Sunday, September 30, 2007

Iron and Cocktails

Sad news, my homegirl Sofiblu is moving. She unloaded her house wares and gave me her iron. (If only we had wine last night, this post heading would work out perfectly.)

As a going-away present, we went to the Kaiser Chiefs/White Rabbits/Datarock show at Beacon Theatre last night. Data Rock only played three songs, urging a non-obliging crowd to sing and dance with them. People… just sat, and clapped politely. We were really there to see White Rabbits one more time because we’re all about the White Rabbits. We’ve seen them support The Cribs, and front and center at Soundfix. They’re amazing. Unfortunately, the majority of the crowd at Beacon was not showing any love. It was rather dismal and we took it upon ourselves to be the cheering section. Greg rocked the boat shoes, and Matt showed off his ankles with the rolled up pants. Whatever, we love them. Too bad they only played six songs—and no cover of Bob Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm.


(White Rabbits)

White Rabbits Setlist

Take A Walk Around The Table
Kid on My Shoulder
Tourist Trap
While We Go Dancing
I Used to Complain & Now I Don’t

Just as we concluded that the Upper West Side does not get down, the Kaiser Chiefs set was riotous. Beacon Theatre is not my cup of tea however (not a fan of seated venues), but they made it work. Ricky Wilson did his own take on crowd surfing by walking into the audience along the back of the seats, which was pretty cool.

(Kaiser Chiefs)

Kaiser Chiefs 9.29.07 Setlist

Everyday I Love You Less and Less
Everything is Average Nowadays
Heat Dies Down
Born to Be Your Dancer
Na Na Na Na Naa
I Can Do it Without You
Modern Way
Learned My Lesson Well
I Predict A Riot
Thank You Very Much
Angry Mob
Take My Temperature

High Royds
Oh My God

Hope we’ll hear more from Sofiblu on the music front down south. Thanks for making this a memorable summer Sof. I’ll miss you lots!

White Rabbits- Kid On My Shoulder
(Buy Fort Nightly)

Kaiser Chiefs- Oh My God
(Buy Employment)

Friday, September 28, 2007


Concordia University is like a nursery for budding indie music and film talent. Imagine my surprise when I came across this film short by filmmakers Ranya Karafilly, Liam Chapman, Geneva Guerin, and Sonya Reynolds. I think it might have been for a student project (?) but then again, I’m not sure when it was made. It’s about a deaf photographer with insomnia.

But lo’ and behold, the actor who plays the deaf photographer is none other than Tim Fletcher of The Stills, who was also student at Concordia, earning a BFA in 2002. Band mate, Dave Hamlin is in it too. And the music is provided by Patrick Watson. I can only assume it’s the same Patrick Watson who recently won the Polaris Music Prize.

The time, the place, the talent— amazing when they all connect.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dig books? Bring a shovel.

I love book fairs, don't you? Don't miss this one---

That's this Saturday! All the money goes to a good cause-- read more about the bookstore.

Besides, if you love a good bargain, be it books, or old, obscure vinyl, you can't miss this sale. Seriously, what can you buy in New York nowadays for $1? Even my corner deli guy won't sell me coffee for a dollar. And that's just messed up.

Pinback- This Red Book

Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton- Reading In Bed

Rilo Kiley in your house tonight

Tickets for the New York shows are sold out so it seems. What’s the next best thing? NPR’s streaming concerts. Oh how I love public radio!

Listen to them live from the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. tonight at 10:15pm.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Make a date with Division Day

Los Angeles band, Division Day is showering New York City with some California sunshine in October with five shows.

October 11- Union Hall, Brooklyn, 8:30PM
October 17- The Loft on Bowery, 12 PM
October 17- Canal Room (CMJ), 8PM
October 18- Union Hall, Brooklyn, 8:30PM
October 19- Pianos, b/w Ludlow & Stanton, 2PM

They’re dropping their new album, Beartrap Island on October 2nd, but tracks are already available on iTunes. The album is a hit and miss for me, but the when it hits, it hits hard. My favorite tracks are Hurricane, Reversible, Colorguard, and Dayenu, a song that sets itself apart with a steady drum beat and bass line. Scaling back instrumentally lifts lead singer Rohner Segnitz’s into an introspective dimension. Simplicity certainly creates beautiful sounds, but I’m definitely curious to see what kind of live show these boys put on. Good thing I have five chances to find out. Also, it's a little weird to have shows in the afternoon... is that normal? Ah well. Maybe there'll be a chance to play hooky.

Division Day- Dayenu
(pre-order album)

And enjoy this cover...

