Friday, August 29, 2008

we saw: Lykke Li

"Let Me Go Tonight"
(Totally Sweet Photo by EarFarm)
Well that was fucking awesome. To be perfectly honest, as a big fan of Youth Novels I was unsure of how Ms. Li would come across live. Truth be told, I wasn't expecting this to be much of a show. Boy was I wrong. Not only was (le) poisson rouge absolutely packed, but Lykke put on an inspired show that proves she is well beyond hype and is truly a force to be reckoned with. Lykke had the audience (in the round!), especially the flash photographers, enraptured with her Stevie Nicks sway. Her vocals shined throughout the night and were especially spot-on during the coy, piano ballad "Time Flies" and the break up anthem "Breaking it Up." Like on record, it's incredible how much an excellent percussionist can add, as the show would not have been bubbling over with energy if it wasn't for Ms. Li's drummer. Lykke covered most of the ground work laid out on Youth Novels, including everyone's favorite "Little Bit", which made 700 hearts simultaneously flutter, and "Let It Fall", a personal favorite. She also busted out timely covers of Vampire Weekend's "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" (video), which was actually kinda cool, and Tribe's classic "Can I Kick It?", which I actually thought was going to be "Walk On The Wild Side." It wasn't, but it sure was a fun way to end the evening (video below). I think it's safe to say that after last night, if you haven't already fallen in love with Lykke a hundred times, well, what's wrong with you?!?! Need proof of her charming beauty and effervescent songs, hit up her October show at Music Hall, but snap them up fast because they could very well be gone by this afternoon if last nights performance was any indication.

Dance, Dance, Dance
Let It Fall
I'm Good, I'm Gone
Hanging High
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (Vampire Weekend cover)
Little Bit
Complaint Department
Window Blues
Breaking It Up
Time Flies
Can I Kick It? (A Tribe Called Quest)

Can I Kick It? Live at (le) poisson rouge (Shot by Ear Farm)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

viddyo: "All I Need"

"Waiting in the wings / I'm an animal"

Radiohead's "All I Need" provides the soundtrack to some amazing footage from the 1996 French film Microcosmos. Lovingly stitched together by J. Tyler Helms, to simply call this mix of audio/visual wizardy "synergistic" would be a gross understatement. Says Mr. Helms: "The sensual pace and delicate melody of the song reminded me of a world much smaller than ours, with all the love and violence we experience." Indeed. Looking forward to watching Microcosmos by itself after being inspired by this incredible video.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

new: School of Seven Bells

"All Kinds of People, Places and Things"
Really been digging this new School of Seven Bells track "Connjur", which feels like it's transmitted from a galaxy far, far away. It probably is. The group, which formed after Benjamin Curtis left Secret Machines, specializes in intergalactic electronic pop, similar to that of upcoming tourmates M83. It's dark, synthetic and perfect for late night jaunts through dark, industrial wastelands...or space. The group will issue its first release, a 7"/Digital only release of Half Asleep/Caldo, on the always awesome Ghostly International on 9/16/08, with a full length, (Alpinisms) to follow. Look for School of Seven Bells on tour with M83 this fall.

School of Seven Bells- Connjur

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

tonite: Harlem

"Psychedelic Tits... They Are The Color Of A Rainbow"

Harlem is playing the Charleston on Bedford Ave tonight. Got turned on to them two weeks ago when GvB posted the explosive garage joint "South of France," which has been on high Subway headbang rotation ever since. "South of France" is really irresistible as it is exactly what I'd want to be listening to if I was driving in the South of France and not blasting ABBA. Really don't know anything about these guys except they have one of the most entertaining MySpace pages I've ever seen, not to mention killer song names ("Psychedelic Tits", "I'm On Drugs", in particular). Oh yeah, their album is called free drugs;-). If your not gonna make it to the Charleston (pizza+beer, mmm), you can grab free drugs;-) on vinyl (or cd) HERE.

