Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Music Definitons: Virgins '07

ok, so this isn't exactly my normal choose-a-word-type-it-into-itunes-and-post-a-mix-of-songs Saturday ritual, but I really want to share the songs off of The Virgins' five song EP.

I know this breaks a lot of blogging rules, not to post full albums and whatnot but it took me ages to track down a copy of the EP and music should be enjoyed! The EP is just too good to keep to myself. the ends justify the means, right? I'm sure this post will convert some of you people to full on fans of The Virgins. If you come across a copy of the EP, BUY IT. And if you don't own their INCREDIBLE eponymous debut, BUY THAT TOO. The Virgins are still a up and coming band, they need your support.

The Virgins are on tour, if you don't go see them and buy all of their shit I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN.

The Virgins - Rich Girls [mp3]
this version of the song made me fall in love with the band.

The Virgins - Love is Colder than Death [mp3]

The Virgins - Fernando Pando [mp3]

The Virgins - Radio Christiane [mp3]
(that's how it's spelled, they changed it to "Christine" for the LP, but Donald pronounces it the same)

The Virgins - One Week of Danger [mp3]

The Strokes Post #37

photo by me.

The Strokes - Clear Skies [mp3]
one of The Strokes' unreleased songs, and one of their all time best. if you've never heard it before, brace yourself for a gorgeous minute and forty five seconds (or more, depending on how many times you listen to it on repeat...)

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Killers do a bad Bright Eyes cover

The Killers take all of the power behind "Four Winds", all of the urgency and emotion, and replace it with synth. Needless to say, I'm not impressed. I think seeing them in concert put things into perspective for me, I no longer gobble up anything and everything they put out. I still listen to their albums occasionally, but I'm much less of a fan than I used to be.

an email from The Strokes!

guys, I am so sorry, I know I'm flooding the blog with Strokes stuff, but they are, like, my favourite thing in the whole world.

I just got an email from them (exciting! this officially puts them out of hibernation mode!) and wanted to post it. Ryan hints that we MIGHT expect a release at the end of the year, but he can't guarantee anything. mainly, he tells us that they have begun to write songs and hopefully will find a recording studio soon.


hi everyone,

just dropping a line to stay in touch and update you on some news...

i'll start with the BIG NEWS....

after a long and much needed hibernation period that saw many of the band's various other musical projects emerge, we're pleased to announce that The Strokes are now all back hard at work in their NYC space on writing and rehearsing new material for a 4th full-length album, the first since 2006's "First Impressions of Earth".

no recording studio time has been booked yet, as they sketch out the blue-prints of new songs and fine tune plans in their rehearsal space, but it will undoubtedly be all mapped out and etched in stone at some point in the not-too-distant future. i wish i could tell you that this DEFINITELY meant we can expect an album release date before the end of 2009, but it's just too soon to speculate on that for sure yet. one way or another.... suffice to say, the work has begun!

that about brings it up to speed for now, but hopefully i'll be touching base sooner rather than later with an update on 4th album plans!

wiz kid mgmt


videos from the OK Go show

my favourite song by the band:

an all-bells version of "What to Do":

and a new song, called "Last Leaf":


[via RS's Smoking Section:]
For the first time in ages, the Strokes are back in New York, hard at work on album number four in their midtown studio. "We have three songs," Julian Casablancas tells the S.S., three weeks into the sessions. "I would say it's going great. We have a lot of work to do, though."

It's been more than three years since First Impressions of Earth, and what's helping the process is good vibes and honesty. "It feels like we're new," says Casablancas. "We didn't used to be honest — there would always be minifeuds over stupid shit. Now, if Nick [Valensi] and Fab [Moretti] or anyone are saying they like it fast or slow, we'll talk about it, as opposed to saying, 'Well, I never liked you sister.'"

Casablancas says that they've resisted jamming on old tunes; instead they're forging ahead. "Some of the new stuff has a Seventies vibe, like Thin Lizzy or Elvis Costello," he says. "But then some of it is bizarre music from the future that we're trying to tone down to sound catchy. So we're trapped between the future and the Seventies."

