Thursday, December 4, 2008

Grammy Nods 2009

For those who care,

Album of the Year
Coldplay, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
Ne-Yo, Year of the Gentleman
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand
Radiohead, In Rainbows

Best New Artist
Jonas Brothers
Lady Antebellum
Jazmine Sullivan

Record of the Year
Adele, "Chasing Pavements"
Coldplay, "Viva la Vida"
Leona Lewis, "Bleeding Love"
M.I.A., "Paper Planes"
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, "Please Read the Letter"

Song of the Year
Estelle (featuring Kanye West), "American Boy"
Adele, "Chasing Pavements"
Jason Mraz, "I'm Yours"
Sara Bareilles, "Love Song"
Coldplay, "Viva la Vida"

Full list here

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fierce? Not Quite

EW gave Beyoncé's new album a very generous review, but kind of undeserving, IMHO. In fact, it seems like every major news outlet doesn't want to say Beyoncé fell short this time. I wondered if I was the only one who didn't think Sasha Fierce was as fierce as she seemed, though it turns out the average Amazon music buyer agrees with me on this one (Is the Deluxe version where it's at???). After that super If I Were A Boy mv, I expected more out of the rest of the album, but I was disappointed save for a few gems like Halo, Ave Maria, and Sweet Dreams (I love this song. It was the saving grace after the previous track, "Diva," which frankly sounded like it was sung over Chipmunks on crack. What happened, B?)

I love her, but this isn't for me. I'm gonna go back to listening to B'Day. Wake me when the next one comes out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

If She Were A Boy

Sometimes songs don't click for me until I see the video. I was pretty meh about Beyonce's If I were A Boy, but then I saw the mv and it totally clicked-- the single tear, and the running liner. You can watch it here.

But my favorite Beyonce song as of late is Upgrade U. I especially loved her lip-syncing over Jay-Z's part. Kinda wonder what sort of direction she got during filming.

"Okay Sasha Fierce, give me a Jay-Z snarl... grrr..."

If she were a boy, she'd still look pretty good.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

#44 is a Magical Number.

No lie, I was a sobbing, puffy mess last night when Barack Obama gave his speech as the President-elect. Pinch me, it really happened! What astounds me is how his campaign mobilized so many Americans to believe in the power that we have as voters, and as citizens. You just have to give a damn. The votes of millions of Americans propelled him to the presidency, and although I know what a tough job he has a head of him, I'm not cynical about whether or not he can get it done.

Stevie Wonder- Signed, Sealed, Delivered
(Greatest Hits!)

Might I add, Senator McCain also gave an incredibly gracious concession speech last night as well. Except for the people ruining the vibe with the classless and unnecessary taunts, which he quickly shot down. That was truly maverick-y. They could learn a lot from Elisabeth Hasselbeck who uncharacteristically supportive of Obama this morning on The View. That was a shocker!

But hey, today anything is possible.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voterade 2008

I voted!!! Did you?
Just got back from the NBC Election Plaza over in Rockafeller Center. The place is bustling with nail-biting drama right now. Some awesome guy was handing out election mugs (red and blue) and being New Yorkers of course, we all wanted the blue ones. "Folks, don't grab ! Red or blue, I promise you tomorrow they can all hold coffee!"

New York is great, but wouldn't it be awesome to be in Chicago's Grant Park right now for the Obama love-in? I cross my fingers for tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nicole Atkins has got you covered.

I totally forgot to put up these photos from All Points West. I mean, the whole event was kind of meh, but Nicole Atkins really rocked the joint I think. Who knew she was going to ham (and egg) it up too.

She’s got a new EP out, aptly named, “Nicole Atkins’ Digs Other People’s Songs,” including covers of Mama Cass, Nada Surf, and The Church.

Available via digital download (Amazon or iTunes)

Nicole Atkins- Under The Milky Way (The Church cover)

PS- Bowery Ballroom with Salt & Samovar and The Nouvellas 11/14! Have you got your tickets yet?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Political Swagger

I was on the bus last week, and an 8 year old knew the voting age, presidential term limits, and Hilary Clinton sound bytes by heart. It was adorb. I love how this current election has ignited an interest in politics for kids today.

No matter who you support, it's important to vote. You can vote however you like.

T.I would be proud. And CNN coverage too! Go Ron Clark Academy!

(Thanks Shabs!)

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Did you see PR last night?

No spoilers here, but I thought all three of the ladies did a smashing job. Even Kenley. Yeah, I love to hate on her, but I thought her collection was pretty fierce too. And what is with the ANTM/PR crossover going on? I counted four ex-ANTM contestants last night-- Eugena, Dani Evans, Bianca Golden, and Naima! (If it sounds like I watch too much reality TV, it's probably because I do.)

My favorite collection was Korto's-- Those colorful fans blew me away. Her selection of music was pretty awesome too. I've been googling non-stop trying to find out who produced the track. The song doesn't look like it's available commercially, but it's by someone named "Joshua" who posted a reply on Korto's runway video acknowledging he is the source of the music. He has a youtube page.

I want one of those fans.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Use Protection.

Yikes, our markets caught business syphillis! Stephen Colbert explains:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Superman Cometh

Izza Kizza loves Family Guy, comic books, and given the Shirley Ellis sample on this slick track, playground chants like The Clapping Song. It gives it a throwback cred that begs for a singalong. Well, there's that and digging up the jump rope in the back of your closet for a double dutch throwdown.

I was never very good at double dutch, so singalong it is!

Izza Kizza- Walk The Dog (ft Missy Elliot)
(Check out the myspace for info on how to download his Kizzaland mixtape for free!)

