Sunday, August 28, 2005

Still Trapped

R. Kelly just finished performing a previously unreleased coda to Trapped in the Closet (on the VMAs) that is, frankly, at least as insane as Parts 1 through 5.

I can't even talk about it.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

This is not a music blog

As much as some people think so, it's really not. It's supposed to be me just talking about things that get me excited. But I've been trying to avoid personal stuff (except for the occasional vague hint). So that leaves pretty much my interaction with media, which is to say news/blogs/movies/music. The news is too serious and I'm not blogging about blogs and I don't see enough movies nowadays. Which turns out to be mostly music. So, um, yeah, it's a music blog.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Return the Gift?

x-news-gangoffour
So, I just streamed Return the Gift, and my first thought was Wow! This thought lasted through the entire first listen of the album. And my second... this is an improvement how?
The answer: because of the non-Entertainment tracks. and also the remixes/covers/etc that will be part of disc 2 (not streamable, though the Dandy Warhols' remix of "What We All Want" is streamable at the Gang of Four website).

And yes, i use this picture every time I mention them.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

It's official:


"Things have been going crazy!
I've just been to New York, and met up with JayZ and Usher, talking about my music and releasing my album in America. Gonna go and do some recording in the States for some new tunes in October with Missy Elliot's people. So i'm gonna put the album out in both the UK and US at the start of 2006 with the new tunes from America."
- Lady Sov

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Will someone tell me...

How is it possible that I'm scooping...

Pitchfork? (again?).
[I know, I should be over this, but I'm not.]

If they were at all useful, they'd be covering important stuff anyway.
At least they like the Flotation Toy Warning record (review here).
and Dominique likes Bjork's soundtrack to Drawing Restraint 9, the new moving picture project from Matthew Barney, which means I'll probably like it, too.


Is Pat Robertson serious? What is wrong with these people?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Friday, August 19, 2005

Davo and Lolly


I'm sure you remember Johnny Boy's song "You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve".

If you don't go find it now.
You could start by going to their website and watching the video or listening to that song and the 2 others they have up.

I really think it's the best pop song of the last 10 years. bar none.

Well Davo and Lolly have been working on a full-length for a while now, and I've been awaiting it breathlessly. I asked them when it could be expected (it's already been sooooo long since "Generation" came out...) and here's the response I got:

"Well,
It depends on where you live ,we are just going through with licensing the
album in different territories....
At the moment I think the first place it will be available is Scandinavia!!??
That will be October some time.....Thanks for gettin in touch, keep an eye on
the web site, and hope to see you at a show soon,
love Johnny Boy"

October!

post-Swedepop DIY HipHop


Robyn: "Konichiwa Bitches"

I never liked this song as much as, say, Fluxtastic, but I thought it was just fine for a listen (maybe two). Apparently, though, I was wrong, because Pitchfork says it's 4.5 stars of goodness.

However, any review that ends with "P.S. to Mr. American Music Executive: Suck it." is alright by me.


Also from the Pitch, updated info on the new/old Gang of Four record. tracklist, etc. Scroll further down to see a tracklist for the new Echo and the Bunnymen record 'Siberia' as well. Both bands have tour dates listed. New Yorkers - November 20th looks like a Killing Moon. plan your life accordingly.

Update: Today's Fluxblog songs are one by Faunts, the most recent signing to Dan Frantic's Friendly Fire Recordings, and one by Brakes, the band that brought you "Heard About Your Band" (available here). I suggest you go listen to those.

Update (again): Correction, Faunts is not the most recent Friendly Fire signing. They signed David & the Citizens (from Sweden) in July.

cross-pollination


Chantelle Fiddy posted a news item on Tuesday saying that Jay-Z wants Lady Sovereign to cut tracks with Missy and the Neptunes. Oh my gosh.

Chantelle also pointed me to some Brazilian grime a while back, courtesy of producer Bruno Belluomini. "Vo Keimah" is literally the first Brazilian grime track EVER RECORDED. Check out some instrumental trax, including two versions of "Vo Keimah" (1 w/ MC Jimmy Luv, one instrumental), downloadable here. i dig it.


The Rapture did a remix of Annie's "Me Plus One". You can listen to it on her Myspace page. Best 'Back to Mine' tune of the summer?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Just build a house...


I for one am very disappointed that, apparently, this is a hoax.

Mission of Burma to enter studio


Clint and the boys tell me they'll be headed into the studio sometime next month to get material ready for the new album. Future updates to be posted on Mission of Burma dot com.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Other People's News

The New York Times has an article on how emo New Jersey is, and a piece on Why 'Greater Israel' Never Came to Be.
There's also a profile of Terry Gilliam and an article about how Philly is the new Brooklyn.

