Saturday, February 21, 2009

The White Stripes played Conan last night

they played a unique version of "We Are Going To Be Friends" (of Napolean Dynamite fame)

not as loud or rock'n'roll-ish as most of their live performances, but still awesome.

The Strokes Post #2

an excerpt from their self made documentary In Transit. haha oh Julian.

Saturday Music Definitons: Fish

my roommate recently bought a fish and called it Fishbert. this post is dedicated to all those awesome fish out there, and the musicians who sing about them

Radiohead - Weird Fishes/Arpeggi [mp3]
best track on In Rainbows, in my opinion

Weezer - Keep Fishing [mp3]
this is one of my favourite Weezer songs ever. I was obsessed with it in high school

Louis Armstrong - Gone Fishin' [mp3]
oh that voice.

Sublime - Badfish [mp3]
why doesn't anyone talk about Sublime anymore? they are so very culturally relevant, and will always be.

Band of the Week + concert review: Andrew Bird

When I took a class on Social Factors in Design (with Professor Galen Cranz, the best thing ever to happen to Berkeley's College of Environmental Design), I learned that you can really tell a lot about a place by the people who occupy the space.

This was very pronounced Thursday night (19 February 2009) at the Fillmore, when Andrew Bird played the first of his two sold out shows in San Francisco.

Before the show started, I busted out The Guermantes Way, and got a good 40 pages read. When I sat down, I realized that the girl behind me was also reading. And the group to my right were having a conversation that included someone exclaiming "and I couldn't do that to the library's copy!"

Yeah, we're a literary group.

The show commenced with a set from Emil Svanängen, under the pseudonym Loney Dear (much in the vein of "Dashboard Confessional" as another name for Chris Carrabba, which later evolved into a band).

The band gained more of the audience's attention with each consecutive song. Emil got the audience to sing along with one of the songs, acting as the conductor with universal hand signals. I love that music can transcend all linguistic barriers (although he did sing in English). The Stockholm native sounded a bit like Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody, although his music had a much wider range, including some electronica provided by a somewhat androgynous looking keyboardist whom I finally decided was a dude.

visit Loney Dear on MYSPACE, they're playing a handful of more shows with Mr. Bird, and then will proceed to continue the tour on their own.

AH, now I can move on to the main attraction. The ever effervescent Andrew Bird, multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire.

Each description I've ever read about this guy is always fixated with his "shyness", but I didn't get that at all during the set. He was grinning and thoroughly enjoying himself throughout the set, which commenced with "Master Sigh" (off of the bonus disc of Noble Beast), and Andrew throwing his shoes off.

He quickly got comfortable and played a mix of songs primarily from his newest record but the encore gave fans a treat with "Why" (off of the live record Fingerlings) and "Don't Be Scared", off of his first solo record, Weather Systems.

Andrew enthusiastically fluctuated between his violin (which he played both with a bow and as percussion with his fingers), his guitar (often tweaked with the help of his loop pedals) and a glockenspiel (a percussion instrument similar to a xylophone, but with a different range). The sound was extraordinarily powerful, even for his music. The intricate complexity of his songwriting really shined in the live rendition of the songs. I never knew anyone could whistle so loud. It was incredible.

My only complaint was that the reverb kind of overpowered his voice for the songs not found on Noble Beast, as if he didn't bother focusing on elocution with the songs which he expects his fans to know by now. Nonetheless, each song was done beautifully and I was still dumbstruck the next day, especially by "Effigy", which was wonderfully reinvented during the set. He explained that the lyric "like the words of a man who's spent a little too much time alone" is about "that guy sits alone at the end of the bar whom we secretly fear that we'll know, write one too many sci-fi novels...". Whew, that's a relief, I thought he was talking about himself when I first heard it.

Andrew Bird is known for his improvisation skills and his unique shows; each set is distinct, with slight tweaks in the songs and various substitutions with musical instruments. He also tours with a monkey and an elaborate gramophone, which spins during his higher energy songs.

If you have the chance to see this guy live, please do it. He's bridging the gap between classical and rock/pop music. He's been a classically trained violinist since he was four, he studied music at Northwestern's prestigious music program and and he only just learned how to play guitar a few years ago (he taught himself). I adore this man.

Andrew Bird - Effigy [mp3]
off of Noble Beast

Andrew Bird - Don't Be Scared [mp3]
off of Weather Systems

Andrew Bird - Opposite Day [mp3]
off of Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs
(that album was my first taste of Andrew Bird. genius stuff)

Set List:

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Strokes Posts

the title has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
I'm at work right now, cataloguing books and watching Strokes videos on Youtube. A week and a half ago, my favourite five people in the whole world (Julian Casablancas, Nikolai Fraiture, Fabrizio Moretti, Albert Hammond Jr and Nick Valensi) got back together to brainstorm new songs. An idea just came to me:

from this day forward, until their fourth record is released, I will post daily something Strokes-related. maybe by that time, you dear readers will begin to understand my obsession with greatest band ever.

so, here you go:

yes, that is a cigarette in the lead singer's hand. don't you wish you could have thought of it first?

