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.