The Rich Girls Are Weeping: February 2008

27 February 2008

[photo by--you guessed it--Kathryn Yu]

We've just returned form the Brooklyn Based Cocktail Club event, thoroughly perplexed by the existence of Serato, and how many superfluous buttons it adds to an otherwise pretty simple Rane mixer. Not that we don't admire the required skillset, since it's a lot like working with records, and we have to admit that the the idea of having a virtually unlimited library of tracks is intriguing, however, the reality of mixing mp3s feels vaguely counterintuitive. When exiting the DJ booth, the 10pm DJ asked incredulously, "is that a record box?" He had only a backpack, while we had two full crates, handbags, and foofy coats. I bet he didn't need car service to get to and fro.

So yeah, here's the tracklisting:

Die Comedian Harmonists -- Der Onkel Bumba aus Kalumba // Björk Guðmundsdóttir & Tríó Guðmundar Ingólfssonar -- Bella símamær // Manhattan Transfer -- Chanson d'Amour // Bryan Ferry -- You Do Something to Me // Bryan Ferry -- Just One of Those Things // [technical difficulties after which CDs were completely abandoned] // Roxy Music -- Mother of Pearl // David Bowie -- Changes // Lou Reed -- Satellite of Love // John Cale -- Barracuda // Brian Eno -- Backwater // Human Sexual Response -- Guardian Angel // Sparks -- Eaten by the Monster of Love // Spoon -- Sister Jack // Stone Roses -- She Bangs the Drums // Matthew Sweet -- Girlfriend // Lush -- I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend // Unrest -- Cath Carroll // Tsunami -- In a Name // Belle & Sebastian -- You're Just a Baby // Future Bible Heroes -- Love is Blue // The Smiths -- The Boy With a Thorn in His Side // David Bowie -- Sound & Vision // Pretenders -- Talk of the Town // Martha & the Muffins -- Women Around the World at Work // Echo & the Bunnymen -- Crystal Days // Captain & Tennille -- Love Will Keep Us Together // Pizzicato Five -- Sweet Soul Revue // ABC -- When Smokey Sings // Wilson Pickett -- Everybody Needs Somebody to Love // Gladys Knight & the Pips -- Who Is She (And What Is She to You) // The Exciters -- He's Got the Power // Supremes -- Back in My Arms Again // Spoon -- Small Stakes // Johnathan Richman -- Rockin' Shopping Center // The Judy's -- Perfect Crime // Patsy Cline -- Tra Le La Le La Triangle // Loretta Lynn -- Day Dreams About Night Things // Burt Bacharach -- Mexican Divorce // Tammy Wynette - Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind) // Bette Midler -- Friends

Tomorrow night (2/28) is the second installment of Corduroy at Cake Shop, hosted by our friends Jennifer (the longtime hostess of Ear Candy on Austin's KOOP radio, now residing in Brooklyn) and Andi (My Favorite). As usual, they'll bring you indie, new wave, post punk, C-86, 60s girls groups, ye ye...wait...this sounds like us! They're twee as fuck, and we wuv them. Also, Sparrow House, the solo side project of our friend Jared van Fleet of Voxtrot, will be performing at 11:30 sharp. Cover is $3 and we hear tale of drink specials.

My Favorite -- Burning Hearts
My Favorite -- Working Class Jacket
Sparrow House -- When I Am Gone
Voxtrot -- Firecracker

Oh yeah...and Escort are at Southpaw on Friday, but this girl is too damned tired for disco after two school nights out in a row. Cindy has informed me that this is a sad state of affairs.

And now, a note from Cindy: Today I was reading the latest issue of Forbes, which I get at the office, and the companion issue of Forbes Life, their new upscale lifestyle publication had an airy, positive review of the new Vampire Weekend record. There was also an article about collecting pricey watches, one of which was like, $460,000. I mean, doesn't that tell you everything you need to know (or maybe don't want to know) about Vampire Weekend? I thought so. That really expensive watch was kind of beautiful, though.

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26 February 2008

What makes us happier than anything, anything in the world, nearly? Word of the new Shearwater record Rook, due out June 3. I know, it's a long wait, but never too soon to start the buzz, right? Matador dropped the first sample mp3, "Rooks" today over on the Matablog, along with the gorgeous cover art. Fancy dancer Gerard Cosloy was right on when he mentioned the word "epic" -- if this doesn't give you chills and make your toes tingle, I worry about your general health. (Check out this lovely in-the-studio slideshow for photographic hints of what's to come.)

Shearwater -- Rooks


I rang up the nice folks at Blog Fresh Radio recently to gush at them about the new Mountain Goats record -- James and James also put in their two cents in this episode, which means that you should probably go listen to the whole thing for some pure, undiluted enthusiasm that may or may not suffocate you with its smothering earnestness.


