Friday, September 30, 2005

Apartment at the Mercury Lounge

This was just post-CMJ. my memory of it is hazy now, but here's what I've got.

Jean came to meet me but couldn't get in the door... I went in for Apartment and then met up with her again afterwards. I went in hoping for goodness but slightly fearful that they'd come off as Interpol-lite.

This band is amazing. They do mine some of the same influences as Interpol etc, but they're original as well as incredibly talented. They're spectacular performers, and use a hint of noise in the opens and closes of songs to add a bit of danger to their songcraft...

that, and david is my new idol. he's like the best of all possible frontmen. I could rave but it'll just sound like I'm going too far... which I probably am (but just by a bit).

GO SEE THIS BAND. I don't know if they're ever going to be huge but they sure are going to keep being awesome. [Probably both]. I was really impressed with everything they threw at me. I really can't even break down what works because everything comes together so seamlessly. It's the kind of praise I'll rarely heap on a band or a movie, but they are so very deserving. This goes not just for one song but for the whole set. The highlights were the moments when they were on stage.

I can't wait 'til Sarah gets me my copy of Patience is Proving.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

CMJ Fri/Sat

Fri -

the last song of Windsor for the Derby (they're really good)
a set by Tyondai Braxton
Big Bear

Ty was great. Sitting on the ground as usual. I've seen him better but I enjoyed his set a lot.
Big Bear was really fucking loud. in a metal way, but artier. I'd call them "post-metal noise" but anyone in those scenes would say I'm using the wrong terminology. I'm afraid my knowledge of that stuff is all from the avant-side of things, so I don't know what the metal kids would say. but they were loud.
Wilderness - I thought I'd like them a lot. Instead, I only liked them. The one song of theirs that I know - "Arkless" - was the one I liked the best. Is it that I just need to get acclimated to their songs? Not really, since they all sound pretty similar. And the singer was moving like everything was in slow motion. he seemed to not be used to fronting a band, like he was trying to learn how. You should never be practicing fronting a band, you should just go up there and lose control... he didn't do that.

Sat -

worked late. 'til like 2 AM. met Jean at the Knitting Factory for CMJ closing night party. witnessed a bit of karaoke but mostly hung out in the Ladytron dj-ed upstairs. stayed out... late.

went into recovery mode until the Tuesday (I think) Apartment show at the Mercury Lounge... that deserves its own post. i'll be caught up soon, I swear.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Samantha = Deborah

Samantha Morton will be playing Deborah Curtis in Control, the Anton Corbijn-directed Ian Curtis biopic (based on Deborah's memoir Touching From a Distance) to start shooting in Manchester this fall.

Sam is such a perfect choice. There is a resemblance, but what I'm more impressed with is her incredible emotional depth and ability to transmit interior emotion on the screen. Sam is one of the best actors alive, and she's intelligent and gorgeous and amazing and I couldn't select a better Deborah Curtis. Perfect.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Dungen +

CMJ updates continue -

I was en route to Bowery Ballroom in a taxi after seeing Regina Spektor and Devotchka (which followed an early Lady Sovereign show). ...

getting out of the taxi and arriving at the venue, I was told that they weren't letting in any more badges. It was maybe 12:30 at this point, the show still 15 minutes from starting. I was told to go wait in a line with other badgeholders, that they were only letting in people with tickets. Which I did. After a while of waiting the show started, and I was still outside in line. Started conversing with some of my fellow badgeholding optimists, Greg, Jean(ne?), and another girl. At this point - or maybe just before the music began - the Bowery personnel told us that we could buy tickets and go right in, but they were not letting in any badges. I really wanted to see the show but I felt like saving my 15 dollars and taking a chance so I stayed in line, thinking that eventually we'd be let in. Conversation was good but understandably annoyed that we weren't being let in to see the concert. Greg runs ARC magazine; Jean was here because a film she worked on (shooting the making of documentary) was playing as part of CMJ - Brick. Anyway, eventually, after much dismay/confusion/annoyance we ended up being let in about 2 or 3 songs into the performance.

