October 30, 2009

That's Him! That's The Guy//Canst Thou Summon

BOO! Local Music Friday!
Tell me...what is this Local Music Fridays?

Oh my God, guys, tomorrow is Halloween!!! OOOOH, SPOOKY!

Last night, A. and I went to a Haunted House. It wasn't exactly that scary, but it was still a good time. Then, I bought some candy for tomorrow night's 50/50 show, which will feature David Martin of Michigan band That's Him! That's The Guy!

I never actually got to see TH!TTG! when I lived in Michigan, although my friend Travis told me they were awesome. Palmyra had the pleasure of playing a show with them before Joe moved out of town, which was quite enjoyable, even if it was at the worst venue in lower Manhattan.

I was really impressed with their beautiful harmonies and their pretty/melancholy (everyone knows that this is my favorite combo!) tunes. I hear that tomorrow David will be accompanied by some special guest singers. I'm totally geeked. Come out for music, the clanking of pipes in my basement, candy corn and cheep beer. Sure to please. Costumes optional.

Canst Thou Summon.mp3

The hook comes again.
Oh, Leviathan.

October 29, 2009

Bruce Springsteen//Johnny 99

When I was writing about Kurt Vile yesterday, I went to link to my Bruce Springsteen post...and then realized I didn't have a Bruce Springsteen post. WHAT?! How could this be true!? I'm from Jersey; I love Bruce Springsteen. It's, like, in my DNA.

Actually, maybe that's not exactly true because one of my best high school-era friends, Paige, didn't like The Boss. She didn't like him so much that she threatened to make a tee-shirt with the words "Not My Boss" set underneath a screen-printed picture of The Boss. How rude. Still, that's a funny idea for a tee-shirt. She never made it, but if she had, I would have worn it. Maybe I would have X'ed out the word "Not" with a sharpie, because that was how I rolled at the time--altering tee-shirts with scissors, sharpies and patches. Punk! And because that dude IS my Boss. Duh.

Nebraska is one of my favorite albums OF ALL TIME. It's moody and gritty and lofi and lonely. It was recorded on a four-track, meant initially to be demos for the next album with The E Street Band, but Springsteen was hellaciously depressed when he wrote it, so it just sounded weird and wrong with the band. It was decided that the album would be realized as it was...and each song is its own brilliant and dark portrait of America.

This song is especially relevant right now. It's about recession, poverty and what it does to people in America. Johnny lost his job at the auto plant (in Mahwah!) and ends up robbing a store and shooting a dude in process. Not to say that Johnny was in the right, but society also plays a role.

Well, new numbers are pointing to the fact that the recession might be over. I hope that's true, but it's not to say that plenty of Americans aren't already in some pretty desperate situations. I know there's been a lot of shitty violence in my hood lately. Fingers crossed that everyone can hold out until the positive change actually starts to get down to the ground level. This song is all about the stress of this situation--feeling powerless and trapped, on the wrong side of that great big beautiful American dream.

Johnny 99.mp3

Now judge, I had debts no honest man could pay.
The bank was holdin' my mortgage and they were gonna take my house away.
Now I ain't sayin' that makes me an innocent man,
But it was more than all this that put that gun in my hand.

October 28, 2009

Kurt Vile//Freeway

Kurt Vile, besides being recently signed to Matador and being really good at playing in awesomely named bands (when he plays with his backing band he becomes Kurt Vile and the Violators and he also plays in The War on Drugs), sounds something like one part lofi Springsteen circa Nebraska, one part Dylan and one part post-modern noisetime. Constant Hitmaker, which I've been listening to on repeat for a few weeks now, is a delightfully gritty compendium of songs, true the album's title.

Angelina gave me this to me on vinyl for my birthday this summer. Sadly, I only just got a working record player back in my life about a month ago, so I just got to start listening to it and it is a bit of an instant classic.

This morning I put it on while A. and I had breakfast (does it count as breakfast if you're eating it at 12:45pm?). It was delightful. I also have been walking around with the lines of this in my head for weeks now.