Monday, September 15, 2008

"Empanadas Are the New Cupcakes"

We didn't see this in Beijing, but if the olympics pop into host town, "Williamsburg," at least you'll know what to expect.

"Hipster Olympics"

Oh so deliciously quotable.

Friday, September 12, 2008

How do you do it? Make me feel like I do?

Currently I am reading Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield, which was highly recommended by my music loving friends.

The book made me so nostalgic for the mix tapes I made 10 years ago that I went digging through my drawers and boxes looking for the cassettes that had all my old favorites on them. I found one with some Incubus and Sarah McLachlan songs and happily popped it into my stereo.

I was bopping around singing “Stellar,” and generally having a grand time, when suddenly the tape stopped. Funny, I could have sworn there were more songs on this one. When I opened the deck, a whole blooming ribbon of cassette guts tangled the spindle, forcing me to do something I haven’t done in a decade—rewind the damn thing with a pencil*.

It’s funny how time forces you to remember the correct course of action for a problem that now feels utterly alien. Rewinding ribbon?!? I know I could just as well listen to an mp3 of the song or listen to the CD, but the low-fi, static buzz of my ancient recording takes me back to 1999, belting out this song with my best friend, and making it my secret love song for some boy I can’t even remember the name of right now**.

Incubus- Stellar
(Buy the album- Make Yourself)

*- Almost completely sure that the tape is ruined. :(
**- Henry? I think it was Henry?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Judgement Day

Season 2 of Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles premieres tonight on Fox.

I caught all of Season 1 on Hulu, and I am a believer now-- this is a great show. I hope Season 2 is just as good. Me thinks it will because Shirley Manson joins the cast, playing Zeiracorp executive, Catherine Weaver. Tune in tonight!

By far my favorite Garbage B-side...

Garbage- Trip My Wire

During her hiatus from Garbage, Shirley helped Jane's Addiction's Eric Avery with his solo album, lending a hand with lyrics and vocals. It certainly doesn't sound like anything Jane's Addiction or Garbage has ever released, but it's got kind of a lovely post-apocalyptic, off-beat charm. (Yeah, I don't think I've ever used "apocalypse" and "charming" in the same breath before.)

(Buy the album, Help Wanted)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Superpowers of Lykke Li! Part II

(Photo: Andreas Öhlund)

Although it hardly feels like autumn in New York right now, when the air gets cooler, I know this song will be on heavy rotation for my September playlist.

I'm completely enamored with this song. More than a "little bit." Music is Love. For serious.

Happy autumn. Happy 24. So many reasons to be happy.

Lykke Li- Little Bit
(Buy the album, Youth Novels)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Superpowers of Lykke Li!

This Swedish gal has all kinds of supernatural bewitchery up her (lovely cashmere) sleeves.

Like rockin' the megaphone and bringing sexy back with those platform boots for one.

And that sweater! That belt! (!!!) Doood, I'm having heart palpitations. I kinda wish I had a power that would enable me to reach through time, space, and the interweb to steal her damn outfit.

Lykke Li, I come in peace.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Notorious C.H.O

Growing up as an Asian American in the 90s meant slim pickings when it came to representation in the media. My idols were Kristi Yamaguchi, and Margaret Cho. One is an Olympic gold medalist, and the other just got a g-shot in her vagina.

You gotta love The Cho.

Now the All-American Girl has a reality show on VH1 called “The Cho Show,” and you can watch the first episode online here!

She may also add Broken Social Scene member to her resume soon.

Could this be the result of pleading with Kevin Drew’s answering machine during her visit to The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos?

Hi Kevin Drew,

This is Margaret Cho. I am such a fan of yours and I wanna join the Broken Social Scene! There are so many people in the band no one will notice if there’s just one more person. I wanna join, and I can play any instrument. I’ll learn really fast. I’m Asian! I’m a quick study. Please let me join your band!

Will she rock the rain stick or the triangle? I can’t wait to find out.

Broken Social Scene: Cause=Time
(Buy the album here)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yankee Doodle Dandy

You know, I've been paying so much attention to the hoopla at the DNC, that I didn't know John McCain picked up a new endorsement.

*Shrugs* It's a toss up! Anyone else notice how Daddy Yankee totally stole the spotlight? I don't know what I found more disturbing though: Daddy Yankee endorsing John McCain's immigration policies, or hearing John McCain say, "Daddy Yankee."

Anyway, I'm still trying to figure out what they have in common.

Oh, right. They love that gasolina.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Birthdays: Shirley Manson

Happy Birthday! Shirley Manson turns 42 years old today.
There are only maybe a handful of musicians who I would piss my pants if I ever met. Not surprisingly, kick-ass female rockers are at the top of the list, including Melissa Auf Der Maur, Emily Haines, Alison Mosshart, and of course, Shirley Manson.

I’m beyond disappointed that her record label is shelving her new album, which apparently they believe is too “noir” to turn a profit.

"I've had a really successful career. I don't really need to do anything for money and I certainly have no intention of doing that. I just want to live a creative life and sing songs that have some meaning for me personally," she says in an interview with The Scotsman.

You can catch her on The Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles this fall as well. But mostly, I'm rooting for that album release.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Everything Has A Place

Interior design is not a field in which I am particularly skilled. In any case, I came across this spread from Domino Magazine from 2007, which featured a house tour of Blonde Redhead's apartment, complete with photos of their baubles and knick knacks.

I'm kind of surprised actually, because listening to their moody melodies, I expected their living space to reflect the same darkness I hear in the music. Maybe my biggest surprise is that they have a cat. They're cat people! Who would have guessed? His name is "Toto" according to this interview.

