Friday, October 31, 2008

Bruce & the Jersey Devil

"Born Anew"
Bruce+ Jersey Devil= Best Halloween Gift Ever.

Happy Halloween

"Prince of Sorrow"

Enjoy this classic episode of Goth Talk, the funeral for Asrael Abyss, Prince of Sorrow, while mowing down candy corn and putting your Zombie makeup on. Then go download Bill's ghoulish Vampire Bites mix on SoundBites. Classic goth.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

bobkast #18: Stars In Your Eyes

"Oh Oh Oh I'm On Fire"
Thinking about taking a trip to Alpha Centauri? Well, if you just so happen to be making the 4 light year trek, here's a mix to aid in your intergalactic conquests and cosmic adventures. Remember to wear sunglasses as your breaking the Earth's atmosphere, you don't want to miss the view of the Milky Way from Alpha Centauri.

Bobkast #18: Stars In Your Eyes
M83- I Guess I'm Floating
Junior Boys- So This Is Goodbye
Bruce Springsteen- I'm On Fire (Cousin Cole's Bad Desire Mix)
Weird Tapes- Party Trash
Windsurf- Pocket Check
Diskjokke- Folk I Farta
School of Seven Bells- Half Asleep
Passion Pit- Smile Upon Me
John Cale- All My Friends (LCD Soundsystem cover)
Matthew Dear- Deserter

Bobkast #18: Stars In Your Eyes
(Download: PC- right click + save as; Mac- option + click)

Animal Collective Listening Party

"Open Up Your Throat"

I was lucky enough to attend the listening party for Animal Collective's soon to be released Merriweather Post Pavilion. The album, built around a host of songs AC made live staples in 2008, is a typically kaleidoscopic record full of rhythmically aggressive, almost industrial polythytms, bombastic bass (as witnessed at All Points West), bouncing melodies and typical AC psychedelia. A friend noted that it sounded like it was recorded at the bottom of the ocean, possibly inside a mad scientists submarine lab where sounds fly freely in a steel casing.

Tour standout "In The Flowers" (formerly "The Dancer"), the albums opener, sounded closer to its live counterpart than any other songs the band chose to record. The line "If I could just leave my body for a day" seems like an apt introduction to the record, which grooves like a DXM induced dream or a spirited joy ride through Willy Wonka's psychedelic tunnel.

"My Girls", the new name for "House (Material Things)" sounded fucking fresh(!), almost like an aggressive Caribbean number with enough bounce to seriously get you moving, plus that incredible "I don't mean to seem like I care about Material Things" refrain, which may be the most sing-along-able AC line in the history of the band. The studio version doesn't include the echo'd out vocal boo's (the bomb dropping sound) that Panda and Avey drop in the live mix, but the fluttering synthetic chimes are all still in place.

"Summertime Clothes" is the new name for "Walk Alone With You", which sounded like AC dabbling in hypnotism, and is also notably smoother than the Avey scream filled live version. It's like a love song for neo-psychedelic, post-apocalyptic lovers of the future.

"The Daily Routine" is much the same as the band has been playing on tour, and that is A-OK with me. When the bass kicks in half way through Panda's first verse its like standing in front of a jet engine operating at full force. Maybe I was just wayyy to close to the subwoofer at the River Room in Harlem, or maybe its just Geologist gettin' all mad scientist and cranking the low end to world shattering extremes. Whatever it was, it was affecting, so much so that when the shimmering, hypnotizing synth loop comes back in, and Panda croons all ethereally, its as if you are being carried off into a distant land by Hot Air Balloon, or, similarly, like when the Baron of Vulgaria steals the car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It's a sort of frightening, sort of exciting and, in the end, an extremely rewarding adventure.

After "The Daily Routine" was a suite of three new songs that I won't touch on because I can't really remember each of them distinctly. Regardless, they were $. Not as standout-ish as some of the tour favorites, but that could be that I am just not as familiar with them as I am the summer tour jams. The one thing that really stood out about these songs was their almost industrial percussion, which is about as in your face as anything AC has ever done. However, at the same time, they each had their own uniquely whimsical charm, and a bit of shoulder shaking bounce that made them feel like tormented island songs rather than loop based avant-pop.

Merriweather Post Pavilion is rounded out by "Lion In A Coma", "No More Runnin'" and the epic "Brother Sport." "Lion..." and "Brother Sport" sounded mostly intact from the versions I heard this summer, while "No More Runnin'" almost serves as the albums ballad, although it is far from a ballad in the traditional sense of the word. "Brother Sport" now features an almost gospel-like upbeat, handclap rhythm section and, like the other songs, alot less screaming than its live counterpart. It too seemed like more of a dance number than anything else I can recall in the Animal Collective catalog. Appropriately, the album ends with the line " You've got so much inside/ Let it come right out", which, in the context of the new record, feels like an incredibly apt description of where AC stands artistically as we roll into 2009. I guess, to sum it up, all I can say is that now I'm really fucking excited for 1/20/2009. It's going to be epic.

