Archive | May, 2010

Flashing Lights/Twin Sister

31 May

NEW TRACK FROM KANYE OMG!! “Flashing Lights” just sounds SO FRESH! Uh, actually Kanye does have a new single, “Power” …but this is just a remix of sorts with Twin Sister’s “All Around And Away We Go” off of their Color Your Life EP, which is still buzzing around the internet. They’ve also started posting the stems on their website if you’re looking to make a mix.

Flashing Lights (Phantom Power Remix)

Black Hole Sun

26 May

Some phreeky sex shit or abstract art inducing? You be the judge. While Connan Mockasin is relatively new to the circuit, Cibo and Elliott have long been favs of many. Here’s to a new playlist on your ipod filled with songs you just don’t know where to put. “Kill yourself?” Just a thought.

Connan MockasinIt’s Choade My Dear (mp3)

Cibo MattoBlack Hole Sun (Soundgarden Cover) (mp3)

Elliott SmithWaltz Number 1 (mp3)

Whatever you’re into, we’re keeping this legit. So, thank these guys for the shit you pull your pants down to.

Sticky Situation

25 May

It’s too hot to put too much thought into this post, at least enough to make you giggle until you fart a little… cause you know that’s my number one ambition. Fuck work, my masters degree and the rate of my fertility… I’m all about puttin’ a little toottoot in your cabootboot. Did it work yet? Ok, anways… here’s some fresh stuff to keep you updated and away from surfing the net until your hands cramp up and you’ve lost all hopes of maintaining a healthy social life.

Twin Sister – All around and Away We Go (Teen Daze Remix)

What Kind of Breeze Do You Blow? – Love of Luxury (Montauk Remix)

Au Revoir Simone – Tell Me (Clock Opera Remix)

Just stumbled upon this lil freak and had to throw it right in, thanks to TASHED.

Volta Cab – Freak Your Soul

Speaking of farts, support them local arts.

Where did Rooney go missing?

22 May

I’m not sure how many of you out remember the happy, lazy days of the early 00s when it was easy for indie bands to gain popularity through cameos on trendy cable television shows- namely, the O.C., although I also remember bands appearing on shows like One Tree Hill. The OC did something pretty incredible by putting the spotlight on eager, upcoming bands not too embarrassed to show up in orange county, who would perform at “The Bait Shop” (where main character Seth temporarily worked despite his millionaire family). This was a very successful and legitimate way for indie bands to become known to the general public, even if most of the OC’s viewers probably were mostly interested in watching Ryan and Marissa’s romance blossom and then burst into flames (again). However, bands such as The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, The Thrills, The Killers, and even, shockingly, Modest Mouse– don’t act like you don’t remember- made waves on the show and became household names in the time surrounding their OC cameos.

Most notably, the band that I will always associate with the OC is Rooney, for several reasons. They were the first band to perform at “The Bait Shop,” causing Seth to scream, “Rooney Rules!” while drinking a coke (or something like that). They were the first “live” performance on the OC, in 2004, which caused their record sales to more than triple. I also associate them with the OC because the show’s theme song, “California,” one of those songs you had to scream as you drive late at night in your mom’s car with your friends , was written and performed by Phantom Planet. Phantom Planet’s drummer is actor, musician and indie posterboy Jason Schwartzman, and happens to be the brother of Rooney’s lead singer, Robert Schwartzman. Yeah, I had an OC obsession phase.

This leads me to the story that inspired this blog post in the first place. If anyone out there was interested in Rooney, you may have come across this article and pondered, What happened to Rooney? They were so great way back when they were “Shakin.” True, I was a big fan of their first album, the careless yet melodic, angsty-but-feelgood songs run together like a story. This is a story of surfer boys chasing after girls, reading their diaries, falling upon harder times, terrible mood swings, and tasting fame for the first time; in a nutshell, being Young in L.A.. Rooney’s self-titled first Album, “Rooney,” will always remain a bundle of bittersweet high school memories for me, and any song can make me smile upon recognition. From the perfection of distinctly gorgeous “Stay Away” to the  hopeless denial of love in “Simply Because,” to the asshole-themed “Sorry Sorry” (in which all shitty, man-like actions are blamed on the narrator’s alterego), everything about this album, from lyrics to the performance quality to composition, was spot on.  So what happened to this special band, truly underrated from the beginning?

