Archive for August, 2008

Last week was a good week for shows. I saw Dr. Dog at Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night, followed by Lykke Li at Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday night.

Dr. Dog was super fun – partly because the night started with two glasses of vodka, the musical stylings of Dani Luv and a very rare steak at Sammy’s Famous Roumanian Steakhouse, but mainly because the Dog just killed it! I tried to see them the last time they were in NYC and failed miserably. I was smart about it this time — got tickets way ahead of time, and I didn’t even have to bake quiche or give hugs to get them. I’ve been listening to Fate on repeat and I’m in love. It reminds me of my ’06 obsession with Midlake’s, The Trials of Van Occupanther. My expectations were high going into the show, and they were far exceeded when I left. I think it helped that I went with Rob, a native Philadelphian who kept yelling, “play the hits!” It also helped that the stage was lined with leafy vines and that the band was wearing safari shirts, hipster fedoras and shades. I can’t fully explain why, but it kind of felt like the prom scene from Back To The Future, only replace the 1950’s for the 1980’s and replace Johnny B. Goode guitar riffs with Beach Boys style harmonies and set the whole thing inside a Trader Joe’s.

Lykke Li was decent. I also had high expectations going in, but unlike Dr. Dog, I left a little disappointed. I was definitely more into her faster, poppy numbers than the ballads, which after a while started to sound droney and repetitive. She could have used the help of a good lyricist. To her credit, that little Swede really packs a punch. She was slammin’ on cymbals, shouting through megaphones, head banging, really rocking out in her black leotard over spandex bike shorts. The venue was small, which I liked, but it was a theater in the round kind of deal and therefore hard to find a good view. Lykke tried to make the most of the space, but the majority of the time I was looking at the guitar player’s back. Rob was with me again and I encouraged him to yell, “play the hits,” but he didn’t go for it this time. I think he may fear the wrath of spunky Swedish girls with dramatic eye makeup. Next time she’s in town, I’ll make sure to start the night with Romanian style meats – clearly the key ingredient for a great night of live music.

Dr. DogThe Ark
Dr. DogThe Old Days
Dr. DogHeart It Races (Architecture In Helsinki Cover)

Lykke LiI’m Good, I’m Gone
Lykke Li Can I Kick It (Tribe Called Quest Cover – live at Le Poisson Rouge)

(that's me and Rob in the way back - right in front of the 'iron cage'

(That's me and Rob at the bottom of the picture. I'm too busy fixing my hair to clap -- I can't help it, I'm just cool and apathetic that way)

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It was hot. The sun was beating me at a game of sweaty ping-pong. There were a lot of interesting sights, smells and sounds. I saw the longest nipples on a guy… and there were two guys each with matching nipples. I wish I had gotten a picture of them. They were long. I guess the proper comparison would be a miniature version of saggy boobs on a 90-year old twin grandmas who did a lot of vaudeville lesbian porn. I ate some food. Corn on the cob with some butter, chili powder, salt, Parmesan cheese along with some other assorted herbs and spices.
Not my picture... but close to what I ate

Not my picture... but close to what I ate

All in all the day was okay until the end. I didn’t get to see as much music as I’d like to have seen. Got there later than I wanted to… mainly because I don’t wake up until noon and because I got lost trying to find parking. So, I missed Castledoor.

Castledoor- Fall Apart

But, that’s okay. They are a band from Los Angeles. So, I’ll be sure and catch them.

When we got there, caught the end of Bodies of Water. I like them. But, they didn’t seem to have much of a crowd. I guess everyone was wandering around looking for food like me.

Bodies of Water- Under The Pines
Bodies of Water- I Guess We’ll Forget the Sound, I Guess, I Guess

Started drinking after I ate. Heiniken was giving out free samples of their light beer… which was refreshing, but kind of lame. Beers were 7 bucks in the main area of the festival. But, if you went to any of the bars encompassed within the festival area… they were cheaper. Not by much, but cheaper nonetheless. Had a beer at Cafe Stella. I love that place. I have no idea when I will be able to go back there since I am sans girlfriend at the moment and it’s not the kind of place you go by yourself or with a non-romantic friend.