OH MY OH MY OH MY I AM SO EXCITED! everyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE Elvis Costello fiend. and you know what album sounded like the 70's? IS THIS FUCKING IT. I am so fucking giddy right now, it isn't even funny


Kings of Leon have reinvented themselves once again

perhaps this is in jest? I have no idea, I don't have access to NME because import subscriptions are HELLA expensive. I couldn't even manage to track down that Strokes cover they did a few months back, I went to a dozen bookstores and magazine shops. I thought Fog City News would stock it, they told me they stopped stocking NME because it wasn't selling enough. Damn SF people, not reading British music criticism...

The Strokes Post #36

let me reiterate once again, these will be posted DAILY, without fail, until the new record is released.

Band of the Week + concert review: io echo

I'm a bit of an arrogant prick when it comes to music.
I'm a purist, through and through. Although I am open to hear anything, very, very few things impress me. I enjoy a wide variety of music but I am rarely dumbfounded by a band's presence. In other words, few things stay with me past the initial experience hearing a record or seeing the band. The feeling is in the moment, it's fleeting and it's incomplete. A handful of artists (The Strokes, The Clash, The Beatles, Delta Spirit, Ryan Adams, Spoon, Arctic Monkeys, Wild Sweet Orange…you know, the artists I post about over and over and over again) never fail to deliver, and they have my loyalty. Other than that, I’ll go years without listening to most bands, because they can’t capture my attention and my interest past perhaps news of a new record or whatnot.

Now, my regular readers should be accustomed by now to my habit of combining my Friday weekly post of “Band of the Week” with either a record review of an album I’m digging at the moment, or with a concert review of a band I had seen recently and really enjoyed. Two birds with one stone (or, as the high school vegan in me would say, “two soy beans with one caring hand”): I could simultaneously expose my readers to a band that I think they should hear about and feel satisfied with my concert going experience, having dissected it for the review.

My super meticulous readers will also know that I have never posted an opening band as band of the week WHEN COMBINED WITH A CONCERT REVIEW. As in, if I have the title “Band of the Week + concert review”, the “band” in question would ALWAYS be the main act. (this does not, of course, disallow me from posting about opening bands that I dig as “band of the week”, just not combined with a concert review.)

But I am elaborating far too much. This is what happens when I go two days without writing academically. I flood my blog with in depth details. Sorry guys, I know I’m a shameless English major, but I’ll get to the point now.

Wednesday night, I saw OK Go at Great American Music Hall. I didn’t know which bands were opening, I actually missed the first couple of songs of the first opening band, having lost track of time at Amoeba.

As I found my place in the audience, I thought the band on stage was decent. The song shortly ended as I found a spot on the dance floor, and the lead singer, ever so shy, hesitantly introduced the band. “We’re io echo,” she said, “and you can find t shirts and cds and stuff in the back”. I thought she was going to faint with fright, or, rather, was suppressing an urge to run away and lock herself into a closet, which isn’t something I found appealing in a band. I thrive on good ol’ fashioned bravado: shameless confidence on stage. Maybe that’s why I love Pelle Almqvist so fucking much.

As I began to lose interest, however, their guitarist caught me off guard with riff that I know so well, it’s well under my skin, more an intrinsic part of me, really. As I looked back on stage, the front woman said, a bit more boldly, “and here’s a Beatles cover we like to do.”

io echo then proceeded to blow me away with one of the best Beatles covers that I have ever heard. They tackled my favourite song off Abbey Road: the perfect antecedent to the happy-go-lucky “Here Comes The Sun”, the ever brooding, ominous, epically awesome “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”.

Nobody has the balls to cover The Beatles anymore. Or, rather, unsigned artists who are the first of three bands playing relatively small venues usually don’t muster up the courage to tread into such sacred territory, in fear of backlash from the audience. I was impressed not only by the gesture itself, but its execution. In short, they nailed it. And then they proceeded to play an incredibly infectious tune, and then closed their set with a slightly less impressive song. But it didn’t matter. I was sold.

