Friday, June 30, 2006

Radiohead @ The Greek Theater, Los Angeles

If one were to look at my record collection or browse my iTunes, one might think I was a big Radiohead fan. I have all their records and a handful of bootlegs and live stuff. I think they are incredible, but actually had only seen them once that was many many years ago after Pablo Honey came out. I had another opportunity to see them a couple years back at the Field Day Fest, but the show got cancelled and rescheduled to Giants Stadium. I chose not to go as I didn't really want to make the trek to New Jersey.

So, basically, last night was my first time seeing the band. I hadn't been following the setlists, so I didn't really know what to expect. We arrived at the Greek Theater a bit late and missed openers Deerhoof. The people around me were not impressed.

Right before the show began, I was approached by a man named Michael who quickly told me that he snuck in to the show and was roaming around looking for an open seat. He ended up sitting next to me for a while and right before the lights went down said, "I saw these guys at the Hollywood Bowl in 2001 and it changed my entire concert going experience. I vowed never to see Phish again."

If that's not a glowing endorsement, I don't know what is. The show began and the entire audience was taken aback. First of all, the sound at the Greek is incredible. Even with my seats way in the back, I could hear Thom's voice beautifully and heard every bleep and bop like it was meant to be. With each new song (there were 7!) the crowd was enthusiastic and excited to hear the new material. Many of the new songs have been on YouTube or floating around the internet for sometime, but Thom Yorke said it best when he said: "This is another song you don't know. And if you do, you are cooler than everyone else."

The highlight of the show for me was the fact that they played more than half of Kid A and a great live song "Follow Me Around". "Follow Me Around" has been in their setlists for years, but have never recorded it. It sounded absolutely beautiful last night.

While many people may disagree with me, I still believe that these guys are the best band in the world and last night played like it. If you have the funds to beg and plead and buy tickets tonight, do it. It will be worth every penny.

Setlist:
1 You And Whose Army?
2 The National Anthem
3 2+2=5
4 15 Step*
5 Morning Bell
6 Arpeggi*
7 Videotape*
8 Kid A
9 Dollars And Cents
10 Street Spirit
11 All I Need*
12 Nude
13 Paranoid Android
14 Bangers 'n Mash*
15 The Gloaming
16 Idioteque
17 Follow Me Around
18 Everything In Its Right Place

Encore 1
19 There There
20 Down Is The New Up*
21 The Bends
22 How To Disappear Completely

Encore 2
23 House of Cards*
24 Lucky

(Songs with * are new songs)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Al Gore on the Daily Show

Last night, Al Gore appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart to talk about (surprise, surprise) global warming and the climate crisis that we are currently in. If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend you see it right away. I loved it, but then again, I drive a Prius. So, it's tailor made for people like me.

Jon Stewart:
"Tell the truth. When you do those slides when you show what could happen and you show Florida and you see how it's all almost underwater . . . When that happens . . . do you ever say to yourself . . . GOTCHA!"

See the entire interview here or here.

Beck @ Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles


Tuesday night, I headed to the Wiltern for what I thought was one of the better live shows I had seen in sometime. The concept is very simple and brilliant. Hire a bunch of puppeteers to make marionette puppets of you and have them act out every move you do. Videotape the puppets and project it on the screen behind you.

"By planting a video camera right in front of their dollhouse of a stage, the production made them larger than life at the Wiltern — it was the puppets, not the people, that were projected on the large video screen throughout the show, moving mouths, arms and legs in coordination with the real musicians." LA Times

Not everyone loved the show though.

"On Wednesday night at the Wiltern he was downright boring. He stood on stage like he'd rather be anywhere else but there. It took him about 30 minutes to even address the audience ("I wanna thank my friends and family for coming out to the show. It's good to be home."). Apparently he needs some new inspiraton, LRH doesn't seem to be cutting it anymore. A friend once warned me against seeing George Jones ("he'll just play all the songs you wanna see in a medley"). Guess what Beck did? Lots of medleys. Did you like Midnight Vultures? He summarized pretty much the whole record into a ten minute medley? Do you like "Loser"? How about watching the recorded version lip synched by puppets? And the sound at the Wiltern is horrible. Beautiful venue. Awful sound." You Set the Scene

I agree with some of that. I am sure Beck is pretty tired of playing Loser, so I thought it was very clever of him to have the puppets perform it solo as opposed to the band doing it. I did think the sound needed some work and did have some issues hearing the lyrics. I enjoyed the medley though.

As in the last tour, Beck closed the show with the dining table bit where members sit around and eat dinner on stage before slowly building a percussion section out of glasses, plates, and silverware.

