Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our Newest Contributor: Texts from Last Night!

(419): The new Black Eyed Peas song is the stupidest shit I've heard since the last Black Eyed Peas song.

Dear Random Person from Toledo, OH,

Thank you. I couldn't agree more.

Love,
Jim

The evidence: the new single.



And the old single:



I kinda miss BEP pre-Fergie. Truth is, they actually used to not be terrible. Proof?



Just saying, Fergie's the devil.

Friday, August 21, 2009

On Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.


When I was 16, I went on a service trip with a bunch of kids from my high school. We didn't really know each other all that well in the beginning, and so, in the very beginning, there were a few awkward silences. However, without fail, every time they happened, my friend Bill Houston would always look around and say, "Shhhh, Weezy, baby! By the end of the trip, it became the unofficial punchline to just about every joke that was told (that, or yelling the last name of one of the kids on the trip, Jim Shields, as loudly as possible).

We were not brilliant kids.

Anyway, it's been about fourteen months since the release of Tha Carter III, the last album from cough syrup connoisseur Lil Wayne. Since it came out (on my 19th birthday, no less), it's been almost unanimously praised by just about everyone, topping a bunch of best-of lists at the end of 2008. It also won four Grammys, and in a time where album sales are down across the board, it's still managed to sell over three million copies in America alone. Meanwhile, as I've watched this all going on, the only thing that I could ask was, "Well, why?"

The song that I had heard most before was the uber-annoying radio single "Lollipop," which probably wasn't fair, but every time I heard it, I strongly considered punting a baby out a window. After all, it sounded like the song was filtered through a bottle of Robitussin, as opposed to the all-too-popular Autotuner. However, there's no way that literally everyone could have been wrong about this, so eventually, way, way, way later, within the last month or so, I finally downloaded Weezy's last two albums, Tha Carters II and III.

(Note: I know, I didn't get the first one, and that without any "background," I could have been completely lost. I took my chances.)

So, here's the thing: like most hip-hop albums today, both of these are too long (both albums are over 76 minutes long), and though I'll give Weezy some credit for keeping skits to a minimum, both still have ridiculous moments where he just sort of, uhh, goes off on ridiculous tangents. Tha Carter III ends with this ridiculous thing where Weezy just makes fun of Al Sharpton for a while.

But that's nitpicking, I guess I shouldn't hold a grudge against him for something that a lot of rappers do. And after all, there's a lot of good in there. Weezy gets great producers to give great beats, and even though the dude has some ridiculous kind of stream-of-consciousness/ADD/something (he references Stuart Scott, Beetlejuice, Stevie Wonder, Randy Savage, Dennis Rodman, Orville Redenbacher, and the movie Bad Boys in the first three tracks of Carter III), it somehow works for him. The guy is really clever when he isn't sippin' on some sizzurp, or, you know, when he cares at all.

The major problem is that he doesn't always care, and so you get some downright awful stuff sometimes. Ready? "He's a beast, he's a dog, he's a muthafuckin' problem/OK, you're a goon, but what's a goon to a goblin?" I have no idea what it means either.

There's also a track (not on either of these albums) where he rhymes "head and tail" with "head and tail..." about five different times. It's actually kind of embarrassing, so if I can find it, I'll post it. (EDIT: Got it, starting at 1:45. A downright awful verse.) And his delivery, well, is pretty awful overall (short of one brief moment at 2:19 of the aforementioned YouTube clip).



So that, in a nutshell, is Weezy. He's definitely ridiculous (and what in the hell is up with his kind of creepy relationship with that other guy from the Cash Money Millionaires?), but the guy is clever, to be sure, one of the better rappers around now. More often than not, his punchlines are great. The problem is, it's pretty tough to deliver them when you're lounging or out swimming in Purple Drank Pond (located, of course, in Promethazine Park).

Also, I think that Weezy should probably go out an make an album like The Blueprint before he starts referring to himself as the "Mr. Carter." Just saying.

Consume at your own risk. Anyway, enclosed are some Weezy tracks.

Love,
Jim


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Thursday, August 20, 2009

No Age/Dan Deacon/Deerhunter (No Deachunter? Dan Agehunter? Deer! No, Deacon!)



The above T-shirt design (yes, with all three bands in the womb) was sold at all of these shows. It was designed by one of the lunatics in CSS, and it honestly freaks me out a bit. Moving on!

Upon hearing the announcement of the No Age/Deerhunter/Dan Deacon "Round Robin/Pitchfork Wet Dream" Tour and the corresponding dates, I wasn't really sure how to react: the tour is only a week long, and other than Brooklyn, there wasn't a single place that made much sense to me (Newport, KY?). One of the dates was about twenty minutes from my house, but I couldn't make it because I'm in New York for the summer. The next-best option, in Brooklyn, was another that I couldn't make because of All Points West, so I thought I was kind of out of luck.

Then, well, unforeseen circumstances brought me to Millvale, Pennsylvania. This is a place you never want to visit on your own. I promise. Really, the whole Pittsburgh area is a place that you don't want to visit voluntarily. In October, a movie called The Road will be released, and the trailer basically paints a bleak picture of the apocalypse. In a move that can only be described as genius, the movie studio elected to film in Pittsburgh because it already looks like the apocalypse happened there. I'm serious. They didn't have to change all that much.

But I digress.

The show itself was a bit of a strange experience. All three acts came out at first and played a Deerhunter track to start, and then things settled down, with each act playing one song at a time. About halfway in, each band started playing their songs in pairs, and eventually, they all closed the set out together again. For a while, I was totally fine with this. After all, the first 12 songs or so were so high-energy, you could barely tell the difference.

The point that the energy started to drop was when Deerhunter came out and played "Microcastle." From then on, the transitions were a bit slower, and a bit awkward. With none of the bands blitzing into their songs anymore, coupled with no band ever getting a chance to play more than like three tracks in a row, you could start to see the lack of cohesiveness affecting the show.

But overall, it was solid. All of the bands were great, especially No Age, but I just wish Dan Deacon would stop it with the random stupid party games during his songs. Check this out:



Granted, with each band switching on and off, it would have been tough for the show to flow perfectly, but this obviously doesn't help, does it? Dan Deacon: 27 year old man-baby.

Anyway, here are some videos from each. Sadly, there aren't good Deerhunter or No Age videos from this show, but you get the idea.

Deerhunter:



No Age:



Dan Manbaby and a screeching cat:



And finally, one of the opening acts, Ed Schrader. A little background on this guy: he apparently hosts a radio show in Baltimore entitled "The Ed Schrader Show." Go figure. Also, I think he lost his mind a while back. He came out on stage singing something from the musical "Man of La Mancha," and everyone assumed he was just a sound check guy. Twenty minutes later, everyone was really, really confused.

Just try and get through all of this from the Baltimore show (he played it in Millvale too):



Yup. It was all like this. Just him and his drum, but way less cute than the little drummer boy.

He looks like a fucking mad scientist, does he not?

On that, I'm off. Tomorrow: Weezy.

Love,
Jim

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Apologies (to the Queen Mary. I couldn't resist.)