Walked back over to the main stage area. Drank some bad sake. Met up with some other lethiferous individuals. Just kidding. They were friends of mine. Headed over to El Cid for a bunch of drinks. Saw some strange faith healer dude who was using his magic to feel up a couple of unsuspecting females distracted by his cheesy sharktooth necklace, salt & pepper chest hair and his leathery skin.

After my trusty cellphone alarm went off, I knew it was time to see the band that I came for. Menomena. I’ve wanted to see them since I bought their first album on a friend’s recommendation back when I still lived in New York. As soon as I saw that the album was a flip book as well… I knew I was going to like them. Very unique sound.

Menomena at Sunset Junction

Menomena at Sunset Junction

Menomena- Muscle ‘N Flo
Menomena- Strongest Man In The World
Menomena- The Late Great Libido

And one of their videos… a crazy one, too. For the song, “Cough, Coughing”.

So, after they finished their set; we headed back over to El Cid. More drinks. Some shots. Some talk of eating bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Communication confusion. Talks of going to see Broken Social Scene. Group got separated. Things broke off. Lights went out in my head. Barely saw any of the band over the humming in my ears of a sting.

Broken Social Scene- 7/4 (Shoreline)

I left shortly after that. The crowd was too thick. My feet were dragging. I really wanted to stay and see Antibalas (a band I will cover in a Northport Corner down the line). But, I couldn’t muster up the energy nor the will to have fun anymore. I was drained emotionally, physically and mentally.

Note to self: Next year, go a little later… no bad sake and wear shorts. And remember to pay more attention to people around you.

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The funny thing is, Oliver had originally called the post, Tight White Shirts – a direct reference to a conversation we had earlier in the night. I made him change it because a) I’m a very controlling person, and b) I was afraid the dude that it referenced might google stalk me, see the post, realize I was making fun of him and be terribly offended. I may be controlling, but I’m not mean. Backstory: I went out with a guy who wore a tight white shirt. He had a decent body and it might have been fine if it was just a plain old T-shirt, but no, it was narst….I’m talking cheesy clubbing style, polyester-blend, some sort of shiny silver applique across the chest… Take note boys, tight shiny shirts = major turn off (baggy shiny shirts would probably also be a turn off, but I can’t say for sure — I’d like to consider it case by case). I came home that night and spilled the beans to Ollie. Apparently he was so inspired by the story that he titled his post, “Tight White Shirts.” I freaked and made him change it. He opted for the subtly different, “Tight White Shorts.” It’s officially become IWIYW’s number one post! WordPress shows you what search terms people use to get to your website and the number of searches for “tight white shorts” is out of control. We’ve gotten a gazillion hits on that post alone (most likely from smarmy porn-o-files). So, what’s the lesson learned? Give your posts sexually suggestive titles and you will be the bell of the internet ball!

Okkervil River – Lost Coastlines
Fleet Foxes – Mykonos

**Editor’s note: I’m hoping it’s been long enough since the tight white shirt incident that the man in question won’t remember my name, or the fact that I write a music blog. If he’s in fact reading this right now — sorry, buddy.

**Editor’s note part deux: A reliable source told me the following about Linda Perhacs: She never did any drugs because she’s always been very sensitive to changes in her body. She sees color when she hears sound and is very sensitive to the vibes people send out. And last but not least, she recently called her local record store and special ordered an old Julio Iglesias CD, because she, “likes the guitar sound.” (Amazing!)

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Seriously? I’d like to know what the pervs think. Leave some fucking comment. Honestly… do tight white shorts turn you on? Is it because you can possibly see through them? If they get wet with water is there a vague outline of a cock or a vagina? Stop fucking with this shit. If you want something… stop looking at it. Earn that shit, fuckers.
Now watch these videos and be quiet…

Sickboy- Silence in Conversation

ExitMusic- Decline Of The West

Hercules And Love Affair- You Belong

It’s Biggie Smalls, fucko…

***editor’s note- for those not looking for tight white shorts and for music… I salute you…

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I’ve been dreaming a lot lately. Just floating off into nowhere. I think it’s probably because I’ve been listening to some dreamy music and doing dreamy things.

