Thursday, September 29, 2005

New album, new cellist, new tour.

There's some exciting news from the matt pond PA web site... and there's some news that makes me scratch my head and say, "huh?"

1) The new album Several Arrows Later is due out on October 11th.

2) New band member Dana Feder will be accompanying the band on tour filling in where Eve Miller left off. Sigh of relief because the cello is a beautiful instrument.

3) matt pond PA is filming a video. Take it or leave it. I'm not judgemental.

4) OK... this is the part where I have to take back the "non-judgemental" comment because matt pond PA is going on tour with Liz Phair. Whether you stay for Liz Phair or not, the tour might be in your neighborhood soon.

5) matt pond PA is sticking their tongues out to those who pooh-pooh their exposure on the OC. Straight from the web site: for those that are have something to say music, television, and credibility - please don't... not to us at least. we believe that these three things are not exclusive of each other. that in fact, what the OC actually does is promote and embiggen.... there is an infinite amount of things to discuss, things that are valid, things that can advance change. this is not one of them.

I like Seth Cohen so I'm not saying anything.

Lily One (mp3)

Her Space Holiday

That's what I need: a holiday. It's been a long week, folks. Don't let seven year olds fool you: they will definitely kick your butt in a heart beat. Second grade is no joke, and keeps me from posting on a regular basis. But have no fear for the weekend is upon us. Am I excited? Yes.

Somehow, despite having to watch my students pick off their scabs and eat them, the new mp3's posted on Her Space Holiday's sparse web site are getting me through the week. Marc Bianchi, aka Her Space Holiday, released his new album The Past Presents the Future on September 27th. From a Filter magazine article: It started as a simple affair... just a four track, a couple of cheap microphones, a beat up drum set, a guitar, and the desire to make music on his own. Luckily for us, Marc's music left the safety of his bedroom and, along with a little hard work, has helped a sculpt a notoriously stunning resume, releasing records on a slew of indie labels including staples Tiger Style, Skylab, and Mush, working hard on remixes for artists like Bright Eyes, Boom Bip, Kid 606, REM, American Analog Set, and Idiot Pilot.

Although it was a long, cruel week, the weekend is finally here.

Forever and a Day (mp3)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Save room for dessert in October.

Cake on Cake is slated to release her debut album I See No Stars in late October on Desolation Records. If you didn't catch my first post on Cake on Cake, Helena Sundin is a Swedish singer/songwriter/master musician who never fails to delight listeners with her quirky lyrics and equally inventive instrumentation. A US tour is in the works for November, so until then...

I See No Stars (mp3)
The Plan (mp3)

Tokion Magazine's Creativity Now Conference

Tokion Magazine's Third Annual Creativity Now Conference is set to take place on October 15th and 16th in New York. Twenty-six prominent figures from the fields of art, music, advertising, journalism, film and TV will participate in themed panel discussion on topics ranging from the state of indie music to documentary film making. Highlights include Antony from Antony and the Johnsons, Ondi Timor, David Wain, and Gideon Yago. Come, on. You know you love Gideon.

SATURDAY, October 15th, 2005

12:00 – 1:00
Todd Haynes

1:15 - 2:15
Documentary Filmmaking moderated by Carlo McCormick
Jonathan Caouette (Tarnation)
Bruce Sinofsky (Paradise Lost)
Ondi Timoner (Dig!)

2:30 – 3:30
Aesthetics & Economics of Independent Music moderated by Carlo McCormick
Kris Chen (Domino)
Calvin Johnson (K records)
Mac McCaughan (Merge)

3:45– 4:45
Iconic Advertising
Steve Bassett on Geico
Peter Wijk on Absolut
Eric Grunbaum on iPod

5:00 - 6:00
Design & Grace moderated by Penny Martin
Elisabeth Arkhipoff
Jeremy Blake
Laurent Fetis
Julie Verhoeven

6:15 – 7:15
Writing Comedy moderated by David Cross (Mr. Show)
Neal Brennan (Chappelle's Show)
David Wain (The State, Stella)

SUNDAY, October 16th, 2005

12:30 – 1:30
Richard Prince
Interviewed by Glenn O'Brien

1:45– 2:45
American Landscape moderated by Glenn O'Brien
William Eggleston
Stephen Shore

3:00– 4:00
The Future of Content
Doug Aitken
Jonathan Hayes (xBox)
Glenn Kaino (Napster)

4:15– 5:15
True Stories moderated by Gideon Yago
Ashley Gilbertson
Robert D. Kaplan
Evan Wright

5:30– 6:30
Antony of Antony & the Johnsons

Friday, September 23, 2005

Brooklyn Responds: Part 2

I'm sure some of you were at Southpaw on Wednesday night for Brooklyn Responds, the benefit concernt for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Make time for the second show on Saturday, September 25th at Southpaw. Saturday's line-up includes:
  • They Might Be Giants
  • The Wrens
  • Matthew and Ira of Nada Surf
  • Richard Buckner
  • Sam Champion
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Harlem Shakes
  • Chris Grace
  • DJ EZI
  • Hosted by Reggie Watts with comedian Aziz Ansari
Drink Abita beer, enter some raffles, and listen to great music.

All proceeds benefit: Red Cross, Humanity First and America's Second Harvest.

Beat Radio

Have you ever listened to a song, and realized that you have a ridiculous grin on your face because you are so struck by what you are hearing? I had that moment on Monday while riding the train to work. See, sometimes bands send me tracks, and I listen to them once. Just once. But sometimes bands send me tracks, and I listen to them once. And then twice. And then, well... you get the point: the tracks suddenly become the soundtrack for my commute.