Harlem- South of France (courtesy of GorillaVsBear)

Monday, August 25, 2008

We saw: Titus Andronic, Yo La Tengo...Last Pool Party

"And The Summer Comes Undone"
(Photo by Forklift)
(Photo by Fakebook)

(Photo by Dese'Rae L. Stage)

Yesterday couldn't have been a better Pool Party. Not only was the weather absolutely impeccable but NJ All Stars (veterans) Yo La Tengo and (rookies) Titus Andronicus brought the sonic heat. Titus was on second, after the horrible Ebony Bones, and tore threw a set of distortion driven, reverb drenched songs that felt more like a call to arms than a rock concert. No surprise considering The Airing Of Grievances is delivered with a sense of urgency that feels more like a desperate plea for life than cry for help. The songs are immediate, biting, caustic and catchy. I really haven't mentioned them on here, although I probably should be considering I own all of their recorded material on vinyl and have spent a good portion of 2K8 freaking out on subways whilst listening to The Airing of Grievances. Head over to Troubleman Unlimited to grab their limited edition vinyl LP before its sold out forever.

(Photo by BitNoots)

(Photo by StevMacs)

If Titus Andronicus didn't blow out your ear drums, then Yo La Tengo were determined to. The NJ vets played an extremely feedback driven set (even for them) that was full of sonic excursions powerful enough to send waves of electricity down your spine. Ira was on. James held down some of the grooviest bass lines I've ever heard (Period.) Georgia coo'd and looked sweet with a guitar. Like Wilco at the Pool a week ago, Yo La rock like serious veterans, a well oiled machine of a band who know each other inside and out, so that seemingly free-form sonic freakouts don't sound as much like experiments in improvisation, but highly constructed fits of noize capable of existing inside the song structure. If the pairing of Yo La and Titus wasn't good enough, the two joined each other on NJ punk pioneers The Misfits "Where Eagles Dare", a great way to end one of the best shows of the summer. Farewell Pool, maybe we'll visit you when you're filled with water. Or, maybe not.

(Photo by AmyeDav)

Yo La Tengo "Pass The Hatchet, I Think I'm Good Kind"

Friday, August 22, 2008

interview: (((Eagle Winged Palace)))

"To Replace The Powers That Be"
A few weeks back I chatted with Los Angeles psych folk purveyors (((Eagle Winged Palace))) about their infancy, Dio, omnipotent doom and the Manson Family sing-a-longs. It's not everyday that psych folkies mention "Rainbow in the Dark" as an influence, but hey, that's why we love (((Eagle Winged Palace))). Oh, and so you don't get confused, Cashew and Michelle are the principle songwriters for (((Eagle Winged Palace))), and CB is the interviewer.

Chocolate Bobka: From the songs I've heard, (((Eagle Winged Palace))) has a very mystical, dark and folky sound.

Cash: Ghost, spirits, legends, and the like. We're trying to keep ourselves artistically narrowed into two things. Instrumentally we try to keep everything acoustic, pre-electronic.

Michelle: Keeping it Organic.

Cash: All the songs have to do with California theme, folklore, legend, so its kind of conceptual but at the same time were trying to make it universal.

CB: Keeping with the organic vibe, how do you guys record? Do you try to stay away from digital recording equipment?

Cash: We'd love to be able to keep it all analog, and go down into Capital's reverb chamber downstairs and use all their reverb plates and analog tape machines and pipe organs. But...Well, it costs alot. Ha.

Michelle: I personally would like to record at the bottom of the ocean like the guys from METALOCALYPSE did.

CB: Cash, when you were getting the band together was it a conscious decision to enlist all women?

Cash: Ha, no.

Michelle: I disagree. I think that secretly Cash has this plan that he will eventually have thousands of women in the band, following him and chanting his name... "Cashew! Cashew!"
(laughs) Whats funny about you being the only guy is that it reminds me of the whole Manson Family sing-along.

CB: Yeah I was thinking the same thing. So how did it start?

Cash: Well, Michelle was really the first one I asked that was totally into it. She was the first one I met that was into Pentangle and classical folk and...

Michelle: Fairport Convention! Manson Family Sing-A-Long.

