Monday, October 31, 2005

This news is awful

Hey, Theo - What gives?


SO, first of all, how cute was it to walk out of the subway on 7th Ave in Brooklyn and barely be able to walk through all the kids dressed as princesses, vampires, and witches. If only my camera was already here.

Also, I am sick. Not brutally sick, but enough that I feel awful and I'm not going in to work tomorrow. It's just a cold, so hopefully i'll be back at full strength in a couple of days. Which means - I skipped tonight's Mountain Goats show at the Knitting Factory, and I also skipped the Cake Shop Halloween show (bands dress and perform as their favorite bands). Can't wait to find out every detail of (both) Mountain Goats shows from Russo, and find out who was performing as Jesus and Mary Chain at Cake Shop. I wonder if i'll be better in time for Moveable Hype...

All sorts of other things:

Maureen Dowd had a great piece in this weekend's NYTimes Mag about Feminism and Relationships. One of the things she says is that men are intimidated by strong women. Which is both obvious and really stupid, as well as something totally foreign to me. Maureen's piece seems based at least in part in her own struggles to find a man not intimidated by her strong will/intellect (though it's anything but a personal essay). It's adapted from her new book "Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide," which comes out in November. I for one think she's incredibly sexy and would totally take her out to dinner if she'd let me.

Some more NYTimes stuff worth reading: the transcript of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech about how much he'd like to destroy Israel. I really don't like this guy.

Brighter news: The Times is finally hip to how hard Lisbon rocks. This reminded me that this is really the time for me to move to Portugal. the upsides are infinite. the lone downside: family pressure (grandmother, aunts, etc) to marry a "nice Portuguese girl" would go from subtle to overpowering. or maybe they're past that?

Remember Season 1 of America's Next Top Model? I had a clear favorite. Elyse is very smart and sooo gorgeous, has great taste in music/movies/etc (including an intelligent dissent on the virtues of the DangerDoom record!). She's modeling as a career now, apparently as a detour from the medical research she wants to pursue, and she's blogging about it here. It's awesome.

Pitchfork had a great feature today about how women (Cat Power, Fiona Apple) are treated with the fragile-damaged label while men in the same vein are viewed as geniuses. Basically it's a revealing hypothesis about Devendra Barnhart's hidden psychic wounds, and the walls he puts up to hide them. All of this starts with a personality typing of the characters in The Goonies. If you know who these people are (the musicians, not the Goonies) you should definitely read it. Pitchfork also had a nice interview with Antony. But nothing Line of the Day-worthy of late.

In my constant quest to discover new music, a lot of stuff gets downloaded, put in a folder, and never listened to. Well, not never, but the files sit there indefinitely. There's just too much new music coming in - cds, promos, mp3s, whatever - for me to possibly keep up. But this month I'm trying to wade through some of the huge stores of unlistened-to material sitting in my new music folder. So last night I walked around Park Slope while playing "Black Dice: Live at The Empty Bottle." And it's f'ing fantastic, exactly what I want from Black Dice right now. [I used to love them being the loudest band in the universe, full of noisy chaos and 'fuck you all' volumes and tones, but now that strikes me as less rewarding than their incorporation of ambient sound-construction.] The only problem is, I don't have any idea where I got it from, or when, or when it was recorded. Or for that matter, where the Empty Bottle is.

Update: apparently The Empty Bottle is in Chicago. that's a start.

Oh, and one more thing: "Scalito" is sketchy. I think this says enough.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Mixing, Testing, Drawing, Dancing

Annie's DJ Kicks record is finally out. Nick Sylvester likes it. And, surprise, surprise, I like it, too.

The new Get That Out of Your Mouth, "Questionable Content and the T-Shirt Driven Economy," is about indie comic Questionable Content, and the way it's the way that it's author maintains financial/creative independence. I love the business model and wonder if a narrative serial digital film website could operate on the same model (like an indie web soap opera). bandwidth is of course much more expensive, but it seems to me that it would be a terrific aesthetic endeavor. So... consider this the launch of my new project. or at least, it's founding concept.