Everything in the space is so delicate, fragile. Even Toto looks like he might shatter if you try to pet him, and yet it all fits. Everything has a place. My favorite piece in the apartment is the perculator on that stove. I know it doesn't seem very special considering all the other antiques, but the smell of brewing coffee says, "We are living here."

That's really the only thing that matters.

Blonde Redhead- Elephant Woman
(Buy Misery is a Butterfly)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Not long ago, I wrote about this great band called Joy Formidable. Label-less but talented, I wondered when they would get their big break. I'm so happy to report that they're on the Another Music= Another Kitchen roster! They'll also be playing Reading and Leeds this weekend, before hitting up London with Ra Ra Riot on Aug 26. It'll be a killer show, natch.

Take a look at JF's video for Austere. I don't know about you, but Ritzy looks like a pixie Alice in Wonderland here.

Tea partaaay!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Behold the Golden Age

Ooh, so stuff from the new TV On The Radio album, Dear Silence* has leaked. I wanted to get really excited about this, but I'm not feelin' the new track. It's called "Golden Age" and if you are curious, you can snatch it up over at Pretty Much Amazing. While I hear some electro-beats in the same club as LCD Soundsystem, it's not shaking the rafters for me. Maybe after a few more spins, I'll issue a change of heart.

It's no Wolf Like Me, that's for sure. Man, that was a great song!

TV On The Radio- Wolf Like Me
* Well color me red, and call me Fred. The name of the new TVOTR album is Dear Science, not Dear Silence. Thanks for the correction, Sofi!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oceans Will Rise

I remember the first time I saw The Stills perform. It was in college, and they made chit chat about the wine selection at our local university haunts. Pretty much after they played their last song that night, Killer Bees, I was hooked on this band.

Today, this Montreal quintet releases their third studio album, Oceans Will Rise. Well, do the oceans rise? Or rather, have they met expectations? Every fan of this band remembers their stellar debut album, Logic Will Break Your Heart, supported by tours with indie darlings, Ryan Adams, and Interpol. Their next album, Without Feathers left Logic fans behind, so what can you expect from Oceans? You must guess they’re not going to do the same old thing again.

They haven’t, and I’m not disappointed either. I think Oceans will confirm that reinvention is always in vogue. Snakecharming The Masses is a hypnotic, frenzied refusal to pander, backed by some intense percussion work. Statue of Sirens sprints to the other end of the spectrum, a beautiful and pensive soliloquy that I really love, and sounds like something that would be highly approved of by The Doves. (Kind of makes sense, since I love The Doves too. Ha.) The only song I could do without is Being Here, which does nothing for me. Although I find the music video for that song supremely funny in a Sleepy Hollow meets Monty Python kind of way.

The Stills- Statue of Sirens

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Magic Wands

You know when you were thirteen and your parents insisted you go to sleep away camp, but you thought it was a really lame idea? Like, you’d have to wear khaki shorts and make lanyards and birdhouses all summer? Not to mention the extreme sunburn potential and mosquito infestation.

But then you caught the eye of a girl at the all girl camp across the lake, and you thought, “Wow, she’s kind of awesome.” Next thing you know, you two are falling in love, rebelling against authority, and struggling to find a way to canoe into the sunset together.

Sigh, Teenage Love. ‘Tis a lovely thing.

Magic Wands- Teenage Love (box link)

Head to their myspace for more info. Did I mention they’re touring with The Kills, The Virgins, and Black Kids? Magic in the making, I tell ya.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ass Backwards

Barbara: Um, Mom? Should I let Dad know he's got his flag backwards?

Laura: Oh honey, let your Dad have his proud moment... At least it's right side up.

(photo via HuffPo)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Jam Rock Version 2.0

You guys, I've never been good at Guitar Hero. In fact, I downright suck. I blame it on global warming... and my lack of hand eye coordination.

Anyway, today I learned via Wired, of this social-networking type website called JamLegend where users challenge each other for the right to call themselves a Guitar Hero. A computer keyboard is used in lieu of the actual controller, but the last I checked, Keyboard Hero didn't make the shortlist for cool names.

What I especially like about this site is that bands are encouraged to upload their music into the game as well. So who knows, one day I might be jamming (poorly) to one of your songs, unsigned band!

Here's a sneak peak:

JamLegend Trailer from JamLegend on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What's up, b? Wasabi

Cover songs! My guilty pleasure.

I really like this cover of “Superstar” by Dallas group, Shock of Pleasure. The electronic chill out vibe hits the mark. Karen Carpenter would approve. I would listen to this a lot more if I was sad, drunk, or in love. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish one from the other.

Shock of Pleasure- Superstar (The Carpenters Cover)
(Buy their EP on iTunes)

So how many of you remember Cibo Matto from the glorious 90s? After seeing them perform on Sessions on West 56th, I bought their second album, Stereo Type A. I remember getting my friend to listen to “Sci- Fi Wasabi,” and she turned to me and inquired as to why I was listening to such crap. Sci-Fi Wasabi was not top-40 material, but hearing Miho Hatori rap about economic duality gave me chills, I admit. This is a cover of Nirvana’s About A Girl. Somehow I can imagine Kurt Cobain crossing his arms up in heaven, all snug in his grandpa sweater, and nodding along.

Cibo Matto- About A Girl (Nirvana Cover)
(About A Girl is from the Moonchild-Sampler. Checkout the album, Stereo Type A, here)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

This Doesn't Happen In Detention.

