Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Law & Order: Hipster Intent

How do you know a trend is played? It's featured on Law & Order.

Turns out Jeff "The Genius" Goldblum's first episode as a CI regular is about the death of a Williamsburg hipster. Seriously. They actually use the word hipster in the episode description (titled "Rock Star," by the way).

Things I learned about my neighbors and neighborhood by watching Law & Order: CI (in real time):
  • Hipsters are rich, white, and racist
  • They live in loft communes
  • Williamsburg is where "worlds collide," what with all the Jews and "Urban Blacks" and Musicians
  • Williamsburg is a slum
  • The difference between Rappers and MCs (see below!)
  • Every hipster is in a band
  • and has bedbugs
  • and go to Spelling Bees? "Nostalgia and beer. Who can resist?" (ok, I have to give L&O that one, that actually sounds like real hipsters)
  • It is extremely hard to get gigs as a hipster band
  • Girls can drum
  • No-name hipster bands magically have audiences
  • Everyone wants to be a rock star (ok, that one's true too)
  • Hipsters kill to get spots in hip bands
  • A girl who paints canvases with her own body fluids! (that sounds like a hipster too)
  • Bed bug epidemic. ew.
  • You have to be "ready" to play clubs in the East Village
  • All 20-year old girls sleep around
  • Developers are trying to push out the artists to build condos (true story!)
  • OMG! that's Albert Hammond Jr's (and Medium Cool's) guitarist Marc Philippe Eskenazi! What's he doing on Law & Order? as the bassist?
  • scarves and leather are totes in.
  • "He's gonna be bigger than Brooklyn"
  • Near McCarren Park is a "dangerous neighborhood"
  • No one insults Bo Diddley and gets away with it! Irreverant kids!
  • The Grammy's are irrellevant (true)
  • Don't trust aging "rock stars." (oh, i get it....)
Also, how dare that redhead doubt Jeff "The Genius" Goldblum's brilliancy, even for a second!

Despite the ridiculous premise, JGold is AMAZING. Tivo it if you get a chance.

Here's a taste (courtesy of Videogum):

Monday, April 27, 2009

Liveblogging Decemberists on Colbert

11:50 Colbert calls the Hazards of Love a list of STD's set to music. this will be fun

11:51 Starts with the personal questions I see, might as well just ask if they're getting any... Just Colin and Chris, interesting....

11:52 Very little love for Portland. Ha! Guitarmageddon. Remember that? What a great title.

11:53 Colin's bangs are so much cuter than mine. sigh. Sideburns joke! But no mention of Funk's near-handlebar.

11:56 Who's that dude?

11:57 OH! they're all there, but only Colin and Chris get to talk. I see how it is.

11:58 I don't know which song this is. I'm embarrassed of myself. I was hoping for "The Rake's Song." .... But this is nice.

11:59 I love Nate's blue Fender Jazz Bass.

12:00 Shara Worden, you look so different from the last time I saw you. Where's the hippie hair and peasant dress? but damn, she is wailing.

12:01 ...And Becky Stark gets to shake a tambourine. ... I swear Stephen built that stage to have more musical guests. I love it.

Hm, best song choice? Not sure. But that interview was adorably awkward.

I'll post the video when I have it!

UPDATE: vids vids vids.

The Interview.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Decemberists
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorGay Marriage Commercial

The Song. "The Wanting Comes in Waves."
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Decemberists - The Wanting Comes in Waves
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorGay Marriage Commercial

BONUS! Colin's Twitter about the event:

Would've tweeted more from the show but there was a cell lock-down in the studio. Think Stephen was afraid I'd mobilize my twitter legion.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

new most played song

I don't need to re-recount my itunes reset. But that does naturally mean that I have a new Most Played list. What is my new #1 after about 6 weeks, you might wonder? Ok. You don't care. But I'm going to tell you anyway!

So, this little ditty was featured on the Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist soundtrack. I never saw the film, which is probably why I missed this song when it first came out. I found it recently, and immediately couldn't stop listening to it.

It's every wonderful thing you might expect from VW. Catchy, summery, self-referential. With great strings. I think it's my favorite Vampire Weekend song. (and i kind of like them a lot).