A DMCA notice forced me to remove the two live tracks linked here. However, they are available on Archive.Org (in better quality, FLAC, and for free.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

cmj day 3: Cotton Jones

"If You See Him Floating Through The Atmosphere"

Thursday was quite the chill afternoon, even chiller considering it fell during the heart of CMJ. Gothamist had taken over the Bell House and collected quite an intriguing list of artists. Unfortunately, the Bell House's location in Gowanus isn't exactly easy to get to, nor close to any other CMJ venues. It was empty. So empty that I felt sort of awkward when I walked in, all eyes on me, as if the bands and few members of the Press (Gothamist & Stereogum) were shocked someone actually came to see the performance. I got to the end of the G-line just in time to catch 90% of the Chesapeake Bay's Cotton Jones Basket Ride, one of the bands I really wanted to catch this year. Cotton Jones, led by former Page France singer Michael Nau, sounded unbelievable on The Bell Houses's sound system (Eastern Acoustic Works, all venues should be equipped with these bad boys). Their down home blend of alt-country and folk, mixed with a considerable amount of atmospheric slide work, complimented the empty bar, as they sound like a country-tinged bar band from below the Mason Dixon line, only Cotton Jones's songs, and its players, are much more skilled at bringing whiskey soaked sadness to live than any jukebox in Anapolis is. They sounded so good I snagged a copy of their debut EP, out on Quite Scientific next week, which is one of the nicest CD's I've ever purchased. A miniature clothe bound book with a story inside, and 6 songs taboot. Easily one of my favorite shows of CMJ. Buy there EP here.

Cotton Jones Basket Ride- Midnight Monday and a Telescope

Cotton Jones Basket Ride "All Along The Year"

Monday, October 27, 2008

cmj day 2: Marnie Stern

This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That
Marnie Stern @ Cake Shop, 10/22 (photo by amandalynferri)
After missing Sam Champion next door at Pianos, I headed back to the basement of Cake Shop for my first taste of Marnie Stern. And what a taste it was. Hammer-ons and power chords had me salivating and headbanging as if I were back in my post-grunge youth. This is Rock and Roll music and Marnie, although she may not always think it, is most definitely a Rocker. This was clear from the sheer density of the packed basement, which was well over capacity, and hot as fuck. So hot I did not to return to Ludlow street for the rest of the week, in favor of more comfortable, albeit empty venues, like the Bell House, where I coincidentally saw Marnie Stern again on Thursday. And, as expected, she crushed it, even though there were only 4 people in the audience, excluding performers. The only person I can compare her consistently ass kicking show to is the Boss, who, regardless of venue size, always brings the heat, whether he's in Jersey or Fargo. Stern brings the heat. She's also one of the sweetest performers I've ever met.

Marnie Stern Rockin!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

CMJ day 1: Ponytail/ Passion Pit/ Jens Lekman

"People Like Me Are Fond of People Like You"
Jens Lekman (and Hunter) @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 10/21 (photo by pixelateit)
Our night ended with a DJ set by one of our all time favorites, a certain Mister Jens Lekman. Billed as "Singing DJ Jens Lekman", we weren't quite sure what to think, but were obviously intrigued, I mean, its Jens, right. So basically, Jens fooled around with a CD-DJ, played some choice European house and sang a few bars over a few songs. Didn't know much of what he spun but Lykke Li's "Dance, Dance, Dance", Mariah Carey's "Fantasy" (unfortunately not the ODB remix), The Hood Internet's remix of his "If I Could Cry (It Would Feel Like This)" were all fun and whatnot. Nothing spectacular, but it's Jens, so who cares.

Passion Pit @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 10/21
(photo by Jalapeno)
(photo by pixelateit)
The last time we saw Passion Pit was their second NYC appearance at Pianos in August. Things have certainly changed since then. Besides the universal love they've received from every blog, webzine and independent radio station, not to mention releasing the kick ass Chunk of Change EP, it's safe to say that, like before, Passion Pit is blowing the fuck up. Not only that, but makes sense considering their live show is about 200x better than it was at the significantly smaller Pianos. Go see them before you have to catch them at the Garden.

Ponytail @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 10/21
(photo by Jalapeno)
(photo by Georgia Kral)
Spastic, jubilant, ecstatic, Adderall. That's basically Ponytail in a nutshell. Personally, I dig their brand of euphoric spaz punk. Granted it's certainly not for everyone, but if the idea of Bjork yelping over two frenetic guitars, which rage with MC5 "Kick Out The Jams" intensity, then definitely give them a try. Their always playing and, presumably, their always fun.

CMJ day 1: Women/ Oxford Collapse

"Get Us Blacklisted"

Women@Cake Shop 10/21(Photo by The Roaring Twenties')
Our first show of CMJ this year was Canada's Women at the pretty rad Pop Tarts Suck Toasted day party at the Cake Shop. It was 4 in the afternoon and after a bike ride over the BillyBurg bridge to the LES, the basement of the Cake Shop really made it feel like it was 3am. Women played angular, shoegazey indie that felt appropriate in the warmly lit basement. It wasn't my favorite set of CMJ, and they were really F'ing loud, and since I've only heard them over the sorta lackluster Cake Shop PA system, I think they warrant a few listens on wax.

Oxford Collapse @ Cake Shop, 10/21(Photo by Bob Reich)
Brooklyn's beloved Oxford Collapse finished off the Pop Tarts showcase at Cake Shop Tuesday afternoon with a set combing heavily from their recently released Bits, which has found steady rotation at Bobka HQ. Their post-collegiate, askewed garage rock goes really well with Happy Hour and they were light years better than when we saw them play an acoustic set at Sound Fix a few months back. As most would note, Oxford Collapse pretty much rocks live. Go see them.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Found: Easier (radio mix)

"I've lost my head..."

I was cruising the massive music library at work (150+ gigs), and came across this so-called "radio mix" of the Grizzly Bear song "Easier". Instead of a verse or chorus being chopped off, it's a total rework of the song, with completely different lyrics. Such overachievers...

