The Rich Girls Are Weeping: December 2006

29 December 2006

I am completely and utterly confused by the UK Singles Charts' decision, as of January 1, to allow any track from any album to be considered for inclusion on the singles charts as long as it has digital download sales. I can understand the logic here, kind of -- but any song? Off any album? Isn't that a little over-killish? Then again, I suppose they couldn't very well say 'any song released during [specific length of time] that has digital downloads' -- because what would that specific length of time be? The past year? The past 6 months? See the problem? The Telegraph posits that tracks from big-selling classic albums by Led Zepplin and Queen may find their way back to the charts. Somehow I don't really think this will happen. But we'll see.

We have a small public service announcement -- for our Austin readers, who we hope haven't abandoned us completely -- TRGAW superfriend Dot is looking for a new roommate stat for her gorgeous Hyde Park cottage. Party girls and boys need not apply -- she's looking for someone fun yet reliable. Might help if you like to cook, she's a real foodie. Check out the Craigslist ad if you think this might be a good situation for you.


Beastie Boys -- Brass Monkey
. This one's for Kathryn -- she knows why! The unofficial theme of TRGAW Global Headquarters, aka The Castle In Brooklyn. (info)

Winterkids -- Tape It. Oh man. Speaking of UK singles, I thought this offering from the UK's latest hateable next big thing (a gaggle of cute kids from Surrey) was going to blow. It doesn't. The Independent namechecked Pulp, but we hear a whole lot of Ned's Atomic Dustbin and The Wedding Present (and, after cruising Pinkie's record collection -- early stuff from The Dears and Pale Saints too -- it's the early/mid 90's all over again), which, you know, is kind of okay because no-one's done that kind of retro-revival yet. NME claims this will be scoring teen angst in aught-seven -- I agree. But -- do we give a shite about what ends up on "The OC" anymore? Paging Chop Shop Music Supervision -- here's one for you. And uh, I guess we'd best get in line now for their SXSW showcase, right? (MySpace)

The Wedding Present -- Venus. Re: above, exhibit A. (site)

Ned's Atomic Dustbin -- Flexible Head. Ibid, exhibit B. (info)

Pale Saints -- Sight of You. Ibid, exhibit C. (label site)

The Dears -- Nine Eight Two. Ibid, exhibit D. (site)

HAPPY NEW YEAR, we'll see you in the '07.

ETA: THE WINTERKIDS VIDEO. OMFG. So cute, and oh lord, we're totally dirty old ladies -- that darling sullen lead singer boy is tres adorable.

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28 December 2006

I'm not sure why, but this year it seems that everyone had forgotten about mash-ups (yes, yes ... so 2003, we know) until just now. Perhaps it's because there was no amazing mashup album this year besides the sea-sick mix-making antics on Girl Talk's Night Ripper -- and it's hard to even classify that as a true mashup album, really.

Anyway, we want to point you to two mash-up niceties that have surfaced in the past few weeks, in case that kind of thing still floats your boat: Stereogum teamed up with, er, Team9 (one of the culprits behind last year's amazing American Edit) to bring you mysplice.06 (scroll down for the full downloads) -- retooled versions of The Hits of Stereogum 2006, Mashed-Up. I'm particularly fond of the CSS vs. Junior Boys offering as well as Peter, Bjorn, and John vs. The Cure. In fact, most of the pairings make some of the most tiresome and loathsome songs of 2006 almost tolerable, which is impressive to say the least.

Secondly, be sure to check out The Best of Bootie 2006. The best mash-ups in the world are still (mostly) coming out of San Francisco, apparently. We've mentioned AplusD's "Love Will Tear You Apart (She Wants Originality) (She Wants Revenge vs. Joy Division vs. Bauhaus)" before (tres amusant!), but there's tons more good stuff here from an international array of mashup producers, including offerings from the once-ubiquitous Party Ben and DJ Earworm.

