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!)