We admit, we haven't done the best job in the past few months of keeping up with what all the cute kids are dancing to these days, but something tells me that they should be shakin' their tailfeathers to the party-psychedelia of Sunny Day Sets Fire. Friend of TRGAW, the rapidly ascending, Sparks lovin' Baron Von Luxxury, has remixed "Brainless," which appears on the band's new Stranger Remix EP, currently available for the buying from the I Am Sound label shop and other fine retail outlets. CSS, Mad Decent, and XXXChange from Spank Rock also contribute fab remixes. (Oh, and it should also be mentioned that unremixed, the band sounds like, well ... ELO. Which is always a good thing.)

Sunny Day Sets Fire -- Stranger

Sunny Day Sets Fire -- Brainless (Baron Von Luxxury Remix)
Sunny Day Sets Fire -- Wilderness (CSS Remix)


Also, if you're in Austin -- go see Maneja Beto tonight (2/27) at Mohawk. We miss them so -- their perfect-pitch rock en Español is the kind of thing your correspondents get homesick for every now and then. And they do a hell of a cover of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" that has the power to make you realize just why the Mexicans love Morrissey. (There's an internal logic to that statement that makes sense, if you squint hard enough. Manchester.)

Maneja Beto -- Y El Vinuete y Aleyda

And, if you're an exiled Austinite in New York, and our gig at Galapagos isn't your cup of tea -- but dance parties with DJ Mel are -- go check out his guest stint at The Rub @ Southpaw Saturday (3/1) for what's sure to be an unparalleled (dirty), choice mix of old skool hip-hop.


In summation, we'd also like to remind you to join us at Huckleberry Bar tonight (2/27) for fancy rum cocktails and a trip through our collective record boxes, and on Saturday (3/1) at Galapagos for the first Neon Lights extravaganza of 2008 with Eamon Hamilton, Titus Andronicus and Crystal Stilts. We hope to see you at one, or both. I've varnished my nails and dyed my hair especially, you know. And Pinkie's gonna look real purty too.


Would you like to hear some Big Black? 'Cause we love Steve Albini enough to make a LOLbini. Sad -- but true!

Big Black -- The Model

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25 February 2008

(These people just won an Oscar (tm), yo!)

Jonny Greenwood
wuz robbed! Okay, okay -- I know why Mr. Greenwood's Penderecki-inspired score for There Will Be Blood was disqualified from consideration for an Academy Award, but still. On the other hand, we're totally chuffed that Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová won the award for Best Original Song for "Falling Slowly" from the precious shot-on-a-shoestring recording diary picture Once. And yeah, I probably didn't win my office Oscar pool (it would be a problem when you accidentally leave the best editing and cinematography choices BLANK -- if you know me, you know how ridic I felt when I realized this ...), but I totally picked them to win over the any of the dreck from Enchanted, so there's that at least! That being said, if I actually did win the pool, I'm totally running right out to buy a copy of Once on DVD -- which, if you haven't seen it, you really should. And if you aren't familiar with the music of Hansard's band The Frames, it would behoove you to that check it out as well. And clearly this probably means that Hansard and Irglová's touring act, The Swell Season, hit the road again soon.

It was kind of the weirdest, most "indie" Oscars ever, what with Tilda Swinton's win (woo!) and the Coen brothers cleaning up and Diablo Cody (née Brooke Busey-Hunt, which is a name with infinitely more caché) not wearing hosiery in front of millions of people. (Girl, what were you wearing? I mean, we all know that you can't get like, every dress at Target -- as apparently you, me and Pinkie do -- but srsly, maybe you should have called up Isaac.)

Anyway -- where was I? Oh yes, we also really must give a shout-out to Marion Cotillard, as well. We were thrilled by her performance in La Vie en Rose, being that we're giant Edith Piaf fans from way back (and Pinkie's well-known for her love of Marlene Dietrich, too, since we're on the subject -- I'm less enthusiastic, however). In order to really understand just how freakin' awesome Cotillard's performance was, exactly, we present these two amazing YouTube finds -- vintage Piaf performances from 1954 and 1963, respectively.

Edith Piaf -- Non je ne regrette rien

Jil Aigrot - Les mômes de la cloche (Aigrot provided the voice of the young Piaf in La Vie en Rose -- she's a chanteuse who's just released an album of Piaf tracks herself.)

And, in closing, it's worth remembering that exactly 10 years ago, Elliott Smith didn't win an Oscar.

Relatedly, for a bit of historical perspective, check out Mr. Smith's interview with NPR's Linda Wertheimer about providing the soundtrack to Good Will Hunting.


(photo courtesy of the ever-awesome Kathryn Yu)

What can we say about seeing The National at the BAM on Saturday, on the second night night of their sold-out two night stand at the Howard Gilman Opera House as part of the Brooklyn Next Festival?

