The Rich Girls Are Weeping: April 2006

28 April 2006

You've got a nerve to be callin' my number. I was waxing nostalgic in the shower this morning, thinking about how I noticed on the Coachella schedule (not like we care what a bunch of INSANE people are doing in the desert this weekend) that UK buzzband (And friends-of-friends -- no really! We're stoked!) The Duke Spirit are playing after The Walkmen tomorrow afternoon. I was also trying to puzzle out why people are so down on "Louisiana," the advance track from the new Walkmen album due out in June. I think it's quite brilliant, actually -- it makes me think of The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," only in reverse. But then again, I'm all for mariachi horns whenever possible. (BTW, do we thank Calexico for the TJ brass resurgence in indie rock lately? See also Tilly and the Wall's "Bad Education.")

The Walkmen -- Louisiana
Tilly and the Wall -- Bad Education

Anyway, all these thoughts came together cohesively (I know, a miracle, right?) as I was putting on my makeup this morning with fond, fond memories of Jonathan Fire Eater. (Cut to: three aged hipster girls driving to a hipster bar in Dallas after the Bloc Party show last summer squealing with unparalleled joy over the nostalgia factor at a passing mention of the band in a conversation) Remember Jonathan Fire Eater arrived a little too early for that garage rock revival party of 2001-2002 and were the loathsome, over-hyped, well-dressed NYC band with a drug problem? The only over-hyped one? This was 1995 to 1997, people, the analog hype machine could barely handle one buzz band at a time and I was very, very square -- looking back, it was kind of amazing that I heard about them at all. Sorry to be so faux-crochety, but when you've been indie rockin' (apologies to Common Rotation) as long as I have, it's hard not to kick back and have good laugh sometimes at the weekly glut of sub-par overhyped buzz bands that are the reality of independent music in 2006. Which is exactly what I did, I had a very good laugh and totally messed up my lipliner. It was worth it, though.

Jonathan Fire Eater -- The Silver Surfer
Jonathan Fire Eater -- The Public Hanging of a Movie Star
Jonathan Fire Eater -- The Search For Cherry Red
Jonathan Fire Eater -- When The Curtain Calls For You


I hate to keep refering back to Kelefa Sanneh's article about Ranier Maria, but he did have a point -- the Internet is perfect to pitch a band with no history -- it's less so for bands with a storied past. Case in point: The Walkmen. A few of them have been in bands together since high school. They have a studio. They're old, crusty, and not enough of a comeback story, they're riding too high from Bows + Arrows. In short, it's time for the blogger backlash, or so it seems.

If we think back to 2004 -- come with me, think back, it's really not hard -- all the blogger kids were screaming over The Walkmen's Bows and Arrows, and for good reason, it's a fantastic album full of the naked male pain we love so much over here at TRGAW (Seriously, how brilliantly angry is "The Rat?" And "House of Little Savages?"). Bows and Arrows is one pissy album, but it's also painfully resigned -- resigned to growing older and being edged out of the scene -- then again, that's kind of been The Walkmen's M.O. all along -- surely I don't need to remind you of Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone, and more specifically, "We've Been Had," do I? Good.

The Walkmen -- The Rat
The Walkmen -- Look Out the Window
The Walkmen -- We've Been Had
The Walkmen -- Pictures of Us
The Walkmen -- House of Little Savages (repost)

I mean, these guys have been there and done that -- well, the three core members of The Walkmen who survived Jonathan Fire Eater's wild ride anyway: Paul Maroon, Matt Barrick, and Walter Martin -- and came out the other end with that awesome farfisa action, Mo Tucker-via-David Lovering drumming, and the most angular guitar action in A-list indie rock still intact. They were joined by new frontman Hamilton Leithauser and bassist Peter Bauer of the similarly melted-down buzz act The Recoys, and thus The Walkmen were born. (Former JFE frontman Stewart Lupton has resurfaced with his new project The Child Ballads in late 2005, opening for The Fiery Furnaces and Interpol, but there's no website or myspace page or anything, so...yeah.)

So, there wasn't much of a point here but to shout about Instahype (tm) for a paragraph or two and post some Jonathan Fire Eater songs. And you fickle tastemakers, hear me now -- I'm waiting with baited breath for my advance of A Hundred Miles Off -- not to mention the fabled whole-album cover of Harry Nillson and John Lennon's Pussycats, also said to be out later this year.

Oh, wait, I nearly forgot. The other half of the germination for this post was actually the fact that I unearthed The Walkmen/Calla split EP from 2002 and wanted to share Calla's Can cover with ya'lls. Because somehow, in my mind, the horns on "Louisiana" got me thinking about mariachis and South Texas and that inevitably makes me think of Calla...

Calla -- Mother Sky (Can cover)

BTW, if you're in NYC tonight (as we wish we were), Calla frontman Aurelio Valle DJs at Corner Billards -- go see him after you catch darling John Vanderslice, The Fruit Bats, Bishop Allen, or Nous Non Plus -- you lucky kids! We might try to catch My Education and Cue here in town tonight at the Blue Theater.

And, just because we love you if you've read this far down -- here's a jaunty, thought-provoking b-side from Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins.

Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins -- Fireplace

Have a great weekend!

27 April 2006

I'm kind of out of it today. I'm not feeling well and had to skip lunch with a friend who was in my office interviewing for a job because I couldn't bear to think of food. Gack.

However, I was cheered by the appearance of the most sinfully romantic song of all time on WordsAndMusic -- Peggy Lee doing "Where or When" with the Benny Goodman Orchestra. I've reposted it here due to to the Yousendit-age on Rod's lovely site. Remember, Peggy was sixteen when she recorded this song -- how did that voice come out of her -- strangely world-weary, yet with a dollop of complete innocence? She's so perfect in juxtaposition to the equally wholesome sinuousness of Goodman's clarinet.

Peggy Lee -- Where or When (with the Benny Goodman Orchestra)

In a kind of similar, modernized vein, I've been hooked on the new offerings from Joan as Policewoman and the Sugarplum Fairies lately; Real Life (the album itself seems to be an extended yearning love letter to someone, which totally hits the spot for me right now) and Country International Records, respectively.

I'm a sucker for a certain kind of female voice; generally the more -- at the risk of sounding repetitive -- world-weary (you know, Nico-ish? Francoise Hardy-ish?), the better -- like Sugarplum Fairies' frontwoman Silvia Ryder. I'm also kind of helpless in the presence of the kind of voice that has a warm burr around the edges, like Joan Wasser's -- her range and tone are similar to kd lang and Holly Cole's. So, you know, the two new albums from the aforementioned bands have been on repeat the past few days. (Ms. Wasser's got quite a story, btw -- perhaps that's why her voice is so wonderfully rough-hewn; she was allegedly romantically connected with Jeff Buckley at the time of his death and she's played with Antony and the Johnsons. Antony guests on a few tracks on Real Life.)