Delta Spirit on Daytrotter!

this is their third session on the awesome site!

Daytrotter = genius
Delta Spirit = genius-er
you reading this instead of listening to Delta Spirit's new Daytrotter session = the antithesis of genius.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kings of Leon tix go on sale Sunday

just a reminder for all you SF folks who are planning to attend the Thursday, May 21 Kings of Leon/Walkmen show at the Bill Graham Civic,

tickets go on sale Sunday at 10AM

buy them at Live Nation

why I love Pete Doherty

he does crazy things like getting chased by kebab shop owners

also, he makes great music and is super hot in that junkie way

Babyshambles - Fuck Forever [mp3]

that is all. now I can die a happy and fulfilled blogger, you all know my deepest sentiments for this man

hahaha <3

Audrye Sessions featured on Rolling Stone

my favourite local band is finally getting some recognition!

awesome, awesome band.

they just released their debut album on Tuesday, pick it up at your local indie record shop!

they're playing a show at Bottom of the Hill tonight, and I would totally go but I am going to see Andrew Bird instead. a girl has her priorities, after all. but they are playing a free set at Amoeba Berkeley on Friday at 6PM and I will most definitely be there.

visit them on MYSPACE

Audrye Sessions - Turn Me Off [mp3]

Audrye Sessions - Waltz #2 (Elliott Smith cover) [mp3]

concert review: Joshua Radin @ GAMH, SF (17 February 2009)

Tuesday night’s concert at Great American Music Hall was defined by a couple of things. First, and most notably, superb vocals all across each of the three singer’s sets. And secondly, the acknowledgement of the bitterness which remains after relationships go bad, and nothing is left but sad memories to inspire sadder songs.

Jesse Harris opened the night, and his music was the most upbeat of the three. I actually got there a bit late, so I didn’t get to hear his whole set, but what I did hear, I enjoyed. He was on the banjo, with only drums to accompany him. His performance was so striking that everyone got upset when he left the stage, obviously eager for more. Jesse also played guitar during Joshua’s set. His claim to fame? Try a couple of Bright Eyes appearances (I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and Motion Sickness), and a Grammy for his songwriting and guitar contribution on Norah Jones' "Don't Know Why".
The guy knows his music.

Visit him on MYSPACE

Next on was Meiko, who, sadly enough, was not as musically endowed as her predecessor. While I absolutely adored her voice, which kind of reminded me of a less squeaky E.G. Daily, this woman absolutely desecrated the instrument that was previously known as the guitar.

Meiko started a trend which Joshua later continued, that of telling pretty intricate stories before singing almost each one of her songs. “Real Real Sweet” was directed towards a jealous ex girlfriend of a friend of hers who ruined their friendship, thinking that Meiko was fooling around with the guy. She wanted to “mess with her head”. The evening was full of spite and bitterness, or, as Joshua deemed it, “salty songs”.

visit Meiko on MYSPACE

Joshua Radin was absolutely stunning. Each of his songs were rendered perfectly, I was quite surprised that he did just as well with his faster, electric songs as he did with his more signature slow sad ballads. New song “She’s So Right” was inspired by his love for Tom Petty, specifically the four hour documentary Runnin’ Down a Dream, which he admitted to watching “at least seven times on this tour”. He declared that it is required viewing for any music fan and also said that he really wanted a WWTPD wrist band (for What Would Tom Petty Do). I’d probably don one myself.

His attitude ranged from humourous (he called the audience his myspace friends) to brutally honest. He admitted to “falling for the sad ones”, which obviously left an impression on him. He repeatedly apologized, determined that the audience know that he wasn’t trying to be deliberately callous. His nervous spurts of honesty were refreshing, musicians rarely ever bear themselves on stage anymore. He did it both when he explained his songs and when he actually sang them. While his body language was quite stiff and reserved, his voice had the exact opposite effect: it opened his insides for everyone to see, unabashed and tragically beautiful.

When Meiko came on stage again to join Joshua for a song (“Today”), she paled in comparison. Joshua has it all: talent, a great ear, a powerful singing voice, and the ability to captivate a full venue for his entire set to the extent that it was, indeed, as he deemed it, “pin drop quiet”.

Set List:

Free of me
No envy
Vegetable car
One of those days
Growing up
We are ok
The Fear You Won’t Fall
She’s So Right
What if you
Rather be with you
Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke cover)

I highly recommend that you catch him in concert, he reminded me of how powerful a song can be without punching you in an angry rock’n’roll frenzy. His intricate simplicity combines the best of Elliott Smith and Jason Mraz. His live sound far surpassed any of his studio stuff. I had a spectacular time.