Rubies- I Feel Electric (TieDye Remix)
It Hugs Back- Other Cars Go
BangGang- It’s Alright
Eluvium- Indoor Swimming At The Space Station
Emily Jane White- Wild Tigers I Have Known

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My friend Asaf shared something really special with me… the music of his dental hygienist, Linda Perhacs. You read right, Asaf gets his teeth cleaned by an obscure 70’s psych-folk singer. We should all be so lucky. I don’t know much about Linda, other than, she put out one album in 1970 called Parallelograms, she probably dropped a lot of acid, and she loves turtlenecks (I received confirmation that she sports a turtleneck while cleaning teeth, which, considering that she lives in Southern California, is more for fashion’s sake than neck warmth. I love this woman!).
Linda Perhacs – Chimacum Rain
Linda Perhacs – Dolphins
Linda Perhacs – Parralellograms

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Detroit Makes Good

Several years ago, Invincible did a show with Ted Leo & the Pharmacists at the local hole-in-the-wall club (the indispensable Howard’s Club H – may you remain just as beautiful and run-down forever, my son) in Bowling Green, OH, where I was going to school. Thinking hip hop from Ann Arbor was probably about as awesome as a Danielle Steele sci-fi novel, I didn’t even get to the club until she was wrapping up her set. No amazing conversion, either: I just ignored the little I heard and moved on (Ted Leo was unstoppable, incidentally).

Fast forward: Invincible drops her first album, Shapeshifters, in June (ten years in the making) and totally warps my summer; on the back of this album, I’m listening to hip hop almost exclusively. I feel like it’s an appropriate penance for skipping her show back then. This is absolutely amazing work for two reasons: the music and the politics. I’ll let the music speak for itself – it’s below. And, like she says, “You want good music? You’ve gotta support it.” As for the praxis, Ilana is one of the most politically aware musical artists I’ve ever heard, wrapping a populist agenda to an awareness of local issues that’s just… inspiring. Check it out.

Invincible – Looongawaited

Invincible – Shapeshifters

Invincible – Locusts (Featuring Finale, Gwen Mingo & Ron Scott)

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Josh sent me this great Gnarls Barkley video the other day (starring the charming & talented Jorma Taccone!). I very much enjoy the animation. Speaking of animation, PepperMelon has been putting out some really cool stuff. They have the same immature sensibility as me – making films with titles like, The Fabulous Farting Valley of Fat-Farts (I demand you watch it).

Here’s another supersonic PepperMelon film:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

And some music:

KiD CuDi – Save My Soul (The CuDi Confession)

Gnarls Barkley – Who’s Gonna Save My Soul

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One of the better pictures...

One of the better pictures...

The Pogues were formed in 1982 in London. Which is funny because they mainly played Irish music. And if you are old enough to remember, being Irish in London during that time period wasn’t exactly easy with the IRA bombings happening every so often. I got into this band in my later years. Mainly because of one song in particular, “Summer in Siam”.

It was featured in the movie, “Basquiat”.(which I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it… one of my favorites). I realized that I had heard a lot of their music before… that I always liked it… but I just never bothered to follow up on it. So, I started a slow ascent into their musical library.

I discovered that they are connected to so many other musicians. Elvis Costello produced their album; Rum, Sodomy and Lash. Steve Lillywhite (who also produced a lot of The Smiths albums) produced their album; If I Should Fall From Grace With God. Joe Strummer took over vocal duties after Shane McGowan left the band. Matt Dillon starred in the video for “Fairytale of New York”. A lot of their songs have been covered by other bands.

When I moved to California, my good friend was a huge fan. He furthered my education and made my love for their music grow even more. Now, it’s at a point where they are becoming one of my go-to bands. And I enjoy hearing them at all times. So, I figured I’d throw some songs of theirs your way. Kind of a best of, but the best of in my opinion over the years. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

The Pogues- Sunny Side Of The Street (This is off of the album, Hell’s Ditch)
The Pogues- Fairytale of New York (This is off of the album, If I Should Fall From Grace With God) (It is also, in my opinion, the greatest X-Mas song ever)
The Pogues- Love You ‘Till The End (This is off of the album, Pogue Mahone)
The Pogues- Body Of An American (This is off of the album, Poguetry In Motion)
The Pogues- If I Should Fall From Grace With God (This is off of the Straight to Hell: Original Soundtrack as well as an album of the same name)
The Pogues- Streams Of Whiskey (This is off of the album, Red Roses For Me)
The Pogues- Pair Of Brown Eyes (This is off of the album, Rum, Sodomy and Lash)

Here’s another video for ya… It’s for “Fiesta”.