I just happened to be walking in DUMBO three days ago with my good friend Becca, soaking up some sun after work, when we happened upon what seemed like a very low-budget music video being filmed. I saw someone who looked like a lead singer tuning his American-flag guitar with the picturesque Brooklyn bridge in the background, Being a photographer, I immediately began snapping away, loving the visual interaction of the subjects. The guitarist politely smiled as we walked past then joined the rest of his band, who were set up in a little nook among trees surrounded by filming equipment. My friend and I giggled and I distinctly remember hoping he wasn’t under the impression I thought he was famous.

As we sat to eat our sandwiches, we watched the band as they played off several songs for the cameras, we assumed doing a mini concert. No one stopped to listen to them, no one recognized them. That was, until I recognized the distinctive chords of one song, called, “Where Did Your Heart Go Missing?” This was the one song, and I’m guessing the only single, that I had heard from Rooney’s second album before they disappeared into the radiowaves.

IT WAS ROONEY!

We couldn’t believe it. But, suddenly, it all made sense. We had recognized and even joked about the Rooney-esque look of the lead singer (though he had gained weight), they looked professional, and that was one sweet flag-print guitar. We scrambled to go watch the rest of their set, the only viewers. In recollection, we probably looked like total fan girls, but I regret nothing- it was like a long-lost teenage fantasy was being played out in front of me! Though the band continued to be cordial to us, we didn’t actually talk to them, somewhat of a regret, but I did find out from the film crew that they were filming part of a concert series with Baeble (www.baeblemusic.com), which is actually a really great music site that archives concert series, photos, interviews and likewise features with various indie bands. Rooney was doing this recording because they have a new, long-awaited album, “Eureka” coming out on Warner Music Group’s Independent Label Group June 7th.


I tracked down all that I had missed from Rooney over the years- their sophomore album “Calling the World,” a self-released, “Wild One,” which was sold only at live shows and I couldn’t find, and now “Eureka.” Unfortunately, what I hypothesized about the quality of Rooney’s music was more or less true- it has gone downhill. Only three of the songs from new album are available, but the songs are trying to hard to fit into a category I can’t quite figure out. The the songs point in different directions. It’s not terrible, because it is still catchy, but it just doesn’t hit me the same way. Their single, “I Can’t Get Enough,” whose video you can find below, is too focussed on the vocal aspect of the song and the once-remarkable guitar and keyboard riffs that the songs were built on have dissolved. Their likely second single, “You’re What I’m Looking For” scores a little higher- it sounds really nothing like what I expect from Rooney- but that’s an exception in this light, velvet-underground-but-poppy song. However, nothing can top the brit-invasion, powerpop, and rhythmic guitar influences that guided the wonderful, clear, and powerful composition that the songs of their first album were built on.

Rooney is performing June 17th at Fillmore (Irving Plaza).
Anyone want to go? (Kidding……. kind of).

Here’s the video for “I Can’t Get Enough,”

The Video is regrettably cooler than the song.

Or, you could always just watch this instead, I guarantee you’ll have a better time.

Head here to listen to the better song from their new album, “You’re What I’m Looking For”
http://www.absolutepunk.net/artists/showlink.php?do=showdetails&l=4643

Here are some pics of Baeble of their video recording, the video should probably be up in a few weeks:
http://www.baeblemusic.com/musicphotos/5-20-2010/Brooklyn-Bridge-Park/Rooney

Taking MetroNorth….only for Surfer Blood

19 May

Have you ever liked a band so much that you chased them to another town just to to see them in concert? Liked them so much that you left NYC on a Friday night… to go to Westchester? This is no Almost Famous, but that’s what I’d like to think I did, with Eric and other friends, when we heard Surfer Blood was going to be playing at CUNY Purchase’s Cultureshock. Although it’s only about a 30 minute train ride away in White Plains, I had never been there nor had I really wanted to. But, I’m glad I did, because Surfer Blood ROCKS.

