The Rich Girls Are Weeping: February 2007

28 February 2007

The evolution of a track, of an album, of a band. So -- giant, hearty congratulations to Shearwater on the occasion of their new deal with Matador. As the Matablog points out, this was about the worst-kept secret in the history of indie rock secrets -- even if I was able to completely keep silent about this for months out of courtesy to all the parties involved. Ha!

So, I suppose I am now allowed to say that a few months ago, on a side street off South Congress on an oppressively muggy evening, the Pinkster and I had a long, long conversation with frontman Jonathan Meiburg about the future of Shearwater? And that I told him the following, right after sort of crumpling into tears as I tried to express how important his band was (is! still is!) to me:

1) if Matador shows interest, sign with them
2) ...but whomever you sign with -- compel them to let y'all release a new version of Palo Santo the way you originally envisioned it

And look! Shearwater's on Matador! And there's a new deluxxe version of Palo Santo due April 10. New art! Vinyl version! Extra tracks! I'm glad to see people occasionally listen to my rants and blatherings. Heh. Doesn't get much better than all this -- save maybe the fact that they're touring with Xiu Xiu and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. (Brilliant! SERIOUSLY. This is going to be the most gut-wrenchingly emotional show OF ALL TIME.)

The neatest thing about this whole process, though, (because, after all the weirdness and strife and now relief, there's got to be a papertrail somewhere...) is that we now have THREE versions of one of the best songs on the album -- "Red Sea, Black Sea" -- that serve as an interesting object lesson in the evolution of a track from demo form to well, utter perfection.

Remember the demo version, back when the song was called "Turn Your Transmitters Off?" It was so jangly and I loved the tiny windchimes. It was so evocative of standing on a high cliff, overlooking the sea -- out into the wide nothingness as giant waves crash beneath your feet. Being able to see as far as the eye could see in all directions. I remember one reader in particular loved this version more than the Palo Santo one -- but I think she'll be pleased with the re-done version. The Palo Santo version was so processed and distant and compressed -- it made you feel as if you were inside a squeezebox -- not that that was a particularly bad thing per se, but I sometimes felt that this wasn't quite what the band had in mind for the finished product. Which is something that's confirmed on the new version -- the grandness of the demo is back -- and it's bigger and more ominous and massive and there's a storm on the horizon now and it's chasing you down. The band shrieks and howls and rumbles like the winds ripping around you and the flash floods crashing through empty canyons down, down, down to the sea.

This is the eerie, unsettling, and gorgeous music we knew was lurking inside those deceptively gentle and unassuming people. Shearwater has arrived.

Shearwater -- Turn Your Transmitters Off (Red Sea, Black Sea demo version)
Shearwater -- Red Sea, Black Sea (Misra version)
Shearwater -- Red Sea, Black Sea (Matador version)


Shearwater -- Mountain Laurel
(remember when this was the first 'evil' Shearwater song?)
Shearwater -- My Good Deed
Shearwater -- Mistakes
Shearwater -- I Can't Wait

Have I mentioned how much I love this band lately? No?


I fucking love this band.

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26 February 2007

Oh, children. If only you knew how much I loved you. Like about how I spent hours and hours yesterday digging through the best new music to pull together a comeback post to slaughter all comeback posts. It's coming, I swear -- it's currently simmering in the mental crock pot, as it were.

In the meantime, I found out today that Escort has a new single called "A Bright New Life." I don't have an mp3 yet, but you can listen to it and streams a large chunk of their entire oeuvre on their website -- at the top of the homepage, obey when it tells you to 'press play.' GO THERE NOW, YOU CANNOT RESIST IT.

In the meantime, I will whet your appetite with the following namedroppery action: Friday night I rode the elevator with The New Pornographers' AC "Carl" Newman and Blaine Thurier on my way to see Neko Case & Co. at Jazz at Lincoln Center. No one in the elevator seemed to care, and some pretentious asshat blathered loudly about how TOTALLY AWESOME M. Ward is. I was able to attend that show, btw, thanks to the lady behind these pictures and some nice people in the lobby with an extra ticket...long story. The whole show was really as bizarre as that elevator ride, but more on that later...


22 February 2007

Goodness, I hadn't realized we'd been MIA for so long. We miss you guys too!Apologies all around. (Also, thanks to everyone who contributed to the capital campaign. Y'all totally rock!)

Kelly loves shoes. Be Kelly's friend. Betch.

Please excuse us for a little longer, we're reorganizing our shoe collections. We'll be back soon.