Unrelated: Kurt Vile is also from Philly, which is also where my parents are from. Though I care little for baseball, I am rooting for the team of my ancestral home to kick the ass of the team of my current home, because it just feels right. Y'all feel me?


Got a freeway in mind.
Let go of my head.
Walk down my line.
Better be sure you'll be dead.
I got a trumpet,
I know where to dump it.
I'm glad that you came
If the sound is the same.

October 27, 2009

Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down//When We Swam

I know I’ve already written about Thao once here, but I think it’s worth it to share this awesome song from her very recently released new album, Know Better, Learn Faster.

The album’s definitely different from the debut and I don’t want to say better or worse; just different. Mostly, this is because it’s rooted so deeply in a what must be one particularly rough breakup…in fact the songs almost seem to be a chorological account, albeit a somewhat veiled one, of the rise and fall of drama. There’s “I don’t know if this is working”. There’s “don’t go”. There’s “come back”. There’s “goodbye”. There’s “really? Goodbye?” Then there’s “fuck yeah! Goodbye! And finally "yeah, I am still depressed but I’m going to go force myself to have fun to forget about this.”

Thao and her band really do have something special going on. The songs are well-written, the sound is cohesive and the one time I saw them live, they were stellar. Bonus: Andrew Bird contributes to the title track, which is predictably beautiful.

This song is, as Amy put it on Saturday night, really American and kind of Mo-Town. I love it. As exemplified in her previous featured song, girl knows how to make a great video. BEACH PARTY!!!

If this is really the effect that Lilith Fair has on the next generation of female singer-songwriters, then honestly, thanks Sarah McLachlan. I went to one of your events. Then I made fun of it as I got older. But this kind of rules! I want to hear more! Bring it on!

When We Swam.mp3

When we swam our love to pieces,
We washed up on messy beaches.

October 26, 2009

El Perro del Mar//Change of Heart

I’m goin’ for to buy me some Monday|Monday Mail
What is Monday Mail?

Another Gothemburg export (like Jens), I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve heard from El Perro del Mar (literally "The Dog from the Sea" in Spanish). My friend Kirstin introduced me a few years back (thanks, LastFM recommendations!). Honestly, my biggest issue has been that some of the music is slightly repetitive and…cutesy…cutesy/sad…? Is that the right word?

Naturally my ears (er eyes) perked up when I saw this email from Myles at Sneak Attack:

We're going to keep descriptions of the new El Perro Del Mar music video to a minimum and let the video speak for itself. What we can say is that we'd be surprised if you've ever seen a music video like this. And please note, the entire video was shot in ONE TAKE.

The video (see below) is REALLY amazing. Also amazing is the song and the sound. I see it as a vast departure for EPdM. This sadness isn’t cute. It seems more complex, with a darkness, melancholy and a sort of 70s groove. I’m excited to check out the album, Love is not Pop.

You can catch her here in NYC on 11/9 at Webster Hall.

Change of Heart.mp3

Your voice in my ear,
Carry me back home.

October 23, 2009

Delta 5//Mind Your Own Business

SO here I am with another post, since two people told me what they wanted to be when they grew up in the last post (not a grown-up and a studier of dinosaurs). Thanks, guys.

Today I did a little free association to get here. Here's a rough sketch: Talking Heads->Tom Tom Club->Covered by Chicks on Speed->who also covered this song.

From Wikipedia:

Combining feminist politics with a two-bass funk-punk sound (much in the style of another, more famous Leeds band, Gang of Four), they released in 1979 their debut single, "Mind Your Own Business"...Delta 5 were also important figures in the Rock Against Racism movement, and were the subject of a highly-publicized assault at the hands of a right-wing group affiliated with rival movement Rock Against Communism.

Rock Against Racism and Rock Against Communism? Seriously? Apparently these were two opposing 70s-era UK music coalitions about ending racism and white power, respectively.

This song is a good way to kick off the weekend after a particularly annoying week for me. Is "mind your own business" just a slightly more polite way to say "fuck off"? Yeah, I think so.

