would inevitably be drowned out by the rest of the music industry trying to do the same thing. But I did acquire their record, and upon my first listen, I was pleasantly surprised to the contrary. Easily one of the year's best releases thus far, Oracular Spectacular is indeed a spectacle for your ears to behold. From lyrics that make fun of famous people (so, themselves, really): "Let's make some music, make some money, find some models for wives; I'll move to Paris, shoot some heroin, and fuck with the stars"-to some happy go lucky declarations of childlike wonder (Kids; The Youth), this record is just teeming with ridiculously good melodies and trust me, you will find yourself dancing to it, although somewhat unconsciously. There is even a hint of early RHCP type guitars ("Of Moons, Birds and Monsters"), and the record ends with "Future Reflections", a tune that mixes a very futuristic feel (haha appropriate) with a subtle chord progression emanating a more vintage sound. It's as if MGMT wants to remind us that the whole electronica/psychedelic fad is ultimately grounded in the 60's, which probably produced more acid-influenced records than any other decade. "This is a call of arms to live and love and sleep together" sums up that theme quite nicely.

I did have the lovely opportunity to see them live, and they were superb (although at one point the mic wasn't working, and I was about to go crazy. this was before Andrew started singing and I was just bubbling with happy suspense.) so, if you have the chance, check out their live renditions of their very palatable songs.

enjoy my favourite tracks from the record below, and do go out and buy the record, you will not regret it.

MGMT - The Youth [mp3]

MGMT - Electric Feel [mp3]

MGMT - Kids [mp3]

(oddly enough, they are consecutive)

also, visit them on MYSPACE.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

watch the new SSLYBY vid on PASTE


the song has some cool guitar riffs. they sort of look like the new Weezer here. and it has that same feel from that new Vampire Weekend video.

I love love love the band's new record, Pershing. it's happy and sweet without making your teeth rot. great vocals, nice melodies too. highly recommended for anyone with two ears and a heart

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Think I Wanna Die [mp3]

visit them on MYSPACE

new video: Oasis- The Shock of Lightning

hellooo psychedelic goodness

that seems to be a trend lately...

Albert Hammond Jr- GfC

MGMT - Time to Pretend

Oasis - Champagne Supernova [mp3]

Pete Doherty and co banned from festival

the authorities in Wiltshire, England were worried that Babyshambles would incite violence.

the band plans on playing a private show near the festival, which was canceled

read the full story on NME

one more step towards an Orwellian society...this is utter bull. rock n roll isn't about a well behaved crowd. it's about getting fucked up and rowdy with your friends and enjoying the music. which, most of the time, bashes society and promotes law breaking anyways.

Babyshambles - Fuck Forever [mp3]

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Anthony Green does acoustic version of his song "Slowing Down"

watch the video on PUREVOLUME

it's quite beautiful.

the Circa Survive frontman released his solo debut effort entitled Avalon earlier this month.

Anthony Green - Devil's Song [mp3]

Noel Gallagher promises a less mainstream record.

The guitarist says that the latest Oasis effort "Dig Out Your Soul" will NOT be the anticipated "Britpop". I haven't been excited about a record like this since Albert Hammond Jr's Como Te Llama. I love Oasis's music already, I wonder how great they will be with a more indie approach.

read the full story on NME

Oasis - Wonderwall [mp3]

oh the ludicrous nature of today's generation.

(please do click on the above picture to get the desired full effect)

I was exasperated yesterday when my younger brother told me that he couldn't switch from Honors English to regular English because there wasn't enough room in the latter. In my days (and I am only four years older than him) there were ONLY TWO honors classes, with 20 people each. Our grade consisted of 450 students. So the honors students were less than 10%. So what my brother is saying is that now, there aren't even that many people capable of accelerated coursework. That made me so sad, especially because I want to teach one day. I was just thinking yesterday how if there were classes in Guitar Hero and brand name shoes, today's generation would be star pupils. Which brings me to today's post. Take a looskie at this bit of news on Rolling Stone:

Teen Drops Out of High School To Become Professional “Guitar Hero”

that makes me want to bang my head against the wall, but I will refrain for the sake of my brain cells, which apparently are a rare commodity in our society.

I have nothing against kids dropping out of school to pursue music. The lead singer of my favourite band (Julian Casablancas of the Strokes) dropped out after junior year, but then continued studying music. Having ambition is admirable. But thinking that you can support yourself via a simulated video game is simply retarded.

The Hives - Walk Idiot Walk [mp3]

Monday, August 18, 2008

back to school, already?

I know a lot of US high schools are starting today (my younger brother included). I'm moving back to Berkeley on Wednesday, or Thursday, term starts the following Wednesday.

here are a couple of songs to get us through the hard times:

Belle and Sebastian - Wrapped up in my Books [mp3]

The Wombats - School Uniforms [mp3]

30 seconds to Mars gets their own record company.

the LA based band fronted by actor Jared Leto (Requiem for a Dream; "angel face" in Fight Club) is using a loophole in their contract (that one cannot be bound to a contract for more than 7 years) to get out of a bad relationship with Virgin/EMI. they've had a tumultuous relationship, and the company insists that 30STM owes them 3 more records (they haven't had an effort out since "A Beautiful Lie" in 2005), and is thus suing them for 30 million dollars. yep, that's right, 30 million.

sorry, no accompanying mp3, they aren't on my computer (I listened to them a lot junior year of high school) and I don't feel like digging through my collection to find one of their cds.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Morning Covers

today I will post some very, very different versions of some classic songs:

The National - Clampdown (Clash cover) [mp3]

Ben Gibbard - All Apologies (Nirvana cover) [mp3]

Play Radio Play! - Mr Brightside (Killers cover) [mp3]

sometimes, a good cover means properly emulating the original artist, other times, it's quite nice to have a different twist on the song. my favourite of the above three is the last, because although the original is one of my all time favourite songs and nothing will change that, I thought PRP did a cool interpretation of it. it certainly does homage to the synth feel of "Hot Fuss", even if the vox will never be on par with Mr Flowers'. I do like how he sings the chorus, though. and it definitely gets better in the middle/toward the end (the beginning is a bit weak, imo)

what do you think?