Now, for part two of my “I am an arrogant music purist” schpeel:

I turn my nose up at most people's tastes and attitudes. This, of course, is because most people have awful taste in music. I blame pop culture for this. Most of what is popular today is pure and utter shite.

Enter opening band #2. Calling themselves Jaguar Love, two assholes took the stage and proceeded to torture me with 45 horrid minutes of agony. I will not call it music. The poor guitarist was actually decent, but his occasional spurts of borderline-enjoyable guitar bits were drowned out and overpowered by the lead singer, who was the exact antithesis of io’s lead singer. Loud, abrasive and annoying, this guy was trying to be Ozzy, Gerard Way, Bowie, and Andrew VanWyngarden, all at the same time. Identity crises aside, he couldn’t sing to save his g-d forsaken life. The noise on stage was an utter mess, like the idea of MGMT, only gone terribly, terribly wrong. On crack, if you will. There was way too much happening at once, nothing aurally pleasant in sight.

Back to my point, people have shite taste in music. Following io’s spectacular (albeit short) set, the girl standing next to me said “I didn’t really like that, the lead singer was weird” and later proceeded to make an equally stupid comment regarding Jaguar Love. While her friend was nodding enthusiastically after the duo left the floor (because, failing to capture the audience’s attention with their music, the guys had resorted to jumping on the dance floor and finally got people enthused before they ended their set), the girl gushed “awesome! And that guy has a good voice, too.”

I could have slapped her, or thrown up. I managed to avoid either, but I was very well on the verge of the first urge.

Anyhow, moving on to the main attraction (ostensibly, as they were headlining), OK Go were good. In earnest, I enjoyed their set. Damien Kulash has a great voice.

Both he and his bandmates Tim (bass),

Dan (drums)

and Andy (lead guitar)

are - surprise, surprise, quite musically talented. You wouldn’t expect that from OK Go, they seem more like a joke band (Flight of the Conchords) than one you would take seriously. All of that aside, they have a solid set of songs, and based on what I heard at the concert, the new record is shaping up quite nicely, although a tad too slow for my taste. They bust out the acoustic guitars a bit too often, and OK Go is best enjoyed like your favourite sugar rush: fast, short and super sweet.

They captivated the crowd with streamers and confetti, with plastic tambourines thrown to the audience, and, most provocatively, with Damien spending a good five minutes telling us about the state of his testicles.

Set List:

and here's the one I snagged, it was Damien's and Dan signed it:

The best part of my night was the 15 or so minutes that I got to hear of io echo. I caught up with the band after the show, and they told me that after the tour, they’re heading back to LA to finalize their record. They have a wee EP out now, containing three original songs and, (this made me giddy), including the fabulous Fab four cover.

Now, listen to “Addicted”, a song that takes the best bits of Rocky Horror Picture Show and adds a funky twist to it to make it listenable on the 364 days that are not October 31st.

io echo – Addicted [mp3]


I’m guessing, based on their poster, and the above description, that the “band” is really just io and Leopold, with accompanying band mates for live shows.

And those talented mo-fos are the following:

Michael Edelstein: guitar
Aram Kirakosian: bass
Paul Rinis: drums
Salvatore Romano: tambourine, keys

visit them on MYSPACE

here are the remaining tour dates:
Mar 27 Wonder Ballroom w/ OK GO Portland, Oregon
Mar 28 hop Suey w/ OK GO Seattle, Washington
Apr 4 4th and B w/ AUTOLUX San Diego, California

Stay tuned for Sunday Morning Covers this week, you guys will be getting an mp3 of the song that transformed not only my perception of the band, but of my blogging habits as well. “Band of the Week + Concert Review” has blossomed and is no longer limited to headliners. Kudos to io echo, and, of course, all my gratitude to the best four-piece import America ever received from Liverpool.


io echo - 4/5

jaguar love - 0.4/5

ok go - 3.5/5

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I decided...