Also, have you heard they're recording a new album? like, right now. They're making a concerted effort to make somethign new and different. They seem to be aware that if they release another album with the same sound there will be ALL SORTS of new backlash. Those Ivy League degrees weren't for nothin'.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Ever wonder what the news would be like T-Pain style?

Who knew Katie Couric was such a great singer? "Oh snap! How fast?" Fab. U. Lous.

Thanks so much to Emily for bringing this to my attention!

Is Passion Pit the new Vampire Weekend?

I certainly hope not. I much prefer boat shoes and African beats.

However, the CONCEPT for the video of "The Reeling," the first single off their as-yet-unreleased debut Manners, is pretty cool. I want to go to a party like that!

But seriously, it's kind of better with the sound off.

I'm not being mean. I tried to listen to their Chunk of Change EP and couldn't get through it. The synths/electronics are beyond abrasive, they're painful. They literally hurt my ears. Like,
Dear Passion Pit, Turn down the fucking treble, you're making my ears bleed, love, madelyn.

I'm not saying the songs are bad. The melodies are great! I even like Michael Angelakos' screechy falsetto. But I just can't listen to their music the way it is.

Remixed, however, totally different story! Listen to The Knocks' remix of "Sleepyhead" and you will understand what I mean. UH-mazing. Compared to the original, no contest.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

times like these need musics like this

Feel-good music is the best, isn't it?

Fellow NYU senior Nyle is a talented rapper and musician who, with "Let the Beat Build" has created an infectious, spirited, and inspiring tune. And an equally engaging video. Love the mustachioed man at the beginning. And damn can those ladies sing, right?

Nyle "Let The Beat Build" from Nyle on Vimeo.

also, he just so happens to be a former roommate of one of my good friends, and I'm embarrassed to admit that I recently skipped his set when he was performing at the same show with The Americans and Samuel. Sorry Nyle! After seeing this, I definitely won't do it again.

New Obsession, continued

Honestly, Yeasayer is way hipper than the music I usually listen to. I mean, their album was Pitchfork's "Best New Music" for weeks when it came out. I mean, seriously, they are from Brooklyn and describe themselves as "Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel." Somebody kill me now, please. Gross.


The only reason I listened to it was because I had been listening to Yeah Yeah Yeahs and just let my itunes continue to play. What just happened to come on was Yeasayer's contribution to the Dark Was the Night compilation, "Tightrope." It think I've already listened to it about 12 times today. And that's a conservative guess.

Here's a video of them performing the song. Slightly different than the studio version, but still delectable. (don't let the disgusting hipster outfits turn you off. it's pretty bad. like, downright stereotypical.)

It was raining when I first heard this song. And I think that almost describes it perfectly. It's music to listen to the rain with. Gorgeous, contemplative, dreamy. Like the tribal Broadcast 2000. The more rocking Beirut. With monkey sounds. That's it! It's rain forest music. And I mean that in the best possible way. Also, I'm really in love with Chris Keating's vocal delivery; he doesn't settle for the straightforward and really plays with what he singing, the "never mind" bit is my fave.

After the first couple listens I noticed the first few lines... "So you're wishing that you never did all the embarrassing things you've done. And you're wishing you could make it right. And you're wishing you could stay the night." Seriously. Story of my life. And he's right, "wishing never solved a problem."


Monday, April 20, 2009

New Obsession

Can't stop listening to Yeasayer's "Tightrope." More on this later.

late-night ruminations

It's funny how music can be so associative. The first bars of Voxtrot's "Fast Asleep" mentally put me in last June, walking through Peter Cooper Village, smelling the summer, feeling... whatever it was i was feeling back then. I listened to Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, & Wives and Raised by Wolves back-to-back almost exclusively for weeks. The association is so strong, I almost can't stand it. I probably could break it if I really tried, but I don't know if I want to. It's kind of cool that I have an instant time machine of sorts. But it's also a little sad that I can't listen to these songs without the association. Like, they have a meaning now and they can't mean anything else. They're frozen in the past, they can't just be what they are. Then again, is that really better? Should songs be free of association? No. But they should perhaps not be saturated in association.

God, this is starting to sound like my "Art of Listening" class. I apologize.

Forget about this. Go see Crank 2.

