The Rich Girls Are Weeping: February 2006

28 February 2006

Ain't it funny how the feeling goes away? Ten tidbits for you this afternoon; I've had quite a day. And it's not even close to being over. After languishing -- literally -- for about four years and not actually hustling to achieve anything of greatness, I'm realizing that it's harder than I remembered. And no, I'm not talking about my day job!

First: Not to make this into Hot Chip-ville or anything, but here's the truly bizzare and charming video for
Hot Chip's "Over and Over."

Second: Thanks to Dayan for pointing me toward
The DC Snipers.

Third: Thanks to Paul for pointing me toward
The Seedy Seeds. I don't have any more information on them than this, though.

Fourth: My mom sent me the following song the other day, I think it perfectly explains a good chunk of my taste in music, all in one convenient place.
It's all about the honky tonk piano, kids.

Thunderclap Newman -- Something in the Air

Fifth: Speaking of long-term influences on my taste, I was listening to The Eagles earlier, the fact that I'll still do that might explain a lot about my bizzaro interests. I really don't care if it's not okay to say that you appreciate, or even kind of love them; believe me, I'm any thing but a snob. That being said, I blame this current convocation of The Eagles Appreciation Society on Minotaur Shock.

Sixth: Party Ben's remix of
John Denver's "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" (scroll down past the Death Cab/Madge mashups -- which are also great) -- which strikes me as some sort of giant honkin' metatribute to Brokeback Mountain.

Seventh:
The video for The Hold Steady's "Your Little Hoodrat Friend," guest starring a few of my friends.

Eighth: Randomly -- Why didn't I ever notice that
Longwave sounds like a melodic guitar band, alternate universe version of They Might Be Giants?

Ninth: My darlings
Cue are mentioned in a Lupatarkastaja, a Finnish blog! Thus is the magic of the interschitzel.

Tenth: Where has this song been all my life? Made even better when I learnt the pedigree of
The Flying Lizards (guest appearance from David Toop!) -- this is one of those gaping holes in my knowledge that I'm sure will have people coming to collect the indie cred card immediately.

The Flying Lizards -- Moving On Up

Well, so much for this being a short entry! Laters!

A postscript: Remember Norwegian teengirlpop duo M2M? I sure do -- they were something of an anomaly back in the day and wrote most of their own songs before Avril even pretended to do such things. Well, 1/2 of M2M, Marit Ingman, has a solo single out in Norway, "Don't Save Me," that's kind of like Jenny Lewis' solo stuff colliding with ABBA. Or maybe a less dour, alternate universe version of The Like, ca. 2002? Get it over at Fluxblog (and ignore that he also posted the loathsome Dresden Dolls). Brilliant!

27 February 2006

[A note from Cindy: It's not that I'm getting burned out or tired of writing in this space. Quite the contrary! Rather, it's that my cohort, Pinkie Von Bloom, has fantastic taste and is an equally wonderful writer. And it doesn't hurt that she's also totally my BFF. As such, please join me in giving our dear Pinkie a very warm welcome to TRGAW. She'll be posting semi-regularly, bring you rare and out-of-print albums from an array of genres -- experimental, electronic, new wave, coldwave, no wave, and anything else that tickles her fancy. Plus, she'll bring some levity to my chatter, I hope!]

Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral


The question remains whether it's an effective ice breaker or just a dumb party game. And because it treads dangerously close to charades, I think it's somewhere in between. Reducing guessing choices to animal, vegetable, or mineral somehow seems less threatening than age-old inquires to whether something is bigger than a breadbox or fits in one's hand. There's a mythology of self lost in situations where social discourse is hampered, when one can't say "this is who I am; this is what I want." The sad reality is that specifics often aren't discussed until it's too late because the construction of acceptable interaction is such that we're taught to hide ourselves, because being real is too much. Would that it weren't the case.

Mineral Composition, v. 2
surfaced on the usenet early last year in alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.avant-garde. Released in 1984 or 1985 on a Japan's Stratosphere Music, Mineral Composition was a sixteen track brilliant yellow picture disc covering every gap between electro-acoustic, no wave, and post electro-industrial noise. Most of the pieces collected on this compiliation are petite soundtracks that establish dark mood and either suggest introspection or illustrate the simplicity of performance that makes for the discomfort of this brand of avant-garde. Hardly easy listening, the compositions don't touch on the difficulty of Diamanda Galas or the simple drones of space music. I've never met a soul who understands avant-garde who isn't equally passionate and lonely. It would be interesting to put out into the void that wondering aloud whether love is about lust, consumption, or nuts and bolts is a concept large and obtuse enough to cut through the ice and shake out the possibility that love may ring back from the dark. Could there be a po-mo selkie listening at the door? I think that's what we all want to know.

