29 November 2007

Beck's Digs

24 November 2007

Efterklang - Mirador

Here's a wonderful video from Danish group Efterklang for their song Mirador. Watch as the little bird thing navigates its colorfully Escheresque space island!

18 November 2007

I Think We Should Have a Moment of Silence For Grunge...

i would like you all to bow your heads and indulge yourself with as much grunge as you can get a hold of. it's the holidays, you need to get out your deep dark feelings of angst before you have to face your family. so dig in! put on some nirvana and wallow in a bath...the year is almost over.

Annuals at The Clubhouse 11/17

Annuals killed last night. I wasn't sure if they'd top the last time I saw them at the Rhythm Room, but they've only gotten better. The electric atmosphere that this North Carolinian band crafts onstage absolutely has to be experienced. And when four people start playing simultaneous percussion parts, you'll feel happier than ever before. Truth be told: I have a massive crush on Adam Baker, the leader of the Annuals pack. But, honestly, listen to Be He Me, it's an epic collection of angsty musicianship, with so much depth. Every time I listen to it, I find something new to love. They just released a digital EP, entitled Frelan Mas, a collection of eight b-sides from Be He Me. It's available on the Ace Fu website and on iTunes.

Brooklynite Kevin Devine played first and was pretty intense, up onstage all alone with just his guitar as company. Manchester Orchestra, who played second, came out for the last half of his set as his backup band. Devine covered Neutral Milk Hotel, which was my favorite part of his set, probably because I've never listened to him with much fervor. It was a good set though, lots of girls are in love with him, I guess.

Manchester followed and by far had the biggest crowd of the night. I saw them over the summer at The Brickhouse with Piebald and mewithoutYou, but singer Andy Hull's voice seemed a little weary this time around. It's crazy how many people were singing along and dancing around, probably because Manchester doesn't strike me as something to dance to.

Hey Phoenix, how are you going to leave right after Manchester Orchestra plays and totally miss out on Annuals? I think half of the crowd left by the time Annuals played, which is cool for me since I'm sort of miniscule and didn't have to fight to see the action... But all you dorkburgers who left missed out on a beautiful set.

17 November 2007


1. the same critics say the same things about the same bands...i didn't care then and i don't care now (Britney Spears naked on the cover of several magazines...need i say more)

2. Peter Travers

3. glorification of over-produced bands that were once good (i.e. the Decemberists with the Crane Wife)

4. they only promote glamazon would be pop artists because they are payed to. (where are your moral standards?)

5. finally, Eldar. (have you seen the latest CMJ?)

13 November 2007


You can officially buy the Spice Girls Greatest Hits album as of today, November 13. In the states, the album is being sold exclusively at Victoria's Secret stores, which is horrible because it means I'll actually have to drive to some type of mall to purchase it. The ladies also have a new single entitled "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)" which you can download here. Physical copies of the single will be available in the UK on November 19.

11 November 2007

Brand New/Thrice/mewithoutYou at The Dodge Theater

To begin with I will admit my extreme bias in this review because when this tour was announced I was pretty sure it was the best tour announced in years.

mewithoutYou is such a fun band. It is wonderful to have seen them at The Mason Jar just a few years ago, and now here they are as an opening act at The Dodge Theater. Granted, it was much nicer to see them at The Mason Jar, where they invited everyone out to dinner as they left the stage (about half the audience did leave to catch dinner with the band), it is still a tribute to what a hard-working and good band they are that they have progressed so quickly. In the time since that first show, this band has gotten a little bit flashier, but they still stick to the simple but energetic show they have mastered for the most part. Not many fancy light tricks, this band relies on the power of their music and the energy of their band to involve and speak to the crowd, and it seems to work quite well for them. Aaron has evolved from the shy frontman with a shirt over his head into a more confident leader on stage, though some shyness does remain (that's a good thing). The only bad part of their set was the length: 30 minutes.