Cash: I tried finding dudes, but the first people I ran into that were interested were my girl friends.

CB: How long has EWP been together?

Cash: Hmmm, we officially started around November of last year (2007). Very much a baby thing. We've already taken all our baby missteps, now were picking up the diapers, we've made our mistakes on stage and now were making good... Things are coming together.

Mich: Now we're beginning to grow, we've got our songs down and our live show is coming together to the point where were ready to add more aspects to the live show.

Cash: Visual elements.

Mich: Projection, lights, that kind of stuff.

Cash: This weird prop pinwheel spinny-type thing I keep seeing at Paramount. Ha. Megan and I were talking the other day, and its probably way to early to be talking about this, especially with the venues we play here in LA, but she does some trapeze work and we'd be really interested in adding to our show.

Michelle: Oh yeah, that'd be awesome. Shes an aerialist and she does this incredible stuff, her teachers are Cirque de Soleil alums and she's just amazing and we'd really like to figure out a way to incorporate aerialism into our live show in some way, shape or form. Like aerialists and trapeze artists above the stage.

Cash: Visualizations and projections and mini-movies are more focused, just because the venues we play couldn't really handle the aerial stuff.

Mich: Haha, yeah and it'd be pretty hard for her to play and be above the stage doing aerials at the same time.

CB: Your press release highlights "spirits, ghost, Spanish ship wrecks", which all seems to come together in "Hands of Doom."

Cash: Oh, the Ying and Yang. The irony. Its a really pessimistic view of life love and death and all that and, you know, the waves swell and its beautiful and then they crash.

Michelle: Especially being in Southern California where everything is just picture perfect and sometimes there are just those days, like in California, its perfect 82 degree day and the waves and crashing and every ones happy but inside there is all this turmoil going on.

Cash: Elements of danger at all times.

Mich: within this peaceful, perfect California setting.

Cash: At the same time, it's also a little bit of love, ya know, not wanting to die alone, not wanting to go out alone, you know..Just being in Love...I think.... It's one of those things that...You just....I was actually more inspired by Dio more than anything. I don't know why. (MICHELLE LAUGHING) But Dio was calling my name. His lyrics are kind of like that.

Mich: Wait, are you serious?

Cash: Yeah.
CB: Like Dio DIO?

Cash: Like "It's A Rainbow in the Dark."

Mich: Yeah, well we talked about that song and I know our musics more mellow and folky, but we all have really diverse musical backgrounds and we just talked alot about music and we were talking about Dio's "Rainbow in the DarK" and if you read the lyrics there sort of fantastical. So your saying that song inspired you?

Cash: Yeah, by taking a look at the beauty of what we see around here...I've been to the east coast and New York, the east coast cities like Philly and Boston..and over seas in Europe... London, Paris... Things are so ornate and have been set in their ways for centuries. But where we are (Los Angeles), the cities are built on all this nature and at anytime..wildfires, earthquakes, flood, its just so precipitous, so insane. So there is just an element of doom, whether its drowning in the waves or looking over a cliff and falling off.

Mich: Landslides.

Cash: anything could take you down here if you in the wrong spot. i just hope im not the guy whose in the wrong spot and just gets "poop" (bomb drops on head sound).

Mich: Can i ask something?

CB: Go for it.

Mich: I've actually never talked to {Cashew} about "Hands of Doom" and I think we all have our own interpretations but now it just makes so much more sense when you think about where we live and all those different elements.

Cash: Yeah, yeah...I think..Ya know, you don't really know when your writing it but when you look back its like, "Duh, that's what "Hands of Doom" is about.

CB: In going with the whole sense of omnipotent doom, the California sliding into the ocean philosophy, how do you think that affects everyday life for most people? Do most people just put it on the back burner and forget it?

Cash: Yeah, totally. It really is "La la land." Same as Pompei or New Orleans, these cities built around places where they just shouldn't build. I mean, people build places in the middle of tornado alley and stuff.