StripGenerator lets you make your own comics. It's awesome. (does anyone know what language that is?)

Superdan has a great post about the 'debate' over Evolution vs. [Un]intelligent Design, including a link to a great Open Letter to the Kansas School Board.

My reflections (in order):
sooo emo
because there were people already living there (not Jews)
as genius as he wants to be
yeah, probably, but I'll move to Manhattan first
what a glorious waste of (the rest of) my time
1 in 5 Americans thinks the world will end in their lifetime; and you think the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a crazy idea?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Everything is Cinematic

In the spirit of Jonah P. Hall (see previous post), I'd like to tell you all to drop what you're doing and go read Everything is Illuminated. Now. Get up from your desk and go to a bookstore to pick it up immediately.

Hopefully you'll take my advice soon, because there's a movie version coming out soon with Elijah Wood and Eugene Hutz (from Gogol Bordello). DEFINITELY read the book first, it's amazing.
Trailer here.

The amazing song you hear in the trailer is "How it Ends" by Devotchka.

Eugene Hutz DJ's Thursdays at Mehanata. Proof:
In the spirit of overly long and reasonably silly band names, I bring you:
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

mp3s also available from bars and guitars. I especially like "House Fire."

Update: I forgot to credit Jonah P. Hall with bringing this band to my attantion. Thanks, Jonah.

Download the new Broken Social Scene track "7/4 (Shoreline)" here.



Keith Haring's Pop Shop is having a Closing Sale:

"The Keith Haring Foundation will host an ongoing sale of everything in the their Pop Shop store, including the light fixtures, until the end of August. Merchandise will start at 40 percent off, with an additional 10 percent off each following week."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Season 3...


I just saw the season finale of The OC from Season 2, and it was absolutely spectacular... I'm reminded how much I miss my friends from Newport. Season 3 premiere Sept. 8!

That episode prominently features a terrific song called "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap that I picked up from Fluxblog or somewhere a while back. Just go buy it from iTunes. I already have it, but I still may purchase it for good measure.

Marcos Siega has an interview up at Nerve about his new movie Pretty Persuasion.

Happy to say that I got a link from JLT. Which makes my day.

Brooklyn Vegan has some Antony news and a link to the Gang of Four MySpace page (with 'new' tracks).

Run the Road Vol. 2 tracklist courtesy of Blackdown.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

You knew it was coming / You're happy it's here:

x-news-gangoffour
Gang of Four Announce Fall Tour

the Brooklyn show on Oct 1 is part of the Across the Pond Narrows festival. tix on sale Friday at 10 AM.

They're touring in support of Return the Gift, which 'drops' Sept 20.

Believe me, they are serious live.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Some Like It Free Associated



Special amazing kudos to JLT/JLT for finding this awesomeness:
"If you haven't read it yet, stop whatever it is you're presently doing and do so now."

Saturday, August 06, 2005

14 Songs


I saw 9 Songs yesterday and enjoyed it quite a bit. I was sort of surprised at how not-surprised I was by the explicit sex. There were a few moments that I thought were slightly overdone, but overwhelmingly it just felt like a natural portrait of a human relationship's sexuality. It was intimate and, in its way, lovely.

I kept trying to think of it as a romance or a movie about memory. While at times it has hints of those, it was instead mostly a portrait of a couple's relationship (told through that physicality). I wanted it to be that romance or that meditation on memory... my remake would be a memory-romance that acknowledges the tactile senses that intwine with smells and neurons to make the past feel present.

Last night I went to see this LA band Foreign Born, who my west-coast allies have been raving about. They were very worth it. I somehow escaped without a copy of their 5-song EP (2 Songs of which are on their website). They played Pianos (after a gig Thursday opening for Cloud Room at the Mercury Lounge). You should see them if you get the chance, but they're not ready to be changing people's lives.

somehow I ended up going home afterwards...

also discovered the website Superfuture, which is pretty much the greatest city guide ever to lots of hot cities around the globe (Tokyo, NYC, Sydney, Amsterdam, about 150 others). If you're traveling anywhere with an airport, check it out.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Movie trailers

A Scanner Darkly
based on Philip K. Dick's novel of the same name, and directed by Richard Linklater (using the animation-over-live-action technique from Waking Life). paranoid scifi par excellance
Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr, Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder
trailer

V for Vendetta
website
trailer
Natalie Portman
the new Wachowski brothers movie
based on Alan Moore's graphic novel
possibly the most seditious and amazing movie ever.
all is forgiven for Matrixes 2 and 3.