Mineral Composition follows in neat packages. Thanks to sta-hi for hosting.

01 - fetus productions - anthem
02 - johanna went's box - ( from the video by shirley clarke )
03 - s.c.i. - ( from the 'pks 2000-330' )
04 - z'ev - ( from the promotional tape )
05 - y. yoshikawa - black out
06 - anne gillis - iron lung
07 - stabat stable - no body
08 - neo zelanda - rabotage
09 - picky picnic - my toast time
10 - die form - mineraliz action
11 - tara cross & george matthewson - flight 1
12 - masaki - my tinware
13 - de fabriek - verval
14 - legendary pink dots - plague 2
15 - d.d.a.a. - les eaux profandes
16 - y. yoshikawa - biscuit boy's breathing
Our hands are covered in cake, but I swear we didn't have any. We're not really into labels her at TRGAW. But you know, they can be helpful. Or something. That being said, I'm still on a remix kick. And, no, I didn't buy any shoes this weekend; I did, however, get my hands on a dress I'd been coveting for months and months marked down to a ridiculous price. (Really, life is only entertaining and amusing if you don't take yourself too seriously, right? Of course, right!)

The National's phenomenally gorgeous and heartbreaking album, Alligator, is being re-released in Europe to lead into their tour there in May -- and it comes with a bonus disc (which you can download for free if you already own the album, more deets here) that includes these two band-supervised remixes.

I was a bit startled to hear these new versions at first, as pathologically attached as I am to the originals. I thought they seemed a bit drained of emotion and overly chilled -- which is odd seeing as The National is about the most genuinely and unabashedly emotional band working today -- but on further listening, I found this not to be the case. The structure of the songs have just been rearranged a little bit, almost to have a better narrative flow in the dynamic structure, if that makes sense. "Lit Up" is a little less urgent in the beginning, but becomes more compressed and intense as the song progresses; "Secret Meeting"'s focus is cleaner, the mix seems to be pulled down to focus on Matt's vocals, and it introduces each element (drums, guitar, keys, strings) at interesting intervals, so by the end, it's bombastic and multi-layered -- like peeling apart an onion in reverse. Or, alternatively, becoming a concrete manifestation of the emotional obfuscation mentioned in the song.

The National -- Lit Up (remix)
The National -- Secret Meeting (remix)

Amusingly, my seekrit intarweb boyfriend Bows + Arrows also has a track up from this disc today.

After a lovely show-going experience this weekend (more on that later, over on DFG, probably -- as well as my long-promised recap of the Baby Dee show), I'm back into the swing of things this week -- tomorrow is The Wedding Present, Cue is playing Wednesday, Thursday is the triumphal return of I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, Friday is Ariel Pink *and* What Made Milwaukee Famous (not on the same bill, naturally -- outside and inside at Emo's, respectively), and Saturday is Electric Six and the wonderfully so-bad-they're-good She Wants Revenge. Basically, um, I'll be at Emo's nearly every night this week, in case you're looking for me. Welcome to the pre-SXSW insanity, which begins roughly, oh ... NOW!

[Oh, and even though the rest of the new Yeah Yeah Yeah's album was leaked over the weekend, you can bet I won't be posting any more tracks -- sorry about that -- and the fact that I had to take down the ones I'd already posted...]

24 February 2006

Her stories are boring and stuff; she's always calling my bluff. I can't seem to get focused today. I'm wearing my new green shoes, plus have a lunch date with one of my very best friends and a displaced New Orleans bluesman, and I'm counting the minutes. Because the only other thing that awaits right now are the balance sheets of billion dollar companies and data extrapolation. And people wonder why I'd rather write about music.

Occasionally, I get Interpol's "Obstacle 1" stuck in my head, and it will not leave the premises. Especially those chiming Television-esque guitars; this morning was one of those times. My landlord was knocking on the door to tell me the exterminator had arrived, and all I could think about was the bleak drone of those fellows in bespoke. That leads me to wonder -- do you keep track of what song's in your head when you wake up in the morning? Or are my pals Miss Jones and Sasha and I just weird like that?