Division Day- Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode cover)

A girl after my own heart

October’s issue of Men’s Vogue names Chan Marshall as an American visionary. Now living in Miami, her covers album is reported to be coming out in January instead of next month so the woman can take a vacation.

No spectacular revelations in the interview I’m afraid-- rehashed some of the old news-- alcoholism, rehab, reborn bona fide rock sweetheart. But doesn’t she look fab though? Sobriety and Chanel look good on her.

Issue on newsstands now.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Metric @ Webster Hall 9.21.07

Hands down, the best show I’ve seen since I started this blog in May was Metric at Webster Hall last Friday. When a band enjoys playing live shows, and appreciates their fans, you can absolutely tell because it translates into a mind blowing performance. And the fans appreciate them too of course. How else do explain all the women’s lingerie thrown on stage for Emily Haines?

I’m still reeling from Friday—I can’t believe I touched Emily Haines’ hand! And I can’t believe their bassist, Josh Winstead sat in to conduct the crowd in a sing-along. “Can you hear me? Because I can’t hear you!” he asked us. I didn’t think Rock Me Now would work in a concert-setting because it’s not exactly a head shaking anthem, but they absolutely rocked that song to bits. I was humming the beat of Rock Me Now that I didn’t even realize the band had left the stage. So we kept humming till they came back out. And then they did Monster Hospital and Stadium Live for the encore.

(click to enlarge)

What a night.

Metric- Rock Me Now
(Buy Grow Up and Blow Away)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

See Metric

The Metric show last night was in one word: FUCKINGFANTASTIC. (That should be one word because if you look it up in the dictionary, you'll see it cross listed with Metric.)

Photos and updates to come. But I'm off to the Bacardi B Live show tonight!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


To answer your question Time Out NY, um.. yeah. Where have you been?

The top three 'hoods with the most "New York Soul" as voted by Time Out are:

1) Alphabet City
2) Chinatown
3) Washington Heights

To view the rest of the list, click here.

Every time I read one of these New York/Time Out neighborhood assessment things, I am unsettled.

Chinatown was the hang out in high school, but nowadays, it seems like every time I return, I see another condo building going up, right smack between the bushels of bok choy and the hanging durian. Can't say I feel too good about that since these things are selling for millions of dollars and more than likely, the people snapping up these condos are not the 49% of residents here who earn less than $20,000 a year. And while I acknowledge that the times are changing, gentrification will happen and you can't ignore it but are the real estate turners, the profit makers, thinking of the residents? I'm not talking about the yuppies that hang on the edges of Chinatown like vultures waiting to see if the rumors of cheap flats are true. I'm talking about the mothers, the fathers, the grandparents, the immigrants-- That's what I wonder. It's novel to think that we are one group of people. That we are all "New Yorkers". What does that even mean? Our realities are different. Maybe you wouldn't think twice about a tiny increment in the price of vegetables. What cost a $1.00 now costs $1.25. No biggie, right? But I guarantee you, there is a very real difference between the yuppie that's steaming her edamame tonight and the seamstress who wants to fill the bellies of her children with the most nutritious and economical food. Neighbors. New Yorkers. Is there any middle ground?

Knives don't have your back (but friends do)

I have always believed in karma. It wasn't until I started this blog, and started to go concert-happy that I really, in the deepest part of my heart, trusted in karma. You put those good vibes into the universe, and they'll come back to you like a boomerang.

Self, be prepared to catch it.

Today's cosmic intervention involves an email I received from a dear friend of mine in California. It doesn't take much to make me cry, but I she basically said, "You always have everyone's back. Everyone knows it, and we all appreciate it. When you are ready to put yourself out there, you know we will have yours." She met someone really great, and I am so thrilled for her. As for me, I'm going to read and re-read, and re-re-read this excellent post from Said the Gramophone.

"Don't let hurricaines keep you back. Raging rivers, or shark attacks....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

She Picked A Real Good One

Today I am flabbergasted. You must know I mean business because I never use the word “flabbergasted,” but maybe will start because it’s so fun to say—
"Hello, good morning! How are you?”
“I am flabbergasted! And you?”

Anyway, the reason for the flabber getting gasted is because Jamie Hince (of The Kills) is dating Kate Moss. When did this happen? She really loves those rockers. The dings and bells of the internet search engines must be ringing off the roof right now with people wondering, “Who is Jamie Hince?”

Friends, he is the guitarist of one of my favorite duos, The Kills. Also known as “Hotel,” he and his band mate Alison “VV” Mosshart, and their well-worn drum machine have been making some really interesting albums since the early 2000s.