Mich: Its not to say that everyone disrespects nature, but there is a large majority that are like.."Why did half of my house in Malibu burn down? Well, gee, its because you built it on a Chaparall in Southern California, so geographically landslides occur and landslides really happen there. There's so much natural variance in the California landscape, so when people first moved in and set up cities like Los Angeles, people tend to forget what the environment was initially, so when you have a huge earthquake or when homes burn on the chaparral, they wonder why. At the same time there are alot of people who are ultra aware of their environment.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

we saw: Passion Pit & Sammy Bananas

"As Far As I Can Tell Everything Will Be Swell"
(Photo by Hooves on the Turf)

Last night we hit up Passion Pit's second show at Piano's, part of their Wednesday night residency at the L.E.S club. Despite playing for only an hour (maybe even less), and not having that much material to choose from, the Cambridge synthesized quintet brought the heat, as evidenced by my sweat soaked T-Shirt and glistening jew-fro. If you've heard just :30 of "Sleepyhead" you'd expect Passion Pit would have no problem getting the kids to throw their hands up, and you'd be right. When we arrived at 9:30 the show was already sold out, so Bill's hyperbole wasn't so much exaggerated as it was accurate, which I guess makes it the exact opposite of hyperbole. Needless to say, Piano's was sardine can tight and hotter than a Bikram yoga session on Khao San Road Bangkok (hyperbole), but that only made the booty grindin and disco finger pointing that much more fun. Obvious highlights were "I've Got Your Number", which features the ultra falsetto'd lyric "Have You Seen Me Cry Tears Like Diamonds" and "Sleepyhead", which effectively scorched the crowd with good vibes, although it was way too short for its own good.

While Passion Pit got the dance party started, things really heated up when the crowd cleared out and Fool's Gold crew member Sammy Bananas took to the decks. Dude spun a super funky set featuring the likes of Daft Punk, Depeche Mode, Kid Sister and, the still badass two years later, Kelis "Bossy" remix by Alan Braxe (Will this song ever get old?), while projecting Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain, one of the weirdest, most puzzling films I've ever seen, on the stage screen. Just think Christ-like figures pooping in glass bowls and people marching through the streets carrying skinned chickens. Yeah, it was weird...but really sweet considering there were only about 8 of us left in the Show Room, meaning we basically had our own private dance party, curated by Mr. Bananas. If you had fun and want to go back next week, definitely by tickets in advance. It's easy and you won't be disappointed.

Passion Pit- I've Got Your Number
Passion Pit- Sleepy Head
Sammy Bananas- Summer of Sam Mix

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

we saw: Oxford Collapse

"Your So Sweet, Thanks For Asking"

(Photo by LikeATeenSpirit)

Sunday night Oxford Collapse played an acoustic set at Sound Fix. Sound odd? Yeah, it kinda was. Granted the guys were extremely open about how they had "never done this before", play acoustic that is. We weren't surprised, because honestly it's electricity which propels Oxford Collapse's tattered and bedraggled pop into a whirlwind of exhilarating and enticing basement punk . They mentioned attending one of Levon Helm's near legendary Midnight Rambles the night before and the 'loose' vibe of the Ramble certainly made its way into the Sound Fix Lounge. However, the vibe didn't do much for the songs, which were sort of sloppy, sort of shitty, and sort of unbearable. I only say this because I really like Oxford Collapse, its just that they were incredibly awkward in trying to pull together this acoustic set. Yet they went against the grain and did it anyway. They played a few songs off BITS and a couple of admittedly butchered covers, including a Frightened Rabbit tune and Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece."

Regardless, I've been listening to their latest, BITS (just released on Sub Pop), and it's pretty darn sweet. "The Birthday Wars", a song they opened with (I think) at Sound Fix, is all the woozy, bass heavy bashing we've come to expect from the Brooklyn trio (mp3 and video below). Fortunately, Oxford Collapse is throwing an ELECTRIC CD release show Thursday at Glasslands, which will feature the following:
fun n' games, decorations, streamers, comedians, clowns, mimes, capoeria, mud wrestling, midget wrestling, wheelchair basketball, tupperware parties, a preview screening of the new BATMAN, WWF all-star "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, a very special appearance by someone very special, beer pong, Darth Maul, the Groovie Ghoulies, how to learn braille, chimichangas, 5th wave ska, legendary A's slugger Dave Kingman, Violent Bullshit, Mario Cantone, and the usual gang of i'jiots.
Luckily, I don't think there will be any mandolins in attendance on Thursday.