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27 December 2006

Yes, yes. Though we may not agree with all the selections, we'll get on the bandwagon and let you know, in case you haven't seen it yet, that the Marathon Packs top 19 of 2006 post is pretty great. (Um, as much as we love Will Johnson, that Centro-matic record isn't that great... and jeez, since when is everyone mad for Ghostface and Clipse all of a sudden? Or, in other words: Goodness, it was weird to miss most of December in the Blog-o-sphere.)

Also, courtesy of Idolator, we'd like to direct you to the video below made when Beat Street Records closed. Believe you me, we're not Serato fans over here -- just watching the second half of the video made us itch to play some vinyl. Which reminds me, we totally need to get some little cases on wheels for our NYC dj debut. More details on that later, as the deets firm up, naturally.

Thanks to James at GreenPeaness, we heard the what may be the best song of the year approx. 15 minutes ago -- the delicious modern disco of Brooklyn's own Escort. Needless to say, we're dying to hear them play live ASAP.


So, here's the deal. I almost universally hate end-of-year lists. I mean, it's like this: I write about music every day, or, well, almost every day. WHY DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU AGAIN ABOUT WHAT I LIKED in 2006, COMPLETE WITH A GIMMICKY FORMAT?

Everything that I write about is good. Or, well, I think it's good anyway. But, in case you missed it, here's a list -- a brief list, mind you -- of the records we liked this year. One of the problems with generating a best-of list at this late date is that one runs the hazard of unintentional repetition -- so we'll stick to the point, or something.

1) Shearwater -- Palo Santo. We wrote about this record so often you shouldn't be surprised that it's our favorite of the year. This album was criminally overlooked, in our humble opinion -- but look for big things from Shearwater in 2007. I have a feeling it's going to be a banner year for them.

2) Neko Case -- Fox Confessor Brings The Flood. Hey, remember when I told you like, I dunno, six years ago about that Neko Case girl who was really, really awesome? Oh wait, I didn't know you then -- so you're forgiven if you are just now getting on the bandwagon. Shockingly, success has not spoiled this lady. She just gets better and better. Now, what can we do about making Kelly Hogan famous too?

3) The Blow -- Paper Television. Teaching the indie kids to dance. For reals.

4) (tie) The Stills -- Without Feathers, The Walkmen -- A Hundred Miles Off, The French Kicks -- Two Thousand, and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- Show Your Bones. Wait, I think these were all the same record. But, it was a really good record. Jaded retro-rockers who came out on top ca. 2001? The line forms here. (And, yes, we'll say it again -- great googly-moogly, we hope that new Interpol record next year is like all these records too -- only, you know ... better.

5) The Decemberists -- The Crane Wife. Actually, I never wrote about this. I never wrote about the leak, or the preview tracks, or even reviewed it at the appropriate press time. But, in a weird way, it's just like all the records mentioned in item four above, only with cowbell and accordion and only one song over 10 minutes long. Amazing what happens when you replace a band's entire rhythm section -- the songs get a backbone.

6) Voxtrot -- Your Biggest Fan EP. Dammit, you guys -- finish that full-length already. It's the second year running that we've gushed about a Voxtrot EP. We're all for appropriately-time artist development, but meh! We are also horribly impatient. To tide you over until Voxtrot finally drops an LP, you can't go wrong with this EP.

7) And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead -- So Divided. Yes, it's uneven. Yes, the best track is a cover. But goodness gracious, TOD still shows up the latest Glammo/Gloth offerings from My Chemical Romance and Evanescence by several thousand miles or so.

8) Snowden -- Anti-Anti. We thought they'd be a flash in the pan. They weren't.

9) (tie) The Format -- Dog Problems and The Long Winters -- Putting The Days To Bed. I have story about these two records, and really, it just bears telling the punchline. I told Nate from The Format in a phone interview that we never got around to posting that Dog Problems usurped Putting The Days To Bed as my record of the summer. I have seriously never heard any musician sputter and be at a loss for words in such a charming way -- for it turns out that Putting The Days To Bed was Nate's favorite record of Summer 2006. He's one of The Long Winters' biggest fans.

10) Joanna Newsom -- Ys. This is great record when alone in your garret apartment with your giant headphones and your Anne McCaffrey novels. It is SO FUCKING ANNOYING on a 10 hour road trip on the most boring parts of Interstate 10 through Texas. True story!

Runners up: The Mountain Goats -- Get Lonely // Final Fantasy -- He Poos Clouds // Tilly & the Wall -- Bottoms of Barrels // Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins -- Rabbit Fur Coat // The Elected -- Sun Sun Sun // Matmos -- The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of The Beast // The Twilight Singers -- Powder Burns // Ratatat -- Classics // Asobi Seksu -- Citrus // Midlake -- The Trials of Van Occupanther // Pompeii -- Assembly // Pink Nasty -- Mold the Gold // The Hourly Radio -- The Lure of The Underground // The Black Angels -- Passover // The Rapture -- Pieces of the People We Love // The Long Blondes -- Someone To Drive You Home // The Boy Least Likely To -- The Best Party Ever // Lansing-Dreiden -- The Dividing Island // Camera Obscura -- Let's Get Out Of This Country // Herbert -- Scale // Junior Boys -- So This Is Goodbye // Hot Chip -- The Warning // T.I. -- King // The Dears -- Gang of Losers // The Changes -- Today Is Tonight.


26 December 2006

We had no water when we finally crawled out of our respective beds today at noon (...and yes, it's true, we do sometimes call each other when we're both in the house because we live on different floors of The Castle) -- we stayed up way too late watching old Cary Grant movies on Turner Classic -- so we basically got nothing done today. The plumbers finally came back to finish what they started around 4 o'clock. Oh well, we needed a break, actually -- it was the first day in ages, it seemed, that neither of us had to be anywhere or do anything major since the move. So believe you me, we're really enjoying it. I'm pulling together our best-of 2006 and catching up on a months' worth of mp3 blog posts -- which is something I wouldn't really recommend, mostly because you'll get really worked up over a three-week-old post and be able to do nothing about it but you know, like, rant to thin air. Oh, Internet! I've missed you so. Recent album leaks are a bit more interesting, but I may need a few days to pull together some good tracks for you to check out.

In the meantime, here's some tracks from A Charlie Brown Christmas, as suggested by my mom to extend the holiday goodness just a little longer -- she's always ready to send me something fun when I'm having technical difficulties. Enjoy!

Vince Guaraldi Trio -- O Tannenbaum
Vince Guaraldi Trio -- What Child Is This?
Vince Guaraldi Trio -- Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)
Vince Guaraldi Trio -- Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)

23 December 2006

Happy Holidays, everyone! No matter what your religious affiliation (or lack thereof), international location, or what have you, we send you the very best wishes for a lovely holiday season.

Over the past few days, I've spent an inordinately large amount of time shuttling between The Castle (In Brooklyn, In Which We Reside -- thank you, Beastie Boys) and J&R Computer/Music World in Lower Manhattan. My trusty clunky desktop computer Bryan (yes, as in Bryan Ferry. No. Really.) finally just kind of fell apart. It was one of those systems I built myself out of cardboard and string and rubberbands. So, I had to take the leap and buy a new computer for the first time in like, 10 years. I did that whole switcheroo thing and got a Mac. Not a fancy one or anything, but it's totally adorable and I really love it already.

As a result of all this melodrama, we'll be introducing the Rich Girls Are Weeping Capital Campaign (tm) sometime next week. Just a little fundraiser to help defray the costs of keeping your very favorite music blog (we are your very favorite music blog, right?) going for another year. For yes, during our unfortunate downtime, TRGAW one-year anniversary passed unremarked upon. Thanks for your support over the past year, dear readers. We really appreciate you.

And so, to celebrate our anniversary and the holidays, here's a rerun of last year's popular selections (sorry -- I'm currently in the process of consolidating my entire mp3 collection on one external hard drive, so I can't access anything therein right now). These are some of my favorite holiday (and holiday-related) songs, and it's my pleasure to share them with you again. (Because we just couldn't bear to post something from the new Hall and Oates Christmas album that's incessantly advertised on VH1 Classics, even in jest...)

Best wishes from us to you and the people you care about. Have a lovely weekend, and we'll be back full-time starting Tuesday and our picks best of 2006. Promise.

First, a few covers of nouveaux classics:

Stars -- Fairytale of New York.

Neko Case -- Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis.

...and some heartbreakingly bittersweet ones:

Okkervil River -- Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas.

Dolly Parton (with Kenny Rogers) -- Hard Candy Christmas

...and some silly, saucy, and totally sweet (respectively) twists on old favorites:

Alan Cumming and Liza Minnelli -- Baby It's Cold Outside. (This popped up on my iPod on the train today, and I knew I had to repost it.)

Girls Aloud -- White Christmas.

Cocteau Twins -- Frosty the Snowman

...can't do without this one, especially as we won't be with our respective families for the holidays this year:

Elvis Costello & The Chieftains -- The St. Stephen's Day Murders.

...and, as I mentioned last year, what's Christmas without some handbells?

St. Wulfrum's Handbell Ringers -- Good King Wenceslas

(Other recent developments -- we were sad to learn that the legendary Beat Street records closed earlier this year, we were looking forward to saying that it was our neighborhood record store...)

19 December 2006

Oh, you'll have to forgive us -- things are still kind of askew over here with Comcast and the cable modem and my computer. But I'm heading down to J&R Music World later today or tomorrow to get a wireless card for my desktop computer (yes, really -- how else could I afford to have the most massive mp3 collection in the known universe?) so I can stop borrowing Pinkie's iBook and actually do a meaningful post.

Well, actually, this post is meaningful, just not, you know -- full of mp3s.

First of all, we had a great time at the show on Friday. It was nice to get out of the house and see old friends and new. Certainly one of the best parts of the evening was when Fluxblog accused us of living in a mansion -- we don't really, but the house is big! There was also an incident with a broken beer bottle that was mostly my fault, but we survived. We really enjoyed The Ballet and Theives Like Us -- we'll have to catch Lismore and Bell another time, though. We sort of ended up arriving late because I, uh, well... I left my wallet at home. And in NYC, this means getting off the train, riding it back to our stop, walking back to the house, finding the wallet, walking back to the train station, and waiting for another C train. So, yes, we were just a leetle bit late.

Now, normally, I'd let Pinkie give me crap about forgetting my wallet for a few weeks, at least -- but we're already even because I totally helped her break a law on Sunday night -- it wasn't the cabaret law, and it didn't involve any illicit substances or anything -- but she most definitely broke a law big-time. It's actually quite good we didn't get caught, really. I wouldn't be writing this now, that's for sure. (I should also mention that we totally wanted to go see O Death at the Todd P show on Saturday, but we were totally beat after a full day of unpacking -- so we watched the VH1 Behind the Music episode about Pantera instead. It made us kind of homesick, really.)

Anyway, there's a few interesting things going on this week, even though things are slowing up because of the holidays, but there's a few events on tap benefitting worthy causes that are sure to squelch your inner Scrooge-ness. The Teenage Prayers' show on Wednesday at the Mercury Lounge is a benefit for one of our neighbors, the Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School. Used To Be Women, Heap, and J Dimmena also play. If that's not your speed, tonight and Wednesday there's a big two-night event benefit at Club Europa in Brooklyn for The Father's Heart Ministries, a soup kitchen and food pantry in the East Village, and the Friendship House, a community center for the mentally ill and homeless in Knoxville, TN. On the bill tonight: Stars Like Fleas, Ateleia, Paul Duncan, Bear in Heaven (Members of Rhys Chatham's Essentialist & Jonathan Kane's February), Mountains, Soft Circle (ex Black Dice), Queens, and Midnight Motion (Members of Grizzly Bear) along with DJs Andreas Knutsen and Tres from Psychic Ills. Tomorrow's bill features: Zachary Cale, Uncle Woody Sullender, Corridors, Mouthus, Electroputas, Matta Llama, D Charles Speer (members of No Neck Blues Band), and Castanets, with DJ Root Hog or Die. Seriously, use your rock'n'roll powers for good and not evil this week, okay? Okay.

Meanwhile, I'll see about getting a wireless card. Be good!

12 December 2006

No, no. We didn't crash and die and drive off a mountain in the freakin' Cumberland Gap -- why didn't anyone remind me about the Eastern Contiental Divide or tell me that the Appalachian Mountains were like, real mountains (I'm used to the craggy majesty of the western US)?? Seriously though, the Rich Girls, Mr. Cat, and 27-foot U-HAUL arrived in Bed-Stuy last Friday. We're unpacking as you read this. The Pinkster starts work tomorrow; I have another job interview (yay!) and we're totally ganking wireless from someone in the 'hood to get this post up. Supposedly, we'll have cable by the end of the week. Really! Promise! Perhaps we'll put up a Best of 2006 list, or something.

Anyway, as you might imagine, I've not read any music blogs for at least a week. What's the new flavor of the moment? Anyone good? I suppose I can read and find out, but I'd rather get your opinon, dear readers.

If you're in NYC or the general environs, come out to The Delancey on Friday for the first show organized by Neon Lights (the faboo D. of Soft Communication and her pal Jeff K). The Ballet, Thieves Like Us, Lismore and Bell play, and our friends Colleen Crumbcake and Fluxblog are djing along with Earfarm. Doors @ 7:30, show at 8. (How novel these early shows are for us!) It's the Rich Girls' first official appearance in NYC -- if you don't count our requisite misadventures at our usual Sunday night haunt, that is. Fernet-Branca (like Glenn Branca only... oh, all right, I know I'm not funny!) was involved, as was gratuitious Treo usage. We're so lame -- or rather, I am. Pinkie's still cool.

03 December 2006

And don't get me started on how much furniture, clothes, records, books, and tchotchkes we have -- good thing we'll each have our own floor in our Bklyn digs. Please excuse our silence for the past few days -- it's all a daze of last days at work, going away parties, errand-running, and goodbyes. We'll be back with that thrilling content you all know and love as soon as we have a dependable Internet connection again! Maybe in about a week or so? Hang in there -- be good all that. We'll miss you too.

Leaving Austin is bittersweet -- we're grateful for our time here, but it's time to move on. We're not the first to discover that sometimes the comfort offered by Austin's notorious velvet coffin/playpen isn't as reliable as advertised. But the lovely thing is, Austin will always be here if we ever need to come back. (And of course, there's always the yearly ritual of SXSW...) Sure, there'll be new pricey condos on South Congress and the East Side and the fast-creeping sprawl will continue stretch to all points of the compass -- but there'll always be some great new band to check out or old favorites, now famous, playing solo shows or one-off gigs on random weeknights. And that's what we'll always love about this city.

"If there's anything you want - come on back, 'cause it's all still here." Britt Daniel may have meant to tell his wayward love that there was still a place for her in his heart, but he may as well have been speaking about our adopted hometown as well. Which is why the old timers get nostalgic, and dare we say it, a bit weepy, even -- when Spoon plays this song at Austin gigs.

Spoon -- Anything You Want.

Thanks, Austin. Thanks for helping us discover who we are, and for giving us space to grow into the women we're now meant to be. We'll miss you.

This entry is dedicated to the memory of Sound Exchange, Liberty Lunch, Les Amis, Europa Books, Le Fun, 404, Texture, the Empanada Parlour and all the other places we hung out at in our 12 years here that are long gone now -- and also to the memory of those we lost along the way, especially John Christensen.

[Ed. from Pinkie: I'd like to add David Peacock to the list above.]
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