I actually saw CoS play this at the Majestic in Detroit, which was pretty amazing. For some reason, they were throwing colorful sponges into the audience. I should also note that this was the same show where Kot and I actually bashed our heads into a table through the entirety of Peaches set--but that is a story for another post--most likely the inevitable upcoming post featuring Tracy and the Plastics. While the live version was pretty incredible (kitchen cleaning accessories and all), I don't think they have anything on this amazing original version.

Mind Your Own Business.mp3

Can I have a taste of your ice cream?
Can I lick the crumbs from your table?
Can I interfere in your crisis?

No, mind your own business!

October 22, 2009

Talking Heads//Psycho Killer, Once in a Lifetime (Live)

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Gina, you are a liar and a slacker.” Well, listen, I might be one. I didn’t deliver yesterday and honestly, there’s usually been about a day every week where I don’t lately. I’m not saying I don’t feel bad. I don’t want to let you guys down. That said, you barely ever answer me when I ask you questions. For example, a few days ago I asked everybody what they wanted to be when they grew up and no one responded. I was genuinely interested! C’mon guys! Shape up! I want to see some dedication!

While I might not actually be here every day, I will never leave you short on songs, because I really care about you guys! Let’s try to work it out!

So, listen: if you’re in NYC like me, you’re probably lovin’ lovin’ lovin’ this weird summery weather, especially after the week of intense dank doom we experienced last week. If you’re in NYC like me, you probably also went to the amazing free David Byrne show at the beginning of the summer in Prospect Park. Face it, I know you were there. EVERYONE was there. I think I saw 9/10ths of the people I know in the world that night. And Mr. Byrne looked like a the hazy light of Jesus in the distance across throngs of young hipsters, aging hipsters and Park Slope hipster parents. Someone gave you a sip of whiskey straight from the bottle. Someone in front of you was smoking a joint. The twilight fell on roaring applause and dancers in weird costumes. Remember?

While that time has passed, we can still think back on it fondly as we prepare to enter the cold hell of winter. We can also give thanks to David Byrne for his many cultural contributions to society: attractive custom bike racks (and a book about cycling), an incredible installation involving a hacked vintage organ, slightly crazy hair, Luaka Bop, the big suit, amazing work with Talking Heads, a tasteful solo career and a willingness to cover Talking Heads songs live in concert to this day. Mr. Byrne, we salute you.

Also, a random thought, I will always remember Jill’s sisters dancing to Psycho Killer, which Jill made them do in front of all her college friends, kind of against their will. Jill’s sisters, we salute you too.

Psycho Killer.mp3

Once in a Lifetime.mp3

You start a conversation, you can't even finish it.
You're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything.
When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed.
Say something once, why say it again?

October 20, 2009

Atlas Sound//Walkabout

What did you want to be when you grew up? Coincidentally, this is a question I recently pondered while biking around Prospect Park on a gorgeous fall day last week. My early childhood answer alternated between “a fireman” and “a saxophone player.” I actually think this says a lot about me, but I’m not going to go into that right now.

I am slightly anti-CMJ, but still SO EXCITED to see Atlas Sound and Broadcast tonight at Le Poisson Rouge (sadly sold out). I’ve been quite into Deerhunter for a little while now, but decided to beef up on my Atlas Sound in preparation for tonight. Been listening to logos (which features Panda Bear on this track and Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier on another) on repeat now all morning. It’s so good!

Bradford Cox might be one of the only true geniuses that I can see in music today. He’s got this incredible sense of melody and finds ways to recontextualize often simple lyrics, forcing the listener to re-examine meaning. Combining these major skills with a killer aesthetic for sound and a clawing, desperate, haunting, emotive and honest voice, well, each tune seems to emerge an instant classic. I actually hear real songwriting skill here, complete with hooks that beg you to return over and over again, like the best REM or JV albums.


What did you want to see?
What did you want to be when you grew up?

