Monday, September 25, 2006

Wet Paint

Sometimes I go download crazy and end up with unknown music on my iPod. This addiction provides for funny what-the...!? moments on the bus. These moments leave me wiggling with excitment in my seat as I dig through my bag because I must know the title of the song asap. My latest what-the...!? moment was on Friday. "Wet Paint?" Where did this track come from? I have no idea, but I know that I like it.

Aloha percussionist Cale Parks has a solo album titled Illuminated Manuscript coming out on September 26th. Count with me: that's one day away. This song is full of low hums, gentle taps, jingles and jangles, and sweet vocals. This one song has made me very excited to hear the entire album which I anticipate will be great for cold, rainy days.

Cale Parks: Wet Paint

More songs at his myspace.
Buy Illuminated Manuscript at AmpCamp.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

One day I found a big book buried deep in the ground...

"What is this?" You ask. Why, it's simply the best video ever made. Let's not argue about this.

I haven't seen a music video in ages, but I imagine that videos nowadays rarely reach the scale of cleverness as Michel Gondry's filmwork for Bjork's torch song "Bachelorette." It has an innocent Bjork in the starring role, a mustachioed vilanous lover, cardboard scenery, and a play within a play within a play. What could be better?

Right-click, save as for another one of my Bjork favorites...

Bjork: Who Is It? (Carry My Joy On the Left, My Pain On the Right)

Speaking of all things Icelandic, if you happen to have an extra $700 lying around, you should fly to Iceland this October for the two day Airwaves festival. Some of the featured bands include Wolf Parade, Tilly and the Wall, We Are Scientists, Cold War Kids, and The Go! Team. Plus an Icelandic band called Thugs on Parole. I'm sure they'll make the crowd say, "Uhh! Na-nah, na-nah!"

Friday, September 22, 2006

There's Something I've Been Meaning to Say to You

No, this post doesn't have any brand spakin' new buzzy news about Brendan Benson. I think he's still busy being a Raconteur. I have, on the other hand, been trying to figure out a study schedule that allows me to read, analyze, and retain information. Hegel is a rough read and Foucault is no joke. Really. Have you read Foucault? Check him out debating Noam Chomsky on the idea of human nature.* Moving on...


The other day, one of my classmates commented, "Yeah, Brendan Benson? I tried to get into him, but... not my thing. I don't get him."

"What?" I relied in obvious shock. "Brendan Beson? The crafter of pop gems that ooh and aah with sweet perfection?"

"I guess," he shrugged.

I guess? The above conversation is the result of a diet too heavy in Focault and not enough Benson. If my Last.fmchart updated itself--which it hasn't in the last 2 months--it would confess my current addiction with all things Brendan Benson. More specifically, my repeated listening of the song "Metarie." I'm not much for the line: "I've run out of gas and stuck like glue," so I prefer the "UK Version" from the song titled EP. It's not as "rocky," and has a little extra melancholy to it.

Brendan Benson: Metarie (UK Version)
Brendan Benson: Video of Benson and Chris Plum performing an acoustic version of "Metarie." It's very pretty, and makes you want to give Mr. Down-and-Out a hug.

Purchase various versions of "Metarie" and other perfectly crafted pop songs at Insound.

*Everything is on on Youtube. Even French philosophers. Crazy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I see you seeing me, and I like what we see

Katie sent me Winter Miller's New York Times feature on Cat Power and her struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction. The article describes Chan Marshall's dark moments which she led to suicidal thoughts and the self-sabotaging of shows. However, Miller also acknowledges her slow climb into health, strong album sales, and live shows that leave audiences in awe. There seems to be this insistence that although Chan Marshall is dealing with her inner demons, she's not quite "better." Miller references her reliance on anti-depressents and her "kooky behavior... [and] awkward fidgeting" during shows. Maybe I'm reading too much into these references because I adored watching Chan Marshall on her current tour in support of The Greatest. Yet, there are still bad show reviews, which point to evidence of smaller battles yet to be fought. I should be more gracious because maybe Miller wants simply to underscore that the road toward recovery and self-love doesn't happen over night.