Oxford Collapse- The Birthday Wars (direct download)

Oxford Collapse "The Birthday Wars"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

new: Passion Pit

"Tears Like Diamonds"

If you've attended a Bobka Mobile Disco or peeped the Rooftop Mix, then you should be familiar with Passion Pit. Truth is, "Sleepyhead" is just straight funking iLL, and easily one of the finest, funnest songs of the year. Not to mention that "I've Got Your Number" is pretty much off-the-heezy as well. Passion Pit play their second NYC show tomorrow at Piano's (part of a month long Wednesday night residency) and if it's anything like last week, it should be fucking bumping. I'll get the Sparks, you get the syzurp.

[Ed Note: NYC blogger Good Weather for Airstrikes just started a label called Neon Gold and will be releasing a Passion Pit 7" in September of "Sleepyhead" b/w "Better Things." The 7" will be limited to 1,000 pressings so keep your eyes and ears open.]

Passion Pit- I've Got Your Number
Passion Pit- Sleepy Head

Monday, August 18, 2008

new: David Byrne and Brian Eno

"Someday's We Harmonize"

A great way to kick start the week. Listen to Everything That Happens Will Happen Today below, then buy it. Great to hear this classic pairing making tunes again. Highly rec'd.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

we saw: Wilco

"Its Hot In The Poor Places Tonight"
(Photo by Mystic Childz)
The Wilco show at McCarren Pool on Wednesday was a prime example of a band maturing, aging with grace and being 'total pro's.' Not only was the venerable machine well oiled, but the band, more powerful than ever, delivers a genuine rock and roll show without any of the pretense often associated with indie rock (and Brooklyn). Of course, comedian Jeff Tweedy got into the mix, asking "Are you all too cool to clap?! Would it be better if we add the "Love Will Tear Us Apart" drum beat to it?!" The audience took the jab as best it could, and turned the standard crowd clap to new levels, adding a second beat and turning the whole thing on its side. Then Tweedy called us a bunch of "free thinkers." It was funny, but some people didn't take it in stride. Regardless, the sold out show delivered American rock and roll of the highest quality, especially during rhythmic machine that is "Spiders (Kidsmoke)" (which featured the clapping), and the triple guitar assault on Sky Blue Sky rocker "Impossible Germany." Twas also great to hear a couple off the criminally under rated Summerteeth and to finally hear Glenn tear up "Heavy Metal Drummer" (picture below). Check out a great video of "Poor Places" from the McCarren Pool show below.

Wilco 8/13/08 McCarren Pool, Brooklyn, NY
Via Chicago
Blood of the lamb (w/ clarinet)
You are my face
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
A shot in the arm
Side with the seeds
Far far away
Impossible Germany
Pieholden suite (w/ total pros)
California stars (w/ total pros)
Handshake drugs
Pot kettle black
Poor places >
Spiders (kidsmoke)

encore 1
Jesus, etc.
Can't stand it (w/ total pros)
Hate it here (w/ total pros)
Walken (w/ total pros)
I'm the man who loves you (w/ total pros)

encore 2
Heavy metal drummer
Late greats (w/ total pros)
Kingpin (w/ total pros)
Monday (w/ total pros)
Outtasite (w/ total pros)
I'm a wheel

"Poor Places" Live at McCarren Pool, 8/13/08

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

smooth: Marvin Gaye "Star Spangled Banner"

"...the twilight's last gleaming"

Marvin Gaye stunned the crowd with this silky version of our national anthem at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game. As featured in the latest Nike commercial.

we saw: Hercules & Love Affair

"You Belong To Him Tonight"

Friday night was truly epic. Radiohead's juggernaut of a live show made my legs so weary that all I could do to make it to Hercules & Love Affair was to take a nap on the light rail platform. (And another nap in the cab across town). But we are young and the young shall dance, so when we arrived in front of the Fillmore (still weird that its not Irving Plaza) we were injected with a few hours worth of second, third and fourth winds.

