June 30, 2009

Cleoma Breaux And Joseph Falcon//La Vieux Soulard Et Sa Femme

Today at around noon, the power went out in my office. As a result, I'm finishing the day working from home (read: my backyard). My upstairs neighbor has planted sunflowers and they've gotten taller than me. It's pretty damn nice out here right now.

To go with the pastoral outdoor theme that the afternoon unexpectedly took on, I thought I would post my favorite track from one of my all-time favorite birthday presents ever (thanks, Aunt Deb).

This six-disc set is jam packed with old-timey...well...jams. Als and I got pretty obsessed with the whole collection during the summer of 2006 (the last golden summer in Ann Arbor), after repeat viewings of Wisconsin Death Trip, which features many of the songs as a soundtrack.

This one is obviously the best. The title translates, from the Creole French, to "The Old Drunkard and His Wife." From the very thorough annotations that come with the anthology, we learn that this is Joe Falcon (1900-1965) and his wife Cleoma Breaux. It's Cajun (obvs) and was recorded in Atlanta in 1929. These guys totally blew up in Louisiana, where Cleoma also played with her brothers, The Breaux Freres.

La Vieux Soulard Et Sa Femme.mp3

A bit more here.

June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson//Billie Jean

Michael Jackson had already come up twice yesterday in conversation before I heard the news of his death, via text message, on my way home from work. This is how pervasive he was as an American icon. Even well past his heyday, when his fame sprang more from the eccentricity (or, to be harsher, balls out weirdness) born of a combination of childhood trauma, brilliance, mental illness and drug abuse, he still rode high on the crest of the wave of our collective cultural awareness:

To friends in Chicago a few days ago: “The new Jenny Wilson record sounds a little like Michael Jackson.”

At lunch at work, yesterday: “Michael Jackson is addicted to plastic surgery. There’s a site that details ever surgery he’s ever had and it’s so scary.” (Perhaps in poor taste, but here, if you’re curious).

Or how about the many strange MJ facts I learned from this man, including about how he made his staff sign contracts that stipulated they not speak to each other, a fascinating tidbit? Sean strangely posted this up about a week ago, talk about prophetic.

I also feel like a few people (friends, acquaintances and culture scholars) have surmised so perfectly what is disturbing about our collective loss of Jackson, not just as a boy-genius music innovator or as the “King of Pop,” but also as a physical embodiment of the flaws of our modern culture. Their observations bear repeating:

From Francis, via Facebook: “I'm authentically sad about Michael Jackson. I feel badly about it, how incredibly unwell he was for so many years, how he probably hurt children, and yet we just kept making excuses / indulging / making fun of him as a society.”

From Carrie Brownstein, via Monitor Mix: “…But Michael Jackson was different; his star never wholly faded, nor was it born anew. His light remained aglow, fueled both by his astronomical accomplishments and by our own eager imaginations. And we kept looking in his direction, out of pure love for his music, but also because the glimpses into his life were getting more shocking and bizarre. The glare kept coming back to find him, sometimes out of reverence, but also revealing to us a distortion of the man we thought we knew; an ugliness, a freakishness, a changeling.”

From James, on the morning commute: “America created him, chewed him up and spit him out.”

And so, here is my song. It is one that has been posted, mixtape’d, broadcast thousands of times already, in every possible medium. It is one whose video of a man gliding, almost too gracefully to be human, on light-up tiles I remember watching with a certain previously unknown devotion on an early MTV. It is a song my band played snippets of while goofing off in rehearsal in the Lango's basement. This song was crafted, like all Jackson songs, with an obsessive attention to detail—the kind only a true perfectionist can achieve. It is one that will be reposted countless times over the internet today, tomorrow and as long as the internet continues. For as long as the great power grid fuels our high-tech American culture machine, we will churn out new pop, faster and faster, chew it up and spit it out.

Billie Jean.mp3

Be careful what you do,
'Cause the lie becomes the truth.