After selling over 100,000 copies of The Greatest, Matador has decided to re-release the album with brand spankin' new artwork and a lowered shelf price. I read Matador's press released and laughed out loud. Not so much at the record label, but at the obvious need to justify the new pressing to potentially outraged fans:
Anyhow, we know this is a sensitive subject for some of you. We're not intent on gouging Cat Power fans, but we are trying to be creative and competitive in a marketplace where it is becoming increasing hard to maintain the shelf life of a title for more than a couple of months. We really believe in Chan and are of the opinion that 'The Greatest' is one of those life affirming records that we have to get into the hands and heads of as many people as possible.
In other words: Go complain to someone else. Would people really be that up in arms? Are they? Even if The Greatest arrived on my doorstep in a brown paper bag, I wouldn't trade it for an "improved" model. I like pretty packaging as much as the next person, but it's the music that matters. At such great music it is.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Finian McKean @ Union Hall (NYC)

Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn opened up right before I left New York. I haven't been inside, but I did peek through the windows and was curious about the dimly lit, book-filled bar. Union Hall looked impressive from the outside, and it's been confirmed that the inside is twice as nice. Drinks, good food, comfy couches, and bocce (?). If you're in New York, check out the new space and listen to good music at the same time. Finian McKean + Wild Palms play there tonight at 8:00 pm.

And... Pitchfork has confirmed that Justin Timberlake has indeed brought sexy back. As if you doubted.

Annuals on Breakthru Radio

Rachel interviewed Adam Baker of the much-blogged-about North Carolina band Annuals. There's interesting conversation around the music scene in North Carolina, finishing high school, and choir robes and cat heads. Here's an exerpt of my favorite part of the interview:
BTR: What can one expect from your live show that they may not see with other bands? I hear at one point you have three guys playing the drums?
AB: You can always expect an immense amount of energy from all of us. People have fainted and blacked out. We try and give it our all. We go to shows a lot and we see bands that are not energetic…you can listen to an album anytime. Every song we play sounds different. We switch around instruments all the time. We all sing and all that stuff. You can expect six people giving their all.
Fainted? Stop.

Read the rest of the interview.

If you're interested in possibly seeing a member of Annuals pass out on stage, make sure you catch their live show when they're in your neighborhood.

09/14: NYC @ Sin-e
09/15: Brooklyn, NY @ NorthSix
09/16: Boston, MA @ The Middle East
09/18: Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
09/19: Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
10/17: Raleigh, NC @ The Brewery (CD release party)
10/19: NYC @ Irving Plaza
10/20: Philadelphia, PA @ The Starlight Ballroom
10/22: Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree
10/24: Tallahasse, FL @ Club Down Under
10/25: Gainesville, FL @Common Grounds
10/26: Orlando, FL @ The Social
10/27: Augstine, FL @ - Cafe 11
10/28: Athens, GA @ Tasty World
10/29: Atlanda, GA @ The Loft
10/30: Chapel Hill, NC @ The Local
10/31: Washington, DC @ Black Cat

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Strawberries

Cassettes Won't Listen (or Jason Drake) has remixed yet another great song. This time he has placed his sights on Asobi Seksu's "Strawberries." You'll like the piano at the beginning of the song...

Asobi Seksu: Strawberries (Cassettes Won't Listen remix)

You can catch Cassettes Won't Listen on John in the Morning on KEXP on September 14th... which is today for all you Eastern Standard folks, but still tomorrow for me. So, set your dial or link your computer to KEXP at 11 am EST to catch the broadcast.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Envy Corps is in the studio.

The number of posts about The Envy Corps on this blog borders on stalker-esqe. But I adore them. Really.

So the boys of Iowa are back in the studio preparing their first full-length album. Here's the official update from the band's myspace page:

September Update

Coming up for air, thought we'd say hello.

The band has just started pre-production for our full-length record, which will feature some of the old and some of the new, as we see fit, of course. After years of waiting, we finally found a 'proper' practice space, and while cold and uninviting at this point, with time it will feel like home. Step 1: Comfy couch. Step 2: 60 inch plasma screen. Step 3: All the videogames ever.

A few new ones are:

Turquoise Circles
Young Doctors in Love
Thermopylae
99, 100
Collision Song
Send Me Over
Archipelago
I Was Destructive
The Mutator
Rhinemaidens II, Electric Boogaloo

We will spend October through the rest of the year recording at our secret studio location somewhere in Russia (hint: near the cold part). If we remember to bring a camera we'll post pictures.

Favourite things: 1 2 3 4 



All for now...

-TEC (aka Boys of Summer)
The Envy Corps will come up for air again in October to play two shows in Ames, Iowa. Iowa is not Wisconsin. I know that much. Until then, settle your excitment by clicking on the links to some of their favorite things.

Visit The Envy Corps at their Myspace page.
Fuel the making of their full-length by purchasing their EP.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Daytrotter & No Data

I'm currently obsessed with Daytrotter. Have you visited lately? Not only does the site host fantastic album reviews and original artwork, but also weekly band features. These features are (hands down) the best thing happening musically on the Internet right now. Bands drop by the Daytrotter studio, record four live tracks, talk about their music and the daily nitty gritty of being recording artsits. The interviews are intimate and true and often funny. My favorite part is probably the commentaries that bands give for the songs they selected to play for the session. My favorite song description so far is SSLYBY's explanation for "Oregon Girl:" “[It's] supposed to sound like a chase scene through an airport. Think of the McCallisters barely catching their plane to France in ‘Home Alone.’"