The week of greatness continues with Radiohead tonight!

Why is this night different from all other nights?

As a Jewish boy growing up with a father from New York, I heard countless stories about Sandy Koufax putting his religion ahead of the team in the World Series. While I loved the story and appreciate Sandy Koufax for all he has done (both wearing a Dodgers jersey and a yarmulke), I was disappointed by the lack of Jews playing professional sports when I was growing up. There are a couple of notable Jews playing major league sports (LA Kings Center and former Wolverine Mike Cammalleri and Arizona Diamonbacks right fielder Shawn Green to name a few), but the NBA hasn't had a Jewish player since Danny Schayes left the NBA in 2000.

Well, today was a historic day for Jews and the NBA. Lior Eliahu made history today when he was the first Israeli born player drafted. He was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the 44th pick in the NBA's draft. He was then traded promptly to Houston because apparently they thought Texas would feel more like Israel.

Immediately after drafting him, ESPN analysts said he is not quite ready to make it to the NBA, but maybe in a couple of years. Sadly, I realized that my dream of a Jew playing in the NBA was far away, but then I found out that former UCLA Bruin and the 26th pick for the Lakers Jordan Farmar is Jewish!!! So, thank you to Adonai for bringing a bit of diversity to Staples next year.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Amadou and Mariam @ The El Rey Theater, Los Angeles

About a year ago, I heard of Amadou and Mariam. I am not sure how, but the album ended up on my iTunes. I listened to it a couple of times and liked it, but forgot about it.

If you haven't heard of them, Amadou and Mariam are an amazing blind couple from Mali that plays what many people refer to as "afro-blues." Apaprently, they blew the crowd away at Coachella and Bonaroo, so last Saturday I went to check them out at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles.

They perform entirely in French and wear kickass sunglasses (even indoors). Amadou is an incredible guitarist and manages to lead an amazing band regardless of sight. The crowd loved every second of the show (except for my friend Mat who barely clapped).

It was one of the more diverse concerts I had been to in a while as NPR moms were there with their elementary aged students as well as hipsters. By the end of the show, the entire place was clapping and singing along. I did my best to sing along to French. It was highly entertaining.

If you haven't seen these guys, I highly recommend checking them out. They are touring throughout the summer (they are playing BAM in Brooklyn and Central Park Summerstage in July) and their cd, Dimanche à Bamako, is available everywhere.

MP3: Amadou and Mariam - M'bife

So You Think You Can Dance?

The following transcript is from Saturday Night Live in 1997 when Colin Quinn took over for Norm McDonald on Weekend Update.
"You know how you go to your favorite bar, and your local bartender isn't there? You ask, "Where's Jeff?" "Jeff no longer works here, I'm Steve." And you're thinking, "Hey, who's this idiot? I like Jeff." But you still want your drink? And even though Steve doesn't mix your drink the same way you're used to, like Jeff, you still like the same bar, you don't want to have to go to a different bar. And even Steve might feel kinda bad because Jeff trained him. Jeff showed him how to work the cash register, where the tonic was on the soda gun, who tips, who doesn't....Well...I'm Steve. What can I get you? [cheers and applause]...Thank ah!...All right....Thank you."
So, it's not that severe. Nikki is coming back. She is just taking a two month hiatus to help train the next generation of suckers. I am Dan. I live over at this blog and like Nikki, was once a former teacher who tried to show 7 year-olds the genius of Colin Meloy.

I hopefully will do a better job than Colin Quinn did, but then again, there are no guarantees.

Nice meeting you.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Birdmonster Contest


Rachael is keeping track of the official countdown clock because Birdmonster is coming to New York City. And to celebrate this auspicious occassion, Indie Don't Dance is giving away a pair of free tickets to the show. I'm fond of my Midwestern roots, and Birdsmonter recently left my home state of Ohio. To win, just answer this question: Did the boys of Birdmonster give Columbus or Cincinnati a thumbs up? I think the answer is obvious, but check the Birdmonster blog for a cheat sheet. First person to leave the correct answer in the comments wins a pair of tickets.

The Underrated Magazine & Crackers United Present:

Birdmonster
Tally Hall
The Talk
The Gaskets

Plus the soulful spinnings of DJ Nora K and Rachael Underrated.

Buy tickets here for the June 30th show at Sin-e.

Whether you win or lose, circle Friday, June 30 on your calendar and tell your friends you're busy. And don't forget to thank Rachael for making this all a beautiful reality.