June 25, 2009

Fleetwood Mac//The Ledge

I have made a bitter career of hating Fleetwood Mac. My parent's friends would play Rumors on their home stereos, with separate speakers servicing dinner patios…and I hated it. Two of my best friends returned home from a brief stint working at a remote California pot farm, espousing the many magical qualities of THE MAC, and still, I hated. Bands like Scissor Sisters sprung up around the world, building non-bitter careers of copying Fleetwood Mac’s style and essence. I hated them, also.

And so, it is no small thing that today, thanks of course to a song on Ali’s most recent summer mix that I pirated from her computer not 48 hours ago, I admit defeat. I have found a song which makes me love Fleetwood Mac. I am hooked on the rhythm, the tone, the melody, the vocal style. Here is my white flag—I am conquered. I love this song. I am obsessed. I cannot stop listening to it.

I’ll tell you all about my fun trip to the midwest tomorrow or Monday. I’ll tell you about how Angie bought us “hers and hers” bottles of whiskey. I’ll tell you about how I jumped into a swimming pool in suburban Michigan post-wedding with all my clothes on. I’ll tell you about beautiful friends and beautiful Pickeral Lake and a delayed cracked-out train ride and my most beloved Moms and photobooth pictures and all about wandering aimlessly in a hot, hot Chicago later. For now, let’s just revel in the fact that I like this Fleetwood Mac song.

The Ledge.mp3

Buy another fixture,
Tell another lie.
Paint another picture,
See who’s surprised.
You can love me baby but you can’t walk out.
Someone oughta tell you what it’s really all about.

June 19, 2009

Heatmiser//Low-Flying Jets

Today, after work, I’m leavin’ on a jet plane, and I think this song is the modern and more abstract angsty 90s indie equivalent of “Leaving on a Jet Plane” for me. I’m off to Ann Arbor and Chicago, to see friends get married, eat brunch at Zola and be with my moms (I’ll explain later).

Four good things to know about Heatmiser:

1. Elliott Smith was in Heatmiser, before he was “Elliott Smith.”
2. Sam Coomes was in Heatmiser, only slightly after he started as the frontman for Quasi.
3. They’re not “metal.”
4. They’re not.

So, until Thursday, have fun on other music blogs. Patronize the “competition” (hi, guys!).

And, oh yeah--wish me happy birthday.

Low-Flying Jets.mp3

Cuz I've been dreaming of low-flying jets.
Sweet town knocked my head over,
Over and over.

June 18, 2009

Smog//Hit the Ground Running

My number one regret from Northside was not getting to see Bill Callahan, who, according to Ethan, “played all the hits!” Man, too bad. I will definitely catch him next time he’s in town.

I really like the album Knock Knock because Callahan used a small children’s choir on many of these songs. I am a sucker for kids voices in grown-up melancholy indie rocks songs. Like the kids sing at the end of Yeasayer’s dark anthem “2010”. Or better yet, like Yo La Tengo’s own children singing in their cover of Sun Ra’s “Nuclear War”. There’s nothing better than hearing a kid yell something like, “it’s a motherfucker! Don’t ya know? When they push that button, your ass gotta go!”

I think this is a good song for today. I officially submitted my letter of resignation at work in order to pursue various creative endeavors…in the middle of a giant recession. I’m three parts excited and one part horrified—it’s scary! Still, I think it’s the right thing to do. I have to leave this country, though there are some nice folk here. All I know to do is hit the ground running.

Subject change: I remember when I found this album on vinyl. Ali and I traveled long and far on the CTA to get to that killer record shop in Hyde Park. Huh. I’m going to Chicago in a few days…maybe we can go back?! That place rules.

ALSO, in record store news, the wonderful Insound (where I briefly interned) is having a blowout warehouse sale today. If you're in NYC and you love music, worth checking out. Here's the info.

Also also , did you guys know that Bill Callahan was born in Maryland? That’s the best thing to happen to Maryland since The Wire…or actually…wait…that’s the other way around.