Perhaps it's best to start by telling you about the very first time we saw them during Rocktober 2005, at The Parish in Austin (with Clap Yr Hands Say Yeah) when we were both running from the fallout of failed long-term relationships. The crowd thinned to about 50 hushed and reverent people after CYHSY!'s crummy and dull set -- and as tears poured down our cheeks, the clinking of the bartenders unloading the Hobart couldn't even distract us from the brilliant and dazzling display of pure naked male pain that The National so readily trafficked in those days. Or perhaps I could tell you (again?), about when we saw them at Haley's in Denton a few weeks after that, opening for John Vanderslice -- and we brought cookies and we were all so extremely drunk and Pinkie sat on a speaker at the front of the stage through the whole set and at some point and we went a little crazy during the R. Kelly dance party (a J.V. specialty), Matt gave me a cut-out of Bono's nose from the cover of Rolling Stone (it's still stuck to the bulletin board over my desk...).

In short: our previous history with The National involved a lot of repressed emotions and brown liquor and beer -- so, when we saw them at Bowery last May, after the release of the still kind of sub-par Boxer, it was just strange. They weren't quite polished rockstars yet, but you could see it happening. And we had 18 months of grown-up perspective -- and weren't drunk.

And after a summer and fall of hard touring just about every corner of the world, The National returned to Brooklyn, "indie rock superstars" (as the emcee before Saturday's show so astutely noted) triumphant. And while the new songs still seem to fall flat live, The band made up for it by bringing ripping versions of old favorites "Wasp Nest," "City Middle," "Mr. November" and "Daughters of the Soho Riots," a giant disco ball during "Fake Empire," and a final encore of heart-ripper "About Today" that left us weeping at the sheer wonderfulness of the whole experience. And, in the end, I'm not sure that I ever really need to see them play live again. I'd rather remember, I think, that amazing nights at The Parish and Hailey's -- and leaving the BAM into the snow-encrusted, cold Brooklyn night moved by the final song than struggling to find the magic again. That being said, a new song was sneakily tacked on to the playlist -- and it was incredible -- so maybe that resolution isn't as permanent as I'd like to think.

The National -- About Today

BONUS: The National's Beggars Banquet labelmates, Berlin-based Aussie handsome fellows, Devastations have a great new album out called Yes, U. Here's a track from Coal, their previous effort, that's kind of the, well, antipodal version of "About Today" -- it's the same song, practically -- only upside-down.

Devastations -- I Don't Want To Lose You Tonight

Oh, and before I forget -- we were utterly charmed, as usual, by the opening set from My Brightest Diamond (the lovely and talented Shara Worden & her folklorico-gone-wrong gown). She played a favorite of ours that she's never recorded, the Kurt Weill number "Youkali." We hope she'll put it on an upcoming record. For now, we have to make do with Teresa Stratas' version on her album The Unknown Kurt Weill.

Teresa Stratas -- Youkali


And, you know, speaking of Australians and Kurt Weill, we just have to share this video from 1995 Canadian TV production September Songs of Nick Cave doing "Mack the Knife." Brilliant.


And, in a feat of bringing everything full circle, here's Jonny Greenwood channeling Robert Fripp on Brian Eno's "Baby's On Fire" from the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack. He's part of the Venus in Furs, featuring other members of Radiohead, Suede, and Roxy Music.

Venus In Furs -- Baby's On Fire


Oh, btw, WOMAN are rapidly becoming that band we keep missing (much like M83 and Electrelane). Next time, guys!

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22 February 2008

(photo credit: kathryn yu)

Hello everyone. It's Friday again, which means that (much like Loverboy) we've been working for the weekend. On the calendar for this particular fin-de-semaine is The National and My Brightest Diamond at the BAM on Saturday, followed by WOMAN and The Big Disappointments at the eternally nasty Lit Lounge. It's going to be a busy night. Somewhere, beauty sleep is going to have to fit in the picture as well, because we're fine ladies.

My Brightest Diamond -- Je n'en connais pas la fin / L'hymne l'amour

The National -- Murder Me Rachael (Live)

On the slate for next week, however, we have not one, but two DJ engagements. First, on Wednesday, February 27, we'll be at the decks for the inaugural Brooklyn Based Cocktail Club happy hour at Huckleberry Bar in Williamsburg:

And then...on Saturday, March 1, we'll be at Galapagos Art Space for Neon Lights' first party of the year with Eamon Hamilton (Brakes/ex-British Sea Power), Titus Andronicus, and Crystal Stilts:

Though we have been remiss in recent dedications, we simply must send a shoutout to the young man at Jay Street tunelessly mumbling Rihanna's "Please Don't Stop the Music" on Tuesday evening. Here's the original "mama-se mama-sa ma-ma-ko-sa." Contrary to popular belief, Michael Jackson isn't particularly innovative and settled out of court with Manu Dibango after the release of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'."

Manu Dibango - Soul Makossa

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18 February 2008

Happy President's day, y'all!