Friday, June 23, 2006

From the schoolhouse

The walls are bare. My voice sounds louder now that the sound is no longer muffled by colorful charts and pictures. Boxes are packed full with markers, crayons, and various knick knacks. Cubbies were emptied of folders, journals, and workbooks. Families will probably cringe at the sight of all of the random items that their children will magically pull out of their bookbags. Old markers, random charts, flash cards, and books that are losing their spines. To the undiscerning eye it is trash that will end up in the trash can one day. However, to a child who is beginning their first day of summer vacation, these random items equal a year's worth of learning, exploration, struggle, and achievement. And though these things will eventually find themselves tucked under beds, lost in closets and boxes, for now these things are reminders of what has past and what lies ahead.

This was my last day in the classroom. I am content with that; however, it is always difficult to leave something that has been such a staple in one's life. My co-teacher Katie and my students made a video with my students sharing what they enjoyed about being in our classroom this year. The most memorable moment was when the classroom broke into song at the end of film. Their voices sound lovely layered over Leslie Feist's voice when they sing "Mushaboom" together. I have to admit that I cried. Shamelessly. That moment made me realize that even when I thought that no one was learning, my students internalized such a deep respect for themselves, their peers, and their teachers. Today was a sweet end to many difficult days and a multitude of successes to be proud of. Thank you to all the kids in 2-Blue. And thank you, Katie, for making this year better than good.

To my kids...
Bears: Goodbye Song

And a few second grade favorites...
The Decemberists:
July, July
John Denver: Country RoadsFeist: Mushaboom

* * * * * *
Unfortunately, I will be without a computer for a few days. I'm also moving to Queens for the summer. I have a summer job "teaching teachers how to teach." That line used to slay the second graders. So funny, so funny. However, what's not so funny is that I won't be able to post for a few days. I will when I can (fingers crossed). Hopefully, I will find a friend or two to help out at Indie Don't Dance, so stayed tuned.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Subway Tunes

From the R to the 4/5 and the 6. Here are the top 6 from my subway ride this morning. Ezarchive is being difficult, so these are all yousendit links. Just right-click, save as...

Doveman: Honey
Guster: Two Points for Honesty
Matt Pond PA: Several Arrows Later
Doves: The Sulpur Man
John Vanderslice: My Family Tree
Elliott Smith: Little One

"Top 6" means first 6 because I'm not going to upload all 20 songs. Sorry.

In other schoolhouse news, tomorrow will be my last ever trip to Hunts Point. I probably shouldn't say "never," but I just have this feeling. Friday marks the end of my elementary school teaching career. I'll tell you how it goes...

******
The song to cover these days seems to be Pavement's "Cut Your Hair."

Cassettes Won't Listen: Cut Your Hair
Casey Deinel: Cut Your Hair (via Daytrotter)

But no one does it better then Pavement...

Pavement: Cut Your Hair

There lots more Pavement at emusic.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Yesterday I stuck my head in the freezer.


I like New York, but I don't like New York summers. The oppressive heat. The stagnant trash smell that hangs in air in the subway stations. The sweat that pours down your back as you wait for the train. All of these things add up to nastiness. That's the only way to put it. I think I like the idea of summer: lounging on the beach, barbeques with friends that last until the wee hours, and the unmistakable smell of sunblock. I realize that my idea of summer is an acutal reality for some of you. However, I have sticky underarms and frizzy hair to look forward to. So here's my summer dream mix.

A.C. Newman: 35 in the Shade
Hockey Night: Tubin'
Magnolia Summer: Summer Moon
The Flaming Lips: Buggin'
Jens Lekman: Me on the Beach
Jose Gonzalez: Stay in the Shade

The mix sounds good from the freezer, too.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Come Around

It's been a while since I've posted. The days have been packed full... which as I type is going to turn into the cheesiest pun since I'm literally "packing up" many things nowadays. My classroom, pieces of my apartment, and my New York City life are being packed away into boxes. Since my life has been in a whirlwind, it hasn't acutally sunk in that I'm leaving the teaching profession for a few years. Change is definitely exciting, but also scary since I feel like the only thing waiting for me is the unknown.


So, what do I do while packing boxes and spending my weekends inside putting together final grades? Revisit Snowden's The Snowden EP v.2.0. Since, you're all hepcats out there, I'm sure you have already downloaded this free EP from the band's website. However, if you still haven't added this to your staple iPod rotation, you really should. It's a simply beautifully fuzzy album with well written songs that ask you to sit a while in their melancholy. My favorite track is "Come Around," but just download the entire EP.