Hit the Ground Running.mp3

I couldn’t memorize a century of slang
Or learn to tell the same story again and again and again.
I had to leave the country,
Though there was some nice folk there,
And now I don’t know where I’m going.
All I know is, I’ll hit the ground running.

June 17, 2009

The Tallest Man on Earth//The Gardener

When we went to see John Vanderslice play on Friday night at The Music Hall of Williamsburg, I was genuinely pretty disappointed with how he sounded. I had been super excited to hear his big five-piece rock band setup. Unfortunately, unlike some of his outstanding live shows I had seen previously, this band seemed to just flatten his songs, making them all sound kind of the same and well, kind of boring. Also, am I the only one who felt like JV was a bit cracked out? He seemed manic onstage. Maybe he’s just not used to THE ROCK.

REGARDLESS, one great thing about going to see JV on Friday was getting to see his opener, The Tallest Man On Earth. I’ve been reading some interesting things about him lately and the fact that he’s out with one of my idols speaks volumes in his favor.

We caught the tale-end of this Swede’s set (man—lots of Swedes here lately) and Karl remarked, on the money as usual, that he had seemingly captured the essence of Bob Dylan, without stealing too much or sacrificing his originality. Indeed, TTMOE was just Kristian Matsson and his guitar, a strangely charismatic combination. Matsson, who sports a thin mustache and an old timey James Dean-like look, belted his heart out throughout his rousing folk songs.

Perhaps this song is simply about hiding your dark secrets or your past so you can stay perfect in the eyes of the one who loves you. But I like to take the more literal interpretation in this case—that it’s literally about killing the competition…and then burying the competition in a garden and watching the competition grow into beautiful flowers. That’s way more jaunty.

The Gardener.mp3

I sense a runner in the garden,
Although my judgement’s known to fail
Once built a steamboat in a meadow,
Cuz I'd forgotten how to sail.

I know the runner's going to tell you
There ain't no cowboy in my hair,
So now he's buried by the daisies
So I could stay the tallest man in your eyes, babe.

June 16, 2009


I think of all the acts I saw last weekend, I was most impressed by BELL. While girl clearly wears her influences on her sleeve (hiya, Bjork Jr., complete with a cover to prove devotions), the energy of her live set and the total utter sweetness of her drummer was undeniable.

Like Bjork, the music builds in strange and unpredictable spots, enhanced by the ambient keys, the dramatic drum entrances and the jerky dynamic vocals. This is effective. The big parts are SUPER BIG and they make you feel excited.

I also liked BELL because they were doing something totally different than any of the other bands I saw over the weekend. The setup: keyboards/vocals+drum machines+live drummer=pretty unconventional.

While this band’s draw is heavily-based in their music skillz (the reason I even caught them at Northside was Jing’s interest in their drummer through the Jazz scene, not to mention the fact that Olga Bell is also classically trained), this song has enjoyable lyrics as well. It’s called Echinacea, but it’s seems to me that it’s pretty obviously about the person in your life who makes you better.


From my mouth, you chase the red out
And turn me about
And fill me with trees.

You do me so well,
In sickness and health,
You do me so well.

June 15, 2009


Hey guys! This weekend was awesome! We had a super fabulous time playing The Northside Music Festival and seeing a million amazing bands. This week, I’ll try to focus on some of the best artists I saw. But today, let’s stick with tradition and unwind from the weekend of killer music with Monday Mail:
What is Monday Mail?

Lauren from Sneak Attack says

There is no doubt that all of Fanfarlo are clever, bookish coves, but when they come together to make music, they function on a gut level.
For a band that comes from all over – frontman Simon Balthazar is himself from Gothenburg - there is that restless, furtive artistry. A keenness to avoid the constraints of home, battling with the longing of the heart…

A little extra research proves that this London-based outfit was produced by Peter Katis, who also produced Interpol and The National (respectively, one of my favorite Joy Division rip-offs and one pretty marginal Joy Division rip-off, although I know some friends will disagree). Fanfarlo doesn’t sound derivative of Joy Division at all, much to the relief of all of us who fear this sound, which was so forward-thinking at one time and has now become so bland. The fact stands, homigos--we can’t all be Ian Curtis. In fact, I think only Ian Curtis was actually Ian Curtis.

