The Rich Girls Are Weeping: September 2006

29 September 2006

It felt like the worst show ever. Even worse than that time I tried to soldier through the Gang of Four show last summer even though I was pretty freakin' sick, or that time I went to see Ted Leo/RX when I was having uh, girl problems, and nearly hauled off and punched this giant fat guy and his reedy friend when they decided to slamdance into me.

We'd come mostly to see Envelopes, and yeah, Panther and Ratatat too, but we ended up seeing hardly anything. Emo's was stupid crowded with baby hipsters getting wasted to overcome their social awkwardness -- it wasn't a pretty sight. I mean, yeah, we were already in a sullen mood from the afternoon's news, but to make matters worse, the sound during the Envelopes' set was so horrible (and it wasn't much better inside for Maritime), we just gave up and left without even really having a chance to track down friends in the crowd and bid them a grumpy goodnight. (I'm extra bummed because it looks like the Dallas show and afterparty were way more fun...)

The only highlight of the night was that Ramesh from Voxtrot found us sulking in a corner and cheered us up immeasurably with his wonderful impersonation of Diego from Elefant and tales of the non-stop party that was Voxtrot's UK tour a few months back. And I think he convinced Pinkie to listen to Babyshambles, which was no mean feat (she liked the Libertines, but was understandably wary of Doherty's solo project).

We're looking forward to seeing Spoon tomorrow (ROCKTOBER LIVES -- there's so many good shows in the next few weeks...), but we really hope it's not a repeat of last night's gicky scene. And if you're seeing the Ratatat/Envelopes/Panther bill on this tour, we hope you have a better time than we did...

Envelopes -- Freejazz
Ratatat -- Wildcat (E*vax Remix)
Spoon -- Lines in the Suit


Awesomeness from around the Intertubes this week:


Is it the children's Greek chorus? The sleighbells? THE HANDCLAPS? Who can really say, but I'm completely addicted to Mike Jones' new single "Mr. Jones" from The American Dream (due out in February, apparently), via the amazing filles et garcons at Fluokids.

Look, I can't help but be charmed by faux Brits (they're totes from San Francisco!) Scissors for Lefty -- I swear I've listened to them more than anything else over the past few weeks, pick up tracks @ Big Stereo, MOKB, and Usounds.

Datarock's "Fa Fa Fa" is bloody brilliant, check it out at Big Stereo, catch remixes at Shot Callin' and iPop. The busy disco guitar riffs in the original track are driving me nuts, though. Where have I heard them before??

...and, as ever, greenpeaness.org puts us to shame, posting some of the most-listened to songs of the past few weeks: offerings from Shimura Curves, Neon Plastics, and Air Traffic, and the stellar "Animator" from Pull Tiger Tail.

Have a good weekend, we'll catch ya later!

28 September 2006

FIVE SONGS I WILL NEVER, EVER BE TIRED OF.
(you know, just fyi)


Run-DMC -- Run's House
Suede -- Beautiful Ones
Roxy Music -- Love Is The Drug
Big Star -- Thirteen
New Order -- Regret


Busy, weird day. But at least we're seeing Ratatat and Envelopes tonight, so there's that. For those of you out there who know what we've been up to for the past few months, because there's really no better way to announce things than through a vague reference in a post: We Didn't Get It, But We Can’t Tell You Anything Else About That For Now. But, thankfully, Pinkie does have a job through the end of the year. NYC, we're still coming, just not as soon as previously planned. We appreciate your patience more than anyone else's.

Come buy us a PBR at the show, tonight we need 'em.

27 September 2006

Roger O'Donnell's favorite communist country is Cuba. Or at least it was when the Cure's Prayer Tour program was printed. At that time, he also missed his parents, seriously dug fast food, and wanted a time machine while being nattily attired in a single-breasted, but still much-padded frock coat...tieless au Dave Sylvian. (Dig that French grammar.) Now that Fidel Castro has handed over Cuba to his brother Raul, TRGAW aren't sure of Mr. O'Donnell's opinion, but we'd argue that the release of O'Donnell's The Truth in Me could be timely enough to be viewed as suspicious by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Then again, O'Donnell isn't American and HUAC was dissolved in 1975, so we could be wrong. At least we know we're weird, and we sincerely hope that Mr. O'Donnell still likes champagne and chocolate as much as did in 1989.

In the spirit of full disclosure, we received The Truth in Me in the mail about a week after receiving a neato press release. Continuing in the spirit of full disclosure, I cringed at the idea of yet another ill-advised post-career-peak solo project by an ancillary member of a musical institution. (Admittedly I also felt this way about the whole of Ian McCulloch's solo career.) To my surprise, O'Donnell succeeds with something pretty, albeit ephemeral: tenous Moog Voyager explorations that establish O'Donnell as a member of the grand tribe of space musicians who refer to themselves as "synthesists," and treads lightly alongside the places where Boards of Canada and Morr have inhabited over the past decade. Before this falls into music review wankery, I'll point out that the airy, faux-naive female vocals on "For the Truth in You" and "Treasure" spoil the effect of what is otherwise a self-consciously timeless experimental record.

Roger O'Donnell -- My Days
Roger O'Donnell -- ...And So I Closed My Eyes


Relatedly, the Cure may indeed be the collective Kevin Bacon of nascent British indie and as inbred as the Royal Family. Ten Imaginary Years (the 1988 autobiography) was rich with family tree forks and double-backs that have, at this point, probably gotten even more twisted: let's see... Robert Smith is married to Mary Poole. This is the easy part. Porl Thompson (guitarist) is married to Robert's sister Janet; and Simon Gallup (bass) was married to Porl's sister Carol, but is now married to someone else. As Wikipedia tells it, there's a veritable brood of kids here. Porl Thompson played in Shelleyan Orphan (Humroot only, though Shelleyan Orphan did tour with the Cure prior to that release) and Babacar with Boris Williams who is possibly still involved with Caroline Crawley (of both Shelleyan Orphan and Babacar), who contributed the majority of vocals on This Mortal Coil's Blood (4AD). In addition to the Cure and a stint of weird collaborations (highlights: Zwan, Placebo, Blink-182), Robert Smith was briefly a Banshee and worked with Steve Severin on the Glove project. Interestingly, it still hasn't been established who wears more makeup: Smith, Siouxsie, Brian Molko...or new contender, the whey-faced Gerard Way.

The Cure -- In Between Days
The Cure -- The Exploding Boy
The Cure -- A Few Hours After This
The Glove -- Punish Me With Kisses
The Glove -- Like an Animal
Shelleyan Orphan -- Swallow
Shelleyan Orphan -- Burst


On the flipside of the Cure, at least in my neck of the Piney Woods, were Depeche Mode. In my contrariness and advanced age, I have to argue that, for me, the side projects are where it's at...but I'm not sure that I can condone Dave Gahan's solo work, even if I do find him fascinating to look at. No discussion of Depeche is ever complete without my argument that Alan Wilder's Recoil project and Martin Gore's Counterfeit series are better than the primary body of work with Depeche, so without further ado:

Recoil -- Grain
Martin L. Gore -- Loverman
We're super busy today, but I am pleased to report that my computer should be working again (I haven't tried it yet, so I can't say for sure), so we should be back to posting fancy remixes and advance tracks and the like any day now. Hooray!

My mom sent this to me the other day, she found it on El Chuco, a blog that features street art in my hometown of El Paso -- it's Marty Robbins performing "El Paso." And below that, another El Paso namecheck song from Ghost Mice that's a little more recent in vintage. And the subject matter -- the arduous 11-hour drive from Austin to El Paso (yes, you're still in the same state!), is a subject near and dear to my heart.



Ghost Mice -- Austin to El Paso

And one more for good measure, the squalling, melancholic wonderfulness of Young People...