Side note: I know I should be sleeping at this hour instead of philosophizing, but at least it's better than my last two nights in which, instead of sleeping, I was either thinking I was dying from heart palpitations or embarrassing myself on facebook. This is more public, but considerably better for my health.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Go see Crank: High Voltage

this is a music blog, true (and, admittedly, one i have been slacking on). HOWEVER, i enjoy movies as well. My friends and I have been spending the semester watching ridiculous action flicks (including a Valentine's Day Transporter double feature). So naturally, the release of Crank: High Voltage was going to be an exciting event. Not only have I recently become infatuated with Jason Statham, but by the looks of it, it was going to be an entertaining and ridiculous gore-fest.

And man, was I right. Do yourself a favor, GO SEE IT. The gratuitous violence, sex, and surrealism will do you some good.

Plus it features REO Speedwagon's "Keep on Lovin' You" and a cameo by a Spice Girl!

While listening, just imagine Jason Statham making out with a topless Amy Smart, shocking himself, then shooting some people and you've pretty much got it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

He won't stop till somebody stops him...

So I've been spending most of my afternoon watching Human Giant. In the 4th (?) episode is one of my favorite sketches ever (though the version on the DVD is a little different), and I'd totally forgotten how much I love it. I think they really nail the indie music culture, particularly the Pitchfork bit. Plus Ted Leo's in it.

"Yeah well, I got gold records on my wall... and blood on my hands." Now, the real question is, how do I get a job like that?

Monday, April 13, 2009

rock me, sexy earth

Lindsay at Videogum is totally right, Paul Rudd can sing and dance on Sesame Street dressed as the planet Earth and still be sexy.

Yes, Paul, the Earth does rock.

Notice how he's totally channeling Elvis. I love it.

Set your Tivo!

The Decemberists are returning to The Colbert Report on April 27th. Neat-o.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin @ The Mercury Lounge

and Drew Danburry too.

I haven't been going to shows lately. With the exception of seeing Samuel play a few clubs (once with the always fun Postelles), the last show I went to was Indie Rock Karaoke Returns Again with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists hosted by Andrew W.K. and that was in December. SO, needless to say, I was looking forward to going to see a band I don't personally know in a proper music venue.

Two word review:

More word review:
I honestly didn't know what to expect from Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin live. Their albums aren't the rockingest, so would their show be? I decided to set my expectations low. That's not to say I don't really like them. Pershing was the album of (the second half of) my summer. "Think I Wanna Die" was my most-played song ever. But still, I hate to get my hopes up and be let down.

But seriosuly, it rocked. I danced. I sang along. I shouted "Hey" along with them. I chatted with equally enthusiatic fans. They had a ton of energy and it was a blast.

Their set was a little too short in my opinion, but it included most everything I wanted to hear. "Pangea" and "Oregon Girl" kicked it off, and an amazing "Modern Mystery" closed it out (pre-encore). They were fun to watch, and very personable. Post-encore they threw their instruments and jumped all over the drum kit. It's good to watch a bad that has fun with what they do.

By far the most fun to watch was Phil, who drummed for most of the set but picked up a guitar and the mic toward the end. When he was drumming, he was ON FIRE. So amazingly energetic. And I am constantly impressed by anyone who can drum and sing at the same time (even you, youngest Jonas). Maybe the energy wasn't all natural though... my favorite part of the night was this exchange between him and most-of-the-time lead singer/guitarist and sometimes bassist, John:

John: Is that a Red Bull?

Phil: Yes.

John: How many have you had?

Phil: Four.

John: (pause) That's not even a joke, is it?

Phil: No.

John: What's your record?

Phil: Six.

John: Was that in Cleveland?

Phil: Yes.

John: You need six Red Bulls for Cleveland.

Anyway... they were great. I went from generally liking them to really loving them in one night. This is why I love live music.

And a note on Drew Danburry: He was delightful. I love when an opener is charismatic enough to entertain a group of people who doesn't know who he is. He even got me singing along! And his bassist wore his bass so high he looked like he was straight out of 1952. It was adorable.

For your viewing pleasure, the obviously low budget (and obviously AWESOME) video about dueling paper boys (and aliens!) for Pershing standout "Modern Mystery." New love-of-my-life Phil is in the pink (orange?) wayfarers.

The "Think I Wanna Die" video (that I posted here) was what made me first like them, but this one might just be better. I really like the fact that that the song was live recorded especially for the video. I like the feel of it.