Grizzly Bear - Easier (radio edit)

Friday, October 24, 2008

video: Marissa Nadler "Thinking of You"

"All Through The Morning"

Marissa Nadler just posted this beautiful and heart-wrenching video for Songs III: Bird on the Water standout "Thinking of You." The song, written from the point of view of an abandoned and emotionally shattered ex-lover, is one of the most honest, and utterly affecting post-break up songs I've ever heard. The song, and this accompanying video by Jennifer Cox, represent exactly what it feels like when you can't stop thinking about an ex and the times you spent together. From Marissa's blog:
"I couldn't help posting this lovely and beautiful video that Jennifer Cox was nice enough to make for me. It is for the song "Thinking of You" of off my recent record Songs III: Bird on the Water. I held off on posting it for a while because I think that it was so emotional and perhaps brought me back to the darkness of the time when I wrote it. Thank you Jennifer, thank you the actors, and thank you.
Not the best way to kick off a weekend, but, if you can get through this and not feel absolutely devastated by the end, consider yourself to be in a very good place mentally. Either that, or you have no soul.

By the way, Marissa will be playing the Kemado showcase tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Dungen, the Muslims, TK Webb and Cheeseburger. Should be a good one.

Marissa Nadler "Thinking of You"

CMJ filler: Girls

"It Won't Last Forever"

I thought Girls were playing CMJ. Turns out they are, just not San Fran's Girls, but NYC's Girls. Bummer. Anyway, SF's Girls, on True Panther Sounds, is easily one of my favorite new bands of 2K8. The Morning Light/Lust For Life 7" is epic and they've got great videos taboot. For instance, "God Damned"(above), which takes on a a very-Full House opening credits type feel, even down to the blonde baby girl getting ice cream. And if you haven't seen it yet, the stellar "Morning Light" video is below.

"Morning Light"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

mix: El Guincho

Barcelona's El Guincho just did a mix for GvB and Imeem and, unlike today's previous post, it really makes me miss Spring and Summer. If Alegranza was the soundtrack to rooftop daydrinking and bike rides through parks, then this Gorilla Contra Bear mix will surely take you back to such lovely times. Bust out the blender, some bottom shelf tequila and pretend its summer and you're unemployed, or on a cosmic trip to Rio.

El Guincho :: gorila contra bear mixtape

Claustrofobia - Paris Nostalgic (edit)
The Congos - Ark Of The Covenant (edit)
MC Solaar - Temps Mort (edit)
Marina Rossell - Morí a Revensbruck
Yoruba Andabo - María Belén (remix)
Trío Matamoros - Reclamo Místico
The Mighty Sparrow - Wood in the Fire
Phyllis Dillon - Perfidia (edit)
Docteur Nico & L'Orchestre African Fiesta - Zadio (edit)
Fase Nuova - Ritmo Salvaje, Ritmo Bestial
Extraperlo - Esperando Nuevas Órdenes
Roberto Carlos - Quero que Vá Tudo Pro Inferno

GorilaContraBear Mixtape - El Guincho

CMJ filler: Belle and Sebastian

"If They Follow You"

It wouldn't be autumn without a visit into the Belle & Sebastian archives. So remember, even though the year's almost over, but "don't look back, like Dylan in the Movies."

"Like Dylan In The Movies"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

CMJ filler: Bon Iver

"Who Will Fight"
(Photo by Ryan Muir)
Since were busy working day jobs, attending day parties and night time showcases, its pretty much impossible to post anything CMJ related. Yeah, it's been one day and I'm already thoroughly exhausted. So, in place of anything new and exciting, here is a video from the first show I attended at last year's CMJ, the Bon Iver set at the Brooklyn Vegan showcase at the Bowery Ballroom. If you didn't know, it single handedly assured the world that Justin Vernon is an undeniable talent. I was mesmerized, as were most, and walked away with one of the last handmade copies of For Emma, Forever Ago. A year later, For Emma... sounds just as fresh as the autumnal air.

Bon Iver "Skinny Love" @ CMJ 2007

Monday, October 20, 2008

daytrotter: Department of Eagles

"Send Us All Away"

Daytrotter is hosting a new session by Bobka-favorites Department of Eagles. The session includes In Ear Park standout "Herring Bone", which we were really hoping to hear at the Bell House, and non-album track "1997", which we did hear at the Bell House. Just in time for the first jacket and scarf days in NYC. Grab 'em while their hot. And remember, Election day isn't just for voting, it's for picking up In Ear Park on vinyl too.

Department of Eagles- Herring Bone

Department of Eagles- 1997
Department of Eagles- What is Your Deal?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

"Kurt Cobain's Cardigan"
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart could easily be from Glasgow. Whether its the thick fog that engulfs their guitars or their sweet, coy broken hearts, its both Jesus & Mary Chain and the early, twee'd out Belle & Sebastian. It's good for loafing, general sadness and washing dishes. Oh yeah, and being pure at heart. TPOBPAH has a few shows during CMJ this coming week, including Wednesday night at the Knit and Friday at Cake Shop. I have a feeling they'll be popping up at a few more day parties, and secret after shows as well. Just a thought. Grab the 7" for Everything With You HERE.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart- A Teenager In Love

The Paints of Being Pure at Heart- Everything With You

Friday, October 17, 2008

morning music: Sunnybrook

"Rolling Like A Sunflower Earth"
GvB turned me onto Sunnybrook (what a surprise) earlier in the year when he posted the lovely "Big Waving Hands," which is still one of my favorite songs of 2k8. To be honest, because Sunnybrook doesn't have any released material and is not touring, he sort of fell of my radar. That is until about 6:15 this morning when my computer woke me up to the opening fingerpicks of "Big Waving Hands." I figured now was as good a time as ever to head over to his MySpace and see what's good. Good time too, as Paul North has posted a few other exceptional tunes, all perfect for making coffee and reading the paper on sun soaked mornings. If I were a sunflower, Sunnybrook would be my favorite band. "Big Waving Hands" is below for downloadable consumption, but you also head over to MySpace to hear "Yellow Dronings", "Strangers" and the other songs Paul is sharing, which sort of remind me of what Sigur Ros might sound like if they moved to Nevada City.

