I'm ready for the open road again. Who cares that it's going to be freezing cold, with snow blanketing the ground, breath freezing as it leaves your mouth, crystalizing at your lips in the chilly winter air. I've never had an adventure that was comfortable. In truth, adventure is nothing more than a romantic retrospective of one's suffering.
Now before I scare you off with my masochistic philosophical ranting, let me get to my point. Music can be an adventure, too. Unfortunately, it isn't always; everyone has different tastes, but I believe that a good song is partially defined by its ability to surprise you, to get you out of your comfort zone and push you into new sonic territory. I share this with you because it happened to me like 10 minutes ago...I was pushed.
Spectre Folk is harsh, lo-fi, and nostalgia-invoking . Their singer may be nothing special, and their chord progressions have all been done, but then again that can be said about everyone. They don't shred quite so much as they evoke. Fuck it, I'm rambling and I'd rather be rocking out than typing and editing this shit. Crank your volume and listen to the damned song already.
My mom hates my mohawk.
The U.S. Girls sound a bit like Siouxsie and the Banshees on a warm vacation in a dark cave. In other words, they're all that and a slice of Vinnie's vegan pizza. Meghan Remy is U.S. Girls and the song I am featuring is from her third full-length release U.S. Girls on Kraak.
Listen to The Island Song
Widowspeak will carry the torch, channeling Mazzy Star (who finally reunited!), The Concretes, even a little Dum Dum Girls. So when the smokey haze of burned turkeys finally clears, turn up the volume and shake that fucking tush. At least that's what I'll be doing.
Happy Thanksgiving, you rebel scum.
Harlem (one of my favorite bands)
The Harvey Girls
"its a song that missy created and wanted tpain to do a verse on for her upcoming album block party. tpain then produced it and killed the song, somehow it leaked but missys part isnt even on there and theres speculation that the other verse is from andree 3000 , so its save to say we should here a new version of this soon" - kevinosika
Mind Dimension, Mind Dimension, Mind Dimension, Mind Dimension, Mind Dimension, Mind Dimension, Mind Dimension, Mind Dimension...
"Unfortunately it's not exactly as metal as I would like it to be, and it also talks about my feelings..."
Regardless, I'm still pretty gay for Mr. Adams. It's hard not to be when someone is that prolific, that hilarious, that narcissistic, and that BAT SHIT CRAZY. Every few months I check in on Ryan (read: lurk his shit on the Internet), and what I find on YouTube never ceases to amaze me. OK sometimes it ceases to amaze me, but as his music gets progressively worse, his homemade death metal videos get better and better. Here's a recent one he uploaded listing his favorite metal videos on his fictional(?) web talk show, Night Sweats.
Anyway, I'm talking about that time you had sex with my VCR. And when I confronted you about it, you asked me what time 106 & Park comes on. Well, you better start paying me money, because my VCR is 6 months pregnant.
So I have been shooting a lot of people on the street... and they don't give me the "all clear" about whether or not this is kosher. I used to never imagine myself doing this. I wouldn't have gone into the realm of harassment or molestation... but I guess I am starting to tread on that boundary.
There is a str33t photographer (forgot the name) that uses a flash when shooting people. This I think is on the extreme end of invasion of peoples privacy on the streets. Flashing someone with a huge strobe is a very intrusive event, particularly if they are caught unawares.
At this point, I don't think I will go that far... but I may eventually do this... if I need to get the lighting just right. But I would imagine by that time I will have definitely gotten beat up. I have already had a number of confrontations.
I think so far I have been yelled at 3-4 times by different people in the past month. One guy at Coney Island just yelled at me because I had a camera around my neck (wasn't even using it)... Then he talked to me and eventually gave me a hug... (it was weird). Another guy yelled at me for photographing this sleeping bum. He told me, "If you have the right to photograph him without his consent then he has the right to kick your ass."
I obviously argued with him about this for a good 5 minutes. Kicking someone's ass is illegal. Photographing someone is not. People don't realize that you can take photos of whoever and whatever whenever you want (as long as it's on public ground). Go ahead and try to take my camera away and I will kick your ass and then sue you for all the suet in Sudan.
This past sentence is illustrative. I am now addicted to photographing people on the street. I (heart) it. I want to go further, faster, narrower, brighter, higher and dirtier than ever before. I see it as a way of continually shaking New York City's hand. Pulling back the curtain on a moment and saving it forever. I am not a brewer. I only bottle.