What we get instead is plenty of distinctive sounds, winding melodies and dynamic shifts in tone. Oh yeah, and some horns. And a saw. You got me, guys, you totally got me.

Besides being from Jens Lekman’s hometown, Simon Balthazar also has a nice voice. The way he sings his vocal melodies isn’t too far off of a more controlled and deeper Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (who, in turn, owes much of his style to Gordon from the band featured in the previous post). I can appreciate this, since I like this style but enjoy the more reigned-in version, for the most part.


Pre-July 4th, you can get Fanfarlo’s first album for just one buck. Whoa, now. For a UK-based band, that sure is American. Details here.

June 11, 2009

The Violent Femmes, Gnarls Barkley//Gone Daddy Gone

I’m Goin'! Gone Daddy Gone Daddy Gone! Chain Reaction Week! Yesterday’s last word was: Gone.

I’m going to be gone, daddy, gone from OSS tomorrow, so today you get double the linked songs, or more accurately, two versions of the same awesome song that work so well as the finale of Chain Reaction Week.

Not to be confused with Go Daddy (oh helllll no), Gone Daddy Gone is an amazing, amazing early 80s Violent Femmes song, written by Gordon. The song is so amazing that it spawned this second version from the also totally-solid but different-as-you-can-be-from-the-Femmes hip-hop/soul outfit Gnarls Barkley. From Wikipedia:

The lyrics borrow a complete verse from Willie Dixon's 1954 song "I Just Want To Make Love To You" (originally recorded by Muddy Waters). The Femmes give proper credit for this in the liner notes of their debut album. For this reason, the song is occasionally referred to as "Gone Daddy Gone/I Just Want To Make Love To You", as on Permanent Record: The Very Best of Violent Femmes. It features two xylophone solos.
A cover version of the song was the third single released in the United States by Gnarls Barkley, and is taken from their debut album St. Elsewhere (2006). An animated music video was also made.

Gone Daddy Gone.mp3 (Violent Femmes Version)

Gone Daddy Gone.mp3 (Gnarls Barkley Version)

When I see you,
Eyes will turn blue.
When I see you,
A thousand eyes turnin’ blue.
Cuz it’s gone, daddy, gone,
Her love is gone.
Gone, daddy, gone,
Here love is gone away.

Chain Reaction is also a 1960s band previously known as The Strangeurs, a song by Can from Soon Over Babaluma and a square dance call. Seriously—a square dance call?

June 10, 2009

Lykke Li//I'm Good, I'm Gone

Oh Hell Yes Please and Thank You: Chain Reaction Week!
Yesterday’s last word was: Good.

Sweden’s Lykke Li’s (real name: Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson, so you can see why she doesn’t go by that) first album, Youth Novel, got a lot of hype upon release. I have to say, I think it was all just that; hype.

To disagree with the “blogosphere” (I’ve always hated that term) at large, I don’t like this album. To me, it feels flat, poorly written and somewhat shoddily produced—catchy, but fluffy; mostly unremarkable. Or maybe it’s just that I don’t particularly love the “mix of soul, electro and ‘powdered-sugar pop’” (Pitchfork, duh) that her style embodies. I think, if you’re looking for good indie music coming out of Sweden, there are plenty of people doing it way better than Li.

That said, Li might have just one really, really good idea in her life and that idea, I think, is this song (no surprise that her album was produced by another one-hit-wonder Björn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John--maybe it’s contagious). I heard this track first, loved that sexy, bassy piano line set against her willowy-but-solid voice, thought she was awesome and got the album. Learn from my mistakes. Just download this and feel good about it. The word of the day is good and this is really good…but it’s also as good as it gets.

I'm Good, I'm Gone.mp3

You’ll be calling but I won’t be at the phone.