I'm starting to get excited about Movable Hype 5.0. It's at the Knitting Factory on Wednesday, hosted by Aziz Ansari and Rob Huebel.
Bands: The Capitol Years, The Cloud Room, Snowden, Bravo Silva
Price: $10.00
Date: Wed, Nov 02
Starts at 8:00 PM

Test Icicles to play New York!
11-09 New York, NY - Cake Shop
11-11 New York, NY - Northsix (with Art Brut, The Occasion)
Art Brut and Test Icicles on the same bill?! A show at Cake Shop, where I've been known to drink free?! Yes!
This band is, uh, really good.
Pitchfork has the story.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I Skip More Parties Than I Actually Attend

Didn’t make it to Shindig! last night. Why? Well, no one in my immediate vicinity could be convinced to go, and I intented to go anyway and meet people there, but I was tired at 930/10 and decided to stay in (this happens every night). Then, around 1230/1, I got a burst of energy that kept me up for 3 hours (this also happens every night). This proves that I should not be staying in and trying to sleep, but instead should be out attending all the parties I talk about and eventually skip. Because I’ll be up anyway.

If not the above scenario, then some other last-minute event always comes up that I end up moving to. At this point, if you want to see me at a party – even if I have raved about how great it’s going to be, and how sure I am to be there – you pretty much have to make a special request.

I haven’t had time to post a Pitchfork Line of the Day in a while, so I’m combining The Tuesday and Wednesday editions. So:

“This album will be over before you're finished reading this review. There, it's finished. Did you miss it? It's very short.”

Though Pete L'Official’s Peedi Peedi tryptich has some moments, too.

In today’s Pitchfork Line of the Day, a news article about Islands tour dates and their upcoming debut album quotes Nick Diamonds (of Islands, formerly of the Unicorns). From the article: "Diamonds dropped some hints about the upcoming album's contributors: "Everyone in the Arcade Fire, everyone in Wolf Parade, except for the drummers and Win Butler, everyone in Bell Orchestre, except for the drummer, we already have a good drummer."" Followed by:
"He added, "No one is allowed to step on J'aime's toes and Win's not allowed to step on mine." Yeah, that would really hurt, given how frickin' tall Win Butler is."

I pretty much still find it weird/awesome when Win gets name-dropped, so this had a big edge with me. It will probably stay surreal for quite some time. But I've been over that before. Although I also liked the use of the name “Super Awesome Fun Kapranos Machine” to describe Franz Ferdinand, party band. Superfantastiche.

This afternoon I’m off to buy a winter coat. I think it's about time.

Monday, October 24, 2005

ummm... yeah

Instead of having a saturday/sunday weekend, I'm now needed at work on Saturday. In exchange I get Thursday off. Which makes this even better than before:

"I got shot three times and my album comes out Nov. 22"

Cam'ron (aka Cameron Giles) shot in attempted carjacking.

Killa refused to hand over the blue Lamborghini, got shot once in each arm, then drove himself to the hospital.

if not for the DangerDoom line, this would be a contender for line of the day:
"If all this talk of carjackings and stuff has got you down, Pitchfork suggests watching the Killa Season trailer as a pick-me-up."

He's already out of the hospital.

Not even bullets can stop Cam.

Pitchfork line of the day, Vol. 2

This feature is for real starting now.

Today's gem:
"Doom and Danger Mouse are planning a tour for 2006, and Doom hopes they can have Adult Swim characters on stage and in costume. He told Billboard, 'I haven't met the human beings behind these voices, so to me, it's still just Meatwad. Everyone should be in costume. If I'm going to have them on the record, I have to have them on the tour.' The Smokin' Grooves tour meets Disney on Ice? Start hoarding LSD now."