Dear Readers (mainly, Dear Kevin Nihill),

I apologize for not updating this. I wish I could say it was 100% because I was busy, but I think we all know that that isn't the case. I also apologize for making lots of promises about future updates and then failing to deliver on those. Frankly, I'm pretty ashamed of my performance.

But, I promise, I'm gonna make it up to you guys (guy?). Starting tomorrow, there will be updates, probably about one a day, for at least the next three days, and likely more. I can safely say this because there's a ton of stuff to write about. The "No Deachunter tour" entry is all but finished. I still want to write about finally sitting down and listening to Lil' Wayne. (The devil in print form/purveyors of the hipster bible) Pitchfork is putting out their 500 best songs of the decade through the week, and I have a lot to say about it, so, the only thing will be forcing myself to actually write stuff down. However, though promises I make on this blog don't really mean much, I'm making another one.

However, there's one thing I ask of you guys. I made a couple of small changes to the layout, most notably the "interesting/not interesting" boxes at the bottom of the entry. I realize that a lot of the people who read this don't comment, but just as proof to me that you're even looking, I humbly request you at least check one of those boxes at the end of each post.

With that said, I leave you with this picture, sent to me by my friend Marie.


Obviously, we at TDoFS make a lot of jokes at Nickelback's expense, but I'm genuinely having a hard time trying to come up with a band that's had so much hatred directed at them (Milli Vanilli?). Granted, it isn't everyone (evidently their last five albums have gone platinum in the U.S., and i have a hard time thinking that everyone is setting those CDs on fire), but their critical disapproval is overwhelming, almost unanimous. Really, the suggested search results say it all.

In a related story, I'd really like for Google to sponsor this blog. I think that they get us, you know?

So on that note, farewell for now, but not for long, readers. I'll be back tomorrow.

Love,
Jim

Friday, July 24, 2009

We Dance to the Sounds of Sirens.


I spent the entirety of last Saturday in Coney Island at the Siren Music Festival. This, I admit, is overdue by about five days, but I still feel like I should write about it. The festival's been a mainstay in Coney Island over the last decade, with two free stages, a good amount of bands that are on the brink of making it big in indie circles, and a couple of big names every year since 2001.



Since there was a lot of overlap, I didn't get to see all of the bands, but I'll recap the ones that I did catch:

Tiny Masters of Today: They were the first band I saw all day, and I'm kind of glad that things got better from here. The band is made up of this brother and sister, and I think the oldest one is like 15? As such, they were (kind of expectedly) really, really awkward on stage. While watching them, all I could really say is, "Aww, that girl's adorable! What is she, 9?"



They'll probably figure it out in a few years.

Bear Hands: I honestly had no idea who these guys were, but my friend Alex recommended them to me. Now, I get it. They were super, super high energy, they commanded the stage, they interacted well with the crowd, and they looked really comfortable, which led to a great performance. They kind of sounded like Electric Six meets Eagles of Death Metal, for anyone who knows either of those bands. If you don't? Well, just check them out. Their music is catchy, and that's all it needs to be. Also, this video is apparently taken from the top of one of their amplifiers, so it looks a bit like Cloverfield:


Miccachu and the Shapes: I hadn't heard of these guys beforehand, but after watching them, they seemed like a really strange choice for a festival lineup. Here's what I mean:



Also, Mica herself spent half of the set playing a guitar that I could've sworn was a toy. Seriously.

Japandroids: Oh, yeah, ohhhhhhhhh yeahhhhhhhhhhh. This is what we came to see. The two guys in Japandroids seemed really overwhelmed by the size of the crowd (seriously, it was all they kept saying in between songs), but you'd never know it by their performance. Awesome. Loud, punky singalongs are exactly what the crowd needed, and everyone seemed into it. Apologies for the crappy sound quality on this one:



Frightened Rabbit: I think I was most excited for Frightened Rabbit of any of the bands on the schedule, because they put out one of my favorite albums of last year, The Midnight Organ Fight. Sadly, they were a little bit disappointing. I dunno what it was. I guess they kind of thrive off of studio polish. You be the judge:


Future of the Left: We only saw the last couple of songs of this set after walking over from Frightened Rabbit, but I regret not seeing the whole thing. When we arrived, the band had everyone chanting and singing, and by the end of the set, the bassist ended up really deep into the crowd. Also, SWEET BURNS in the first fifteen seconds:



Spastic doesn't do this set justice, and what I saw of it was great.

A Place to Bury Strangers: When I saw APTBS at NYU in the winter, it was at a really small venue, where we just got punished by a wall of sound. This time around, it was in an enormous space, with a ton of people and less awesome acoustics. Moral: if you get a chance to see them, the tinier the room, the better.

Also, literally everything that I said about them in this post held true. Even when he broke the strings on his guitar, swung it around by said strings, tried to put them back, then grabbed a new guitar and finished the last song. That's a fifteen-minute spectacle that's only worth seeing once.

Built to Spill: I love Built to Spill, but we got buried so far in the back for this, it didn't seem worth staying, so we left in the middle of their set. This isn't to say they weren't good or anything (in fact, I was enjoying their setlist a lot; we left right after "Strange" from Ancient Melodies of the Future), but we were just too far back to enjoy it. But enjoy "Strange!"


Spank Rock: After the Built to Spill fiasco, we just left and headed for the subway to beat the crowds, so we didn't get to see Spank Rock... BUT there is one interesting tidbit about this. When we got into the subway and were sitting in the car, waiting for it to pull away, we could still very easily hear the bass coming from Spank Rock's set, well across the street, pretty far away. They probably killed it, and by "it," I mean "someone."

And that's that. Later today, I'll probably write about the Paul McCartney concert I stumbled my way into, and sometime this week, my misadventures with Lil Wayne.

Love,
Jim

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Can't Breathe Underwater Like I Used To.



I'm gonna rave about this, but first, watch this video of "Zebra," a relatively tame moment from the Man Man concert. If you'll notice, you'll see yours truly at the bottom left, DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE STAGE. Honus Honus spit water on me and grabbed my boob at some point during the show, friends. Raise your hand if anyone in a band has gone to second with you (and Mickey Avalon shows do NOT count).

Also, when he knocked his water over at some point during the show, I tried to be nice and pick it up. He then smirked at me and immediately knocked it over again. It was perfect.

Some concerts are special because while you're there, you realize that you're watching an incredible moment of technical precision. The band is on and playing tight, they have unbelievable control of their instruments, and the crowd is almost reverent because they know that they're witnessing serious mastery. When Beirut played at NYU, watching all of those guys play together was kind of like that.

This was not one of those concerts. I mean, that isn't to say that Man Man can't play; on the contrary, they're all actually really good. What I'm saying is, precision wasn't the order of the day (a couple times, Honus actually sat on his piano), and that was fine. Man Man is prided on their crazy live show, and they didn't disappoint. I have bruises from getting pushed into the stage, I got kicked in the back of the head, and in one of the funniest moments in the show, a kid next to me got SMOKED in the face with a tambourine.