Chain Reaction is also a 1996 movie starring Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Morgan Freeman, and Fred Ward, a game show, an episode of the television series Stargate SG-1 and a BBC Radio 4 chat show. Ha.

June 9, 2009

ESG//You're No Good

Remember it’s Chain Reaction Week!
Yesterday’s last word was: You.

ESG, which, without much explanation stands for Emerald, Sapphire and Gold, was a much-sampled no-wave/post-punk band from the South Bronx consisting mostly of the Scroggins sisters and occasionally of some of their friends.

Actually, Update: Trusty old All Music Guide explains the name:

The four Scroggins sisters -- Deborah (bass, vocals), Marie (congas, vocals), Renee (vocals, guitar), and Valerie (drums) -- formed a group with the support of their mother, who bought instruments to keep her daughters busy and away from trouble; at the time, each sibling was teenaged. Basing their sound on a mutual love for James Brown, Motown, and Latin music, the sisters went through a number of name changes before finally settling on ESG. "E" stood for emerald, Valerie's birthstone; "S" stood for sapphire, Renee's birthstone; and as for "G," well, neither Deborah nor Marie had a birthstone beginning with that letter, but they did want their records to go gold. After permanently adding non-relative Tito Libran to the lineup as a conga player (some male members came and went prior to this), ESG was officially born.

I think it must be cool to be a much-sampled no-wave band. You don’t get to say that every day. “Hi. My name’s Gina. I’m in an oft-sampled now-defunct (maybe) no-wave band. Yeah, you probably already heard some of my stuff in your favorite hip-hop hits. Yes, I said, ‘no-wave.’ Yeah, I meant that.”

There’s a reason everybody likes to sample ESG and that’s because they’re AWESOME. Started in the late 70s/early 80s, the sound has a lot of weird stuff going. Analog quality, rattle-y weirdly-rhythm-ed drum lines and heavy bass characterize the sound, in addition to a unique genre mix of funk, R+B and avant garde (not so unlike the man I saw last night, although a lot more low-energy).

There’s also this very funny story, via Wikipedia:

On May 9, 2007, ESG drummer Valerie Scroggins was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury on charges of taking more than $13,000 in workers' compensation payments. Scroggins, then working as a bus driver for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York), told them that she suffered a shoulder injury in September 2006. In November 2006, Scroggins went on tour with ESG, where an MTA investigator filmed her playing "drums for an hour or more and on every song the band played, doing things very similar to actions she told her employers she could not perform," according to the Brooklyn DA's press release. Scroggins asserts that her injury is legitimate and that she could not safely drive a bus.

Maybe not the smartest thing to do on her part, but doesn’t this make you hate the MTA just a little bit more (I didn’t know this feeling was possible!)!?How many “investigators” are they paying to spy on former no-wave band members, instead of just running the fucking G train? The MTA, you’re no good.

You’re No Good.mp3

But you’re no good.
You’re no good.
You are no good.
You’re no good.

Chain Reaction is also an album by Canadian singer Luba, a song by Diana Ross, covered by Steps and a 1970s band.

June 8, 2009

Mouthful of Bees//Please and Thank You

Monday --> Mail --> Bag --> Lady --> Finger --> Point --> of no Return -> to Sender
What is Monday Mail?

It seems like more and more of my friends are science nerds these days. What’s up with that? Did it just become cooler to love science (obviously, yes) or are there just more science nerds in the world these days or did I just get to be friends with more of them recently? Either way, I’m totally happy. I think it’s an interesting discipline, but it’s never been a natural strong suit for me.

That said, I thought it would be fun to celebrate the World Science Fest along with my UBER-SMART/UBER-CUTE/UBER-NERDY friends in my own little literary/music-infused way. Thus, I declare this week Chain Reaction Week at OSS. Here’s how it works: tomorrow's song will start with the last word of today’s song, and so on and so forth, forming a week-long chain of titles.

We’ll start with some mail about a very pretty (and very mannerly) song from (a painfully titled, but animal-named) band called Mouthful of Bees (YOUWCH!).