08 February 2007

Generally, we try not to think about Fashion Week, especially as the Pinkster and I both slog to day jobs due south of the Garment District. Well, that's not entirely true -- we try not to think about the cult of celebrity surrounding fashion week, we totally just concern ourselves with the clothes. And, well, in this case, the music. I found this, randomly, in a Reuters story today about the collision of music and fashion at this year's runway shows (uh, newsflash? duh.):
In Manhattan's Garment District, contemporary violinist Owen Pallett, who is about to tour with English indie rock band Bloc Party, performed an original composition.

Pallett said the sound of his violin plugged into a sampler generating soft beats complemented the elegant, geometric-inspired dresses models displayed at Canadian designer Jeremy Laing's show.

"It's pretty surprising that you would get a solo violinist at a fashion show," said Pallett, 27.

"He (Laing) works in a classical tradition that is highly contemporary," said Pallett, comparing his music project called "Final Fantasy" to Laing's new fashion line.

Wish I'd known about this ahead of time, I'm sure this was something to see. Also, does this mean that OP is also in town for the Arcade Fire shows next week? BTW, Final Fantasy are on Bloc Party's west coast dates (along with Smoosh and The Like -- which is totally rad -- makes me wish I were a 16 year old girl again. Totes.).

From the archives:

Final Fantasy -- Peach, Plum, Pear (Joanna Newsom cover)
Final Fantasy -- The Pooka Speaks
Final Fantasy -- This Is The Dream of Emma and Cam
Final Fantasy -- Spell For A Weak Heart
Final Fantasy -- This Is The Dream Of Win And Regine

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06 February 2007

So, I was watching the tail end of Priscilla Queen of the Desert on the cable, and when it was over (and still still humming "Mamma Mia"), I flipped ahead a few channels and found a documentary about transgendered people around the world (coincidental?). I just happened to see the segment on Thai kathoey (aka "ladyboys"). Seeking the answer to some questions about the kathoey culture, I discovered (via the Wikipedia entry on the subject) that in late 2006 Sony Entertainment Thailand 'created' the first all "newhalf" (that is, post-op transexual) Thai ladyboy band. Yep. They're called Venus Flytrap. (And the best part? They all have Spice Girl-esque appellations.)

Venus Flytrap -- Visa for Love
(...dig that like, quadruple entendre!)

I just though you might like to know that. Because that's what I'm here for.

Slightly related (and cited as a major influence on Venus Flytrap) -- Thai-American pop sensation Tata Young. This song is actually kind of ... charming. No, really!

Tata Young -- "Sexy, Naughty, Bitchy"

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02 February 2007

Believe me when I tell you that starting a new job is a lot more traumatic than I remembered. Ok, not traumatic, really -- just stressful. I apparently coasted through the first week on pure adrenaline and endorphins; the tail end week two found me having a small meltdown last night that actually wasn't related to anything that had happened in the office, or anything work related at all, really. Suffice it to say that drunk assholes at theme bars in Chelsea are a real downer. To top it all off, I have not one good commuting story, and I haven't seen my subway crush (the air trumpeter...) all week. So sad.

I'm sad to say that because of my general cruddy state of mind and general exhaustion, I missed the Harlem Shakes' EP release show last night with Get Him Eat Him. I did, however, spend a pleasant evening Wednesday at Moe's in Ft. Greene chatting with Andrew Spencer Goldman of Fulton Lights about his fantastic new record -- the results of that interview are in the queue for next week.

So anyway, I had this grand plan to post a whole bunch of stuff Wednesday, then it was yesterday, and now it's 4pm on Friday, and I'm basically reduced to penning an apology for a week of silence and promise that I'm totally getting my act together this weekend because the next few weeks are gonna be rad. (Can you say: shows from The Arcade Fire, Sparrow House, Calla, and Celebration? Plus our dj set at the February edition of Neon Lights at The Delancey on Saturday, Feb. 17th, featuring Sunny Day in Glasgow, Apache Beat, The Muggabears and Please Dept., as well as a late DJ set from Jay from Cassettes Won't Listen. (We'll be your pre-and-between set selectors.) And look, I made a rad flyer!

I will share one thing with you right this very second, because you simply must start your weekend with some deliciously sugar-coated tweeness with a dark, gooey center: meet TheFancyDressParty. Really, I can't encourage you more to check out these adorable and rough-around-the-edges kids from South Woodham Ferrers, Essex. There's one new-ish track to download on their site, "Playing With Lego," that's like a dour twee dirge. The real winner there though is "Long After Me" -- I especially recommend it for Camera Obscura fans. (You'll see...0 As soon as I can get my hands on some of this to share with you properly, I will. Promise. And, oh yeah -- did I mention that they're impossibly young and bursting with tons of potential? Well, now you know.

Okay, have a good weekend. I'm sleeping in for sure.

(ps -- check out the newly revamped Clap Clap blog...)

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