This doesn't even include the sandstorm that got kicked up when everyone started moshing about during the set. This concert was unbelievable.




Anyone who's seen them knows what I'm talking about, and anyone who hasn't really should. That's all I can say about this without just gushing over and over again, and so I'm going to leave it at that.

Oh, and go buy some Man Man albums. Immediately.

Siren Festival is tomorrow. It's gonna have a hard time living up to last night.

Love,
Jim

Thursday, July 16, 2009

On CARAVAN '09/The Headphone Disasterpiece/Free Shows.

1) To you: my only loyal reader: I'm sorry, and I'll apologize for Kristina too. We suck at this. Looking at the calendar on this, it's been nearly three weeks since either of us posted, and I'm sorry to say, we absolute haven't been hard at work gathering something epic for you. Mea maxima culpa. With that said, I'm back.

2) I didn't go to any concerts since my last post... at least, nothing truly publicized. However, I did attend a really special event, and one that I can safely say will go down as my favorite music festival of the year:



This is a picture of the stage at CARAVAN 2009, our own little homemade Woodstock. I don't know exactly how this came about, but what I do know is that the end result found us driving eight hours to Belgrade, Maine. Essentially, it was like your average music festival, with less well-known (but still really good) bands and with much cheaper food. Also, a lake. Oh man, the lake.



At any rate, special thanks go to Matt Manser (and his dad, who was astonishingly cool about the whole thing) for the land, to all of the bands, and to anyone who had any kind of hand in organizing this. If it happens again, I am personally inviting anyone who reads this to CARAVAN 2010.

3)

You guys remember "The Seed (2.0)" by the Roots? In case you don't:



The guy singing the awesome hook is Cody ChestnuTT (no, that isn't a mistake, those Ts are capitalized). Why he would choose to end his name with the help of Caps Lock is beyond me, but there's a lot of strange things about Cody. I'll get to that in one second.



This is The Headphone Masterpiece, Cody's debut (and from what I can tell, his only album). It's a double album, and, well, as a lot of you probably know, I think that within every double album, there's a far better single album that should've been released instead. In addition, it's one of the most confusing albums that I've ever heard in my life. Why?

Well, listen to that hook. It's actually lifted straight from a track from the album, "The Seed." If the whole album were like this, it would probably have been great. Instead, Cody jam-packed it with stuff like this:



That isn't a fluke, either. There are about a disc's worth of crap like this. I almost get the feeling that Cody recorded a real album, and then spent a couple days in the studio dicking around with his friends. Then, when it came time to actually make decisions, he just decided to keep literally EVERY SECOND of studio recording. And so, any time I listen to anything from the album, I expect it all to be great, but then I run into stuff like "Brother With an Ego." (ACTUAL LYRICS: "Sexy bitches that I fuck with my big black penis/ Thinks that I'm a motherfuckin' musi-cal genius.")

Don't couplets like that warm your heart?

And so, I can't recommend this album for you... but I kind of can't tell you to stay away from it either. It's a bit of an experience. His audacity to release something so undeniably pompous as a debut is kind of bold. As for whether it pays off? Well, listen to "Bitch, I'm Broke" again.

4)I'll be posting again really soon! In the next four days, there are four free concerts in New York City, and I plan on going to at least two of them: Man Man tonight (which i'm leaving for in about half an hour), Superchunk tomorrow (eh), the Siren Festival all day Saturday (ABSOLUTELY), and the Dirty Projectors on Sunday (another maybe). So, there will be concert reviews, I promise.

Enclosed is an actually good Cody trsck, as well as some Man Man and some of the Siren acts.

Love,
Jim


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Friday, June 26, 2009

On Michael Jackson.



As i'm sure literally all of you guys know by now last Thursday, Michael Jackson was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared dead at 2:25 PST. Though the actual cause of death is unknown, the general consensus is that he suffered a heart attack. The news pretty much came out of nowhere, right on the heels of Farrah Fawcett's death earlier in the day. Michael was only 50.

I'll be honest: I'm a late convert to Michael's music. I grew up during the controversial era of Michael's life; I was born two years after his last universally-acclaimed album, Bad, and Michael was generally more well-known among my generation for the accusations of child abuse than for his music. Then I heard Thriller.

Honestly, I don't think much more has to be said about his music, because his first two decades of work are met with universal acclaim. I will say that it's nice to see that in his death, the artist is being remembered more than the personal life.

And so, in tribute, a terrible clip from Rush Hour 2:



Rest in peace, Michael.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Make Out, Fall Out, Make Up

"What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?" - High Fidelity

I'll get to Rob's quote in a bit.

I went back home this weekend. It was really nice, but as I was getting back on a train to NYC, I realized that I had forgotten my iPod (lovingly named Patrick Carbrey Dunseith).

This is huge. I don't have any of my music on my computer at this point to save space, Instead, it's all on that glorious little piece of machinery. In an effort to save space, I also got rid of the vast majority of the music on my phone, and so, when I put in my headphones for my walk to work, all I had was this, for some reason:



This is Album of the Year by the band The Good Life. It's a concept album of a relationship; beginning when the guy and girl meet, going through the highs of the relationship, moving through to rockier times, accusations, the breakup, the fallout, the girl moving on, and ending two years after the last time the pair spoke. It's really interesting to listen to, and it's a great album, but there's one catch:

This is really the only album I have to listen to until I get that iPod back, and it is fucking exhausting to go through the trials and tribulations of Tim Kasher's relationship every day, especially "Inmates," the nine minute track that includes the breakup itself. The album's 53 minutes long; I get through the vast majority of it each day if I don't finish.

So in this case, Rob? I think pop music is making me miserable. I've heard about the guy's flaws enough that I'm starting to wonder if I'm at fault for the dissolution of their relationship. I absolutely would recommend this album to anyone and everyone, but, well, in moderation. Listen to it too often, and you might get depressed.

Come back, Patrick Carbrey Dunseith. In the meantime, included in the playlist are a couple of tracks from the album.

Love,
Jim


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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Why are all of my blog posts embarrassing?

So, I was scrolling through my iTunes today and I realized that I have a lot of music that managed to end up in there without actually getting a listen. Some of the albums I haven't really listened to are REALLY SHAMEFUL. So, I made myself a playlist called "MUST LISTEN!" and proceeded to add almost 800 songs worth of albums that I need to familiarize myself with in order to be a better person. Or, some of you may argue, a person at all. Now, just because something is on this list doesn't mean I've NEVER listened to it, or that I've NEVER listened to the artist... it just means that I didn't give this particular album a fair listen, or I don't remember it at all. So I'm going to work my way through this list and report back to you periodically with my likes and dislikes and such.