Thrice is my favorite band, ever. So obviously I loved their show. I have seen them several times and this might have been my favorite show they've ever put on. Perhaps it was the superior sound quality and stage set-up (I'm not a fan of arena-style shows but there are admittedly some perks, like a good soundboard), but I think a large part of it was their fantastic set list. Although nothing from Identity Crisis slipped into the mix (as expected, unfortunately), a couple songs from all of their other albums slipped into the set list along with more recent music from their just-released album and, if each disc from The Alchemy Index is taken as a seperate disc, I think one of the most remarkable things about their set list was its incorporation of an approximately equal amount of material from all of their discs except for Identity Crisis. That sort of balance is rarely seen in bands which have just released an album and in fact has not even been characteristic of Thrice at other shows I have seen them play. As a fan of all of their material though, it was a welcomed aspect of their show. Songs from the Water disc seemed to fall into the same trap songs from Vheissu fell into when it was released, which is a more awkward incorporation of the songs into he set due to their more comparitively mellow nature. The songs from Vheissu sound great by now though and I expect that Water songs will integrate better with time.

Brand New was the only band on this tour I had not yet had the pleasure of seeing live. Perhaps because they were headlining over my favorite band, or perhaps due to the rave reviews of my friends who have seen them, I had very high expectations for their live show. As they started out I was initially wary. Jesse is an incredibly passionate vocalist live, but in the first song he sang, his preference for screaming parts normally sung began to worry me that their live renditions would be too different for me. Add to that the 7 or 8 people on stage for several songs throughout the evening and I was starting to feel an impending disaster. But then it turned around in the course of a song. I don't even recall which song it was, but all of a sudden the live music clicked with me, and I really got into it. Their stage setup was surprisingly spartan and mellow. The use of fairly dim white lights was the only lighting for their entire set and kept a more laid-back mood in place, which was further accented by their choice to play The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me in its entirety (though not in order). In fact, the only songs they performed that were not on that album were Sic Transit Gloria and Good to Know That If I Ever Need Attention All I Have to Do Is Die. Jesse also played one cover song by himself on an acoustic, which was surprisingly good, coming from a music fan who rarely enjoys the singer/acoustic guitar soloist approach. The most disappointing part of their set was not actually part of the set but rather the encore. Having closed the set with Sowing Season and Degausser (excellent choices) the band chose to come out and jam for about 10 minutes and then leave. Although it was a good jam and enjoyable in itself, it is usually wiser to close the night with your strongest material, so as not to leave audiences complaining as they walk out the door (which I heard plenty of). Otherwise this show was fantastic and I wish I were able to follow it around and see it a few more times, because it completely met the high expectations I laid out for such an impressive band line-up.

10 November 2007

09 November 2007

New Why? song out! - if that sentence made any sense to you at all, you're probably excited.

Why? Yoni Wolf's solo project turned four-piece turned three-piece Malkmusian rock meets hip hop band has a new album coming out! It's called Hollows, and the title track is available for download from xlr8r's site.

As with most of Wolf's songs, the lyrics range from pathos to pithyness (I can't help my alliterative self) as he recalls interesting anecdotes involving gypsies and homosexual Berlinners on basketball courts. Any song that uses the phrase "loose tooths" probably deserves your attention, so check it out!

I'm going to brag for a sec.

Remeber when MIA and I were BFFs?

In light of Owen's Last.fm Shyness...

...I decided to post my charts because that way no one can be ashamed about having worse taste in musc than me!

08 November 2007

Throw Yer Diamonds

I'm a sappy girl for liking this commercial. But, Cat Power covering Cat Stevens! C'mon how could I possibly resist?

On a separate note: What would Kanye think of Chan Marshall singing for blood diamonds? On another separate note: Is Celebrity Death Match still on t.v.? I'd like to see Chan and Kanye duke it out as claymation figures.

Why I'm not posting my last.fm digs - the case against Skrobbling

If you subscribe to my fan club newsletter (and pay the exorbitant dues required to do so) you have probably been asking yourself something along the lines of "Owen, why don't you post your last.fm top five like all the other cool TMAs? Do you think you're too good or something?"

The answer is a bifurcated one. On the one hand I have serious problems with my song data not getting through to the grand old skrobblin' machine. I more often than not have a little red tied eighth notes where a black one should be... or stranger yet, a little # sign. What do these things mean? Last.FM is silent! It only occasionally seems to upload my listening habits and when it does it is rarely representative of my actual taste in music.

Which leads me to my second problem: my charts are consistently either unrepresentative of the music I like or overly representative of music I don't like OR don't want people to know I like.