Update: I can't believe I missed this from Friday:
"If my screenplay about two Japanese kids abducting Robert Pollard and ending up in a police standoff on a Chicago train ever gets filmed, no expense will be spared to ensure that 'Dream Baby Dream' plays over the closing credits."
- from the intense and moving "Puritan Blister #10: The Month In: Suicide" by William Bowers

Saturday, October 22, 2005

This Safire is Out of Control

"A pun is to wordplay what dominatrix sex is to foreplay - a stinging whip that elicits groans of guilty pleasure." - William Safire

William Safire?

Monday, October 17, 2005


Is "I'm dying my hair" hipster for "I'm washing my hair"?

Faunts - High Expectations/Low Results

8.6 (on the Pitchfork scale)

When I was 23, I moved to a new city. Before long I met a girl I really liked. We started spending lots of time together, and soon we were taking steps down the road to relationship. After a few weeks of kisses in doorways and late-night Smiths listening sessions, we became official. Soon I was starting to love the way she shuddered when my breath touched her neck, or the look on her face as she watched the final scene of Mouchette. One night, after a few months of breathless enthusiasm, we met for dinner at a vegetarian restaurant downtown. She greeted me with an affectionate kiss and traced my lower arm with her fingers. We sat down to eat and, somewhere between the main course and the arrival of our dessert, she looked me hard in the eyes and told me that we shouldn't see each other anymore. I was dumbstruck with confusion; tears welled up in her eyes while she put on her jacket and left. I chased her down and tried to talk but she brushed me off. I called her once a day for the next few days but never had any of my messages returned.

About a month later she called. We talked for a few cordial minutes and I agreed to meet her for another dinner. We said hi with awkwardly-traded kisses on the cheek; over sushi she explained that she wasn't ready to invest in another relationship. I heard more about her old boyfriend, who had until now been just a combination of rumors and mixtapes. She decided again that we shouldn't see each other, not even a little bit. "It's just too hard," she told me, which sounded like it meant "I want you, but I can't want you. Not now, anyway, even though I know that by saying no now I'm probably saying no forever." She left, and I left, walking in opposite directions. As I neared the corner of the street, I turned to see her one more time, but she was already gone; the street was empty except for the shining light of the bar where we'd had our first drink. I spun and kept walking, taking a deep breath and a few rushed strides before looking up at the stars. Imagining thousands of others looking at the stars at that very moment, the air seemed clearer, and a wave of optimism surged over me. I realized the rest of my life started right now.

If I had had "High Expectations/Low Results" while all of this happened, it would have been my indespensible soundtrack to the wildly swinging emotions of those few months. "High Expectations" is the fade in: seeing her laughing, playing pool with her friends, putting Husker Du on the jukebox and singing along, leaving the bar and not knowing if or when I'd ever run in to her. "Instantly Loved" is the hazy memory of the night she brought me backstage to meet the band, the feeling I get watching her explode with glee at every new pose from the singer or kick of the drums. "Memories of Places We've Never Been" is our drive up to her parents' cabin, holding the steering wheel with my left hand and her with my right. "Place I've Found" feels like the week we spent apart, talking for hours into the night from faraway cities and wanting only to be in her arms. "Parler De La Pluie Et Du Beau Temps" is the return, the first eye contact to break the voice-only expectant waiting of the time spent apart, filtered through a French Film Noir where Mogwai, not Miles, provides the score. The first part of "Will You Tell Me Then" plays, on repeat, while our scene at the dinner table unfolds in piercing slow motion, switching to full speed once we exit the restaurant as the song's second section kicks in. "Twenty-Three" walks me home from our last dinner, starting with a deep breath and a glance to the sky. "Gone With The Day" is the sound of memory, the lost hope for beauty and the recollection of all things lost. Because, somehwere, deep down, I still hope she'll call and want to try again. "Low Results" drifts off to sleep as if dreams were my escape, my hope for the future and my chance at redemption.