Why? - Alopecia
Primus - Antipop
Autour de Lucie - Autour De Lucie
Ween - Axis: Bold As Boognish
My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me the Workhorse
City And Colour - Bring Me Your Love
The New Pornographers - Challengers
Mogwai - Come On Die Young
Ween - Craters of the Sac
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Dandelion Gum
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
Okkervil River - Down the River of Golden Dreams
Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
Animal Collective - Feels
Bright Eyes - Fevers And Mirrors
Elliott Smith - Figure 8
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
The Bees - Free The Bees
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
The Magnetic Fields - Get Lost
Dinosaur Jr - Green Mind
Beastie Boys - Hello Nasty
The Honeydrips - Here Comes The Future
Love Is All - A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night
Wye Oak - If Children
Wooden Wand - James & The Quiet
Liz Phair - Liz Phair
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
Weezer - Maladroit
Man Man - The Man in a Blue Turban with a Face
Martha Wainwright - Martha Wainwright
Sigur Ros - Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness-Dawn To Dusk
The Kills - Midnight Boom
Tomahawk - Mit Gas
Wale - The Mixtape About Nothing
Beck - Modern Guilt
Gogol Bordello - Multi Kontra Culti Vs Irony
Margot & The Nuclear So & So's - Not Animal
Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
Noah & The Whale - Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down
Steve Aoki - Pillowface And His Airplane Chronicles
TV On the Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
Stars - Set Yourself on Fire
The Knife - Silent Shout
Man Man - Six Demon Bag
Pavement - Slanted & Enchanted
Tender Forever - The Soft and the Hardcore
Dan Deacon - Spiderman of the Rings
Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Camper Van Beethoven - Telephone Free Landslide Victory
My Morning Jacket - The Tennessee Fire
Two Gallants - The Throes
Girl Talk - Unstoppable
Threatmantics - Upbeat Love
Wild Sweet Orange - We Have Cause To Be Uneasy
I'm From Barcelona - Who killed Harry Houdini?
Pavement - Wowee Zowee
Juliette & The Licks - You're Speaking My Language
Justice - †

So anyway, as you can see, it's kind of awful that I haven't listened to some of these... I'm particularly shy about admitting that I haven't really experienced Figure 8 or Daydream Nation. But, who knows? Perhaps my oversights are yours, and once I say "HEY BLOG, THIS ALBUM IS REALLY GOOD!" You'll listen too! And then everybody wins. Get excited!

<3

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bonnarooooooo!

Well, I'm back safely in Pittsburgh, no worse for the wear except for some sunburn and a smudged henna tattoo. And that means... time for me to BLOG about it instead of giving all of you faithful readers brief goofy twitter updates. I'm going to stick to the music, though there are lots of funny stories associated with the trip as a whole. To facilitate your reading, I'm going to bullet-point this, with a blurb about each of the artists I saw. Chronologically, yo.

White Rabbits
One of the acts I've seen before (At NYU's Strawberry Fest, check previous posts to see Jim's blog about it). I only stayed for about half of their set so I could get a good spot for Portugal. The Man. Not much really sticks out in my mind about this show... it was solid, but nothing spectacular, hence, my indifference at leaving early.

Portugal. The Man
As usual, Portugal. The Man's drums and guitar impressed the hell out of me, and the singer made me cringe a little bit. Aside from a personal aversion to the vocalist's style, I think they put on a hell of a show. Energetic and loud are two adjectives I love to use when describing shows I've attended.

Katzenjammer
Easily the biggest surprise of Bonnaroo. I only showed up to Katzenjammer and The Dirty Projectors to ensure a front-row spot to St. Vincent (they were all on the same stage), but I'm SO glad I did. This group of four women from Norway kicked a disgusting amount of ass. I was literally blown away by their energy and stage presence and sheer amount of talent. They all played all of the instruments... between each song they ran around switching, tossing ukuleles and THE sweetest bass guitar I've ever seen to each other. There was also a bizarre amount of growling and grinning at each other... it must be a Norwegian thing. The highlight was definitely "Hey Ho On the Devil's Back," I recommend iTunes-ing their album (Le Pop) IMMEDIATELY for a super duper boost of delicious happiness. This was definitely the second-best show of the weekend.

The Dirty Projectors
All the 'Roo-goers around me were super excited for The Dirty Projectors, and after having such a SWEET experience with Katzenjammer, I was pretty pumped too. However, for the majority of the set, I was less-than-impressed. Everyone but the drummer and two of the female vocalists was lacking a certain... vigor. In fact, I'm pretty sure the keyboardist was asleep half of the time. None of them smiled! It was such a stark contrast to the previous show, and it was far from exciting. The high point was when David Byrne came out on stage and sang with them for their last song. In general, a pretty mundane show.

St. Vincent
I hate to say it, but St. Vincent wasn't the best show I saw at Bonnaroo. Any of you regular readers know that I basically idolize Annie Clark, but I don't think she's that great of a fit for Bonnaroo... she needs to play in a small venue, not on a wide open stage in the middle of the day. That being said, she had some small amounts of technical difficulties that put me (and everyone else) on edge for the rest of the show. Her music is so complex, I'm always impressed when her backing band pulls it all off flawlessly. They even jazzed up a few songs... getting into the Bonnaroo spirit, I'm sure. I can't really comment on St. Vincent objectively, to be honest. I was smitten with the performance, but not blown away like I was with other shows.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
So, I unfortunately didn't catch much of Yeah Yeah Yeah's set. I was way up front, ankle deep in mud, the sun blazing down on my face and my shoulders, and then... I almost fainted. Gosh darn lack of water/shade. I had to go fill up my water bottle immediately and get something to eat... so I was pretty far away for most of it. From what I could tell, though, they did a lot of stuff from It's Blitz... which I'm not yet too into, so I wasn't that upset about missing some of the set.

Ani DiFranco
Oh, Ani. This crowd was composed exclusively of 20-something women practically shitting their pants, and a few annoyed-looking boyfriends. Oh, and me. Ani has so much stage presence, and she knows she's idolized... she did some spoken word in the middle of her set, and everyone KNEW THE WORDS TO IT. My greatest-hits-Ani-fandom felt so inadequate, though I did enjoy 32 Flavors. Apparently, among hardcore Ani fans, it's not "cool" to really like 32 Flavors. ...oh well!

Beastie Boys
I could go two ways with this show. I could say that the majority of it was great, or the majority of it was fishy. Here's why: they closed their set (a lot of old stuff, a highlight was "Shake Your Rump") with "Sabotage." They started the song, and about 20 seconds into it, stopped, and said "Look at us! We're doing this shit without MP3's or any shit like that, this shit is live!" (I'm paraphrasing here, but that's the basic gist.) They proceeded to BLOW. Which makes me think... hey, Beastie Boys... was the rest of your set recorded? I mean... we won't blame you... you are getting pretty old... Anyway, at least Nas came out randomly for a song. That was pretty cool.

(LACK OF SHOWS)
So, I was SO excited for Public Enemy and Girl Talk after Beastie Boys... but I unfortunately fell asleep at like 12:30. Embarrassing, and upsetting... but what can you do? I was EXHAUSTED.

Jimmy Buffet
On Friday, there were ALL kinds of rumors that Jimmy Buffet was playing a show on Saturday at noon... so I made sure I got there to check it out. Sure enough, there he was, "Cheeseburger in Paradise"ing it up. The crowd was mostly 40+... I actually saw an 80-year-old woman dancing with her walker. It was perfect. I grew up on Jimmy Buffet, so this show was pretty cool. Buffet's a PERFECT fit for Bonnaroo.