Snowden: Come Around

Snowden's debut album for Jade Tree will be out on August 22nd. You can pre-order the album and receive a free Snowden poster with your brand-spankin' new CD.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Day the Heavyweights Came to School

I'm stealing my post title from Wes because it is simply the best way to put it. Casey Shea and Jeff Jacobson from The Undisputed Heavyweights played an acoustic show at my elementary school today. I'm sure it was the youngest, but not rowdiest, bunch they have played for. According to my second graders, the set was "awesome," "loud," "funny," and "so much fun." Desiree said that Casey and Jeff should "be very proud of themselves because they gave their best effort and didn't have stage fright." Although I was digging on "Latrigue," the definite highlight of the show for the kids was when Casey and Jeff played Outkast's "Hey, Ya!" Some of the kids couldn't figure out when Outkast had the time to teach Casey and Jeff that song. Hmmm?





As is usually the case at a Heavyweights show, some were pleasantly entertained...


...while others were blown away.


After signing autographs...


Casey led the kids in a round of "Simon Says."

The show went well... except when Rafael dropped Jeff's guitar. But we won't talk about that.

There won't be any kids, but New York City can see all five Heavyweights at Rockwood Music Hall on Sunday, June 25th. The band will be recording a live EP. Hey, ya!

Hurricane Season



Oh, my! Oh, my! Here's a new video from Divison Day.

Here are some words from sweet Kevin Lenhart:
The "Hurricane" video was the brainchild of director Chris Levitus, who, among many other projects, directed a video for Radiohead entitled "The Big Switch", which appeared on their "Most Gigantic Lying Mouth of All Time" DVD. The video was shot for practically nothing last August in two days, using a camera and film yoinked from the set of the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel. It was directed by Levitus, and was co-directed and produced by Mike Mohan and Anthony Deptula, principle players behind Fuse TV's "You Can Awesome" and the new Kill Rock Stars DVD from The Mae Shi.
They are such rock stars now.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Light Pollution

I'm sure you're rubbing your hands together in anticipation for Dirty on Purpose to release their debut full-length Hallelujah Sirens. And I'm sure you have already circled June 29th on your calendar for the record release show with The Little Ones. But to help fuel your anticipation just a wee bit more, here's a link to DoP's video for "Light Pollution."

Buy tickets to Dirty on Purpose's record release show at Mercury Lounge.

Pre-order Hallelujah Sirens from Amp Camp.

Vote for Dirty on Purpose to be The Deli Magazine's band of the month.

Cat Power @ Town Hall, 06.10.06

This photograph was shameless ripped from mahalie.com.
Visit her blog for a review of Cat Power's show in Seattle
and more fantastic live pictures.

On Saturday night I saw Cat Power at Town Hall in New York. I adore her. I adore that she slipped on stage with her pink travel mug and serenaded us with "The Greatest." I adore the way she bunny hops across the stage and tugs at her clothing when she sings. I adore the way she applauds the band after each song and also applauds the audience. I adore the way she waves to photographers who have inched closer to the stage to take her picture. I adore the way she celebrates her sobriety and radiates triumph. I adore the way her melancholia leaves me hopeful and understood. I adore the way she seems awkward in her own skin yet so much more confident on stage. I adore the way she channels 6os backup singers when she do-wops and and shakes her hips. I adore the way she disappeared to let the Memphis Rhythm Band take center stage, and reemerged in a different, "sexier" outfit. It was a costume change that rivaled the best pop stars. I adore the way she covers "Wild As the Wind." Nina would be proud. I adore the way she waved goodbye at the end of the set and did not want to leave us. I adore the way she stood confidently in the spotlight and let us celebrate her with our applause and cheers. Someone in the audience yelled, "I love you Chan!" She signed, "I love you, too." I believe that to be true.

Cat Power: Where Is My Love

Bradley's Almanac has live tracks from Cat Power's show in Boston on June 7th.

I wish I had more time...

I don't have time for this goodness, but maybe you do:

Daytrotter has four iPod-ready tracks from Sunset Rubdown. The tracks include the unreleased recording of "Winged/Wicked Things." Download it. Bop to it. Be the coolest kid on your block.

Noise for Toaster is my latest favorite blog. The writing is down-to-earth and honest and shines with blogger personality. Make sure you visit Noise for Toaster.... often.

Dave Bazan, the cuddliest man in indie rock, will release his debut solo EP Fewer Moving Parts on June 13. You can listen to new songs at PureVolume.com... and/or download the track "Backwoods Nation" right now!

Shifted Sound is running another contest and it's a good one! Shelby is giving away four sets of music from artists on Endearing Records. All you have to do is: 1) download and listen to podcast #12, and 2) send in the names of five Endearing Records artists that you heard during the podcast. It's easy, it's fun, it's free.

Dave Bazan: Backwoods Nation

Mark your calendars...