Sunnybrook- Big Waving Hands

Thursday, October 16, 2008

bootleg: R.E.M

"Sometimes I Feel So Happy, Sometimes I Feel So Sad"

R.E.M. - Live @ Music Hall, Seattle, Washington - June 27, 1984 (Full show) (direct download) (setlist in comments)

we saw: TVOTR

"Go Ahead Put Your Red Dress On"
(Photo by WinkingSkunk)
I'd planned to attend the secret Love Is All show at the Monster Island Basement last night, but scoring last minute tickets to TVOTR changed my plans. To be honest, I've never been a big TVOTR fan. It's not that I don't like them, I just, to quote Chuck D, "don't believe the hype." That said, I was excited to see them live, as I've been enjoying Dear Science (in particular the Bobkast making ballad "Family Tree" and funk banger "Red Dress"). In retrospect, I should've watched the debate and then headed to Love Is All, as TVOTR sounded terrible.

This may not have been their fault, and I presume, it wasn't. From the looks of it, the sound on stage was fine. The band was raging and not once was there a call to "turn up the monitors" or, the often heard, "Can I get a little more in my monitor? Less him, more me." I've seen one show at the Masonic Temple in the past (BoH on Valentine's Day) and it sounded pretty good, not great, but definitely not shitty. Not so much last night. In fact, it was so bad that not a single word Tunde sang all night was comprehensible, which is too bad because his voice, and lyrics, are one of TVOTR's strong suites. As if that wasn't enough, he and Kyp were both low in the mix to begin with, drowned in sludgey layers of, for lack of a better word, mud. The horns, which I thought would be a nice addition (and would be $$$ on "Red Dress", which wasn't played), were lackluster, at best. The entire evening sounded like TVOTR being played out of a shelf system stereo with one blown out speaker plugged in and the X-Bass on. Not flattering for a band known for their experiments in sound.

Flat out, the show sucked and I'm pretty bummed I shelled out 30$ for a band I'm not that into, who seriously let me down. But, it does give me a platform to bring up a question I've been pondering for a long time; Who is to blame for muddy sound? Was it the venue for being rather open and having a ceiling with cutouts that soak up sound instead of projecting it? Is it the band for being from BK and choosing to play three nights at a venue whose sound they knew was subpar? (After all, they could've easily done a multi-night run at MHoW and/or BB) Or, can the blame be placed on an ill advised, unexperienced sound guy? If so, I'm going to take TVOTR to task and say that they've been around long enough where having a shotty sound guy is absolutely unacceptable. Their on a major label, tour in a lavish Prevost bus and sell $40 t-shirts (yeah, 40 bucks), they should at least be able to deliver a decently sounding show to a home town crowd of excited devotees. To rub salt in the wounds, I actually saw the sound guy high five his partner (or crony) right after the show, as if they'd single handedly produced a life affirming rock show. They hadn't. In fact, last night was essentially the definition of subpar.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

highlight: NYC Taper

I Miss Maxell XL-II's

Let me count the reasons why I love NYC Taper
1) Deerhunter @ (le)Poission Rouge
2) Built to Spill performing Perfect From Now On @ T5.
3) Dinosaur Jr.'s monstrous opening set from that evening @T5.
4) Sigur Ros @ the United Palace Theatre. Both Nights.
5) Atlas Sound's woozy set opening for Stereolab
6) Kria Brekkan's stunning set at the Lutheran Church down the block. (And accompanying video of Olof Arnalds breastfeeding/singing a lullaby to her son)

and last, but surely not least, nor last for that matter.

7)of Montreal's Caligula-esque performance @ Roseland

As always, everything is also available as FLAC. If that's not motivation to upgrade your broadband speed and pick up a new external hard drive, I'm not sure what is. NYC Taper also has a CMJ Showcase at Cake Shop, Thursday October 23 from 3pm-7pm. Don't you love Free day parties during CMJ, best excuse ever to call in sick.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bobkast #17: After Hours

"Everything In Its Right Place"
(Photo by Thomas Hawk)
Saturday nights inevitably end in someone's living room, fresh beers in hand and pizza boxes, with only a few dusty crumbs inside, strewn across coffee tables.

The process begins around two, sometimes earlier, when one feels the itch to 'get the hell out of where ever they are', but doesn't want to end their night with an Irish exit from some god foresaken bar.

Idea! Rally likeminded troops and soldier on toward the closest corner store and the Pizza place (or Diner). Beer in one hand, 'za in the other, the herd moves toward a nearby apartment. They huddle around a dirty coffee table, TV on in the corner, some detective noir on mute. Smokes are smoked, 'za crushed, as brew soothes pizza burnt mouthes (or sits in the open bottle until said apt owner picks it up in the morning, sighs, and pours it down the drain).