Okay, so we have this Audacity thing, and thus the power to create the unholy multi-track compilation thingies like the ones we subjected you to for everyone's least favorite cash-generating guilt fest. Now that there's a real holiday resulting in a day off for certain varieties of wage earners, we're bringing you another mix. This particular one was made sometime in 2002 on MiniDisc for a roadtrip from Austin to Dallas. Though the trip was aborted and the disc later transferred to CD, this collection of songs lived on in infamy in my car, because there was always a slim chance of an emergency in which italo disco might be required. Somehow during the move to NYC, the CD was tucked into a homemade sleeve for a His Name is Alive rarities compilation that Andrea from Warped Reality made for me...also back in 2002/3. I found it last week. Clearly, one should keep her flamingly gay dance mixes filed next to Livonia.

Cindy can talk about EuroVision all she wants, but italo is where it's at. And truthfully, I didn't put enough italo on this mix, but my friend Mercedes Benzedrina was going to Dallas with me, and I knew he'd hit me between reminiscences about dancing in a cage for money at 7th and Red River when it was still the center of the universe, when there was a bartender at the Crossing (now Spiro's) who answered to "Granny." At the time in history at which these events occurred, Kylie Minogue was still doing the locomotion, and walking shorts and blazers were acceptable attire for club-going gentlemen. Thankfully, I was too young to witness this carnage in person, though I do know the words to all of Stock, Aitken & Waterman's hits. Follow links A, B, and C for some of the worst of italo...or some of the best, depending on your point of view. And follow this link to the...

TRGAW Disco Mix

We didn't listen to this after converting to mp3, so if there are any glitches let us know.

Silver Pozzoli - Around My Dream

This post is respectfully dedicated to John Tyler (not to be confused with John Taylor, though he does appear below and on this mix). In consulting Wikipedia's list of presidents, Tyler was the only one we'd never heard of...and he was responsible for the annexation of Texas. Duh!

Duran Duran - New Moon on Monday (not really italo, but it's my favorite)

Oh hell, I hate YouTube...

Japan - Gentlemen Take (because it's never to late at night to look at Dave Sylvian)

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15 February 2008

(click for larger format!)

So, did you survive your Valentine's Day? Here's my mix for you! It's a little less cohesive than Pinkie's, and a little less sentimental, but sappy all the same. That's me to the core, I guess. Weird and sappy.

I promise, I didn't make this with any gentleman in mind, really -- save perhaps, the one who thinks this is the best mix ever. In that case, that young man should email me posthaste for a torrid correspondence. It will be awesome.

Side One
Side Two


On the calendar this weekend is The Vanity Set's cabaret-freak-folk-goth-happening at Southpaw Saturday (2/16) -- it's their first show in three years; alas, to do that we'll probably have to miss White Rabbits and Effi Briest at the BAM (for free!!, 8pm) and Blacklist at THE X RATED PANTY PARTY (ew! you guys!) at Don Hill's. If you go, make sure to get a picture of Minor with someone's frilly drawers on his head. Srsly. Do it.


14 February 2008

First in a series of two Valentine's Day mixtapes from The Rich Girls are Weeping.

This was made for a specific gentleman, but current circumstances are such that actually gifting him with it with it is inappropriate. Sharing it with others, however, isn't.

Side One
Side Two

Pinkie Von Bloom

Cindy's mix is up tomorrow. (BTW, these long-format mp3s were ripped directly from vinyl via an Ion USB turntable and edited in Audacity.)

11 February 2008

(photo by Aubrey Edwards)

So, ok. The Dale Watson report is that ... there is no Dale Watson report, and there are 5 unhappy girls (four from Austin, one from Cleveland) in NYC right now. We'd planned to make Aubrey, Melissa, and Stephanie honorary Rich Girls and go swoon over Mr. Watson at the Rodeo Bar, but sadly, his dates last weekend were canceled. If we were in Austin, we could see him any night this week -- but since we're not, we're all real bummed. We are, however, monitoring his tour dates, and we promise, next time he comes around, there will indeed be a Dale Watson report.

Here's a gem ca. 1996, when we all still lived in Austin and Dale still believed in country music. (Yeah, that Austin is so long-gone now...) Suffice it to say, we're ready for you to mock us -- but we just can't resist a man in a silly silver suit.

Speaking of renegade country music crushes, we found this video on YouTube of our fave steel guitar savant Chris Scruggs (a/k/a Our Very Favorite Part of SXSW 2006). This is what country music should sound like, y'all. It's the kind you can dance to. It makes us all mushy. We wuv you, Chris Scruggs! Hurry up and finish yr record! [Pinkie points out that Chris Scruggs is wearing the lovely blond Gretsch here, rather than sitting behind the pedal steel.]

Stay warm, y'all. It's freezing here in Brooklyn. [Literally.]

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08 February 2008

When we threw open the velvet curtains and tossed the dustcloths off the furniture last week and decided to reignite this project, Pinkie and I immediaely started digging through The Slush Pile, a/k/a the GIANT Shu Uemura shopping bag hidden behind my closet door full of over a year's worth of promo CDs (there's hundreds in there, at least!). We've actually received quite a few albums and miscellaneous promotional crap in the mail after a bit of a lull, so we thought we'd come clean and mention a few of the more interesting ones that have crossed our threshold recently (and not-so-recently). (Pinkie did most of the heavy lifting and listened to about 100 cds in 2 hours -- a superhuman feat of endurance if ever there was one. She would have you know that the free recipes included in the EMI international music series really weren't the bonus that EMI would like to believe they are.) We hope you'll hear something you like too.

We're not exactly sure how they got our home address, but when the frontman's named PH Lovecraft, is it really wise to ask too many questions? Ladies and gents, the soothing goth stylings of ... Funeral Crashers. No really -- they're really awesome! (Interesting side note: Mr. Lovecraft was a fellow video ho in the upcoming Bellmer Dolls video. He's such a cutie.) If you like what you hear, you can catch them Saturday (2/9) at Galapagos with uh, the soothing goth surf stylings of ... The Vandelles.

Funeral Crashers -- Curtains

Sometimes things find their way into your inbox from benevolent quarters; Dan of Hungry Eye records sent us two promos about an eon ago -- and we're sorry that we haven't had the chance to write about them until now...

Sixteens live on a cold, bleak, deserted island once inhabited by Adult., Danielle Dax, and Silverfish -- by which I mean, they live in uh, Oakland. If you like what you hear, you can catch them on 2/21 at The Knockout! in San Francisco.

Sixteens -- Crystalline Saturate

Because everyone should have a farewell kiss before martyrdom -- San Francisco's The Holy Kiss are gonna give you a big, wet, sloppy blues-y buss on your way to the pyre. Or something. Not surprisingly, they also play out soon (2/22) in San Fran, at Thee Parkside-Scatterbrain Jamboree AIDS Benefit Festival! (I am NOT making this up -- check their MySpace page for more details...)

The Holy Kiss -- Shot Love on a Back Line

And now for something ... not so dark and gloomy. Oh, come on ... you know we don't just love the dark and gloomy ... right? We accept young men in all kinds of suits. Including, naturally, Long Island City's own The Two Man Gentleman Band, those old-timey maestros of banjos & kazoos. How we've lived in this city so long and not known of their existence is beyond me -- so I say, thank you, Two Man Gentleman Band for sending some *ahem* Heavy Petting our way. Yes, that's right, their third album, Heavy Petting, will be released on 2/17. They're currently playing out and about in ... Florida (appropriate, I suppose) -- but will be back in NYC at the Rodeo Bar on 3/26. In the meantime, please partake of their genteel naughtiness. You'll thank us for it. Promise!

The Two Man Gentleman Band -- A Gentleman Knows How To Love (damn skippy!)

We may have missed the initial wave of hype for Brooklyn's purveyors of old-timey emo-type music The Forms, but rest assured, their Steve Albini-recorded, self-titled album has been on heavy rotation on laundry day for a few months now. And, if you ignored The Forms because of all that blog hype, may we suggest a listen now? If you're under 23, I'll let you know that this sounds a lot like what I was listenting to when I was 23; if you're on the wrong side of 30, like we are, The Forms will totally remind you of those music composition majors in the honors dorm who bought that 20 gallon bag of weed with their financial aid money. Oh, wait, you didn't know those guys. Or did you? Do tell! The Forms play the Gothamist Moveable Hype show on 2/15 with Pattern is Movement at Union Hall in Park Slope, Bklyn.

The Forms -- Transmission

And, well, while we're on the subject of old-timey emo, we'll close out this post with some Austin love. Zookeeper is the new project of Chris Simpson, late of Mineral and The Gloria Record (raise you hand if those names take you back to late nights at the Empanada Parlour!) -- and a rotating cast of guests, old friends and new. [Pinkie regretfully points out that she was probably somewhere on 4th Street during those years.] Up-and-coming Austin production gurus Erik Wofford and Alex Lyon (ex-The Arm, Zykos, and occasional guitar tech for Calla) pull duty behind the boards here, and when I tell you the whole album drips with all the deliciousness of a perfect pollen-free spring day in Austin. I know there's a few of y'all out there who might get a slight idea of what I mean. More than a few of the ex-emo crowd have dipped a toe into the 'Americana' pool to bounce back, with decidedly mixed results (White Whale, anyone?), but Simpson's got a winner here. If you read this in time, Austinites, catch Zookeeper tonight (2/8) at Emo's with Zykos, Alex Dupree & The Trapdoor Band, and Frank Smith.