Ian from Afternoon Records says:

“Thought I'd pick your brain on the new Mouthful of Bees record. It's amazing. If you're into the whole Grizzly Bear/Animal Collective/Brian Wilson crew, I think you'll really like it.”

I listened to the album and I do like it. The music is lush, meandering and twinkly. Also, any band that has a song called Thomas Aquinas (after all, I do think Science is the new Religion) is pretty much fine with me.

Please and Thank You.mp3

MoB recently released their first album on Afternoon Records. Find out more here.

A chain reaction is a sequence of reactions where a reactive product or by-product causes additional reactions to take place. In layman's terms, a chain reaction is a type of reaction in chemistry and physics, in which the formation of one product leads directly to another or series of any events where each one is triggered by the previous event.

June 5, 2009

Simian Mobile Disco//Hustler

Get happy, get local. It’s the weekend!
Tell me...what is this Local Music Fridays?

Third girl. Black dress, chunky pearls. That’s my (long lost) friend Erin.

So today’s L!M!F! might be a little bit of a stretch, much like this one, but I’m running with it anyway.

Let me tell you how I met Erin. I was visiting some friends (Annie, Ethan) in East Lansing for a weekend at the end of my freshman year of college. AND WHAT A WEEKEND IT WAS. For some reason, I had a razor scooter. I guess I must have asked my parents for this. My memories of how I came to own the razor scooter are hazy, ok? Anyway, I had a razor scooter. It was green and chrome. Erin, who was friends with my friends, got instantly OBSESSED with it and insisted on riding it pretty much everywhere we went that night. We went to a weird (queer-themed?) party and then we scootered around the MSU campus screaming Deceptacon at the top of our voices. Dorm residents DID NOT love us. After that, we went back to Erin’s room and drank. A lot. Actually, I can remember this clearly because I know this was the first time I ever vomited from drinking (MILESTONE!). We were so hung-over the next morning that Annie and I gleefully slurped down frozen coke slurpies from the across-the-street 7-11 hours before we made it to Denny's during one of Ethan's shifts.

Anyway, I've gone on a tangent. How Erin came to be featured in this video, I have no idea. Regardless, Simian Mobile Disco is a UK-based remix team. James Ford, a member of the group, has produced groups like Arctic Monkeys and (my least favorite, sorry guys) Peaches.


Anyway, Erin is now a photographer and a damn good one. Check out her stuff here.

I'm a hustler, baby.
That's what daddy's made me.

June 4, 2009

The Slits//Heard It Through the Grapevine

When I first heard The Slits, my mind was blown. Ali played me some tracks of Cut and I was like, “WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE!!?” This was during the time when we were all making dozens and dozens of different AOL screen names (oh, early college). Most of them were “Heathers”-themed, but I immediately went out and claimed “ariupisgod.” I probably still have it…if only I could remember the password.

So who are The Slits? Let me tell you! The Slits really laid the groundwork for the riotgrrl movement. They were formed in 1976 as an all-girl punk/post-punk outfit in the UK (one of their members, Palmolive, later joined The Raincoats; other members went on to form The New Age Steppers). They supported punk-classic The Clash on tour, had their very own Peel Session and successfully mixed punk sounds with reggae/dub undertones, avant-garde sensibilities and feminism(!) to form a sound all their own. The have an AWESOME song called Typical Girls which is a pretty sweet third wave diatribe and also calls out my favorite East Coast salesman (and yours?), Crazy Eddie.

In 2005, the group had a reunion (sort of). I heard it wasn’t very good, but I’m still really sad I missed it. They just signed a new record deal, so we’ll see what comes of that.

You probably know this song already (in fact, I'm sure you do), but unless you have (a) a strong interest in post punk, (b) a strong interest in riotgrrl/proto-riotgrrl (c) a strong interest in rare vinyl and mp3s, you probably haven’t heard it like this before. Although you are reading a music blog written by a queer feminist-tinged nerdgirl, so maybe this isn’t new to you? And two covers in one week...what is OSS coming to!? Regardless, enjoy.