Dungen was really, really good. I wasn't that familiar with their stuff but I was really blown away. Gustav [Ejstes, who composed all of the music and, on the recordings, does most of the performing] was all over the stage, singing, playing organ, guitar, tambourine, sometimes just rocking out while the other musicians jammed. It was far and away the best Swedish psych-rock band I've ever seen at the Bowery Ballroom... ok anywhere.

there was a little bit of between song banter before/after [I can't remember] "Ta det lugnt". Gustav said that the song's title means "Take It Easy", and the guitarist said that it's hard to take it easy when you're playing guitar. That was pretty much the English spoken for the night, except for the occassional 'thank you' or something.

The best musical moment was actually the very end of the show. The last song ended with the typical cymbal-crashing catharsis of a rock-show finale, but then the drummer hit an extra beat. then another. then the guitarist played a riff. then everybody jammed for a few minutes. 'jammed' doesn't really capture the intensity or tightness of what was going on. It was spectacular.

After the show Jean Greg and I headed to Motor City for what was reported to be the Merge afterparty... though i didn't see anyone i know from Merge. I made some joke with Greg about this really being a SubPop crowd due to the hard-party style, but mostly it was just other passholders looking for an after-scene. Greg mingled; Jean and I sat on a couch. Eventually it got to be late [430? 5?] and they told us to leave.

That's the Thursday music update. Friday will get posted... tomorrow?

Russo, pay attention

Still tix available to see the (formerly secret) Mountain Goats show at the Knitting Factory on Halloween. With Grizzly Bear and Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers. When the show was secret, they were listed as The Hospital Bombers. Nice touch. anyway, get tix here.

CMJ Thursday pt 2

After Lady Sovereign I raced over to Irving Plaza to see Devotchka and Regina Spektor. Actually, I wasn't sure if I'd stay for Regina's show because I didn't want to get shut out of the Dungen show at Bowery Ballroom. Anyway, I was excited for Devotchka, because I've really gotten into their gypsy/rock fusion thing of late (though I still think their version of Venus in Furs is more disappointing than amazing). They're the ones with the amazing song "How It Ends" from the Everything is Illuminated trailer.

Once I got settled David Byrne walked in and passed by on his way to the balcony. Soon after, Nick (the singer) came out carying a bottle of wine, whose cork he pulled out with his teeth. And drank straight from the bottle during the whole show. There was Nick (on electric guitar and vocals, and sometimes theremin), a drummer, someone who switched between accordion and violin, and someone who played tuba and upright bass. The songs were great but they were all the songs I already know... kind of like a 'best of' set. Which I liked, but i was hoping for a revelation. Still, a big thumbs up for the gypsy-rock fusion - and for any singer who raises his bottle of wine to the crowd before chugging 3 glasses worth mid-song.

Then I decided to stay for Regina since I had never seen her play live before, and because Dungen wasn't slated to go on until 12:45. She was really awesome. She also seemed really surprised to have this packed holuse of people desperately attaching themselves to every word, every breath, every blink.

I didn't know any of Regina's songs going in but I was really impressed. They're piano songs and some of them are love songs but her uncharacteristic delivery and her convoluted approach to narrative kind of sweep me away.
"Sampson" was really good. Her cover unexpected cover of Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" was spot-on. She also played some song about hearing November Rain twice on the radio because the dj was asleep... that song is awesome, whatever it is.
[you can stream most/all of her studio tracks at her website.]

after that it was into a cab to race down to Bowery Ballroom and try to catch Dungen.
to be continued...

Clocking on again

Jonny put up a new post on Friday at Dead Air Space. and by Jonny I mean Jonny Greenwood. Meaning - Radiohead is back in the studio. Good to know that Jonny's been exploring dub reggae... it makes me a) excited to hear new Radiohead studio-results, and b) less guilty about exploring obscure Houston hiphop producers or fresh dancehall ridddims instead of giving more attention to, say, Faunts.

More CMJ catchup-posts forthcoming, I swear.

