Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Cribs- 7.29.07 @ Richard's on Richards

Here are some photos from The Cribs concert in Vancouver, with special guest, Sean Na Na.

Sean Na Na

The Cribs join in and....

show them some love

Men's needs? Women's needs? Whatever.
Boozed up, flys open

Hot drums, a crowd swoons.

And New York fans, The Cribs will play Bowery Ballroom August 9th. Promises to be a great show, for sure.

The Cribs- Hey Scenesters! (link expired)
(Buy the album: Hey Fellas)

Needed: Vacation #2

(View from Stanley Park, Vancouver B.C.)

I'm back, but I would much rather be in Vancouver. The city is beautiful and it's such a contrast from the stressful nature of New York. My time in Vancouver felt like one deep breath.

Funny Vancouver story--- my friends and I were walking down the street when a group of people were coming towards us. When I looked up, I thought one of the guys looked a lot like Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab). I yanked my friend's arm, "Oh my god, that's Ben Gibbard!" So as the guys turned the corner, another friend turned around and shouted, "DEATH CAB RULES!" I thought I must have been mistaken. Who knows if they heard us. Later that night, when we went to see The Cribs at Richards on Richards, someone one in the band mentioned that his guitar was gift from Ben Gibbard. Coincidence? I think not... then again, my druken-English-accent-into-a microphone deciphering skills are pretty poor. Don't know if it was a recent gift or not.

Full concert update tomorrow

Thursday, July 26, 2007

When land meets water

Before I leave you and take my vacay in the land of free health care, Labatt beer, and ice hockey, I want to introduce you to Valerie Leulliot. She is the lead singer of the French group, Autour de Lucie, which is an amazing band in its own right. The last time I was in Canada, I bought one of their albums and listened to it all the way back across the border. I'm kinda hoping to do the same with Valerie's solo album, except, I suspect that Montreal is really the only place you can physically purchase French albums in North America, and I am going to be in British Columbia. I believe it's available on Amazon as well, but I will hit up some record stores and see what I can dig up.

Leulliot has one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard. Whatever language you speak, her music is light, thoughtful and ingenious. When I saw the video for her single, "Mon Homme Blesse" (cracking out my high school French, I think this means, "My Wounded Man"), it just completely swept me away. This is art-- it is as if she is saying, if there were no men and women, land and water would still exist. The sea ebbs and resists, but flows inward to the earth. Who is man? Who is woman? It is all magical.

At least, that was my interpretation. I will be back next Tuesday. Until then, enjoy.

Valerie Leulliot- Mon Homme Blesse (link expired)
(Buy the album: Caldeira)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Oh in Ohio

I've been obsessed with Parker Posey lately so in the coming weeks, you may find an exceeding number of Parker Posey movie reviews.

I picked up this 2006 film, "The Oh in Ohio" a few days ago, unawares that it was panned by critics and flopped at the box office. I thought it was original and darkly funny, much like Parker Posey. She plays Priscilla Chase, a woman with everything going for her-- she just earned herself a promotion, owns a lovely home, and is married to Paul Rudd. But while she is ignorantly happy with her life, her husband is unsatisfied because he can't seem to make his wife orgasm, and although you might think this would be problematic for Priscilla, orgasms don't seem to matter to her because she's never had one. So Priscilla embarks on a journey to self-discovery, putting the OH back into her life :)

There are some funny cameos with Liza Minelli too. I would have appreciated them better, except, that woman scares the bejeezus out of me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Is this the last goodbye?

What's with Jane Magazine not issuing any last parting words? The August issue is the last issue ever after all (say that five times fast). Since Conde Nast announced that it was shutting down the publication and the website, I haven't heard a peep from the editorial board. No teary goodbyes, no final words of farewell. I scoured the pages of the August issue, trying to look for some mention of what happened. I've been an on/off subscriber of the magazine, but I've always loved it. I guess I need closure!

No wait, don't take my Jane away!!! I prefer this magazine over all the other fashion mags. This one gets your brain juices flowing. Besides, me and my fellow poor twentysomethings can only read so many articles about botox and cosmetic surgery, and catching a quality man. Who else is going to write articles like The Golden Girls epiphany?

Southern Comfort

Life's not fair sometimes, but we gotta deal with the pain

Her voice has got me shaking in my bones

Tell 'em honey, tell 'em how love is like a ball and chain.