Young People -- El Paso

In other news, I'm spending a lot of quality time with the new Jeremy Enigk solo record, World's End, and I want to make sure I've really fully digested it before I go writing about it. I will say for now that I think it may be one of the best records I've heard this year. It's quite the restorative tonic for the growning pains and angst of a 30-something indie kid. *ahem* And, there's a pipe organ, so. The album starts strong with the soaring, epic tear-jerker "Been Here Before" -- and just gets better. It's strong and sophisticated and full of interesting twists and turns -- and kind of puts the Colin Meloys and the Ben Gibbards of the world, with their flimsy sensitivity and tenuous musicality (and reedy, mumbly tenor voices), right in their place. Enigk, we all might recall, did the whole 'sensitive, dense songwriting wrapped in syncopated, fuzzy guitars and a punky rhythm section' thing first and best in Sunny Day Real Estate. You know, the band that spawned a thousand knock-offs and that somehow, and I'm not really sure how this happened, led to bands like My Chemical Romance labeled as 'emo' (shouldn't that be uh, 'glammo'?) and the stereotype of the sullen, sniveling indie kid. Oh well, I digress. We, and I mean we who were there, back in the day (sorry to get all James Murphy on you...) have grown up (sort of...), and so has Mr. Enigk. My only real complaint with World's End is that it's only 36 minutes long or so -- I could have done with another 4 songs...

Jeremy Enigk -- Been Here Before
Jeremy Enigk -- Return of the Frog Queen (repost, an old fave.)
Sunny Day Real Estate -- In Circles (oh! the nostalgia!)

26 September 2006

"Throbbing Gristle 'n' Pals" -- a phrase that has gotten far too much mileage since last fall's WFMU record fair, but does an apt job of describing...well...Throbbing Gristle 'n' Pals up to and including the previously mentioned Chris Carter / Chris & Cosey / Chronomatic / Conspiracy International / CTI, et al, Psychic TV, Coil, and half a hundred other post-project collaborative side-projects and their side-projects.

Admittedly, this overview is fairly pedestrian, because I'm not sure that I've ever been a "fan" of Throbbing Gristle 'n' Pals aside from Trance-era Chris & Cosey and some of Chris Carter's noodlier Roland MC-8 wankery. Suffice it to say that there was a boy involved in my Current 93, Test Dept., and Cold Meat Industry days, as well as my years with Throbbing Gristle 'n' Pals. I parted ways with Psychic TV sometime after the Cold Blue Torch remixes from Spahn Ranch and Cevin Key. (But damn, that Leæther Strip remix of "I Believe What You Said" was good, yo.) And I lost the Coil to my ex in the divorce (along with the Cocteau Twins CDs; and Cindy mentions that a former hot neighbor made off with her Coil). It's a checkered past, to say the least, and it doesn't involve quite as much make-up and corsetry as you would imagine, but probably as many substances as you might think. However, I am proud to say that I have never worn polyvinylchloride...even though I did have a subscription to Propaganda in the early 90s.

Throbbing Gristle -- AB/7A
Throbbing Gristle -- Hot On The Heels Of Love
Throbbing Gristle -- United
Chris Carter -- Resonance
Chris Carter -- Solidit
Chris & Cosey -- Driving Blind (Vapourspace Moist Sexy Mix)
Chris & Cosey -- Walking Through Heaven (C & C Twist Mix)

Rhetorical Question: Does that Chris Carter action remind anyone else of the soundtrack to Æon Flux?
'Creating musical magic out of thin air and solid state electronics...' Via Music Thing, a promo video with Giorgio Moroder programing/utilising/whatevering a Roland MC-8, the seminal pre-MIDI CV/Gate digital/analog sequencer. Seriously, follow that previous link for an amazing article on the thing by Chris Carter, of Chris & Cosey. Sample text:
Once you get your head around the concept of writing music by tapping out numbers on a calculator keyboard, the MC8 isn't especially difficult to use. However, when you find that you have to tap out hundreds of notes just to programme a four-minute song, things get pretty tedious, and you find yourself using the copy function an awful lot. Data must be entered in a very specific order, or the display tells you in no uncertain terms that the MC8 is unhappy by flashing on and off. This is called the Error function. To quote the (sometimes hilarious) manual: 'The Error function is activated whenever you do something which is beyond the capabilities or comprehension of the MicroComposer". Intuitive is not a word you could use to describe working with the MC8.
And to think only 300 were manufactured!

Anyway, the Moroder clip just happens to feature behind-the-scenes footage that chronicles the recording of my favorite, favorite Moroder track of all time, "Baby Blue." I'm totally geeking out here. Pls. excuse me... We <3 sequencers. And vocoders!



Giorgio Moroder -- Baby Blue
Strobes and gore ahoy (all 1:40 of it), you've been warned. Your video for the day: The Horrors, "Sheena is a Parasite." So, about a month ago, I decided that I really wasn't much for The Horrors, but then I learnt (from yes, a PR and promo that appeared in my mailbox yesterday) that the video for this song stars Samantha Morton (Morvern Callar, Minority Report) and is directed by Chris Cunningham, who's directed, among other things, those freaky Aphex Twin vids. Somehow, that made me like the song a whole lot more, shocker! I'm not sure about the rest of The Horrors' output -- I described them to Pinkie as total punky kindergoth, the y chromosome version of Scarling -- but if they last longer than an EP (er, set for release on Stolen Transmission this fall), or an album, The Horrors might actually be kind of interesting, eventually. Right about now, they really are kind of a clunky Frankenstein's monster of The Fall + Nick Cave -- but on a practical level, for the sake of a shocking, in-yr.-face hit single, it works.

25 September 2006

Hand-plucked from the overstuffed email-box. But, I mean, like, we'd totally post about this band even if we didn't get a press release about them. Really!

We saw Daylight's for the Birds open for The Duke Spirit in NYC a few months ago, and for Calla a few months before that, and were completely charmed with their lovely dark and atmospheric material. We were both fans of On!Air!Library!, and were very pleased to see that this particular spinoff project was progressing nicely. DFTB's debut album, Trouble Everywhere (recorded with Steve Revette -- who's done great work with TRGAW supergigantic #1 faves -- like The Double, among others), is out 10/31/2006; here's the first two tracks, and there's more at the band's MySpace page.

Daylight's for the Birds -- To No One
Daylight's for the Birds -- Worlds Away


Memory jog:
On!Air!Library! -- Bread
On!Air!Library! -- Feb.


Mea culpa: I totally forgot to mention that our fave NYC gloomcookie gawth band Blacklist played uberhipster event Stolen Transmission in NYC last Thursday. 'Bout three years ago, we were still buying records from Blacklist's guitarist Jimmy at the long-gone 33 Degrees -- and if we'd told him that his little goth band would be playing at Ultragrrl's party at a club owned by the folks who brought you Darkroom, he probably would have cut us off completely and told us to get out of Dan's store. Thank goodness he can't ban us for life from good ol' 33 Degs. anymore (though, in hindsight, that might have been good for our budgets!). If you missed that Stolen Transmission show, catch Blacklist at the Knitting Factory Oct. 4, or at the CMJ Opening Party on Oct. 31 at Magnetic Field in the BKLYN.

Nuh-uh: You guys, that Swan Lake track that Stereogum posted is ridiculously, hideously bad. Aggh!
So ready to be heartbroken... *swoon* Visual references to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and a few other things I'm sure I don't know. Oh golly, this is the best thing for a draggy Monday afternoon.



ps -- In case you were wondering, we don't want this for Christmas.
'i always dream about a unified scene. there's james king and king james and james dean. at a table in the corner of my unified scene.' Woah, I don't read the NYT Magazine one week, and I totally miss the article about MisShapes? Well, oops. And was it really the 10th time a Times property namechecked MisShapes this year? That's gotta be some record in ultra-overblown-exposure, maybe. Except the MisShapesians don't really seem to give a fuck about anyone's opinion of them, so they remain strangely flameproof, bulletproof, NYT-coverage-uncoolnessproof. Anyway, heartening to know those pretty, lanky, dyed-black djs don't get paid for their residency either. Ha! Then again, as long as you keep us in cokes, we'll dj for you. Unless it's a campari-and-soda night. Then, we'll dj for uh, campari-and-sodas.