The Kills- The Good Ones
(Buy No Wow)

The Kills are definitely on my list of bands to see live. I’ve heard they have an amazing, electrical chemistry on stage.

The writhing wires in that video remind me of a video by Interpol where electric cords play another important role. Babycakes, let that music control you!

Different context, different rhythm, but Interpol’s is still totally better—Obstacle 1 is classic!

Interpol- Obstacle 1
(Buy Turn on the Bright Lights)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

No Stills NYC shows this week

Word from the management is The Stills are not playing NYC this week as previously reported. Thank you to their manager for clearing that up.

I'm kind of sad because you all know how much I love The Stills. Mercury Lounge on the other hand will be relieved that I will stop my incessant calls about the mysterious Stills gig that nobody has heard of. Hey man, I follow through! :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Let's take it in stride

It’s a rare feat indeed- to record a 14 track album and have your newest fan (me) equally enamored with every individual song. It was back to Brooklyn last night for the My Teenage Stride show at Soundfix. It was the first show with their new bass player, Matt, so it was a short, 8-song set, as “these are the only songs we know,” joked guitarist and lead singer, Jebediah Smith. Amazingly, the band is in the works to record their 4th studio album.

This is perfect music for appreciating autumn and taking a walk through the city. With every crisp bass note, and guitar stroke, you swear, these leaves are turning yellow and red right before your eyes. Pause, stop. Take a deep breath. There's nothing like autumn in New York.

More upcoming shows:
September 24th @ The Knitting Factory
October 12th @ Galapagos

You may download a few songs from their latest album at their website, including this gem:

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Surprise, sometimes you'll come around

This has been the summer of many firsts. For example, even though I am a native New Yorker, I have never been to Madison Square Garden. And now that I’ve seen what all the hoopla’s about, I don’t really care if I go again. Overpriced concession snacks, and industrial air conditioning cheapens the concert-going experience (but not the price of the ticket, sadly).

Tonight was the Interpol concert and the night started off poorly. First, it was unbearably cold, and then to top that off, two words: The Liars. Maybe I just don’t get them and their experimental rock. Nothing they played sounded…good. I am fond of their song, “Houseclouds” but between the teeth chattering and making sense of their noise, I just gave up figuring out what the hell they were doing. Knowing Cat Power was coming up kept me going though. She sandwiched her cover songs between “The Greatest” and “Metal Heart,” which is one of my favorites. Still, I was starting to get restless. It’s probably because Soph and I have been spoiled by the beauty of general admission—your proximity to the stage depends solely on your willingness to shove and your resolve to wait patiently in the ticket line for hours. Unaware that there was a general admission ticket for this show, we were stuck with our original seats.

Well, we made the best of it, and when Interpol took the stage, they did not disappoint. Lots of jumping and belting out lyrics warmed us up nicely. The only snafu was when the big screen thing that covered the stage at the beginning of their set got stuck.

“We’re going to take a short break so we can take this fucking screen down and try to see all of you.”- Paul

New York- MSG 9.14.07 Setlist
Pioneer to the Falls
Obstacle 1
Say Hello to The Angels
Pace is the Trick
Hands Away
No I in Threesome
Slow Hands
Rest My Chemistry
Heinrich Maneuver
Not Even Jail

Stella Was a Diver

Encore #2

Another first—2 encores. The fake out was stellar. Despite it all, I could’ve been there all night (Sam Fogarino’s drumming is amazing). Keep those encores coming!

Interpol- Untitled
(Buy Turn On The Bright Lights)

Friday, September 14, 2007

101 Days Till Christmas

Dear Santa,

I want whiskey drinks and chocolate bars. And please, please, please, bring back Sleater Kinney.

This is probably as "pop" as Sleater Kinney gets, as their songs are normally much more riddled with juicy guitar riffs and Janet Weiss' crazy, rawking drum beats. I'm not too keen on this video, but I love this song. It reminds me of this girl I know and her friends who want to start a band and the majority of their song titles are filled with angsty references to bad jobs, and bad men. Somehow this song made me think of them. :)

Interpol tonight! I'm totally going to be rock and roll fun.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A supervixen indeed

Hard to believe that Garbage has been around long enough to put out a greatest hits album. With all the newbie bands popping up, it boggles the mind that the first Garbage album came out in 1995. That was 12 years ago! Oh where does the time go. Speaking of time, I didn't hear too much about Absolute Garbage coming out this past summer. The compilation album featured one new track, called "Tell me where it hurts." In the video, Butch, Steve and Duke are sitting in a hotel lobby with three young redheads. And then Shirley walks in.