Joan As Policewoman -- Real Life
Sugarplum Fairies -- First Love, Last Rites


Bonus: Sugarplum Fairies -- All I Want Is You (U2 cover)

On the other hand, it makes me sad to report that despite my sympathies voiced in a previous post, Ranier Maria are still ... just not very good. Back in the day, I never really cared for the band; they were always missing that elusive something and they still are. The sound still teeters too precariously close to "women's music" for all its manque of old-school Sunny Day Real Estate-ish emo; even more unfortunately, Caithlin De Marrais' voice is still as uninspiring and dull as it's always been, and the loss of Mr. Fisher on vocals on new album Catastrophe Keeps Us Together doesn't help much either. But maybe that's just me -- but, needless to say, I'm probably not going to the show Sunday, even though I am intrigued by tour-mates Ambulette.

I hope I'm feeling less weird and out-of-it tomorrow, this is annoying.

26 April 2006

Drop it like it's hot, etc. So, a few interesting developments -- Pinkie and I have some sneaky plans up our sleeve that may or may not involve dj sets at a local legendary gay watering hole's happy hour. Wish us luck, yeah?

As a result, I'm listening to old Party Ben Sixx Mixxes, I hadn't realized how much I missed those little half-hour selections of piping hot mashups every week. Even tastemakers need tastemakers, I suppose. Or something.

So, anyway, we played bows + arrows' Click Wheel Five yesterday, in an attempt to make ourselves feel like we might someday end up in the Random Selection section of the Onion AV Club. (BTW, how can you not love Janet Weiss' charmingly wacky tastes? And Eugene Mirman's?) My iPod was apparently in some kind of mood, as the first five songs were rather, well, to paraphrase Ben Gibbard, "Cooler than me." The pod also obviously had iconoclastic singer/songwriters and/or producers on the ... brain.

LCD Soundsystem -- On Repeat

Is Mr. Murphy meowing in this song? Not necessarily one of the best tracks on the self-titled LCD Soundsystem album, this is still a pretty, as they say, "bangin'" track. By which I mean, it reminds me a whole lot of Rinôçérôse's "323 Secondes De Musique Répétitive" transformed into a blistering rant on ... uh, entertaining rich hipster kids. Um, did they even notice that?

Harry Nilsson -- Marching Down Broadway

Harry's mom wrote this very short song. (GUAM!)

Wilderness -- Oh Say Can You See

My goodness, I'm not sure if I'm utterly in love with Wilderness or really, really hate them. I'm going to the show Monday, though -- hopefully all questions will be answered. On the other hand, I can't stop compulsively listening them in an attempt to puzzle this out, and apparently the pod seems to think that's okay. Wilderness reminds me of something, like Slint, I think, meeting Explosions in the Sky (or if Television and The Pixies went on a debauched camping trip and Mrs. John Murphy made everyone s'mores...) with wonderfully distorted prog-holler-emo vocals. Like I said, this is either brilliant or utter shit, I'm really not sure.

John Cale -- You Know More Than I Know

Apparently, the pod is also totally more pretentious than I am, or at the very least, it wanted to remind me that this would make either a great last song of a particularly moody DJ set (Do you like me or not? Circle yes or no, goddamnit...) or be utterly perfect for a crisis montage on a teen soaper, because obviously it's time to introduce some gravity into the lives of teenage indie kids via Cale's early solo career, ca. 1974. (Bonus tidbitlet: Fear, the album on which this song appears, was produced by Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera!)

The Mountain Goats -- Quito

This is easily one of the best Mountain Goats songs of all time (which is rougly, as previously discussed, a list of about 50 songs, due to Mr. Darnielle's massive ouevre), especially since it heads up the 4-hit thrill that closes out We Shall All Be Healed -- "Quito," "Cotton," "Against Pollution," and "Pigs That Ran Straightaway Into The Water, Triumph Of" -- which is why it's a little hard to really feel this song out of context. Don't let that stop you from giving this song a listen, though; the thing that really gets me here is the crystal-clear imagery of the lyric and the deep, dynamic production (courtesy the amazing Messrs. John Vanderslice and Scott Solter) that invokes the early home recordings of Darnielle's career (the faint, distorted cello violin bass -- PPH, is that you? -- perfectly imitates the creaking of that old boombox -- er, I think that's a cello, anyway...). And of course, you should always remember that Quito, Ecuador is, fittingly enough, the only national capital city that lies in the shadow of an active volcano; thus endeth my treatise on the speed-addled fever dream that is this song.

Tonight: Steve Arceri's CD release at Emo's with Kind of Like Spitting, Lemuria, Pompeii, and A Featherweight Burden -- and most assuredly, fun and hijinks and the company of good friends.

ETA: If you haven't heard Ramesh from Voxtrot's impromptu cover of Blondie's "Shayla" over at indieinterviews, you should totally go listen to it now.

25 April 2006

Got more guns than anybody. It's elegant, creepy, and beautiful: the video for Neko Case's "Maybe Sparrow." (link is to a flash player) I've loved this song since the first time I heard her play it; I'll always remember it because she said, "I just wrote this in the van, I hope you like it," and the song has changed very little from that first draft years ago.

Thanks to everyone who commented about The Clientele's song "Joseph Cornell" yesterday; I can't believe I forgot about it, I really like the song and The Clientele. Of course, I had it in my iTunes library...

The Clientele -- Joseph Cornell


The next logical question is -- more songs about/inspired by visual artists? Thoughts?

Last night's show was incredible, despite the really obnoxious crowd (sheesh! learn some manners, people!); Celebration was on, on, on as usual and though TV on the Radio can slip into Mars Volta-ishness at times, there were some great moments, especially "Ambulance." (Sadly, they didn't do their incredible cover of the Pixies' "Mr. Grieves") Interviewing Shawn and Katrina from Celebration was a real treat; they are truly lovely, kind, and fucking talented people. We should have the interview up within the week at the pink and black site.

Celebration -- China (and check out the great video for "War" as well...)
TV on the Radio -- Mr. Grieves

Have a good day!

24 April 2006

Geez, Blogger is being a pain today. Maybe it's time to really seriously consider moving over to Word Press or something. Suggestions?