I'm going to the Rise Against show after all. it's gen admission, which means NO FUCKING SEATS (win.) I don't go to enough punk shows. plus, tickets are pretty cheap (33)

I've been listening to Rise Against at work all day, they're ridiculously good live

I had no idea.

I'm taking my baby brother, he hasn't been to enough rock concerts. I've only taken him to a festival (last year). I need to salvage what little good taste he has left

more records, courtesy of AMOEBA SF

Bad sex.
It’s inevitable. Everyone’s had bad sex. Usually, alcohol is to blame.

My trip to Amoeba SF yesterday was like really, really good sex. I could barely breathe the whole time, and I do believe I had a few orgasms.

But, in all seriousness, the store is majestic. I only bought a handful of things (130 dollars worth…arg they didn’t give me my usual student discount, Berkeley Amoeba gives 10 percent off to students!) but I get paid in two weeks and am definitely going back for more.

Here’s what I bought:

I was SO excited when I found The Virgins' EP. I've been looking for it for AGES. I've been listening to it all day at work, it's amazing. so raw. it's to the s/t debut what The Modern Age EP was to Is This It, better, nastier, grungier. I'll post songs when I get home.

and I found the Muslims' s/t! they had a bunch in stock, if anyone is interested, I can pick you up a copy

The Strokes Post #35

Fab talks about how the Japanese are too cool for video games and how he has a clean ass.

classic Strokes interview.

new Death Cab songs streaming on STEREOGUM

"I was once a lover" is much, much better than anything on Narrow Stairs

listen HERE

needless to say, I shall be purchasing the EP, physical release on April 14th

Rise Against - Paper Wings

I was just watching the following live video of my favourite Rise Against song:

and something struck me for the first time,

the guy that I was practically infatuated with last semester (fruitless, he wasn't single) looks a LOT like Rise Against's lead singer Tim McIlrath.

the guy just had a LOT more tattoos, and darker hair, and glasses.

I love grungy looking guys. the dirtier, the better.

new video: Manchester Orchestra: "Shake it Out"

watch it HERE

I started listening to Manchester Orchestra because they're on tour with my beloved WINSTON AUDIO

they're pretty good, they sound like a more refined Against Me!

the song picks up midway through the song. be patient, my dear readers.

visit the Georgia based band on MYSPACE

Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" used for "Where the Wild Things Are" trailer

spectacular. I never even read the book and I want to see this movie.

they should have used the David Bowie version of Wake Up, though, it would have had a much more powerful effect.


I was shaking the first time I watched that video. incredible.

Middle Distance Runner's new single on RCRD LBL!

I really fucking love the DC based band.

they have a lot of energy, great sync and colourful guitar bits only fitting for lead singer Stephen Kilroy's voice which, like Donald of The Virgins, skirts around high pitched falsettos during chorus parts, otherwise an excellent deepish tenor.

anyhow, you can snag their latest single, The Unbeliever, for FREE, as always, on RCRD LBL

Middle Distance Runner - The Unbeliever [mp3, outside link]

the 7" single was released on March 17th

Middle Distance Runner on MYSPACE



I was listening to "we danced together" on repeat at work today. I even freaking posted about it. then, I was singing it on my way home from the BART tonight. I must have looked like a crazy person, singing really loudly with a REALLY bad British accent all the way home.

then I click onto NME, just to make sure no news slipped by me

I click on the following headline (The Rakes announce handful of US dates), not believing I was going to be lucky enough, because my luck is shite,

and, then,

Los Angeles, CA Troubadour (April 1)
San Francisco, CA Popscene (2)
New York, NY Bowery Ballroom (6)
Brooklyn, NY Bell House (7)


I was JUST telling a coworker today (er, more like 12 hours ago...) how much I love Brit pop. it FEEDS MY SOUL.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Rakes - We Danced Together

I came across this song a few weeks back and immediately was enamoured with the English band.