I hate this JC Penny Back to School commercial:

Mostly because it makes me feel old. Also, I don't know many kids who can place the reference, do you?

Just for kicks, watch the original dancing scene from The Breakfast Club here.

Birthdays: Barack Obama

Senator Barack Obama celebrated his 47th birthday yesterday.

Happy Birthday!

And next year, hopefully we can say, "Happy Birthday, Mr. President."

Greg... speaks!

So I'm gearing up for the new Stills album that comes out later this month and for nostalgic purposes, I've been looking for videos of the band from the Logic Will Break Your Heart era.

I found this one where Oliver and Greg talk about their van, and that's when I realized that this is the first time I've heard Greg speak...ever.

I got a weird sensation from hearing him talk. It's kind of like when your mute Uncle Ralph asks you to pass the peas during Christmas dinner or something- you can't believe your ears, but you really want him to do it again.

Greg Paquet's not a mute of course, he was just the quietest. I miss the Logic era :( I miss Greg! I remember reading interviews from other band members that he was the most cerebral of the group. Here's an interview he did in 2003 where he drops vocab bombs and talks about poutine.

I miss Greg! :( Just thought I'd reiterate... sigh.

Monday, August 4, 2008

From Russia, No Love

Russia's rank and file sponsors a bill to ban emo music, which they say, inspires "negative ideology." (You know they can't have any of that.)

As reported by The Guardian:

Last month the State Duma held a hearing on "Government Strategy in the Sphere of Spiritual and Ethical Education", a piece of legislation aimed at curbing "dangerous teen trends". There, without a clue in the world, social conservatives lumped "emos" together with skinheads, pushing for heavy regulation of emo websites and the banning of emo and goth fashion from schools and government buildings.

"The point of the bill is so that by 2020, Moscow will have someone to rule its government," explained Alexander Grishunin, an adviser to bill sponsor Yevgeny Yuryev, apparently without irony. "This is the first step in the public discourse."
Next on the agenda, book banning! Oops, been there, done that.

Breaking News, Chris Carrabba is adding Russia to his list of "The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most."


The most enduring character created by the first lady of chick-lit is reincarnated for the next generation of book lovers. And I’m not even trying to be metaphoric.

You see, it’s kind of hard to resist, “Mr. Darcy with fangs.”

The last novel in Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight series came out this weekend and by all accounts, was well received. As for me, I read the first book last week just to see what everyone was fussing over. Despite myself, I’m hooked. Although I stumbled over some of her flowery language and over dependence on “perfect” and “angel” as descriptors for Edward Cullens (Vampire Darcy), I have to hand it to her for making me giggle and sigh like a schoolgirl. What is it about Darcy-esque characters that just won’t quit?

I was also reading on her website about how the Twilight series came about and it’s a good read for anyone who wants to get published.

Read a short interview with her in EW where she talks about where she gets her inspiration. (Spoiler: It’s music!)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

It’s Cool To Give The Shirt Off Your Back

So a little birdie told me about this Montreal t-shirt company that sells shirts with designs by indie rock stars whom we wish were our friends. (Tell me, who wouldn’t love to be part of the scene? You know the broken, but social one.) 100% of the profits are donated to a charity of the musician’s choice. I like those odds.

I’m kind of feeling this shirt designed by The National. Simple, and makes a statement:

Yellow Bird Project even has a theme song that you can listen to while shopping for new threads. The song is called “A Field of Birds” by Swedish musician, The Tallest Man on Earth, and you can download it for free on their site too.

T-shirts, free music, and a good cause. What’s not to love?

Find out more about Yellow Bird Project.

The Beginning Is Never The End

One of the earliest albums that I bought for myself was the soundtrack to the 1997 film, Batman & Robin. Yes, that would be the film that tanked the franchise until Nolan and Bale resurrected it from the dead with Batman Begins.

What few people realize was that even though the film was one of the worst movies of the decade, the soundtrack was an unexpected mishmash of brilliance. (I have it on cassette! I was a bit of a late bloomer and didn’t have a CD player till much later in life.) Sandwiched between two versions of essentially the same Smashing Pumpkins songs were tracks from Bone Thugs, Jewel, and trip hop group, Moloko. It was an unconventional mix that really worked for me. Anyway, I only started thinking about this because best buddy and I caught the trailer for 2009’s graphic novel film de jour, The Watchmen, when we went to see The Dark Knight. I recognized the song as Smashing Pumpkins’ The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning from B&R. It's also available on their album of singles and rarities.

Recycling a Batman song in a trailer shown before a new Batman movie? I kind of love it.

Watch the trailer for The Watchmen:

Smashing Pumpkins- The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning
(Buy Batman and Robin, or the Pumpkins’ Singles and Rarities)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Why So Serious?

So rarely is a movie hyped to mass proportions AND lives up to its reputation.

After watching The Dark Knight yesterday, I had a long walk and discussion with a friend about morality, humanity, chance, fate, God, and all that good stuff. "We can write an academic paper about this," my friend and I said. Haha, I'm sure someone is on it already. But I believe the same thing happened after I watched Memento. Christopher Nolan's storytelling is much admired. And Heath Ledger's Joker? All I can say is, "Wow..."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Know The Way These Things Begin

I still get chills whenever I hear, Caramel by Suzanne Vega. An acoustic-y version from one of my PBS favorites.

Loving the bass intro on that...

Side note, Sessions on West 54th was one of the greatest programs on public television!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The truth is here. Again.

David Duchovny is promoting the hell out of the new X-Files movie. It’s an older, wiser, and grimier looking Fox Mulder, and I’m not sure I still want to believe.

