Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Goodbye Sound Fix

Bedford Avenue just got a little sadder.

According to Prefix, Williamsburg's Sound Fix Lounge is closing.

Granted I didn't go there often, in fact, the one show I saw there was Dave Lerner's post-Pharmacists project Spectacular Bird ( a little disapointing after being such a fan of his work wih Ted Leo, but "C'mon Katherine" is catchy). All shows were always all ages and free. The bar served cheap drinks, and even made chai teas in mason jars for my friends when asked. It was intimate and adorable and will be closing (apparently) because of neighbors complaining about noise. Neighbors suck.

Sound Fix the Record Store plans to remain open.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Guaranteed Happiness Playlist

The songs that make me happy right now. (links are to some pretty excellent videos)

1. Noah and the Whale - 5 Years Time
(which is no surprise, since I wrote about this song yesterday)
2. The Who - The Kids Are Alright
3. Vampire Weekend - A-Punk
4. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Walking to Do
(starts around 3:30, but is preceded by an equally happiness inducing song)
5. The Apples in Stereo - Sunndal Song
6. Belle & Sebastian - I'm a Cuckoo
7. The Shins - Australia
8. Creaky Boards - The Songs I Didn't Write
(available for download here)
9. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Think I Wanna Die
10. Pixies - Here Comes Your Man

Also, Guaranteed Happiness Picture!!!

Here's the whole thing in the handy imeem format!

What are YOUR happy songs?

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Current Obsession

Noah and the Whale's "5 Years Time"

Catchy without being annoying, sunny without being overly bright, sweet without being cloying, and refreshing without being overly simple. A perfect piece of Pop.

And I'm pretty into that video as well. I think it's the tiny bits of choreography and the yellow and blue outfits that get me. Conceptual, but not too stylized. It really is all about striking the perfect balance with these guys, isn't it?

I look forward to getting to know them better (And I don't hold the fact that this song is in a Saturn commercial against them). If I ever manage to tear myself away from this song, that is.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Things I Don't Need but Must Have

LEGO is branching out in the most fantastic way. Now tell me, what child of the 80's wouldn't want a digital camera made of LEGO's. Or an mp3 player. Or walkie-talkies. LEGO walkie-talkies! They're designed for children, apparently. Shwhatever. Who could resist this?

I want it so bad! Sadly, I must wait till later this year. Check out the details (and more photos) at Gigwise.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"I've got a mountain in my pants, and that is not a metaphor"

If I were planning to have children, I would want Stephen Colbert to father them.

As we all know, Stephen has a history of clashes with the music world. First "Rock and Awe: Countdown to Guitarmageddon," the guitar solo battle against Chris Funk of the Decemberists, then the star-studded musical EXTRAVAGANZA that was his Christmas special, followed by an attempt at a feud with Kanye West. And now this.

Holy crap. I don't know what I liked better, the glowing face paint or the way he did a face-wipe to get himself to stop laughing afterward.

As far as the challenge itself, it goes way beyond his green screen challenge. Green screens are so played. As Pitchfork so elegantly explains it: " A fan remix of a talk show chat about remixing. Meta-tastsic."
Granted, most of what comes out of this will be shit. But hey, some of it's bound to be fun, right? It was already worth it for that video of his own remix. Or is it a mash-up? oh, semantics.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

they are LOST!

Lost doesn't have much in the way of music. Ominous tones do not a soundrack make. And honestly, though they add suspense, some times they can be a bit much. Now, I know the main titles are minimalistic in order to add to the mystery, but a kickass theme song is maybe the one thing that would make this show better (after you embrace the ridiculous, of course).

So in honor of tonight's tremendous season premiere, i give you the lost Lost theme song:

you're welcome.

and seriously, this show is good again. tell your friends.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hipsters and Babies.

How do you know indie rockers are getting older? When Paste publishes An Indie Rock Alphabet Book. It's actually pretty cute due to the stylish illustrations and some subtle jabs to the artists.

You can flip through it by going here.

My favorite page?


Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Decemberists!


Mr. Meloy and Co. are breaking us off a piece of their upcoming rock opera The Hazards of Love. Shit, this is going to be good.

head to for a free download of "The Rake's Song." (or head to Stereogum if you want to skip the email list sign-up).

Monday, January 12, 2009

You Should Know

Today the inimitable Daytrotter put up a session featuring Ben Kweller.

Typically I'm not really into the whole singer/songwriter, acoustic-y sound, but there's something about Ben Kweller. There's this youthful exuberance and honesty that's present in all his songs, simple and pleasant. And I was always impressed that he played every instrument on every track for his last full length, Ben Kweller. Plus he's got that big hair.

The session features the title track from On My Way and three new tracks from his forthcoming Changing Horses. The new ones sound decidedly more alt-country, in a delightful way. Head here to check it out.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hello, Vinyl

For a long time I've been wanting a turntable. I've been collecting vinyl for months in preparation for the day that I would finally get one (despite much mocking from my friends). I spent the searching for and going through my parents' respective collections to mixed results. My mother happened to have an original Meet the Beatles that she had reprehensibly let warp by storing it in the garage. My father had eclectic mix from The Allman Brothers to Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell to Men at Work (really Dad?) to The Very Best of the Loving Spoonful. But somehow he'd lost his Tommy. I took what was of interest, having full faith that one day, one day, I would be able to drop the needle, sit back, close my eyes, and enjoy.

Well friends, that day has finally come.

For Christmas I was gifted this fabulous ION TTUSB turntable. Not only does it kick out the jams while spinning some sweet sweet vinyl, but it connects by USB to your computer device, making it possible to record your vinyl to mp3. It may be one of the most fantastic things I've ever owned (next to my wine red Fender Jazz Bass, naturally). The EZ Vinyl Converter software lives up to its name, and in connection with the Gracenote database's song-identification system, it practically works by magic.

I spent yesterday and today making recordings. First was The Rolling Stones' got LIVE if you want it!, an incredible recording with a fun mix of their earlier songs. Unfortunately, one of my mother's brothers long ago defaced the sleeve by drawing mutton chops and mustaches on each of the Stone's. It worked on Keith far more than on Mick (that man was not made for facial hair).

Next I recorded The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour, a recent gift. Actually, it was rescued from destruction by my mother from being made into a bowl by her boyfriend's sisters. They claimed it was warped, but it was not so. It played beautifully, not a single scratch or skip. However, Abbey Road was not so lucky, and is now sitting on my desk in a less-than-flat shape.

Finally, at my father's request, I recorded The Allman Brothers Band. With longer tracks, the process took less monitoring on my part. I also thoroughly enjoyed the heavy bass in the intro to "Whipping Post." But my favorite part was the naked group photo on the inside of the sleeve. Don't worry, no one is overexposed, they are obviously sitting in a creek. The 70's was such a strange time.

The one drawback to the recording-vinyl-to-mp3 process is that it can only be done in real time. Particularly if you want to differentiate between tracks, which has to be done manually. Now, I don't mind listening through entire albums, but it does take a certain time commitment.

I thoroughly recommend the ION turntable, it has made my vinyl dreams come true.