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.


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

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. 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. 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 ( 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 ( 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.


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.


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 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."


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dearest Clash Magazine, Cease and Desist. Love, Jim

Clash Magazine is a music and fashion magazine based out of the United Kingdom. It started in 2004, and has gotten relatively popular in the UK, but hasn't found the same amount of success in the United States, despite having events at South by Southwest.

So why am I bringing them up? Starting at the very end of March, they started uncovering a countdown, as music magazines are often inclined to do. The countdown was of the 50 Greatest Albums of the Last 5 Years, and since the past five years have been the most formative years of my music-listening, I was pretty interested in hearing what they had to say.

The list finally finished at the end of April, and it's a little bit confusing. Here it is:

50) The Killers - Hot Fuss
49) Kasabian - Kasabian
48) Deerhunter - Microcastle
47) Bat For Lashes - Fur and Gold
46) Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
45) MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
44) Portishead - Third
43) Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
42) Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
41) Santigold - Santigold
40) Late Of The Pier - Fantasy Black Channel
39) Sigur Rós - Takk...
38) Efterklang - Parades
37) Liars - Drum's Not Dead
36) The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
35) Hot Chip - The Warning
34) Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
33) Benga - Diary Of An Afro Warrior
32) Feist - The Reminder
31) Broadcast - Tender Buttons
30) Battles - Mirrored
29) Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future
28) Tunng - Mother's Daughter And Other Songs
27) The Libertines - The Libertines
26) Kanye West - The College Dropout
25) Apparat - Walls
24) Burial - Burial
23) Gallows - Orchestra Of Wolves
22) Caribou - The Milk Of Human Kindness
21) Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene
20) Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
19) Soulwax - Nite Versions
18) The Bug - London Zoo
17) Brian Wilson - SMiLE
16) Isolée - We Are Monster
15) My Morning Jacket - Z
14) Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
13) Joanna Newsom - Ys
12) Modeselektor - Hello Mom!
11) Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
10) Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
09) J Dilla - Donuts
08) Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
07) M.I.A. - Arular
06) LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem
05) The Knife - Silent Shout
04) TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
03) Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times
02) Radiohead - In Rainbows
01) Arcade Fire - Funeral

I would put Clash's number one choice, undoubtedly, in my top two, which is why it's so baffling to me that my other pick is nowhere to be found on this list. Wolf Parade, just know that I'm unapologetic for loving Apologies so much.

At any rate, I may not necessarily be the most qualified person to be judging this list, as I haven't heard every single one of the albums listed above. In addition, I don't necessarily want to nitpick about individual artists on the list just because I have a varying opinion on the topic. Saying that I would put a different Animal Collective album on the list if I were going to put any on there at all doesn't really do anything.

With that said, the thing that I notice about this list is that it doesn't necessarily seem to be a list of the 50 greatest albums so much as a compilation of the 50 biggest buzz bands. The Killers, Vampire Weekend, MGMT, Santigold, Fleet Foxes, Franz Ferdinand, J Dilla, Arctic Monkeys? All of those albums are good, to be sure, but the thing unifying them more than anything else is that upon first release, they were gobbled up by seemingly everyone (with the notable exception of J Dilla, who found more acclaim after his death). The question is, are those albums on this list because they genuinely deserve to be there, or is it because of their canonization in trendy music libraries?

The most egregious example of this is the #3 album on Clash's list, Because of the Times by Kings of Leon. Between their second and third albums, the band changed their sound a bit, and suddenly got pretty big with this album, which was their first to go #1 in the UK. One thing that didn't change, however, was that Caleb Followhill's lyrics still rarely made sense. Ready? Here's "Charmer:"

"She's such a charmer, oh, no,
She's such a charmer, oh, no,
She's always looking at me
She's always looking at me
She's such a charmer, oh, no

She stole my karma, oh, no
Sold it to the farmer, oh, no
She's always looking at me
She's always looking at me
She's such a charmer, oh, no, oh, no

Born in West Virginia, oh, no
Married to the preacher, oh, no
She's always looking at me
She's always looking at me
She's such a charmer, oh, no, oh, no

She's always looking at me
She's always looking at me
She's such a charmer, oh, no, oh, no"

I actually typed that out. It was kind of frustrating. The point is, I question Clash's pick of this album (probably the Kings' third-best in the last five years, at least to me), and I think that they may have done it in order to justify putting the band on their cover... several times.