Janis Joplin- Ball and Chain (live) (link expired)
(Buy greatest hits album here)

Monday, July 23, 2007

You're at a wedding trying to make small talk with relatives you don't remember the names of, and they ask your mother questions like, "so when are you marrying off your daughter?" Or they shake your hand and say "The next time we get together, it will be for your wedding!" They laugh heartily. You smile-- lips thin and tense, "It might be a while..."

In the wise words of Alicia Silverstone a la Cher Horowitz,

"You see how picky I am about my shoes, and they only go on my feet!"
I don't want to abide by a timeline, but living organically is tough, I'm afraid.

Friday, July 20, 2007

In your dreams, there are unlimited Zs

I'm supposed to be packing for a mini overnight sleepover thing with a few of my girlfriends. There will probably be a Scrabble showdown. Ha, I'm such a geek. G-E-E-K... 10 pts!

Yesterday I had the best night ever. All I did was sleep. I have been so tired and cranky lately. All I really need is to sleep more. So with the unbearable heat and everything, I just fell into bed and slept and slept and slept and... Z z z z z z z z z...

For those of you keeping score, in Dream Land Scrabble, that right there earned me 90 pts.

The Softies- Sleep Away Your Troubles (link expired)
(Buy the Album: Holiday in Rhode Island)

I love The Softies, but they disbanded in 2000. Very sad indeed. Everything about their music is wistful and a little melancholy. It is beauty, it is the first few streaks of day break on your window.

Turn your head... go back to sleep.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The power of nice

My co-worker, God bless her. She encourages me and keeps me motivated to get out of our unfortunate situation. She is really one of the most good humoured and kind-hearted people I've ever been fortunate enough to meet. You want to talk ideal office environment? If you fill top management with people like her, you can boost morale, productivity, and for chrissakes, put a life in people's eyes and a smile on their face!

Never underestimate the power of nice.

Now, onto this catchy power rock song by Gooding. This is an oldie from their 2005 album, Angel/Devil, but I suggest between the guitar jamming, you sing along. "We can be free. We can be free... just move on."

Job hunters, I'm talkin' to you.

Gooding- Free (link expired)
(Buy the album- Angel/Devil)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Walk on air

“Mister, let me tell you. It’s not only actors who act. The whole world acts. Even children act just to make us happy. The acting only stops when you die.”- from Le Grande Role

I’m a big fan of French cinema and charming French love stories inadvertently make their way onto my to-rent list. From imdb:

When a famous American film director, Rudolph Grichenberg, comes to Paris to cast a Yiddish version of 'The Merchant of Venice,' Maurice Kurtz and his friends try out for the role of Shylock. Thinking he has finally been cast in an important film role after years of obscurity, Maurice rushes home to tell his beloved wife, Perla. Later, Maurice discovers the part has gone to a famous American star, but he must play the role of his life to be sure Perla, who has become very ill with cancer, doesn't find out.

I spend the rest of the day floating on air believing in true love and devotion.

Go, take a walk, you deserve it.

free music

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mistaken for Strangers

New York Noise is one of my favorite programs, and is an epitome of public television done right. The latest episode followed lead singer, Matt Berninger of Brooklyn band,The National as he and his mom and dad took a tour of the United Nations. Little known facts about Berninger- he used to date Boutros Boutros-Ghali's speechwriter. And the video for Mistaken for Strangers? This was filmed in his apartment. I'm digging this song but it makes me a little sad. You get mistaken for strangers by your own friends...

Mister, my brainwaves are connected to the stereo too.

A friend of mine who has never heard of the National before, says they remind her a bit of Interpol. I don't think they sound much like Interpol at all. The sound isn't quite as dark. Or maybe she is just onto my not so subconscious obsession with Interpol as of late. You be the judge.

The National will play South Street Seaport (free!) on August 17th @ 6pm. See you there~

The National- Mistaken for Strangers (link expired)
(Buy the album: Boxer)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Flashback Friday: Fitter, happier.... what the hell?

The lovely folks at Stereogum are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Radiohead's OK Computer with a basket full of cover songs. If you want to be that crazy person on the subway chuckling to yourself, listen to the cover of Fitter Happier by Samson Dalonoga.

Yeah, I too said, "WTF!"