And a couple of live ones…

The Pogues (with Joe Strummer on vocals)- Straight To Hell (Live in Germany) (this is originally a Clash song, do I really have to tell you that? I guess. I guess I should tell you that it was most recently sampled by MIA for her song, Paper Planes… which seems to grow stronger by the day even though it’s been out forever)
The Pogues- Dirty Old Town (Live in the Netherlands, 1986)

And just to be a prick… a scene from “The Wire” featuring the music of the Pogues…

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There’s a certain feeling I get when I listen to certain songs. It can only be described as “feeling hard”. Not hard in a sexual sense. Hard in a fist pumping, smashing glass bottles, punching someone or something, just a stomach churning, rip roaring, fucking angry or just an explosive type of bash. That run-on sentence doesn’t do it justice. So… without further nonsense… here some fucking balls-out tracks that make me get that feeling of hardness… and again… not in a sexual way. I don’t know why I have to keep explaining that.

Riot- Swords And Tequila (great early 80’s metal band that I just discovered… fucking rocks)
The Misfits- Skulls (this will definitely not be the last time I post a song from this awesome band)
Iggy Pop & The Stooges- Shake Appeal
Fugazi- Waiting Room

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Somehow all these words and songs begin to bridge the gap between perception and the ultimate reality…..

The Beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot - Tom Robbins

I am honored to contribute to this space where the juice of life is clearly flowing…..here is the juice of a little eastern european root….a few songs from my garden….a tonic bloody red…liver cleansing music for IWIYW:

Mylo – Zenophile

Tiger Saw – All my friends are here with me

Tears for Fears (covered by Gary Jules) – Mad World

Terrence McKenna – Ayahuasca



“The Beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot” – Tom Robbins

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_buzz of eLectrodes_

This is the reason I love a) music and b) “good” people.

The other day I was taking a long stroll along the cyber-sidewalk and came to this site. This may be ol’ news for some of you (why do I always figure I come across this shit 2.3 years late?), but nonetheless it’s was kind of great. GOOD, is a community oriented magazine that works in that admirable way to integrate people, business and NGOs alongside all of us ArtsyShits out there. They concept each issue based on an interpretation of guest artist(s). In the end, the company is new to me and, frankly, lovely.

“But how is he going to bring this back to music?” I hear your concerned huffing to each other.

Grip your britches, I’m getting there. In cruising through GOOD’s site, I found a video section -in particular a video about bees. The video was simple and great and [im]pressed the importance of beeing aware about these vital insects (fuckitIdidit. go ahead reread it). In the end, I suppose it’s great to see what can happen when we build a nexus between communities; pulling together music, art, film and the numerous paths to inspiring social/environmental awareness. It’s Good stuff.

In any case, the music was great and so I picked up some new tunes for my shuffling enjoyment. I pass it on to you.

E-RockThem What Do (This is the song from the Rooftop Bees vignette)

E-RockI was thinking of Things to Draw (because, it happens all too often)

E-RockLightest Blue

RatatatBlack Heroes (listen to this song when you are about to begin something; a walk/bike ride/slow drive around your neighborhood in the evening.)

(NOTE: All pictures are from GOOD’s website. Check them out here. This is the 3rd time I’ve linked to them in this post -does this clear me of legal infractions?)

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I just stopped by IWIYW to see if my pals had put new music up and I totally freaked myself out with that Kittiwat Unarrom post. They may just be baked goods, but they’re still effing scary!! I have to post something, just so that bread-head picture gets pushed further down the page.

KiD CuDi – Day N Night
KiD CuDi – Embrace The Martian

Friendlier Bread:

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Bread Head

Thai artist Kittiwat Unarrom bakes some seriously creepy bread..

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I figure I’d throw some dancey tunes out there. Electronica. You know you want it.

I never understand why America doesn’t just embrace the guttural sounds of thick ass bass, sharp highs and just nasty crunchy breaks.

Mr. Ozio- Flat Beat (Computer Club’s Fat Eric Remix)
Revl9n- Waiting For Desire (Body in the Thames Remix)
Phantom’s Revenge- I Can’t Lose
Annie- I Know UR Girlfriend Hate Me (Get Shakes Remix)
West Coast Valerie- Official Theme of Valerie (Minitel Rose Remix)

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