I have never been motivated to see the decrepit and destitute of NYC. But I am now. I want to greet them or the remnants of their person. I want to see the really real truthy truths, the cultures and concubines, the silly and the somber.
I know this blog is supposed to be about music. So I will give you a link to the best Queen music video of all time. But if you have a camera... go outside and steal the world.
Here is a link to some of my shots (if you want).
But truth be told, summer blows. It's too hot. It's muggy. Bugs are everywhere and the water is still too cold to swim. Who really swims anyways? Sharks are dicks, and they're everywhere. Fucking EVERYWHERE. And Coney Island? It's all Russians, all the time.
Then Fall comes around, and it's all I can think about... Summer: that syrupy season of my long-lost youth. It's not so much a season as it is an ideal. We yearn for it, but it never really happened, and never will. We'll get older, grayer, and gayer, and with each passing year the longing will only get worse.
I'm going to take the next couple of months to cry about imaginary long-lost girlfriends on the beach and old-timey necking sessions. In the meantime, enjoy Real Estate. They're made from real bits of New Jersey...so you know it works. They have a new record, "Days", out on Domino next week.
Here's another track from their self-titled debut on Woodsist (A label I HIGHLY recommend checking out!)
Hurts, don't it?
I fucking love the radio. Not like online radio but car radio as in here I am in a car driving listening to sounds that someone else put on they're called a DJ disc jockey and they spin the tunes. I heard this song and it is ahhhhmazing. It touches me in a weird way, like a great inspiring way that not everyone and everything blows monkey chunks.
Eric Berglund goes by ceo and is formerly half of the Swedish electronic duo, The Tough Alliance. He released his first album last year called White Magic. The entire album is worth a listen but the song "Oh God, Oh Dear" just hits me like a book in the face. A hardcover. The only trouble is it's so short you may want to put it on repeat, which the neighbors might not like.
Last week, my hometown of Williamsport, PA was badly flooded. Living in a relatively mountainous region, it's not good when your exit ramp is looking like a really good surfing break. The company I work for lost power, and once that was restored, the security system was out of commission. So I was recruited (read: forced) to be the guy to stay up from 6pm to 6am, walking around with a flashlight (read: watching movies and rummaging through other people's desks).
After 5 days of not being able to recall the day of the week, I'm finally being thrown back into the pool of 9-5ers (read: 7-3:30ers). The problem is, my circadian rhythm is fucked. So here I am at 5am wide awake, with nothing to do but drink more coffee and, WAIT, WHAT THE FUCK!?!...
Toro Y Moi just dropped a new EP?
As a Luddite-turned-blogger I'm still a bit skeptical of how quickly the internet has sped up our world. What ever happened to the good old-fashioned album-every-year-or-two music world that I fell in love with? Now artists are famous before (if ever) even realeasing a full length.
Or maybe I'm just romanticizing something that never actually existed. Regardless, these days music is being released at a pace that's hard to keep up with, which, while challenging, is very exciting. Just a few weeks ago I posted about Chaz Bundick's latest full-length under the Toro Y Moi moniker, released earlier this year. But yesterday this little nugget of electro-funk-whatever-you-want-to-call-it came out, and I'm digging it.
If Underneath The Pine was a turn in the direction of more traditional instrumentation, Freaking Out is a return to dancey, shake your ass form. It's reminiscent of 80's hip hop and funk, and if you ain't down with that, you ain't down with fun. Now, speaking of fun, I've gotta get to work.
True story. So about a year ago I quit drinking/using drugs. Did I do it on my own? FUCK NO! Addiction is some serious shit, and if you can kick a habit all by yourself, hats off to you. Not many people succeed. So, like of alot people who've tried every possibly way of getting sober unsuccessfully, I checked myself into rehab. What was it like, you ask? It was really, really boring, and consisted of alot of heroin addicts farting and shitting their brains out after eating their first solid meal after years of, well, doing heroin. I also learned about a TON of drugs I'd never heard of before. Did you know there's a whole subculture of alcoholics who drink nothing but vanilla extract? Neither did I. But I digress...
One of the things you find upon getting sober is that you suddenly have alot of free time on your hands that you used to spend either at the bar or hanging out with your annoying transvestite Mexican coke dealer. (Yuck.) You begin looking for healthier means of expression that still fuck you up on some kind of existential level, but don't inevitably kill you. In my case, instead of cramming stuff up my nose, down my throat, or into my veins, I found myself cramming the past 50 years of modern music into my ears.