Repeat "fitter, happier, more productive" till 5 o'clock happy hour comes along.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cook like a ROCKSTAR

A little while ago, I found an interview that Interpol drummer, Sam Fogarino, did in 2002 with Jennifer Niederst Robbins, the mastermind behind Cooking with Rockstars. I love the concept. How better to get musicians to open up than to get them talking about what nourishes their bodies and their souls—food and music? I think it’s refreshing and a hell of a lot more interesting than yet another interview on the music process/inspiration/band origins. As Sam says:

"This is the best interview I’ve ever been on. No band name. No, why do you dress nice? Do you guys really like Joy Division? Okay, no? What about Echo and the Bunnymen? None of that. It’s all about food.”
I love Sam. He’s so cool. I love to cook too so I decided to give his recipe for Pasta with Mushroom cream sauce a go. It was a pretty basic and delicious recipe. I actually believe the pasta tastes better if you leave it in the fridge overnight, and then microwave it the next day as a quick lunch with a glass of white wine. Also, I think it’s fine if you leave out the porcini, especially if you’re not a fan mushrooms. You can probably use less cream as well. The wine I used was an Orvieto Classico.

Yummy! I’m kind of sad actually. I made one big batch on Saturday, and now it’s all gone. I will have to console myself by listening to more Interpol.

Interpol- Rest My Chemistry (link expired)
(Buy the new album: Our Love to Admire)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

SPOON: 7.11.2007 @ Battery Park

It rained cats and dogs tonight, but the crowd showed up regardless, umbrellas and cigarettes in tow. After an hour rain delay, the sky broke into a pretty shade of pink and we spooned.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Me, I'm down in the light

It’s starting to happen, and I thought it would—Interpol overload. I went to bed the other night and woke up because I had a guitar riff looping in my brain. I think I need a break. What say you?

Non-Interpol related, I have been longing to cross off "Clean" from my list of movies to see. The film is about a former VJ, Emily (Maggie Cheung) who needs to get her life on track in order to regain custody of her son. She is a heroin addict, and so is her rock star husband. Society blames Emily first, for his fledgling music career and then, for his accidental overdose. In death, he is canonized as a musical legend, but what about Emily? I know this smells suspiciously of Lifetime special, but for those familiar with director Olivier Assayas' work, Clean is on the other end of the spectrum. Assayas wrote this part specifically for Maggie Cheung and she plays the part convincingly without being overly sentimental. The role ultimately earned her a Palme d’Or at Cannes.

She also has a few scenes where she sings. I love her, I do, but she’s not the greatest singer. Not that her songs don't have their own kind of charm since they are written by Mazzy Star producer, David Roback. I'm actually warming up to it.

Maggie Cheung- Down in the Light (link expired)
(Buy the soundtrack: Clean)

Paul, Paul, Interpol

At some point in his life, Paul Banks was an editorial assistant at Interview Magazine “I was a horrible interviewer. Damon Dash once called me on it: “You don’t know a thing about me do you?” (To see what would probably happen if I interviewed Paul, click here). Eventually he took a job in data entry. And then a job at a café—an intentional regression/progression—the desire to pare down an apple till you come to the core. And then you take those seeds, and you plant bigger, tastier, and sweeter apples.

I think most people have the desire to get to the core of ourselves. We have our hobbies, and our lazy fantasies of what life could be like if we turned left instead of right, but rarely do we act on those feelings. And sometimes this is justified—not all of us have the luxury to give up lucrative (and not so lucrative) jobs in order to do what our heart desires. But this is why I admire Paul Banks (Interpol, and all musicians in general). Because he knows who he is and what he wants. If that means working crap jobs in order to devote more time to music, then so be it.

However, I do find it hard to believe that Paul “Fancypants” Banks doesn’t know much about Damon Dash. After all, he is a self-professed rap music fanatic. Maybe this revelation came to him after the interview was over. Meh.

(links expired)
Interpol- Narc
Interpol- Narc (Paul Banks Remix)
(Buy the Album- Antics: Special Edition)

Monday, July 9, 2007

My love to admire

When someone mentions Interpol, there is still a part of me that feels an incredible amount of regret. I am transported back to 2003, sitting in my freshman dorm room, oblivious to the fact that give or take 300 yards, Interpol plays a show and stops for a bite to eat in our dining hall. Ugh… even thinking about it makes my heart ache, hoping that it was all an urban myth. If only someone had come to me the day before, smacked me over the head with a copy of “Turn on the Bright Lights,” I might be a different woman today.

Flash forward two years, I don’t even remember how I came across the song NYC. But I did, and it made me long for home. I thought, why did it take me so long to hear about this band? It was a difficult time. I spent a lot of time staring at my ceiling. NYC looped on my playlist and I drifted in and out of a languid isolation.

Our Love to Admire comes out on Tuesday, July 10th so we are all about Interpol this week. Are you ready?