I just watched R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet in its entirety on MTV2. There's a video of all 5 parts, and it's pretty unreal. I've heard the first 2 parts (or maybe 3), but never the whole thing. I always liked it for it's sing-speak and the ridiculousness of the storytelling, but without knowing where the narrative goes it's hard to get the full effect. Oh my G-d. When Pitchfork put it's genre as OMG WTF, they weren't kidding. You can watch all 5 parts here.

Pitchfork: "Take the "Trapped in the Closet" cycle, for instance-- perhaps the most bizarre, audacious, brilliant undertaking a major artist has attempted in years."
From last weekend's New York Times Magazine:

"Last December, when Omar Minaya offered Pedro Martínez a four-year, $53 million contract, not everyone in the Mets' front office was convinced he was the wisest investment. The team's statistical analyst, Ben Baumer, a 27-year-old graduate of Wesleyan University with a master's degree in applied mathematics, made the case for Matt Clement instead. Baumer agreed that Martínez would be the better pitcher in 2005, but he marshaled stats suggesting that Clement might well be a better value over the course of a four-year contract. Martínez's walk rate was trending up, while his strikeout rate was trending down, and in 2004, for the first time in his career, Martínez exceeded the league average in home runs per pitches thrown. Clement, by contrast, was still improving. His control wasn't as good as Martínez's, but his 2004 strikeout rate was, and he had held opposing hitters to a lower batting average. In three years, Baumer figured, Clement could be as good or better than Martínez, and he was certainly going to be a lot more affordable."

Thoughts:
1 - Clement was a great signing for the Sox.
2 - Matt Baumer must have been 2 years ahead of me at Wes. When Matt Baumer argues with Omar Minaya about who to sign, the New York Times picks up on it?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Healthy living

Monday
Daily Consumption: challah knot, grilled cheese sandwich, french fries, 5 fried pirogies, 9 fake chicken nuggets, chocolate cheesecake, vodka, vodka, vodka, vodka, whiskey, vodka, secondhand smoke (cigarettes, "other"), 1 bottle vitamin water
Time in bed: 3:30 AM
Time alarm went off Tuesday: 6:40 AM
Party that did all the late-night damage: Retail Mafia @ Sway [aka McGovern's; 305 Spring St]
Recommendation: ****
Scene: hip hop for dedicated Monday night set. indie rockers and extras from G-Unit videos. hott dj's. smoke / blaze friendly.
Highlight(s): last (?) hang session with JFro prior to Paris departure. further conversation with Andrea. learning that Sundays are Morrissey night.
Tuesday verdict: I hate myself - when can I go to bed?
Wednesday verdict: See you Monday.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

keeping up



first, updates from the 'you've already read it but I'm telling you anyway' department:

The Rapture Say Next Record Is More Melodic, 'Soulful'

Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom Prepare Full-Length LP

Fire Engines Compilation in the Works

Fiery Furnaces New Albums & Tour Details

Black Dice Prepare New Album and Tour

Sleater Kinney to play this year's New Yorker Festival on September 24.

Sufjan Stevens Adds 5th NYC Night

Belle & Sebastian to play Keyspan Park, 10.02.05

Lightning Bolt Prepare New Album


here's what else is up:
in addition to the Summerstage M.I.A. gig, my boy Wes Gully is playing NYC with the new(?) face of grime. That's right, Diplo and Kano (plus opener DJs Catchdubs and Cameo). Knitting Factory, August 13. Tix/info here. I made plans to be out of town but there may be time to cancel...

Fri Aug 5
Pure Fire @ Rocky's
grime, crunk, jungle. dancehall, etc
with DJs Criterion (Broklyn Beats), Papa Wheelie, Peter Gunn, Reganomics, Catchdubs [+ more]
Rocky's = 351 Kent @ South 5th, Williamsburg BKNY
9PM - $4

Don't forget to go see M.I.A. this weekend. I have to work. I've never wanted to quit so much in my life.


further details forthcoming on the Monday night scene to destroy your Tuesday morning at work...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Blake


I finally made it to see Last Days on Saturday.


first, news from the trailers:

2046 looks amazing.