With that being said, have a Kings of Leon music video. While it isn't on the third-best album of the last five years, it kind of epitomizes what I liked about the band... and the video's well worth a watch.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

On the Band That Made Fort Nightly, Which Is About How Often I've Been Updating Recently

The baffling picture above this was taken by my friend Lauren at NYU's Strawberry Fest. Instead of having some form of a spring weekend like a lot of schools, NYU instead holds an event every year that has us celebrating... well, umm, strawberries.

Maybe us hipsters should count our blessings. My friends at Penn State got a performance from Asher Roth. Coincidentally, my friends from Penn State generally enjoy college, drinking, women, and college. On second thought, it was a perfect fit.

Anyway, for the past 25 years or so, NYU has picked out a spring day, sectioned off a block or so, closed it off from traffic, and relentlessly force-fed unsuspecting students with several tons of strawberries. It's an experience, if only to check out/devour "NYC's Largest Strawberry Shortcake."

For the first time this year, however, they decided to have a concert with it, and booked five bands to play. Besides the obvious missed opportunity to call the performance Strawberry Jam and try to get Animal Collective, the idea was a great one. The headliner was a band called White Rabbits, and I was excited about it, but it certainly seemed like a lot of people either were upset about it, or simply didn't care at all.

On to the bands. I arrived in the middle of the fourth band's set, which is a shame, because apparently it was a surprisingly solid lineup. The other bands were Motel Motel, We Are The Arm, Golden Triangle, and Teengirl Fantasy. I don't really know much about any of them, and I could only find Teengirl Fantasy on Playlist (the song's not bad; it sounds a lot like recent Animal Collective without any kind of yelping vocals... or any vocals at all).

As for White Rabbits? I kind of feel bad for the five of them (and their more recent, kind-of superfluous sixth). The stage set up in the middle of Strawberry Fest seemed like an afterthought to the majority of people who were passing through, even though they (and apparently everyone else) put on a good show. They played a lot of songs promoting their soon-to be released It's Frightening, and a few from their first.

I'm a big fan of that first album, 2007's Fort Nightly. It got a lot of comparisons to Spoon, and probably rightfully so: They sound like Spoon (if Britt Daniel was less into smoking pot), they toured with Spoon, and the lead singer/piano player looks a little bit like the lead singer of Spoon if you squint. However, with their second album, they took what can only be described as a somewhat misguided attempt to try and distance themselves from Spoon... by hiring the lead singer of Spoon to produce.

Sorry for saying Spoon so many times, but it's coming a couple more.

Here's the crazy thing: it kind of worked. That second album sounds less like Spoon. Coincidentally, though it's good, it's not as good as a Spoon album.

In direct contradiction to any math you've ever been taught, this means: Spoon+Spoon < Spoon. Of course, I'm not a math major.

(Apologies. That last set was to be annoying.)

In unrelated news, this week should be interesting, and despite the fact that I have finals, I should probably be updating again. Monday at midnight, I'm finally going to be taking advantage of the fact that the Roots are stationed in New York City when I see them at their residency at the Highline Ballroom. Tuesday, TDoFS-favorite St. Vincent is doing a performance inside of the Virgin Megastore.

Aaaaanyway, here are some pictures, and below them, enclosed in the playlist are some White Rabbits songs from the old album, as well as one from the new one, the Teengirl Fantasy track I found, and the song "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane, which has no relation to the band, but is great nevertheless. Hopefully, you guys enjoy them, because I feel as though White Rabbits deserved better than to lose to fruit (albeit a delicious one).

The guy in the polo is the aforementioned super-superfluous sixth. He spent the majority of the show just drumming on one tom.

Britt from Spoon, vs...

Stephen from White Rabbits. You be the judge.

Finally, one of the many distractions going on during the set. Troublesome that people gravitated more to our mangy bobcat.


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones