Friday, May 30, 2008

hot: WALE

"Do It For The Capital, Wale Ovechkin"
I've been feeling Wale's Beast of the Beltway Mixtape for a while, especially his "We Are Your Friends" remix, which single handedly reminded me how sick the Justice remix of Simian was when it first dropped. DC's finest crushes the French electro banger, but that's not all he has to offer. This morning Wale released his latest mixtape, an ode to Seinfeld titled A Mixtape About Nothing. One of the undisputed highlights of the mixtape is a collaboration with Bun B (of UGK) and Pusha T (of Clipse). If Ghostface were included this would probably be the sickest track of the year, although even without him this ones slated to be bumping from old skool Civics all summer long. The mix includes the hilariously titled "The Cliche Lil Wayne Feature (It's The Remix Baby)", the B-More killer "The B-More Club Slam" and a track featuring the Budos Band. Wale also crushes, and I do mean crushes, "Roc Boys." Cop it for free at Elitaste. Word up.

Wale- W.A.L.E.F.R.I.E.N.D.S
Wale- The Feature Heavy Song (w/ Bun B, Pusha T and Tre)

Wale- The Mixtape About Nothing

Thursday, May 29, 2008

hot: James Pants

"Why You Trippin' On Me, You Know I'm Trying To Build A Church"
Everyone I know is obsessed with Stones Throw artist James Pants. For the last month or two I've had all my good friends/music chatters screaming "We're Through" in my ear. He did a hot mix for the increasingly killer Stones Throw podcast and recently dropped his debut LP, Welcome, which is about as close to a summer barn burner as can be. Sometimes it reminds me of Muscles, but with a certain amount of grime that can only come from Smokane, Washington. Farting bass synth melodies, ass shaking poly-rhythms and just a touch of cow bell, this shit is a sure fire party starter. Plus there are so many squiggling synths it's practically overwhelming, in an "oh shit I did too many key bumps of Molly" way. Lots of goodies below. Call your dealer asap.

James Pants- Ka$h (direct link)
Music From The Forest mixed by James Pants for the Stones Throw Podcast (direct link)

James Pants Goes Record Shopping

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

new: Grand Archives

"For You To Find Next Time Around"
Grand Archives debut record was one of my most anticipated albums of 2008. Luckily, they followed through on the promise of their demo CD-R and crafted a lush, harmonic pop record in the grandest sense of the word. And by pop record, I mean a rock and roll record that would sit well beside The Kink's Village Green Preservation Society and CSNY's Deja Vu. Since The Grand Archive was released, I've gone back and visited Mat Brooke's past work (Carissa's Wierd, Band of Horses) and as much as I love BoH's Everything All The Time, I often find myself returning to Grand Archives. Why? Because it's an impeccable vocal pop record filtered through both smoky bars and sunny afternoons that compliments all seasons and feelings. Grand Archives inhabit a purgatory like state, neither belonging to the nostalgic retro band club nor the indie popsters group, instead the band exists in a timeless ethereal world, where music is music and just that. No scenes, no fads, just the tunes. A few choice examples are newly available at Daytrotter, especially the wonderful "George Kaminski," a song about an "American inmate who once held the Guinness Book of World Records title for his four leaf clover collection (all found exclusively in the prison yards)." The band will be in NYC June 13th for a show at the Bowery Ballroom. From what I hear, this is not a show to miss.

Grand Archives- Miniature Birds
Grand Archives- George Kaminski

Grand Archives on the Late Late Show

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

we saw: Ra Ra Riot

"I Will Wait There For You"
(Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Ra Ra Riot played a free show at 70 Greene St last Thursday. The party was a bizarre mix of wine tasting, art battle and guerilla rock show. Of course, this combination (and the free vino) lends itself to maximum enjoyment. While seeing Ra Ra earlier this Spring at Maxwell's was quite a treat, the 70 Greene show felt more like a college basement show with keg beer, pogo'ing and lots of sweat. It was obvious Ra Ra Riot has experience playing this type of show, as their enthusiasm and all-over-the-place stage (floor) presence had 70 Greene St boiling hot. All in all, a really sweet and fun night. Did I mention free? Gotta love NYC.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

review: Dominique Leone

"High up on top, how do you feel..."
Dominique Leone has been one of the better writers at a certain score-obsessed website over the years, and his reviews tended to be of two varieties: either waxing historical about re-releases by the Beatles, Miles Davis, the Beach Boys, Can and John Lennon, or enlightening us on the forefront of burgeoning indie-superstars with reviews of early records by LCD Soundsystem, Animal Collective and Devendra Banhart. It would be easy to say that his self-titled debut draws inspiration from both sources, one foot in the past and one in the future, but that would be a mistake; although the (largely indecipherable) vocals contain allusions to Beach Boys harmonies and Beatles melodies, this record is uncompromisingly set in the 21st century.

Synths dominate, as melodies weave in and out and feedback explodes. Hyperactivity seems to be the running theme, with a touch of prog here and a dab of dance music there. Traditional song structures are abandoned save the gorgeous closer, “Conversational" and album highlight “Goodbye," an unbelievably catchy melding of neo-soul beats and stratospheric Beach Boys harmonies, almost like a lost track from 2007’s best (not a) mashup, Bullion's Pet Sounds: In The Key Of Dee. Elsewhere, “Tension” and “Duyen” feature vocals with minor-key melodies that, for someone reason, remind me of Sgt. Pepper’s “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!,” though no one would ever confuse the music behind them. “Nous Tombons Dans Elle” is extraordinarily fun, a schizo-dance track in the vein of Dan Deacon’s more psychedelic stuff.

In what seems to be a growing trend, this album is adorned with a massive centerpiece of a song, the 13-minute “The Return.” But while Panda Bear’s “Bros” was transcendental in its commitment to melody, Leone’s commits to nothing, wandering between quiet passages and massive bursts of feedback similar to the first few minutes of Avey Tare and Panda Bear’s Spirit They’ve Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished. “The Return” is an abstract piece with a lot to decipher, but as of right now, it’s my least favorite thing on the album, feeling self-indulgent and unnecessary, even cold. There’s some good stuff in there, but it’s woefully buried.

It’s tempting to label this album as exceedingly “critic-friendly,” partly because it was made by one, and partly because it is the kind of mix of abstraction and familiarity that you can picture most critics getting behind. But that’s not really fair, is it? That’s like saying something is not good because it’s trying to be good. In reality, this is a fantastically ambitious affair that rewards multiple listens, even if you’re not sure what the fuck you’re hearing the first few go-rounds. For now, we should all be giving thanks that Dominique has put down the pen, and picked up the, err, Pro Tools.

Dominique Leone - Nous Tombons Dans Elle
Dominique Leone - Duyen

sunday morning music: Stars of the Lid

"Heaven Water Fire Earth"
Let the tired sounds of Stars of the Lid rock you gently back to sleep.

Friday, May 23, 2008

classick viddyo: Soul Train

"We wish you love, peace, and SOUL"
There are very few things in this world that we here at the Bobka appreciate more than a well-executed dance move. The physical manifestation of the rhythm divine is a thing of beauty in and of itself, to say nothing of the joy that an exuberant dance party spreads to those involved (and even to those who prefer to stay on the sidelines). This is why we've always held a special place in our hearts for Soul Train, the legendary dance show that taught white people all over America how to properly boogie down.

And now, in what is perhaps the greatest dance video ever assembled, we present you with a highly-abridged "Best Of The Soul Train Line" retrospective. For those who don't remember, The Soul Train Line is the segment of the show where dancers strut, spin, gyrate, bounce, kick, and/or slide their way through a gauntlet of fellow revelers. This segment gave birth to some of the flyest dance moves ever to hit the airwaves, and a lot of them are captured in this video. Our personal favorite is the dude at the 2:58 mark -- you just don't see that kind of creativity nowadays.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

mix: Heavy Cosmic Groove

"Now visualize yourself sitting in the midst of infinite space"
Rocktits! DJ Collective head honcho Russell Alexander originally dropped the Heavy Cosmic Groove mix last October, and we've been seriously digging on it ever since. Using computer software to assist in the beatmatching process (Ableton and MixMeister to be exact), Russell blended 60 psychedelic stoner-rock and funk jams into a stunning and seamless mix that will make you want to pump your fist, spin in circles, and do the chicken dance. Yeah, it's like that.

Rocktits! Heavy Cosmic Groove mix (Full tracklist can be found in the comments)

classick albums: Rain Dogs

"We sail tonight for Singapore, we're all mad as hatters..."
Last summer, I was flipping through a record store in Amsterdam for the better part of two hours, and came across what appeared to be an original pressing of Tom Wait's legendary album, Rain Dogs. Two Euros. Mint. But how to get it back safely to the States? An overstuffed backpack isn't exactly the best place for precious vinyl. I decided not to risk it, to allow someone else the opportunity, and have regretted it ever since. Still, this album remains one of my favorites to really listen closely to, the vividly-drawn characters interacting like a movie in your mind, brawling and bawling their way through cheap hotels, foreign jail cells, and more rowdy bars than you can shake a porkpie hat at. Be careful though, as I've gone on jags where I listened to this album 3 or 4 times in a row, unable to escape. Your best bet is to wash it down with Andrew Bird's Thrills, and forget about that dream life as a boxcar-hopping hobo. You wouldn't last a week.

Here's a cut from Rain Dogs, and be sure to check out Tom intimidate the shit out of Iggy Pop in this scene from Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes:

Tom Waits- Jockey Full of Bourbon

tonight: Ra Ra Riot

"Oh Baby"
The other day we got word that Ra Ra Riot would be playing a free show tonight on Greene Street. Peep Going for more info and RSVP details. In other Ra Ra news, the band has finally announced that they are now officially signed to Barsuk Records (former home to Death Cab for Cutie, Rilo Kiley and current home of Menomena). The band will release their debut record, The Rhumb Line on August 19th. 'Bout time.

Oh yeah, and apparently that Wes from Ra Ra Riot and Rostam from Vampire Weeekend collaboration as Discovery, which is all bubbling Caribou/tweaky Dntel, is coming out in June.

Shitty vid, but good audio of Ra Ra Riot on Fuel TV

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

we saw: Bishop Allen

"I met a kid in Brooklyn and he pointed at the sky / he had liquor on his breath and he had fire in his eye"
From the first day I listened to Bishop Allen I decided I HAD to see them live. Problem was I was living in Charleston, SC and was very very poor. Another problem was that Bishop Allen tours are infrequent at best. So when they announced in January they'd be playing the Music Hall of Williamsburg, I saved the date and hit up Ticketbastard at 10:00am (you would have thought I was trying to get tickets to Phish or The Boss). The show did eventually sell out, although not until the last minute.

With my expectations teetering on psychopathic I decided to settle my nerves with booze. Luckily, Bishop Allen took the stage before my "settling" got out of hand. After the first guitar notes I had relaxed. I was there. Finally seeing Bishop Allen. My only complaint was they didn't play long enough.

Empire City
The Monitor
Like Castanets
The Light of the Lost
Quarter to Three
Middle Management
Choose Again
The News from Your Bed
Click Click Click Click
Busted Heart
Flight 180
The Same Fire

Butterfly Nets
Friday Out of My Mind [new song; tentative title]
Things Are What You Make of Them

To listen to a simulated setlist from the show click HERE

To listen to a Muxtape made up of the best of the EP Project click HERE
("Central Booking" goes out to JRGiles)

Monday, May 19, 2008

again: Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

"Sad Songs That You Sing So Long"
The other day when we were talking about Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson(that really is a mouthful), I made a comment about how I didn't really think it was a great Summer record (whatever that means). Well, after repeated listens and catching "My Good Luck" on shuffle at a few choice moments, I'm going to have to eat my words. Why? Because Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson's songs are full of mystic undertones, perfect for restless warm nights and fall on the floor drunken sing-a-longs. Maybe this will be my album of the summer. But if thats the case, I better stock up on Band-Aids and Vitamin Water because Fall is going to be one hell of a recovery period.

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson- Buried Fed
Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson- My Good Luck

mix: Bubbling Sun Dried Happiness

"Here Comes A Perfect Day"
Inspired by the picture above, this mix will sizzle your inner membrane and open your mind. Warning: Flashbacks are very likely.

Bubbling Sun Dried Happiness Mix

The Millenium- Intro
Caribou- Crayon
Dinosaur Jr.- Take A Run At The Sun
Black Moth Super Rainbow- 255
Sun Dial- Plains of Nazka
Circulatory System- Lovely Universe
Fuck Buttons- Sweet Love For Planet Earth
Girls- Hellhole Ratrace
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin- Doris Tailspin (Boring Mountain)
Sunnybrooke- Big Waving Hands
Skyrocket Gilia- Dust In The Sky
Bubbling Sun Dried Happiness Mix

Sunday, May 18, 2008

sunday morning music: Lau Nau

This weeks edition of Sunday Morning Music comes to us from an especially magical artist from Finland, Lau Nau. Lau Nau has been getting alot of press lately, so much so that Google Reader informs me there have been 6 posts via various blogs and sites in the past week (and one from 2005 by WFMU, proving once again that the NJ free-form radio masterminds are wayyyy ahead of the curve). Since being bombarded with Lau Nau tracks all week, I knew Sunday Morning Music would be the perfect place to show off her floating dreamscapes. Highly rec'd for fans of Animal Collective's softer side, White Rainbow, Eno, etc.

Lau Nau- Lue Kartalta
Lau Nau- Painovoima, Valoa

Lau Nau "Painovoima, Valoa"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

video: Port O'Brien & Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

"On repeat: Caravan and we danced around the room"
Those cats at SwitchBurn.TV really got it on lock down. Not only are their signature multi-shot videos a unique and refreshing addition to the paradigm, but they also happen to shoot some great fucking bands. Case in point, Port O'Brien. We've been fawning over these guys for a while now, but couldn't resist posting this version of "I Woke Up Today." Yes, we've talked about the song alot, but it really is a great one and the perfect track to kick off All We Could Do Was Sing. The crew at SwitchBurn.TV also captured Port O'Brien tour mates (more on that tour later), and recent Bobka interviewee's, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Below is their nu-pop anthem "Think I'm Gonna Die", one of the standouts from the bands recently released Pershing LP.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin "Think I'm Gonna Die" live in Austin

Friday, May 16, 2008

tonight: Bishop Allen & The War On Drugs

"Digging For Diamonds"
We've had these tickets for a while but it was only recently that excellent Philly group, and recent Secretly Canadian signee's, The War On Drugs were added to Bishop Allen's neighborhood show. If you've yet to hear The War On Drugs, you can download the Barrel of Batteries EP for FREE at Secretly Canadian's site (click here!). The excellent EP is composed of a few "Dylan-y" songs, as well as some inebriating atmospheric tracks (highly rec'd). SC is also giving away "Taking The Farm" from The War On Drugs forthcoming Wagonwheel Blues (out 6/19), which has been getting a lot of repeat listens on my iTunes. And, of course, Bishop Allen is playing too! Tickets are still available, so come enjoy this rainy May Friday with Bobka, Bishop Allen and The War On Drugs.

The War On Drugs- Taking The Farm

Bishop Allen "Click, Click, Click" (as seen on Sony commercial)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

we love: Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

"Find that thing you really need..."
Intern Hunter's been digging on the latest release by Brooklyn drunk (not a diss, listen to the record) Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson and passed this little note along to me the other day.
I just got an advance release of the debut album by the multiple-named tunesmith (ahem, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson , above left), and I'm just gonna lay it out there: this is the best thing I've heard in a long, long time. With all due respect to our friends The Explorers Club and El Guincho, this will be the soundtrack to my summer. The album meshes classically constructed folk tunes with some beautiful experimental instrumentation, courtesy of fellow Brooklynites Chris Taylor and Chris Bear (of Grizzly Bear), and also features appearances by Kyp Malone of TVOTR and Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear. Check it out on Say Hey Records, July 1st... you won't be disappointed.

Hunter's right, this is a darn good record. But, Hunter, if this is your album of the summer, then you're gonna have one depressing ass July. Throw on some Donna Summer "I Feel Love" and lighten up kid.

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson- Buriedfed

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

video: Bon Iver

"I Crouch Like A Crow"
We've fawned over Bon Iver's For Emma... and the bands live set numerous times. Now Pitchfork.TV brings us some live footage from Brooklyn's Glasslands. The show took place two days after the drool fest at the Sound Fix. If you haven't seen Justin play the songs live, this video is poised to tack a few extra dollars onto your monthly credit card statement. The best part is Justin just added a boatload of dates to his ever expanding tour and will be hitting the road with the Bowerbirds. Most definitely an ideal lineup, although it'll be interesting to see two acts I deem 'Autumn/Winter' groups during the height of Summer.

Bon Iver/ Bowerbirds Tour
Jul 20 - PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL Chicago, Illinois
Jul 21 - CROFOOT BALLROOM *** Detroit, Michigan
Jul 22 - LEE'S PALACE *** Toronto, Ontario
Jul 23 - CABARET MUSIC HALL *** Montreal, Quebec
Jul 25 - SPACE GALLERY *** Portland, Maine
Jul 26 - MUSEUM OF FINE ART *** Boston, Massachusetts
Jul 27 - THE CAPE CINEMA *** Dennis, Massachusetts
Jul 29 - BOWERY BALLROOM *** New York, New York
Jul 30 - MUSIC HALL OF WILLIAMSBURG *** Brooklyn, New York
Jul 31 - FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH *** Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Aug 1 - THE BLACK CAT *** Washington DC
Aug 2 - REX THEATRE *** Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Aug 3 - WEXNER CENTER *** Columbus, Ohio

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

post-hype: Lykke Li Pt. 2

"Words Can Never Make Up For What You Do"
It's been a long while since we've posted anything by The Hood Internet, but after spending a pollen coated spring week with their Lykke Li remix EP, it was inevitable. Let's face it, the Hood Internet are practically a novelty act (notice I said practically) and their schtick of "cutting, copying, pasting" plays just right for irony eating hipsters. However, in the year since their public debut, the duo has truly mastered the cut and paste mash-up. While not always technically amazing, what the duo lacks in 'actual talent' (whatever that means) they surely make up for with their ears. They hear subtle rhythms neglected by casual listeners and transform them into abstract, yet utterly familiar beats. OK, maybe their familiar because they're songs we know and love. True.

These guys aren't exactly crushing the production tip, but they do an impeccable job glossing up Lykke Li's "Dance, Dance Dance," and transforming it from a minimalist busker tune/street song into a mellow ass four-on-the-floor (still minimalist) bedroom rocker. It'd be just as good on the dance floor, but the sax riffs and the rising pulse make this one especially sack worthy. And if your hearts still beating after a round of with Lykke Li and The Field, then your bound to get your rocks off during round two with Lykke Li and Gui Boratto.

"Beauty Flies" (aka Lykke Li vs. Gui Boratto) really pushes the oncoming synths over Lykke's soothing, yet fragile vocal. Together they roll like waves of synthetic joy pulling you out into the ocean. So when the effected snare comes in and starts taking you back to shore, it's almost bittersweet, especially the way Lykke's melancholy vocal subdues the early stages of "Beautiful Life." Of course, the Hood dudes know better than to leave it all serious and sad without the party, and so Lykke's vocal comes to an end and Gui's "Beautiful Life" synth riff arrives in all its Sao Paulo glory to remind you that the sun never truly sets.

So basically, what I'm getting at is that The Hood Internet are really good at taking two already awesome songs and making them a uniquely new and sweet song totally different from its predecessors. Oh, and Kompakt rules. (Sweden too).

Lykke Li vs. The Hood Internet EP

Lykke Li vs. The Field- Dance, Dance, Dance In My Face (Hood Internet Remix)

Lykke Li vs. Gui Boratto- Beauty Flies (Hood Internet Remix)

Port O'Brien/ Blog Fresh Radio/ Bobka

"Exxon, Exxon, Clean It Up"
The other day our good friends at Blog Fresh Radio rang us for a tea-time chat about our favorite ramshackle sea-faring obsession of the moment, Port O'Brien. Coincidently, Port O'Brien will release its debut studio record, All We Could Do Was Sing, today. We pre-ordered ours from the kind folks at CD Baby and they had it in our hands late last week. Needless to say it's an invigorating folk record, just in time for summer road trips, perfect for camping trips in the Pac-Nor or the Northern Rockies. The band is currently touring the left coast with Bobka-interviewees Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.

Listen to the latest episode of Blog Fresh Radio HERE.

Port O'Brien- I Woke Up Today

Sunday, May 11, 2008

we saw: Radiohead

"I'm not here, this isn't happening..."
There is pretty much only one band that I would drive 7 hours and spend $200 to see... Neutral Milk Hotel. But until THAT happens, I'll make due with Radiohead. They rocked the shit out of Hotlanta last Thursday night, with a Kid A/In Rainbows heavy set that made it all worth while. But be forewarned: for those of you who plan on catching them later on this tour, they start early... like nine o'clock early. With tickets saying doors opened at 8, we arrived at 9:15, fully expecting to catch the last half of Liars' opening set before the paranoid brits did their thing. We were wrong, and now I may never see "There There" live. Still, with two (!) encores, it's clear that Thom and co. are doing this tour the right way, and giving the fans their money's worth. Peep the setlist to get an idea of what they've got road-ready:

1. All I Need
2. There There
3. Lucky
4. 15 Step
5. Where I End and You Begin (and we show up late)
6. Nude
7. Pyramid Song
8. Optimistic
9. Wierd Fishes/ Arpeggi
10. National Anthem
11. Idioteque
12. You and Whose Army?
13. Reckoner
14. Everything In Its Right Place
15. Bangers and Mash
16. Bodysnatchers
17. Videotape

First Encore
18. The Gloaming
19. Talk Show Host
20. Just
21. Faust Arp
22. How To Disappear Completely

Second Encore
23. Paranoid Android
24. House of Cards

here's what "There There" might look like live...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

under rated: Yo La Tengo Fakebook

"How will we reach you?"
The first Yo La Tengo song I ever fell for was the feedback driven, distortion drenched pop gem "Sugar Cube." It was everything a young teenager in New Jersey looking for something dreamy in the late-90's could want. Mmmmm fuzz. So, needless to say, when I purchased Fakebook through Columbia House (remember mail order CD clubs!?) and wasn't greeted with the wall of feedback and sunny ba-ba harmonies I was expecting, I was a little disappointed. Mind you I was roughly thirteen and was really stoked on "Sugarcube" and "Autumn Sweater" and "Stockholm Syndrome," all three of which are still staples in my collection.

While Fakebook is sort of the red headed step child of the Yo La Tengo catalog, it's none-the-less an indicator of their incredible range, putting the fuzz and noise on the backburner and showcasing the bands pure pop talents. At the time I'm not sure how much I appreciated this, however, the songs have always stayed with me. Not a season goes by that I don't get "Griselda" or their cover of Daniel Johnston's "Speeding Motorcycle" in my head. And their versions of "Yellow Sarong" and "Here Comes My Baby" are definitive versions I've included on hundreds of mix tapes for girls I used to know.

Yo La Tengo- Yellow Sarong
Yo La Tengo- Here Comes My Baby

"The Summer" from Yo La Tengo's Fakebook

Friday, May 9, 2008

classic: Quicksilver Messenger Service

"All I Ever Wanted To Do Was Love You"
A couple years ago I made my pilgrimage to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located on the beautiful Cuyahoga River (famous for bursting into flames) in lovely Cleveland, Ohio (aka The Mistake By The Lake). While I can't vouch for Cleveland in any way, shape or form, I can say that a trip to the Rock Hall is definitely worth it (Tip; Bring a sealed CD in shrink wrap and claim you are the band who recorded it, you'll get in free. Trust me.) While there are no shortage of mega-fucking-cool items in the Hall (Garcia's guitars, Byrne's Big Suit, and a shit loa of Bowie costumes, Prince's Purple Rain motorcycle), the coolest thing in the hall is by far John Cippolina of Quicksilver Messenger Service's amp setup (above). According to John, here's how this behemoth of sound was configured:
Gibson Custom SG with two pickups, one treble and one bass; the bass pickup fed into the two Standel bass amps on the bottom of the stack. Each Standel was equipped with two 15-inch speakers. The treble pickups fed the two Fender amps-a Fender Twin Reverb with two 12-inch speakers and a Fender Dual Showman- that drove the six Wurlitzer horns.

Custom foot-switched system to select reverb, tremolo, Astro Echoplex (the unit mounted on the right of the Twin Reverb), Standel Modulux (on the left of the twin reverb) or the horns. Truck running lights indicated which effect was being used. Also employed were a Gibson Maestro Fuzz, a Vox wah-wah and multiple volume pedals.
Regardless of what you think about the jammy San Francisco psychedelic rock quartet, there is no denying that Cipollina, his custom SG, and his fucking monstrous amp are inherently more badass than any Jaguar toting, Orange amplified indie kid. Rock excess at its finest.

Quicksilver Messenger Service "Dino's Song" at Monterey Pop.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

new: Soulja Boy

We've made it somewhat of a mantra here at the Bobka not to diss artists and get caught up in the blog flaming wars, but when it comes to Soulja Boy, we can't help but make exceptions. If "Crank Dat" wasn't the worst thing you'd ever heard in your life (and it was pretty fucking close at the time), well the retarded teenage rapper is back to prove he can one up himself in the "Are you fucking kidding me?" department. Seriously, this is probably the worst song I've ever heard in my life. (Ed note: I'm 24 going on 25). Not only is the beat GarageBand formulated, but the rhymes are so painful I'm actually thinking about reviving my career as a backyard cypher freestylist and trying to sell myself to Interscope. Hey, Jimmy Iovine, please stop geting high on your own farts. If you weren't already 120% positive that the major-label recording industry was deader than George Washington, this YouTube clip will certainly prove it. God help our souls. Thanks to Idolator for the heads up (I guess).

tonight: Rose Hill Drive at the Mercury Lounge

After crushing last night's Jammy awards, Bobka pals Rose Hill Drive will be playing TONIGHT at the Mercury Lounge in what is sure to be another blistering performance. To whet your appetites for their brand of unadulterated rock and roll, we have assembled a playlist of some our favorite rock cuts, both old and new. Head banging is strongly recommended. Show starts at 10:30, we'll see you there!

Special thanks to EekNasty and Giles.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sunday Brunch: SwitchBurn.TV

"He's got old, cold hands"
Sunday Brunch is a recurring feature where we explore some music related ish that we find enjoyable. In this edition we highlight live music documenteer's SwitchBurn.TV. While, there is no shortage of unique live performance videos competing on the web these days (La Blogotheque's Take Away Shows, The Black Cab Sessions, etc), what makes SwitchBurn.TV so great is that they take us to the most familiar place but provide a unique angle makes viewing a regular gig seem utterly fresh. Like Wallace Steven's "13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" (my favorite poem), it's all about perspective.

The concept is simple: the SwitchBurn guys capture a show, like the Black Lips show at Austin's Emo's (above), by using multiple cameras to document different angles. But rather than editing the different angles into a single shot, instead they present all three angles at one time, giving you the feeling of being in the middle of the pit, center stage and on stage all at the same time. Unless you're a total schizo, you've never seen a show the way SwitchBurn.TV presents it. Essentially, they make it possible for you to be in the bathroom, at the bar and raging the front row at the same time. Pretty cool if you ask me. So far these guys have done videos of ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Dan Deacon, Dead Confederate, {{{Sunset}}}, and the aforementioned Black Lips. Expect more in the near future.

Dan Deacon "Crystal Cat" at Emo's, Austin, Texas 1/11/2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

contest: Snake & Jet Picture Vinyl!

Hey kids, guess what, the Bobka is doing its first ever contest/giveaway thingy, courtesy of the nice people at Two Sheps, Crunchy Frog and the Danish government. (Ok, maybe not the Danish government.) Anyway, we're happy to be have a few copies of Snake & Jet's Amazing Bullit Band's utterly psychedelic picture vinyl (pictured above). As far as color/picture vinyl goes, this one is fucking badass and definitely worthy of one of the coveted album frames you purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond.

So here's the deal. Let us know you're all time favorite Dane, that is, of course, a person from Denmark, and whomever's answer we like best, we'll send ya one of these ultra sleek slabs of technicolor wax. Pretty good, eh? We thought so. Email us your answers at, or leave them in the comments (be sure to leave email address).

Peep Snake & Jet's Amazing Bullit Band's X-Ray Spirit is out now via Copenhagan's Crunchy Frog Records.

we saw: The Acorn

"The Rhythm Of The Landscape That Is Breathing"
Early Sunday evening I hit up Williamsburg's finest (only) record store/bar, the Sound Fix, for a dinner time set by The Acorn complete with good tunes and FREE PBR! On a scale of one to ten this pairing is a 10 with a few exclamation points. And like multi-instrumentalist Shaun Weadick pointed out, "nothing is finer than playing to the sound of free PBR's cracking." Agreed.

The super chill, yet utterly tight set kicked off with Glory Hope Mountain ballad "Flood Pt. 2," which set the tone for the evening. Like Bon Iver's set a few months back at the Sound Fix, the peaceful cafe like atmosphere of the Sound Fix Lounge compliments The Acorn's sound quite well; mellow, yet vivid, subtle but powerful. Sitting in one of the pews, I couldn't help but feel like I was chilling on a friend's couch. Needless to say, everyone felt right at home. So much so that the band treated the audience to a rare performance of "Plateau Ramble," a song much to quiet to played in noisy clubs. The homeyness of the Sound Fix really gives way to treats like these, just as it did Bon Iver's "Re: Stacks", a song that he never plays because it's oh so soft.

Flood Pt. 2
Crooked Legs
Hold Your Breath
Oh Napolean
Plateau Ramble
Low Gravity
Flood Pt.1

If you've yet to catch them during their four night stay in New York, tonight is your last chance. And like the last time we saw the band at the Mercury Lounge, this lineup is no slouch; Papertrigger, The Acorn, Love as Laughter, and the Cave Singers. Definitely worth your $10.

Monday, May 5, 2008

we saw: A BIG YES... and a small no / American Babies / Ginger from the Wildhearts and Friends

"Guns shaped like crack-shaped prostitutes"
Last week Mort and I hit up Pianos for a Rocks Off triple-bill in which the only similarity between the bands were the members themselves.

A BIG YES... and a small no

With the above flyer not present, Pianos had signs around the bar implying that American Babies were first of the night. So when I saw Joe Russo and ex-Babies guitarist/vibraphone player Kevin Kendrick setting up, I thought just that. Mort turned to me and said, "I thought Tom Hamilton was in this band." You're quite right, Mort. In fact they used to be called Tom Hamilton's American Babies. So what's the deal? Two minutes later Kendrick introduced the band as A BIG YES... and a small no, a name that suits them perfectly. Our general reaction to them was in fact a big YES and a small no. Kendrick's songwriting was heavy on obvious rhyming, but in a purposefully cute kind of way. (check out "Composure" on their myspace page). The band played fun often-jazzy pop-rock remnant of the Violent Femmes and often striking at similar chords of humor and joviality. Carried mostly by Russo, keyboard-wiz Eric Deutch, and Kendrick's harmonies (pitty we didn't get any vibraphone action), it's clear they're a band-in-the-making, but keep an eye out for their record as it hits stores May 13th. Their CD release party is May 15th at Union Hall in Brooklyn.

American Babies

Next up was Brooklyn Americana "super-group" American Babies (we wrote about them way back in September) featuring Tom Hamilton, Scott Metzger, Jim Hamilton, and .... Joe Russo. The band delivered a set of tightly wound country-rockers with veteran instrumental precision. The Babies played through most of their self-titled debut, and would've played an unknown cover until Russo returned from his car having sprinted for more sticks. The group flexed their improvisational muscles once or twice, including the somber "Swimming at Night." I hadn't been a big fan of "Baby Don't Cry" until I heard it live. The mature delicate deliveries of each members respective parts was breathtaking. They closed the set with the album's uber-catchy party welcomer "Invite All Your Friends" (included on Bobka-friend Bill Stead's latest muxtape).


Not knowing much about the Wildhearts it was easy to forget the Babies weren't the headliners. But as some old fat 30-something rock fans began shuffling in, we were soon reminded. Before they hit the stage I ran into RANA keyboardist Matt Durant, fresh from a two year stint on the West Coast. I figured Matt was there supporting his friends Russo, Metzger, and Rocks Off honcho Jake Szufnarowski but to my delight learned he was also playing with Ginger. Although the stage was fairly crowded (drums, bass, keyboard, viola, 3 guitarists) the group was humble and, as House of Pain Tried to put it back in 1996, on-point. The line-up had changed every week (this was the final Thursday) but always included Scott Metzger and .... Joe Russo.
What I took away from the show, besides the reaffirmation that Joe Russo isn't human, was the result of experience and sobriety. I can't speak for the bassist, viola player, and other guitarist, but Ginger, Scott Metzger, and Matt Durant all have been sober for a good deal of time, and have witnessed their fair share of destruction and indirection. The result was a monster set of crushing rock. These guys absolutely killed it. I didn't know any of their tunes, but that didn't matter; they brought the house down.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

interview (sorta): The Acorn

"Sleep above the mango trees"
Last week I rang Rolf Klausner of the Bobk-approved The Acorn to chat about the band's Glory Hope Mountain, his mother and the bands first trek into the United States of America. What happened next is a mess of digital coding, computer meltdowns and bedroom freakouts. Let me tell you kids, it wasn't pretty. In case you didn't already know, always, and I can't emphasize this enough, always back up everything you do, immediately after you do it. Not an hour later, or a day later, or a week later, but immediately after you're done. Trust me, it'll save you alot of time and anguish. A lot.

Truthfully, I should take my own advice, because after re-listening to Rolf wax poetically on the extensive research he did into his Mother's life (the muse for Glory Hope Mountain, the organic writing process and the bands recent trip to SXSW, I somehow lost the file. I'd exported the track through audacity and saved it as an .mp3 and moved it into my Bobka desktop folder for safe keeping. Two hours later, my new MacBook Pro arrived and I began transfering all my files from my old iBook G4 to my new machine. Unfortunately, somewhere in the digital chaos "the acorn-rolf-interview.aud" and "theacorn-rolf-interview.mp3" were lost. After a week of searching for these files on my external hard drive, old computer and new computer, I have reason to believe they have vanished in a digital black hole. Never shall the world hear Rolf eloquently speak on the organic process of writing and recording Glory Hope Mountain, or how sad he was when the band lost their Speedy Gonzalez bobble head. It's sad, especially since The Acorn are already back in my hood. (Last night they played the first of four shows in NY/BK at Union Hall.) Honestly, I'm a bit saddened by this, mainly because it was by far the best interview we'd conducted for the Bobka so far (no offense Explorers Club, Ra Ra Riot and Someone Still Loves You...), but this was a genuinely fascinating interview and I can't thank Rolf enough for giving up his time to speak to lowly me. With that said, you should give up a bunch of your time this week and catch The Acorn in New York. Why? Because they're fucking awesome. Just go see them this week, you'll be glad you did.

Sunday May 4th- Sound Fix, Brooklyn 6PM (FREE!)
Monday May 5th- Pianos, NYC (with The War on Drugs, part of a Brooklyn Vegan Party)
Tuesday May 6th- Mercury Lounge, NYC (with The Cave Singers, Love as Laughter)

The Acorn comes to America!

Friday, May 2, 2008

new member: Deerhunter

"You're a mystical child"
As usual, lots of activity on the deerhunter/atlas sound/lotus plaza blog, but this time it's not just Bradford posting some sweet, gauzy bedroom jams. This time, it's big news...or a month late April fools joke. So, without further adieu, Deerhunter would like to announce their new guitarist. Her name is Whitney and she rocks a pretty sweet looking mother of pearl Jaguar. As for the details, here's what Bradford had to say "I've known Whitney since she was a cheerleader with a bad attitude at Marietta High School." That's it. Bradford had Whitney introduce herself with a micromix, which I'm pretty excited about, as it contains two of my all time favorite songs, off two of my favorite albums, from two of my favorite artists. The songs in question, Bob Dylan's "Isis" from Desire and Springsteen's "Atlantic City" from the masterful Nebraska. If this mix is any indicator, Whitney's got pretty good taste in the classics, with the Stones ("Moonlight Mile"), The Faces ("Oh La La"), Bowie ("Aladdin Sane"), and Patti Smith ("Rock and Roll Nigger") each making an appearance. Looking forward to seeing what this chicks got up her sleeve. Godspeed Whitney.

Whitney's MicroMix

Thursday, May 1, 2008

new: Silver Jews

David Berman has written hundreds of hilarious, oddly poetic, absolutely brilliant lyrics in his day. But a few from "Candy Jail" on the upcoming Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea are really doing it for me this morning. Like this little nugget of sugary goodness.

'Life in a candy jail/ peppermint bars, peanut brittle bunk beds and marshmellow walls...Jelly beans and cookie dough/ Country western on the radio."

Yeah, I like that. Six more weeks until Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea hits stores nationwide. Godbless you Mr. Berman and your corduroy suit.

Silver Jews- Candy Jail

"BLack and Brown Blues" Live in Asheville, NC