High Expectations/Low Results would make a spectacular mixtape of its own; every song could roll over the closing credits of a melancholy Sofia Coppola almost-romance. It's the perfect comedown for nights that end at sunrise or for a half-year love, especially if you're not quite ready to let that night, or those glorious six months, go.

Time for honesty: Everything you've just read was a story; none of these things actually happened. But the metaphor works well even as the line between fiction and life is getting less clear.
You should also know that Friendly Fire Recordings, who's putting out this record, is run by my friend Dan. Which is why I'm reviewing this record, but not at all why I like it. I like it because it's terrific.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Faunts listening party

Good ol' Friendly Fire... bringing the music and the free beer:

"This Monday, October 17, Friendly Fire Recordings and our friends at Fringe Benefits are holding a listening party in New York for our second release, the Faunts album "High Expectations/Low Results," which will be in stores on October 18. You and your friends are cordially invited to attend - it'll be a good time!

Mo Pitkins
34 Avenue A b/t 2nd St. & 3rd St.

Be the first to hear Faunts' new album "High Expectations/Low Results" -
Shimmering walls of pink noise with dreamy, languorous guitar,
gently-treated vocals, and swimmingly beautiful melodies.

Plus *FREE BEER* from our friends at Red Stripe!

Featuring performances from:
Dave Deporis
This Frontier Needs Heroes (ex-Mountain Men)

Both events are 21+
Red Stripe reminds you to drink responsibly."


"Floating through the ether in a manner reminiscent of facets of Sigur
Ros, Red House Painters, and even late-period Radiohead, High
Expectation/Low Results buzzes and quiets, ebbs and flows. Similar to
the way the Icelandic landscape influenced the Arctic sound of Sigur
Ros, so, too, did the bleak Canadian tundra of Edmonton affect Faunts.
Epic soundscapes evoke feelings of chilling isolation and creeping
darkness... it's an emotive rollercoaster ride well worth taking" -

[Faunts are] "driving along the same star-lit road as The Smiths' "There
Is A Light That Never Goes Out," but these love-sick passengers are
lucky enough not to get hit head-on by that double-decker bus" -
Fluxblog (download a song; follow the link)

"Faunts do an excellent job of infusing their post-rock compositions
with warmth, rather than hiding behind a wall of feedback" -

I will post a review of some sort soon... I like the record but haven't had time to put pen to paper (finger to keyboard?) about it yet. Hopefully I'll have something by Saturday (if not tomorrow).

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Pagoda shows Oct.2005

Mike Pitt is playing some acoustic shows (as Pagoda) this month... I knew this a while ago but was reminded today when i read it on BrooklynVegan.

What BV says:

"PAGODA is a band led by Michael Pitt and signed under Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label....Michael has put aside the month of October to play special acoustic performances with Pagoda cellist Indigo."


Sat Oct 15, 2005 - @ Tonic
Sat Oct 22, 2005 - @ The Hook (Brooklyn)
Fri Oct 28, 2005 - @ The Delancey

I didn't know about the Ecstatic Peace connection, but it makes sense, since Mike recently starred in a movie featuring Kim Gordon. [So... can Gus Van Sant share credit for the signing?]

previous Pagoda-related posts:
Last Days

feel like your beingwatched..

New post up at Dead Air Space.
Including lyrics fragments from new Radiohead song "Rubbernecks"

I can't get enough...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Great Literary Hustlers

New York Magazine - which I never read - has a phenomenal article entitled "Who Is JT Leroy? The True Identity of a Great Literary Hustler". If you have even a passing interest in JT's work this article is unmissable.

There's also a nice piece called "Why Intelligent Design Has To Be Stopped" that cites some of the scary religion-poll numbers I like to drop in conversation with rational adults (though not my favorite stat, that 1 in 5 Americans believe that the world will end in their lifetime).