Of course, there are tunes, perfect tunes that seem to breathe from barely lit walls. And dancing, on coffee tables, until legs get jello-y and eyes heavy, and the couch calls your name. You sit. Bite off a piece of half-chewed, totally burnt crust, wash it down with a lukewarm, soon-to-be-wounded soldier. You slowly drift off into the ether.

Bobkast #17: After Hours
Amadou & Miriam- Sebali
Cut Copy- Midnight Runner
Outkast- Spottieottiedopaliscious
Radiohead- Everything In Its Right Place
The Duke Spirit- A Message to Pretty (Cousin Cole's Compakt Mix)
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas- Feel AM
M83- Kim & Jessie (Montage remix)
Memory Cassette- Asleep At A Party
Spiritualized- Harmony 6
TV On The Radio- Family Tree
Koushik- Nothing's The Same
M83- Midnight Souls Still Remain

Download Bobkast #17: After Hours (PC: right click + save; Mac: apple+option)

New Animal Collective due in January

"You've got so much inside..."

So this somehow escaped me over the weekend, but one of the most Bobka'd bands out there, Animal Collective, has (cryptically) revealed the title to their new album, as well as a tracklisting (via Stereogum). It's called Merriweather Post Pavilion, which you may know as an outdoor amphitheatre in Maryland, and includes the following tracks:

01 In The Flowers
02 My Girls
03 Also Frightened
04 Summertime Clothes
05 Daily Routine
06 Bluish
07 Guys Eyes
08 Taste
09 Lion In A Coma
10 No More Runnin
11 Brother Sport

The rumor mill (aka stereogum's comments section) purports the following possible song name translations from AC's recent live shows. In order of most likely to be true, based on commenters confidence:

Old Name - New Name
"Bearhug" = "Summertime Clothes"
"House" = "My Girls"
"Dancer" = "In the Flowers"

Here's some video, and mp3's of "Brother Sport" and "Daily Routine" from earlier in the year. Enjoi.

Animal Collective- Daily Routine (5/28/08 Lisbon, Portugal)

Animal Collective- Brother Sport (5/28/08 Lisbon, Portugal)

Animal Collective "Summertime Clothes" @ Hove Festival

Animal Collective "Daily Routine" @ Hove Festival

Sunday, October 12, 2008

We Saw: Grizzly Bear/ The National

"Baby, we'll be fine..."

real perty photo by sokane1

New York Magazine had it's 40th birthday on Thursday, and since magazines can't buy porches, they throw badass parties instead. Stella opened with some particularly hilarious banter, and then Grizzly Bear took the stage, using the Hammerstein's legendary reverb to their advantage. Their set list was fairly similar to All Points West, but between the acoustics, the light show, and the fact that I wasn't on my lonesome, this one proved to be an even more enjoyable performance. Of particular note were the new songs "Two Weeks", "While You Wait For The Others", and the lesser known "Fine For Now", a lovely little Dan tune with Ed accompanyment. Kinda makes you forget about all that Dan/Ed squabble nonsense.

Despite their plethora of New York dates these past few years, I'd never gotten the chance to see The National, a fact I began to regret about one minute into their first song. With a Springsteen-esque mix of heartfelt sincerity and stadium rocking bombast, they far exceeded my expectations, thanks largely in part to a gorgeous horn section (basoon included). Part way through their set, The National lead singer Matt Berninger told the audience that this would be their last show for a long while, as the band was preparing to go make another record (cue cheers and applause). When they get back, make sure to get the first ticket... you won't regret it.

Here's a super neat video of Friend standout "Deep Blue Sea" being sung by the sea, as well as the mp3 of new Grizz song"Two Weeks", perhaps my favorite song of the year. For National lovers, a fittingly moody Vincent Moon video of "Baby We'll Be Fine", dedicated to all those poor stock brokers out there.

Grizzly Bear - "Two Weeks (Live on David Letterman"

Saturday, October 11, 2008

we saw: Of Montreal

"Is It A Solar Fever?"
(Up Close & Personal Photo by Mimi)
Spolier Alert: Kevin Barnes rode a white horse last night at Roseland...literally. That said, if you are going to see Of Montreal in the next couple of weeks and want to leave an air of mystery to the show, which will only enhance your experience, I recommend you don't watch all of these videos. If you were previously thinking about buying a ticket but were on the fence, do it. Immediately. If you've never liked them before and think that Barnes/Fruit is an overdramatic sex obsessed pre-madonna, your right, he is, and one of the best. ever. period. Easily one of the best shows of 2008, no doubt about it. My only complaint is that they sold out of gigantic psychedelic Skeletal Lampings horse posters and 2xLP's, although I'm not surprised, just jealous. Thank god for online merch catalogs.