I was just listening to it on youtube, and realized,

whoa, the video follows the lyrics!

I mean, a lot of times, music videos are really abstract; but in this case, it actually made a lyric a lot more apparent to me:

"we danced together on the roof of the party"
I never really registered the roof part until I saw it:


the show is at Fox Theatre in Oakland on Saturday May 9th

a limited number of tickets will be available TOMORROW (THURSDAY) at 10AM

click HERE to purchase tickets tomorrow

ah, bootlegs

I'm listening to Ryan Adams right now and I just realized,

I have 528 Ryan Adams songs on my iTunes

that's more than either The Strokes (257) or The Beatles (311)

mainly because Ryan Adams is so cool about bootlegging and his live shows are so spectacular.

if The Beatles > Jesus, and Ryan Adams is (QUANTITATIVELY) > The Beatles, then, it must logically follow,

Ryan Adams >> Jesus.
(hey, look, my high school geometry finally came in handy!)

see above picture for further elaboration.

Ryan Adams - Last Nite (The Strokes cover) [mp3]

another contender for high number of songs is Elliott Smith at 453.

sadly, I somehow only have 111 David Bowie mp3s. I have a lot of his work on vinyl, but 111 is just sad.

grand total song count on iTunes is 14,679, but it gets bigger every day. I delete the stuff I don't like, so I don't get any unpleasant surprises when I put my music on shuffle. there are 148 individual songs and about 10 albums on my desktop that I have yet to load into iTunes and listen to...

The Strokes Post #34

for some reason, two of the most popular Strokes singles, "Reptilia" and "Juicebox", manage to sound less awesome than the rest when manifested live. don't get me wrong, ALL live performances of Strokes' songs are ACE, but those two are usually just the weakest two of the bunch. not necessarily bad, but not as amazing, as, say, "Take it or Leave It" or "Alone, Together"

the following performance, however, is PERFECT. you can also see Fab in his creepy white trash mustache phase. he makes it work, somehow.

bow down to the perfection that is Jules and co. BOW DOWN I SAY.

Cold War Kids to commemorate record store day with live EP release

(record store day is on Saturday, April 18th this year.)

according to NME,

"The EP is the band’s first-ever live recording and was recorded at Fingerprints, their local record shop in Long Beach, CA. It will be available at indie retailers and features four tracks from their second album ‘Loyalty to Loyalty’, released last year.

The tracklisting is:

‘Against Privacy’
‘Every Man I Fall For/I’ve Seen Enough’
‘Expensive Tastes’
‘Relief’ "

the band is on tour. tickets are still available for the Fillmore show!

San Diego, CA 4th & B Concert Theatre (26)
Los Angeles, CA Orpheum Theatre (27)
Boston, MA Wilbur Theatre (April 2)
New York, NY Terminal 5 (3)
Rochester, NY Water Street Music Hall (4)
Upper Darby, PA Tower Theatre (7)
Davidson, NC John Belk Arena (9)
Memphis, TN Orpheum Theatre (11)
Tulsa, OK The Brady Theater (12)
Omaha, NE Holland Center (13)
St. Paul, MN Roy Wilkins Auditorium (15)
Chicago, IL Aragon Ballroom (17)
East Lnsing, MI Breslin Events Center (18)
Waukesha, WI Van Male Fieldhouse (19)
Denver, CO Gothic Theatre (20)
Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom (21)
Seattle, WA The Showbox at The Market (22)
Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge (23)
San Francisco, CA The Fillmore (28)

have you seen Green Day recently?

they look OLD!

read about their new album at

Green Day - My Generation (The Who cover) [mp3]

"Yeah, I hope I die before I get old". hm, maybe they should take those lyrics more seriously. then again, Roger Daltrey is still up and running...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

cataloguing the damages...