Hmm.. someone's got hell to pay.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Changes (can be) good

My self-imposed “break” lasted all but a day and a half. It figures that I would need to be juggling a number of tasks at the same time in order to get anything done.

The big news while I was away was The Stills, loading up the Rent-a-Truck and making the move to indie music label, Arts and Crafts. It feels like the end of an era doesn’t it? Before I get into a sobbing heap over my favorite band from Montreal all grow up, sixeyes reports two, count’em TWO, show dates in New York! Earlier today Mercury Lounge would not confirm that they are indeed playing there next week, but if you click on the link to their live performance of "Helicopters" from the Canada Day show at Prospect Park, the New York dates are clearly posted.

Confused? Me too. If they are playing New York again, then hurray. Just this morning I was listening to The Stills on the subway thinking, "Man, it'd be great to see The Stills again." Hope this means wishful thinking can actually get results.

Missed Canada Day? Don't fret.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Two things

I'm going to take a little break from posting before the super duper exciting Interpol/Cat Power concert this Friday at MSG.

So getting on with it,

1) Erykah Badu is slated to release her new album "The Kabah" on October 23rd, but I haven't heard a peep about the new record. There doesn't appear to be any press on it, and a single hasn't been released. What does this mean?!? I could really use some new Baduizms.

2) Melissa Auf der Maur has been hinting about the release of her second solo record, "Out Of Our Minds" aka OOOM on her blog for some time now (make sure you turn off the creepy sounds streaming on the site). It's going to be a multi-media venture with a companion film and comic book. The website for the album is up, but there's not much content so far-- just teasers, and no release date is set. The new sound and the new look is kind of eerie and creepy, but I love how she's open-minded and unafraid of experimentation. Read about her new album in her interview with Billboard here.

Be back soon.

When it rains, let it pour...

...let it sweep through the door. For all your sorrows dry in June.
- Danny Ross

Last month, I checked out Danny Ross and TBN (to-be-named) band at the Rockwood Music Hall. I went without knowing what to expect really, except, from what I’ve read, his sound is reminiscent of Ryan Adams. Personally, I don't like it when people make those kinds of judgments—like this artist “sounds” like this other guy (and if I ever do that, feel free to call me out on it except when I’m writing about a cover band of course, in which case, it means I’ve run out of stuff to write about). So after seeing Danny Ross perform, I’m going to say that he sounds like Danny Ross, a young man with a light charm, who is eager to get on with the music. That night, I particularly enjoyed this one song called “Forgive Me Love.” I was informed that it was the first time the band performed it. Hopefully, if there is an upcoming LP, it will be on the album.

If you weren’t one of the handful of people at Rockwood to see Danny Ross and band, they are performing a benefit concert this Saturday, September 15th at The Bowery Poetry Club. All profits go to 9/11 Environmental Action.

Danny Ross: When You’re Down (And You’re Out) (link expired)
(Buy the EP)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Gospel of The Editors

After witnessing one of the tightest and most energetic sets last Friday from The Editors, I came to the conclusion that if they ever needed a change of scene from the music business, they could, hypothetically, start their own church. Rev. Tom already has all the moves. And given how they’ve packed the house for a sold-out show at Webster Hall, it shouldn’t be too hard to get a few butts in the seats of the The Holy Ministry of Munich, (or something or other).

The Editors: (click to enlarge photos)

They closed the show with one of my favorite songs.

The Editors: Fingers in the Factories (link expired)
(Buy The Back Room)

Also, this was my first time at Webster Hall, and I quite liked it. Maybe this was a unique experience, as people just seemed to be incredibly nice. Sofiblu and I met this one fan who came down from Philadelphia for the show. She was a sweetheart, offering to hold my place at the front while I grabbed some posters and stickers. And this lovely photographer told us a little about Biffy Clyro, whom we didn’t know much about. The highlight of the Biffy set was when two fans unbeknownst to each other’s existence, became friends when they both shouted “Mon the Biffy!” When they heard each other shout this exclusively Scottish/English/Irish fan chant, they fought through the crowd and jumped, sang, shouted, and jabbered happily together for all the songs. It was pretty cute.

Biffy Clyro:

I think Sof and I were excited to see Ra Ra Riot again as well. They are growing on me.

