Tuesday, January 27, 2009

February music to look forward to

Benjy Ferree Changing Horses (ATO, Feb 3rd)
Lovable up and coming who ranges from pop to folk to Black Keys boogie

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart "self titled" (Slumberland, Feb 3rd)
Engaging shoegaze that ain't snoozy meets sweet power-pop

The Faraway Places Out of the Rain, the Thunder & the Lightning (Save It, Feb 10th)
Drone-powered garage-rock meets psych who realizes, like original garage rockers did, that it helps to have actual songs and not just a good groove

Asobi Seksu Hust (Polyvinyl, Feb 17th)
These lovable indie-pop Brooklyn duo follows up their luscious single "Thursday"

Yonlu A Society in Which No Tear is Shed is Inconceivably Mediocre (Luaka Bop, Feb. 17th)
Sweet Brazilian (non-freak) folkie with some samples/noise thrown in for roughage

Monday, January 19, 2009

David S. Ware- help out a jazz great

Legendary sax-man/composer/band-leader David S. Ware is suffering from kidney failure, now in need of a transplant. To find out more and see how you might be able to help, see this All About Jazz article.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Best music/movies of 2008

If you have a love of movies and music (I do), you definitely need to see The Playlist blog where they go into excruciating detail about the best mix of the two from last year, picking out not just great match-up's of celluloid and notes but also great films that had crappy music, and vice versa. That's some serious dedication and that's why you need to spend some time with this. Where else are you going to find out about "Best Electro-Acoustic Score of the Year" or "Best Tastefully Curated Indie-Rock Soundtrack To A Film" or "Best Atonal Score To A Gigantically Budgeted Superhero Blockbuster"?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Best music scribing of 2008

PopMatters has been kind enough to post my round-up of quality music journalism from last year (and some stinkers too). Hope you enjoy it. Obsessive nut that I am, I've already started my list for 2009...

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Soundtrack- making your iPod funny

If you happen to be in L.A., it's worth a trip to the Hollywood Hills region not just to see the Walk of Fame or Grauman's Chinese Theater but also Upright Citizen's Brigade who've had their West Coast outlet there since 2005. On Friday nights at 10PM (West Coast time of course), a troop called Soundtrack performs there. As part of their act, they ask that you bring your iPod and CD's (for you oldsters) which they literally play off of.

For the show I saw tonight, they plucked out a member of the audience to find out their favorite music act, which happened to be Bjork. They worked the Icelandic diva into a bunch of sketches along with songs from other peoples' iPods. Thus, Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You" became a scene where a grieving son pitched a giant house-sized tent in the year in honor of his late dad, Fugee's "Killing Me Softly" became a scene for a confessional about anal intercourse, R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" turned into a mountain hike gone wrong where a group of friends weight the pro's and con's of cannibalism. And Bjork was to be wed, arriving through a veil of smoke on a giant crane (or maybe not existing at all). Elsewhere, they shot planets out of the sky, hosted an insane foreign exchange student, hunted down a spy and performed other leisurely activities.

All of which the group pulled out of their heads on the spot as the songs came on. Even when they didn't necessarily recontextualize the tunes, they still made you laugh over 'em and good entertainment is what comedy or music should be about, right?