Speaking of Duchovny, I don’t know how many of you remember Bree Sharp, but her claim to fame in the late 90s was penning a song about her love for David Duchovny. And then they played the song on the radio and everyone responded with, “Wow, that girl either insane, or incredibly talented. Or both.”

Afterwards, she continued releasing albums under her own label, and is slated to release her third studio album sometime this year. You can hear the new material on her myspace page.

Bree Sharp- David Duchovny
(Buy the album)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Smokey Rolls Down A Bollywood Music Vid

I’m really not the biggest Devendra Banhart fan, but I’m digging the song, Carmensita right now. Yup, it’s the song from the Bollywood inspired music video featuring Natalie Portman and Banhart in, “racial drag,” as the Asian-American culture blog, Disgrasian puts it.

I wonder what inspired the Venezuelan-American born folkster to go Bollywood? I don’t condone racial drag, but at the very least it’s not The Love Guru.

Props for a catchy song, but I'm on the fence about the mv.

Devendra Banhart- Carmensita
(Buy the album)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stay Golden

The Emmy and Golden Globe winning actress, Estelle Getty, passed away earlier today from advanced dementia. She was 84 years old.

She played Sophia Petrillo, the feisty Sicilian matriarch of the long running sitcom, The Golden Girls. Growing up, I used to watch GG with my great grandmother every week, and Sophia was her favorite character. It's still one of my favorite shows.

You can still catch Sophia deliver her clever zingers on the Lifetime channel’s GG reruns.

Ms. Getty, you are a legend.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Who Would You Rather Be?

After all this is gone,
Who would you rather be?
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

There’s a lot thinking going on these days about where my future is heading, so it helps me, I think, to just let it all go, and figure out what kind of direction I want for myself. (Easier said than done) They say these early years make the bulk of a quarter life crisis, and it couldn’t be closer to the truth. Sigh.

In any case, the bright side to my inclination for quick distractions helped me discover Metric’s acoustic version of Give Me Sympathy, which is off their forthcoming album. It was performed at Coachella for SPIN. I heard other live versions of this song, but I think I like it better acoustic. It gives it a little something extra, no? In fact, I love this song so much, I woke up this morning humming the melody. Wouldn’t surprise me if I was singing it in my sleep.

Emily Haines, now there’s a cool chick I admire. She and the guys are touring the festival circuit these next two months, and they’ll also be at All Points West in Jerz! It’ll be hot.

Metric- Give Me Sympathy (acoustic)
watch the performance here

Friday, July 18, 2008

Seeing Things

Raise your hand if you knew Jakob Dylan put out a solo album.

I spent most of my adolescence spinning The Wallflowers on my CD player and thought about changing my name to “Josephine” (It’s a lovely song. Look into it!). I was also beyond thrilled to catch their show at the Highline Ballroom last year. Imagine my surprise to learn Jakob Dylan is going solo! The new album, Seeing Things is thoughtful, introspective, and stripped down. Although it’s a little too folksy for my taste, I don’t question the man’s songwriting ability. He’s got an on old soul and it shows.

Could this be the start of a long and prosperous solo career?

He performed from his album on The Tonight Show earlier this week:

Jakob Dylan- Something Good This Way Comes
(Buy the album: Seeing Things)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Memory Is a Two Way Street

photo: Rémi Thériault

My friend is nostalgic for college radio. I too am guilty of being stuck in the past, staring off into space these days, daydreaming of better days. They probably weren’t even that much better, but I suppose that's what age does to you. It makes you view your past through a rose-colored lens.

So, getting on to my Canadian music fix, Two Hours Traffic is a band out of Prince Edward Island, and Little Jabs was nominated for a Polaris earlier this month. The album is infectious listening, filled with memories of college radio sounds, an interesting mix of rock and pop.

Two Hours Traffic- Stuck for Summer
Buy “Little Jabs” here.
Two Hours Traffic’s myspace

Stuck for Summer is not my favorite track, (however appropriate for my current situation). My favorite would probably be “Stolen Earrings,” which I dare say, makes kleptomania sound so endearing…

You should wear
that pair
of earrings that you stole.
You’ve got a fiery soul,
and everyone should know

A live performance of this song is up on youtube if you’re interested in hearing it.

Friday, July 4, 2008

All American Girls

As you all relax poolside, drinking beer and eating jello, remember there’s nothing more American than the All American Girl. Maybe my example won’t be the top choice to grace the pages of Maxim or FHM, but hey, butternuts.

Sleater-Kinney: Modern Girl
(Buy The Woods)

They write some of the most compelling lyrics. One of my biggest regrets is never getting the chance to see Sleater-Kinney in concert. Reunion tour? Maybe, soon?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What The Hell’s A Wonderwall, Anyway?

Jay-Z’s response to Noel Gallagher’s comment that “hip hop is wrong for Glastonbury,” was to give the Oasis front man the musical finger. Another Wonderwall cover, anyone?

The only thing better than a really great cover, is a really bad one with the sole purpose of pissing someone off. You can watch his full set over here.

Welcome to Glastonbury, Mr. Carter.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lost! Coldplay.

Here are a couple of photos of Coldplay playing a free show at Rockafeller Center. I woke up at the crack of dawn for this. And promptly left right after their sound check.

It hit me as I was smothered between the diehard fans and tourists with their humongous signs, that Coldplay is… well, overrated. My mood might have been determined by the Coldplay zealot I was smushed against, who regularly reaffirmed her love for Chris Martin at seven minute intervals, ( “Did you know that he’s like, the cutest guy ever?”) or maybe the fact that she never set down her sign, even when the stage was empty, and made sure everyone felt the wrath of her enthusiasm. (You’re a fan. Great. I get it.) However, it was probably a combination of the company, and the realization that their music bored me to tears.