Here are some of my Daytrotter Session favorites:

Cold War Kids: Hospital Beds
Frog Eyes: Bushels
SSLYBY:
Oregon Girl
French Kicks: So Far We Are
Hockey Night: Who We Are
Conner: Silent Film Score/Cold Feelings
Maritime: Calm
Catfish Haven: You Can Have Me

Without divine intervention, WOXY goes silent on September 15th. In addition to countless other particulars, this means the end of the Lounge Acts series. For me, Lounge Acts were a way to experience music in a way that felt more personal and connected. Or at least I felt connected. Rather than stepping in as a stand in for Lounge Acts, the Daytrotter Sessions are poised to be a critical addition to the ever evolving discourse on and sharing of music. It's another way to feel connected.

Visit Daytrotter for more bands and complete sets from the above artists... including Bonnie Prince Billy!

And in unrelated news, I'm thinking of switching Indie Don't Dance over to either TypePad or WordPress. I've grown incredibly tired of the messages from Blogger that read " this document contains no data." It's frustrating to loose entire posts, which equal minutes if not hours, of work. If anyone has any opinions on the aforementioned weblog hosting sites, feel free to leave me a comment.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Interesting things...

Check out IGIF Presents: Beat Therapy at I Guess I'm Floating. It's a pretty well rounded sampling of some great contemporary hip hop beats. Who doesn't love Outkast's "Happy Valentine's Day?"

Go ooh and awe over Rachael's new retooling of The Underrated Blog. It's yummy.

Head over to YANP and enter to win the Beach Boy's Pet Sounds on vinyl. You have until midnight on Friday...

Make your way over to Swoon to download a live performance of Mew in Nagoya, Japan.

Must be the colors and the kids

Today is my first day of (graduate) school. Today is also the first day of (teaching) school for my former co-teacher-in-crime Ms. Katie. She's nervous, but I know she showed the kids who runs this classroom.

Cat Power: The Colors and the Kids

EDIT: The link to the Cat Power track has been fixed.

I'm guest blogging at The Rawking Refuses to Stop! while Dave is away. Check out my "Back to School" mix.

Link: This Summer I Did the Backstroke

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

March Into Flames

In high school, I had a drawing of a militant Ramona Quimby. She was holding a school book in her left hand while her right hand was poised solidly over her head in a fist. Above her were the words: "Riot Equals Not Quiet." Naturally, the letter Q was drawn with the necessary cat whiskers and ears.

Finest Dearest is definitely not quiet. They are now the louder, more defiant Romona. Finest Dearest is still the girl in her neat plaid skirt, buttoned-up cardigan, but with dirty knees and untied shoes. She's been digging in the dirt and has emerged more confident, raw, and ready to go toe-to-toe with the best of them.

I don't know if these songs are in their "final production" phase (i.e., mastered and what-not). However, I like these tracks as is. I think the unfinished quality adds a rougher edge to these gems.

Finest Dearest: March Into Flames
Finest Dearest: We're Making a Sound 1

From the band's Pacemaker EP:
Finest Dearest: Sleep Until the Weekend

Buy the Pacemaker EP from InSound (only $4.80).


Befriend Finest Dearest and stay up to date when their 7" is released this fall and their full-length hits shelves next spring.

* * * * *

Rachael was kind enough to feature me in her column "Meet the Bloggers" at Breakthru Radio. Check out what some of her favorite bloggers are listening to.

Madison Show Calendar

Rachael asked me if I have discovered any good local bands in Madison yet. The answer to that question is no. Sadly, in the last 48 hours, I've spent more time running around the enormous UW campus trying to find where to get my ID photo taken than scouting new music. However, I have had time to poke around the internet and local newspapers to put together a not-so-shabby show calendar for myself.

09/15: Tally Hall @ The Annex
09/22: Mates of State @ Orpheum
10/15: Gomez, Matt Pond PA @ The Annex
10/16: Cold War Kids @ The Annex
10/17: Regina Spektor @ The Majestic

Considering my bedroom is the size of a cracker box, it looks like The Annex will become my second home.

What Goes Around... Comes Around

Like everyone else, I'm awaiting Justin Timberlake's takeover of the world's ears on September 12. As much as "SexyBack" has been a guilty pleasure, I'm really digging "What Goes Around...Comes Around Interlude." Right now, I want you to mute your internal diatribe about the factory feel of pop music and the pointless nature of the media machine. This song? It's a keeper.

You can satisfy your FutureSex/LoveSounds needs with this amateur video of a live performance of "What Goes Around..." in Los Angeles.



Watch more of your favorite Justin Timberlake videos.