Zookeeper -- Ballad of My Friends

Have a lovely weekend, and stay tuned next week for more tales from the slush pile, a Dale Watson report, and Our Valentine's Mix Tapes.


05 February 2008

I have the "Williamsburg Crud" -- a/k/a some crappy upper respiratory infection brought into my office last week by the creeps who live in Williamsburg. Nothing against them, or Williamsburg, but seriously, that place is like a freakin' kindergarten in more ways than one. The L train may be a swell train, but it's also a petri dish of disease. Sorry, you'd be this bitter too if you had a sharp, hacking cough that made you sound like a sick five-year-old. I'll get over it. Pass me a Ricola.

In the meantime, had a lovely time this weekend in Williamsburg, of all places -- and at the increasingly down-at-heel Annex in the increasingly trite Lower East Side. Pity that lovely faux walnut paneling is gouged like, 12 feet off the floor -- I don't even want to know how the hell that happened! But hey, they have nice barstools. [Pinkie argues that they're merely OK.]

We'd never actually been to the rather storied, infamous Glasslands, that bastion of hip artiness right next to the water and catty corner to the "historical" Domino Refinery monolith thing home to lots of rats who eat sugar. It's spitting distance from Manhattan (provided you don't mind a wade in the East River) and 2/3 a mile from the nearest Brooklyn subway stop. Riiiiiight. A $15 cab ride later (because you can't get there from any other neighborhood in Brooklyn, really -- unless it's one of the adjacent ones) we arrived just in time to catch the Napalm/Dero/Malat set (I totally tried to suggest a more mellifluous name, like Possum Noir -- one of my better suggestions, if I must say so -- but they had to be all Medeski, Martin & Wood about it). Anyway, wow. I mean sure, it's easy to rave about something when it's your friend's side project with his buddies from across the pond, but seriously... It was all kinds of dark and lovely and cinematic -- just what the doctor ordered. And any drummer who attacks his cymbals, as M. Dero did, with a length of chain is totally all right by us. And oooh, Tex Napalm is totally the naughty post-punk little brother of one of our other Berliner faves, Max Raabe (well, it makes sense to us, anyway... BTW, remind us to tell you about seeing Max Raabe und das Palastorchester from a box at Carnegie Hall for Pinkie's birthday with our friend Vonelle...)

So, anyway, catch the ol' Napalm/Dero/Malat train if you're in the PacNW this week:

Thursday, Feb 7 with Garland Ray Project (Sam Bond's, Eugene)
Friday, Feb 8 with The Dead Science & Magick Daggers (Vera Project, Seattle)
Saturday, Feb 9 with Magick Daggers and Garland Ray Project (Rotture, PDX)

Meanwhile, we thoroughly enjoyed Jerry Teel & the Big City Stompers, who did a grand cover of Johnny Cash and June Carter's "Long Legged Guitar Pickin' Man". And we totally got big, giant crushes on Five Dollar Priest before the bass cab blew out, bringing the proceedings to an early close. (Plus, they made us totally nostalgic for Austin's long-lost The Arm.)

Somehow, we managed to miss WOMAN both Saturday and Sunday (sorry, Ryan!) and we totally missed Mark Steiner & The NYC Pikers at the Annex because we're slow old ladies who need to do laundry on Sunday nights (sorry, Peter!), but here's a taste of his slinky song-stylings (with the aforementioned M. Dero on drums & Mr. Napalm on guitar) -- sit through the opening bit, it's worth it:


And now a note from Pinkie... Mere mention of The Arm is cause for me to start babbling about their fizzling out being the biggest disappointment in Austin music in the past several years (other than the mere existence of Sound Team). Ask me to justify it, and I can't, but I'm sort of embarrassed that I never fessed up, in person, about liking them so damned much. Sean Oh-No was sort of Austin's own James Murphy or Mark E. Smith and could (and probably still can) holler like no one's business, even though he's now over at The Onion A.V. Club. Five Dollar Priest took us back to that weird night at 710 when The Arm ran out of steam after an organ bit the dust. Cindy managed to get a word in amidst Ron Ward's hollering to tell me that she kind of missed The Arm, and that the Five Dollar Priest experience (ex-Swans / Sonic Youth status and a clarinetist notwithstanding) was probably the closest thing we were going to get...which led me to mumble something about the wrong city at the wrong time before I stepped back up onto the banquette so I could see the stage again. So NYC and other places, we bring you The Arm. Too little and too late.

The Arm -- Vile Lives
The Arm -- Song Automatic 1-2-3

In other news, another band from the hometown shortlist of awesomeness has a new EP. Said band would be Cry Blood Apache, who--last we saw them--were overly loud and performatively inaccessible, yet doing something that managed to be just shy of amazing despite the involvement of costumes. I'm not sure if Cindy remembers, but it was the night we went to meet Terry at le Chain Drive and check out the DJ booth before we started our residency. At the time, Cry Blood Apache were lauded long and hard by Voxtrot's Ramesh Srivastava, and they delivered on every superlative. It seems they've settled into a more mainstream post-punk groove with the new release, but we expect that the live experience is still pretty raw.