Of Montreal
Why is Of Montreal SO hit-or-miss? Especially since Skeletal Lamping, which ranks up with Stadium Arcadium on my list of disappointments. They started the show strong, with lots of non-Skeletal Lamping stuff, but then brought out the weird costumes, and with the kitsch came the shitty should-be-B-Side stuff off of Lamping. I was in a state of despair until they ended their set with a delightful "The Past is a Grotesque Animal"... all 10+ minutes of it.

The Decemberists
They played right after Of Montreal, and my thought process was: "Hey, I'm going to push my way to the front of the stage to get a good spot for the Decemberists!" Yeah... that was 5000 other people's thought process as well. After more pushing, shoving, and swearing (even crying) than I have EVER SEEN at Bonnaroo, we were all situated, packed in, with me about 10 feet from the stage (score!). Much to EVERYONE'S delight (though not Pitchfork's, I guess, but screw them, am I right?), Mr. Meloy hauled out the big guns and played the entirety of The Hazards of Love, beginning to end. Easily the best show of Bonnaroo. The crowd was entranced... everyone knew the words, we were all shouting and cheering and even silent at appropriate moments. I think The Decemberists looked surprised at such an immensely positive response. "The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid" was EASILY the highlight of the show. I was covered in goosebumps, and the kid in front of me and I kept saying to each other, "Holy GOD IS THIS INCREDIBLE." After they played their new album, they played a few standards ("The Engine Driver," "July, July!", etc.). When their set was over, the crowd stayed about 15 minutes chanting "One more song! One more song!" Until it became apparent that there wouldn't be one more song. We all embraced each other (seriously, we did) and left the stage in a daze. I NEED to see The Decemberists when they come to Pittsburgh in August.

Nine Inch Nails
Not much to say. I was probably 1/2 mile away from the stage, so Trent Reznor's voice was nothing more than a vague angry buzzing growl. I had a hard time even recognizing the songs he was playing, though I'm FAIRLY certain I heard "Closer"? And that was good enough for me. Bedtime.

A. A. Bondy
Sunday was an extremely chill day... I heard lots of artists (High On Fire, Erykah Badu), but didn't actually "go" to any shows except for two. A. A. Bondy was adorable, and seemed genuinely surprised that so many people showed up for his noon slot. He's really talented, and punctuated his set and his excitement with "I'ma get DRUUUNK tonight! That's not such a profound statement for this place, is it?" Enough said.

Snoop Dogg
Oh, last show of Bonnaroo. I think Snoop kind of forgot where he was, to be honest. These are a bunch of hippies gearing up for a Phish show, not die-hard fans. He kept saying "Where all my sexy ladies at?" and I could almost feel the ladies in the crowd thinking, "Uh... I mean... I might be a sexy lady? But I'm just so.... dirty...." Consequently, when he sang "Gin and Juice" (was SO excited for that song), he only sang about half of the words, and NONE of the choruses. Was he expecting everyone to sing along? I mean, me and the lady next to me did, but there was awkward silence for the most part. "Laaaaiiiiiiid baaaack.... no? Uh.... guys?" Blahh, oh well. He was still Snoop, and Snoop is Snoop.



OVERALL. Bonnaroo was an excellent time... met lots of awesome people, did lots of awesome things, heard lots of awesome music... now, time for me to go nurse my sunburn and perhaps take another shower. Grosss. Don't forget to download Katzenjammer!

<3.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Quickly:

So at that David Byrne show, my friend Val brought her flip camera and took some video. Behold, this quick highlight of some superb dancing. 

From Val:

"After arriving haphazardly, sans food, jackets, or any compelling need to be able sit where we could see, my friends and I landed a spot on the grass in the amphitheater. From there we couldn’t see the band, we could, however, see the back of all the idiots standing in front of us so that they could see the band. And then it dawned on me, the fans of the Talking Heads really, really can’t dance."



Couldn't have said it better myself.

Love,
Jim

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sighs, Both Wistful and Disgusted. Also, Please Listen To The Song At The End of the Post and Tell Me I'm Not Losing My Mind.

Yesterday afternoon, I found out about a free concert in Brooklyn being played by David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame, as well as a great solo artist). Logically, I had to make the trek. Obviously, about 10,000 other people had the same idea.

And so I went with my friend Val to Prospect Park to check it out. Thinking that we would get there early, we got to the park at 6 for what we thought was a 6:30 show. I can't even begin to tell you how wrong we were about this, which we realized immediately after we arrived.

It was packed. Of course it was packed. David Byrne has been making music for over 30 years, and he has an enormous fanbase. In addition, it was a free show, in a park, on a nice day. We really should have thought about these things even a little bit before we decided to arrive at 6.

And so, after hanging out in the park for something like two and a half hours in line, we got into the bandshell at 8:30... which is when they promptly started the concert. Apparently, only 6500 of the people in line got in, and the rest got to watch it outside. I can't speak for Val (or our other friends who showed up, wandered around lost in the park for about an hour, then met us in line with about 45 minutes to spare), but I feel like it was worth it.



That picture is from last September, but it was the same basic idea: Byrne, his backing band, his backup singers, and dancers, all in white. And look at that suit. If I spent my days walking around in a white suit, would people respect me more or less?

Anyway, Byrne played a lot of songs from his albums with Brian Eno, which was to be expected: After all, this was another stop on the "Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno Tour." Everything was pretty well-received, but he really brought the house down (I'm trying so hard not to make a "Burning Down the House" reference) when his band played some old Talking Heads songs, They sounded absolutely unbelievable, which is nice, because I feel like more often than not classic rock artists have some sort of falling off when they play shows thirty years later.

To put things into perspective, when I was in high school, I went to a "Battle of the Bands." the band that won did a rendition of a song that I later learned was "Crosseyed and Painless," and after hearing it, I went and got Remain in Light soon after. Yesterday, after actually hearing David Byrne play it, I wanted to go and actually get David Byrne. Not an album, not a discography, the person.

Anyway, the wistful sighs come from the show. The disgusted ones come from this, the song I mentioned in the title of this post.

Dear readers, I admit: I read Pitchfork. It's probably not the best thing, but I do read it daily. Generally, though it's admittedly pretentious, I tend to agree with them on a lot of things. This, however, is not one of them. There's nothing intelligent about this song. There's nothing good about it, short of a 30-second instrumental portion pretty early on. There's no statement that's being made. What makes that good and this (see below) bad?



Pitchfork trashed it, despite the fact that Scroobius Pip actually had something to say. I don't get it.

Unrelated news: I actually might eat lunch at a commmmmmmbination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Not kidding. More on that at a later date.

In the meantime, I'm off. Be sure to follow Kristina's Twitter for stuff from Bonnaroo, and enclosed in the playlist are some Talking Heads jams.

Love,
Jim


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HALLO THERE. Also, Bonnaroo.