Speaking of Houston hiphop, Bun B is awesome. download/stream "Draped Up" here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

When I say S-O, you say VEE. S-O, VEE, S-O, VEE

Lady Sov. at webster hall.

she comes on stage dressed in a yellow adidas tracksuit. some clown calls her a 'bloody chav' in a (bad) fake english accent. she says, 'yeah, i love it'. then shows off the Union Jack on her underwear and gives her own bottom a solid slap. take that, chav guy. (that Union Jack made one or two other appearances on the night).

she rhymes over a dj mashup of the instrumental versions of The Whisper Song and Hollaback Girl.

she spits faster than anyone (possibly including Twista?) on the crazily sped up version of Public Warning.

she leads the crowds in the call-and-response listed above

she just totally kills.

catching up

the CMJ posts and everything after will trickle in over the next few days on a show-by-show basis, I swear. - Dave

Thursday, September 15, 2005

CMJ Vol. 1

Last night went to see Asobi Seksu at Crash Mansion. Saw Dan Frantic there (as expected, they were the first band signed to his label). Was nice to see him if only briefly. He gave me a copy of the new Faunts record High Expectations/Low Results that I haven't had time to check out (due out October 18). Check out a Faunts track (via Fluxblog) here.

Controller Controller had to cancel for the show due to a burst appendix on the part of... someone from Controller Controller. Some really bad band played instead, i'v ealready pushed them out of my memory but it confirmed my belief that you should need a license to cover any song by Iggy and the Stooges. Asobi Seksu was as good as i've seen them. They've got 2 new poeple in the band... a new drummer and bassist. I really liked that the rhythm section was higher in the mix than the last show I went to. Apparently this was the first show with the new members, but I thought they worked well together.

I'm skipping The OC tonight to see Lady Sov instead. I really need a TiVo.

If I don't leave now i won't make Lady Sov. peace.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

5 damn days, 5 long days, and at the end of the 5th he walkin' in like 'Haaay'

I got a confirmation today that my CMJ pass came through (thanks).
Which means I need to spend some serious time trying to figure out my
schedule this week. I'm currently working every day of CMJ including Saturday until late night - late enough that I won't make it to the DIPLO gig at Southpaw with Bun B and Spank Rock. Spank Rock is the genius behind the surprisingly-awesome-no-matter-how-dirty-it-sounds cut "Put That Pussy on Me" that kills it (get it here). I've got the pass and I'm on the list for a bunch of individual events. I think I know what I'm doing late Friday night, but otherwise, it's pretty much up in the air.

Smoosh is pretty awesome. Check out the video for "La Pump". I listen to it and all I can think is: These girls are sooo young, think what they could be doing in 5 or 8 or 10 years. My prediction: they'll be tagging in for Sufjan on, say, Wyoming or Arkansas. I feel like I should be sending them books by Rimbaud or albums by Ornette Coleman to expose them to other influences... or at least The Smiths.

My current playlist:
- George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People - The Legendary K.O. [produced by Kanye West and Jon Brion... sort of] (get it here)
- Wake Up (Live at Fashion Rocks, Radio City Music Hall) - The Arcade
Fire and David Bowie (at Banana Nutrament)
- Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt - We Are Scientists
- These Things - She Wants Revenge
- Between Us & Them - Moving Units
- The Police And The Private - Metric (from Fluxblog)
- Let's Get High (Alan Braxe Remix) - Benjamin Diamond
- Be Mine - Robyn

Please go out of your way to download the first and the last on the list.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Win Butler is My Hero

I only knew him a little bit, and we haven't had a conversation since high school, but he's now officially the most successful/amazing person I will ever know.
I just finished watching The Arcade Fire's performance on Fashion Rocks, with David Bowie playing with the band. Win and David split the vocals on "Wake Up". Most of the crowd didn't seem to care at first (except for Heather Graham, who seemed into it), but by the end everyone in the building was standing and clapping along to the beat of the song. I've missed all of my chances to see the Arcade Fire live, but they were spectacular, and I will not do so again.

