Saturday, December 19, 2009

tattoo idea

I'm cleaning my room right now and came across a slip of paper on which I was toying with a tattoo idea. the ideal placement, methinks, would be centered on the back of my neck, like, a couple of inches underneath my hairline. it wouldn't be concealed, because my hair is up 94% of the time.


mp3s: Phoenix SPIN session

at K.'s request, I managed to make mp3s of the session, but only half of it. here are the two songs from WAP, enjoy

Phoenix - 1901 (SPIN session) [mp3]

Phoenix - Lisztomania (SPIN session) [mp3]

Friday, December 18, 2009

Band of the Week: Cage the Elephant

Bowling Green, Kentucky.
I don't know what it is that you did exactly, but thank you for having whatever oppressive factors that led our boys to retaliate with musical insanity.
I really do appreciate it.
Cage the Elephant are two brothers and three of their friends who like to make noise. Lots of noise. They like to inebriate your ears with filthy racket and they do one hell of a good job at it.
They have been one of the best bands of the year. They have toured their asses off, managed to create a following first in Europe and then in the US. And now I hear them on alternative rock radio stations. Beautiful.
Their record, which beautifully blends elements from Beck and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, is fantastic. It was definitely one of my favourites this year.

Let's go. Party.

Cage the Elephant - Back Against the Wall [mp3]

Vampire Weekend: White Sky

the track, it's so delectable. it's like ice cream cake topped with warm fudge. can you tell I've been eating sweets all day?

Vampire Weekend - White Sky [mp3, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]
many thanks to Pop Tarts Suck Toasted!

I tried downloading it yesterday, but web sheriff had attacked all of the blogs which posted it.

download it, quick, before he targets MIE too!

Phoenix record an acoustic set for SPIN

watch it HERE

it's simply breathtaking. the sound quality is beyond amazing.

these boys, they seem to do no wrong.

"well, not obscure, just Hungarian". ahhaha. I also enjoyed Christian's spasms. I love Phoenix so much, you can hear and see how much they get INTO their music.

The Strokes Post #299

this is where I wish I knew Spanish. in any case, I'm enjoying the Che Guevara/Marxist imagery.

thanks to Rodrigo for the scans!

Classic Track Thursday

My Bloody Valentine - When You Sleep [mp3]

I adore this Irish band. I didn't always like them, until I bought Loveless (their second of two full length LPs, released in 1991). I had already heard a couple of tracks (which didn't impress me to the point of excitement) but then somebody mentioned the band, told me to listen to the album Loveless in particular when I mentioned that I wasn't a fan. I put it in the back of my mind until, the next day, when I was record shopping. I struck up a conversation with a stranger, asked him what his all time favourite record was, and he said Loveless. His friend was with him, and he had convinced his friend to grab the last used copy of the album, so I had to shell out a few extra dollars for a new copy, but it was very much worth it. Interestingly enough, the cd lay on my desk for about a week before I actually listened to it, but when I did:


Loveless = drugs.
it compels repeated listens to say the least.
plus, the album art is fucking rad.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Colbert + Alicia Keys just made my day

Colbert >>> Alicia, methinks. just look at those dance moves.

book review: Juliet, Naked

The age old aphorism tells us not to judge a book by its cover.
Well, I am kind of ashamed (both as a teacher and as a lover of music/books/High Fidelity) to admit that I judged this book--not by its cover, but by its title.

It seemed like a really stupid title the first time I heard it, and it got me so disinterested that I only got around to reading the book last week, even though it was released in September.

Little did I know that the title was not referring to some naked lady, but rather, to a stripped down version of a fictional album. And, having read the book, I have to say, the title is perfect.
Juliet, Naked is consistently, beautifully, Nick Hornby. It fuels that little need we crazed music fans have of being reassured: it's not so bad being single. Our record collections keep us company, and, indeed, are often the driving force behind many a break up.

How can we love somebody who can't appreciate our most intense musical loves? Well, it goes both ways. I guess some people are sick of people like us--people who obsess over every little detail of (what seems to them is just) some band. Juliet, Naked gives voices to all of our exes, all of the ones who just didn't get what all of the fuss is about.

The story follows two men who fallen from grace, through the eyes of the woman and album which tie them together.

One, Duncan, had spoiled 15 years of his girlfriend Annie's life with mediocrity and childlessness.

The other, Tucker Crowe (modeled after Bob Dylan) had been lounging around for about the same amount of time--after the release of his groundbreaking breakup album Juliet and his subsequent abandonment of musicianship.