Three artists in my list of 50 top artists overall and FIVE of my top ten artists in the last week are either bands I was/am in or various silly garageband/protools projects I made and listen to out of vanity. I'm clearly biased in this regard. These should not be in my top artists list! On top of that, it can't be true that I listened to myself half the time in the past week. Skrobbler, you're incorrect.

The non-me artists in my toplists are even weirder. "Spor" takes the number 7 slot in the past week. I don't know who the hell Spor is! my friend Jake sent me an mp3 and I've listened to the song maybe once. Jesu is on there- I have one song by Jesu that I'm not sure I've ever listened to all the way through.

I don't know if it's a problem with firewalls or modems or whatever, but Last.FM has to get its act together if it's gonna continue to profess to "represent" my music taste in any accurate way.

So no, I'm not posting my digs.

Shut up.

Why Pitchfork Media Sucks.

Pitchfork Media sucks.

Although they are indisputably one of the biggest, and most well known indie media outlets, someone has to come out and say that they are in fact just another indie snob trying to get out its name, by destroying the name of some of the greatest albums of the last ten years.

Lets start off with a local favorite, Jimmy Eat World. Arguably the best Jimmy cd is Clarity back from 1999 (Bleed American wasn't reviewed, probably because it actually charted) . This is not only a great cd, but one of the quintessential emo discs of all time. Pitchforks spends days in a commercial dialect type review to drone on how the cd is sub par, giving the disc a 3.5/10. No more need be said.

Another quintessential disc, again in the emo realm, would be Saves the Day's Stay What You Are. Whether you like this type of music, its not hard to see that there isn't much more to be asked for on this type of album. But Pitchfork displays itself as another indie elitist rating the disc as a 2.9/10.

Moving to heavier music, the progressive/hardcore/space rock disc Jupiter by Cave In was also reviewed. This album, which is widely regarded as another of the best of its kind is still rated below a 5 by Pitchfork with a 4.9/10.

Perhaps the worst part of all this is that Pitchfork pretends to have knowledge outside of its small portion of the indie landscape and goes on to review Jay-Z and Rihanna's latest albums. Both discs received an 8.6 and 7.4 respectively. Nothing against either artist, but apparently originality and straddling several genres in one disc are not an important factor in the reviews done by Pitchfork.

So Pitchfork, next time you want to legitimize yourself as an indie reviewer, stick to your Saddle Creek, don't venture out of your comfort zone, and for the sake of indie remember one thing:

Indie is not limited to acoustic guitar, overbearing synth lines and artists that will never appeal to a demographic larger than the standard mismatched American Apparel and Ray-Ban wearing indie elitist.

07 November 2007

Flobots at The Paper Heart

For those of you who, like me, have never been to The Paper Heart before, I am going to take just a minute to suggest you do so. If the average night there is anything like tonight was, there are few things that are so inexpensive and simultaneously entertaining anymore.

The first 4 or so bands consisted of a group of perhaps 10 people rotating in and out of the various "bands" and playing a pretty wide assortment of instruments. Considering the band would yell out chord changes during the song, it was remarkably good improv. I've heard rehearsed bands play less challenging music and do a worse job of it than these guys did jamming on stage. Not to mention they had great energy and interaction with the crowd (granted most of the crowd was composed of their friends). Some highlights included the accordionist diving off the stage and falling into one of the audience members' lap, the kid who played in all of the bands and just soloed the whole song, and the first kid who handed out percussion instruments to get the crowd to interact with him. None of these guys was tht great, but they were good enough that the evidence of their having fun was ample entertainment in itself.

Then there was the Flobots. Of course I love this band on CD so it's no surprise I liked them live, but one thing I wish more bands did is to change their songs live and not jsut play what's on the CD, and they did this very well, from the Rage Against the Machine cover in the middle of one of their songs to the rap battle between the two emcees, it was a very good show. The lack of an audience (despite my best efforts) was pretty depressing but the band was still really gracious anyways. I only met Mackenzie but they seemed like a very friendly bunch (Coloradans usually are really) and they seemed really glad to be playing for us even though there was about 20 people there total...which is sadly less than my band pulls sometimes. Usually bands aren't so gracious to such a small group. If you are unfamiliar with the Flobots, listen at http://www.myspace.com/flobots or listen to The Blaze, we play them (or so Becky tells me).

Hooray for fun shows.

05 November 2007