Anyway, who really cares if the kids of MisShapes DO, however, get paid by evil giant corporations to dj pricey parties? (How cute! They incorprated!) Gotta make bread somewhere besides at one's flimsy day job. One's nasty vintage vinyl habit can get expensive, kids. Ask us how! (Though, yeah, djing for a Tory Burch fete? A little ill-advised.)

Pulp -- Mis-Shapes
The Hold Steady -- Most People Are DJs
(Oh, I crack myself up! YOU'RE WELCOME, ANTI-SCENESTERS, HATERS, ETC. For the record, I will be cranky and complain that The Hold Steady's gone stale; Boys and Girls in America is the biggest disappointment of the year. Oh well, it happens.)

Sorry for the re-runs, I'm still computer-less...

22 September 2006

Sometimes you run across blog posts you wish you'd written. Carl Wilson's review/personal essay about The Mountain Goats' show in Toronto this week pretty much clinches the prize for the best entry I've seen on any blog, anywhere lately. He hits on the high-level, emotionally involved fandom one has as an adult for a select few artists and the fallacy (?) of Darnielle's autobiographical songwriting. Like I said, wish I'd written it.

I really like Darnielle's quote, as transcribed by Carl, about Get Lonely: "A lot of people are calling it a 'breakup' album. Well, I guess you could say that, but what some of the people in these songs are breaking up with is Almighty God. Or their own DNA." Boy howdy, is it ever; I'll tell you this -- I've had a lot of trouble listening to Get Lonely. The spackle on the new, improved version of myself that I've been building for the past few years isn't dry yet. I still might crack under the pressure. Or, to quote The Format: "When I said, 'I hate what i've become,' I lied, I hated who I was..." Yeah, I've made some big changes.

I did spend one night sprawled on the floor listening to it a few times -- the intimate immediacy of the songs burrowing into the dark corners that I've been hiding from everyone. It's problematic, I don't know what to do with those feelings, other than to hold them up and examine them and hopefully find comfort in someone or something that's not self-destructive. Needless to say, I'm a little panicked about the live experience of the record -- I am the girl, after all, who had to go hyperventilate in the bathroom after the last time I saw Xiu Xiu. Sometimes a really fucking good show renders me an open, gaping wound of confused emotions. You know how it is. Yeah?

I am not one for a large amount of self-reflection, but it's been weighing on me heavily since that night that I've been single for over a year. (Sorry if you've heard this story before...) In August 2005, I trashed and burned a relationship of nearly four years that was extremely serious, except for the fact that I was so emotionally detatched from my boyfriend that it was like I wasn't really there. You know, that kind of serious. People under the age of like 22, or who've never stayed in a relationship about 3 and a half years (or more) past its expiration date won't know what I mean by this -- but maybe the rest of you will. It's been weird, being a single girl again -- I haven't been on a date, but I'm not really the dating type. I've hit on a few people, with mixed results, and vice versa. But what it comes down to is that I've been distinctly, pointedly unavailable in the romance arena for the past year. And the past year has been all about me, and working things out for myself. And really, the process is hardly over. In fact, I suppose this is just the tip of the iceburg, because I can only just now talk about some of this stuff. (I'm kind of weird and reticent like a dude in that regard...) I can only hope that I continue to grow and change and learn more amazing things about myself for the rest of my life at the same rate that I have since I moved out of the evil apartment of doom I shared with my boyfriend and into my airy little retreat that's mine alone. That, my friends, is a lifestyle choice worth making.

And I don't even really think I'm looking to get in a relationship anytime soon, but I'm starting to warm up to the idea -- whereas in the winter and spring and most of the summer, I absolutely dreaded the thought. And for some reason, I've been hooked on listening to these songs lately. Perhaps as a primer of what to long for, and what to avoid.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- Modern Romance
TV on the Radio -- Modern Romance
Bloc Party -- This Modern Love


Last night I stopped in at Half-Price to shed some excess material goods, and managed to come out with a bunch of records and a few books. The prizes were two out-of-print Christina Stead titles and some amazing albums, including Deaf School's English Boys, Working Girls. Googling around, I found out a lot about the band in this article about Suggs (the lead singer of Madness), as he married Deaf School singer Bette Bright.

One of my other interesting finds was an EP (After Hours) from a band called Velveteen, which was basically Sal Maida (who played bass for Sparks and Roxy Music in the late 70's) and Lisa Burns and a bunch of session musicians. It's a perfect, danceable little New Wave gem in kind of in vein of Rachel Sweet and The Pretenders, but a little darker. I had no idea what the album would sound like when I picked it up, but the visual cues and the copyright date gave me a pretty good idea. I'm glad it was a good find; Sal currently plays bass for Cracker, and Lisa has a solo album and they have a band called New Randy, a bizzare, rootsy country project. Talk about longevity!

(Oddly enough, before I did all this research, I described Deaf School to Pinkie as sounding like the perfect cross between Roxy Music and Sparks -- very 1978. What a weird coincidence.)

That's all from here for now. Come see A Featherweight Burden and The Black tomorrow night at Mohawk ($5); Pompeii (not as previously noted, Cue -- that would be kind of impossible with Colin playing in his other band!) play Trophy's, M. Ward is at the Parish with Portastatic, and Dr. Octagon is in the Emo's Lounge. We might pop by the Cinema Texas shidig tonight, also at Mohawk: Yellow Fever, Best Fwends and Cry Blood Apache play; Ramesh and Chris man the turntables. The Gossip, Mika Miko, and Swan Island play Emo's; Rogue Wave are also in town @ the Parish. Though, damn, wish I was in NYC so I could see Flin Flon, The Ballet, and Puddin' Tang at the Cake Shop tonight. The past pedigree of those bands alone makes my head spin.

Flashback: One year ago, Tulsa. Cain's Ballroom, possibly the best rock show of the year, and a surprise at the hotel elevators. (Bedhead is way cute and is surprisingly indicative of real humanity.) Cat-calling over ripping guitar solos. PBRs in an empty bar and 4:20 Pizza delivered to the room and impossibly distinguished night auditors and hot Okies in eyeliner. It was a good night, and believe me when I tell you we looked fiiiiine.

21 September 2006

Well, first of all, my home computer is dead -- so I may not have any exciting, exclusive-like posts for a few days, as 99% of my mp3 collection is now locked up on an inaccessable hard drive... ack! Hopefully, the nice dudes at the shop will be able to fix it... So, for now, how about one of the best videos EVER?



World Famous Supreme Team - "Hey DJ" (thx, SFJ)

Last night's setlists. We had a great time, even though dear Terry was greatly missed. We had tons of visitors in the cage (thx to everyone who stopped in to say hi or ask about a track!), including one Erik Wofford, who came up during the Snowden track to say, "Hey, I recorded that!" and to complement our selector-skillz. Such a nice and quite talented young man!

Adult. - Hand to Phone (Cordless Mix) // Burt Bacharach - Close to You // The Crystals - When the Right Boy Comes Along // The Affair - Andy // Colourbox - You Keep Me Hanging On // The Bangles - Hazy Shade of Winter // Sixteen Deluxe - Idea // Spoon - 30 Gallon Tank // Japan - Gentlemen Take Polaroids // Blowoff - Saturday Night All the Time // Blancmange - See the Train // Love and Rockets - Kundalini Express // The Kills - Run Home Slow // Pale Saints - Angel (Will You Be My) // Havana Guns - She Always Goes Down // Chapterhouse - Breather // Snowden - Like Bullets // The Last Night - Some Sensation // Hot IQs - Firecracker // Sonic Youth - Sugar Kane

Elton Mortello - Jet Boy Jet Girl // Flesh for Lulu - I Go Crazy (When I'm Without You) // Space Cowboy - I Know What Girls Like // The Faint - Paranoia // The Infadels - Love Like Semtex (Team 9 Remix) // Mathématiques Modernes - Disco Rough Disco Rough [Ian Smagghe edit]

The Blow - Pile of Gold // Book of Love - Boy // Unrest - Cath Carroll // Liz Phair - Jealousy // The Libertines - Last Post on the Bugle // Jonathan Fire*Eater - These Little Monkeys // Siouxsie and the Banshees - This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us // Sparks - Occupation

Celebration - Foxes // Television - See No Evil // Roxy Music - Sign of the Times // Lene Lovich - Bird Song // Japan - Life in Tokyo // Depeche Mode - But Not Tonight // Book of Love - Lullaby // Keely Smith - Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody // Carter Family - Walk the Line // Dinah Washington - I Get a Kick Out of You // Bette Midler - Friends


Sadly, October 4th is our last night at the Chain Drive...but we have exciting things planned. Stay tuned!