I imagine that they would be a very fun bunch to hang out with.

Friday, April 10, 2009

This is why I have a "Take on Me" google alert

because otherwise I would miss out on FABULOUS things, like this...

A ToM cover by Shiny and the Spoon. It's quite beautiful. And probably the most original one I've heard so far, and that's really saying something. I think you'll like it, cause I mean, who doesn't love a good ukulele?

thanks to The Smiths' Occasional Blog for originally posting about this.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

the joys of twitter

colinmeloy: In the event of society's collapse, I hope I can count on you all to serve as my army. @johncmayer will no doubt be a powerful rival clan.

If those are my choices, i choose Colin.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Ocarina of Rhyme

A Hip-Hop/Zelda mash-up mixtape. BRILLIANT!

Producers Team Teamwork took the themes from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and layered on the beats and rhyming of such artists as Clipse, Jay-Z, Common, Aesop Rock, and Spank Rock (among others).

And it's pretty awesome on many levels. But I think I mostly like it because I have such strong feelings and childhood associations with Ocarina.

The opening track featuring Clipse/The Lost Woods theme is a great one to start with. But track 2 featuring Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg/Getting Treasure, while clever, is not as enjoyable. The Jay-Z/Meeting the Owl track, on the other hand is truly amazing. I could probably listen to it all day, and I'm not a hip-hop fan, so that's really saying something. Pimp C, Li'l Keke, & P.O.P./Hyrule Field has its moments, especially the great chorus. The Common/Hyrule Market track is good, but not as good as it should be, you know? Aesop Rock/Goron Village, on the other hand, is AWESOME! As is the Edan/Battle track that follows. But MF Doom/Horse Race is kind of cute? ultimately, a little too kitschy for my taste. And the Spank Rock/Zora's Domain and Slim Thug & Mike Jones/Fairy's Fountain are nice, if mellow, way to take us out.

Here are my favorite 3 tracks: Clipse, Jay-Z, and Aesop Rock.

You can listen to the whole thing over on 8tracks, and you can download it here.

Team Teamwork also have a sweet Okkervil River mash-up over on their myspace.

Even More Hutchtastic!

Remember when I wrote about The Thermals' new single "Now We Can See" off the their album of the same name (out today!)?

Well that catchy tune of theirs now has a video!

Not entirely unexpected, they tend to like rocking out in a room for their videos. But Hutch is in fine form (love the adorable dancing), and the song is fun. So rock on.

You can snag an mp3 of the song over on Stereogum.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Video Flashback: Punk

The fruits of my labor; or, what I found while researching my presentation on punk.

Notice how Iggy alienates his audience.... the blood! such style! you gotta love a band that can tell you to fuck off and still rock your shit.

And the Clash... god, if i was a teenage girl in '83 (instead of not alive) I would have been so in love with Joe Strummer. He's so dreamy. Like, he just doesn't give a fuck what you think. How cool is that?

Now THAT is what it means to be a fucking rock band.

oh baby. i would nail him so fast...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Remix time!

A brand new remix of "Take on Me," who would have guessed?

This one's by the Brazilian producing duo The Twelves. Their other remixes are of modern acts like MIA, Black Kids, The Virgins, etc. According to electronic rumors, a few artists have recently remixed ToM for a Norwegian Chrysler promotion. What a great idea! This is the first one I've come across, and it's making its way round the interwebs right now.

When I first listened to it I didn't think it was anything spectacular. Honestly though, the more I hear it, the more I like it. It's fun and fresh. It retains the original's spirit while putting a totally modern spin on it.

Totally worth a listen, and inclusion on your next party playlist. Enjoy!

The Twelves also have a great remix of Black Kids' "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You" over on their myspace.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Say what you want about Nine Inch Nails...

... but this shit is funny.

Check out the track list! Lolz. Good to know that Trent has a sense of humor.

EDIT: an incredible (fake) review of (fake) Strobe Light can be found at onethirtybpm.com. I particularly liked this bit:
The title of “Feel Like Being Dead Again” is a nod to Lil Wayne’s classic codeine ode “I Feel Like Dying,” and features Reznor free-associating over an inspired sample of A-ha’s “Take On Me.”
can you imagine? I might actually become a NIN fan if he made a song like this. Thanks again Google alert!