This weekend was weird; Saturday's productivity plans went askew and I got nothing of note done until the appearance, on my doorstep at 5:30 pm, of the wonderfully sweet Todd, Jonathan, and Jim (Books on Tape and Captain Ahab, respectively) Saturday afternoon. Their show in San Antonio was cancelled, so Pinkie and I took them to Nuevo Leon, where we had margs as big as swimming pools and rocked out the mariachis and ate way, way too much Tex Mex. They're on tour for the next three weeks or so, so you'd best go see them, hear? (And of course, I didn't bring their latest CDs with me today, but you can hear new tracks at the Books on Tape and Captain Ahab MySpace pages, naturally...)

In other news, my turntable died last week, and I wasn't happy with the one I bought to replace it, so I returned that this weekend and picked up a vintage solid state Zenith affair at Thrift Town, but it needs lots of work before it will be in usable condition. In the interim, thank goodness, my co-worker is lending me one of her spare Geminis, which is a relief.

Well, I finally got my hands on the new Tilly and the Wall album, Bottoms of Barrels, and was not disappointed. I was already enamored with aggressive joy/pain combo on "Rainbow in the Dark" and "Sing Songs Along," but I was really happy to see the appearance of legendary TatW favorite "Lost Girls," which is possibly my second favorite song inspired by the work of Henry Darger; current blogger faves Mazarin's track "Henry Darger," from their album Watch It Happen, is another great Darger-inspired number. (Isn't there a Decemberists song in this category yet? If there's not, I bet there will be eventually.) If you don't know about the amazing art of Henry Darger, you can read more here; there was an interesting documentary (In The Realms of the Unreal) about him released a few years ago, but I have to say that I didn't find it to be very good, even though it was nominated for an Oscar -- it was a little pedantic and had more than a handful of awkward moments.

Tilly and the Wall -- Lost Girls

Mazarin -- Henry Darger (BTW, does anyone know if the name of this track changed? My rather ancient mp3 had the title of "Vivian Girls.")

(That reminds me -- anyone know of any songs inspired by the work of Joseph Cornell? Just wondering -- surely there must be!)

And for no other reason than it's utterly charming, amusing, heavy on the rhythm-section -- and reminds me of a very handsome boy rocking out in a most charming fashion to "Terrible Lie" -- here's the Interpol's (which is to say Sam & Carlos') remix of Nine Inch Nails' "Every Day Is Exactly The Same."

Nine Inch Nails -- Every Day Is Exactly The Same (Sam Fog Vs Carlos D Of Interpol Remix)

And because we love The Wrens way, way too much (and because we found these tracks whilst cleaning off our too-full hard drive), here's a few ancient versions of songs from The Meadowlands that appeared on a Drive Thru Records sampler (You'll Never Eat Fast Food Again) in 1999; live set favorite "Broken" appeared on another Drive Thru sampler (Where's the Beef? ) from 1997 that was the label's second official release.

The Wrens -- Broken
The Wrens -- Miss Me (early version of "Boys You Won't")
The Wrens -- This Boy Is Exhausted (early, not-so-crunchy and distorted version)


And finally, a brilliant Pixies cover from new secret favorite, experimental Norwegian popstress Hanne Hukkelberg. (What's not to love about jazzy slinkiness and flawless musicianship with a dash of tastefully executed electronica?) She's at work on a new album (a follow up to her lovely 2004 debut Little Things) and is hitting the Euro festival circuit this summer; see her site for more details.

Hanne Hukkelberg -- Break My Body (live)
Pixies -- Break My Body


And so, on the agenda for this week: TV on the Radio and Celebration (and The Cocker Spaniels!) tonight; Steve Arceri's CD release Wednesday -- it's a great bill that includes Pompeii, Cue side project A Featherweight Burden; as well as touring acts Kind of Like Spitting and Lemuria. Plus, there's all kinds of other things going on later in the week (Chamillionare! Ranier Maria!) that I haven't decided on as of yet...

21 April 2006

I bet you've probably never been to Abilene, Texas. I have, a few times -- I was even in a wedding there, on St. Patrick's Day, a few years back. It's a dry county and the rehersal dinner was held at a private club where we paid "dues" so we could drink. It was bizzare. I also sported a Mary Tyler Moore-esque flip because the ladies at the hair salon couldn't give me an updo like all the other bridesmaids as I had less-than-shoulder-length hair at the time. However, I was paired with the intensely handsome rockabilly groomsman who sported an impressive pompadour, so we looked pretty awesome together, actually.

Abilene also has the highest number of churches per capita in the world. Or so I've heard. There's several Christian colleges there, so it's probably true. Also, the airport, the tiny tiny airport, is made of marble. That's cattle and oil money, people. It's an old school Texas kind of town. God, cows, and crude.

Anyway, the latest additions to the 4AD fold, The Late Cord (John Mark Lapham [The Earlies] and Micah P. Hinson), are from Abilene. And you know, they're really fantastic -- sparse, earthy and slightly disturbing -- can I call it West Texas Gothic? Their debut mini-album Lights From The Wheelhouse, is out next week in the UK.

The Late Cord -- My Most Meaningful Relationships Are With Dead People


Other news from out and about the web:

Bishop Allen's March EP is out, download "The Monitor" at their site.

The 2006 Experience Music Project Pop Conference is next weekend
-- wish we were going, because DFG/TRGAW pal herjazz is presenting a paper on music selection in competitive figure skating, which has always been an interest of mine. Other highlights: Franklin Bruno tackles the Indiaspora, known around these parts as The Indie Rock Renaissance, and an interview with Stephin Merrit.

Oh, and as an addendum to yesterday's love song selections -- a track from my new fave trashy electropunks from San Francisco -- Luxxury, in homage (or something) to Samantha Foxx's "Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)."

Luxxury -- Dirty Girls Need Love Too

Have a great weekend!

20 April 2006

"Don't you know the name of your lonely...?" or paraphrasing: Am I miserable because I listen to pop music, or do I listen to pop music because I am miserable? (Just don't call me Rob...)