Interpol -- Obstacle 1 (Arthur Baker's Return To New York Mix - Edit)

Oh, children. The following remix is blissfully divine. Get ready for your weekend: Put it on and dance around your bedroom in your underpants. I'm serious. If you love me, you'll do it.
In case you couldn't tell by now, I truly adore the new Hot Chip record a whole lot. And you'd better believe I'll be paying to download The Earlies' remix of "Over and Over" on Tuesday (Hot Chip + The Earlies = swooning), the official street date of the four versions of the single. The following is the 12" release, and the b-side, "Plastic," is also pretty darn amazing.

Hot Chip - Over and Over (Naum Gabo Remix)

Max Tundra, you wacky genius, you! I also wanted to post his cover of Architecture in Helsinki's "The Owls Go," but for some reason, the FTP ate it. Bad, bad FTP.

Max Tundra -- Tell It To My Heart (Taylor Dayne cover)

Have a wonderful weekend, kiddiewinkles. I'll be alternately rocking out and working in Photoshop and writing. How glamourous is that?

(Sidebar: I got an RIAA infringement notice for one of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs tracks, so they're all going down today. )

23 February 2006

Won't you come on over for a slice of pie? Oh my goodness. It's not even noon yet, and it's been quite a day (weird stuff at work, SXSW wristband drama, and other random stuff) -- luckily I had some content planned for today! I will say, briefly, though, that the show last night (with Jonathan from Shearwater, Weird Weeds, and Baby Dee) was nothing short of a transcendent experience. You should have been there.

Anyway, this is the very last of my cache of Feist remixes -- and they're a little different from what I've posted before. mc DJ -- who you may know from his Sufjan Stevens and Fiona Apple remix projects (which I gushed about at DFG), or maybe from his recent appearance on Said the Gramaphone -- has whipped up three fantastic Feist remixes that he's given me the ok to repost here. A remix is just a remix, unless it's produced in an NYU dorm room -- that's what I always say.

Feist --Gatekeeper (mc DJ Electroshock Remix)
Feist -- Mushaboom (mc DJ Dirty Remix)
Feist -- When I was a Young Girl (mc DJ River Remix)

Also, in a throwback to the roots, such as is were, of this blog -- here's some lovely tracks from The Watson Twins' EP, Southern Manners. Gorgeous stuff, reminiscent of Laura Nyro and Emmylou Harris with a tiny dash of Van Morrison and Gram Parsons too.

The Watson Twins -- Shoot the Lights Out
The Watson Twins -- Southern Manners


Okay, I need a hug, and possibly a good, stiff drink. In that order. Also, some cookies. I'd even totally settle for someone bringing me lunch.

22 February 2006

Men reading fashion magazines... If I were more tacky and forward, I'd demand, dear readers, that you buy me two tickets to Rufus Wainwright at Carnegie Hall and chip in for the plane ticket too.

He's ... recreating
Judy Garland's 1961 Carnegie Hall show, with full orchestra! *sigh*

Rufus Wainwright -- Instant Pleasure
You don't need a reason to get out on the dancefloor. Short post today; woke up feeling kind of weird. First of all, Gorilla vs. Bear has mp3s of Voxtrot's appearance on WOXY's Live Lounge yesterday here and here -- they even did a cover of Comet Gain's "You Can Hide Your Love Forever." C'est adorable.

Moving on, this is my new favorite song in the universe. No, really. It is. How could you not love Stereo Total -- I mean, really?

Stereo Total -- Everybody in the Discotheque (I Hate) (We Love Motor Mark Mix)

And to round out your Wednesday dance party:

The Rapture -- I Need Your Love (Ewan Pearson 'Stay in School' remix) [eta: this file seems to be corruped, I will repost when I have a better version.]
Scissor Sisters -- Take Your Mama Out (Hot Chip remix)

In other news, I'm seeing Baby Dee, Weird Weeds, and Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater at the Cactus Cafe tonight. You should totally come with me, or something. Should be an interesting and perhaps slightly difficult evening of music, which sounds exactly like what I need right now.