We arrived just past midnight, and probably missed the first 10-15 minutes of H&LA's show, but it didn't matter, the party was in full swing and the hyper-sexual gay club disco had the old IP feeling a lot more like 54 or Tunnel, or one of those obscenely hedonistic dance clubs of old that people like to reference. Moustached men in short, short shorts maneuvered the dance floor as if they were extras in the roller disco musical Xanadu, while drag queen supreme Nomi dominated the stage, all eyes on her. The band, which included a full horn section and a half nude male "Vogue" dancing all night, was so tight that the songs literally moved into and out of each other, as if they were having sex and each transition lead to a new disco-beast of an offspring. "Athene" and "You Belong" were full of sleek body shaking goodness, while the unstoppable crowd could have brought the balcony down during "Blind." For me, the unreachably high highlights were H&LA's cover of "Don't Fear The Reaper", the "my secret love of a man" jam "You Raise Me Up" and the encore, and house rattler, "Hercules Theme." It's nights like this, and acts like Hercules & Love Affair, that often make me dream of being a young gay male during the height of the cocaine fueled NYC disco years of yore.

Hercules & Love Affair- Don't Fear The Reaper (Live at Irving Plaza)
(Courtesy of The Sound of Indie)

"Blind" Live @ Studio B (R.I.P.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

All Points West: Saturday

"All I Need"
(Photo by Jonny Leather)
If things hadn't gotten so down right dirty at the Hercules & Love Affair show, post-Radiohead on Friday, we probably could've made it to Liberty State Park a little earlier. But who wants to go to a clean disco show? Not I. And so was the case Saturday when we arrived at APW at the tail end of Metric's set on the Main ("Blue Comet") Stage. While Emily Haines was looking sexy as ever, the day didn't truly start for us until Animal Collective took over Jersey City. AC threw a monkey wrench into the very "accessible" All Points West lineup, which consisted of a lot of ear friendly acts more likely to win over new fans than scare the be-jesus out of them. But, hey, that's why Animal Collective rules. As expected the band stuck to the general set they've been bringing all summer, including Panda Bear's "Comfy in Nautica", the explosive "Fireworks -> Essplode", the philosophical psyche piece "House (Material Things)" and the new jam (gem) "Brother Sport." Needless to say, AC brought it hard and left us hard of hearing, literally. AC's set was so bombastic that the Geologist was literally moving the earth with gutteral bass and punishing %&^$% (unknown sound). It literally took Hunter and I a good twenty minutes and a nice jaunt around the park to fully regain our hearing...only to get our ears pooped on by Kings of Leon.

(Photos by Self-TitledMag)

(Photo by Jonny Leather)
After washing the urine and feces from our ear canals it was time to get serious. Night 2 of Radiohead. Night 1 was, well, everything you'd expect from one of the most talented bands in the world. Night 2 did not disappoint, with Thom and Co. ripping apart classics like "Planet Telex" and "Fake Plastic Trees", while also slaying "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" and "Weird Fishes/Arpeggio." There is something to be said about the goosebump inducing power of 40,000 strong singing "the beat goes round and round" in sync with Mr. Yorke. I'm not sure what that something is, but when I figure it out, I will cry, and then do my best to communicate it. Oh yeah, they ended the show with "Idioteque"... Shazam. The only bummer about Radiohead's set Saturday night was that I knew I wouldn't be seeing them Sunday. Oh well, guess I have an excuse to head to Japan in a few months.

"Idioteque" @ All Points West 8/9/08

Monday, August 11, 2008

All Points West: Friday

"It is now the witching hour..."