So I was minding my own business, reading my email, when I found a link to a great mini-essay on love by musician/novelist/essayist Daniel Handler (you may know him better as snarky kids' book writer Lemony Snicket) for the amazing Powell's Books in Portland. The first paragraph made me laugh self-consciously, then set me thinking.
What's love, again? No, seriously: what is it? Why are you quoting song lyrics? Do the lyrics of love songs actually cut to the heart of the matter, or are they simply so vague that it feels like they do? Why does one's own love feel as if it cuts to the heart of things, but other people's loves feel like vague amusements? Why are love songs we don't like so noxious? How can we love a song so dearly for a number of years and then suddenly find it embarrassing? Also, a person?
I've been rising like a phoenix (or something) from the smoking rubble of My Hideous First "Adult" Relationship In Which I Acted Like A Child Most Of The Time And As A Bonus, Almost Got Married (tm) for nigh on 8 months now (tempus fugit, goddamn!), and I've bonded with a lot of albums full of moody love songs over the past few months that seem to correspond with the stages of recovery or something. There was my New Order fixation in the fall (um, I'd file that under "acceptance"); I found myself unable to resist the little voices in my head (yeah, yeah) telling me to buy a copy of Kate Bush's Hounds of Love on vinyl the other day, and I've been listening to it incessantly (hopefully this corresponds to some kind of "reconfiguring of identity" or something) ever since.

I'm sure I'm not the first person that's noticed that most pop songs are love songs, really (except, uh, the ones about dancin!). Do you know I exist? Why don't you know I exist? I want you. I really want you. OMG, go away, I so don't want you. Please don't come near me ever again, can't you see how miserable you've made me? Look at me, I am so fucking awesome without you in my life anymore. Et cetera.

That's the name of my lonely (thanks, Jonathan Carroll): My insistence I'm not worthy enough to feel big and beautiful and overwhelming love ever again.

To whit, sorry to re-quote Handler: "Do the lyrics of love songs actually cut to the heart of the matter, or are they simply so vague that it feels like they do?"

Well...? Do you know what I mean? (Thank you, Kate Bush) Some songs just get scratched into our souls...(Thank you, Craig Finn.)

Kate Bush -- The Hounds of Love
Kate Bush -- Running Up That Hill (12" Remix)
The Futureheads -- The Hounds of Love (Phones' Wolves at the Door Remix)

Chet Baker Sextet -- Stella By Starlight (sometimes a love song doesn't need words...)

Changing gears a little bit: The website for the Celia Cruz exhibit at the Smithsonian is amazing.

Goodhodgkins offers tracks from the original version of The Wrens' The Meadowlands, with commentary. "Such A Pretty Lie" would have been included in the tracks above -- but why be redundant? -- go get it from him. And, maybe today is, as he mentions, a wonderful day to revisit that album if you haven't lately. It's still brilliant, I promise. It always will be.

Wanna hear the worst cover ever? You've been warned -- it's Train's utterly bloodless cover of Sugar's "If I Can't Change Your Mind," off their new album, For Me It's You. I heard this during a fruitless shopping trip to Gap the other day, and I thought I'd officially gone mad.

Not to jump on the mp3 blogger bandwagon, or anything, but Beirut, people. This is what happens when the heavy influence of Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum is a good thing.

Another new track from Shearwater's Palo Santo is up at the Misra site: "White Waves." Also, the news that the Evangelicals are touring with Get Him Eat Him this summer makes me very, very happy indeed.

Perpetua's on a roll lately. Yet another Fluxblog find has snagged my attention: Persephone's Bees. Big, grandiose pop is always welcome, isn't it?

19 April 2006

Please excuse this break from the no-image aesthetic we work here at TRGAW. This is what happens when we should be working on curriculae vitae (or, you know, résumés, etc.) -- YouTube is much more fascinating.

Pinkie's selection (though, I love this song too):

This Mortal Coil -- Song to the Siren


My selection (which, I'm sure Pinkie does not appreciate):

Harry Nilsson -- Without Her

And, from around the 'net, other people's YouTube finds: marathon packs has The Village People's "Sex Over the Phone" (Pinkie asks: "Why are there chicks in a Village People video?" Excellent question, I say. I was just getting kind of depressed that the song is kind of a weird post-AIDS version of Cruisin'). If you're up for it, watch the "Average Homeboy" video as well -- it's positively cringeworthy. Blegh.

Via Vonelle, here's a massive post of some really incredible videos including shorts by Maya Deren and Stan Brakahge, music videos from the Sex Pistols, the John Coltrane Quartet, and The Velvet Underground, and footage of Basquiat at work. Dang.

Late additions

Roxy Music -- Virginia Plain (live on Beat Club, 1972)

This song is special for a myriad of reasons, namely in that it is evidence that Bryan Ferry is "one suave motherfucker." We might tell you all the other reasons sometime. With tequila shots or kahlua and coffee...

And some videos we like a whole lot (which probably gives some indication of how geriatric we are...):
Pale Saints -- Kinky Love
Tanita Tikaram -- Twist in My Sobriety
The Cure -- Pictures of You (long version)
Kate Bush -- Love and Anger
I'm hardly, if ever, possessive of bands or musicians -- even ones I championed alone for years. You know how it is, you love a band -- and no one else does.

Over the past 6 years or so, I've done my very, very best to turn people on to Kelly Hogan and Neko Case. When I finally had a long conversation with Kelly last year -- randomly, when I was least expecting to -- at Austin's Saxon Pub (long story -- no she wasn't playing a show...), I spilled that I'd been a fan I was 16 years old, when I first heard her ill-fated band The Jody Grind. She blanched a bit, as if suddenly remembering how long ago all that had been -- and then we both laughed because actually that made us both kind of old.

Last night may have been either the 10th or the 13th time I've seen Neko Case play live. I have a hunch it was the 13th as it was just so utterly bizzare. There was some heavy weather afoot, and the show was at Austin's worst cavernous venue, La Zona Rosa. In the 12 years I've lived in Austin, I've only been there a handful of times outside of SXSW -- I've seen the Scissor Sisters, Matthew Sweet, Elliott Smith, Tricky, and Ben Folds there. In other words, I really have to love the artist or band playing to be dragged to LZR (just as there's only a handful of bands I'll deign to see at the Austin Music Hall or Stubb's outside) -- it's a stark concrete room with negligible sound quality and a horrible stage configuration. And it goes both ways: It's never fun to watch people nearly trip scrabbling up the stairs to get on stage from the green room.

After fleeing a downpour of biblical proportions that started up whilst we were waiting in the will call line, Pinkie and I rushed inside LZR, only to be bored out of our gourds by The High Dials who are unfortunately rather mediocre and derivative and non-remarkable -- yet catchy in that mode that makes you inadvertently rock out in an embarrassing way before you catch yourself and overcompensate by standing self-consciously stock-still.

We picked our our way close to the stage during the set change; I ended up on far stage right next to a giant monitor which was a little uncomfortable at first, but then was only annoying during particularly bass-and-drum-heavy songs. Unfortunately, I found, as reported by friends around the country from LA to Chicago to NYC, that the first 20 minutes or so of the set were kind of tortuous. Monitor and reverb issues plagued Neko and Kelly; the band overall took a good six songs or so to warm to the giant, soulless room.