20 September 2006

Hot Tuesday night action!! We stopped by Emo's last night to catch The Blow before stopping by the Beauty Bar to catch a set from the always-great Pompeii. Seeing The Blow was a last minute development (I'd forgotten they were playing, and didn't discover the fact until like, 6:30 pm), and I'm totally glad we remembered to check them out. Well, I say 'them' but lead singer Khaela Maricich was solo, accompanied (kinda old-school Britt Daniel solo-show style) by backing beats provided by the absent, mostly studio-only member Jona Bechtolt, played over the PA. Amazingly, the bass on those tracks was so pummeling that it rattled the metal roof of Emo's outside stage and sounded like a little thunderstorm throughout the entire set, which was kind of neat -- though yes, we learned why, as Pinkie pointed out, one never holds a rave in a metal-roof'd warehouse!

Maricich has a fascinating stage presence -- despite the size of the crowd (which was quite large), she was chatty and engaging on an almost too-personal level. She pogoed about the stage, her performance vascilating between charmingly chaste (during "Parenthesis") and downright dirty (during "Pile of Gold"). At one point, she flung herself to the stage in melodramatic Morrissey-like fashion, only to bounce back up and deliver a Missy Elliott-as-done-by-a-skinny-white-girl groove a few moments later. The 'hits' of forthcoming album Paper Television (10/24/06, K Records), already cherished by bloggers, hold up well live -- as well as old fan-faves from The Blow's previous four albums. Though a few people out there seem to want to brand The Blow's latest incarnation as "indie R'n'B" -- but there's enough glitch and electronic skronk and gender politics on each track that they'll probably make you think more of a more happy-go-lucky Xiu Xiu or Casiotone for the Painfully Alone or Dear Nora than of say, the latest Beyoncé track turned inside out. We can't encourage you more highly to catch The Blow live; they're on the road with Architecture in Helsinki through September and with Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins in October.

The Blow -- Pile of Gold

The Blow -- Bonjour Jeune Fille (repost)
VIDEO: Knowing The Things That I Know (an old fave...)

The Blow's website
The Blow's MySpace
Kahela's blog: That Touch Me Feeling

Tour Dates:

Wed 09/20 - Houston TX @ Warehouse Live*
Thu 09/21 - New Orleans LA @ Howlin’ Wolf*
Fri 09/22 - Athens GA @ 40 Watt Club*
Sat 09/23 - Nashville TN @ Exit In*
Sun 09/24 - Charlottesville, VA @ Satellite Ballroom*
Mon 09/25 - Washington DC @ Black Cat*
Tue 09/26 - New York, NY @ Sin-e
Wed 09/27 - Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street (Downstairs)*
Sun 10/15 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club #
Tue 10/17 - Nashville, TN Cannery Ballroom #
Thu 10/19 - Tampa, FL Tampa Theatre #
Fri 10/20 - Orlando, FL The Club at Firestone #
Sat 10/21 - New Orleans, LA The Parish at HOB #
Mon 10/23 - Austin, TX Stubb’s BBQ #
Tue 10/24 - Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom #
Wed 10/25 - Ft. Worth, TX Ridglea Theater #
Fri 11/3 - New York, NY Irving Plaza (Force Field PR CMJ Showcase w/ AIH, Apples in Stereo, Shapes and Sizes)*

* = w/ Architecture in Helsinki
# = w/ Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins



Photo by Megan Holmes
Well, Idolator proves useful for something... besides cheap shots at some of our faves. Last time we checked, the Prorsum line was the decidedly unchavvy part of the House of Burberry, and it's probably not wise to get us started on our collective love of the high hat and the disco octave...

I mean really, we know the Gawker editorial voice is as snarky as they come, and really love their insouciant attitude -- but we can't help but think that this schtick is kinda sorta falling flat over at Idolator. I mean, prefacing something with 'this is a cheap shot but we're linking to it anyway ... ISN'T IT STILL FUNNY?' is kind of sophomoric and annoying. But whatevs, they have a nice color scheme at least. And their wee little manifesto is, well, kind of spot-on -- I mean, we never miss a chance to take a cheap shot at over-educated rich, white boy tastemakers and the 10 billion press releases we get every day.

Maybe we just need to give them some time to settle into the preppie kids' table in the Blog-o-teria and the leeway to iron out the kinks in their strange, scattershot editorial voice. We're perfectly satisfied not to get in a lather about such weighty subjects as My Chemical Romance, The New Nirvana? and Who The Hell Cares About mp3 Blogs Anyway? I mean, it's not like we're gonna apply for comment privledges anyway.

So, yeah, like I was saying at the top of the entry -- it's not all bad, really -- thanks to this entry, I was directed to the Killed by Death Records blog, which is chock-full of mp3s ripped from vintage punk, mod, and power pop 7-inches. Wow.
Bosque Brown's Mara Lee Miller on YouTube. Check out a smattering of videos from Ms. Miller's solo show earlier this month in Dallas wherein she played six new untitled songs, as well as some old favorites, including, below, "Fine Lines."

19 September 2006

Monday was a busy night in Austin. Actually, it was the kind of evening that makes you wonder what other cities have on our provinicial backwater burg ... until you remember all the other nights you really wish you were somewhere else. *ahem*

But really, can you imagine anywhere else (maybe besides the glam metros of the world) where a crowd of nearly 100 people gathered in our beloved high rent firetrap of a movie theater that serves beer and food to see Austin's very best nouveau no wave band (Cry Blood Apache) and watch a little picaresque film about French punk and no wave bands (La Brune et Moi)? (As well as the teaser reel from the in-progress French pop doco Bardot A Go Go...) Yeah, me neither. And then, not two blocks up and two over, there was a breathtaking performance from Joanna Newsom and Smog at the Parish. So yeah, we may complain, but sometimes, Austin is a really neat place. Smotheringly hot, horrifically isolated, woefully segregated, and full of people who can't drive for shit -- but neat nonetheless.

La Brune et Moi
related:

Edith Nylon -- Tank (found here)
Aretefact -- Mae
Mathematiques Modernes -- Disco Rough [Ian Smagghe edit]
Nini Raviolette -- Je-Suis Normale

(the preceding three tracks can be found on Tigersushi's great genre-spanning comp So Young But So Cold, Underground French Music 1977-1983)

In demand:

Cerrone -- Supernature (Danny Tengalia Radio Mix) (info)
Arthur Russell -- Springfield (DFA Mix) (info)
The Slits -- Number One Enemy (site)


Hand-plucked from the PR box:

White Rabbits. Produced by Chris Zane (Calla, Asobi Seksu, Les Savy Fav). New material indicates that the White Rabbits have exited the world of spaz-rock by exercising the following equation: ((The Walkmen + Calla)/The Band)^The Sadies = creaky, jangling postmodern bizzaro surf rock with secret dark corners and a kick ass rhythm section. Check out "Kid On My Shoulders" at their Myspace page.

UM, HELLO! SOMEONE NEEDS TO SEND ME A COPY OF THE WRENS' THE MEADOWLANDS ON VINYL LIKE, THREE MONTHS AGO. Thank you.


TONIGHT @ the beauty bar: paradise park presents pompeii and cassette and dj sets from kid indie. be there or be a very dull quadrilateral. FREE!!!

