31 January 2010

Les Savy Fav @ BAM, Brooklyn, NY 1/29/10

This man (dressed as a monkey):

played this venue (an opera house):

Ok, let's back up a little. For those of you who've never experienced the spectacle of a Les Savy Fav show, Friday night's show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music opera house (BAM) was an unconventional place to start. These art-punk guys have been at it for over a decade and are consummate pros at infusing rock with DIY theatrics so maybe playing an opera house wasn't that much of a stretch for the band?!

Ok, so who am I trying to kid, because obviously the ushers at BAM had NO idea what they were in for when lead singer Tim Harrington took the stage, clad only in shiny purple spandex leggings, beard adorned with close pins and limberly pranced around with near balletic movement inviting the somberly seated crowd to take to their feet and GASP stand as close to the stage as humanly possible. Dude also proceeded to give himself an atomic wedgie with the black briefs over said leggings WHILE SINGING. The man suffers for his art. Cue the sound of monocles room-wide breaking.

To close out the set Tim changed into a homemade monkey costume and re-wrote the lyrics to Cats' "Memories" to "MOOONKIES". If anyone has a video of this, I will give you my first born. It's kinda impossible to take any video or photographic footage there, given the rigidity of usher/security guard nazi. (and that is why I really love Bill for stealthily taking these photos <3)

The Sweat Descends - Les Savy Fav

30 January 2010

Britt! Britt! Hooray!

So last Saturday my friend Thom and I double-dosed on Britt Daniel. We caught the Spoon frontman twice in one night - once at an in-store at Sound Fix and then later that night at the Brooklyn Vegan Haiti benefit show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. And best of all Thom recorded BOTH. Enjoy!

Download the Sound Fix show here:
01. The Mystery Zone
02. [tuning]
03. Written in Reverse
04. The Beast and Dragon, Adored
05. I Summon You

Download the Music Hall of Williamsburg set here:
01. Isolation (John Lennon cover)
02. Who Makes Your Money
03. I Summon You

25 January 2010

Brooklyn Vegan's Haiti Benefit Concert @ Music Hall of Williamsburg 1/23/10

Brooklyn Vegan's Haiti Benefit concert basically doubled as a cover lover's paradise. Here's the rundown:

-We got swoonworthy Spoon man Britt Daniel covering John Lennon's "Isolation". (How I'd love to run my hand's through his perfect bedhead.

-My Brightest Diamond took on Prince's "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore" (Dear God that voice, it's so sexy that as a 100% hetero-woman, I want to sleep with her vocal chords)

- St. Vincent literally made me shed tears with her cover of Nico's "These Days". AND then she followed it up with The National's "Mistaken for Strangers" EPIC DOUBLE WHAMMY OF MELANCHOLY.

- Bon Iver sang the crap out of the oft-covered "Satisfied Mind". (Also can we talk about his unabomber hair? Maybe someone's been locked in the cabin too long?)

Oh as in typical infomercial form, BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!

St. Vincent joined Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Megafaun's Brad Cook to form an indie cover supergroup awesomely know as Songer-Singwriter and played Neil Young's "Harvest Moon", Tom Petty's "A Face in the Crowd", a 10 minute version of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" complete with a noisy, psychedelic freakout outro and finished it up with a sing-along of Annie Lennox's "Why".

All and all it was pretty much the best 35 buck donation I've ever made. In fact I'd probably donate my left arm, a kidney and a few buckets of blood to see it all over again. Thank god for YouTube.

Oh and I won't even taunt you with the line-up of Comedian's who also contributed to the night's festivities. The Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac AND Jeaneane Garafalo. Oh this other guy. Some dude who looks like fat Jesus. I think his name is Zach Galifianakis. He was in some little movie called The Hangover. Maybe you've heard of it.
It's ok. Your jealousy is allowed. I'd hate me too if I didn't get to witness such a one of a kind event.

These Days - St. Vincent (Nico cover)

23 January 2010

Sufjan & Co. documentary released soon??