A Song of Sorts in Kongsvinger@ Roseland

Gronlandic Edit@ Roseland

She's A Rejector@ Roseland

Friday, October 10, 2008

tonight: Of Montreal

"Ninja's prove it"

Skeletal Lampings lyrics I can't wait to hear Georgie Fruit sing tonight, in no particular order:

"We can do it softcore if you want, but you should know that I go both ways."
"The sky is pregnant with faggots"
"I'm a mother fucking headline and bitch you don't even know it"
"I'm just a black she-male"
"When we get together it's always hot magic"
"You've gots a super wicked style, show it to me baby, let me see it baby"
"A freaky permiatation, something like Voltron"
"I'm not worth knowing cause I'm probably dead"
"We climbed upon the rocky shore and freaked out on the mountain goats"
"I was a hater in the depths of an emotional hibernation"
"I took her standing in the kitchen, ass against the sink"
"It's time to penetrate their fantasies"
"I'm so sick of sucking the dick of this cruel cruel city"
"Still some gentle people fucking to strawberry letter 23"
"You should call sometime, I wont answer but at least I'll know you care, How will you know its me, Caller Id"
"I live to make you call my name"
"Turning tricks on the hood of Jasmine's car"
"Biting the prick that feeds me in my sister's bathroom"
"How can I function? There's no more Apollonian beauty to behold"
"I want you to be my pleasure puss, I wanna know what its like to be inside you"
"Bless my lips with your sunlandic kisses"


"I wanna slap face your face, I wanna paint your nails, I wanna make you scream, I wanna braid your hair, I wanna kiss your friends, I wanna make you laugh, I wanna dress the same, I wanna defend you, I wanna squeeze your thighs, I wanna kiss your eyelids and corrupt your dreams, I wanna crash your car, I wanna scratch your cheeks, I wanna make you sick, I wanna sell you out, want to expose your flaws, I wanna steal your name, I wanna show you off, I wanna tell you lies, I wanna write you books, I wanna turn you on, I wanna make you come 200 times a day"

What are your favorites? Old and new? See ya at the Roseland.

"Wicked Wisdom" Live in Durham

white session: Arcade Fire

"Us Kids Know"
Arcade Fire- White Sessions, Paris, FR 09.03.05

01 - Wake Up
02 - Neighborhood (Laika)
03 - No Cars Go
04 - Une Année Sans Lumière
05 - Power Out
06 - Rebellion
07 - Neighborhood (Kettles)
08 - Crown Of Love
09 - Neighborhood (Tunnels)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

holiday: Soul Messengers from Dimona

"Black Hebrews"

Some funky ish for all you Jews fasting and atoning for this past years sins. The best black-American-Hebrew speaking-Gospel-Funk ever. A Numero must own.
Between 1975-1981, a group of American ex-pats took their native sounds of Detroit and Chicago and intermingled them with the messages of the Black Hebrew culture. The results are a heavenly mix of spiritual soul and jazz with an undercurrent of gospel psychedelia. Featuring the Soul Messengers, the Spirit Of Israel, Sons Of The Kingdom, and the Tonistics, Soul Messages From Dimona is the only living document of a thriving community at both the center and fringe of the world.
Soul Messengers- Savior In The East
Soul Messengers- Equilbrium
Soul Messengers- Heaven of Heavens

Snag it here on Wax.

we saw: Franz Ferdinand

"Come and Dance With Me Michael"

(Photo by Bill)
I have to admit I haven't listened to, nor even really thought about, Franz Ferdinand in years. That said, when a friend offered me a ticket yesterday afternoon to their "secret show" at Music Hall, I couldn't pass it by. In retrospect I can't believe I inadvertantly fell out of lust with Franz Ferdinand for no real reason except that there has just been way too much good music released over the past few years.

I've been digging their new single "Lucid Dreams" on Sirius for a bit, so when we got to Music Hall and they were playing Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell" (12" version?) and Prince, I knew things were going to get funky. And they did, real funky. Franz, which includes at least one Greenpoint resident, brought the neck slicing guitar funk last night and once they went into "Michael", Franz's gay disco "will you dance with me?" jam, I was instantly reminded why their debut was so killer, and sort of pissed at myself for neglecting You Could Have It So Much Better, which Charles constantly reminds me is criminally underrated. The band played a hefty load of new songs, most of which were straight jams, as well as a smattering of crowd pleasing hits of old. "Dark of the Matinee" was a pleasant trip down memory lane, but, for me, nothing was better than their closer, "This Fire", my absolute favorite Franz Ferdinand song, with the exception of their own remix of the song, "This FFFire." Unfortunately, I may have taken the "we're gonna burn this city" a bit literally, as I most definitely scorched the top of my mouth while gorging myself on Pizza after the show. Oh, the perils of Brooklyn life.

*Actual Setlist (via SoundBites)
Bite Hard*
Tell Her Tonight
Turn it On*
Dark of the Matinee
Send Him Away*
The Fallen
Kathryn Kiss Me*
Take Me Out
ULysses* |
40 Ft.
What She Came For*

A New Thrill*
This Fire
(*New songs)

Short Clip of "Turn It On" from Last Night (shot by We All Want Someone To Shout For)

new: Atlas Sound

"Video Game (?)"
Grab the Coricidin, fire up some candles and turn the lights down low for a splendid trip to the woozy synth'd out ether world. Yep, Bradford Cox has done it again. New virtual 7" over at the Deerhunter blog. "Airedales" is pretty much all I ever want my dreams to sound like. Deerhunter November 7th??? Anyone? Bueller?

Atlas Sound- Maybe Logic 7" ("Maybe Logic" b/w "Airedales")

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

covers: Arthur Russell's A Little Lost

"A Voice In Me Is Telling Me To Run Away"

While it was a pleasure seeing the Department of Eagles live debut, for me the highlight of the night came early on, when double bass aficionado Nat Baldwin took to a cover of Arthur Russell's "A Little Lost." There is no doubt that Baldwin's minimalist experiments with the double bass are eerily similar to Russell's works with the cello, however, they should hardly be written off as regurgitated nostalgia, for Baldwin's songs are real, living, breathing gems. That said, his version of "A Little Lost" made me feel all warm and giddy inside, like I just met a girl I really like and want to hold her hand and take her out to dinner and all that crap.