Cry Blood Apache -- The Northern Travelers

For a taste of the spectacle, here's some footage from a warehouse show at SXSW 2007:

Thus concludes today's note from Pinkie. At some point she promises not to talk about bands from Texas, dead projects that haven't had a release in 20 years, fantasies about the Pyramid Club in 1982, Modernism in the Weimar Republic, or the infamous October 1988 issue of Seventeen.


Blessedly, this week is pretty low-key, and hopefully, I can shake this terrible disease I've caught. Wish me luck. However, later this week, we promise to take you through our slush pile, for a new feature known as "You sent it to us, it's your own damn fault."

This post is respectfully dedicated to The Guy From The Middle of the Block who hollered after me Saturday night as we walked down the street, "Damn, I wish I was your daddy." Thank you kindly, but I'm not havin' it.

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01 February 2008

It's Friday in New York City, and last we checked, probably in the rest of the world too. And it should be snowing today, but it's not. Instead it's icky and rainy and pretty well meets the description of the kind of day that Cindy thinks is awesome for Bon Iver. Except, being Friday, more upbeat entertainment is required.

You see, Echo and the Bunnymen are Cindy's problem. I have two problems. The first is Nick Cave, in most iterations, but preferably on the 50/50 holler and croon. The second is the Judy's, the Best Ever New Wave Band Out of Pearland. Once, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away (AKA I wrote a pretty fawning paragraph or two about Washarama. I also gifted a rockstar who will remain unnamed with a shiny CD copy because I thought he was special (in the head). I think I tried to intellectualize my interest in the Judy's by making some inferences about their continued value to the longevity of self-produced and self-released Texas indie rock and their status as founders of a certain variety of psycho surf new wave or some other kind of self-aggrandizing and academic-minded bullshit like that that I didn't really believe. I just wanted to sound cool; still, I can wax academic ad nauseum. This is all my women's studies degree is good for. Down with semiotics; the Judy's were fucking awesome. And I don't even know why, except that they were. I think the Judy's are what happens when you're three teenagers from the Texas coastal flats and you feel the need to rock. Or could also become Calla. But I guess there was less time to be jaded and affected in 1978, which was when Teenage Hangups was "released" to the delight of all at Pearland High. I'm sure it was completely rad, but my mental image is of David Bean sitting alone at a cafetorium table with his box of 7"s flanked by brownies and snickerdoodles belonging to the math club bakesale for which he was also managing the cash box. I so enjoy scripts! Me? I was 3 years old. Fast forward ten years to the summer of 1988 when my friend Denise and I had stupid new wave hair and were all about the Mixtape. Her sister's crummy C90s were the best. Enter Heaven 17, Soft Cell, deep catalog Depeche Mode, Danielle Dax, and the Judy's.

A vinyl pressing of Moo (1985) is one of the holy grails of Texas music. A certain ilk of independent record store is always likely to get their hands on a used copy of Washarama (1981), but somehow Moo, pasteurized and "fortified with vitamins," manages to evade captivity. I myself have seen it only once, high on the consignment wall of the late and lamented Austin location of SoundExchange Records. (Take that Baja Fresh and gentrification of the Drag! But does preferring my Guadalupe without the side of gutter punk mean that I'm part of the problem? I remember when I was 19 and still in school waiting on a light on the corner.) I vividly remember the $90 pricetag. In those days of pristine credit, anything beyond the requisite $22 import was an impossibility. Arguably, $22 should still be my limit on everything. Even though Washarama was home of "Guyana Punch" which hit Texas like Buddy Holly fronting Sparks, Moo was where the rest of the magic happened: ghosts in bikinis doing creepy watoosi, Wilma's g-string, femicidal narratives, gender reassignment, and "Teenage Millionaire," the ultimate ode to the Steff archetype, a year before James Spader put us in a preteen swoon.

At any rate, and at long last the Judy's have reissued everything. Teenage Hangups, The Wonderful World of Appliances, Washarama, Moo, David Bean's Modo Music, the Big Boys' first record, tee-shirts, vintage buttons (extant from 1981). Everything is available...except for Girl of 1000 Smells, which sold out in like 2.5 seconds. CD and vinyl. You bet I was all over that, mainly for Moo and ...Appliances, and collected in full just before Christmas, much to the "huh, what?" of friends who I texted with the news. Also, there's an awesometacular documentary at YouTube, and some kind soul took it upon himself to upload actual video from the 1981 Washarama release party at Houston's Agora Ballroom, which eliminates our need to bring you mp3s, which will probably make Jeff Walton, former Judy, very happy. Watch the videos here. Order your records directly from Wasted Talent.