Pretty Persuasion also looks awesome. I think Evan Rachel Wood is fantastic, and it co-stars Ron Livingston and James Woods. Plus, Liz Harnois has a major role. You may remember Liz as the lead from the (since cancelled) show Point Pleasant on Fox, which spent some time last season in the clutch post-OC timeslot. I haven't seen Liz since college but I have tried to keep track of her career, which seems to be really taking off. I thought she was an awesome filmmaker when she was behind the camera, and it's been great to see her grow as an actress since then. (She acted then but I never caught much of it; the one exception was when she played a boy growing out of a flower pot, but that role didn't show off much of her range).
I'd say something about the movie but no words can beat the contrasting images of Evan Rachel Wood as seductress and faux-naif. Just go watch the trailer now.


Last Days

I love Gus van Sant. A lot. Elephant was one of the most poetic works of cinema I've ever seen. I hated Gerry, but it's clear that it's unwatchable because he's diving into formal experimentation without having the content to match it (I wonder if I'd still hold this opinion after repeat viewings). Last Days, for all it's formal similarities, isn't anything like those other two (which aren't anything like each other).

Lots of the movie is Blake (played by Michael Pitt) walking through the woods, stumbling around his house, passing out in various rooms, nodding off in mid-conversation, and avoiding the other characters. Actually, that's pretty much all that happens. He plays some music... including two Pagoda songs (i.e. Mike's original compositions). Lukas Haas, Kim Gordon, Scott Green, and Asia Argento are among those with smaller roles (I'm still not sure that was even Asia... I know she's listed in the cast but she looks really different than I've ever seen her. It's also hard because Gus doesn't really film faces in this movie at all).
So little happens in the film that we spend maybe 2 uninterrupted minutes watching a Boyz II Men video play on the television while Blake lies on the floor passed out. It's one of those moments that makes me think Gus is more interested in the passage of time than he is in action.

Every film universe is made up of three continuities: space, time, and action (narrative). Editing creates these continuities in our minds as viewer's but is really a myth. You could film half of a room in Hollywood and the other half in London as long as they appear the same. The same goes for time and action; obviously we all know that a 96-minute movie isn't shot in 96 minutes, but sitting in the cinema each scene appears to take place in something like real time ("real" time and space being subservient to "narrative" time and space in most films). Van Sant is more interested in exploring temporal continuities than narrative ones (and if you've seen any of my work, recent or otherwise, you'd know that so am I). The best deconstruction of these cinematic cheats is to not construct them in the first place.

I'm reposting those Pagoda mp3s I put up a while ago, this time with (semi-)permanent links. For newcomers, this is the Pagoda demo I picked up when I saw Mike play at Pianos in June. Read about it here. If you've seen the movie, you'll recognize Death to Birth and Fetus, though these are full-band Pagoda versions instead of Mike acoustic or Mike overdubbing himself (are all those tracks really him?):

Death to Birth
Fetus
Sadartha
Song 1
I Do
(if these links don't work, you can hear the songs on the terrific Michael Pitt fansite Beautifully Scarred. Let me know if they don't and I'll post them again as yousendits.)

After the movie I came out in sort of a daze. I guess I identified too much with Blake, because I literally felt like I was wandering around in the woods (though it was actually the LES). I walked into a restaurant where my friend S-J was working but couldn't really function on a normal conversational level so I continued my walk to clear my head. I sat on a bench that I like to read on near a school park on Rivington and continued my Blake reenactment. I'm sure the people sitting around me thought I was on heroin. I sat there drugged up (but not) for a while before actually laying down as if passed out on the bench. After a while like that I felt fairly un-Blaked and so I went back to Ini Ani (where S-J works) and sat down for a drink. The music at Ini Ani was pretty awful - mellow jazzy stuff but not in a good way, really soulless yuppie Starbucks wallpaper music - but once S-J's boss left I put together a playlist on my iPod and plugged that in instead. I made it through some Killers B-sides, obscure Fluxblog finds, an OMD Peel Session track and New Order's Ceremony before bossguy came back during a Lady Sov song, which he promptly vetoed with a touch of venom. It made me want to leave (because the music was bad, not because bossguy is obnoxious - though he is), but I stayed long enough to drink wine until I was tired and it was late. I got home with the intention of going out (MisShapes anyone?) but JFro was in Long Island and I was tired and I ended up passing out, Blake-style, lying on my couch holding a bowl of pasta.

I loved the movie, I think it's a terrific mood piece, I would definitely see it again. I also think I'd love to have it playing on my TV while I my attention to it waxed and waned... or maybe while I pass in and out of consciousness.


Speaking of musician biopics, I finally read that Giant article about the forthcoming Ian Curtis movie Control (based on Deborah Curtis' book Touching From a Distance). It's really an article about Ian and Joy Division, and it's really informative and well-written. check it out.