Feel free to answer. I’m curious. I’d like to know.

October 19, 2009

Anders Ponders//Slowest Motion Miracle

Holy Viola! It's Monday Mail!
What is Monday Mail?

Patrick at Vitriol says:

Anders Ponders is the stage name for Anders Mattson, a Minneapolis musician who is very insistent about his commonly mispronounced name. Similar to Andrew Bird and Final Fantasy, Anders writes songs on viola (not violin) with the aid of a loop pedal and embellished by sequencers, samples, guitar, and vocals. Whimsical lyrics, dream like melodies, and driving percussion express a desire to return to innocence and magic.

I say:
Comparing someone to Andrew Bird makes me check them out and I can definitely see why that comparison came up. I don’t think Anders Ponders is anywhere near as awesome or developed as Bird yet, but that said, I didn’t even much care for early Bird. HAHA. EARLY BIRD. UNWITTING MONDAY PUN.

Like Bird, Anders comes from classical training. I can’t deny that I am a sucker for a Viola. I’ve been listening to this album and it’s quite enjoyable. Interesting lyrics, unconventional instrumentation, good songwriting. I would suggest you check this guy out before he’s selling out Carnegie Hall or something.

Slowest Motion Miracle.mp3

Losing our dignity came in stages
Silver then bronze and then iron ages

October 16, 2009

Orange Drink//The Economist

Try ODing on Local Music Friday!
Tell me...what is this Local Music Fridays?

We played with this self-defined "dance/indie/folk/art rock/noise" outfit in Chicago at Loft 3A. I have to say, it was kind of hard to concentrate on their set with them running all around the place, freaking out, but it was a good time, nonetheless. Learn more about them here.

The totally sweet Drew sent me some of their music a few weeks ago and I kind of can't get enough of this hilarious rhyme. It's clever, irreverent and experimental. These are a few of my favorite things.

The Economist.mp3

I'll leave the audience in silence
like my name was John Cage.

October 14, 2009

Sigur Ros//Svefn-G-Englar, Gobbledigook

It seems like we're having kind of an experimental week, and who am I to blow against the wind? SoSB made me think of Bjork and Bjork made me think of her ambient post-rock Icelandic brethren, Sigur Ros. These two musical entities are more related than just being from the same country--Sigur Ros got their start on Bad Taste Records, owned by Bjork's band prior to going solo, The Sugarcubes.

Interestingly, this band has its own word for a kind of scat-like language they use in certain songs. From Wikipedia:

Vonlenska is a term used to describe the unintelligible lyrics sung by the band, in particular by Jón Þór Birgisson. It is also commonly known by the English translation of its name, Hopelandic. It takes its name from "Von", a song on Sigur Rós’s debut album Von where it was first used.

Vonlenska is a non-literal language, without fixed syntax, and differs from constructed languages that can be used for communication; it lacks grammar, word meaning, and even distinct words. Instead, it consists of emotive syllables and phonemes; in effect, Vonlenska uses the melodic and rhythmic elements of singing without the conceptual content of language. In this way, it is similar to the use of scat singing in vocal jazz. The band’s website describes it as “a form of gibberish vocals that fits to the music” Most of the syllable strings sung by Jón Þór Birgisson are repeated many times throughout each song...

Their sound has progressed and morphed from when I first heard them (Ágætis byrjun). Those beautiful string-heavy sprawling ambient anthems have become more melody-driven. It was hard for me to choose which song to feature here, so I think I'm going with these two and taking the day off tomorrow. SLACKER! JOKES. These songs are both masterpieces with completely beautiful videos attached to them.

With "Goobledigook," the big single from their most recent album, you can hear how they've kept up with the sound that's currently defining indie rock. Of course, "Svefn-G-Englar," with its pretty radiating tones and enigmatic chorus of "it's you" will always be a favorite. Ali and I used to sing just this line to each other often, circa 2002. Those were the days.



Sigur Ros's next album, currently untitled, is set to release sometime in 2010.