You know the difference between Radiohead and other bands equally long in the tooth? Radiohead can still bring it. More specifically though, what other band has been around so long and can play every song but one off their new (7th) studio album, and not just get away with it, but fucking rock it? Well that's exactly what happened Friday night at conveniently located All Points West Festival. And you know how eco-friendly cars are great for the environment, but kind of suck? Well Radiohead's lighting system uses solar charged batteries that use 1/4 the amps of similar systems (the better to reduce their carbon footprint, my dear), and it was still the best light show I've ever seen. Clearly these guys have a few things figured out.

Another reason why this show was unbelievable? Setlist highlights were not what I would have guessed (and I saw them just 2 months ago), even with typical standouts "Idioteque" and "There There" on the bill. "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" got the whole crowd bouncing, glitchy Hail to the Thief track "The Gloaming", which has been refitted with jumpy new drum and bass sections, surprised the hell out of everyone (see the shitty vid below, but you get the idea), and "You and Whose Army?" was accompanied by some black and white camera right in Thom Yorke's face (better than it sounds). And yes, okay, Idioteque was fucking sweet.
"Lucky" @ All Points West 8/8/08

....Aaaaand did I mention Grizzly Bear and Andrew Bird? Both wowed in different ways... while Grizzly Bear were more of the "That band sounds really great" variety, Andrew Bird was more a "Holy shit that guy's talent is goddamn intimidating". Both played some songs off their recent albums (Yellow House and Armchair Apochrypha, respectively), as well as excellent new stuff slated for release later this year. Of course I'm referring to everyone's new favorite Grizz song "Two Weeks", which you can watch below. No Doveman with the arpeggios on this one, but it's fantastic all the same...

Extremely awesome photo of Thom by baonguyen.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

morning music: Jeff Hanson

"They Won't Ever Follow You"

Certain music just sounds better when the sun first bursts through the morning haze, like some cosmic score to the breaking dawn. Jeff Hanson is one of those special artists who crafts songs so intrinsically beautiful that they feel as home in the Brooklyn morning, as they do at 3 a.m. when all you can see is the radiant glow of the Citi Group building off in distant Long Island City. His latest offering, Madam Owl, is a majestic piece of baroque folk that cements Hanson's voice as one of the most unique in the pop cannon. Upon first listen you'll wonder, "who is the female vocalist?" Well, it's Jeff, whose voice is as smooth and pure as Joni's in her youth and as powerful as (former) Kill Rock Stars label mate Elliott Smith. Beautiful pop songs, sung in an absolutely mesmerizing voice that transcends space and time, so that everything is at a stand still, as if the world has vanished and all we are left with is reflections on the past.

Jeff Hanson- Night
Jeff Hanson- Your Only Say

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

mix: Rooftop Party Mix

"The Summer, With Me And My Friends"

A few weeks ago I was asked to curate a mix for a friend's rooftop party on the Lower East Side. Set ideally next to the Williamsburg Bridge on a beautiful July evening with good friends and lots of exemplary party favors [can you say (un)frozen Lemonade and Vodka?], this rager truly had everything, including an appearance by the legendary, and somewhat mythical, Schluss-burger. Cheers!

Jar-Ed's Rooftop Party Pre-Jam Jam Vol.1 (Mixed by McGregor)
The Lemon Fog- Summer
Velvet Underground- One of These Days
Girls- Lust for Life
The Shag- Stop and Listen
El Guincho- Kalise
Flying Lotus- Robo Tussin (Lil Wayne "A Milli" Remix)
Air France- Collapsing At Your Doorstep
M83- Graveyard Girl
Glass Candy- Rolling Down The Hills
Hercules & Love Affair- Hercules Theme
Lykke Li vs. Field- Dance Dance Dance In My Face (The Hood Internet Remix)
Bullion- I Just Wasn't Made For These Times
Pulp- Common Pulp
Music Go Music- Light of Love
Fleetwood Mac vs. Gwen Stefani- Everywhere (Paul Devro mix)
Santogold- L.E.S Artistes (XXXchange Remix)
Of Montreal- Gronlandic Edit
MGMT- Electric Feel
YACHT- I Believe In You
The Ruby Suns- Tane Mahuta
Gilberto Gil- Bat Macumba
Jeanette- Porque Te Vas
The Clash- Rudy Can't Fail
Stevie Wonder- Sir Duke
Arif Sag- Osman Pehlivan
Lord Rhaburn- Disco Connection
DJ Shadow- Organ Donor (Extended Overhaul)
Broken Social Scene- Pacific Theme
Caribou- Crayon
Caribou- Every Time She Turns Around It's Her Birthday
Black Moth Super Rainbow- Drippy Eye
James Pants- Crystal Lite (featuring Deon Davis)
Friend- Secret (Remix of Air France's "Collapsing At Your Doorstep")
Passion Pit- Sleepyhead