Surfer Blood is a great up-and-coming band. It’s hard to pinpoint their genre, but with a name like that it’s hard not to hear a low-fi “surfer” vibe. An Energetic, full, rhythmic, and catchy experience is waiting for you if you decide to try them out (you won’t regret it). “Swim” is the famous single, probably the only song that most of the Purchase students at the concert actually knew, and has been verified hawt by Pitchfork. I prefer the throwback, almost-80s vibe of “Twin Peaks” and the tortured, strung out, “Slow Jabroni.” One thing that makes their songs so strong is that they are very different, yet all very structured. There are discernible influences from 80s rock and 90s grudge but there also remains a very modern feel; unlike other new bands I’ve heard out of the indie circuit. According to last fm, similar artists include Real Estate and Titus Andronicus, also the more well-known Girls. Coupled with these musicians primarily because of the newness associated with this scene, the bands share similar and experimentally youthful qualities but Surfer Blood stands apart. Wikipedia praises their sound, comparing them to Weezer, Pavement, and Built to Spill. These comparisons come from the powerful voice of the lead singer, whose voice does not overpower the songs, but certainly defines them. It’s impossible also not to notice the clever and simple guitar riffs, no doubt they will get stuck in your head.

The shitty crowd at Surfer Blood.

The concert itself was satisfactory and certainly worth the train ride. Of course, under the influence of beer, shots, and the courage that comes from knocking over a huge link of carnival fences and being subsequently booed, I was pretty stoked to finally be hearing my favorite band of 2010. The sounds quality was not the best- we were in the third row and it was set in the middle of a dewey field, but we managed to semi-mosh / jump-off among the disinterested purchase kids. The band was neither bouncing off the walls nor did they stay still during the show. They played exactly as they should have to a crowd of cigarette-puffing, leather-clad college students. They played their songs to almost album quality while keeping their energy level high but still mirroring that of the festival crowd. They made sure to acknowledge CUNY Purchase- it was hard not too since everyone there (except for us!) was “celebrating” their annual music festival. Honestly, the crowd was weak, and the concert did not have the power to remove the context of the awkward and pretentious crowd, who barely swung their hips at all during the concert (save the drunk crowd of girls next to us who just kept screaming, “SWIM!!!”). However, the quality of Surfer Blood’s music and live performance was enough to leave an impression among those who were unfamiliar with the band despite the lukewarm reception. Most memorable was “Catholic Pagans,” which they played last to the satisfaction of a few requesting fans, who screamed along with the playful lyrics, “Never could keep still for long, and I could never hold a job. Coupled with a weakness for cocaine, and liquor, not much you can do for love.”

Here’s a link to “Twin Peaks”

Don’t worry, though, as the song suggests, they had turned around their lack of motivation and now present the impressive and refreshing, “Astrocoast.” Make sure to check it out. It’s also just been announced that they, along with bands like Matt & Kim and Pains of Being Pure at Heart, will headline this year’s SirenFest, the free NYC music Festival that will take place June 17th at Coney Island.
More Info on Siren: http://siren.villagevoice.com/2010/press.php

Hot to Trot

18 May

All your Christmas money is long gone, but you still deserve nice things. ie Matt Van Schie. Boy, is he your dreams come true. Squeezed him right out of my stocking.

Matt Van Schie – Journey

Matt Van Schie – Journey (Memory Tapes Remix)

Matt Van Schie – Be My Lady (Hemingway’s Beach Bossa Mix)

I’m sure you’ve come across him prior, after scouring the web for hours like I do, right? Saturday Night (Gloves Mix) ring a bell? Refresh your memory! It’s worth a revisit.

Gucci Mane Escapes

17 May

Gucci Mane has escaped been released from prison this past wednesday, and started a new record label: 1017 Brick Squad Records…in affiliation with Warner Bros. It only made sense to mash him with Future Islands to celebrate his release into the real world. Welcome back Gucci.

future freaky gurl (phantom power mix)

Tales of a Terrible Person, Part II

17 May

The name of the game was “Gladiator,” only instead of Roman warriors or even trashy 80s bodybuilders with flashy names, we used the children of homeless, recovering crack addicts from the inner city to settle our scores.  For those keeping score at home, yes, there is a special circle in Hell just for that.  Dante just didn’t write about it because he honestly didn’t think there were people out there who were that fucked up.