As I wiped the sleep from my eyes, and watched them tune up, I asked myself, “Why the hell am I here?” I mean, I loved the Violet Hill vid, but I suppose I was expecting the live act to live up to the hype. To be fair, it is a lot of hype, and it was a free show after all. As I see it, they don’t have very good luck with free shows. I wonder how many people who showed up at MSG were disappointed that their beloved rock god can’t remember the lyrics to his own songs. Their fans are loyal. Believe me, I was hit in the head with a sign by one. Hopefully the rest of their tour will go more smoothly.

As for me, Lovers in Japan is a great song. So is Violet Hill. I will always have Parachutes. But I won’t be shelling out money to see them any time soon.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Twice Is the Only Way to Live

Far-fetched storylines, and a smartly dressed man-whore make up franchise known as Bond—James Bond. And just as Daniel Craig put his mark on the character, The Postmarks have decided to put their own spin on this classic Bond theme.

Sometime between 3am and 4am, I listened to their cover of “You Only Live Twice*,” on repeat, endlessly lulled by Tim Yehezkely’s soothing voice. She’s a girl with a boy name. Don’t you just love that? Not that Nancy Sinatra didn’t rock the original, but I love the mellowness of this version. It’s so easy to get swept away.

The Postmarks- You Only Live Twice

The song is featured on a compilation of cover songs called “By The Numbers,” which you can download for free at eMusic. To get the songs and find out more about The Postmarks, visit their myspace page.

*Are we feeling nostalgic? Rent the movie.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Amy Has Emphysema

Amy Winehouse's father reports that his daughter has an early stage of emphysema, most definitely caused by her cigarette and crack cocaine smoking. Read the full story here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's All About Air Control

Just goes to show you that you don't need fancy instruments to make music.

Nothin' but respect for kazoos.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Chance of Rain

Vicious conditions
Many moons full, I wonder?
One contradiction

Built To Spill- The Weather

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Shake Your Tambourine

These days I’m getting into a band called The Duke Spirit, with a fresh faced gal named Liela Moss as the lead singer. She’s got Sharin Foo’s haircut, Grace Slick’s spirit, and an attitude to boot. Although they’re billed as more of a soul/altrock/grunge group, The Duke Spirit’s aural persona sounds like a modern day Jefferson Airplane, which is fitting since they are a fixture on the festival circuit. Times have changed since the Monterey Pop Fest, but musical roots are alive in the bands today.

The Duke Spirit will be appearing at the All Points West in New Jersey, and the American Eagle Music Festival in Philly. Don’t forget to pack your tambourines!

The Duke Spirit- The Step & The Walk
(Buy the new album, Neptune)

Watch the video for their single:

Sunday, June 1, 2008

One Year Later

Maria Taylor- A Good Start
(Buy Lynn Teeter Flower)

If this lovely lady sounds familiar to you, you might recognize her better from her other act with Orenda Fink, known as Azure Ray. I’m a big fan of Azure Ray, and was sad when they disbanded in 2004, but they’ve both gone on to lucrative solo acts. “A Good Start” is fuel for my inner optimist, the girl who agrees with solitude and intuition. Only you know what’s best for you. I can’t even stress that enough.

Nearly one year ago, I started this blog as a place to share my musical tastes, and as motivation to get out and cover some wicked shows. Have I succeeded? Meh, maybe. I have enjoyed getting to know some of my readers better, and getting acquainted with smaller, independent artists whose talent and persistence in this harsh business continually leave me in awe. How do you do it? However, I do apologize for not updating as often as I should. I’m going through some career turbulence right now which prevents me from focusing attention here more often. But I promise, when all this blogging stuff stops being fun, or when giant speakers finally do in my ear drums, (whichever comes first), is the day I retire my bloggy keyboard for good. Until then, do as Rihanna says, and "Please don't stop the music!"

Here’s to fragments of progress.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Dance Dance Revolución

I don’t know about you, but to me, the buzz surrounding Coldplay’s fourth studio album can almost be labeled non-existent to slow simmer. Maybe I like it better this way. I just want to enjoy the single like a juicy secret before I hear it on a loop every hour on the radio, or in a NY cabbie’s car stereo when I’m going somewhere trés important.

Okay, that last one is a lie. I haven’t been in a cab since 2003. Metrocards, baby, Metrocards. Cabs are still yellow right? :)

The single off the new record, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, is Violet Hill, and in addition to the conventional music video, the band also posted an alternative video on their myspace, protesting war and violence in the most unconventional way I can think of— dancing politicians. I vote for this one to be the official video. It’s powerful stuff.

And to his credit, John McCain never got caught dancing in public. Don’t know if it’s because he can’t get down, or he really can’t get down.

Coldplay- Violet Hill
(Preorder your copy Viva la Vida or Death… available June 17th)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Set Em' Up & Knock Em' Down

(photo: Alan Marvas)

Brooklyn’s own Alan Wilkis has put out a hodgepodge-homage to the glam old school electronic, soul and rock, entitled Babies Dream Big, which is sure to tear up any summer playlist. It wasn’t only the music that gave me fuzzy feelings. His songs have also been featured in Good Magazine’s political profiles of our presidential candidates. Since yesterday’s Oregon and Kentucky primaries has my choice for president inching just a little closer to the White House, let’s celebrate democracy, shall we?

And what’s democracy if not the freedom of choice?

Watch the other videos on his myspace page!