Both men had fallen from grace, and are united by two things--the first being Annie and the second: Juliet, the album which Tucker disregards as proof of his own sham as a human being.

The world of fiction gives us the happy coincidence that this is the very album which Duncan had been obsessively poring over for years. He creepily cites himself as a "Croweologist", and posts a gushing review of the recently released acoustic session version of the album, which they dub Juliet Naked. Meanwhile, he had been neglecting his live-in girlfriend Annie, who thinks that Naked is a piece of shit, and says so in a scathing review which she posts on the website dedicated to Crowe. This review just happens to be the thing which gets Tucker's fire going again. And so continues the delicate relationship between our hearts and our ears, and the effects we unknowingly bestow on those whom we love--or, sometimes, those who make the music in the first place.

The one criticism I have of this book is that there are a few moments when there are too many characters involved (specifically the hospital scenes with all of Tucker's children). Hornby is best when he observes two or three characters in detail, which he does throughout most of the book. Other than that, I really loved it. It's honest about the mess that is the human heart, and it resonates so well with the music enthusiasts which it offhandedly criticizes.

Back to to my opening thought of "don't judge a book by its cover". The most ironic thing of it all is the fact that I actually really love the cover of this book. It's one of those double images things. I didn't pick up on it until I saw the book in front of me (initially, I only saw the headphones). So it goes to show you, you really should never judge a book by something as arbitrary as its cover--or its title.

I really recommend taking a break from your crazy musical fandom and taking the time to read this book if you haven't already. It'd make a great gift too, if you're still stumped on any xmas gifts.

Regina Spektor - Apres Moi [mp3]

buy the book on AMAZON

The Strokes Post #298

(thanks Katie!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

RIP Chris Feinstein

the man behind the bass of Ryan Adams' Cardinals has passed away. according to this NME article, he also has collaborated with Albert Hammond Jr.

this is a sad, sad day. he was only 42.

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - Magick [mp3]

RIP, sir.

new holiday song from Middle Distance Runner

this morning, I played MDR's "Brother John" right when I woke up because I was dreaming about the new Hornby book, Juliet, Naked (having finished it the night before). there is a character called "Farmer John" in would take too long to explain how weird my mind is and the random musical connections it always makes, so without further ado, here is the song

Middle Distance Runner - Holiday (Be Good to Me) [mp3]

the track is piano driven and earnest. and, as Oscar Wilde will tell you in my favourite play, there is a great deal of importance in being earnest.

The Static Jacks give away EP + interview with Dandy Warhols manager

our NJ boys are giving away their newest, darkest EP, called Laces (don't let the name fool you, it's about as far from Victorian lit and corsets as you could possibly think) as a holiday gift until 21 December.

it's good.
download it HERE
then go to their shows and buy their merch.

I find it kind of hilarious and awesome that the boys are playing 21+ venues before they can drink legally

Jan 14 2010 8:00P
Pianos (21+) New York, New York
Jan 21 2010 8:00P
Astoria Indies @ The Bohemian Beer Garden Astoria Queens, New York
Jan 22 2010 8:00P
Lake Johnson with Shapes, Milo And The Fuzz, and Beast Make Bomb

speaking of hilarious, check out Henry's closing line in the interview which he and Ian did with Lee A Cohen (the manager of the Dandy Warhols):

Lee A Cohen: You guys are only 19 and so I'm thinking you were born in the 90s if not right at the tail end of the 80s. There's a big 80s English Guitar sound in what you guys are doing. Do you have any idea what I'm talking about? Are there bands from the 80s you are specifically referencing?

Ian: Personally I tend to look more towards the 70’s for my inspiration: The Clash, Joy Division, etc.

Henry: I’ve always really liked The Cure and I know Mike has always been a big fan of The Smiths, so with that I think our inspiration for guitar tones comes from looking in that direction a bit.

Lee A Cohen: I'm 35 and grew up in the 80s. If I wasn't so precious about my virginity I could have fathered one of you, I'm that old. Being that I work in music I am always in touch with younger people like yourselves, but my 80s references to film and TV are sometimes met with blank stares. Beyond music are there 80s films or TV that had a profound effect on you?

Henry: The only thing I really know about 80s television is what I've seen from thirty second clips on VH1 shows like I Love The 80s. I'm sorry!