21 February 2006

I have seven minutes to write this post and upload the tracks -- ready ... set ... go ..! First things first, if you had friended Final Fantasy on Myspace, you'd best go back and re-friend him at the official page -- the previous unofficial account was deleted. While you're there, listen to two exclusive tracks from the new album, He Poos Clouds.

I know, I know -- we're all sick of it, and don't ever want to hear it again -- but what the hell, have another "Do You Want To" remix -- this one's a b-side to the forthcoming single for "The Fallen."

Franz Ferdinand -- Do You Want To (Erol Alkan remix)

What's better than Canadian collectives that make fantastic music? Canadian collectives that put out children's albums, that's what. Paper Bag Records' See You on the Moon: Songs for Kids of All Ages comes out on March 21. It's a little uneven -- there's a predictably Jesus-centric Sufjan Stevens song and a disappointing Broken Social Scene cover of "Puff the Magic Dragon" -- I'm sure both will make the rounds on other blogs, so I'll refrain from posting them. Here's what I thought were the standout tracks:

Hot Chip -- I Can't Wake Up
Fembots -- Under the Bed
Apostles of Hustle feat. The Huskies -- 24 Robbers

Finally, from the new
Stephin Merritt album, Showtunes, (a collection of his works written for the stage, due out March 15), an adorably chipper track full of ukulele love. I'm not sure which of his three mini-operas this is from, my best guess would be the one that was about Hans Christian Anderson, My Life As a Fairy Tale. I'm not sure how to credit it, so I'll go with what was on the track, but this sung by an ensemble, not Merritt himself.

Stephin Merritt -- Ukulele Me!

20 February 2006

All's well that ends well, mostly. Computer's back, but my hard drive is currently being babied by a friend who is a data extraction wizard/experimental music nerd. If anyone can get Bryan (yes, my computer is named Bryan, as in Bryan Ferry...) to open up and spill his contents, he can. So I'm just sitting tight, reinstalling programs on my fat, new uncorrupted harddrive, and keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get that interview I did with What Made Milwaukee Famous back, as well a all those rare remixes. I'm sure it will all be okay in the end. This is the third drive I've lost in 12 years, and I'm trying to keep the perspective that sometimes it's good to purge.

Anyway, on to the music for today. Yes, my darling little minskies, I've decided that what will make your day better (as mine is already pretty good -- did I mention I have the day off as the markets are closed for President's Day, and I got to sleep in?) is the Sugababes cover of the loathsome Arctic Monkeys' "I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor." Needless to say, I find it much more satisfying than the original, but you know how I feel about English girl pop and the (need I say it again?)
loathsome Arctic Monkeys. I won't argue that it's a damn catchy song (how can it not be when you just pound out hook after hook after hook -- we can blame Franz Ferdinand for starting/reviving that trend), but it's surely not going to save rock'n'roll (thanks, NME and every other publication and blog in the universe...) -- I'm getting to the point where I hope they choke on their own hype and I never hear about them again. That would be glorious. (Thx to robotmonkey7 for tipping me off to this track on Friday; I was able to find copy not ripped from a radio stream over the weekend, yay!)

Sugababes -- I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor

Moving on, so what are the general thoughts on the new Britney Spears? It reminds me of something, but I'm not sure what -- something horrible, at least, I can say that. It kind of feels like the unholy marriage of the worst parts of a mediocre Madonna or Cher slow jam from the early/mid '90's -- the post-New Wave string/synth combo arrangement just isn't sitting right with me at all.


Britney Spears -- And Then We Kiss (Junkie XL remix)

Obviously, we need to close out today with something a little more sublime, so in honor of the fact that Bloc Party are nearly forgotten now despite being the name on everyone's lips this time last year, here's the lovely Minotaur Shock remix of "Tulips." And btw, if you haven't heard
Minotaur Shock, they're fantastic -- give 'em a listen. Recommended for fans of Boards of Canada, Four Tet, etc. (And don't tell, but I have a massive crush on Dave Edwards...)

Bloc Party -- Tulips (Minotaur Shock remix)


Okay, I have a million errands to run and emails to write, and all that nonsense. Have a good day!

17 February 2006

Can't you hear me? I'm banging on your door... God, I'm in a really horrible mood today -- so many things going on that have me worried. And on top of all that, the computer's in the shop, so I can't post any of the new and exciting things that live there, so here's a few old heartbreak-y items I found on my work computer. (nb. Thanks to my mom for sending most of these over to me at one time or another, I think...)