Finally! Crooked River, the 2006 Swiss documentary by Kaleo LaBelle about his childhood friends, brothers Sufjan and Marzuki Stevens, is coming available stateside!

In the trailer, you can see glimpses into the daily life of music making, running, crafts, Pac-Man, and a long road trip from NY to Boston over to the Great Lakes and home to upper Michigan, to reunite with their estranged father. This long-awaited and deeply personal film is slowly coming out of obscurity.

Fervent searches haven't led to exactly when/where/how it will be available, but a public demand for this film will move the process faster and give it a wider release here.

Sufjan Stevens - Alanson, Crooked River.m4a


A member over at SufjanFans.com emailed the director of the film and received this in reply:

Thank you for writing and for your interest in the documentary film CROOKED RIVER by Kaleo La Belle, featuring brothers Sufjan and Marzuki Stevens. A DVD version of the film will be available for purchase in the Spring of 2010. Please check back on the CROOKED RIVER website for updates. Because of your interest in the film, you have been added to the CROOKED RIVER email list. An email will be sent out when the DVD is available.

Keep an eye out for Kaleo's newest feature documentary, BEYOND THIS PLACE, with musical score composed and performed by Sufjan Stevens and Ray Raposa (Castanets). A trailer for the film can be seen at http://www.beyondthisplace.ch.

HOORAY!!!!!!!! :D

22 January 2010

Did you hear that Contra is the number 1 album in America? Madness.

Because my brother finally got around to giving me my Christmas present I found myself yesterday with some money to spend on new music, yay!

I've been rather poor of late, so it's been a while since I've had the chance, here is what was going down in my brain:

me: wow, look at all this new music! Oh, so shiny, what shall I get?

brain: why, look at this album here, OK GO.

me: OK GO? Nah, I don't really like them.

brain: have we ever heard them?

me: sure we have, you know, they had the film clip with the treadmills.

brain: oh yeah! That was cool, we should by this

me: well, yes, but brain, but I don't by music because the film clips are cool. I'd own a hell of a lot more Kanye West if that were true.

brain: wait, wait, hold the presses! didn't we see a film clip for this new album, with marching bands and stuff and it, too, was really cool? Was that OK GO? I'm pretty sure it was.

me: and again I point out that cool film clips do not awesome music make. Here, let's buy Contra.

brain: Nooooo! Everyone's buying Contra, Vampire Weekend don't care if you buy Contra! Buy this one, reward cool film clip making, come one, buy this on! Buy it!

me: argh, fine! I'll buy it! Stupid brain.

So, yeah, I bought OK GO's new one; 'Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky.' I'd dismissed this guys as gimmicky and far too reliant on treadmills to sell albums, but I'm posting here so that must mean it's time to tuck into some humble pie. Because yeah, I' really liking its lo-fi electro poppiness. The middle seems like it might be a little slow, but the last few songs are really beautiful, and there's this one track that I can't stop repeating. That's probably why I no strong feelings about the middle, because I rarely make it to the middle because I get caught up on repeating track two over and over.

It's called 'This Too Shall Pass.' My brain was right, it does have a seriously nifty film clip floating around, which apparently can't be embedded or some such (there's a letter from OK GO to EMI popping up about the place explaining the situation) and it's just a really killer track.

Maybe I should listen to my brain more often? But then again, probably not...

This Too Shall Pass
Back from Kathmandu

New She & Him!!

Yay, new She & Him! You know the drill: "In the Sun" is um, sunshiney indie folk with a tinge of twang and Zooey Deschanel's oh-so flirty voice. Oh and Tilly and the Wall contribute some back-up vocals too for just an extra bit of adorableness. Be on the lookout for Volume 2 March 23.

Oh and hey they're playing the Bowery Ballroom the day before my birthday. Who wants to buy this blogger some birthday tickets?? Bueller, Bueller?

