The Rich Girls Are Weeping: March 2006

31 March 2006

We love you. And we love The Hourly Radio. We've posted a nice entry about them over at, but we know this is where people come for the sample tuneage (and uh, this is the blog that's on all the aggregators), so the actual tracks are living over here; the flowery text is over on the pink and black site.

From their ep, The Lure of the Underground:

The Hourly Radio -- First Love Is Forever
The Hourly Radio -- Lost + Found

And from their forthcoming album, History Will Never Hold Me (due out in April):

The Hourly Radio -- Not A Victim

And don't forget to check out iTunes Music Store for more, if you like what you hear here. In keeping with the Friday danceability theme, it really is kind of imperative that you download "Crime Does Pay" -- I challenge you not to dance to it!
Dance. Dance! Right now! You probably don't care, but guess what? The Maytag/Whirlpool merger closed, so like, that's what I'm up to today. (I also had to move desks -- thrilling.)

You, however, should be dancing (dancing! dancing!), though. Seriously -- all extremely lame Bee Gees references aside -- get moving.

Have a good weekend -- we'll be back shortly with some lovely, lovely tracks from The Hourly Radio; we know you're looking for them (seriously, the referral logs tell all) and we want to be of assistance.

Delia Gonzales and Gavin Rossom -- #5
Diamond Nights -- The Girl's Attractive (Glimmers' Extended Mix)
April March -- Chick Habit
The Only Ones -- Another Girl, Another Planet

(Randomly, if you're looking for a knitted easter egg pattern, which I know you are, this one is really adorable. Next week (by which I mean the week after that...I'm all discombobulated...) is all about cascarones and the annual living room production of Jesus Christ Superstar, kids. Get ready!)

30 March 2006

I've been in meetings, so here's just a quick post for you. I'm totally enamored of the new Ms. John Soda album, Notes and the like. It seemed a long time coming -- has it really been 4 years since No P. or D. was released? I suppose so.

I can't agree with this P-fork review that slams the album for being the same old same old lap-pop; there's some interesting things going on here. For instance, one of Ms. John Soda's signature elements -- the persistent and vaguely ominous (or are they vaguely uplifting?) melodic basslines swimming underneath the glitchy experimental noise action and Stefanie Bohm's sweet and weary voice keeps the album from slipping into the monotony that so often befalls your basic lego-block electropop. There's even stringed instruments floating about in a number of the songs, tipping the whole album more toward the organic end of things, rather than the sterile and distant.

In the end, it's kind of nice to know that moody, acoustic-flavored, and slightly difficult electropop is still available via the Morr Music crowd -- I'm not really ready to consider the genre dead and buried yet, are you?

Ms. John Soda -- Scan the ways
Ms. John Soda -- Line by line

29 March 2006

Two small afternoon items:

Thing one: I missed Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins at the Parish last night. I meant to set up an interview. I never did. I meant to get on the list. I never did. I was too busy with SXSW and then in NYC and then too tired from the trip. I kind of feel like a tool. Then again, I'm kind of glad I stayed in last night -- I'm really tired, work is kind of stressful these days. I may write more on this whole incident later.

Thing two: Pinkie and I totally need to guest-star in the inevitable Law and Order ripped-from-the-headlines adaptaion of this news item, as the sassy out-of-town music bloggers who attend four underground dance parties in one night and hold an important clue but don't realize it! I would prefer to be questioned by Belzer, please -- and cross-examined by B.D Wong, if possible. I guess that makes this an SVU episode, huh? Obvs, it needs to involve the grisly, possibly drug or prostitiution-ring related murder of a sweet Parsons student who likes to go to shows at the Bowery and shops at Etherea. Or something like that.

The Walkmen -- Little House Of Savages

Oh! Item 2.5: I'm doing some serious thinking about how the best mashup is a queer mashup. Discuss?

Last one, I swear. Item 2.75: The Indietits on Pavement Hack Bands. (Via the always charming 5500.) Glad we're not the only people who think this way -- and of course, the tits would agree with us. (Also, it's great when the tufted titmice (mouses?) mock Cedric & Omar -- just like me & Pinkie do! Har.)
I just got an email from my ex-fiancé, it's the first time I've heard from him in several months. I do not want to hear from him. Or think about him -- and naturally, this has put me in an off-kilter mood. Additionally, my horroscope (no, really!) for today warns me against getting in situations where I might befall physical violence (no, really!). So, I'm also kind of creeped out by that as well.

In other news, we heard the other day that Steve Lamacq played local faves The Arm on his show, post-SXSW, as selected by KCRW's Nic Harcourt ... Here's a new track; I'm very much looking forward to the new album.

The Arm -- The Privileged Few

There's an alternate mix of Spoon's "The Beast and Dragon Adored" floating around; I love it for the even more sparse and stripped down production (I'm always interested to see how far they can pare things down...) and for Britt's yelped "ALL RIGHT!"s and "YEAH!"s -- one of the things we love best about Spoon songs are Mr. Daniel's random injections of exclamatory rock and roll joy.

Spoon -- The Beast and Dragon Adored (alternate version) [via Bows + Arrows]

My new favorite song of this week is The Stills' "Love and Death" (from Logic Will Break Your Heart); I seem to have fallen hard and fast for this band -- I didn't know much of them before Pinkie made me listen to Logic during Southby. The chorus of "Love and Death" is exceedingly striking; I thought I was the only one who felt that way, you know? It's nice to know you're not alone sometimes -- and not to be too cheezeball, but that's what a good pop song is all about.

The Stills -- Love and Death

And what the hell, just because it's so ridiculous and emo and shhh! don't tell, but I totally love this song:

The String Quartet Tribute to My Chemical Romance -- I'm Not Okay (I Promise)

Also, is it just me, or are the arrangements on these string quartet tribute albums the most heavy-handed and plodding of all time?

28 March 2006

Do this thing with me instead of tying on a tight one tonight -- or a brief message to our dear readers:

We all love free things. Everyone does, especially when it comes to new music. For a lot of us, a love of music is an expensive, nasty habit -- and the mp3 blog is like the methadone we need to keep our monthly budgets under control.

Opponents of the digital distribution of music (legal or otherwise), be they record executives or audiophiles, always fall back on the same old line that that the mp3 just isn't the same quality as an actual hard copy of the music that you'd purchase in a record store or other retailer -- be that a CD or vinyl, due to the compression of music files such as mp3s or AACs or m4as.

This isn't bullshit, it's completely true. Even the files you're paying a dollar a pop for at the iTunes music store aren't anywhere near a comparable quality either (though I'm sure there are people who will tell me I'm wrong, or wrong for questioning Apple's obviously successful business practices, but I digress...). If we were all listening to FLACs or other lossless files, I'd be telling you a different story here.

Anyway, my point here is that generally, most music isn't of the depth or quality for there to really be a need to hear the hard copy versus an mp3 -- if anything, that's the one lesson the mp3 blog has taught us!

However, with that being said, I finally picked up a hard copy of the new Neko Case album, The Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, last night after listening to mp3s for the past few months.

The sheer bulk of extraneous sounds and luscious texture that I was hearing for the first time was so overwhelming that it literally drove me to tears (there we go, crying again -- never say we didn't name this blog accurately -- well, we aren't rich, and nor are we the upper class feminists Eno was parodying in his song, but I digress...).

I can't encourage you more strongly to pick this album up, everyone involved needs your support, as well as your hard-earned cash -- and besides, I haven't even begun to discuss the gorgeous liner notes which are themselves an objet d'art -- with illustrations by Julie Morstad and collage/assemblage by Neko -- that merits serious long-term perusal and admiration.

That's all, I just needed to get that off my chest. Thanks for (and keep) reading our little words here and sampling the music that we think you might like. But, most importantly -- keep supporting the musicians whose art you love.
Here's how the story goes... Wow, so Pinkie von Bloom and I spent a whirlwind 48 hours in NYC over the weekend and had a great time. Sorry if I didn't call you, it literally was 48 hours, 8 of which were spent sleeping and 5 of which were spent in transit to and from JFK; we'll be back in a few weeks, though so we'll talk then, yeah?

[I've chopped down this entry to make way for the "official" recap of the weekend over at DFG that will be written tonight. Here's a quick rundown of the activities: saw our friends What Made Milwaukee Famous at Southpaw (so amusing/confusing/awesome to see them somewhere other than Emo's!) and The Hourly Radio at Tiswas/the Arctic Monkeys afterparty at splashy, overcrowded hotspot The Annex on Saturday (yes, that's a show in Brooklyn and one on the Lower East Side on the same night from Texas bands near and dear to our hearts); Stellastarr* at Bowery Ballroom and drinks and doings at Black and White on Sunday...]