I spent this time kind of in tears and seriously considered leaving. But I didn't want to be like that; didn't want to be the snob that stops seeing a band once they start playing bigger rooms because the experience isn't intimate and cozy anymore.

And thank goodness, there was a point -- and I can't entirely recall when it was -- that things were suddenly okay. The banter picked up, we heckled pedal steel/banjo/all-'round guitar genius Mr. John Rauhouse (as we always do, we love you Johnny), and the rest of the set was charming, magical, and a winner -- even though it was the last night of the tour and voices were stretched to the limit and fingers were over-sensitive and strained and everyone's eyebags had eyebags.

Now, see -- the real thing that has me convinced last night was my 13th time to see Ms. Case live was that she finally did one of my very favorite songs that never shows up on her setlists -- "Knock Loud" -- that appeared on the recorded-in-the-kitchen (seriously!) tour EP, Canadian Amp (this is where I could be really snarky and mention that I bought it from the hand of Ms. Case herself 2001-ish, but I won't. *ahem*). I've requested the song at numerous shows to no avail; one time Mr. Rauhouse looked me square in the eye and said, "OH, NO WAY!" with a genial smile -- so charming!

Anyway, "Knock Loud," wonderful song that it is, wasn't penned by Neko, but by the very multi-talented Sook-Yin Lee, who you may know from the CBC radio show Definitely Not The Opera, or perhaps you spotted her as Kwahng-Yi in the film version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (she's also in director John Cameron Mitchell's difficult new film, Shortbus). At any rate, I just love it -- seeing a old flame out and about but not speaking, staying up to see if s/he comes by and leaving a note on the door in case you doze off, waking up alone. It's a perfect little heartbreaking story encapsulated in three taut minutes. (Of course, if I'd been watching the setlists along the tour, I would have known this was showing up in the encore, but it was nice to be surprised...)

Neko and the band also pulled out a slew of other old favorites and new winners, playing for nearly two hours: 'oldie' "Set Out Running" from Furnace Room Lullaby stands strong alongside Neko's more seasoned new material; they blew the roof off cruddy old LZR with an epic, vibrant rendition of "Deep Red Bells" off Blacklisted, set spines a-tingling with the ultra-tight harmonies on Catherine Irwin's sublime "Hex," got all us saps and romantics teary again with "That Teenage Feeling," and sent us revitalized, off into the near-tropical night with a stompy, tambourine-laden rendition of "John Heard That Number."

Neko Case -- Knock Loud (Sook-Yin Lee cover)
Neko Case -- Favorite
Neko Case -- Set Out Running
Neko Case -- Hex (Catherine Irwin cover)


Bonus:
Neko Case & The Sadies -- Rated X (Loretta Lynn cover)
Neko Case & The Sadies -- My '63


And, so as not to give anyone a short shrift, here's a mini-primer to the career of Kelly Hogan via a few mp3s -- her time with The Jody Grind, The Rock*a*Teens, her Bloodshot albums, etc. (Oddly, I don't seem to have any tracks from her very out of print Daemon Records release "The Whistle Only Dogs Can Hear" with me today...) I've been meaning to expand this into a larger entry -- maybe I'll finally get around to it over on DFG someday. Since Neko's tour is over, you can find Kelly at Chicago's Hideout, tending bar and occasionally performing with her backing band, The Wooden Leg.

The Jody Grind -- Peter Gunn (cover of the theme from "Peter Gunn")
The Rock*A*Teens -- Someone Like You (Knitters cover)
Kelly Hogan & John Wesley Harding -- It's Only Make Believe (Conway Twitty cover)
Kelly Hogan & The Mellowcremes -- Hanky Panky Woman (Loretta Lynn cover)
Kelly Hogan -- Strayed ((smog) cover, repost)
Kelly Hogan -- Living Without You (Randy Newman cover)
Kelly Hogan -- No Bobby Don't

18 April 2006

Just back from the orthodontist, for the first time in 12 years. Don't you love emergency dental work? I sure do! (I'm getting a new retainer, how totes retro is that?) Hence, a short post of cheerful goodness.

First, some Boy Least Likely To b-sides. Have I mentioned lately how totally, wonderfully adorable their SXSW showcase was? Incredible. (Kathryn was there too, and got a picture...)

The Boy Least Likely To -- Rock Upon A Porch With You
The Boy Least Likely To -- Every Grubby Little Memory


I spent part of Sunday pawing through the 7" records at Waterloo, where I discovered The Research, who also happen to be on the cover of the latest issue of Plan B (or, well, the latest one that's out here and not then new one with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover). Unfortunately, I missed them during SXSW -- my plaintive, repetitive refrain. I've read The Research described by namechecking Brian Wilson and the Ronettes -- that sounds about right to me -- though Russell Searle is maybe a bit more Stephin Merritt-ish up an octave than Brian Wilson-y. Alternatively, The Research is succeeding at doing what I think Mates of State were attempting (but ultimately failed) to do on their latest. Anyway, The Research are kind of rip-roaring mad -- or Searle is anyway -- which is totally fine with me.

The Research -- The Way You Used To Smile

The Research -- True Love Weighs A Tonne

Finally, I have decided that the following could be the best thing EVER. I wish I'd thought to do it. I mean, if I did a mash-up, it would probably turn out like this.

Pink vs ELO - Don't Start Me Down (2005 Booty Von Dralle Mix) [via Digital Eargasm]

For those of you that have already heard Shearwater's latest, Palo Santo -- is it just me, or does this review miss the boat entirely in a horrifically oversimplistic way? If I was going to point fingers at Mr. Meiburg for aping anyone, it certainly wouldn't be Jeff Buckley!

17 April 2006

I associate with the absolute worst types as a known music pirate and mp3 blogger. Especially the kind that push rare, rare power pop. I found what I assume is a hand-compiled -- out of love, naturally -- bittorrent out there in the aether: "The tracks compile the choicest songs from the 10-Disc Powerpearls Comps, 8-Disc Shake Some Action Comps, 7-Disc Teenline Comps, and the Yellow Pills Comps, amongst others."

Naturally, it's an amazing collection, and thanks to the anonymous fellow/lady out there who put it together. I instantly fell in love with the Riff Doctors, The Speedies, The Monroes (hey wait, I remember this song!), The Nerves, Excel, Protex, and The Pop! -- And this is just from the first disc, even -- I haven't listened to the second disc yet ...