Beat Radio provided the background music for my travels this week. I don't know much about them, but this is what I do know: fuzzy, low-fi sound + strong vocals + catchy hooks = my head steadily nodding. There is something very simple and beautiful about the songs. Vocalist Brian Sendrowitz has stolen my heart with lyrics like: I know I've been walking for a million miles/ I saw something in your eyes/ It made me smile.

A Million Miles (mp3)
Treetops (mp3)

If you have time, catch Beat Radio at Sin-e on Saturday, October 1st. I'll be there nodding my head.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Au Revoir Simone? Mais oui!

Au Revoir Simone has scheduled a few fall shows in New York City. Check out the honey voiced, keyboard-playing trio.

  • September 17th: Cakeshop (152 Ludlow Street)
  • September 26th: Knitting Factory (74 Leonard Street)
  • October 14th: Pianos (158 Stanton Street)
  • October 15th: Northsix (66 North Sixth Street)

Through the Backyards (mp3)

Such a pretty voice.

I posted an mp3 from Rosie Thomas a few days ago,
but I think her talent warrents an entire post.

You're probably familiar with Thomas if David Jurado's Ghost of David is in your CD library. You can hear her on "Parking Lots." I fell in love with Rosie Thomas' music when I heard her song "Wedding Day." A lovely and strong song about leaving one's husband. Thomas' third LP If Songs Could Be Held was released on Sub Pop on September 13th. She sings about truth and beauty, struggle and identity with a confident, lilting voice.

All of Rosie Thomas' LPs are availalbe from Insound.

When We Were Small: Wedding Day (mp3)
If Songs Could Be Held: Pretty Dress (mp3)

Friday, September 16, 2005

What makes me happy...

Number one.
The September 27th release of Wolf Parade's LP Apologies to the Queen Mary.

Number two.
The New Year's Eve Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show at Irving Plaza. Do you have tickets? Yes? Yes.

Number three.
That David Bowie still rocks.

Number four.
Jose Gonzalez's video for "Stay in the Shade."

Number five.
Rosie Thomas' lovely LP If Songs Could Be Held.

Number six.
That Damien Jurado's track "Ohio" plays on repeat on my IPod.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

TV on the Radio Offer Comfort

Inspired by Hurricane Katrina, TV on the Radio has released a free track titled "Dry Drunk Emperor."

In a message on the Touch and Go web site, TVR shares: "In the absence of a true leader we must not forget that we are still together... This darkness cannot last if we work together. Let us help each other."

The song is beautiful and is an explicit call for change. With lyrics like "grab your fife and drum/grab your gold baton/and let's meet on the lawn/shut down this hypocrisy," it is hard not to be moved to action.

Dry Drunk Emperor (mp3)

In the words of TVR, pass this track on.

Fall: In love.

I've been told that springtime is for lovers and that the torrid summer fling is a must-do. However, I think that autumn is the best time for a sweet romance. Walks under trees with changing leaves, bulky sweaters, and cups of warm apple cider spell l-o-v-e. So, here's a soundtrack to accompany you on your softly sunlit Sunday stroll through the park.

Page France: So Sweetly Around Me (mp3)
Damien Rice: Be My Husband (mp3)
Iron and Wine: Naked As We Came (mp3)
John Vanderslice: The Mansion (mp3)

When winter comes along, it will probably be time to break up. It's just so darn hard to cuddle while wearing gloves, scarves, and bulky coats. If so, play this as you walk out the door.

Rosie Thomas: Wedding Day (mp3)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Without a dope beat to step to

It's been a long time since I have posted.

Sorry about the absence.

At first I was busy preparing for the first day of school and getting swept up in the stress of work. However, Katrina came and put things in perspective for me. I have been glued to the television watching my former home drown and then struggle to survive against unimaginable odds. For days I have been trying to contact friends who I have not spoken to since Katrina swept across the Gulf Coast, and watching the news footage searching the crowds for my former students. I know that many of the children who I taught are among the ones that we see crowded in the Superdome, crying for water, and waiting to be rescued.

The people of New Orleans make up a warm and rich community. I fear for the future of New Orleans and wonder what will become of its vibrant musical history and unique cultural heritage. If you haven't already, please donate to the American Red Cross hurricane relief fund.

In honor of New Orleans, I want to introduce one of my favorite brass bands The Soul Rebels. These six musicians find a way to harmoniously mix hip hop, jazz, blues, rock, and traditional marching band rhythms. The Soul Rebels have taken a traditional New Orleans' sound and made something that is both contemporary while still referencing its brass band roots. The Village Voice referred to the Soul Rebels as "the missing link between Louis Armstrong and Public Enemy."

You can link to a 2005 broadcast of the Soul Rebels from the radio show On Point on Boston's public radio station It is a great interview that provides a lot of interesting history about brass band music. You will also have the chance to listen to some of the tracks from the Soul Rebels' new album Let Their Minds Be Free.

The mp3s below are from their album The Greatest Band of All Time. You will definitely do some soul clapping to these tracks.

Rolling Hard (mp3)
The Zone (mp3)

Buy the Soul Rebels' albums at

Puppetbox Strikes Again.

I posted on the Brooklyn trio Puppetbox a few weeks ago. If you liked their track "Kimberly," check out their recently posted mp3 "I Tried."

I Tried (mp3)

If you're in the New York City area, you can check out Puppetbox live next week.

September 9th: Otto's Shrunken Head (538 14th St)
September 10th: URBAN COTTAGE (82 14th St, Brooklyn)

And much love to Puppetbox for linking to my web site. So nice, so generous.