October 13, 2009

Bjork//Hidden Place

Bjork, another contemplative largely-electronic artist who employs more than a touch of spirituality and mysticism in her work, seems like a natural follow-up to yesterday’s post.

This album came out right around when I got to college for my Freshman year. That first year of school was an intense and rather emotionally scary one for me. I remember getting lost in the lush and pretty sonic drama of this record.

Of course, Bjork has been releasing solid albums for many years. One night, Kenny and I got lost on the highways of North Jersey for over two hours while trying to go visit friends (not that far away) and listened to Post for much of this tumultuous teenage odyssey. It was ridiculous and culminated in us being sucked into a black hole of a neighborhood of Oakland, NJ that contained only Native American-themed streets and avenues, which we contemptuously referred to as simply “The Indian Names.” This Bermuda Triangle was the last straw for us, and we decided to give up and go home, switching the CD from Radiohead’s depressing Kid A to Tina Turner’s triumphant Best Of, which included her jaunty rendition of “Rollin’ on the River.”

Another random Bjork memory: the first time I ever went to PS 1, they were projecting the amazing video for “All is Full of Love”(yep, the one with the robots making out), in a giant auditorium-like room. I was there with my cousins. I sat cross-legged on the floor and watched it a few times through. It was a near-religious experience.

I saw her in concert once, at the baseball stadium by Coney Island. It was rad. There was a swan costume involved.

Hidden Place.mp3

He's the beautifullest,
Still strong,
Dark and divine.
And the littleness of his movements
Hides himself.
He invents a charm that makes him invisible,
Hides in the air.
Can I hide there too?

October 12, 2009

School of Seven Bells//Iamundernodisguise (Vocal Mix I)

The Art of Climbing Monday’s Moutains|Monday Mail
What is Monday Mail?

Angelina, one of my dearest friends in this whole world, first introduced me to this band. She was playing one of their records at her place in Chicago and I was immediately interested. What IS this?

And so now, Jeremy from Vagrant says:

This album will be available digitally everywhere on 10/13….In my opinion the bonus tracks on this album really stand out, even more so than their original versions. Also, the band announced at ACL last week that their new album will be titled "Disconnect From Desire" and will be available next year.

The album he's talking about is Alpinisms and the band, School of Seven Bells, is comprised Benjamin Curtis of Secret Machines and identical twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza. They are named after a mysterious South American pickpocket-training academy. Awesome. They are also on Ann Arbor’s wonderful Ghostly label.

I’m really into this track (one of the bonus tracks that Jeremy mentions) and much of the album. The sound is a bit hazy, dark and mystical, with inventive rhythms and beautiful vocals. There’s a repetitive chant-like element to many of SoSB's tracks, but it’s also pop, albeit a new kind of pop that carries a sort of duality, blending electronics with melody; sometimes danceable, sometimes depressive.

Alas, it is Monday. I’m totally ready to meditate my way out of this one.

Iamundernodisguise (Vocal Mix I).mp3

New Yorkers: SoSB hits Music Hall of Williamsburg on 10/23.

I am neither breather nor speaker.
I am neither walker nor sleeper.
I am neither sister, brother, son, nor daughter.
Solely in my chest is my heart, a drum of water.
I am under no disguise.

October 9, 2009

Grandchildren//Cold Warrior

Danger! Danger! Local Music Friday!
Tell me...what is this Local Music Fridays?

Like yesterday's feature Jill Scott, this band is also from Philly. I first met Roman Salcic after he (and Emily) helped us play a show at Danger! Danger! Gallery. Later, we got to play with his band, Grandchildren, at The Mitten as part of a big outdoor music fest.

These guys are super talented and totally nice. Their music is extremely forward-thinking and hard to categorize, but fans of Animal Collective will most likely find something to love here. There's lots of texture, but also plenty of melody.

Also, my friend Matt, who used to live in Philly, showed up to our Chicago show wearing a Grandchildren tee shirt. I felt extremely jealous of his stylish attire.