In a way, you could say that I've started treating music as a drug. It's consumed most of my free time, mental space, and amazingly, in the age of free downloads, money. And like all drugs, everyone has their own personal preference.
In my case, I've found that I like heavy, slow, somewhat downtempo music; music that sounds like it was dredged from the bottom of a stagnant pond filled with warm acid and left to crystalize under the summer sun. Now the word heavy can be misleading. Heavy does not necessarily mean metal. Heavy isn't just a sound. It's an implication. I'll go out on a limb and say that Coast To Coast by Elliott Smith is heavier than anything Slayer ever recorded, because the heaviness I'm talking about isn't what's hitting your ears, it's what you're feeling once you've internalized the song as a whole. I guess you could say that I'm trying to describe heavy with a lower-case H. I'm talking about an abstract feeling, not a theatrical genre of guys in tights and face paint.
That being said, there are some amazing bands out there that, with a little searching, can be found to fit this (wait for it...) heaviness that I'm looking for to replace drugs. Since this is a blog and not a memoir on sobriety, I'll share just two of them with you for now.
First, there's Low. These guys have been around for the past 20 years, the past several of which they've spent with Sub Pop. These guys rock, in a slow, quiet, delicate-yet-heavy-in-their-own-right kind of way. They're one of the first bands to discover that when a crowd is getting loud, turning DOWN the volume will (amazingly) shut people up. This doesn't make them whisper-y pussies, though. In fact, their sound is rock solid. Where alot of bands have trouble tying their arrangements together, Low keeps things very, very tight. When people are talking about Slowcore music, they're inadvertantly paying homage to Low.
This one is from their newest album, "C'mon."
Second, there's True Widow. Why this band isn't more well known is beyond me, because they fucking ROCK. Remember Slowride? Yeah me neither, but apparently that guy decided correctly that "emo" was fucking lame and that woodworking was a better way to spend his time, a point I think most readers will unanimously agree on. After staring at planks of oak and walnut for a few years, Dan Phillips decided to give song crafting another shot, and the result was True Widow. Now, remember that this guy worked with wood for a few years, because that's what comes to mind when I listen to them: walking through a dank, dark forest. This is doomy, gloomy music for those more organically inclined than metal fans. Alot of write ups about them include the term Slowcore, but the band prefers "stonegaze," which seems pretty appropriate, considering everytime I listen to them, which is alot, I find myself gazing at the floor in an aurally induced stony haze. Did I mention that their bassist/vocalist is a total babe?
Here's a joint off their newest release, As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumfrence Of The Earth.
Stay fucked up, kids...
Anyways, these days it's all about the name-callin'. While you're being sweaty and gross and generally covered in beer, skanking away on the dance floor to some jangly band, all "Yeah bro!!! I'm having so much fun!!!", I'm perfecting a working formula that looks something like this:
So, here's some Post-Chillwave, Gladys. Whatever. Enjoy.
I said put dem on! Put on dem jammies! Where? ON! Put dem on!
11:25 of YES! Put dem on! Put on dem jammies! Put on! YES!
Have you ever seen Buffalo 66? It is kick butt kickin. I was confused and convinced. That's a recipe for a great film. YES. Put dem on! Dem jammies!
This Yes song is in the movie. Director Vincent Gallo (pictured above) picked out a soundtrack only a bounty hunter on his day off could love. It is that fucking good. "Heart of the Sunrise" is 17 songs in one. I like 14 of them. Giving me the shivers. PUT ON DEM JAMMIES!
I love Mark Wahlberg and seahorses.
- My first night in Tokyo the hotel receptionist recommend that I go to Denny's for dinner. I did eventually go and the waffles were great.
- Also in Tokyo, I went through a magnitude 5 earthquake just a few days after the tsunami in Sendai. The next day, emotionally distraught, I went to the airport and felt aftershocks. The monitors which showed the flight schedules were shaking fairly violently and I was worried they were going to fall on my head.
- Kyoto happens to be one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. Every 50 steps there is another temple with a perfectly manicured gardens and silence.
- Kyoto has the oldest bar in Japan. It had some good scotches and the old bartender gave me some on the house.
- I stepped into a wooden building built in the 700's in Mt. Hiei. This is the oldest building I have ever been in.
- I scuba dove with Manta Rays in Indonesia. These Manta Rays were about 10 foot across (for the biggest ones). The current actually took me straight into a massive manta and I apologized to him.
- I met some really cool photographers in Jakarta and became friends with them. We wandered around the city, taking photos and eating street food. My boy Ready inspired me with his kindness and hospitality.