TOMORROW @ chain drive: Secret Weapons, Til We're Blue or Destroy, The Quicks, and dj sets from YR GIRLS IN THE DJ CAGE, The Rich Girls Are Weeping. Again, be there, or I'll be forced to call you a cone-butt. Or worse! FREE!!!

Things forgotten: Leisure Goth! Hipster Cazh! That would be how your hostesses dress on off nights -- this mode of dress usually involves ANYTHING BUT JEANS. We're protesting the jeans-and-camis look. No, really.

18 September 2006

Trendspotting. Or, I can't write a big entry today -- busy.

Clang-a-lang-shabang-a-alang. The upsurgence of the postmodern girl(esque) group. Take that, Pipettes.

The Affair -- Andy (site)
The Long Blondes -- Last Night On Northgate Street (site)
The Noisettes -- Malice in Wonderland (site)


(Relatedly, we missed The Like @ The Beauty Bar last night because of the rain. Additionally, the last three posts at Angels Twenty have been about The Shangri-Las' "Out In The Streets" and various covers.)

Franz Ferdinand redux: Killers remixes that are infinitely better than the original tracks.

The Killers -- When You Were Young (The Lindbergh Palace Radio Edit)


OMG, because I LOVE YOU PEOPLE, here's another go for you:

The Killers -- When You Were Young (The Lindbergh Palace Radio Edit)


ETA: That's it. Someone else will post it soon, I'm sure. Keep your eyes peeled!

And: HOW COULD I FORGET? Pls. go see Shearwater as they wrap up their tour, 'kay? They were in NYC over the weekend -- I sincerely hope you were there, yo, whilst we were melting during the I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness show. Anyway, Shearwater is in Salisbury, Maryland tonight and Washington DC tomorrow. You'd better be there.

Speaking of that show at the Beauty Bar: Hey dude with the 'stache and the Onitsuka Tiger shirt (real specific, huh?), were you checking me out? Or the gorgeous girl behind me (I didn't see her, but I assume she was a looker, because most of the women there were...). Do tell!

Oh, right! We thought The Black Dahlia was great. Sure it was mudddled, but wasn't the book? And the whole sad affair in general? Seriously. I seem to have revised my opinion of Hilary Swank. And yes, Cindy's Dream Casting, the one-two punch of Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart, worked extremely well. Additionaly, I think most of the bad reviews stem from the fact that no-one in our politically correct times is ready for the way people speak in James Ellroy's Los Angeles. Which is probably a lot how they spoke for reals in the 40's. Just sayin'.

Also: mp3 blogs get a Manolo. Ok, well, more like a dirty, foul-mouthed, and wonderful Gerard. Because if we can't laugh at ourselves and call a spade a spade -- what's the point, really?

And while we're on the topic: David Sylvian. Will. Always. Be. Hotter. Than. ALL. Of. You. Carry on!
As if the past few days haven't been exciting enough... Joanna Newsom and Smog are playing a last-minute show (apparently booked late Sunday night, if my MySpace bulletin inbox is anything to go by) at the Parish tonight.

From Jason at I Eat Records:

smog and joanna newsom are playing at the parish tonight, monday, september 18 (joanna rented a harp and will open with a set of her own). i helped book this show at the last minute (i literally got off the phone confirming it minutes ago), so we can use all the promotion help we can get -- please tell everyone you know, post it in your blogs, websites, myspace, etc. i also just got off the phone with allen from the austinist; they're giving away tickets to the show if you visit their website. doors will open around 9 or 9:30, and joanna will play around 10 or 10:30, with smog after her. tickets will be $10 -12, i think.

We were kind of planning to go see the screening of La Brune et Moi with a set from Cry Blood Apache at the Alamo, but now who knows what will happen! Decisions, decisions.

16 September 2006

"Takin' drugs and fuckin' bitches." At least that's what (one of) his tee-shirt(s) says. We knew it was coming: TRGAW pal and Shoot for the Stars and Kill Them auteur Conoco Kyle is forever immortalized at Last Night's Party, captured in action at...last night's party at FP.

Where were the ladies of TRGAW? Absorbing the hotter-than-hell (that's temperature, kids) atmosphere at the Stills show at Emo's. Were they worth the wait? Oh yeah. Was being home before midnight neato? Double yeah. If you'd had our last eight weeks or so, you'd have been home before midnight too...ACL or no ACL.

Tonight? I<3YBICD at Beauty Bar. Where else? The mission? Avoid Merlin Bronques at all cost.

15 September 2006

Friday Mix-a-Rama! TRGAW pal DJ Paul V at LA's Indie 103 has created a very special Smash Mix, in the tradition of his offering for Coachella, as a preview for the Austin City Limits Festival. If you can't be there, enjoy his taste of the action. (That Legion of Doom mashup makes both those songs palatable!)

DJ Paul V. - Smash Mix 076 / Austin City Limits Mix (9-15-06)
Flaming Lips vs. Massive Attack - Unfinished YeahYeahpathy (DJ Paul V. mashup)
Deadboy & The Elephantmen - Stop, I’m Already Dead
Muse - Starlight
The Dears - Hate Then Love
Gnarls Barkley vs. The Raconteurs - Crazy As She Goes (Legion Of Doom mashup)
Nada Surf - Always Love
The Stills - Still In Love Song
Brazilian Girls - Jique’
Wolf Parade - Shine A Light
Secret Machines - Lightning Blue Eyes
The Shins - Kissing The Lipless
Kings Of Leon - The Bucket
Gomez - Silence
Nickel Creek - Toxic (live)
The New Pornographers -The Electric Version
Ween - Push Th’ Little Daisies
TV On The Radio - Wolf Like Me


***

Or, if you just want to get down today, here's some remixes for you...

The Delays -- Valentine (Torch Team Remix)
Lazyfuzz -- Boucy Ball (Sympathy Tranny Remix by Block Party)
TV on the Radio -- Hours (El-P Remix)

DJ Sunderland -- Meeting Banksy (Cansei De Ser Sexy (CSS) - Meeting Paris Hilton VS Banksy + Danger Mouse - That's Hot)

14 September 2006

THE RICH GIRLS ARE WEEPING GUIDE TO ACL.

Will you see us in the park? Fuck no, but you might see us at the some of the afterparties. *cough* We're going soft goth vampiric for the weekend -- which is to say, we won't be out before dark. At all.

That being said, here's a handy guide with our (brief) unimpeachable opinions:

FRIDAY:

First of all, if you're getting to the park early tomorrow, check out one of the very first sets -- at 11:15 am, no less! -- from the adorable little jammy pop/emo band Bojones. Try not to be intimidated by the fact that they're like, 16 or something. RIYL Ben Kweller, Dashboard Confessional, Bright Eyes.

The Palm School Choir is one of Austin's best hidden secrets. These kids ROCK.

(Oh lordy, I CANNOT do the links for this now, please forgive me. I'll add 'em later. We wrote this really quickly, so...)

We think Del Castillo is totally fruity, but they're amazing to watch. This is performance with a capital P. Blues-influenced rock en Espanol featuring flagrant displays of machismo, Steven Tyler-style.

Asleep at the Wheel do the best Bob Wills covers ever. This is country, y'all.

Tristain Pettyman isn't your average delicate singer/songwritrix. She's got bite.

Okkervil River are among Austin's current brightest starlets. Prog-rock, country, emo, and blues in a blender...with a horn section, and possibly an accordion (did they get someone to sub for the Shearwater-touring Jonathan Meiburg? Let us know!)

When they can hold it together, The Dears are amazing. Think Morrissey / The Smiths ... only without the pomp, circumstance, and bouquets of gladiolii. The new record is pretty darn awesome; Murray Lightbourne's voice is really fucking sexy.

Some trendy band the kids love that's a mishmash of influences and may directly be responsible for an entire oft-imitated genre of indie rock ... or something? Hello, Wolf Parade.

Cat Power equals sultry vocals and notorious stage fright. Could be wonderful, or a total disaster. Accompanied by The Memphis Rhythm Band.