Hey, so. First and most importantly, I am THE WORST BLOGGER EVER and I apologize to Jim and all of you for never ever updating ever. But I FINALLY have something to write about, and that something is Bonnaroo! I'm leaving in a day and a half, and I was wondering how best to keep you lovely readers updated. My solution: I shall tweet Bonnaroo for you! You'll get to know how crazy NiN's show was, how drunk everyone was at Girl Talk, and if Bruce played just hits at his set, WAY BEFORE YOUR FRIENDS!

How excited are you?
The correct answer is: Really excited, Kristina!

So here's the deal. Instead of starting up a new twitter for this momentous occasion, I'm just going to use my existing twitter account, and from this point until post-Bonnaroo, only tweet about things Bonnaroo. If you'd like, you can follow me on twitter, or you can just check it out occasionally to get updated on all the fancy Bonnaroo happenings. I'll definitely be tweeting about the music, but also about funny things I see, cool people I meet, and other random goodness. So, without further ado, my twitter information:

www.twitter.com/kristinalustig

And here are the bands that I'm planning on seeing throughout the weekend:
White Rabbits
Portugal. The Man
Passion Pit
The Dirty Projectors
St Vincent
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Ani Difranco
Beastie Boys (Sorry, David Byrne)
Public Enemy
Girl Talk
Elvis Perkins in Dearland
Robin Hitchcock and the Venus 3
Bon Iver
Of Montreal
The Decemberists
Bruce Springsteen
Nine Inch Nails
MGMT (Perhaps the end of the set if I'm still alive)
A. A. Bondy
Ted Leo
Andrew Bird
Snoop Dogg (...SO EXCITED OMG)
Phish (Maybe if I feel like it... but y'all know how I feel about Phish)

So yep, provided everything goes well, I'll be seeing all of those bands. And tweeting about them for YOUR PERSONAL ENJOYMENT. Perhaps even twitpic'ing some stuff. Get excited.

See you later, internets!
<3

Saturday, June 6, 2009

In Which a Previous Post Comes to Fruition (sorta.)

This post, to be exact.

On October 1st, 2007, I was sitting at my desk in my dorm room, procrastinating on the Internet, when I came across the news that a new Radiohead album coming out.

I immediately fell out of my chair.

Then, when I finally composed myself enough to read the second half of the sentence, I found out that it would be out in ten days. I think I blacked out.

But most importantly, I finally got to the end of the announcement, and came to the most bizarre part: that fans would be able to pay whatever they wanted for the download of the album. My head promptly exploded.

I thought that this was one of the coolest things I had heard in a while. At the time, I wasn't thinking about the lasting repercussions of what would eventually become known as "the Radiohead model," I just wondered if anyone was actually going to put down money for it. Of course, it did: over a million people ordered the album by the time it had come out, and while not everyone paid, a good amount of people bought the $81 discbox. In addition, when the band finally released the album on CD, it went to #1 on the Billboard chart. Within the next year, other artists started releasing their music this way as well, most notably Girl Talk and Nine Inch Nails, and though nobody had the same success as Radiohead, sales were generally pretty good. Everybody wins, right?

Apparently not. Robert Smith, the frontman of The Cure, came out earlier this year against it, with this to say:

"The Radiohead experiment of paying what you want - I disagreed violently with that. You can't allow other people to put a price on what you do, otherwise you don't consider what you do to have any value at all and that's nonsense. If I put a value on my music and no one's prepared to pay that, then more fool me, but the idea that the value is created by the consumer is an idiot plan, it can't work."

Here's the thing: it... kind of did work. In fact, having your album reach #1 in sales in multiple countries months AFTER giving it away for free... I'd argue that it really couldn't have worked much better. I see what he's saying, and to an extent, I agree with him: overall, people should probably not be deciding what they should pay for all music. But, well, this worked. Smith responded with this (a little bitterly, if you ask me):

"In the way of our bright and brave new wired world, these idiot critics have tried very hard to turn my general point - a point I made using Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows: pay what you want’ marketing ruse as it is the most widely known example - into a mock shockhorror: 'how dare anyone question the famously independent and anti-capitalist Radiohead, they sell more ‘product’ than The Cure so their strategy obviously ‘worked’ (huh?!!)…and anyway, Robert Smith is way too old to comment on contemporary culture moment…'
Any famous artist with a huge and devoted fan base (often arrived at with a little help from a wealthy and powerful ‘patron’ or two?) can afford to do what he, she, or it wants…"


At any rate, just recently, in a piece in The Guardian about Sonic Youth's new album, there was this:

"The band could, of course, have put out the album themselves, but chose not to because, as [Kim] Gordon says, 'there's a whole machinery you have to build up.' Radiohead did it, though, with In Rainbows, initially released online for whatever fans wanted to pay.

'I don't really think they did it by themselves,' Gordon counters. 'They did a marketing ploy by themselves and then got someone else to put it out. It seemed really community-oriented, but it wasn't catered towards their musician brothers and sisters, who don't sell as many records as them. It makes everyone else look bad for not offering their music for whatever. It was a good marketing ploy and I wish I'd thought of it! But we're not in that position either. We might not have been able to put out a record for another couple of years if we'd done it ourselves: it's a lot of work. And it takes away from the actual making music.'


This, I disagree with a bit. Regardless of who was responsible for the idea to self-release the album, whether the promotion took away from the music is kind of unproven. Even though there was a good amount of media coverage, it's not as if the music suffered as a result: In Rainbows and Feed the Animals are both good, regardless of how they were brought into the world (Ghosts I-IV and The Slip, the Nine Inch Nails albums, are both pretty hit-or-miss, but it's been that way since 1994 with them anyway).

I really don't think Gordon gave us, the people who buy music, enough credit. If anything, the idea brings the music to people who hadn't heard it before and were unwilling to pay because, let's be real, who wants to shell out $10 or more for an album they know nothing about? If people like what a band is doing enough, they'll shell out money to support them or see them one way or another. It probably bolstered sales for Radiohead (In Rainbows sold more before its physical release than Hail to the Thief made overall.) In my case, I paid $10 for the Radiohead CD, then paid to see them in concert; I didn't pay for Feed the Animals, but still bought tickets to a Girl Talk show.

But, I could just be more into Radiohead than I am into Sonic Youth.

On that, I'm out. But before I go, I'm trying to figure out what I should do the weekend of July 31st. Is it more worth it to go to the Newport Folk Festival or All Points West? APW has the better lineup, but, well, Newport is probably less than half the cost, even including getting to Rhode Island. Here are the lineups:

Newport:

SATURDAY, AUGUST 1 ~ 11:30 am - 7:00 pm

Pete Seeger, The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, Gillian Welch, The Avett Brothers, Billy Bragg, Iron & Wine, Mavis Staples, Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Ben Kweller, The Low Anthem, Brett Dennen, Tift Merritt, Tao Rodriguez Seeger, Langhorne Slim

SUNDAY, AUGUST 2 ~ 11:30 am - 7:00 pm

Pete Seeger with Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Neko Case, The Campbell Brothers, Josh Ritter, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Tim Eriksen & Shape Note Singers, Del McCoury, Guy Clark, David Rawlings Machine, Deer Tick, Balfa Toujours, Dala Girls, Joe Pug

APW:



Thoughts?