Jar-Ed's Rooftop Party Pre-Jam Jam Vol.1 (Mixed by McGregor) (Right Click & Save; or opt + click to save)

Monday, August 4, 2008

we saw: King Khan & the Shrins and Deerhunter

"It Never Stops"
{Bad Ass Photo's by Dese'Rae L. Stage}

First things first, King Khan is a fucking lunatic. That said, it should come as no surprise that he threw hundreds of banana's at the audience, spit the remnants at us, jumped on us, got a Beeej from Duffy (via Spin cover), hated on Germany, threw some more bananas, made a beautiful Man-gina, walked around with flowers in his ass crack, pulled Tim Harrington's cock out and then poured beer down his pants. If that wasn't enough, he rocked the park hard and then Deerhunter came on.

Bradford and Co did not disappoint, performing crowd favorites like "Strange Lights" and "Flourescent Grey", while also touching on Microcastle jams "Never Stops", "Nothing Ever Happened" and "Saved By Old Times." We didn't stick around for the Black Lips, but from the looks of it they brought there usual antics, and more King Khan pranks. Definitely a lot sweeter than the line at the MGMT show.

King Kahn & The Shrines


Friday, August 1, 2008

we saw: Wolf Parade

"This Hearts On Fire"
{Bad Ass Photography by Dese'Rae Stage}

Wolf Parade rocked Terminal 5 last night. This is noteworthy because A) I have not listened to At Mount Zoomer once and B) I've been avoiding Terminal 5 like typhoid. Regardless, WP brought it. "You Are A Runner...", check. "Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts", check. "Shine A Light", check. "We Built Another World", check. "I'll Believe In Anything", check. And, thank little 8 pound 4 oz baby Jesus, "This (mother fucking) Heart's On (fucking) Fire", double check. Wolf Parade takes the stage at T5 again tonight around 9. Tickets still available, just do it. [Side note: Tix just went on sale for Spencer's return to NY with Sunset Rubdown, Merc is sold out, but Music Hall still available.] Mad props to whoever was doing lights last night, phenomenal job (peep video below for evidence).

"This Hearts on Fire" Live at Terminal 5 7/31/08

we saw: Light Pollution

Hand Crushes The Wheel
Light Pollution rolled into Manhattan the other day for a show at Piano's. To be honest, I'd never heard of them until Wednesday morning when I got a press release that said "Light Pollution's music is kaleidoscope of sound, encompassing everything from backward tapes to dissonant piano rolls to even crunching leaves." Sounds good to me. Piano's was empty Wednesday night, as if no one had gotten the memo. Despite much of a crowd, Light Pollution performed an enthusiastic set of soul bearing Americana backed by life affirming instrumentation. From my count the band played accordion, guitar, violin, mandolin, trombone, bass, drums, melodica, glockenspiel, keyboards, and a smattering of percussion. Not only did the band bring the songs on their recently self-released (and self-titled) EP to life, but they did it with so much enthusiasm you couldn't help but rock out in the corner all by your lonesome. The Illinois based collective is currently touring the Northeast promoting its self-titled EP, available on vinyl (comes w/a CD), and will be back in New York Saturday for a show at Brooklyn's Union Hall. Get there early, their the first band on the bill.