The Chi-Lites -- Are You My Woman (Tell Me So) (You may know this one better as 'that amazing sample from Beyonce's "Crazy in Love."')
Irma Thomas -- Ruler of My Heart
Etta James -- Miss Pitiful
Garnet Mimms And The Enchanters -- It Was Easier to Hurt Her

Changing gears entirely, you've heard New Sense, right? They're like 1/2 of Decibully (another fave), which makes them like, 1/16th of The Promise Ring (ah, the good ol' emo days!). Or something like that. There's some tracks over @ Young Poisoner's Handbook that are really, really great. Go! Listen! Fall in love! See them on tour with Voxtrot if you live in the Midwest!

Have a good weekend! Hopefully all will be back to normal on Monday.

16 February 2006

I'm still under the weather today and now my computer's on the fritz. I think I need to take a baseball bat to it. Actually, maybe someone can help? Yesterday, I got a blue screen of death about a core dump (maybe that's what it said?) while trying to do too many things at once, and it runs kind of sluggishly now, and when I run Azureus, and then everything gets glitchy and it runs slower than molasses. Should I uninstall Azureus and reinstall it, see if that helps? Or did I blow out some piece of hardware, like my RAM? Any assistance appreciated...thank you.

So, it's kind of a testament to the wonderfulness of Sasha Frere-Jones that his review of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Show Your Bones in this week's issue of The New Yorker brought a modicum of happiness to my morning. This is one of those days where I wish I could write that well. I'm really hung up on the YYYs lately, and I swear, it's not just because the new album is coming out; my renewed interest and the trickle of leaked tracks just happened to coinicide, which is kind of weird.

Anyway, I hate to post something so weird and gloomy when I'm not having the best day -- but here's some artists I like quite a bit doing some really brilliant Jandek covers from Down in a Mirror: A Second Tribute to Jandek. (Other artists featured include Jeff Tweedy, Brother JT, and Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple.) I'm not sure how I missed hearing about this album -- which was released last year and blogged to death -- but these things do happen. It's quite a strong collection for covers album, but it's odd to find I agree with a P-fork reviewer -- it would have been nice to have a female artist or two in the mix. Christine Fellows? Mia Doi Todd? Joanna Newsom? Barbara Manning? Seriously.

The Mountain Goats -- White Box
Six Organs of Admittance -- I'll Sit Alone And Think Alot About You
Okkervil River -- Your Other Man

(Buy Down in a Mirror: A Second Tribute to Jandek from Insound.)

Oh, and while the subject is on my mind, is anyone also less than impressed with Kelley Stoltz and Rocky Votolato? What the world needs now is another pablum-dishing confessional singer songwriter, like I need a hole in the head.

15 February 2006

Hey, dear readers, I'm super busy and kind of under the weather today. I have to go to the doctor and a lunch appointment. I guess I had too much fun at that Voxtrot Valentine's Day show last night -- they covered "Cupid" complete with a violin and french horn. And I'm still swooning 'cause darling Ramesh liked my dress -- the flyer requested formal dress, and I complied. And then there was the part of the evening where Jason from ...Trail of Dead squired us through a crosswalk like we were old ladies -- which you know, we kind of are -- and then dashed off to Club de Ville, presumably to make it there before last orders! And at our post-show snacklet, the boys at Star Seeds entertained us by singing along to the greatest hits of ELO and Hall & Oates. It was a very good night indeed.

So, anyway, have you heard "Dudley," the latest leaked Yeah Yeah Yeahs track? [
behind this yousendit link] It totally makes me think of one of my favorite movies, The Bishop's Wife, where Cary Grant plays an angel named Dudley. I know, I'm weird. Anyway, it's really rather sweet, with a deceptively simple melody that echoes nursery rhymes in the best way possible. I'm really looking forward to the whole album.

Also, I just can't stop listening to
Paul Anka's cover of "Wonderwall." Seriously, it's so fantastically overblown, much in the same way the original is, only, you know, with a full big band instead of cranky drunkard brothers making a faux wall of sound.

Ok, I'll catch you kids later. Have a great day!