The Judy's -- Guyana Punch (from Washarama)

The Judy's -- Underwater Fun
(from The Wonderful World of Appliances)

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Is this thing on or what?!?!? Hello! OMG, we're back. I kind of swore up and down (and UP AND DOWN) for months that I wouldn't wouldn't wouldn't resuscitate this project, yet here we are.

We have some catching up to do, but I think that would just be boring, really. I mean, did anything good come out in the last 6 months? Oh, I'm kidding, I'm sure something did. You should tell us what you're hot for, yeah?

First off, look! We actually rated a voice in the Idolator poll this year (ok, I filled out the ballot, but Pinkie helped!) -- I couldn't have been more thrilled. And, it's 2007 in a nutshell, more or less -- can we reiterate how much we love James Murphy AND T-Pain? The only thing that would be better is if they would actually work together. Ha!

In the meantime, I have to admit I got the itch to write about thrilling new music again after seeing blogger favorite Bon Iver open for Elvis Perkins back in early December. Initially, I'd avoided Bon Iver like the plague -- nothing like the deafening clamor of CMJ buzz to kill any nascent interest one might have in a band. However, once I actually stopped to listen (ok, ok -- yeah, it was the press release from Jagjaguwar that finally hooked me, I'll confess), I was floored.

And the live experience of one-man band of Justin Vernon, hunting cabin popster? It's is a joy to behold and hear -- he's got an arsenal of pretty instruments and looping processors and a pretty voice to go with. On record, his vocals are haunting, distant -- but in person it's clear that Mr. Vernon is the bizarre musical offspring of Joni Mitchell and Joe Cocker, with a liberal dash of Warren Defever and greasy side order of Benjamin Smoke. The set left me giddy and weak in the knees, though I wasn't quite as tongue-tied as the idiot blogger who declared to Mr. Vernon that For Emma, Forever Ago was "Easily in my top six records of the year!" (People: NOT TOP TEN. OR TOP FIVE. TOP SIX. Really, now!) No, let's instead say that Mr. Vernon has made one of the best records of the new year -- it's getting a splashy re-release in February on Jagjaguwar -- really, we can't express how strongly we believe that it's totally worth your time to spend a watery, grey winter afternoon with this one.

His Name is Alive -- No Hiding Place Down Her
The Opal Fox Quartet -- Frail Body
Bon Iver -- Skinny Love
Bon Iver -- Lump Sum

So, after spending November recovering from our non-bloody appearance at the Bellmer Dolls' video shoot (more on that when they actually release it to the public), a December full of travel (don't ask how I ended in Orlando for 3 hours, I just did!) and a January full of work (I edited over 1,000 pages for three books and Pinkie saved the world approx. 16 times), we're busting full-on into 2008 a month late with activity levels not witnessed in ages and ages.

We sadly skipped Blacklist opening for The Teenagers and the inaugural date of Andi & Jen's new monthly Corduroy Pop Dance Party at Cake Shop, to catch Joanna Newsom & band with the Brooklyn Philharmonic at the BAM. Now, since Pinkie'd had such a great time seeing Antony (and assorted Johnsons) perform with the BP last year, I was expecting something transcendent -- but instead just came away with a really, really bad taste in my mouth. Newsom & Co. were dazzling; but the orchestra was limp, faint and practically toneless. And the oboeist's contempt for the proceedings was unprofessional and distracting, as she sat moping, chin in hand, turned off by either Newsom's performance or Van Dyke Parks' oboe-less orchestrations -- or both. The best part was when she matter-of-factly tooted her few notes, packed up her instrument and closed her score in the middle of a song. Note to orchestra: when you're on a stage, we can see you. That being said, big ups to the trumpet player for totally rocking out. Dude, you rule. Thank goodness that torture only lasted a few songs; the general climate of the performance improved greatly after the orchestra vacated the stage and Ms. Newsom donned a too-short hot pink velvet dress.

As for the rest of the weekend? Well, we'll have to miss Ola Podrida at Union Hall because we simply must catch our favorite tailor, moonlighting Bellmer Doll and all-around righteous dude Anthony S. Malat's shows with pals Tex Napalm and Dimi Dero at Glasslands on Saturday. Also on the bill, Five Dollar Priest, Jerry Teel & the Big City Stompers, WOMAN, and the ubiquitous Jim Sclavunos on selector duties (pick a link...we can't decide on one). The party continues Sunday night at The Annex on the early side (7:30!) with a slightly different bill (Mark Steiner and the NYC Pikers, Napalm/Dero/Malat, Jerry Teel & the Big City Stompers, WOMAN) -- happy birthday, Ryan!

So, we're back. We're planning some regular features and lots of fun things in the next few months, but we'll sign off for now and respectfully dedicate this entry to the Bad Taste Bear crossing Fulton this evening, headphones leaking Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl." Sir, this one's for you.

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