I went record shopping today.

it happened on a whim: I was wearing a sun dress today, and, walking home from work, I thought to myself "I look damn good in dresses. I should buy a few more."

as I headed down to Telegraph, I realized the ridiculousness of my premise

and, as not to kick myself later for spending money on clothes instead of music, I headed towards the record shops instead

I limited myself to dollar vinyl (and a handful of used LPs); absolutely no new vinyl. I still managed to spend 80 dollars between Amoeba and Rasputin.

anyways, I bought loads of dollar vinyl, a heap of Elvis Costello records, a bunch of Kinks albums and a handful of 45s.

totals: 39 LPs, 5 45s

here are my favourites, and Amoeba is holding onto a copy of My Aim Is True (Costello), a couple of Black Lips LPs, some Ryan Adams LPs and the BBC Beatles for me, because I'm hitting up the SF store tomorrow and was worried I wouldn't have enough money.

er, the middle record in the first column is Fly Like An Eagle by Steve Miller Band. I accidentally had it backwards when I took the photo. the one in the upper right corner is A Psychedelic Furs album (the top got cut out)

on the bottom row, the black album is a live Ella Fitzgerald LP, the white one: Come Fly with Me by Frank Sinatra

I'm really getting into Grand Funk. I listened to them as I was cleaning my room last night. good stuff.

by far, my best find of the day was the following:


The Clash - Rock the Casbah [mp3]

Grand Lake record release + dates

hey guys, just a quick reminder that the Oakland band's debut EP Nevermint was released today

the album is available via all online retailers (+ iTUNES), as well as physically at Amoeba Music in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood, California. The full physical release on 500 records is on April 21.

for you bay area people, the band is playing three shows this weekend, check them out!

3/26 - Amoeba Music Berkeley, free in-store performance, 6pm
3/27 - Release party, LoBot Gallery Oakland, featuring performances by Starfucker, What's Up, Guidance Counselor, Man/Miracle & Grand Lake. DJ sets by Golden Graham (Rogue Wave), $1 refreshments, video screenings, Confetti, Balloons. $8 admission gets you in, AND a free copy of Nevermint. 9pm.
3/28 - The Hemlock Tavern San Francisco, with Guidance Counselor and Starfucker

Grand Lake - Nevermint [mp3]


the show will take place on Thursday, July 9th at the Oracle in Oakland (whoa, when did Rise Against become a stadium band? come to think of it, they played SJ State's theatre last time around, and that place is HUGE...)


Presale starts: Thu, Mar 26 at 10am
Presale ends: Fri, Mar 27 at 10pm

PASSWORD: reason

opening bands are Rancid and Billy Talent. I saw the latter band open up for My Chemical Romance, they're pretty awesome (yes, I went to see MCR in concert and they were GOOD. suck it.)

I shall not be attending this concert, I'm not that much of a fan of the band. every once and a while, I get the urge to listen to Siren Song of the Counter Culture, but that's about it.

The Strokes Post #33


Monday, March 23, 2009

this one is for Jackie


brush off your skanky groupie outfits, ladies, and let's just pray that working on the new Strokes record will stifle Albert's sex life just until they tour again

hahahah, yes I am shameless, but Albert is a fucking beast.


RCRD LBL just blew me away. twice.

a lot of the stuff that the site posts is mediocre. some of it is simply g-d awful

every so often,

they post some really amazing shit.

today, they have two really great tracks, by two pretty different bands.

POPO "There’s little we know about Philadelphia trio POPO other than that they are brothers and remind us how much we miss bands that sound like they are trying to destroy themselves and in doing so flirt with perfection. 'Pay the Price' is an unreleased song. We suggest you get familiar."


Crocodiles "The noisy garage pop of “I Wanna Kill”—an outstanding track from Crocodiles’ forthcoming LP Summer of Hate—man alive, get downloading!"

seriously, get downloading. you owe it to your ears =)

POPO - Pay The Price [mp3]

Crocodiles - Summer Of Hate [mp3]

personally, I prefer the latter song (I've had it on repeat for ages), but they're both great

what do you think?