14 February 2006

Les plus érotiques cannelures. Forget supermodel/Mrs. Jack White Karen Elson's orgasmic moaning and Chan Marshall's throaty come-ons -- their cover of "Je t'aime moi non plus," from a new collection of Anglicized Serge Gainsbourg covers curated by French music rag Les Inrockuptibles, is backed by an orchestral arrangement featuring the dirtiest use of flutes, clarinets, and oboes ever. Seriously.
The book of love is long and boring. Happy Valentine's Day, y'all. Here's a smattering of love songs for you stuck to a doily with some glitter and pipecleaners. I mean, how could I not fall into this theme today? I'm a sentimental sap, so it shouldn't come as a shock that I have a lot of love songs in my collection. But then again, most pop songs are love songs, so there you go.

This is my first Valentine's as a single girl in several eons. I'm not bitter or anything. No really, I'm
really not, I promise. It's better this way. I wouldn't mind having a secret admirer or three, though.

Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash -- It Ain't Me Babe
The Brunettes -- Mars Loves Venus
Nina Simone -- Do I Move You?
Antony & the Johnsons -- Mysteries of Love
Petra Hayden & Bill Frisell -- I Believe
The Czars -- Song to the Siren

13 February 2006

Oh, it was inevitable -- everyone's a critic, and most people are DJs, as one of the songs I posted Friday so eloquently pointed out. You write about music, eventually, you're DJing somewhere. C'est la vie. And okay, actually, our little dance party last night was more about having our friends (new and old) come out and play their best danceable 45 rpm singles. It was a grand time. Of course, when you take your records out of the house, it's like taking your first vacation, you pack way too many clothes, or, rather, records. In my case, I packed waaaaay too many! So, like, now you have to bear the brunt of that -- which I'm sure you won't mind! Here's your Monday tracks -- just pretend they're on vinyl, and I'm all cute and have the headphones over one ear, and am cueing up a record. It's a little more exciting that way, yeah?

First, these were the big hits of the evening (as played by Susan, Shannon, Summer, and Jen, respectively). Indie kids sure can cut a rug!

Jonathan Richman -- Circle I
Unrest -- Cath Carroll
Diana Ross and The Supremes -- Reflections
The Pipettes -- Dirty Mind

...and one I didn't get to, but surely would have made a few people happy:

Jonathan Fire*Eater -- These Little Monkeys

And yeah, it'll be on every blog today, but you totally need to get this from me. The b-side to the Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Gold Lion," "Let Me Know." It's a good Monday morning song -- sweet and adorable, and the easy way out for me today; I'm just a wee bit hungover!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- Let Me Know

10 February 2006

When we hit the Twin Cities, I didn't know that much about it., the entry that used to occupy this space, has relocated to a more comfy home @ depravedfangirls.org. Check it out over there if you're interested in why I've grouped Husker Du, The Hold Steady, and Lady Sovereign together -- or if you're just here for the free music, download away! (Oh, you know I'm just kidding...) Have a good weekend!

Husker Du -- What's Going On

The Hold Steady -- Stevie Nix
Lady Sovereign -- A Little Bit of Shh (SmallStars Remix)
The Hold Steady -- The Swish /Most People are DJs
Lady Sovereign -- The Broom

Buy Husker Du here, The Hold Steady here, and Lady Sovereign here.
Why does it always rain on me? It's weird, whenever it's really overcast and I'm overly tired, I have a tendency to sleep in. Yesterday was kind of draining, I had lots of hard conversations of the kind that are no fun when you're not feeling well. You know how it is. So anyway, I'm running a little late today -- less extemporizing, more rocking out! Here's a hodgepodge of things that I've run across this week that didn't fit anywhere else, but that I think are pretty neat.

Calla -- Swagger (Demolition remix)
Deep Dish feat. Stevie Nicks -- Dreams (Axwell Mix)
Ghostland Observatory -- Piano Man

I'm probably seeing Ghostland Observatory tonight, with another local fave, The Arm. Should be an excellent time.

09 February 2006

The worst thing about living in Austin (besides the not-talked about segregation and the rich environmentalists who drive Land Rovers) is the loathsome cedar allergy season. See, unlike most normal places in the world where vegetation has the good sense to die off and not pollenate in the winter, the exact opposite happens here. The mountain juniper, also known as cedar, pollenates when the temperature is below freezing, dropping pollen bombs (no, really!) that saturate the air with grossness. The thing is, you'll be immune for a few years when you first move here, but it seems that eventually everyone feels a cedar allergy at some point. Anyway, my office sounds like a TB ward (a dry, hacky cough is a common symptom) and we're all tired and spaced out all the time. This sucks when you're entering the busiest time of year in your real job and your second one as well. SEC filing deadlines and SXSW loom large, and you know, I'm just dreadfully tired right about now. (Don't ask me about how I nearly literally cried when the pharmacuetical sales breakdown in the GlaxoSmithKline preliminary earnings release didn't add up correctly yesterday. It was off by ... $1.5 billion. Good job, investor relations!)