In the Sun - She & Him

19 January 2010

Dear Ringo Starr,

All I ask of you is to please don't make 80's-esque album covers that immediately make me think of Garth Brooks' shirts.

Thank you. That is all.

18 January 2010

Silly Los Campesinos!, romance is anything but

One of the most anticipated releases of the year, Romance is Boring Los Campesinos! is streaming in its entirety on the band's MySpace page. (Wow, MySpace is actually good for something!) Listen HERE.

It's probably worth noting it features what is likely to be my most quoted lyric of of the year "I think we need more post-coital and less post-rock". Bloody brilliant, right? But here's the catch: I'm not telling you which song its from, so you'll just have to listen all the way through to find it.

The Sea is a Good Place to Think of the Future - Los Campesinos!

17 January 2010

Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in!

Sorry for the dearth of posts lately. I've just been busy settling into a new place in the indie mecca that is Brooklyn. YES, I've finally moved to Brooklyn! And I'm having trouble hiding my elation, It's only been three days but I've fallen in love with my neighborhood (and I'm not even living in a trendy area, take that Williamsburg!), have a part-time job lined up and most excitedly am starting grad school (WOO shout to Library and Information sciences!).

(These are the pretty houses down the block.)

And given this crazy awesome transition, there is only one song that fits the mood. The Avett Brothers "I and Love and You" is a siren song to the city I now call home.

I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers
Ah Brooklyn Brooklyn take me in
Are you aware the shape I'm in
My hands they shake my head it spins
Ah Brooklyn Brooklyn take me in

15 January 2010

Cover of the year, I'm calling it now.

You're probably aware of the PANTS ON THE GROUND phenomenon. And if you're not get yourself acquainted ASAP:

But let's take it a step further and imagine Neil Young covering that catchy little ditty. That's what Jimmy Fallon did, and man is it downright poignant:

12 January 2010

a lot of bands would benefit from only covering songs from the labrynth

Oh man, I'd laugh if this wasn't exactly how I explain music to people ALL THE TIME. (Also, I would totally buy that album)

11 January 2010

The Rural Alberta Advantage @ TheMercury Lounge (early show) 1/9/10

In less than two days I am moving to Brooklyn, which is probably why the Rural Alberta Advantage's debut album Hometowns is so appealing to me right now. Like the title implies there is a great emphasis on place and that paradoxical loving/loathing relationship you cultivate over time with the space from which you come. It's about moving on and out but also knowing that no matter where you go for better or for worse, you can never quite escape where you've been.

I can't think of a band that covers this lofty territory with more verve, rhythm and sincerity than these guys. They simply ooze urgency from Nils Edenloff's earnest nasal bleats (it would be irresponsible to compare his voice to Jeff Mangum, since no one sounds that singular, however there are inflections that recall his trademark yelp) to the the raucous, pounding percussion. I wrote waaaay more about why I adore their album here on Crawdaddy if you care to read my fan girl gushing.

I took a break from packing to catch them live last Saturday, suffice it say the show did not disappoint. Also they covered the theme song to a children's show I never heard of called "The Littlest Hobo" (perhaps it's a Canadian thing?) It's apparently about a homeless German Shepard that solves problems and fights crime. If anyone has a recording of their performance, hit us up in the comments.

Oh and hey, I nabbed a setlist:
"Tornado" is a new song about, well a tornado. Along with that song about a mudslide, this band has a real knack for writing rock songs about Canadian natural disasters.

The Dethbridge in Lethbridge - The Rural Alberta Advantage
Don't Haunt This Place - The Rural Alberta Advantage

09 January 2010

Best Anti-drug PSA ever.

Michael Cera freaks out on drugs with Islands, enjoy.

No You Don't - Islands

06 January 2010

tldr; I owe the NYC taper a muffin basket or something...