- A guy told me to try a new vegetable in Taiwan and it turned out to be binlang (aka betel nut). I got really pissed off that he tricked me into using a drug. I couldn't sleep all night and threw up the next day.
- A prostitute in Saigon offered her services to me in a sweet high pitched voice but after forcefully telling her no her voice became really low as she scooted off, mumbling something in Vietnamese. I think it is safe to say that she was one of those ladys with a ding-dong.
- Speaking of ding-dongs, a mother held her little sons weener while he peed so as not to get the urine on some vegetables that were close by. This was in a market in Ben-Tre, Vietnam.
- At the same market, another woman was cutting the skin off of some frogs and putting them into a pile. There was this gigantic pyramid of skinless frogs and once she threw another one on top, the pile of pink automatons started hopping in different directions ruining the structure of the pyramid.
- The Mango in Vietnam is the sweetest mango I've ever tasted. In India they used crushed mango instead of sugar to make things sweet.
- Imagine eating new fruits! I really fell in love with Jack Fruit. Strangely, they cook it in curry and it looks like chicken flesh but the flavor is outstanding. Also, dragon fruit is super tasty and yellow water melon top notch as well.
- There was a week long program in India where I did yoga for 3 hours a day, 1 hour of mediation and 2 hours of hiking through the mountains. While the majority of my trip was spent absorbing external stimuli this time was to introspect and I found new places inside of myself that I want to visit more often.
- I swam with thousands of stingless jelly-fish in Palau.
- I became a vegetarian (3 weeks going strong!). I am not very militant about it but it helps keep me trimmer.
Canadian band Bedouin Soundclash is making me want to dance. TOO LATE I am always dancing all I ever do is that. I am really just talking about one song. It is my favorite song. It has some lyrics that really apply to our skanky-ass generation about doing it before wuv. Twu wuv.
The beat is very reminiscent of The Zombies "Time of the Season," another bitch kickin' song. Brutal Hearts features Coeur de Pirate (Pirate Heart) who is a 21-year-old singer-songer also from Canada! Enjoy.
Brutal Hearts (Ft Coeur de Pirate)
He will be in NYC in July.
Mon. July 11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Tue. July 12 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
I hope he plays this because it is my favorite. This is him as Smog at Emo's in Austin, Texas, on July 24th, 2003.
tUnE-yArDs new video!
New Jenny Invert, is it true? It is finally upon us. The first release of the New Mexican uberband that morphed from the baby snake of Grand Canyon into an Egyptian Asp (great crossword word and did you know Cleopatra died from an asp bite?). Am I being dramatic. OF COURSE I AM. This is some beep-boppin' good tunage. Some would say this could be your chosen album of spring 2011--the one you listen to all the time and play really loud in your car because your computer's speakers only whisper at you.
SVA's new Design Critique program (DCrit if you don't have time to waste) has some pretty cool shit going on in the NYC this semester or as real people call it "the first five months of the calendar year." So far their lecture series seems like it's going to be worthwhile so you should go speed racer go. (Pump the breaks--don't forget to rsvp.)
If you have no interest in being sober on thursday night, I would highly suggest you take your ass down to Santos Party House SOOOO you can take an extraterrestrial siesta in space with LINDSTROM!
Then on Friday get excited for the best thing to come out of Brazil since fire ants...
AND at a new venue (Oh!) that looks too crazy to be realz!!! Read the reviews of this place. It's called Good Units. Apparently you touch space when you enter the place.
Why the hell should I stay up until midnight so I can feel like shit the next day because I drank a personal bottle of Freixenet (pronounced Freaks-net)? I shouldn't. So last night I didn't. I will next weekend at my New Years Eve Take II party. Fuck that holiday. I didn't even get to steal Beth's Saturday New York Times today because SOMEONE gave the mail person the day off. Right. Happy New Year, may it start off with the neglect of printed journalism.
1. No more swearing, (Mom: You sounds like you aren't creative enough to come up with a better word.)
2. No more tights with runs. (Mom: You look trampy.)
3. Be optimistic. (Mom: You are way too young to be this jaded.)
4. Stop being so fucking lazy and get on the train. A 45-minute subway ride is usually worth maintaining friendships. (Mom: Do you have friends?)
Someone called me "bastard face" today. I beat them at Scrabble. Heat's on!
Two soft, one razor, one brazen.
Twin Sister - Lady Daydream
Galaxie 500 - Strange
The Intelligence - Sailor Itch
Johnny Jenkins - Bad News