Anyway, yeah. Spaced out. Like this morning. Which is why I've decided it's a very good time to share with y'all some tasty pop treats because I sure as hell need to hear them. The first track, "Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me," from the UK's The Pipettes -- this is easily the best new song I've heard this year. I know that's a big endorsement -- but if you love cascading girl group/Northern Soul hooks intersecting with a rousing shout-along chorus, recently re-popularized by the lovely Gwen Stefani, you need to hear this.

And I'm ultra-thrilled with Swedish band The Concretes' new record, In Colour, produced by that lovely Nebraskan Mike Mogis -- he who gave a hand up to Rilo Kiley and helped make them famous. He's beginning to have a production MO as distinct as someone like Jon Brion or Van Dyke Parks or even Phil Spector -- deeply layered, perfect pop arrangements that somehow remain chiming and frothy and light without disentigrating into sonic mush. "On the Radio" invokes The Carpenters and Burt Bachrach without turning to utter cheese -- be still my heart!

The last track is from a request I recieved months and months ago -- Susan McSassypants, this one's for you: Mahogany's cover of OMD's "Bunker Soldiers" off of Pretending to See the Future: A Tribute to OMD. I finally found it, sweetiepie!

Oh, and what the heck. What we all obviously need is some P!nk. I watched her play pool with my friends once, back when the front room at Emo's still had a pool table. (Yes! Pink was hanging out at Emo's, I'm not kidding!) I myself am a horrible pool player and did not participate. She's very tiny and sassy and really, how can you not love "Stupid Girls?" It's a shout out to the weird and smart girls out there, and a wonderfully cranky indictment of what my BFF and I like to call "boobies girls" -- you know the kind -- they get drunk and scream stupid stuff, and make out with other boobies girls to get attention from boys and think that sex must always be just like it is in porn? L-a-m-e.

The Pipettes -- Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me
The Concretes -- On the Radio
Mahogany -- Bunker Soldiers
Pink -- Stupid Girls (dirty)

08 February 2006

New York cares that this is not what you had planned. My best friend and I sat in her car last night and cried (ah, the irony) over the hidden track bit of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Modern Romance." And whaddya know, the album version of "Gold Lion," the first track from their new release, was spilled all over the Interschitzel last night.

Time for my requisite YYYs story: I saw them in January 2002 at a benefit for Bust magazine, opening for The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion(!) at the Knitting Factory. This was early in my return to show-going and rocking out in general, and I was thrilled to finally be seeing the JSBX!. My friend that got the tickets told me that the YYYs were a buzzy little band that everyone was talking about that was pretty neat -- and boy, howdy, I just wasn't ready for that experience. This was before Karen O's stage schtick was mocked and trashed. It's all so well known now: She thrashed around, poured beer all over herself, and hollered -- much to the enjoyment of the band's three hardcore superfans in the crowd. Said superfans were wearing homemade t-shirts and were in a really blissful place, screaming along with every song. And I just didn't know what to make of what was happening in front of me -- I think I was kind of traumatized by it all. So much so that when the YYY's went from being a buzz band to being Spin darlings to being bona fide stars, I just kind of ignored them.

And yet I've found a place for the YYYs in my heart now. I think it's the combination of the psychic double punch of unrequited love for a City and a Man, both of which are conveniently located near each other. (Another big factor -- remember when Ted Leo dropped the chorus of "Maps" into the bridge of his cover of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone?" Brilliant. And that Arcade Fire cover of "Maps" that was floating around for a while? Doubly brilliant. I think those covers really opened my eyes to just how good the YYY's songwriting is.)

What can I say, I'm a sap. And I think, to a certain extent, so are the YYYs. Beer soaked, thrashy saps.