Coincidentally, my favorite Jens Lekman cover is his version of "A Little Lost", which we featured a while back. You may remember that Jens took a stab at "A Little Lost" r for the 4 Songs by Arthur Russell compilation, which he also curated. Jens, who will be in town doing a "singing DJ set" during CMJ, really has a way with the kalimba on his Take Away Shows version. And yes, Arthur Russell crushes it as well. All thee videos below for aural and visual stimulation.

Nat Baldwin "A Little Lost"

Jens Lekman "A Little Lost"

Arthur Russell "A Little Lost"

we saw: Department of Eagles at Bell House

(Photo by Play Vicious)
The Department of Eagles live debut last night was sort of how we expected it to be; a warm night of bedroom songs played in front of a super attentive audience. Daniel Rossen sounded great and made for a warm and convivial host, often noting how "cool" the evening was. Rossen and fellow Eagle Fred Nicolaus were backed by Grizzly Bear's Chris Bear on drums and backing vocals, bassist, and opening act, Nat Baldwin and the Dirty Projectors Angel Deradoorian on keyboards and harmonies. Much of the night seemed like a rehearsal, mellow and really laid back, as if we were in a friend's barn. Rossen made it work, often noting flubs and rehashing inside jokes about Jimmy Jawn (or John), aka "Grizzly Bear's code word for anything finger-picky and twangy." Dept. of Eagles ran through a host of new songs, including "1997", as well as Rossen's infamous cover of JoJo's "Too Little Too Late", dedicated to lead Grizzly Bear Ed Droste. However, the warmest crowd reaction came, not surprisingly, during "No One Does It Like You", the first single from In Ear Park and one hell of a pop song. For those wondering, yes, the band was able to recreate the stunning harmonies that permeate In Ear Park, as well as many of the haunting textures that make the album feel at home in the chilly October night. No DoE tour dates scheduled, but if your going to the Book Eaters Revenge tonight, you're in for a special treat. Peep P4k's video of DoE performing on a roof in Brooklyn.

(side note: Is it me or is Daniel Rossen always wearing that shirt?)

Department of Eagles "In Ear Park

Monday, October 6, 2008

around: The Beach Boys 1967 Rehearsals

"God Only Knows"

Anyone with a more-than-casual interest in the Beach Boys should head over to Aquarium Drunkard ASAP. For the second time in a few years, AD is hosting some quintessential Beach Boys demos, recorded in 1967 during the rehearsal sessions for Pet Sounds. Simple, stripped down versions of Beach Boys classics. A must for collectors, BW obssesors and Mom and Dad. According to AD, the mp3s will be up for two weeks. Do not hesitate. Could not be recommended anymore.

The Beach Boys :: God Only Knows
The Beach Boys :: Surfer Girl
The Beach Boys :: You’re So Good To Me
The Beach Boys :: The Letter
The Beach Boys :: Help Me Rhonda
The Beach Boys :: Heroes & Villains
The Beach Boys :: Their Hearts Were Full of Spring

monday morning music: Stars of the Lid

"And Their Refinement of the Decline"

Still recovering from the weekend? Don't fret, Stars of the Lid are here to make everything better. Their orchestrated ambient compositions are truly the musical equivalent to homeopathetic medicine, an organic cure for all ills. Above is the trailer from the Stars of the Lid film, to be released in 2o10. Luckily, Austin's finest purveyors of tired sounds will be in NYC for two shows in November, as well as an appearance at the Brainwaves Festival in Boston, which also boasts Silver Apples and Bobka-favorite Marissa Nadler on its lineup. Surprisingly, there are still tickets available for Stars of the Lids shows at (le) poisson rouge. We'll be at the late one night, getting all ethereal and shit. I recommend you do the same. You can get tickets HERE.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

We Saw: Stereolab/Atlas Sound

"Don't worry be happy things will get better naturally..."

Bitchin' photo by Bill
Sadly, this bobkat couldn't watch the (hilarious) trainwreck known as Sarah Palin, but happily, it was because I was getting a facefull of Stereolab...which was only made more poignant considering the top story on Pitchfork when I got home from the show. McCain family fans aside, the show was a real victory for the people, who were treated to Atlas Sound bringin' some ooey gooey shoegaze, followed by Stereolab's funkified, Chemical Chords heavy set, sweeping the crowd into a frenzy of refreshingly non-political fervor. Is it too late for McCain to ask Lætitia Sadier to be his running mate? She's certainly a hot older lady. Oh but she's French... trop mauvais...

Here's some video from Beggar's really awesome youtube channel, showing the band playing fan favorite "Percolator" in front of just a hundred or so fans in the UK

we saw: Fleet Foxes at Grand Ballroom

"When I First Came To Town They Called Me The Roving Jewels"
(Photo by Play Vicious)
As expected, last nights Fleet Foxes show at the Grand Ballroom was another blessing. No surprise, considering every time we've seen them, with exception of Pitchfork Fest, they've been absolutely magical. Last night's set wasn't too different from what I've seen in the past, but it did feature a healthy Robin, a first for us New Yorkers, and a standing Robin taboot. Highlights of the evening were Robin's solo, totally unplugged versions of traditional standard "Katie Cruel", a personal favorite, and "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song." They also unleashed a not-quite-finished new song, "Silver City", which they've been playing on the road, and features Robin on electric guitar. And, of course, "Mykonos" continues to define itself as the definition of new American gospel folk, a made up genre that perfectly suits le Fleet Foxes. If our prior posts on the wonders of the Fleet Foxes didn't make you immediately buy tickets to their next show, please do yourself a favor and make it happen. You will not be disappointed.