I wasn't blogging in the era when their album Funeral took over my life. I can't think of praise high enough for it that doesn't sound melodramatic. So, please take me at face value when I say that it might be the best album of the last 5 years.

Do you want to run this ship?

Joss Whedon is back in effect:

Shopgirl trailer
Deathcab/Notwist soundtrack
and everything else I think I want in a movie right now

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Pitchfork back in serious effect:

Johnny Boy Complete Album, Shop for Labels, Shoes

I guess they showed me. Then again, that's why they're the news.

Monday, September 05, 2005



Let's get serious.
if you can spend five bucks on a drink or a cab you spare that cash to SAVE PEOPLE'S LIVES.


Orson and Mike in particular will enjoy this:

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19th.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Kanye Represents

Kanye West on NBC: "George Bush Does Not Care About Black People"

Crazy-Kanye outdoes his statement on Live 8 about AIDS: "It's a man-made disease in the first place that was placed in Africa just like crack was placed in the black community to break up the Black Panther party."

And yet... some evidence suggests that the CIA was involved in dealing crack in the '80's (Iran-Contra, etc), and the press seems to think that if you're white it's not looting.

Pics, story stolen from JLT.

I'm coming around on the Caps and Jones mix, but I don't love when they throw in those 70's rock clips. There's obvious moments of hiphop genius, but c'mon boys, keep it gully.

Above us there is nothing above but the stars above.

5...4...3...1... Offblast!

More info on Zlad here and here.

Friday, September 02, 2005

On Returning

Chris Lemon-Red Nelson has a terrific interview with Diplo that just got published in The Boston Phoenix. Best thing I gleaned from that - Piracy Funds Terrorism Vol. 2 is closer than I thought.
Also, check out the September installment of the Lemon-Red mix series... I'm not so into the Caps and Jones thing, but CLR likes it, so give it a shot.

The company College Prowler publishes individual guides to 200 top colleges.
The books are written by current students for prospective college students, designed to answer questions like:
• "Is Wesleyan University the right place for me?"
• "Will I be happy at Wesleyan University if I decide to accept their offer?"
• "Should I even apply for admission to Wesleyan University?"

Best line from the Wesleyan edition:
"Is it true they have naked parties? Is it true they do drugs? Is it true they sip foreign tea and talk about socialism? Yes, yes, and yes."

JLT likes Kanye, and I like his pink sweater. Smart about music in '05.

Zach Vowell saw Jandek the other day and published a great review in Pitchfork here. (I, on the other hand, was shut out of tickets for the NYC show by about 30 seconds. again.)

The New York Times published a piece yesterday entitled The Pitch: A Series About Wacky Terrorists."
The opening joke: "Abu, Ahmed, Musab and Salar, a cell of Islamic terrorists sent to Chicago by a nefarious network resembling Al Qaeda, are getting chewed out by their murderous boss, just in from Afghanistan. (They have been spending the organization's money like crazy but haven't blown anything up.) Just then, two deliverymen knock on the apartment door, bearing a huge flat-screen TV."
I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. I described the show to my roommate and she said it sounded like "Arrested Development with terrorists." Which I guess explains why I like the idea so much. And also why it'll never get made. If anyone has a copy of the script for this show (called "The Cell"), please email me right away. If anyone knows Mark Jordan Legan or Mark F. Wilding, tell them it should be produced for the web and released on DVD. Stuff that risky won't fit on advertiser-supported TV, but that doesn't mean it's not genius.

I still haven't reflected on my favorite moments of (watching) the VMAs (on television), except for a brief wordless response to R.Kelly's psycho-ambitious-spoken-pop-radio-opera thing. So I have to get around to that. Sadly, MTV won't let me watch the VMAs on my computer because Windows Media Player's Mac version doesn't have DRM. maybe someone can hack the code and I can download the My Chemical Romance and Kelly Clarkson performances. Anyone?

It's really nice outside; I'm gonna take my iPod and Touching From A Distance and go lay in the park.

Oh yeah... Kate Bush has a new album on the way.