"Gold Lion" is pretty fantastic, and I can't wait to hear the rest of the new album. Everyone's posting the track today; here's one more place to gank it. Also attached -- the acoustic version of "Maps" that always slays me. And of course, "Modern Romance" -- wait for the hidden part of the track at the 4:25 mark -- it's a gorgeous, gorgeous improvised country ditty. The kind you want to drop in the middle of that first hesitant mix cd offered like an olive branch. Yeah, you can be almost 30 and still want to make mix cds for someone. I think that's one of the first signs of big L-U-V love. Don't you?

Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- Gold Lion
Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- Maps (Acoustic)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- Modern Romance

Buy 'em at Insound. The Gold Lion EP will be released on February 21.

(My other good YYYs story is that a friend went to Bard with Nick Zinner and totally used to see his college band, The Boba Fett Experience, play -- probably more than she would have liked, I think!)

07 February 2006

Just call me at 212-Margarita. There's some nice streaming video of an acoustic set with The Hold Steady at ugo.com. The Hold Steady with an accordion? Hells yes, thank you very much! Also, they're on tour, hitting a bunch of cities that didn't recive a visit in '05. Bound to be a good time, especially the Valentine's Day show in Denton!
Things seen & loved in NYC: Celebration. (Third time 'round seeing them, second in NYC. Fantastic as ever.) The National. (Goosebumps & love. Could this band hold a bigger piece of my heart? Probably not.) (However, in general, am I allowed to say that the PLUG Awards show was kind of disappointing? Yes, I think so. I'm afraid I just don't get Aziz Ansari at all. Is he supposed to be amusing?) Daylight's for the Birds. (Delicious shimmery sweet and bleak pop.) The Boggs. (Sharp and sassy; love that rhythm section.) Calla. (Third time seen in as many months, second in NYC. Who knew the old lady bleacher seats at Northsix were where to see and be seen? Well, they are. But, whatever, people -- I LOVE THIS BAND, and why aren't they insanely famous yet? See also: The National. Can someone get on that?) Walk the Line (On the plane, for free -- with more tears, yet again.)

Also grand -- hearing Lightning Bolt (not sure how they missed my notice for so long, maybe it's that whole East Coast art rock thing) for the first time on an iPod on a rainy afternoon at Odessa and later in the conversation kvelling over The Knife (whatevs, Fiery Furnaces, your 15 minutes were so up two years ago). Also, you need to hear MC Copulation. No, really. Yes, yes you do.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention meeting Mr. Fluxblog himself. That was a pleasant surprise.

Anyway, there was no post yesterday because I also ended up having a travel adventure that entailed leaving twice -- long story, but suffice it to say, it didn't seem like a good idea to fly after nearly five hours of delays and a malfunctioning plane. Going back to Manhattan and attending a wonderfully grand and notorious Sunday night loathsome hipster party, charming the bartender, buying shots for the (totally dorky and pretty) DJ, and complimenting a shy boy's deliciously liquid brown eyes three times did seem like (and was) perhaps one of the best ideas ever.

So, back to normal posting later today or tomorrow. I need some serious recovery time, you know -- it's exhausting being me. And I really must spend some quality time getting up close and personal with my advances of the new Quasi and Crystal Skulls records.

Being gone for nearly a week is almost a lifetime in the music blogger world. Any of-the-moment, flash-in-the-pan bands I need to know about?

01 February 2006

Can I lick the crumbs off your table? The staff here at Rich Girls HQ (even the delinquent fact-checker) are off to NYC for a few days, where we plan to take full advantage of tax-free shopping , go to the PLUG Awards, and do all kinds of loathsome hipster tastemaker activities on the Lower East Side. If you're in the area and happen to see a girl with a chocolate cupcake and a can of $2 Rhinegold in a black seal fur coat chatting up the boys at Cake Shop, that'll probably be me!

That being said, a short post today, since I've got things to wrap up in the office and a suitcase to pack. I have a folder in iTunes called 'Pairs,' where I keep two songs that would sound awesome next to each other on a mix CD. Unfortunately, I have three that may not ever make it on one -- so I'm posting the little pairings here for you. The only stipulaiton is that you listen to them back to back, okay?

Final Fantasy -- This is the Dream of Win and Regine
Dntel -- (This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness -- When You Go Out
Blondie -- Atomic

The Slits -- I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Delta 5 -- Mind Your Own Business

Ok, I'll be back Monday. Have a good weekend, and don't do anything I wouldn't do!

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