We made it back okay yesterday afternoon, but now Austin is experiencing a flood of biblical proportions. My power went out this morning, so the new stuff I wanted to post for you guys just kind of disappeared into the aether. As a bonus, my street was flooded and it took me forever to get to work and I'm soaked to the bone, even though I had an umbrella. Ahh, spring.

I need something cheeful to listen to today, or something -- to chase this gloom away; it's so dreadfully grey and damp. I've got my Harry Nilsson playlist going; here's two for you from his 1969 album Harry -- I'm being all ironic and overly amusing regarding the weather and my travels and all.

Harry Nilsson -- Rainmaker
Harry Nilsson -- I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City

24 March 2006

Extremely quick post. You know, so I'm not late for work. The Editors cover The Gorillaz' "Feel Good, Inc." -- it reminds me of ... America's "Horse With No Name." Seriously. From Radio One, March 13, 2006 with Jo Whiley.

The Editors -- Feel Good, Inc. (live)

(Oh, bother -- they don't use the preposition er, article, do they? Just...Editors then. Of course, I can't change it now or it'll muck up the RSS feeds.)

23 March 2006

Can my at-bat music be The Double's "Idiocy"? Pretty please? This item totally deserves a post of its own. Matador Records has licensed a wee little chunklet of their catalog to Take 2 Interactive for use in Major League Baseball 2k6, including:
* Belle and Sebastian - To Be Myself Completely and Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie
* Cornelius - Drop and Count Five Or Six
* Early Man - Closing In (The Medley)
* Interpol - Evil
* Mogwai - Hunted By A Freak
* Pavement - Serpentine Pad
* Preston School of Industry - Line It Up
* Pretty Girls Make Graves - The Grandmother Wolf
* Stephen Malkmus - Loud Cloud Crowd
* The Double - Icy and Idiocy
* Yo La Tengo - Today Is The Day
Please tell me you find this as amusing as I do. Also, this quote, from sports fan and fancy dancer Mr. Gerard Cosloy, is choice:
"We are pleased to license a wide range of songs from Matador artists for the 2K Sports Major League Baseball 2K6 video game," said Matador co-founder Gerard Cosloy. "Given that our roster is filled with avid gamers and baseball fans, this was a natural fit."
Ok, raise your hands. We know that certain members of Interpol, at least, are fans of the batting cage and the Playstation 2; I hear Chan Marshall prefers EA Sports titles, and I bet Malkmus is killer in the outfield. (I kid, I kid...) But: Are you a fan of Matador artists and baseball and video games? Enquiring minds want to know.

The Double -- Idiocy
I'm horrible with time management. Well, maybe not super-horrible, because I do get things done, but I could be better at it. I'm always looking for suggestions for tactics that work, so if you have any pointers, I'm all ears. For all my effectiveness, I spend a lot of time spinning my wheels and wasting time, and I really need to stop doing that. Seriously.

Around this time last year -- well, actually it was in early March 2005, before SXSW, I was in London for about ten days. I planned to go to only one show whilst I was there -- Ted Leo and The Pharmacists and Help She Can't Swim at The Garage. The morning of the date in question, I woke up at 7am to a searing allergy attack (I guess it was from the mold -- I'm so dreadfully allergic to everything...) and a snowstorm outside. The neighborhood outlet of Boots didn't open until 9am, so I trundled around in the snow, sniffling and sneezing, watching parents drop their children off at creches and little old ladies to their morning shopping. When the Boots finally opened, I dithered for about 30 minutes over the selection of decongestants; I'd forgotten that over-the-counter drugs are marketed under different names abroad. I was very excited to buy something with paracetamol in it, only to be told upon my return to the house that that's just the UK name for Tylenol. Such a letdown! Anyway, after some quality time with a kleenex steeped in Olbas oil (man, that stuff works!) draped over my offending nose, I got to feeling better, but ended up having to skip the show because I wasn't at 100% -- I was closer to 75%, truth be told. I was totally bummed about that because I'd emailed Ted telling him I'd be there, and I do so hate to let people down. I was also grumpy about missing Help She Can't Swim -- I was really looking forward to taking in their screamy, cacophonous dance-punk in person as they hadn't, at that point, ever played in the US. (And even now, I'm not sure they ever have...)

The reason I'm telling you this story is that Help She Can't Swim has a new 7", Midnight Garden, out in the UK now and full-length album on the way later this year.

Help She Can't Swim -- Midnight Garden

Speaking of 7" releases, in anticipation of the new Final Fantasy album also due out later this year from Tomlab (which is, btw, home of another TRGAW fave and one-man band, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone), Owen Pallett (he is Final Fantasy) has released a limited 7" (500 copies), Young Canadian Mothers, with new versions of "This Is The Dream of Win & Regine," now titled "This Is The Dream Of Emma & Cam," and "The Sea," now titled "The Sea (Tenderizer)." The wee platter also includes "Spell For A Weak Heart" and that brilliant cover of Joanna Newsom's "Peach, Plum, Pear."

Final Fantasy -- This Is The Dream Of Emma & Cam
Final Fantasy -- Spell For A Weak Heart

Bonus: Final Fantasy -- "Illusion Song" (live)

(I Guess I'm Floating also posted these tracks today, that's what I get for not checking to see if anyone else had posted them! To make that up to you, here's "The Sea (Tenderizer)" for you as well.

22 March 2006

One of the perils of SXSW, being in the spring and all, is the potential for a post-party, gigantic allergy attack. You're exhausted, the trees are blooming and pollenating everywhere, and BANG! -- you're sick. That's where I am now. I'm feeling somewhat better than I did yesterday, when the prospect of sorting through the (literally) 1,000 emails that arrived at my work account whilst I was out having a good time seemed hell on earth.

Today I'm pondering what I think about the new albums from Built to Spill (one of their least annoying efforts in the past few years), The Church, The Submarines, and a few others.

I first heard about The Submarines from a friend who works at a well-known indie label after she heard their demo; they didn't sign with her employer, but with Nettwerk instead, which seems a better fit. The Submarines are pretty innocuous and sweet, for all that the songs on the album are about a messy breakup (though recording the album together led them to tie the knot, quel heartwarming); Declare a New State seems to succeed in some ways where the new offering from Mates of State, Bring It Back fails for me. (The comparison is inevitable, sadly -- even outside the superficial similarities.) MOS' Kori and Jason really shouldn't try to sing; I hate to be all crumudgeonly, but I liked it better when they were all about the hollerin' in unison and the funky harmonies and all harsh aggravation and angry chords (as on Team Boo, Our Constant Concern, and My Solo Project). Bring it Back's lead single "Fraud in the 80's" preserves some of that, but the rest of the album is, in my opinion, a little overambitious and really drags when things get prettified. However, I seem to be the only person that feels this way -- the prevailing opinion among friends and other music bloggers is that Mates of States' new direction works, but I really can't agree.

The Submarines -- Peace and Hate
Mates of State -- Fraud in the 80's
Mates of State -- The Kissaway

On a wholly unrelated note, here's a song I've meant to post for a few days, since before SXSW, when I wrote about Martha Wainwright for See You In the Pit -- it's Rufus Wainwright's version of the Gershwin standard "I'll Build A Stairway to Paradise" (which appeared in one of my favorite Gene Kelly pictures, An American In Paris) from The Aviator soundtrack (you know, the best part of that film outside of Jude Law's appearance as Errol Flynn).

Rufus Wainwright -- I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise

Now then, will someone come do my work for me, so that I can get some sleep? That would be grand.

21 March 2006

Easily one of the best acts we (sort of) saw at SXSW06 was Lavender Diamond. We had friends in the crowd but we missed them; if we'd been thinking more sharply, we might spotted them and stayed for the whole set. Which was, by their accounts, really amazing.

Here's hoping Miss Becky Stark, her ruby throat, and her backing trio (quartet? I can't recall...) will return to Austin soon; please come see us again!

You can download two tracks from her first EP, The Cavalry of Light, released in 2005, at the Lavender Diamond website. The four songs on the EP are full of guarded, quivering longing and loss that sound like a cross between a lost Edwardian parlour song (like the kind you'd stumble across a reference to in an EM Forster novel) and clear, clarion-voiced simplicity of folkies like Judee Sill and Joan Baez with a dash of 70's AM gold-pop (touchpoint: The Carpenters) for good measure. The result is very Los Angeles yet still delightfully transcendant and luminous, much like Stark's appearance in performance. On Friday, she was wearing what appeared to be a gorgeous lavender (natch) chiffon vintage gown that made her appear as like a very young Peggy Lee circa 1941 fronting the Benny Goodman Orchestra: Winsome but wise beyond her years.

Lavender Diamond -- You Broke My Heart
Lavender Diamond -- Rise In the Springtime

There's also a track from her solo album available too, "Why oh why."

15 March 2006

I'd like to thank my team of stylists... Yours truly was plucked from the madding crowd to be profiled by USA Today's Whitney Matheson, quite an honor. I've realized that this is the one project that I don't have business cards for, save for the flyer, so I couldn't tell Ms. Matheson about it specifically. Oh well.

So, this is it, y'all. I'll be out and about for the next four days; I'll try and post, but I can't make any guarantees. I do promise to write about any new bands I see that totally blow my socks off, though. Tonight, it's THE PARTY (be there or be EXTREMELY SQUARE) and then I'm most looking forward to catching as many sets of local friends as possible (The Arm, Cue, Midori Umi, Maneja Beto, among others) and hitting New Sense's private showcase at 10:45.

And now, an inspirational hymn:

Electric Six -- Rock Show (Peaches cover) [or, as I like to call it, the MORE COWBELL! version]

14 March 2006

Just checking in. I'm hanging in there, but doing double duty over at SXSW Interactive and Film panels as a blogger and indie documentary film producer. However, I've learned that I'm not a blogger but a "citizen journalist" -- but what if I'm also a professional writer? I'm confused, totes.

I've met some super nice people: George and Jason; the boys from Indiewire and David from Green Cine Daily; the producers of Darkon; and John Sayles (!!!!!), and insulted a few famous people already. Er, that was David Cross, wasn't it...?

I'm crushing hardcore on the entirety of the Marit Larsen album. This little Scando-pop/country ditty has captured my heart; she really is a cross between Jenny Lewis and Joni Mitchell vocally, it's sweet.

Marit Larsen - Only a Fool

(also, our wee little facelift is complete, you like?)

10 March 2006

Already sunburned -- no really; it was 90 degrees today and I did have lunch outside. I didn't go into work today, just ran errands (shoes, dry cleaning, printers, lunch date) and went down to the convention center to get my SXSW stuff. There's not a whole lot of people here yet, but downtown is already rife with lost-looking people, it's only going to get more crowded from here on out. So, off to start my weekend with a haircut, dinner, and laundry. Yup, it's official, the insanity has begun! (Hah.) But at least I can grab free beverages and chair massages in the platinum badge holder's lounge at the convention center. Uh huh, all right!

So, here's some weekend music for you, some from people I'm totally planning to see at when the music part of SXSW starts up next week.

Art Brut -- Good Weekend

I can't say enough good things about this song. Art Brut = genius. Really.

Crystal Skulls -- Hard Party (Remix)

This is massively dirty, which means I totally love it. There's something about the jazzy syncopation of the Crystal Skulls' music that really grabs me.

The Twilight Singers -- Forty Dollars

Major props to Greg Dulli for recording and finishing the latest Twilight Singers album, Powder Burns, in New Orleans; this song is a pomo pastiche of love song hooks about ... hookers. Very Bellocq of him. Or something.

09 March 2006

I'm Totally Blogging This When I Get Home

Presented by,,, and

Wednesday, 15 March 2006
5 to 8 PM
The Lair Upstairs

5PM * Charles Bissell of The Wrens (Teaneck, NJ, Absolutely Kosher Records)
6PM * The Hourly Radio (Dallas, TX, Kirtland Records)
7PM * Pompeii (Austin, TX, Eyeball Records)

The Lair Upstairs is at 300 E. 6th St, above the Ivory Cat Tavern, at 6th St and San Jacinto, Austin, Texas (naturally).

See you at South-by!


Cindy Hotpoint & Pinky Von Bloom

08 March 2006

There's no more canaries in the mines. I've had this really fantastic record for like, a month. I was sworn not to share it on the internet -- and I haven't. But it was starting to drive me batty.

And so: For the love of all that's holy, check out the first preview track, "Seventy-four, Seventy-five" (not to be confused with The Connells song) from the new Shearwater album, Palo Santo, due out May 9th.

Go! Now. NOW. Hurry. Its brilliance is burning a hole in the Misra server.

The whole record is just as intense and strange and beautiful. You'll just have to believe me on this one, because I'm still sworn not to share it.
Jingle jangle. I think I've mentioned this before, I think. I love sleighbells. I was just minding my own business, trying to figure out the new executive structure at Six Flags and listening to New Order's "Regret" and for a few seconds, there was the lovely clamor of sleighbells at the 2:54 mark for about ... 5 measures.

New Order -- Regret

Is it just me, or does a little tidbit of a moment in a song like that totally crystallize its perfection? I have another example of that, but it's really embarassing -- it's on a Wrens song, naturally. Here's one that's less so, sort of -- the tiny counterpunctual skritch-tink of the cymbal on Interpol's "NYC;" it always makes me think of the sound the traffic lights make when they change if you're standing close enough to the switcher, or the orderly ting of the bell for requested stops on a crosstown bus. So, now that I've burdened you with that sentimental claptrap, you must tell me your favorites. (And no, mentioning New Order and the I-word in the same post was totally conincidental, I swear.)

Interpol -- NYC

I kind of have a crush on a miscellaneous percussion in general these days, since the Maneja Beto show last week; I profiled them for See You in the Pit yesterday, and they're getting all kinds of buzz from people slogging through the SXSW bittorrent, which is rad -- they're one of the best live bands, one of the best bands period, in Austin right now.

Maneja Beto -- Cuidadano

07 March 2006

They hit the road in a small, small vehicle and they stayed on tour for seven consecutive months, give or take, give or take a couple of months. The flyers are almost done and the lineup is almost set for the SXSW day party that we're throwing on Wednesday the 15th from 5-8pm (at The Lair Upstairs, 300 E. 6th Street) with, and -- you'll have all the deets soon enough (and the preliminary details were posted yesterday in a few places...); it's gonna be a grand time -- so if you'll be in town, pencil us in!

I'm also so busy at work, it's not even funny. I've been working on the financials of a giant health insurance company for days, and I can't get the numbers to add up. So frustrating. So, this is the time of year that I just load the giant playlist that's all my super-favorite Mountain Goats songs (you know, approx. 1/5 of the entire back catalog) and hunker down. And inevitably I find a few forgotten gems, and it's always especially fun to unearth the cover versions, both by The Mountain Goats and Of The Mountain Goats lurking about on my hard drive.

Beulah -- Alpha Incipiens
The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers -- Against Pollution (live)

The Mountain Goats -- The Boys Are Back In Town [with Remix To Ignition breakdown] (live)
(this may be just about the best thing ever)
The Mountain Goats -- The Sign (live)
(sorry for the really bad quality)
The Mountain Goats -- Terror Song (live)
(that hollerin' girl always makes my day)
The Mountain Goats -- Tell Me On a Sunday
(I've always wished Mr. Darnielle would do another Andrew Lloyd Weber cover -- maybe "Love Changes Everything" or something)

06 March 2006

Wow, may I recommend not planning a SXSW day party? Oh, you know -- I kid, I kid. It's not that bad. I'll just be over here in the corner, rocking and crying and hoping everything turns out okay! [ETA: Things are actually looking much better now, a few hours after this was written. Yay!]

In other more infinitely interesting news, Neko Case will be on The Tonight Show March 9, 2006, backed by her current touring band: Spectacular bassist Tom Ray, steel guitar maestro Jon Rauhouse, charming axeman and sharp dresser Paul Rigby, sassy drummer Jason Creps (of Low Skies), Rachel Flotard (of Visqueen), and always-fabulous Kelly Hogan

Neko Case & Her Boyfriends -- Duchess (Scott Walker cover)
Kelly Hogan -- Strayed ((smog) cover)

Ok, back to work. I've really got a rather crippling case of the Mondays over here. But hey, my bread I made last night turned out really well, yeah! Thanks for asking!

05 March 2006

I'm just trying to matter. We've heard through the grapevine that the Arcade Fire played a private party out in the country Thursday night while we took in I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness down at Emo's. Even with our amazing Google skills and hasty phone calls to our gossipy, well-connected friends, we've only heard one other vague whisper confirming the news. We think we know whose house that was, and we're kinda bummed we weren't invited. We don't mind, really -- the ...Chosen Darkness show was choice. But if you were there, you must let us know how it was! Unless they made you promise not to tell, in which case, you should let us buy you a drink and tell us anyway!

And seriously, was there ever an Oscar for Best Original Song that was better-won? Rock on, Three 6 Mafia! And, wow, I just had to take a break to get a little emo over Reese Witherspoon's lovely acceptance speech. Now, back to that bread I'm making. For reals, that's what I'm up to, watching the Oscars, tweaking some stuff in Photoshop and baking bread from a recipe in this month's Saveur. I'm just all kinds of multi-talented.

03 March 2006

I want to touch you, you're just made for love. My heart is currently lost to I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness; I am that girl today, wearing my new t-shirt the day after the show. We went by their CD release party last night and largely ignored the openers, the still-bland Radiohead photocopies The Glass Family (apparently, I'm one of the few who doesn't care for them, though), but then sighed and swooned over I<3YBICD, our favorite gloomy local boys who have more effects pedals on stage than I've ever seen set out by a band! They head out on tour after SXSW; it behooves you to see them if they swing by your town -- check their page (lovely and flash-heavy, thus no direct link) for tour dates. It was also especially nice to pick up the album a few days ahead of time -- on vinyl no less. Those kids over at Secretly Canadian know a thing or two about wonderful packaging -- it's just gorgeous.

And, call me crazy, but I feel this has "gloomcookie hipster kid dance hit" written all over it. And it needs some remixing. Hey, mc DJ -- are you reading this? [Hint, hint.]

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness -- According to Plan

In other news, I may or may not have had something to do with the Cue profile up at See You in the Pit.

And so, keeping with the theme, Friday melancholia and sentimentality, Cindy Hotpoint style -- here's some songs for you. Each song may or may not be for you specifically, selected readers, especially the anonymous ones who leave me ultra-flattering comments. It means a lot, it does -- thank you.

Richard & Linda Thompson -- I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
Pixies -- Gigantic
Okkervil River -- Westfall
The Wrens -- I Guess We're Done

Have a good weekend!

02 March 2006

I was a short fuse burning all the time. Did you know that Pancho Villa's favorite drink was strawberry soda? That's currently mine too, even if I gave up excess sugar for Lent. Anyway, apparently Villa was a teetotaler; I, however, am not. Someone bring me more coffee. I'm thrashed; Cue went on late last night, but it was worth it, as always. They're amazing -- the studio recordings don't do justice to just how amazing they are live. I can't encourage people enough to catch them during SXSW.

But before we get to the music, some words of inspiration for you:

"Out of the closets and into the museums, libraries, architectural monuments, concert halls, bookstores, recording studios and film
studios of the world. Everything belongs to the inspired and dedicated thief.... Words, colors, light, sounds, stone, wood, bronze belong to the living artist. They belong to anyone who can use them. Loot the Louvre! A bas l’originalité, the sterile and assertive ego that imprisons us as it creates. Vive le sol­pure, shameless, total. We are not responsible. Steal anything in sight." - William S. Burroughs

Now we've got that out of the way, feel free to move about the cabin. I like this new trendlet of totally bizzaro covers; here's two that I'm completely enamoured of.

Open Air -- Seven Nation Army (Young Punx Mix)
[Funked up White Stripes cover, remixified]
Max Tundra -- The Owls Go
[One-man Architecture in Helsinki cover -- impressive 'cause aren't there like, 25 people in that band? Finally got around to uploading this one.]

I also have some Tiga for you; I've decided that he's like the electronic Rufus Wainwright. "Good as Gold" is such a bleak, resigned, and painfully gorgeous song (Wainwright analogue: "Vibrate") and this Morgan Geist remix makes it even more chilled and distant:

Tiga -- Good as Gold (Morgan Geist Monophonic Mix)

And how about some live Go! Team? Of course you want it! I saw them twice last year, at their SXSW showcase and then at Emo's sometime in November, I think. The former was a hoot, it was the first Go! Team set stateside, so we got there really, really early and had to sit through some of the worst bands ever. The apex of awful was this tiny kid with rockstar swagger and who looked like Tom Cruise's pipsqueak little brother -- worst part was that he was clearly miffed that we didn't give a flip about him at all with our cross-armed indifference. Turned out he was future global superstar James Blunt. He gushed "You're Beautiful" to the two people who were interested -- some clearly Anglophilic girls in Harry Potter t-shirts on the front row. It was vile. Luckily The Go! Team (and Dogs Die in Hot Cars, who were also on the bill) were so amazingly fun, they washed the bad Blunt-taste out of my mouth. Anyway, I'm trying to decide if I want to try and catch The Go! Team again this year; it depends on how my sked pans out, I suppose.