Cold Warrior.mp3

Grandchildren plays Quiet Color's "Anti-CMJ Showcase presented by Fruitsential" show on 10/23. Looks like they also have an actual CMJ show at Le Poisson Rogue too. Maybe I can pick up a shirt at one of these?

October 8, 2009

Jill Scott//Gettin' in the Way

In my opinion, there is little more terrifying than someone who gets angry in a cold and calm manner. That is why when Jill Scott delivers her threats in this song directed towards a potentially hysterical, lying, desperate other woman set to try to steal her man, I believe her...and I fear her.

This song is such a jam, but it's also a really great warning never to fuck around with Scott. When she talks about taking her rings off and beating the shit out of the threatening crazy-girl, I'm feel myself getting scared like I'm watching a horror film. Scott also comes off as an ultimate member of soul royalty here, maintaining her dignity, but also ready to resort to force if she has too.

In classic Philly fashion, Scott has been involved with reigning hometown hip hop heros The Roots for over nine years now. She's also recently tiptoed into film and TV work.

And, to leave on a positive note, fear isn't the only emotion that should be associated with this R+B/soul goddess. She does a lot of charity and activist work, focused on Philly and the totally burnt-out Camden, including establishing her own foundation to help minority students pay for college. She's also spoken out about the representation of women in hip hop. So yeah, awesome music and good work, Ms. Scott. And we won't be fucking with your man anytime soon.

Gettin' in the Way.mp3

Everything was beautiful between me and him
And here come you and your big mouth talking about me,
Telling him that you seen me up 24th Street
With them other Cats,
But you know that's a lie.
You keep lying to my man, girlfriend,
I'm go take you out in the middle of the street and whoop your tail
For all it's worth--
5.99 or something like that.

October 7, 2009

Billie Holiday//Autumn in New York

I woke up this morning in Park Slope, with light streaming in through a window that overlooks an overgrown garden of low-slumped bushes and just-changing leaves. The weather is beautiful. Not warm. Not cold. Sunny.

Autumn in New York really is the best time. Summer has always been my favorite season, but living in Brooklyn has put Fall in close competition.

As for Lady Day, she brings her signature moving and completely honest performance to this song. If you don't know all about her, you should find out more. I would also highly recommend reading her compltely insane and largely untrue autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues.

I've been stuck in all morning working, but this afternoon, I plan to take a stroll or a bike ride in Prospect Park, to enjoy the weather and the trees. Next weekend--who wants to go apple-picking?

Autumn in New York.mp3

Here on the twenty-seventh floor, looking down on the city I hate and adore.
Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting?
Autumn in New York, it spells the thrill of first-nighting.
Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds in canyons of steel;
They're making me feel I'm home.

October 6, 2009

Air//Playground Love

I think it’s kind of amazing that when you search “air” on google, Air the band is the first hit. Internet, you’re telling me this electronic pop duo from France is more important that that fundamental life-sustaining stuff we breathe? Strike one.

Don’t get me wrong--Air (the French band!) rules. I bought this in high school on some kind of maxi single thing that had like six different versions of the song, which was part of the soundtrack for The Virgin Suicides, an awesome movie based on an awesome book by one of my most favorite authors. You may remember how I christened my high school ex-boyfriend’s car Trip after the character Trip Fontaine. This song works really well as a theme to the movie, which revolves around a mysterious group of sisters in the 60s in suburban Detroit. Video here.

Learn something new everyday! According to Wikipedia:

Air (sometimes spelled with all capital letters as AIR) is a French (from region Île-de-France) music duo, consisting of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel. The name AIR is a backronym forAmour, Imagination, Rêve[1] which translates to Love, Imagination, Dream.

Another tidbit: Air recorded all the music for Charlotte Gainsborg’s 5:55.

I’ve been a fan of the group for some time. I especially enjoyed 1998’s Moon Safari. Sexy boy!!! Now, holy shit, get ready for one hell of a saxophone solo.

Playground Love.mp3

I'm a high school lover, and you're my favorite flavor.