Love,
Jim

Thursday, June 4, 2009

This One's Optimistic! (This One Went To Market, This One Just Came Out of the Swamp...)

Again, apologies for a lack of posting. I've just moved into a new place, and I won't even have the Internet until the 11th. I'm writing this in a coffee shop with my friend Amanda, who's updating her movie blog as we speak. Check it out.

Anyway, this is from Prefix Magazine:

Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest Hits the Top Ten

This week's number one album is no surprise; it's Eminem's Relapse for the second week in a row, as the set moved 211,000 copies, selling 819,000 copies in two weeks. But the Top Ten had a surprising inclusion: Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest hit number 8 with 33,000 copies sold. Granted, that's 1/7 of Em's sales, but it's pretty damn unlikely that a subtle album from a New York art-folk band would hit the Top Ten.

Under no circumstances do I want to fall into the cookie-cutter mold of the music blogger who falls all over himself praising Grizzly Bear; I'm trying to avoid that like I did with Fleet Foxes/TV on the Radio last year, and (a little bit less so) with the Animal Collective album in January. I think all of those records are very good, to be sure, and well worth your time, but gushing over them is a bit of time, as everyone who likes music these days seems to be doing it.

With that said, it's hard not to be really excited over this for a couple of reasons. In a time where music sales are plummeting, it's nice to see a so-called "indie" band making a serious dent in the sales chart. Take a look at the rest of the top 10:

1) Eminem, Relapse
2) Green Day, 21st Century Breakdown
3) Hannah Montana, Hannah Montana: The Movie
4) Marilyn Manson, The High Side of Low
5) Lady Gaga, The Fame
6) Kenny Chesney, Greatest Hits II
7) Wisin and Yandel, La Revolucion
8) Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest
9) Taylor Swift, Fearless I would like to add that this is inexplicably the highest-selling album in the United States this year, and one of only two to sell over a million copies. The other, even more inexplicably (less explicably?), is Hannah Montana.
10) Rascal Flatts, Unstoppable


I suppose disappointing follow-ups to former greatness are really "in" this year (see #1, #2, and #4, though I was never a huge fan of Manson to begin with).

Even more impressive about this Grizzly Bear top 10 debut is that Veckatimest leaked on the Internet something in the neighborhood of THREE MONTHS before its release last week (guilty, I think I got it in March). Hopefully, this kind of thing continues. Maybe we see the new Sunset Rubdown album at #1?

We won't see the new Sunset Rubdown album at #1.

I'm sorry for ever suggesting that the new Sunset Rubdown album would be #1.

Anyway, as Amanda just informed me that David Carradine (from Kung Fu, and more importantly, Bill from the Kill Bill movies) died today, enclosed in the playlist are a couple of favorites from the Kill Bill soundtrack. Rest in peace, Dave.

Love,
Jim


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Saturday, May 30, 2009

...

Sorry for my Kristinaesque lack of posting... which is going to continue for a couple of days. But, I was driving around, listening to the radio in Philly for the first time in months. And, uh, well, here.



So, umm... what? Why? Was George Michael really clamoring to be covered?

With this, Seether joins the ranks of Kenny G, Brian McKnight, Barry Manilow, and countless other soft rock artists who have done versions of this song. Inexplicable. One unifying factor: all of them are pretty bad. Enjoy!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Post St. Vincent: In Which Philly Beats Pittsburgh Because We Actually Get Concerts.



These two guys are what's left of the band Pattern is Movement. Apparently, they aren't related. Go figure. Also, contrary to the unbelievably burly and bearded impression that they leave, neither moonlights as a lumberjack. Finally, neither is related to Dan Deacon.





Anyway, this was my first time ever hearing them, and I've gotta be honest and say that I really, really enjoyed them. The lead singer has a great, great voice, a little reminiscent of Antony from Antony and the Johnsons; I guess the best comparison might be if Antony were lured into singing in a math-rock band.

For the record, it's near impossible to nod your head to the rhythm of a band that changes time signatures as frequently and as effectively as Pattern is Movement. Trust me, I tried.

Anyway, in the middle of their set, all of a sudden, their lead singer says something along the lines of "This next one is a cover song." And then, slowly but surely...

"Is that D'Angelo?"

And indeed it was. In the middle of the set, the two guys pictured above decided to cover this man:



...which was hilarious, until everyone seemed to realize at once: This is really, really good. Here's the video from a couple nights ago, at the show in NYC:



Somehow, I feel like I shouldn't expect anything less from a band whose members, according to Spin, "met at the ages of 13 and 14 while performing in a Christian hip-hop group, bonding over their sinful and secular love for Dr. Dre's seminal album, The Chronic." The point is, I highly recommend you guys listen to the chamber-pop stylings of Pattern is Movement. Besides their Philly lineage (and, of course, our city will take all the wins it can get), they're a really interesting band, a bit beyond description.

Oh, and with a few exceptions to the setlist (no "Paris is Burning?"), St. Vincent was great, but we say that all the time at this point, so hopefully, by now, you know. Enclosed are a couple of Pattern songs.

Love,
Jim


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bitter Bloggin'

Dearest readers,

My apologies for not blogging in approximately seven years. Since I've been stuck in the armpit of the concert-going world (Pittsburgh), I haven't really had any shows to discuss. But let's get to the bitter part: co-blogger Jim is currently at a St. Vincent show in Philadelphia. And yours truly is ...listening to St. Vincent. Recorded. I thought I'd take my mind off of this incredible injustice by sharing some of my recent finds/thoughts on them. As usual, I will be using lots of youtubez.

First, I'd like to expound on the eternal struggle: to hipster, or not to hipster? Let me explain. Today, while trying to find out if Jens Lekman has a twitter (it would be the most adorable thing ever), I found a poor, abandoned twitter account that seemed to be him, but it only had one entry, with a link. Fate, I say. I clicked on it and was introduced to Dent May... and internal crisis. This next part requires the cooperation of you, dear reader. I need you to click this YouTube video, and then SHUT YOUR EYES. For the whole song, just shut your eyes and listen.

(INTERRUPTION: Jim just called me from the St. Vincent concert, and I am listening to a lovely live rendition of "The Bed" as I type.)

ANYWAY back to Dent May. Shut your eyes!


He sounds vaguely like Jens Lekman, his voice is beautiful, and this music is... kind of reminiscent of the Beach Boys? Anyway, I heard it and immediately loved it. But then... I watched the music video.

...watch it with your eyes open.

I think the epitome of what worries me is at about 1:15. This man is clearly... a hipster. That in itself mightn't be a problem, but I think it's pretty obvious that he doesn't take his music seriously. ...is it possible that his music career is based entirely on irony? Does he not even like his own music? This strikes me as a legitimate problem. I know it's fashionable to hate hipsters (www.latfh.com if you doubt me), but this goes beyond that... is one able to like music like this, where the artist doesn't even take his own music seriously? And I'm not talking about a Bloodhound Gang-esque situation, because they absolutely CANNOT take themselves seriously. I'm talking about, did this guy Dent May (Who was an NYU film student for a few years, which may or may not complicate my problem) just decide one day to start making beautiful ukulele music... for the lols? "Hey guys, wouldn't it be totally rad if I ...started making ukulele music that sounds like it's from the 1960s? Lolz, it'd be so funny."