Hey kids, do you like your post-punk poppy? And a smidge political, but not annoyingly so? You're so set with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, then. TLRX have one of the most engaging shows in indie rock. If Ted hasn't been pushing his voice to hard, this will be great. Give our love to the band -- this is perhaps one of the only acts we're bummed to be missing.

Wicked sexy. Boy/girl vocals and catchy, smart pop songs about sex and death. Stars. Um, we like 'em!

Nickel Creek's breaking up, so catch them NOW. Bluegrass-tinged, earnest pop. Lovely.

Los Lonely Boys are the ultimate local boys done good. Fun, pretty blues rock (sometimes en Espanol) from San Angelo.

John Mayer is NOT Jessica Simpson's boyfriend anymore, apparently.

FRIDAY MISSES: The one-two-three punch of headliners The Tragically Hip, Sparklehorse, and Ray Lamontagne. That's the problem with festivals sometimes: washed up salwarts and that "sensitive" singer/songwriter who came out of NOWHERE are a big deal. Whatevs. Gnarls Barkley was interesting for about fifteen minutes in April. Stupid costumes abound. If Guster still has that guy who plays the bongos, then they're still the worst band ever. The Brazillian Girls are supposedly more interesting on their latest album, but we're still unimpressed.

NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION: Van Morrison.

SATURDAY

Amazing pop songs from jaded, jaded men -- welcome to
The Long Winters. Very Harry Nilsson / very (late) Beach Boys with heavy early 90s Britpop influence.

If you grew up on the Cure, Joy Division / New Order, and post punk like we did, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness probably work for you. Paul Barker (Ministry) produced their debut record. Poised for stardom in a big way.

TV on the Radio
offer best of Motown / Philly filtered through indie rock. Occasionally cold and angular with doo-wop breakdowns. (GodDAMN that cover of the Pixies' Mr. Grieves...!) If Katrina Ford is on the road with them, be prepared for some of the most powerful vocals ever.

What Made Milwaukee Famous
are the best little bar band out of Austin, and they're going to be famous. See them while they're still accessible. This is the "third coast" sound at its best -- not Cali-pop, not NYC angular, not Nashville twang. And yet, somehow, it's all that and more -- anchored by Michael's gorgeous voice.

Explosions in the Sky are Austin scene journeymen who make beautiful instrumental landscapes. Be ready for a wall of sound that is sort of like a pretty cloud. A really LOUD, pretty cloud. This is not as boring/lame as it sounds. They provided the score for Friday Night Lights (the movie, not the TV show). Their first record was released on September 11, 2001, and that's sort of been their legacy.

Phoenix and Nada Surf
are both HUGE in France. Earnest, sensible, catchy and inoffensive pop. Totally likable with great live shows. You'll be charmed.

Calexico are from Tucson, and they sound like the desert. Think Enio Morricone: dark, cinematic, but still sort of ... well ... country.

Extremely funky experimental grooves for shaking one's posterior. Oh, Ghostland Observatory! All analog, all the time. These guys don't let up ... ever.

The Secret Machines
are Texpats who currently live in NYC. Kind of prog-rock, kind of glam, and as Carson Kressley would say, "very downtown metrosexual."

Centro-matic offer inoffensive (in the best way possible) alt-country played by some really great local guys. Not terribly inventive or even all that interesting, but they're pleasant. Also in possession of a large, rabid fanbase, so be prepared for that.

Ben Kweller was once in a band from Dallas called Radish when he was like, 16 -- and they totally got worked over by the major labels. Now he's got a piano-pop solo career and a steadfast fan base. Sometimes works with Ben Folds and Ben Lee in The Bens, so that should give you a good idea of what he's going for.

The Shins -- huh, I think they did the Garden State soundtrack. Or something like that. I've also heard they might change your life.

SATURDAY MISSES: Aimee Mann's oeuvre is getting boring. Is it just me, or is she re-hashing the same five melodies? Iron and Wine is pretty, but the last time Cindy saw them, she fell asleep. May be good if you're exhausted from partying non-stop. We don't like The Raconteurs because their sound is lazy and messy, but they still have Jack White (White Stripes). WHO IS HOT. However, they also have the loathsome Brendan Benson. WHO IS NOT.

Needs no introduction: Willie Nelson, Massive Attack

SUNDAY

The Black Angels bring the dirty, dirty blues rock that isn't at all Southern...even though they're local. Another one poised to break out in a big way, they put on a hell of a live show.

Husky Rescue is one of those bands Cindy's pretty sure she liked before anyone except maybe some random Norwegians and the people at the BBC. Delicate, ornate electronic Scando-pop that's perfect for a Sunday afternoon, really.

The New Pornographers: Unhinged pop from the kings and queens of unhinged pop. Synergistic magic and an incendiary live show that's got one foot in the 70's variety show tradition, and the other in THE FUTURE where pop songs eat your brain.

The Stills are Montreal's finest, via NYC and back again -- think Neil Young meets The Velvets. Loose, jangly, and melancholy. We're STOKED to finally see them live.

SUNDAY MISSES: Anathallo make Sufjan Stevens-esque collective nerd rock for musical theater geeks. I still kind of find the conceit of their latest album vaguely offensive in an "Oh! The curiosity of the Orient!" kind of way. People like Jose Gonzales, mostly because he did a blissed out cover of The Knife's "Heartbeats." We think he's great in a Nick Drake kind of way, but perhaps not so thrilling live. Chilled-out naptime? Speaking of, just take your coffee break during Rocky Votolato. Yet another singer/songwriter type who's kind of indistinguishable from all the other singer/songwriter types at the festival. Son Volt are STILL TOGETHER? Hasn't someone killed alt.country yet? And if we hear that KT Tunstall song ONE MORE TIME, someone's gonna get hurt. Seriously.

NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Flaming Lips

***

Godspeed, Ann Richards. We'll miss you. Thanks for showing us how to be tough and sassy Texas ladies.

13 September 2006

It's rare that a press release in the inbox will move us to post, but a Cassettes Won't Listen remix of Asobi Seksu is totally the kind of thing we make an exception for. One of our absolute fave bands (some of the best packaging of 2006, one of the best SXSW showcases of 2006, etc. etc. etc.) gets the remix treatment from CWL (who seem to have a wonderfully astute sense of rhythm, more so than some other indie rock remix producers). They lift the song from the land of shoegazey pop and transform it into a dreamy, pulsing floor-filler ... and everyone's happy! Everyone else is probably posting this, but it's better to make sure you have it than have you miss out. Seriously.

Asobi Seksu -- Strawberries (Cassettes Won't Listen Remix)

BONUS: Asobi Seksu -- Strings (Glass Factory Remix)
The Return of Rue Chaptal. Thanks again to Andrea -- one of her old mixes was a lifesaver for us Monday night -- we thought we'd share it with y'alls. Tres sophistiqué! (I mean, yes, that's totally a Ladytron cover of that naughty Tweet song!)

Petula Clark -- Un Jeune Homme Bien
The Creatures -- Weathercade
The Dears -- Heartless Romantic
Black Box Recorder -- The Art of Driving
Throwing Muses -- The River
Edith Frost -- Evangeline
Rykarda Parasol -- Lullaby for Blacktail
Magnetic Fields -- Living in an Abandoned Firehouse With You
Toog -- Le Jugement
France Gall -- Laisse Tomber les Filles
Noir Desir -- Le Vent Nous Portera
Wire -- The 15th
PJ Harvey -- Kamikaze
Ladytron -- Oops (Oh My)
The Beatles -- Flying
Dominique A -- Le Travail
Stereolab -- Enivrez-Vous
His Name Is Alive -- Her Eyes Were Huge Things
Lali Puna -- Left Handed
Third Eye Foundation vs. Glanta -- When I Dance
Bows -- Man Fat
Lali Puna -- Left Handed (Dub)
Combustible Edison -- Carnival of Souls
I may be on the verge of losing all my credibility entirely. The new My Chemical Romance song, "Welcome To The Black Parade," which is completely unquantifiable in its bombast, is uh, completely, unrealistically wonderful. Queen? Sure. Meat Loaf? You betcha. Green Day and all its antecedents? Well, yeah. Anything composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber between 1977 and 1988? OH YES PLEASE GIVE ME MORE!