Ra Ra Riot:

I was especially fond of bassist, Mathieu Santos’ bass skills. He flies that thing like a jet plane.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

We grow together

I have taken a liking to late night walks. It’s not terribly safe, but despite the occasional glance over the shoulder, it’s a pretty peaceful neighborhood. The streets are deserted, cars speed down the otherwise abandoned boulevard, and nobody can hear me singing--- loudly, and probably off key. It’s so therapeutic, and I think it’s a great way to scare off potential muggers :)

On the walk from the subway, I’ve been listening to Fiona Apple. She writes these epically poetic lines, “You can use my skin, to bury secrets in,” that just blows me away. When you’re in that state of mind, anything remotely moving and poetic can be amazing with the right delivery—and she definitely delivers with the contemplative piano, and her soft, gravelly voice. I never get tired of this song. It seems like each year it takes on another meaning. Music and I, we age gracefully. Go figure.

Fiona Apple- I Know (link expired)
(Buy When the Pawn)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The woman needs....

Some synthesizers? Another violin? Maybe if I close my eyes, this song will grow on me.

Eh… hmm… okay, the third time around, I didn’t cringe once. Okay, maybe just once.

Kate Nash covers The Cribs’ Men’s Needs:

Not surprisingly, the word on the street was that Ryan Jarman, on the rebound, was spotted with Ms. Nash at the Reading Festival late last month. More covers to follow? I would like to see him cover "Dickhead" or "Merry Happy" We'll call their collaborative effort, "The Lovers Who Cover."

Infamous for his incoherency, perhaps the key to true love is understanding what the fuck the other person is saying. You know, communication, intonation., and all that good shit.

Listen to Kate Nash not doing covers here

Locksley Mmm bops it with Hanson

The boys from Brooklyn announce Fall tour with Hanson. Dates for the NYish area:

9/12: Verona, NY @ Turning Stone
9/13: Atlantic City, NJ @ House of Blues
9/21: Westbury, NY @ North Fork Theatre
9/22: Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
9/24: Hartford, CT @ Webster Theatre
9/26: Philadelphia, PA @ The Electric Factory
9/27: Homestead, PA @ Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead
other cities, other dates: check here

If you missed their performance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien last Friday…

Locksley- Let Me Know (live on Conan O’Brien 8.28.07 (link expired)
Sigh, every Monday should be Labor Day. Don't you agree?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

An ocean away from Toledo

One of my oldest and dearest friends has moved to Japan where she will be working for an undetermined amount of time. I don’t think it sunk in completely yet—to not see my best friend in person for god knows how long. We’ve been friends for eleven years. Man, Judy Blume writes books about friendships like this… okay, no tears now. Really, I cry so easily. I made her a mixed tape as a parting gift. This is one of the tracks. It’s called “Do What I Can” by Greg Laswell. It makes me think of standing outside on a cold winter night, and just staring at the sky waiting for snow. But really, it’s a song he wrote for his mother and father, but I felt like it was so relevant. He’s an amazing singer/songwriter who is probably more recognizable now because he’s Mandy Moore’s boyfriend. That’s sad-- this guy is talented. No pop starlet needed to reiterate the fact.

Greg Laswell- Do What I Can (link expired)
(Buy Through Toledo)

The annual pep talk

A pep talk to the self:

"I found someone who makes me better. Yeah, I found someone who makes me go." -The Raveonettes


Happy Birthday, self. I will try to be more optimistic, and work really hard to push myself to action. I will not let fear immobilize me. I will remember to exfoliate and use sunscreen. My friends and family will always know they are loved. Cake is not evil, it is delicious.

The Raveonettes- Uncertain Times (link expired)
(Buy Pretty In Black)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

In a sea of rum

After a pre-pre-birthday bash on Coney Island today, I wandered across the Daytrotter session the White Rabbits did back in July. I think "Sea of Rum" was one of the songs they played at Soundfix that I loved but had a hard time figuring out the name of. It's too bad I didn't find it before I made my beach playlist. It would have been awesome to rock out to this down by the shore. By the way, if there was a way to swim in a sea of rum on Coney Island, I would pack up and move to the beach. However, it looks like the billion dollar developers beat me to it. Head down there now while you can-- the boardwalk as we know it, margaritas in neon flutes, mom and pop clam houses-- it'll all disappear when developers revamp the boardwalk in the name of "progress."

Says Dick Zigun, the founder of Coney Island USA, which operates the Mermaid Parade and the Coney Island Museum:

“There are businesses here I love very much, like Ruby’s Bar [on the boardwalk],” he says. “Let’s be realistic—some of them won’t be able to afford the new rents, thanks to what’s unofficially called ‘progress.' " - New York Magazine
I'll have to trek out to Coney Island as much as possible before "progress," the brain child of a p.r. suit, strips it down to replace Ruby's Bar with a Ruby Tuesday, amass the new condos that they said they were "not" building. Mmm hmm...right.