Anyway, the moral of the story is, this album is REALLY good and I recommend it, but I don't think I could see him live, for the sake of my own sanity.


Now let's completely change courses and take a look at someone that's been explored on the blog before: that someone is Asher Roth. We all know that "I Love College" is a frat boy anthem, and that Asher Roth raps kind of scarily like Eminem. Imagine my joy when The Hood Internet (www.thehoodinternet.com) decided to attack this song in their usual way: by meshing it with an obscure indie song. To hilarious results.


I Love Friction (Asher Roth vs The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart) - The Hood Internet

The new driving beat behind "I Love College" takes a while to feel right, but when it does, the song loses its lazy Weezer influence and starts to (scarily) remind me of an un-classy Arcade Fire song. Which is glorious.

Anyway, I'm off to explore the internets more for goodness to bring to you, lovely reader. I'll leave you with a link to a playlist I made on youtube. It's absolutely perfect, and absolutely NSFW.
Yum yum.
Enjoy!

Love,
Kristina

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In Which I Wonder Where to Procure a Nautical-Themed Pashmina Afghan.

Sadly, I didn't get to that Thermals show, so I don't have much to update with. However, I really wanted to post this.



I realize that the Lonely Island is a bit of a joke, but as comedy albums go, I was actually really impressed with the production value on Incredibad. With that being said, this is actually a really, really good performance. Kudos to Black Thought on taking on T-Pain's responsibilities.

This is proof that the Roots make just about everything better.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

In Which I Aspire to Be Lester Bangs By Not Writing Like Lester Bangs.



So, I should be writing a final for my class in Journalistic Ethics. Instead, I'm listening to Dare! by the Human League. How did I get here?

The above picture is of Philip Seymour Hoffman, playing Lester Bangs in Almost Famous. That happens to be one of my favorite movies; a dream job, if time travel were not an object, would very closely mirror that of Patrick Fugit's character.

In addition, I may or may not have drunkenly cockblocked my roommate this past weekend when I overheard him talking to some girl about that movie and cut in really hard. Sorry, Jeremy.

Anyway, after watching that movie kind of recently, I started looking stuff up about Lester Bangs, and found this, compliments of Wiki:

"Bangs died in New York on April 30, 1982, overdosing (through drug interaction) after treating a cold with Darvon and Valium. According to the Jim Derogatis biography, Bangs was listening to The Human League's album Dare! at the time of his death."

And this, dear readers, is why I'm listening to fucking "Don't You Want Me?"



I have to assume that this couldn't have possibly been the way that Lester wanted to go out, unless this was a brilliant, artsy statement that us peasants weren't meant to get. This is a song that really couldn't have been recorded any time other than 1981; seriously, listening to this, I feel like I should be doing lines of blow and wearing a piano key necktie. Recorded by a band that consisted of an outlandish four synthesizer players and, umm... nothing else, this one's far from timeless.

Unless, of course, you work for Nabisco:



Sigh. And on that, back to ethics. Ideally, I'll be headed to the Thermals concert tomorrow night, and if so, I'll have an entry afterwards.

Love,
Jim.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Timeliness... you mean, like, last week?

Here at TDoFS, we (and by "we" I mean "I") have embraced the concept of writing about entirely irrelevant things. Albums that came out years ago, YouTube videos that might not be as legitimately awesome as I think they are, etc. And when we (again, I) actually have something relevant to write about, we must wait at least a few days past when it's timely to write about it.

Therefore, time to write about St. Vincent's Virgin Megastore show on 5-5-09.

Both members of TDoFS were in attendance (though one of them kept threatening to go to the Electric Six show instead), and we had a perfect spot in the second row, about 10 feet from Annie Clark herself.

(EDIT: We were probably close enough to personally tell her that we downloaded her album a month before its release. Oops. Sorry, Annie. - Jim)

A few things need to be said about Annie Clark. She has a certain aura of perfection and class around her, and her frizzy halo of black hair makes her seem even more angelic. Even when she's rocking out hard, stomping her feet on the ground and bent over in concentration, she's like porcelain.

Actually, that description of Ms. Clark could also be a description of her second album, Actor: an album that, even though it rocks hard, at some points seems delicate enough to snap.

St. Vincent played songs exclusively from Actor, which was to be expected (though slightly disappointing), and I'd give you the setlist, but Jim's the one with the copy of it (jealous). We were both worried about the orchestration of the songs live... they're so complex and intricate, they couldn't possibly translate over onto the stage very well. On the contrary: apparently, every member of St. Vincent plays a ton of different instruments, and they play them well. Annie Clark was even doing her own backup vocals at one point.

Though it was a short show - which I guess is to be expected for an in-store album promotion - it was packed with my current favorites from Actor, like "Actor Out of Work" and "Marrow."

The only other relevant things to say about St. Vincent live is this: make EVERY attempt to see her on this tour... it will be wholly worth it.

Check out www.ilovestvincent.com for tour dates and such.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Update: Arcade Fire 1, Flaming Lips 0.

From an Entertainment Weekly interview with Wayne Coyne, partially on "Do You Realize?" being named Oklahoma's state song:

Entertainment Weekly:Did the Arcade Fire send a congratulatory telegram?

Wayne Coyne: [Laughs] They didn’t. I wish that had never happened. I didn’t necessarily mean it about the people in the Arcade Fire. I meant it about the guys that were running their stages at a couple of festivals. I wish whatever had been said wouldn’t have been taken as such a defiant statement from the Flaming Lips, because it wasn’t. I just assumed [their response] was a joke.

EW:Really? He seemed pretty annoyed to me.

WC:I can totally see that now.

EW:Would you care to apologize to them now?

WC:I would. I really feel bad about it. I like enough of their music. The idea that I’m somehow against them… I’m not!

Sadly, I guess that's over, and an apology from the Flaming Lips technically means that the Arcade Fire won. In retrospect, I feel like I should've been rooting for Wayne though. I kind of wish that rockers would release "diss tracks" with the same frequency that rappers do. Especially if we had bands of this magnitude making them?

Put it this way: when Jay-Z and Nas were putting out great tracks against each other a decade or so ago, it was almost always worth listening to. By contrast, nobody really needs to hear Paul Wall quibble with Chamillionaire about which one of them is slightly more relevant.

So this is my plea for alt-rock diss tracks. Since the Flaming Lips already released a track called "Thank You, Jack White (For the Fiber-Optic Jesus That You Gave Me," it really isn't much of a stretch for them to take it a step further and put out something in the vein of "Putting the Fire Out (Dismembering Win, Limb by Limb)."

Think about it.

Enclosed in the playlist are the two best tracks from the Jay-Z/Nas feud, and "Thank You Jack White (For the Fiber-Optic Jesus That You Gave Me."

Love,
Jim


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