October 5, 2009

Real Ones//Every Dog Has His Day

Happy Monday Mail
What is Monday Mail?

It’s really hard to write good happy songs, because happiness often comes hand-in-hand with cheesiness. Leave it, of course, to the Norwegians to do this right. Jessi at Goldest Egg writes:

Gina, meet Real Ones, straight from the hotbed of Bergen, Norway (home of Sondre Lerche, Annie, Kings of Convenience). The five members of the psychedelic folk-pop Real Ones are childhood friends and have been playing music together since their teenage years. On their US debut called "All For The Neighbourhood," you'll hear the zany joy of The Flaming Lips, the cocooning otherworldly warmth of alt-country lynchpins Wilco, with the universal thoughts and perspectives of The Band. US tour dates TBA.

Remember our brief lesson in Bergen Wave? Maybe Real Ones are the next chapter to study? After this track, with its unconventional instrumentation and soaring background vocals, I’m kinda sold.

Also, I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this theory with you guys, but I think that Norwegians are easily the hottest people I’ve ever seen. In classic American fashion, I’ve derived this theory from a family trip to Epcot Center’s Norway. These guys are no exception. See their Nordic hotness below.

Sadly, I was a little off my game here. Real Ones were in NYC a few weeks ago and I didn’t tell you in time. BUT, if you happen to live in Europe, you might be able to catch them.

Every Dog Has His Day.mp3

Don’t know why, it seems like lately
Things are going my way.
Everywhere trouble avoids me
And I’m whistling and humming all day.

October 2, 2009

Finest Dearest//Pendulum

Yeah, the Bay Area is pretty far from here, but it's Local Music Friday!
Tell me...what is this Local Music Fridays?

We played a seriously fun show with Finest Dearest at IM Automata Chino in Jersey City a few months back. They are sweet people who play quality rock and roll outta SF.

Sonically, it's hard to avoid the Sleater Kinney comparison on many tracks, but this one highlights the elements in their sound that make them distinct and original. I hear lots of stuff going on, including Death Cabby melodies and maybe even something that harkens back to the Nilsson in those poppy "la las." Of course, there's more than a touch of lo-fi-ish indie rock that runs though the whole album.


Find out more about them here.

October 1, 2009

10,000 Maniacs//Katrina's Fair

Uh oh. Now I'm on a very specific kick: this certain kind of sometimes a bit folky, sometimes a bit post-punk-inspired rock from the 80s. Can anyone stop me? I doubt it highly.

The stage is perfectly set for my big reveal. My very favorite band from the end of middle school until about the end of high school was the 10,000 Maniacs, who were pretty much just breaking up when I got into them. I know this is extremely nerdy to admit publicly (new tag: I Am Not Ashamed), but I fucking loved them with a passion that is almost unheard of for anything in my life now, let alone some fucking band that basically became adult alternative. That said, BECAME is the key word here, because they definitely didn't start off that way. They started off worshipping New Order and vintage reggae. They stood with bands like R.E.M. and The Pixies at the head of the college rock movement (which really was the forbearer of the later schism into indie rock (originally the righteous path, now totally irrelevant ) and alternative (the dark side?)).

The band was really broken by, you guessed it, the ultimate music diviner John Peel. Hope Chest, a compilation of some of their oldest material, is a stellar album. Amazing lyrics with vivid imagery. Weird sounds. Experimental recording.

Sort of sidenote: In 2001, I had the pleasure of doing a phone interview with Natalie Merchant for The Michigan Daily. We chatted for a few hours. She told me to read a book called Germs, which I finally picked up at The Newark Public Library booksale this year. It was really awesome to get to talk to a childhood idol. And although some of her solo albums are a bit corny, preachy and out of fashion, I kind of still think she's the jam. She's been amazing at supporting political and artistic causes in the world, which can be seen on her website. Apparently she's also in the studio again.

Katrina's Fair.mp3

Miss Lenora P. Sinclair,
Early for coffee in the pool.
"I'm resituating all your words."
And paragraph.