Ian: In terms of movies, I would say Full Metal Jacket, Scarface, and The Empire Strikes Back have all been pretty essential to my development into who I currently am, I think. They all have an element of danger and adventure that motivates me to go out and take risks and really live my life, as cheesy and stupid as that might sound. So those movies are important. Oh, and Big.

Lee A Cohen: You guys are from Jersey. I recently saw a 60 minutes piece about a Canadian Documentary Film maker who was held hostage in Iran. His kidnappers were obsessed with Jersey. They thought it was Shangri La. The world seems to know best about Jersey from the likes of Springsteen, Bon Jovi, The Sopranos and those douchebags on The Shore show that MTV does. How do you explain bands like yourselves and Titus and Real Estate. Y'all don't seem very "Jersey" How do you explain this new burgeoning art rock scene?

Ian: I think there are a decent number of “Jersey” sounds, its just that outside of New Jersey people tend to think primarily of Springsteen, which is great, and Bon Jovi, which is… different. I think bands like Titus Andronicus and Real Estate and everyone else in this new scene are boldly combining some aspects of the Springsteen-esqe New Jersey sound everyone knows with some lesser-known musical traditions of our great state.

Lee A Cohen: Besides me, has anyone else totally awesome surfaced as a fan?

Nick: Apparently the guitar player from Taking Back Sunday is a fan!

Henry: There was a rumor that Spike Jonze listened to our EP LACES before making Where The Wild Things Are.

Lee A Cohen: Got any good cougar stories? I can't help but think that all these 30 yr old rocker chicks might want to take advantage of your collective youthfulness. Don't get me wrong, I'm not gay but damn you guys are cute!

Nick: There are many cougar stories. They show up at our shows with children or banners…very strange.

Henry: Some mom once thought I was one of the Jonas Brothers and asked me why I wasn’t wearing my promise ring while tugging at my belt.

The Static Jacks - Parties And Friends (And Bullshit) [mp3]

The Strokes Post #297

yeah Argentina! I guess Maradona wasn't your only good export.

many thanks to

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

remastered goodness: Elliott Smith: Cecilia/Amanda

I have three mp3s of this unreleased song in my itunes, but none have the quality of this gem here:

Elliott Smith - Cecilia/Amanda [mp3, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]

Roman Candle gets remastered and we all get a treat. well, a second treat.

most excellent.

what I love the most about these random rare goodies is that they sound SO MUCH LIKE ELLIOTT. he is so consistent, even in the tracks he never released. I can always rely on him. always.

The Strokes Post #296

I swear you guys, this was written as a Strokes song. it just feels like a collaborative effort.

video link courtesy of Olivia.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Morning Covers


Broken Social Scene - Kennel District (Pavement cover) [mp3]

Rhett Miller - Girl (The Beatles cover)[mp3]

Rufus Wainwright - Wonderful/Child Is Father of the Man (Brian Wilson cover)[mp3]

Razorlight - Boys Don't Cry (The Cure cover)[mp3]

Paolo Nutini - Wake Up (Arcade Fire cover)[mp3]

The Black Crowes - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (The Beatles cover)[mp3]

Riverboat Gamblers - Let's Go Crazy (Prince cover) [mp3, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]
this sounds especially good because I spent a good deal of yesterday listening to Dillinger Four. I am in a bit of a punk rock listening bout.

Jay Reatard - Gamma Ray (Beck cover)[mp3]

Ryan Adams - Franklin's Tower (Grateful Dead cover) [mp3]

Spoon - I Am the Key (The La's Cover) [mp3]

The Postal Service - Grow Old With Me (John Lennon cover)[mp3]

The Strokes Post #294

hahhaha oh Fab.

The Strokes Post #293

this is actually one of the funniest things I have ever seen. if you wait until the end, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Saturday Music Definitions: Vampire

Margot and the Nuclear So & So's - Vampires in Blue Dresses [mp3]

Ryan Adams - Vampire [mp3]

Arctic Monkeys - Perhaps Vampires is a Bit Strong, But [mp3]

Vampire Hands - Statuette [mp3]

Vampire Weekend - Ottoman [mp3]

is anybody else itching for Contra? I've been nostalgic for VW because it has been raining lately. the rain always makes me think of these boys, because it was raining when I went to buy their album and it was raining when I went to see them at Rickshaw Stop in SF...both this band and Little Joy remind me of the rain and cold, but then take me to a happy sunny place when I put the needle down. I don't care what anybody says, I love Vampire Weekend.