And so, here's a smattering of other power pop gems for your Monday. (BTW, did I mention that it's going to be 100 degrees here in Austin today? Perfect power pop weather, or something...)

Riff Doctors -- Turn Me On
Excel -- Rock Show
The Pop! -- Down On The Boulevard
Protex -- A Place In The Heart
The Monroes -- What Do All The People Know?


Strangely enough, not one but two of the songs in the compilation have recently been used in TV ads -- The Speedies' "I Want to Take Your Foto" (HP digital cameras) and The Nerves' "Hanging on the Telephone," popularized by Blondie and covered by Cat Power for a Cingular ad. That link is to the ad and not an audio file, btw, because I've never seen one anywhere, and according to TRGAW friend-of-a-friend & Jane blogger Arye, Ms. Chan Marshall claims the song will never be released. However, it shows up on last.fm, so if anyone out there has the full version as an mp3, now would be the time to share it! Hint, hint.

The Speedies -- I Want to Take Your Foto (original version, not the iTunes Music Store remix...)

The Nerves -- Hanging on the Telephone
Blondie -- Hanging on the Telephone


And, as a complete bizzare aside, here's some various uh, string versions of popular favorites:

Malibu Middle School Orchestra -- Different Names For The Same Thing (What that adorable orchestra of middle-schoolers from the Autumn De Wilde-directed video from Death Cab for Cutie's Directions DVD were actually playing; they're pretty good! The only thing missing is the adorable little girl's vocals -- this will make sense if you have seen the video -- but perhaps she was just lip synching...)

The String Quartet Tribute to Mariah Carey -- Heartbreaker (Don't tell, but I really, really love this song. I know, but it's just so sparkling and adorable...)

Orchestre National de Jazz -- Kashmir (Yes, the National Jazz Orchestra of France recorded an album of repositioned Led Zepplin covers. Kind of reminiscent of the Gold Sounds album of jazzed-out Pavement covers, only a lot grander in scale, natch.)

Ok, I'm outies. Somehow this post grew into something a lot larger than I expected...

14 April 2006

Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication. Well, I totally screwed up. I had this grand plan for the best darn Jesus Christ Superstar post ever -- but I can't find the lynchpin of my thesis, Jesus Christ Superstar: A Resurrection CD. That would be the recording starring, among others, Indigo Girls Amy Ray (as Jesus) and Emily Saliers (as Mary Magdalene), the always-fabulous Kelly Hogan as Simon Zealotes, the late, great Benjamin as Caiaphas (his gravelly, ripped up voice was perfect for the surly high priest role), and other assorted figures of the Athens/Cabbagetown scene in the mid-90's. (I saw the one and only live performance that was put on with this casting, at SXSW in [OMG!] 1995.) Anyway, I looked everywhere for this CD in my apartment for days, and I'm a bit disturbed that I can't find it. Perhaps it will turn up this weekend.

Anyway, I was also going to post a few tracks from the original 1971 concept album, but for some reason, the files I ported from home don't include the all-important overture, which I really, really wanted to post; on its own, out of context, the overture is a fantastic piece of proggy, chuggy instrumental rock music whose tendrils of influence are far greater than you'd expect.

A little background on Jesus Christ Superstar: Yes, it was composed by the, depending on your point of view, genius/hack Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber with lyrics by Tim Rice (who, after the dissolution of his artistic partnership with Lloyd Weber, penned the rock opera Chess with ABBA's Benny and Bjorn; I'm sure I'll post about that someday as well) and covers the events from Palm Sunday to Good Friday, leaving out all the Easter activities. The massive success of a concept album recording in 1971 featuring Deep Purple frontman (and briefly, Black Sabbath's -- from 1982-1984) Ian Gillan as Jesus, Murray Head (who would later make Chess' "One Night In Bangkok" a hit in the early 80's) as Judas, and disco diva Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene (as well as a then-unknown Gary Glitter and Manfred Mann's Michael D'Abo) led to a rather badly-received Broadway production in 1971 (the 1972 production mounted in London's West End fared better) and a film version (directed by Norman Jewison) in 1973.

Just a look at the extensive listing of productions and tours and revivals in the Superstar wikipedia entry is a testament to the enduring appeal of this work -- and I'm never surprised to meet people who harbor a secret love for that brown-covered double album they inevitably discovered in their parents' or older siblings' record collections. What's not to love -- Jesus is kind of a goober, Judas gets all the good songs, Mary Magdalene is totally torn in her love for Jesus, the apostles are drunk hangers-on -- well-intentioned, but drunk hangers-on nonetheless, Herod is a lush with slave girls, Pilate actually feels bad about putting Christ to death. In other words, it's all much more interesting than the dusty gospel stories -- and yeah, the score rocks; the lyrics are clever (though, I once heard Tim Rice give a lecture in which he revealed that the original lyrics to "I Don't Know How To Love Him" were "I love a Kansas morning/Kansas mist at my window..." until the tune migrated into the show -- thank goodness) and there's not a lick of proselytizing.

Included here is the opening number, "Heaven on Their Minds," that introduces Jesus and Judas' relationship; Mary Magdalene's plaintive ballad "I Don't Know How To Love Him," and the carnivalesque "King Herod's Song." And of course, if I get a hold of the overture, I'll put it up posthaste.

Jesus Christ Superstar -- Heaven On Their Minds
Jesus Christ Superstar -- I Don't Know How To Love Him
Jesus Christ Superstar -- King Herod's Song


Plus, here's a few bonus tracks, because I'm amusing like that.

From the utterly brilliant Sugar EP, Beaster:

Sugar -- Judas Cradle
Sugar -- JC Auto


From Peter Gabriel's Passion, the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's still-controversial film The Last Temptation of Christ:

Peter Gabriel -- A Different Drum
Peter Gabriel -- Passion


Have a good weekend, don't eat too much candy. Or rather, eat as much candy as possible. You have my blessing.

13 April 2006

Speaking of Devin Davis yesterday, I didn't realize that he has the lead track on the new Kill Rock Stars compilation The Sound the Hare Heard. While I'm sure everyone will be tripping over themselves to share the Sufjan Stevens, Laura Veirs, and Colin Meloy tracks -- I was happy to see offerings from the aforementioned Mr. Davis, as well as from Nedelle (specifically, a song with a tragic ending I really enjoyed from her live set in the fall of 2005 ), and the chronically underrated Danielle Howle, with a strangely relevant offering.