Birdmonster is playing woxy's Lounge Acts series on Friday, June 16 at 4:00 pm.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, & Mike... Don't forget Ralph


Before I lived in New York and found it necessary to blog about my favorite indie music, I was a little black girl growing up in the Midwest with my double-deck tape player. I saved up my loose change to buy records and tapes that I would play until late into the night. There were no blogs. There was just my diary filled to the brim with lyrics copied over and over again, and my voice howling until the wee hours of the morning. Not to toot my horn too much, but I had an impressive record and tape collection that included the Mary Poppins Soundtrack, My Name Is Roosevelt Franklin, and the cotton-candied stylings of New Edition. Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe provided the non-stop background music for countless hours of hairbrush microphone stylings in front of the bathroom mirror. Young boys schooled their listeners on the codes of wooing young girls, taking things slowly, and how to let nothing stand in the way of you and the one you love.

I have to admit that I wasn't much of a fan when Bobby Brown was replaced by Johnny Gill. You can't have a decent boy group without the "bad boy," and there's no fun in listening to a group that your mom totally approves of. Download the tracks below, tie your hair in a side pony tail, and grab your favorite hairbrush.

New Edition: Cool It Now
New Edition: Candy Girl
New Edition: Mr. Telephone Man

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Indie Don't Float

Indiedontdance2
Hi, this is Indie Don't Dance.

Dan_6
This is my friend Dan. He runs the blog Floating Away.

Peru_dan
Dan's life as a Coro Fellow recently came to an end. He's traded in his hip suits for a poncho and is currently trekking around Peru.

Mt_schvitz
While Dan climbs Manchu Picchu and chills out with a bottle of Inka Cola, I will be holding down Floating Away with his blog-partner-in-crime "The Chone." There will probably be a lot of cross-posts, but look out for some Floating Away-only features. For now, Dan's going to climb, and we're going to dance.

The Stills: The Mountain
Irving: Crumbling Mountain Tops
Little Ones: High on a Hill
Iron & Wine: Upward over the Mountain

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Friday

The way my week is going, I will definitely need to go out on Friday night. A drunk teacher set loose after a bad week is not safe. But before debauchery ensues, I need to figure out which show I will be at. Is there a way to be in two places at once? I certainly will try...















The Lovely Feathers

Bowery Ballroom: The Lovely Feathers, Dr. Dog, and The Spinto Band @ 8:00 pm

The Lovely Feathers: Breakfast Cake















Rademacher

The Delancey: Rademacher @ 10:00 pm


Rademacher:
Careful with That














Cat Power

Town Hall: Cat Power @ 8:00 pm

Cat Power: He War

Cat Power has a show on Saturday, so I'm not too worried about skipping this on Friday.

















The Undisputed Heavyweights


Sin-e: The Undisputed Heavyweights with Johnny Society @ 9:00 pm

The Undisputed Heavyweights: Roll Your Windows Down

Monday, June 05, 2006

Let's go sailing. Okay.


No time for a long post, just a short one-line summary: I like Let's Go Sailing and the song below.

Let's Go Sailing: All I Want from You Is Love

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Friday Subway Tunes


I've been working two jobs lately, which has put quite a strain on my life. Many things have slipped through the cracks while others have been cut out completely. The shows that I penciled in on my calendar have been steadily crossed off and my mother leaves length messages that oscillate between pleading and threats to disown me. The one constant that has remained is the time I spend listening to my iPod. As some of you know, I spend 2.5 hours a day on the subway trains of New York. Music and a ever rotating book collection keep my commute sane and manageable. Since I have neglected the mp3s filling my inbox and the stack of CDs sitting on my table, I present to you 6 songs that made my Friday morning commute worth waking up.

Somehow the gods of the shuffle setting knew that I needed some happy-go-lucky sounds to get me started...

Sambassadeur: Kate
I'm From Barcelona: We're From Barcelona
The Legends: Make It All Right
Oh No! Oh My!: Jane Is Fat
The Envy Corps: Story Problem
Snowden: Anti Anti

Because I'm so busy, I have decided to take on yet another responsibility. It involves more blogging and trying not to "float away." More on that later.
*****
And...

A Brief Smile has posted a new song from their upcoming album R.E.S.T. on their myspace page. The track is titled "This Machine" and when you stream the song, you get to see the pretty album cover. Rachael got me hooked to A Brief Smile when she offered up an unmastered version of the track"Kitchen Floor." Here's that track once more.

A Brief Smile: Kitchen Floor

Congrats go to the boys from What Made Milwaukee Famous. The indie-pop band has been signed to Barsuk Records! On August 22, look for the (re)release of the band's debut album Trying Never to Catch Up.