In other 'read this now' news, I raced through these ages ago but never reported them here... (everything on this blog is on like a 2-week delay). 'SportsGuy', who writes for ESPN's Page 2, is the only thing that ESPN has going for it. He's brilliant. He recently started this (irregular?) feature called "Curious Guy." Here's how he described it:
"Welcome to a new feature called "Curious Guy," where I e-mail questions to somebody who's successful -- whether it's the GM of a baseball team, an author, a creator of a TV show, another columnist or whomever -- and we just start trading e-mails for an entire day. As with many of the new features I start up, you may never see this one again, or you might keep seeing it. I don't know. Let's see how this one works out."

So far Sports Guy has done only 2 of these, but I couldn't really have been more awed by who he chose, or more excited to read them. Bill Simmons has the best job in the world.

Curious Guy 1: Josh Schwartz
Curious Guy 2: Chuck Klosterman

Actually, I think Sasha Frere-Jones might have the best job ever. His latest "Pop Note" column is about the Swede-pop comeback of Robyn. When she couldn't get a major to bring her back, she started her own label.

Past Robyn news here (and, peripherally, here)

Konichiwa, Bitches.

Stylus Ranks Top 50 Movies of the New Millenium, Makes Mistakes

I just got around to reading the Stylus Magazine Top 50 Movies of the New Millenium.

The Kill Bill Vol. 2 review contains the line "Hell hath no fury like a woman shot and left for dead," which is pretty close to my previously-published "Hell hath no fury like a pregnant woman shot in the head and left for dead," which I will let slide because any idiot could have come up with that line, as it's pretty much the most obvious blog/web/filmnerd response to either volume of Kill Bill.

My real issues are with some pieces of the list:
- Russian Ark at 14??? Russian Ark is a one-trick pony with just enough muffled historical references to pretend to artistry. I like the formal and visual experience of a single-take movie, but even aware that I missed certain insider Russian-history references, I felt the overpowering hollowness at this film's core. (I might like to remake it, but there's no way it makes my top 50.)
- Elephant doesn't make the top 50??? neither does Morvern Callar? no 28 Days Later?? These are HUGE omissions.
- Underrated: The Pianist, Dancer in the Dark
- Overrated: Far From Heaven, American Splendor (should be closer to the bottom than the top of this list), In The Bedroom, Requiem for a Dream

All that said, most of their Top 10 movies are hard to question as belonging somewhere near the top.

Monday, October 10, 2005


Somehow I missed this but:

NO NEW YORK is being re-released on CD. comes out Nov. 15.
I can finally trade in my scratched CD copy of someone's cassette dub, and stop hunting through the compilation bins at every used record store I go in. Now I can actually buy a copy.

Some website - preferrably one run by people with more time - should have a 'Pitchfork Line of the Day' feature. So, possibly as the first in this (very irregular) series, I propose:

"You can also hear Lambchop main man Kurt Wagner warbling on "Give It", the latest single from dance music titans X-Press 2. That's gotta be weird: It's 3 a.m. at your fave superclub, you're grinding with Paris Hilton, and all of a sudden you hear Kurt Wagner. Must be the ecstasy."

To listen to the song without the ecstacy or without Paris Hilton (or both), snag it here. And maybe you'll get to hear it this Saturday (with one or both of those things?) if you go to this.

Friday, October 07, 2005


Rogue Wave has a secret MySpace page with, um, secret new music. And it's pretty seriously awesome. Descended Like Vultures comes out Oct 25.

Some recent MP3 gems at Call Me Mickey. try the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah set from Morning Becomes Eclectic (also available as a Podcast from iTunes). or some new Bloc Party.

give Kelley Stoltz a shot. (but start with his MySpace page instead). No, better yet, get "The Sun Comes Through" from his The Sun Comes Through EP. courtesy of Subpop.

Jesus and Mary Chain reunion/single?

that's enough for now... oh except this:
New York Doll, the new movie about Arthur "Killer" Kane, comes out Oct 28 in NY and LA.


Monday, October 03, 2005

L'Shana Tova

Goodbye, 5765, Hello 5766.*

*Technically, this doesn't apply to me. My status is only honorary.