Devin Davis -- When The Angels Lift Our Eyelids In The Morning
Nedelle -- Poor Little City Boy
Danielle Howle -- Kill My Love For You


In return for shoving me into meetings all day, the corporate machine just provided me with some free beer -- how wonderfully kind of them; it's not even Friday!

Best item spotted 'round the blogs lately: Lost in the 80's has a lovely post on The Waitresses.

In other news, I am in love with Ladyfuzz. Seriously. Let's not talk about how I missed them at SXSW. Fluxblog has the track "Staple Gun," which you must listen to and fall in love with immediately.

Tomorrow is totally Jesus Christ Superstar tribute day. I'm not kidding.

(Sidebar: Was anyone else offended by the slightly condescending tone of this article?)

12 April 2006

Back from NYC, and a recap is on the way. Frantically busy at work; I was gone two days, but it seemed like a month had passed! This is the first moment I've had to sneak in a post. I was in roughtly 15,000 meetings today. Or something.

So anyway, I was just sitting here, kinda spaced out, listening to things randomly in iTunes and was like, "Hmmm, this is weird, I don't know this Okkervil River song. It's so ... accessable." Turns out it wasn't Okkervil River at all, but Chicago singer-songwriter Devin Davis. RIYL Okkervil River (natch), The Long Winters, Manishevitz, and Harry Nilsson. No kidding.

Also, you're so in luck because Maneja Beto have a new song up on their Myspace page!

There was something else I wanted to tell you ... I can't remember now for the life of me what it was, though. Probably something about how I was completely flummoxed at the sheer number of Kill Hannah "afterparties" raging everywhere in the East Village/Lower East Side on Monday night. Um, whatevs! Totally barfy, just like the two (2) Escalades full of party girls outside of one bar in particular. Something tells me that wasn't the Wolfmother (by which I mean WOLF PARADE -- too many damn wolf bands) afterparty, you know?

07 April 2006

On the road. Again. We here at TRGAW HQ are off to NYC this weekend. Just a few (proposed) items on the agenda: Voxtrot, New Sense, Quasi. Sadly, we'll be missing Languis, who are playing on the 11th and 12th. (More details for some of these shows at Young Poisoner's Handbook.)

It's been a long time since I've seen Quasi live (Was it SXSW 2004? I think so!), and I hope we'll be able to catch them at the Knitting Factory Monday night. Then again, Magneta Lane and Aloha are playing at the very sold out Voxtrot show @ the Merc, so who knows where we'll end up!

For those of you on the 1-35 corridor this weekend, it's still not to late to make plans to attend the Wall of Sound festival at Fort Worth's Ridgelea Theater. TRGAW friends and favorites playing include Okkervil River, Low, The Octopus Project, Midlake, Experimental Aircraft, The Black Angels, Single Frame, Tree Wave, Pink Nasty, and Cue.

06 April 2006

This is me, extremely busy. I've been meaning to pen a major Quasi retrospective post; I suppose I can try and get to that later tonight or something. I also wanted to write about the Mia Doi Todd remix album, too -- I suppose I can get to that next week.

This post, however, is mostly an addendum to yesterday's. In a fit of technology-related amnesia, it didn't even occur to me that the new Mountain Goats EP, Babylon Springs, the one sold out on the 4ad site, would be available on iTunes, and so it is. Thanks to L-train for the reminder, it was an accidental oversight on my part, completely.

The most interesting thing to cross my path recently is the new Final Fantasy album, He Poos Clouds -- a ridiculous and giggle-worthy title, to be sure. (Sidebar: What has happened to Owen's Myspace account and website? I hope it's not legal troubles with Square Enix or anything...) I haven't had time to give it a good, full listen yet, but the title of the last track grabbed me: "The Pooka Sings." I've always had a soft spot for the pooka, ever since I was completely obsessed with the Jimmy Stewart film Harvey as a child. (Is he really seeing a giant rabbit? Is it a benevolent animal spirit looking after him? Or is he crazy, or just a drunk? A good way to stumble into the existential questions of reality versus non-reality at a tender age, to be sure.)

Anyway, this is one of the reasons I loved Donnie Darko -- it was a total bizzaro twist on the idea of the pookas as set out in Harvey -- down to the giant rabbit angle. I have no idea if this song has anything to do with Harvey or Donnie Darko -- though, as we might recall, John Vanderslice drops a Donnie Darko reference in the title of Cellar Door (I'm sorry, this will all be kind of lost on you haven't seen the film -- but the linguistically-pleasing phrase plays a key role in the film.)

Speaking of Vanderslice's Cellar Door, I'm always amused that people always notice that "Promising Actress" is an homage to David Lynch's Mulholland Drive but gloss over the fact that "When It Hits My Blood" is a similar take on Requiem For a Dream, and "Wild Strawberries" references, well, Ingmar Bergman's Smultronstället -- English title, Wild Strawberries. And of course, there's probably other cinematic references in the album that I'm missing too, because it seems the theme of the entire album. For instance, the narrative of "Coming and Going On Easy Terms" always rings a bell, but I can't place it.

How the heck did this turn into a tiny dissertation on Cellar Door? Interesting how these things happen; welcome to my brain. (Perhaps it's because I looked through JV's fall tour pictures yesterday and was pleased to find not only a charming snap of those darlings, The Double, but also of The Ladies. Cute0r, on both counts!)

That being said, I totally need to eat my lunch already!

Final Fantasy -- The Pooka Sings
Echo and the Bunnymen -- Killing Moon
John Vanderslice -- Coming and Going on Easy Terms

05 April 2006

Just when you thought you'd seen everything... How did a Wrens cover of Duran Duran's "The Seventh Stranger" exist without me knowing about it -- and with Greg on lead vocals, no less? I wanted to post the original too, but unfortunately, I don't have it here @ work.

The Wrens -- The Seventh Stranger

Speaking of Wrens covers, you totally want this one too, from the Germs tribute album.

The Wrens -- Let's Pretend

Matthew Sweet had a track on that one too...

Matthew Sweet -- Dragon Lady

Speaking of disappointments (wait, was I?), guess I'm not getting a copy of that Mountain Goats Babylon Springs EP -- it's already sold out. Luckily, the Interschnitzel provideth, and I want for nothing but a hard copy. The entire thing is amazing, but this song -- though not an original JD creation, but a pretty straightforward (if slightly country-fied) Trembling Blue Stars cover -- hit me squarely in the gut this morning. Still feel the bruise, indeed.

The Mountain Goats -- Sometimes I Still Feel The Bruise

(BTW, I'm getting lots of spam comments; any thoughts on how to deal with these without screening comments? I guess there isn't really any other way, huh?)