So, and this is going to shock you guy seriously, but when it comes to writing about music I'm a gusher. If I love an album I am incapable of writing calmly or with any kind of reserve, it's all 'best album EVA!!!!' and 'oh my god I may as well stab my ears out right now because this it it guys this is the pinnacle of all music!!!! On the other hand, if something doesn't seem that great to me I don't say anything. It's not that I'm too nice, it's just that days have finite hours so why waste time writing about something I don't love more than anything ever right at that second. (Seriously, you know girls who meet a guy one day and start planning the wedding the next? I'm like that with music. I remember fellow VKer Jess made me a mix cd with a Herman Dune song on it and by the end of the weekend I had tracked down their entire discography...) And anyway, there are more than enough indie blogs out there willing to rip strips outta stuff, so I'll leave it up to them.

Anyway, this is why, despite making no secret of my crazy fan girl love, I never did a post about the latest Mountain Goats album, 'The Life of the World to Come.' I didn't actually like it. This was very hard for me guys, seriously. I've devoted quite a few years of my life now to loving the Mountain Goats, I seriously was unsure of how to proceed.

First, there was denial. I told myself I did like it. Sure, I'd listened to it barely twice, but I loved it, honest! I couldn't bring myself to put it on my best of 09 list, which is why the demo takes made it on instead.

Then there was fear. Maybe I just didn't get it? Maybe the problem was me? I remember when people would bag older tMG release Get Lonely and I would chuckle a self satisfied chuckle because clearly these noobs just didn't understand the album. Was I now a noob?

My response to this fear was to soldier myself in an armour made of indie snobbery. I only liked Darnielle's older stuff, that was all. He'd, like, totally sold out. I listened to '97s Full Force Galesburg (oh, guys, seriously this album is so perfect it makes my heart hurt a little every time I listen....) on repeat for days. I convinced myself that everything Darnielle had done post All Hail West Texas (the last of the boom box albums, Tallahassee was the next release and it was recorded in a real live studio as was every album following) wasn't actually that great.

But you know what? Mostly I was just sad. My life has taken some hugely unexpected twists over the last few years and my unconditional love for the mountain goats was one of the few constants. I loved every god damned song JD had ever written. Every. God. Damned. One. It was hard admitted to myself that this newest album just didn't work for me. It reminds me of something my friend said when her all time favourite band, the Smashing Pumpkins, was about to release a new alum. She said she was scared, because what if she didn't like it? It seems that it should be the other way around, the artist should be the one scared over whether or not we'll like it, but I knew exactly how she felt.

I could end this blog post here and it would be a bittersweet little essay of sorts dealing with the emotional ties we forge with music. But first I'd like to tell you about what happened this morning. I was working on some writing and had a tMG bootleg playing in the background. I reached a chapter break and paused while I considered what to write next when the song that was playing caught my attention. The quiet beauty of the song struck me, I mean really struck me. I'm not exaggerating when I say I was nearly moved to tears. It was 'Genesis 30:3,' track six on The Life Of The World To Come, and I don't know if the strong emotion I was feeling was on account of the song, or because maybe there was room in my heart for this new album yet.

Will I grow to love The Life of the World to come as much as I love Full Force Galesburg and The Sunset Tree? Right now I can't say, but I think there's a good chance I will, and it will be all the more sweeter for hard road I had to take to get there.

The bootleg that inspired this epiphany? The ever awesome NYC taper's recording of the January 09 Webster Hall show. Amazing sound quality, and JD's performance is full of passion, even for him. It can be downloaded here.

04 January 2010

First Video that Will/Should Go Viral!

Check out this AWESOME Genesis cover!!

If for some reason you don't believe me that they're the new "Reynaldos," then please preapare to be proven wrong when you watch Viral Video Film School on InfoMania!Because Brett Erlich is a genius AND a cutie pie.
(Thursdays @ 10 pm on Current TV)

The first album to love or loathe of 2010

Upon exactly one listen, I can tell you the second half is a lot stronger and "Giving Up the Gun" is the best song on here.
Stream Vampire Weekend's Contra in its entirety at the band's MySpace HERE.

And download Cousins