Feb 20 Downtown Brew San Luis Obispo, California
Feb 21 Henry Fonda Theatre Los Angeles, California
Feb 23 Belly Up Aspen, Colorado
Feb 25 Black Sheep Colorado Springs, Colorado
Feb 27 Bottleneck Lawrence, Kansas
Feb 28 Fine Line Music Cafe - SOLD OUT Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mar 2 Pabst Theatre Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mar 3 Park West Chicago, Illinois
Mar 4 20th Century Theatre Cincinnati, Ohio
Mar 6 Kent Stage Kent, Ohio
Mar 7 Headliners Louisville, Kentucky
Mar 8 Exit/In Nashville, Tennessee
Mar 11 El Mocambo - SOLD OUT Toronto
Mar 15 Sugar Club Dublin
Mar 17 o2 Academy 2 Liverpool
Mar 18 o2 Academy 3 Birmingham
Mar 19 Shepherds Bush Empire London
Mar 20 King Tut’s Glasgow
Mar 22 Sentier des Halles Paris
Mar 23 Studio 672 Cologne
Mar 24 59:1 Munich
Mar 25 Lido Berlin
Mar 27 Prinzebar Hamburg
Mar 29 Debaser DFB Stockholm

Monday, February 16, 2009

don't miss the White Stripes on Conan!

the duo will reunite this Friday, 11:30 PM on NBC.

The White Stripes - Blue Orchid [mp3]

The White Stripes - Candy Cane Children [mp3]
because I love Christmas music.

this will probably be my last blog post for a few days, until I finish volume III of In Search of Lost Time. have a nice week everyone!

music > sex?

the majority of British youth seem to think so

according to the study that NME did,

"Around 1,000 people aged 15-24 filled in the survey, with 60 per cent of those who took part saying that they would prefer to go without sex for a week than without listening to music."

I would probably have to agree.

CSS - Music is My Hot Hot Sex [mp3]

the new Beirut double EP drops today

read the review of March of the Zapotec/Holland that I wrote a few weeks back HERE

I'll reiterate: this is nowhere as good as Gulag Orkestar or The Flying Club Cup but really, Zach Condon is incapable of producing anything less than brilliant, even when he's dabbling in a genre so obviously not suited for him (electronica)

Beirut - My Night With The Prostitute From Marseille [mp3]
from Holland

Beirut - Scenic World [mp3]
earlier version, from the Lon Gisland EP. glorious.

Foo Fighters: planning a new album?!

I thought everyone had decided that the LONG BREAK that Grohl said that they needed was a euphemism for "we're done"!

it's barely been a year and a half, and they're back?!

this is fucking awesome.

according to their drummer Taylor Hawkins (via SPIN via NME),

"We've gotten together and minced ideas already...just basic ideas and we'll probably do that over the next year until we have a log of ideas… I'd say maybe by summer we'll get in the studio and start getting serious about a record."

note to self: spend less time reading blogs and more time with actual music publications. I can't believe I let that slip by me for four days. sheesh.

Foo Fighters - Come Back [mp3]

from One By One
I loove old Foo.

Sunday, February 15, 2009



so Valentines Day wasn't the worst day of the year after all. Elliott managed to salvage it.

the album is composed of unfinished songs and some earlier versions of songs that actually made it onto From A Basement On The Hill

I've been listening to it all morning, it's breathtaking.

here are my favourite tracks,

Elliott Smith - Abused (instrumental) [mp3]

Elliott Smith - Let's Get Lost [mp3]
I love this one. ah, who am I kidding, I love ALL of Elliott's songs.

Elliott Smith - Suicide Machine (new song!!) [mp3]

Elliott Smith - Pretty (Ugly Before) [mp3]

this one is probably my absolute favourite of the bunch.

and a ZIP FILE (do it!)

many thanks to Rawkblog for posting!

no doubt about it, Elliott Smith was one of the world's most talented musicians. he will always be missed and loved and I am very very grateful that these things keep popping up posthumously. they're a nice reminder that Elliott's music will ALWAYS be with us.

Sunday Morning Covers

Franz Ferdinand - All My Friends (LCD Soundsystem cover) [mp3]

Deertick - Still Crazy After All These Years (Paul Simon Cover) [mp3]

Bon Iver - The Park (Feist Cover) [mp3]

Wilco - Peace Love And Understanding (Elvis Costello cover) [mp3]

Elvis Costello - Beautiful (Christina Aguilera cover) [mp3]
Mr. Costello is a sav.

Whiskeytown - Dreams (Fleetwood Mac cover) [mp3]

this is Ryan Adam's old band

Maroon 5 - If I Fell (Beatles cover) [mp3]


Elliott Smith - I'll Be Back (Beatles cover) [mp3 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!]
see my next post for the source of this amazing-ness


The Beatles - Boys (The Shirelles cover) [mp3]

originally written by Luther Dixon and Wes Farrell; another notch in the Beatles Bonus series