04 April 2006

Will these days full of meetings ever end? Who knows... I'm kind of grumpy that today's post is so late, but I'll live.

Thanks to the Jagjaguwar mailing list and Bows + Arrows, I'm on tenterhooks to hear the rest of the Ladyhawk record. I suppose it was only a matter of time before there was a band undeniably influenced by Sugar. Not Husker Du, but Sugar -- pop Bob Mould, not screamy Bob. (Then again, I could be wrong...do you hear it? Other bloggers have mentioned Dinosaur Jr. or Superchunk -- for the record, bands I do not like -- so I don't hear that at all! I suppose they were all contemporaneous-ish, so maybe it doesn't matter.)

Also, there's various members of the Black Mountain/Pink Mountaintops cadre involved, so it's kind of guaranteed I'd like 'em. Unfortunately, they're touring later this spring with the loathsome Magnolia Electric Co., ain't that always the way...? (As in, if it's not Magnolia Electric, it's Centromatic or The Mendoza Line, you know? Sheesh.)

Bows + Arrows and *sixeyes have tracks available; I hope to get my hands on more soon.

When I was a junior in high school (about 16, I guess), I had a massive pash on my English teacher, Ms. Wilde (no really, that was her name). In hindsight, she probably wasn't much older than I am now -- and was quite possibly younger! She'd moved to El Paso from Austin and was newly-divorced with a young son. I babysat for her a few times, and one of the best parts of that experience was perusing her CD collection. After I'd put the baby down, I would make mix tapes from her CD collection, picking and chosing songs pretty much at random based on album covers or if I'd vaguely heard of the band in question. At the time, I was less than pleased with the fact that she had the Singles soundtrack (I only taped the Paul Westerberg songs from it...remember "Dyslexic Heart?"). I was very anti-Seattle at the time, mostly because everyone else loved grunge; I was into EMF and Jesus Jones and Electronic (without actually being into The Smiths and New Order, if you can believe that!). No, really.

Anyway, one CD she did have that caught my attention was Sugar's Copper Blue. I became utterly enamored with the band, and naturally came to Husker Du that way. (THough, as I've mentioned, I totally baby goose imprinted on Sugar, not Husker Du -- so the former will always be #1 in my heart even if Husker Du, in the end, has more long-term staying power than Sugar.) It's been a long time since I listened to Sugar, but I revisited the band again recently when I unearthed Copper Blue from a box of CDs I thought were long-lost. I never liked the follow-up album File Under Easy Listening as much as Copper Blue, but listening to it now, I can see why. There's a whole lot of grown-up angst therein that was pretty much lost on 18-year-old me.

Sugar -- Changes
Sugar -- Gee Angel
Sugar -- Can't Help You Anymore


I'm also intrigued lately by talkdemonic, who recently opened for The National on a west coast tour; of course, I missed them at SXSW -- story of my life these days (Sidebar: Remember, Pinkie, we were so gonna go to that Arena Rock showcase? What happened?). Anyway, this Portland-based duo offers up twangy yet swirly instrumental chamber rock with a hint of synths -- it's definitely not like anything I've heard, outside of local faves Cue -- but even then, they're very much minus the bombast and power that is one of Cue's best features. Then again, they are operating with fewer people!

talkdemonic -- Mountaintops in Caves
talkdemonic -- Mutiny Sunshine

There's more tracks at Gorilla vs. Bear, So Much Silence, Rock Insider, and Aquarium Drunkard. Their latest album, beat romantic, is out today.

Oh, and: Somone's posted a great new Britt Daniel solo set from San Francisco on March 29 on archive.org. Brilliant!

03 April 2006

Awkward doesn't even begin to describe it. Needless to say, you should never ever go to a work happy hour, do tequila shots, and hit on a co-worker whom you've had a crush on for about oh, six years. Very bad idea. But me, I would never do anything like that! (Oh, you know it's awkward around here today. Terribly awkward. I feel like everyone's staring and/or gossiping about me. Of course, this isn't true ... right? RIGHT?!?! Please tell me I'm just really paranoid.)

But whatever, enough about my embarassing Friday night -- I hope you had a better weekend. (Things were actually nice and relaxing actually, once I got all that Cuervo out of my system -- I don't mean to be so melodramatic.)

Could this be the best cover of the past few years? Probably -- and it's now available on the re-release of Giant Drag's Hearts and Unicorns. After finally seeing Giant Drag at SXSW (we'd been a missed connection for years), they've become one of my absolute favorite bands to see live. You really can't beat Ms. Annie Hardy's spaced-out banter, no siree.

Giant Drag -- Wicked Game

And while we're on the subject of bonus tracks... Hosted at Yousendit for the obvious reasons, namely those pesky cease-and-desists from Interscope's corporate office. How the heck did this not make the cut for Show Your Bones? It's fantastic; wish I'd had this to post on as part of Friday's dance selections.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- Deja Vu
Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- Deja Vu -- NEW LINK HERE. (I'll try and post another if this one expires too.)

Following segment is brought to you by NME's hot band potentially overhyped band department:

Am I allowed to say I like The Motorettes better than the Arctic Monkeys? Well, I do -- nice blend of Bloc Party and the Monkeys' bizzaro suburban teenage DIY ethos and something that should have been a hit ca. 1982 or something.

The Motorettes -- You Gotta Look The Parts

The Boyfriends are now on tour with Morrissey in the UK, probably due to sounding just a bit like early Smiths as well as being rough and tumble "sexually ambivalent" lads. There's something really appealing and fresh and new about this song, though -- despite the fact that the band wears their influences pinned to their chests in the form of shiny punk rock badges. Would that the kids could be as enamored with The Boyfriends as they are with She Wants Revenge.

The Boyfriends -- I Love You

What else did I do this weekend? Well, I missed The Black Angels CD release (oops!) and I made an ill-advised trip to the Austin Record Convention (though I did get a great deal on a whole mess of fantastic picture-sleeved 45s, nothing less than 20 years old).

But hey, speaking of The Smiths, I bought a very overpriced (or maybe not, checking around now, I made out okay) copy of the Sandie Shaw "Hand in Glove" 12" single.

Sandie Shaw -- Jeane

And finally, we've loved Brittany Murphy since her adorable turn in Clueless. Is there anything she can't do -- the voice of King of the Hill's Louann Platter, newly glammed-up B-picture starlette (see any number of recent fashion mags: ie. Jane, Lucky), and now clubland diva? Oh yes! Sing it, girl.

Paul Oakenfold feat. Brittany Murphy -- Faster Kill Pussycat
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