Alan Wilkis- I'm Famous
(Buy Babies Dream Big)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

No, Wow? -- The Kills @ Webster Hall

Here are a few shots of The Kills at Webster Hall on May 1st. Exciting night it was—about a quarter through their set, the fire department showed up on stage to investigate some kind of fire. (Unsure of what it was exactly, but their set was delayed for 10 minutes. I didn’t see any fire, but I suspect it was behind all the equipment I was in front of.)

The Kills looked confused after finishing No Wow-- Like what's with the all the firemen? But the firemen and security looked like they enjoyed the attention. Rock on FDNY.

And as you may already know, Kate Moss is accompanying Jamie on this tour. She was hanging out by the backstage door, singing along and looking like she was enjoying herself. Not sure Alison is so happy with her continual presence however…




Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Flow Natural

There may not be another place in the world where the bike messenger is as vital to the city energy as right here in New York. And leave it to the messengers to provide me with a daily dose of philosophical enlightenment. So tonight I watched Daniel Leeb’s 2005 docu-short about 10 times, and I’m loving it more every time. It’s mostly follows one messenger named Alfred Bobe Jr. as he goes on his daily run. His matter-of-fact attitude and talk of consciousness and awareness makes him a yogi on wheels, if not an artist. Seriously, not getting run over by the psycho traffic should be an art form.


The man's got some insight, I tell you.

I love riding through here, you know? We have the Plaza Hotel on 5th avenue. This whole area smells like money…

(Sniffs the air as he rides pass a Central Park carriage.)

Or horse shit.
It is what it is...

Love the use of Masta Killa too. Old School/New Classic.

Water can flow, water can crash. Be water, my friend.

Masta Killa- Masta Killa
(Buy Masta Killa- No Said Date)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Knock Knock. Hello? Anyone There?

I'm off to Boston for a few days. In the meantime, someone should take a look at those cardboarded windows. Wouldn't hurt to find out where the rest of the house is too.

"Of all the endless combinations of words in all of history, 'Cellar Door' is the most beautiful."- Ms. Pomeroy, Donnie Darko

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sensible Deductions

MadTV's Keegan-Michael Key's Sensual Seduction spoof reminds us to maximize our deductions on this last day for filing tax returns. He might have some trouble writing off the bong and the mountain of weed though, but just sayin' is all.

Also, this gentleman ,who might be your accountant, is jumping in on this musical fun too. Steve Zelin quit his job to pursue music full time and he's something like the Weird-Al Yankovic of CPAs. He does accountant-themed parodies, so his audience must be rather limited. Not that we can't all appreciate "Tax Busters", a spirited rendition of "Ghost Busters," but maybe he should keep his day job.

Monday, April 14, 2008

For You, A Thousand Times Over

After finishing A Thousand Splendid Suns a few weeks ago, I eagerly picked up The Kite Runner. I stayed up until the wee hours last night finishing it because I couldn't’t bear to put it down. Khaled Hosseini is such a brilliant writer, and it’s been a really long time that I’ve read a novel worthy of getting under-eye dark circles.

It's been a couple of years since I've really enjoyed a book, and I don't mean reading on the subway during morning commute, or catching bits and paragraphs whenever I can. So last week when the weather was beautiful, I went to Bryant Park, and sat in the park, soaked up the sun, marveled at how green the lawn was, enjoyed a warm breeze and just read and read. There is something so satisfying about getting knee deep in a novel with no distractions except when the wind gets ahead of itself and turns the pages for me.

What should I read now?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dealing A False Hand

My dear friend Sofiblu updates me on music I should know about, so I was excited when I hit the theatre today to catch a screening of 21, and the opening scene featured one of her picks, MGMT’s “Time To Pretend.”

This is our decision to live fast and die young,
We’ve got the vision, now let’s have some fun.

MGMT- Time To Pretend
(Buy Oracular Spectacular)

However, it’s ironic that Time To Pretend is the song choice considering the controversy surrounding the film. The story is based on a real-life MIT blackjack team who beat the odds and raked in millions of dollars at the casinos. The movie version is led primarily by Caucasian actors, like Jim Sturgess, with Asian-Americans playing supporting roles. Problem is, the real MIT team and was led by Jeff Ma and consisted of mostly Asian-Americans. I know movies are “loosely based” on the real story, but that’s quite a liberty to take on casting. Hypothetically, if the real-life team was headed by an African-American or a Latino-American, would studios have taken such liberties? Does having an Asian-American male, in a leading dramatic role that has nothing to do with a historical period, and everything to do with a damn good story, signify the film will tank in the box office?

Studio executives need to take a risk. The bottom line is the bottom line, but give the audience some credit that they’ll shell out money for a good story regardless of the skin color of the lead actors. That kind of honesty would be refreshing, and I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Block Party

I'm going through a dry spell. I'm a girl! I have needs! The dry spell I speak of has to do with one of women's greatest pleasures: shopping. It's a self-imposed ban that I'm calling "wallet celibacy."

However, my sob story shouldn't stop you from picking up this really adorable & portable ipod speaker. No batteries needed, you plug your ipod into this baby and you're good to go. It's available through this retailer, and they also ship to the UK and Canada. Isn't it cute? I'm thinking it would be rad to try to build a lego house and plug a whole bunch of ipods into it. Art project! Woot!

The Lady Reincarnate

I’ve been collecting covers of Elliot Smith’s "Between The Bars" for a little while now, and although I can’t say the collection I’ve amassed is particularly impressive, there is one cover that stands out, and it belongs to Ms. Madeleine Peyroux.