Setlist:Sun Giant->Sun Rises->Drops in the River, English House, White Winter Hymnal, Ragged Wood, Your Protector, Crayon Angels (Judee Sill Cover) {Robin solo}, Oliver James{Robin solo}, Quiet Houses, He Doesn't Know Why, Mykonos,

Encore: Katie Cruel (Traditional) {Robin unplugged, solo}, Tiger Mountain Peasant Song {Robin unplugged, solo}, Silver City(new song), Blue Ridge Mountains

Fleet Foxes- Silver City (Live at the El Rey Theatre) (new song)
Fleet Foxes- Katie Cruel (Nashville Sessions)
Fleet Foxes- Mykonos (BBC Sessions)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

found: Brotherman

"The Pusher Who Became A Preacher"

The Numero Group table at the Pitchfork Music Festival's Record Fair was one of the sweetest, most financially devastating, booths I've ever browsed. Dozens of Numero reissue vinyls were to be had for cheap (We picked up Soul Messengers From Dimona, Don't Stop:Recording Tap, and Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal), but perhaps the biggest get was a pre-release cassette copy of Brotherman, the soundtrack to a movie that was never filmed. From the Numero site:
In classic Numero fashion, before even one foot of film was shot, the plug was pulled and the movie was cancelled. Dragged around for 30 years by songwriter and arranger Wolfolk, the tapes of his life’s work have finally been mixed, and the soundtrack album has been augmented to include two orchestrated instrumentals intended for the film. Having no stills from the film to work with, the Numero Group tasked Minneapolis’ Burlesque of North America to paint a cover that could withstand the scrutiny of any blaxploitation poster geek.
The Final Solution's soundtrack is '70s street soul at its finest; funky, grimey, ass rattling and smooth as butter. Of course, Numero Group says it best:
He was a pusher that became a preacher. A gangster pimp serving soup from the trunk of his Coup Deville. A mutant cross between Robin Hood and Friar Tuck. Everyman, our man on the street, Brotherman. Continuing a tradition that began with Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, and culminated with Shaft and Superfly, Brotherman was a blaxploitation film set to hit screens in 1975. Prior to the script being finished, the producers commissioned an original soundtrack to be performed by The Final Solution, a fledgling vocal group from Chicago’s west side.
Brotherman sits in Tape 2 of our stereo, always accessible when doing dishes or trying to get your swerve on. If couch listening isn't enough, Koushik made a few of us very happy when he dropped "Theme from Brotherman" last night at APT.

Final Solution- Theme from Brotherman
Final Solution- Never Coming Back Again

Friday, October 3, 2008

classic: I Feel For You

"I Think I Love You"

It's Friday. Get involved with this classic jam and get into the vibe. Written by Prince for his 1979 debut album, Chaka Khan's 1984 version of "I Feel For You" features Stevie Wonder on the harmonica and re-ignited her career. Legend has it that the stuttering "Chaka Khan" at the beginning was a mistake by producer Arif Mardin, but he wisely decided to keep it in. Fun fact: Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake performed this song together during their stint on the Mickey Mouse Club.

Check out the original Prince version while you're at it:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sarah Mother F*cking Palin

"We're Gonna Lay More Pipeline"
Guarantee you're singing this all week.

John Brown- Sarah Palin (I Wanna Lay The Pipeline)

classic: Mazzy Star

"Strange You Never Knew"

It's a woolly day in Greenpoint and while the sun is certainly shinning, I can't get Mazzy Star's narcotic "Fade Into You" out of my head. I really really liked this song, and its accompanying album, So Tonight I Might See You, when I was an adolescent, which, in retrospect, makes a lot of sense considering my fondness for woozy, celestial psychedelia. One of the most stunning and surprising hits of the '90s. Welcome to October.

Mazzy Star- Fade Into You

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

old: Fleet Foxes

"A One Way Ticket On A First Class Airplane"

Everyone loves Fleet Foxes. Seriously. I love 'em so much this Saturday will be my fourth time seeing them live since March. That says a lot considering there are bands I've listened to for years and have never seen (Belle & Sebastian, Beck), or just recently saw for the first time (Built To Spill). Because the band has received much well deserved acclaim, I'm sort of surprised I haven't read anything about their first release. No, not Sun Giant, rather Fleet Foxes EP, or demo, that proceeded it in 2006. This may be because FF sound almost entirely different, and from my understanding, were a completely different band then, the only remaining members being singer/songwriter Robin Pecknold and guitarist Skyler Skjelset (?). The younger incarnation of Fleet Foxes touches on such universal themes as young love ("Textbook Love"), identity ("Anyone Who's Anyone") and roaming ("In The Hot, Hot Rays"), each of which serve as ex-post facto portraits of how the group found its sylvan folk sound. While it does not live up to, and should not be compared to, Sun Giant and Fleet Foxes LP, the EP serves as a logical stepping stone in the short career of a band I expect to be hearing a lot from for a long time. Their vision for the future is no more evident than on the closer, "Icicle Tusks", which is a clear sign of where the band was/is headed. Demo available as a .ZIP below. Enjoy!

Fleet Foxes 2006 EP/Demo


"Won't You Please, Sir"

Phish 3/6-8 2009, Hampton Beach, Virginia
Somebody call the nitrous mafia, Phish is gearing up for a reunion tour. First stop, the mothership (aka Hampton). Goo balls, anyone?