Interpol- NYC
(Buy the EP: Interpol)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Idle Joy

It’s a muggy and balmy night in New York, but I had a lovely evening of Indian food and fine company.

I’m debating on whether or not I should go out tomorrow. The superstitious believe 7.7.07 is the luckiest day of our lifetime. Am I superstitious enough to give up a free pass to luck?

But the drained me, well she wants to sleep in late and then take a long, relaxing bubble bath. Hard to believe, but the day passes more quickly then you think. My idleness is ceremonious art.

New Order- Ceremony (link expired)
(Buy the music: Singles)

Flashback Friday: Yes.... it's me again. And I'm back.

FYI, did you know Left Eye was against the song Creep? Her reasoning was, if your man cheats on you, you leave him. You don't go and cheat on him and perpetuate that cycle of cheating. I agree with her whole-heartedly.

She was so beautiful and bubbly...

It's still a wonderful song though - crazy, sexy, cool. Just like TLC. Music isn't what it used to be...

TLC- Creep (link expired)
(Buy the album: CrazySexyCool)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

August Rush in theatres October 19th 2007

This looks beautiful. Can't wait to see it!

From Wikipedia:

August Rush tells the story of a charismatic young Irish guitarist (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and a sheltered young cellist (Keri Russell) who have a chance encounter one magical night above New York's Washington Square. But the couple are soon torn apart, leaving in their wake an infant, August Rush, orphaned by circumstance. Now performing on the streets of New York and cared for by a mysterious stranger (Robin Williams), August (Freddie Highmore) uses his remarkable musical talent to seek the parents from whom he was separated at birth.

View the trailer:

Monday, July 2, 2007

Thank you, come again!

It's going to get mighty surreal for any fan of The Simpsons hanging around TImes Square. The 7-11 location at 42nd street will be converted into a Kwik-E-Mart for one month. Because of the PG-13 rating, there won't be any Duff Beer, but there will be Squishees, Buzz Cola, and Krusty-O Cereal. The movie opens July 27th, and I will be there siping my Squishee.

Bart Simpson vs. The White Stripes

The Stills- Interview with NPR

I'm still riding off the high from Saturday's concert. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed some of the songs from Without Feathers, which, when played live, has just a completely different sound and energy. It's starting to grow on me.

But yes, this second album was a huge shift in tone from their previous album, Logic Will Break Your Heart. I hate change, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I came across this interview The Stills did last year on NPR's World Music Cafe, and they explained their desire to make "epic" music, which can span many genres, not just what Dave Hamlin calls, the "post-Radiohead" sound.

I think what I needed was an explaination for the change. Interpol has been rocking the same sound since they first broke out, but I can understand if a band decides to test new waters and go in a different direction. It didn't work for The Killers, but I hope it works for The Stills because I think they're immensely talented, AND... they don't seem to take themselves too seriously!

On the difference in media attention between Canada and the States:

Dave: The difference is like, in Canada we'll be on the Entertainment Tonight of Canada.
Tim: Right, they don't have much to talk about though.
Dave: No, they don't.

I laughed out loud.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Celebrating Canada in Brooklyn

I made the trek from Queens to Brooklyn today to celebrate Canada Day with three of bands from Montreal: Malajube, Sam Roberts Band, and one of my favorite bands, The Stills.

Malajube in their adorable Franco-accented English wished us all a “Happy Brooklyn.” I still don’t know that significance of lead singer Julien Mineau’s furry rat hat thing, but it’s a good thing it wasn’t a particularly hot day, otherwise he would have been baking.


(Sam Roberts Band)

When The Stills came on, I was ecstatic. I was busting out my best moves, dancing to the music and singing along. I haven’t seen them perform live since college. They really have tightened up the performance aspect of their concert in a few years. Their first album is hands down better than the second, but the second does have its gems—like Oh Shoplifter, and Halo the Harpoon. Then again, I could probably listen to Tim Fletcher sing the phone book. Oh Tim… how I heart thee. One of the songs they performed for the encore was my favorite Stills song, Killer Bees, from the Rememberese EP.

Tim Fletcher & Dave Hamlin


(The Stills)

Happy Canada Day, and…… “Happy Brooklyn!”

Malajube- Étienne d'août (link expired)
(Buy the album: Trompe L’Oeil)

Sam Roberts Band- Bridge to Nowhere (link expired)
(Buy the album: Chemical City)

The Stills- Killer Bees (link expired)
(Buy the EP: Rememberese)