I Heard It Through the Grapevine.mp3

A little trivia: Did you know that the grapevine actually refered to a clandestine telegraph system used in the late 1800s? Ok. I really don’t think you knew that one. More here.

June 3, 2009

Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens//What Have You Done?

The legendary Daptone has done it again with the release of debut album, What Have You Done, My Brother? from not-even-close-to-newcomer Naomi Shelton and her Gospel Queens.

From the Dap site:

“Naomi Shelton is no ordinary gospel singer. Though she, like many others, grew up singing with her sisters in their Alabama church, she has also spent much of her life in the soul clubs around New York, and her 45s, “41st St. Breakdown” and “Wind Your Clock” b/w “Talking ‘Bout a Good Thing,” have long been revered and prized by funk DJs around the globe. Now, with her first official full-length release coming this May, it’s clear that her singing is equally influenced by both facets of her life. This is soul music – informed by the church, perhaps, but soul music nonetheless, relatable to all. Which means that LWhat Have You Done, My Brother?, an uplifting record that conveys Naomi’s energy, her excitement, her love of music, her compassion, is no ordinary album.”

Guys, this woman has been hitting the New York clubs at night and working random jobs during the day since the ‘60s. She rocked gospel in her Alabama church when she was six. She is over 60. She is OLD. She should be TIRED. She doesn’t sound OLD or TIRED at all. AU CONTRARIES! She sounds like the most badass lady this side of the Mississippi. I would not fuck around with her.

Do you hear that sweet organ walkdown in the chorus? Do you hear the warning words?!? I love how gospel-based music is all about the stark contrast when it comes to the classic good vs. evil dichotomy. It's really NOT how I view the world, but it's comforting to put everything through that extreme lens once in a while.

Anyway, my real question is, how is it that Daptone keeps finding these totally tough awesome broads and pairing them up with totally tough analog recording equipment to make the most totally tough retro sounding soul THIS SIDE OF THE MISSISSIPPI??! How is it!? Bless you, DT, Bless you.

AND ALSO, do we think maybe this song could serve as a warning to whoever broke into their Bushwick-based studios a few months back? Indeed, a big old FUCK YOU to those guys. Anybody messing with DT is truly a menace, to society, and also to TOUGH SOUL MUSIC. What have you done, my brothers?

I drank an energy drink AND coffee this morning. Can you tell? SORRY!!!

What Have You Done?.mp3

Boy, you got nowhere to run.
You’re surely gonna pay
For what you’ve done.
You better ask yourself, what have you done?
What have you done?

June 2, 2009

Grizzly Bear//Two Weeks

Grizzly Bear finally released their much-anticipated new album, Veckatimest, last week. Of course, everyone’s been losing their shit about this one, and my first few listens support the fact that the praise and attention is not unfounded.

Hilariously, Other Music pointed out in their last newsletter that the first few hits in Google for “Grizzly Bear” are for the band—and not for ACTUAL grizzly bears…you know…the SPECIES. Indeed, the band’s official page, Wikipedia entry and myspace came up first for me. Although, a search does return this ultra-cute picture (see: Animal Band Names Trend)!!!. AWWWWWW.

Some facts/thoughts on Veckatimest:
1. It’s named after a small island in Massachusetts, but was recorded in the Catskills (unlike Yellow House, which was actually recorded in…a Yellow House).
2. Nico Muhly, of classical fame, was involved.
3. Also involved, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus
4. Am I the only one who thinks the band’s vocals sound way different on this recording?

While this song was the one that initially hooked me most, I’m really enjoying listening to the whole album on my iPod while walking around the neighborhood. It’s pretty and lush, like previous Grizzly works. Also like prior albums, it takes a few listens to get into. It feels like sinking slowly into a big plush couch, letting all the subtle production choices, builds and instrumentation overtake you.

Two Weeks.mp3

Save up all the days,
A routine malaise.
Just like yesterday,
I told you I would stay.

Would you always?
Maybe sometimes?
Make it easy.
Take your time.