It was my senior year of high school, and being one of the most respected Jesuit institutions in New York, my school required all seniors to forego Monday classes in the second semester in order to find an early Happy Hour with a bartender who doesn’t card high school kids.  Oh, and somewhere between margaritas and Mike’s Hard Lemonades (we were in high school…gimme a break), we were supposed to log 72 hours of community service.  A few kids used the required community service as a chance to connect to their neighborhood and build their résumé, but I took it as a chance to stumble out of bed late and walk to a do-nothing job, preferably hung over.  I found a place a few blocks away from where I lived (which will remain nameless for legal reasons) that served as a daycare for the children of homeless recovering addicts that spent their days either searching for a job or receiving treatment.  The kids in the daycare ranged from newborns to 5 year olds, all with names that truly reflected what fuck-ups their parents were (honestly, if you name your child “Hennessey,” it’s no wonder that you’re a homeless alcoholic who spent the rent money on a case of Olde English).

Things were pretty easy at the daycare…mostly chatting with the older kids about video games they were too poor to own, eating takeout on the non-profit organization’s dime, and flirting with my chubby, yet oddly attractive boss.  It was exactly what I looked for in a job: all of the fulfillment of volunteering without any of the work.  Yet, one day, we got another volunteer from one of New York’s most hated high schools—Regis.  Regis High School, once an institution that gave free, quality education to underprivileged city kids, has become a breeding ground for upper class WASPs with pent-up homoerotic tension.  I never got around to learning the kid’s name because I was too busy hating him—from the moment I met him, he displayed all of the qualities of the villain in every romantic comedy of the past decade.  He shook hands way too aggressively for 8 am, laughed like a coked-up Teddy Roosevelt after a hunt, and had no regard for people’s personal space.  His hobbies likely included racquetball, getting drunk and shouting at women and minorities, and pining for the attention that his father never gave him because he was too busy drinking scotch, wondering why he spent the last 20 years of his life in a loveless marriage with a gold-digging bitch whose legs he couldn’t open with the Jaws of Life.

I hated him with every fiber of my soul.  Every breath he took felt like it was snatched from my very lungs with an entitled laugh and a slap on the back.  On the surface, everything at the daycare ran smoothly.  Yet in those brief, solitary moments, I glared at him with the disdain of generations of the oppressed lower-middle class, and he smiled back as if to say that 90 years ago, he would have had no problem locking me in the steerage section of the sinking SS Titanic.  This was going to come down to blows.

It didn’t take long before our mutual hatred boiled over.  First there was a minor dispute over Fantasy Baseball that turned into questioning each other’s masculinity (obviously), but the preppy asshole finally crossed the line when he tried to befriend my favorite kid, Devon (affectionately nicknamed “Cornrows”).  Cornrows was the oldest kid in the daycare at 5 and a half years, which also made him the ghettoest by default.  We would spend all day talking about his fly ass Timberlands or his gangsta haircut or the fact that his homeless mom somehow got him a PS2 and a copy of 50 Cent’s “Bulletproof,” which in retrospect probably wasn’t the best game choice for a 5 year old with a family history of poor life choices.  Still, Cornrows was my boy, and as a former child of the ghetto myself, I was determined to show him how to live a thug life.  That preppy prick moved in on my turf (like any good white man would do), undoubtably in an attempt to teach Cornrows how to live in subservience to the white community.  I had to do something about it, so on a field trip to the playground, I confronted that Ralph Lauren polo shirt modeling cocksucker:

“Hey man, why don’t you watch after your own kid?  Cornrows is my little homie.”

“Ha ha, no thanks,” exclaimed the prick.  I couldn’t help but think, Who enunciates laughter? “I’m taking him under my wing.  I just showed the little guy how to give a pound.  Show him!”

Cornrows and the popper-collar dick-jockey demonstrated a poorly executed handshake as awkward as Gordon Brown at a rap concert before Regis whispered, “That’s right, you’re my nigga!

Now if anyone loves a good racial slur, God knows it’s me.  But two things really bothered me about Regis saying this: 1) Cornrows was most certainly not his nigga.  2) Regis’ ancestors likely said that same exact phrase a couple hundred years before.  The only difference is that instead of using it as a term of endearment, they were probably saying it as a statement of ownership.  This wasn’t gonna fly…not on my watch.