Stream "Welcome To The Black Parade" at its own very special website. (Thx to Brian and well, Pitchfork...)

12 September 2006

These three items may or may not be true:

This is the sexiest-sounding song I've heard in ... well, ages, really. Not too sure about the lyrics, though... Sorry to be the last person on this bandwagon, seriously. Everyone was telling me about this record, and for some reason, I just kept acting like I had no idea who Junior Boys were. Duh.

Junior Boys -- In The Morning
Junior Boys -- In The Morning (Alex Smoke remix)
Junior Boys -- Bellona


My neighbor is totally running away with one of the guys in Snow Patrol! For reals! (Or, that's the word on the street anyway...) I think she's already jetted off, all the plants are gone from her balcony. I'm kind of sorry I didn't get a chance to say goodbye. She was the best kind of neighbor -- hardly home, but she threw good parties, and it was always nice to run into her downtown...

Snow Patrol -- Crazy in Love (Beyoncé cover) [eta: it's the right version now!]
Snow Patrol -- Teenage Kicks (The Undertones cover)
Snow Patrol -- The Blower's Daughter (Damien Rice cover)


...oh, and apparently we missed Joanna Newsom playing keyboards at that Smog show @ the Cactus a while back. Gah! Additionally: Now that Mr. Callahan lives here in Austin, I know of at least four perfectly normal, sane women who are totally stalking him! Well -- he's totes stalkable, really!

Smog -- I Break Horses (Peel Session)
Things we are: exhausted, run-down, already tired of the Austin City Limits Festival mania. And it's only Tuesday. Well, maybe, at least, we'll get a chance to see The Stills in all this madness. That's a plus! BTW: Did you know that yesterday was the first time I'd missed a weekday post without being out of town or deathly ill in the entire time we've kept this blog? Yep. It's true. Anyway, we'll do some kind of snarky guide to ACL at some point this week. Until then, though, if you're coming into town (or live here) and are looking for some hott action on Thursday night, you should definitely check out Austinist's second annual edition of Local Music is Sexy. The bill is promising (IV Thieves, Brothers and Sisters, Loxsly, Till We're Blue or Destroy, Horse + Donkey), TRGAW pal Laurie Gallardo and mashup masters Car Stereo (Wars) are mc'ing and dj'ing, respectively -- and we'll finally have a chance to check out the new incarnation of the Caucus/Le Perv Privilege/Velvet Spade space, Mohawk. On top of that, apparently some big name bands crashed the party last year, so... You never know what will happen!

Things thought wilst listening to The Hold Steady's "Chips Ahoy" for the fifth time around (I do this everytime someone posts it again...), trying desperately to like it, because I liked the previous two Hold Steady albums and the Lifter Puller ones too: "Wait a minute. Why am I not listening to Bruce Springsteen's Greetings from Asbury Park? (And yes, I still think it's an incredibly poorly engineered track. And. Vagrant sent me THE TOTALLY AWFUL LEMONHEADS RECORD instead of Boys and Girls in America. It feels like a cruel joke -- and perhaps it is.) However, Craig Finn won me back a little with his charming contribution to Pitchfork's The Guest List. Because what's more adorable than the thought of CF devoted to Jens Lekman? So there's that, at least. (Speaking of, you've heard Jens' great end-of-summer mix, right?)

Meanwhile...

"I don't know why, but people are in here all the time buying used vinyl." We thought that was something that DJ Mel said to justify his existence as Waterloo's premier vinyl buyer, but it seems our favorite turntablist was right. Someone unloaded the largest 4AD collection either of us have ever seen outside of a record show (or Pinkie's apartment), and we became the guilty parties. Said collection was purchased virtually lock, stock, and barrel with the exception of repeats, things either of us already had, or releases from Heidi Berry and Lisa Germano. Ancillary items included Beggars Banquet pressings of Bauhaus, releases from Breathless and Cindytalk and self-released X-mal Deutschland (which is like, really, really, really good). The goods were good enough that we both speculate that there is more yet to hit the bins, if it wasn't alredy picked over by the time we arrived. The prize? Swallow's Blow, for which Pinkie has been on the lookout for over a decade. We left behind fairly obscure items in the 4AD vein that may require some research. No, Pinkie didn't take notes. She was too busy grabbing records! Anyway, we liked Swallow so very much (Pinkie: It's the quintessence of 4AD!" Me: "This is the most perfect song of all time!" -- said this about every single track on the record) that we thought we'd share a little with you... The band's main influences seem to be the Cocteau Twins, Brian Eno, and 60's girl groups, which may explain why we flipped out the way we did...

Swallow -- Lovesleep
Swallow -- Sugar Your Mind
Swallow -- Peekaboo


And finally: Geez, who wasn't at that Raconteurs show @ Prada? Us, I suppose. And probably you! We'll all get over it eventually. BTW, I know Mr. Christgau already poked at this beehive, but what exactly is the awful Brendan Benson doing in that band anyway? Seriously.

(Due to technical difficulties, our dj gig last night was kind of non-existent. If anyone wants to underwrite our purchase of our own turntables and a mixer, we might be your best friends for life. It's time we had our own, really... Luckily, the presence in the Pinkster's cd case of one of Andrea Warped Reality's famous mix CDs saved our collective shirts. Thx, lady! We might even post it later this week, it's really that good!)

09 September 2006

Please join us and End of An Ear on Monday evening...



Design inspiration: Peggy Zeitlin -- Spin Spider Spin on Fuzzy Felt Folk from Trunk Records.

08 September 2006

If there's one thing that bothers me, it's a crappy protest song. I'm not even a big fan of music in a purely politcal context -- though one can't discount the importance of say, gospel to the Civil Rights Movement, etc. Anyway, given the current state of the nation, it seems kind of odd that there's no truly political music infiltrating the mainstream. Then again, there's no draft affecting the main consumers of popular music, and both the war and the recording industry are two totally different creatures ca. 2006 than they were ca. 1966. At best, the most truly politically-tinged music around is the hiphop coming out of the dirty south in the post-Katrina diaspora.

So, remember that hideous thing that Conor Oberst tried to get us with a few years back, what was that even called? "The President Thinks Aloud" or something? Utterly awful.

But there was something about The Decemberists' "Sixteen Military Wives" last year -- it was the only truly coherent and memorable track on Picaresque, if for nothing else but its clever metaphors and delicate skewering of ... well, everyone who thinks they have something valid to say about politics. It was vaguely satisfying to have a pseudo-protest song that wasn't preachy and kind of snarky and had that gosh-darn twee Wes Anderson-esque video. Unfortunately, it was completely without any closure, so that was problematic. But it seemed to get some people thinking, maybe?

More people than say, Green Day's American Idiot did. For a time, it seemed like that album was perfectly poised to cause some kind of response among the youth of America, but all those kids are listening to AFI now, Saint Jimmy forgotten. Oh well.

So, where does that leave us? Hopefully, in the loving embrace of one Will Robinson Sheff, frontman of Okkervil River. I was told by an associate of his that Will's new songs were so very good that they were surely poised to make him famous. From what I've heard, I think I agree. The funny thing is, this song didn't do anything for me when I heard it a few weeks ago at the Carousel. It kind of sank like a stone, but maybe it was because it was so bloody hot in there. Taken from the Australian-only tour EP (Okkervil's currently touring Australia and New Zealand as we speak -- be careful boys!), Overboard and Down, "The President's Dead," isn't a scary screed or an empty pipe dream, but a window into a life in past tense: yours, mine, Mr. Sheff's. And suddenly it all comes clear: Five years after the fact, we're far too insular for protest songs now.

Okkervil River -- The President's Dead
Okkervil River -- O, Dana (Big Star cover)
Bonus: Okkervil River -- It Ends With a Fall


Don't worry, the tracks off this tour-only EP will be available in the US on a set of different releases later this year, according to the Okkervil River message board.