The Go! Team -- Junior Kickstart (Live @ WERS)
The Go! Team -- Huddle Formation (Live @ KCRW)

Know how sometimes you just go, "Hey, that's an interesting band name!" and then the band is like, mind-blowingly good? That happened to me this morning with Portugal. The Man, my friends. I suspect they may be from another planet. Seriously. (And by another planet, I mean Alaska.) Glammy bluesy thumping, hooray!

Portugal. The Man -- The Pines

01 March 2006

Crushing beer cans in high heels -- it's a valuable skill. Saw The Wedding Present last night; I hate to say it, but they're not really my cup of tea, though we still had a good time. Sorry to the people behind me who got beaned with the second can I semi-crushed with my girlie shoes. (The first run was better.)

For some reason, I'm reminded today of early Rilo Kiley; perhaps Pinky's plans to post hard-to-find or out-of-print albums wholesale has been inspirational. I realized that I hadn't seen many (if any) posts of the tracks from the band's work pre-Take-offs and Landings, and I just happen to have a copy of
The Inital Friend EP, released in 2001, that I'd love to share with y'all. The EP went through several incarnations -- there were two pressings as a self-titled release with most of the same songs in 1999 and 2000. As you can imagine, these two releases are almost impossible to find -- but really, the songs dropped from the third pressing are no great loss.

In the summer of 2001, I was terribly unhappy and did a lot of shopping -- especially for used books and CDs. You know, happiness via acquisition, that time-honored coping mechanism? It was on one of the many, many trips I made to the old ABCD's on Airport after work one day that I discovered two incredible albums in the used bins on the same day --
The Shins' Oh! Inverted World and the aforementioned Rilo Kiley EP. (That might have also been the day I found Phantom Planet's first record in the $1.99 bin, I can't remember...)

Now, naturally, file sharing and mp3 blogs were not what they are today, obviously, and finding these CDs was a red-letter day -- I'd read about both bands in
print publications ('zines, probably) but previously hadn't been able to find any of their stuff in stores. I also remembered Jenny from Foxfire and I'd seen the band's appearance in the utterly awful film Desert Blue, so recognized the name immediately thinking, "Hey, it's that band with the former child stars."

[Here's a weird sidebar: That makes me wonder, were there even any prominent mp3 blogs at that time? I seem to remember getting everything on Audiogalaxy or from Napster in those days, but it was mostly a crapshoot. I had just returned to doing more stuff online after a self-imposed hiatus of 2 years (seriously, I hardly emailed people, even). It was around that time I'd just discovered Livejournal and I'm not even sure if
Scott Stereogum had started his journal there yet, but I know I started reading him some time around then.]

Anyway, it wasn't long after this that I went to my first Rilo Kiley show (August 2001 at the Mercury, which is now The Parish) -- the one I always tell people about. There were literally four people there. (Ok, maybe a few more than that, but not many!) I don't need to tell you about how my heart swelled with pride when I saw them sell out Stubbs last spring. Capacity? 2000+. I will never, ever begrudge the band their success; they truly deserve it.

So, getting to my point -- the interesting thing about these songs is that a lot of the tropes still evident in Jenny and Blake's songwriting were already firmly set in place, even in the early days of the band -- there's a call out to Morgan, who appears in later songs on The Execution of All Things and More Adventurous. "Frug" is a jaunty retro number that bookends with "I Never" from More Adventurous; in the former Jenny claims she'll "never fall in love;" in the latter, the lyric echoes back a contrary sentiment lifted straight from a Motown classic,"'cause I never loved somebody the way I loved you." There's also an early version of one of my favorites from
Take-Offs and Landings, "Always," and the semi-autobiographical tone of both Blake and Jenny's work with Rilo Kiley and on their side projects figure strongly in "85" and "Troubadours." The only misstep is the forced, tacky-country "Gravity" -- but both Blake and Jenny tone down the twang in later songs whilst still preserving the essence of that influence.

Rilo Kiley -- Frug
Rilo Kiley -- Papillon
Rilo Kiley -- Always
Rilo Kiley -- 85
Rilo Kiley -- Sword
Rilo Kiley -- Asshole
Rilo Kiley -- Gravity
Rilo Kiley -- Troubadours
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