“Yo, your cracker ass has no business teaching anyone how to give a pound.  Go find your own goddamn kid.”

“You got a problem?”

“Yeah, I do.  Me and Cornrows are tight, and you’re the new guy so back off.”

“Nah man, he’s my boy,” he said while high-fiving an agreeing Cornrows.  E tu, Gangsta? “He’s rolling with me.”  Looked like Cornrows became accustomed to the thug life earlier than I thought…he lived ice cold.

“Whatever, I’m rolling with Javon anyway.”  Javon, the second oldest kid there, was smaller and quieter than Cornrows, and he probably had a future.  He was far less interesting.

“Yeah, well, I bet my homeless kid can kick your homeless kid’s ass.  Cornrows is a G.”

It made plenty of sense.  I wanted to fight this prick, but we both knew that we couldn’t if we wanted to complete our community service requirement.  Instead, we could take a page right out of the White Oppressor’s Handbook and get two underprivileged kids of color who had no idea what the hell was going on to settle our differences for us.  It was genius.

I agreed, and we brought the kids to the nearest sandbox to set up the match.  Originally, I proposed old-school rules: first to draw blood from the opponent’s chest wins.  But considering that kids have such poor dexterity, we decided first kid to down the other wins.  I pulled Javon into the corner for the pre-fight pep-talk:

“Okay kid, now, this probably won’t make sense to you, but I want you to get really angry.  You need to take Devon down.”

“Why?”

“Because if you do, I’ll love you.  And I’ll give you a treat later.”

“Okay!”

“Alright, now just wrap your arms around his legs and pull and you should be fine.  If not, just punch him a few times.”

“But I’m not supposed to…”

“It’s okay I won’t tell on you.  But you also have to promise never to tell anyone, not even Mommy.”

“Why?”

“Just because…now go and make me proud!”

Javon and Cornrows stepped into their corners.  I was ready to wipe that shit-eating grin right off of Regis’ white trash face.  We each set on opposite sides of the sand box and got ready for the countdown.  Javon was growling, ready to win my affection.  Cornrows didn’t stand a chance in Gangsta Hell.  3…2…1…FIGHT!

Javon bursted out of his corner like a bat out of hell, ready to beat the homeless shit out of Cornrows, when suddenly, Regis stuck his leg out in front of him.  Javon tripped and flew face first into the sand, and Cornrows pinned him in a coordinated tag-team attack.  In my fury, I jumped up from my corner, and shoved Cornrows into the sand with all of my force.  He looked up at me confused, eyes swollen with thug tears…the saddest tears of them all.

Regis’ face froze.  “Oh you fucked up.  I’m outta here.”  He grabbed Javon and headed to the monkey bars, leaving me alone with Cornrows.

Picking him up, I brushed the sand off of Cornrows.  He whimpered, “Why did you push me?”

“Sorry, kid.  I got caught up in the fight.”

“You hurt me,” he cried.

“No I didn’t.  Man up.  50 Cent wouldn’t cry about something like that.  Right?”

He wiped his eyes, pausing before agreeing.  I kneeled down and grabbed him by the shoulders. “Now, look, there is something very important that I have to teach you.  You can’t tell anyone about what just happened here.  Do you know why?”

“…no,” he said weakly.

“This is very important.  I want you to repeat after me, okay?”  He nodded, looking at me with a sad expression as if he did something wrong.  “Snitches get stitches,” I said.  He carefully repeated, “Snitches get stitches.”

I brushed the last bit of sand off of him and patted him on the shoulder.  “Good.  Now go play, you gangsta motherfucka you.”

Earth quakes or just tremors?

16 May

No not that one. Yeah it’s dumb funny now but watching that shit on TNT before bedtime made me piss myself…

Signs of UK music infiltrating the US. Lady G. mashes it up with the dub music classicist Rusko on the popular track Alejandro. All of a sudden I had this impending feeling like everything was going to be OK – green movements will save all the polar bears and radio music will see greener pastures.

Lady Gaga – Alejandro Rusko’s Papuseria Remix

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gooziiillaaaa!!!

16 May

power ranger battles