07 September 2006

Tiny tidbits.

"You want to make something real. You want to make a Yaz record." Please excuse me whilst I go through my latest phase...

Yaz -- Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)

...And then there's the day you find another person with even more exquisite, more little-c-catholic taste than your own: lovefingers.org

I'll always love Bob Mould. His new project, Blowoff (oh, gosh...) is well, exactly what the world needs right now -- disaffected yet unpretentious thumpy-house dance-pop. No kidding. (Thx, Eric Marathonpacks -- check out "Saturday Night All The Time" @ his blog...) Blowoff plays the Folsom Street Fair September 24. Do with that information what you will, uh, leather fans...

Husker Du -- Celebrated Summer
Sugar -- Come Around


We forgot to mention our rapidly-ascending pals, The Hourly Radio, put out the hard copy (it had previously been available on iTunes only for the past few months) of their album, History Doesn't Hold Me, this week. (Congrats, guys!!) They're playing Houston tonight, Dallas Saturday. We'll try not to take it too personally that Austin isn't on that itinerary...

The Hourly Radio -- Crime Does Pay (repost)
The "Best use of a green screen" in a video award goes to ... The Grates (top) or Scissor Sisters (bottom)? It's kind of a toss-up; it's all adorable. I aspire to uh, shake the tambourine as well as Ana Matronic. Yeah.



The Grates "Silence Is Golden"



Scissor Sisters "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'"
Jungle Julia explained. If you've driven around South Austin lately, especially on South Congress, you might be wondering "Who the heck is Jungle Julia?" -- the fetching young lady who graces at least 5 billboards, all advertising her radio shows. Pinkie and I posited that she might be some kind of viral marketing campaign, but we were so wrong. As always, it's Quentin Tarantino's fault... Well, Mr. Rodriguez is kinda culpable too.

Harvee -- Hiding Julia (site)
Pit Er Pat -- I Am The Jungle
(site)

06 September 2006

It's been a tough day at TRGAW central. We're kind of stressed out. So we offer the following:

The best blog entry in ages: We love the peeps at WFMU, they keep track of bizzaro music so we don't have to. Case in point, the best collection of rip-off tracks ever. It's a contest, name the rip-offed artist, win prizes! I'm particularly fond of the all the Joy Division/Bauhaus/Siouxie imitators; you think we have it bad now with the retro revival! Just be glad this isn't the 80's my friends, when these kinds of bands sprang up like weeds everywhere -- not unlike today's Radiohead Replicas issue. Anyway, you'll never tell us that Interpol sounds exactly like Joy Division ever again after you hear the fantastically wonderfully derivative Primitive Romance. Seriously. I mean, now, THEY sound exactly like Joy Division.

One of the most beautiful songs I've heard in months:

Marissa Nadler -- Diamond Heart (site)

One of the most wonderfully bizzare songs I've heard in months:

Envelopes -- Put On Hold
(site)

What David Sylvian's been up to (with Steve Jansen and Burnt Friedman): Nine Horses. It's dark, and jazzy, and both extremely minimal and strangely lush. But would you expect anything less from the very grown-up former members of Japan? And, not unlike that project's hallmark, Nine Horses seems light years ahead of every current trend, around some curve off in the distant horizon.

Nine Horses -- Wonderful World
Nine Horses -- When Monday Comes Around
Japan -- Night Porter


And, well, because you never thought this would exist: Shake and/or bounce yr. bootay to the remixed strains of The Boy Least Likely To (!?!?!?).

The Boy Least Likely To -- Monsters (Armand Van Helden Dub Mix)
Candy <3's The Thermals. Remember that time we went to see The Thermals, and I was like, the oldest person there? Kind of like that time going to see The Weakerthans made me feel utterly geriatric. Anywho, The Thermals' new album, the body, the blood, the machine, is a grower; didn't like it much at first, but I'm catching on finally. Is it bad that this video helped? It's got so many cameos of PACNW peeps, just like that Decemberists video of yore. Extra points if you can name everyone -- not just Emo's Indie's The Major Labels' Ben Gibbard Colin Meloy. (see comments)



The Thermals -- I Know The Pattern (from More Parts Per Million)
The Thermals -- A Stare Like Yours (from Fuckin' A)

05 September 2006

(Maybe I'll make this a regular feature or something...)

Candy's Complaint:

Check out Teitur's cover of "Great Balls of Fire" (2006) on his Myspace page. Compare and contrast with M. Ward's cover of "Let's Dance." (2003) Discuss.


Candy's Compliment:

This, friends, is what podcasting is TOTALLY for. The Jarvcast. Uh huh. Jarvis Cocker reads Icelandic folktales (which are as curious as you might expect) and discusses other items, just for you. *sigh* (via Fabulist!)

ps: I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness is on tour with ... She Wants Revenge. How deliciously bizzare! They're doing a little circuit around the middle of the country, starting in NOLA tomorrow.

09/06/06 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
09/07/06 Memphis, TN - The Complex
09/08/06 Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
09/09/06 Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
09/10/06 Nashville, TN - Exit / In
09/11/06 Bloomington, IN - Landlocked Music
09/12/06 Cincinnati, OH - Bogart's
09/13/06 Detroit, MI - St. Andrews Hall
09/14/06 Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
09/16/06 Austiin, TX - Austin City Limits Festival
Fall has arrived in Austin. Sorta. We imagine there's still a few hot days ahead, but the quality of the light in the afternoons has changed; it's cool and raining today. Quite a switch from the oppressive heat of August. And, the college kids are back too, so shows are hoppin' again, which is always nice as well.

We really can't express how great Snowden are live. I know they've been given the blog love for ages now -- and we haven't loved them quite as long as the kids at Resonator, but we were mightily impressed during their set Friday night. The three ridiculously, egregiously bad local bands on the bill were politely handed their hats by the Atlanta foursome. It's unlikely that things have rocked quite that hard, and in quite that fashion at the Continental -- a venue better known as a place to see rockabilly and renegade country acts -- since probably ... well, ever. Pedal steel virtuouso and TRGAW SXSW pal Chris Scruggs had played the night before; Monday, the chalkboard schedule informed us, had hosted 'The Return of Dale Watson" -- too bad we missed both those shows, actually. Anyway, Snowden are on tour for the rest of the month -- they're hitting the west coast before looping back around to hit NYC (playing the Merc with another TRGAW fave, Favourite Sons). We can't recommend them more highly, do see them if they pass through your neck of the woods.

Snowden -- Black Eyes
(from Anti-Anti)
Snowden -- Victim Card (from The Snowden EP)

The winners of the Astmatic Kitty Reshape & Resize Shapes & Sizes remix contest, for which we were a judge, were announced today. If I'm not mistaken, the track I liked best is one of the runners up -- though, apparently I botched the voting procedure AND somehow managed not to hear the winner -- a jaunty disco house concoction that we definitely would have voted for -- so...yeah. Well, we have been a bit distracted and busy lately, our bad. The winners are all great, actually -- check 'em out. I wish that labels and bands would do this kind of thing more often.

And yes, we questioned XL's signing of Tapes n' Tapes, often. "WTF," we said? "Are you serious? What are they thinking?" But it all came to clear to me when I saw the video for the first single, "Cowbell." T'n'T (or as they're fondly known at TRGAW, Tapas y Tapas) have more sorta mainstream-friendly potential than I might have immediately realized. Just goes to show we shouldn't question the business decisions of any Beggars Group division, huh?

We have the week off of our DJ duties at the Chain Drive; guesting in the cage is the Aus.Chron's own DJ Cut-A-Bitch; on the bill: Druggist, Shoot for the Stars and Kill Them (yay!), and Night Viking. We'll be there, naturally. Come hang out and have a coke with us.

Bonus:
Mystery Jets -- The Boy Who Ran Away (A rollicking romp...)
Goldfrapp -- Boys Will Be Boys (La Goldfrapp channels Lotte Lenya... and Ute Lemperer. And Lily Marlene.)
Antony and the Johnsons -- For Today I Am A Boy (One for the hankies.)
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