Unlike the other covers I have heard, which are distinctly Elliot Smith, her cover has Lady Day stamped all over it. From the surreptitious gloom haunting the intimate vocals, she may as well light up a cigarette and take solitude on the stage of a smoke filled jazz bar. If Elliot Smith and Billie D had a love child, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was this amazing young woman.

This track comes from her second album, Careless Love.

Madeleine Peyroux- Between The Bars
(Buy Careless Love)

Monday, April 7, 2008

In Great Company

The UK births yet another great band called Red Light Company, and they have opened for one of my favorite groups, The Editors. Fresh, bright, kind of like a springtime green salad, I can absolutely hear RLC being enjoyed on a patio deck party of some sort. Watch for the EP available for download later this month. You CD fanatics out there, can grab a copy on May 26th.

Until then, enjoy this mp3 and video!

Red Light Company- With Lights Out
(Red Light Company myspace)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

"Pickles & Fries. Hold the Rabbit."

Last year I blogged about this woman's awesome website devoted to rockstars and the food they love to cook. It's nice to see she's on the move again, and there's even a foodie interview with Brooklyn's White Rabbits. Remember them? Well breaking news! I am happy to report that, the White Rabbits "eat daily." Good to know.

Steve and Greg also talk about their bitchin recipe for something called, "The Long Burger." Watch Jen's interview to see what the heck goes into a long burger.

And earlier today I made that Sam Fogarino fettucine dish again which was yum as usual. Mushrooms and cream? Seriously, what's not to like?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Beat On, My Metal Heart

Oh, Chan... Chan, Chan, Chan. You are the rare and enigmatic one.

Did y'all catch her performance on Letterman a couple of days ago? She sang her heart out, mimed the shizzile out of that song, and was like, "talk to the hand." I mean, maybe she jot down some lyrics to jog her memory. It happens, you know? Songs are generally made up of lots of words. Can't expect to remember all of them. Sheesh-- she's not a dictionary.

Oh, Chan... we love you.

Cat Power & The Delta Blues- Metal Heart (Live on Late Show with David Letterman)

(Buy Jukebox)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gypsy Death... and You

Midnight Boom was released last month, and I’m in love with it. It seems that The Kills have done some serious editing in terms of their drum machine. While the music is not appropriate for interstate highway chases like on their last two albums, it’s kind of perfect for the pit stop. The occasional pull-over, let’s stop and think about our overwhelming badge of coolness.

Understandably, the duo gets a lot of flack for purporting an aura of intense secrecy and mythology, even giving each other little names like VV and Hotel—right, it’s drivel to anyone else except the two of them. Kate Moss excepted perhaps.

It’s been reported that Alison Mosshart is having issues with her bandmate’s girlfriend. No doubt, three’s company, and I bet the rumors of a Hince/Moss gypsy wedding in the works can only add oil to the fire. I would personally hate to see this affect the quality of their music, and their live show. Mosshart has banned Moss from appearing with them onstage or intruding on their live act, which I hear is electric—addictive, sweaty guitar licks, ferocious chain-smoking, sexual energy. It sounds pretty amazing. Haven’t seen them live yet, but they’re making their way to New York again (Webster Hall, May 1st!) Come next month, I hope I only count 2 people on stage…

And here is just Alison, doing her thing. Go girl.

The Kills- Gypsy Death and You
(Buy Keep Your Mean Side)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

“DJ, Spin That Muxtape”

So many things to do. Things I meant to write and send weeks ago. Plans to make, and then a pal sends me this:

He knows me well. I will drop everything to mix a mix tape! It's my weakness. My kryptonite. My procrastination instigator- ::shakes fist::

Quick on the heels of IMP, this site is getting SLAMMED with traffic. Upload tracks, stream other people’s “mux tape”. I love the simplicity of it all. With no ads, it couldn't be easier to see and hear what people are putting on their mix tapes. The only missing component perhaps, is a forum to share back stories. A story behind the music is always the best part.

Putting On Airs? Not here.

Like Jordin Sparks says, "No air air air..."

Be spontaneous? Quit job and be happy?

These are hard times for dreamers...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Stills, Bowery Ballroom, 3.8.08

The Stills played Bowery Ballroom March 8th and today is March 26th. So yes… this post is a just a tad overdue.

My favorite French Canadians played a lot of material from their upcoming album, which might be viewed as redemption for their last album. Without Feathers received mixed reviews with most fans scratching their heads confused about their musical direction. Me too... but it grows on you eventually. Tim Fletcher and Dave Hamlin write songs that bleed into each other-- that's probably what makes them so darn good, although most people seem to favor Tim’s dark romanticism, poetry slam-ness. It's what we fell in love with on Logic, and it sounds like it’s going to be all over this third album. Excited! Can't wait for it.

I recall Tim was sick but obliged the crowd by ripping through a soon to be crowd favorite- "Eastern Europe"- a song that's about "being sick and fucked up in Bulgaria."
The openers were pretty great too. I especially liked this one band called Wintersleep. They hail from Halifax. Their keyboardist worked it on their song "Oblivion." It was this very cute aerobic dance/jog/excercise infomercial thing. Wintersleep aerobics tape in the works? One can only hope.

Setlist, The Stills at Bowery Ballroom- 3.8.08
Still In Love
Gender Bombs
Of Montreal
Eastern Europe*
Being Here*
Lola Stars and Stripes
Don't Talk Down*
Killer Bees
In The Beginning
Retour A Vega
Love & Death

*= new song

Wintersleep- Oblivion

The Stills- Snake Charming
Watch the video here

Life drones on and we all go up in flames.