Jay Who?-High School

For some reason this dude reminiscing about High School makes me think of Jamal's classic "Back in the Day". I guess they're similar, both are laid back songs about being younger. I found this track completely by accident, I was google imaging "Shel Silverstein" and this was on page two. Which makes sense. I like the flute on this one....

Jay Who?-High School

you can download the mixtape here

Where The Wild Things Are

These posters are all over New York City right now, and theyre just making me impatient for October 15th when the film finally arrives. I'm intrigued to see how Spike Jonze is able to adapt an 48 page picture book, according to this article in the times, it wasn't easy. It's funny considering that Adaptation was his last film, and it was about a screenwriter struggling to adapt a book for the screen. How ironic.
I'm not the only one who is excited about this film, weloveyouso.com is a blog whose whole focus is everything related to the film, which is where I found out what I'm gonna be wearing for most of this fall.
Anyways, these screen shots are just beautiful. I'm excited.
And here's the trailer....

Giant Girl Doll

Somewhere in Eastern Europe, Giant Girl Dolls are taking showers in front of huge crowds of people and eating Popsicle while blinking a lot. Strange atmospheric music plays in the background. Is this art?


Mixtape Volume 7

Phantesmania-Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
Thursday (The Twelves Remis)- Asobi Seksu
Shelia-Atlas Sound
Departure-Crystal Stilts
A Forest-The Cure
Lucky Boy (Outlines Remix)-DJ Medhi
Business Casual-The Foxglove Hunt
As Above, So Below (Justice Remix)-The Klaxons
Redoakway-Lotus Plaza
Bizarre Love Triangle-New Order
Perfect Kiss-New Order
The Rip-Portishead
You'll See it-Washed Out
The Rocky Mountains-Wendy Carlos

The Man from UNKLE

James Lavelle is a music producer from across the pond that is responsible for giving us DJ Shadow’s album “Entroducing” with his little label Mo Wax Records. The label also produced such records as Dr. Octagon's 1996 record Dr. Octagonecoloyst. The project that absolutely blew my mind was Unkle’s Psyence Fiction. One of my favorite tracks being the one he did with Richard Aschcroft from The Verve, the ending to this day gives me goose bumps.

UNKLE - Lonely Soul

He has collaborated with many well known artists including Thom Yorke, Autolux, Mike D, Massive Attack, Josh Homme and the list goes on and on. James’s wife Lorna Lavelle and someone named Blonde have a documentary called “The Man from UNKLE” in pre production and some footage has been released. It covers James Lavelle and his interesting life that he has led and the amazing musical projects he has been behind. The trailer is just a taste and leaves me wanting more


Phoenix in Central Park

Last Friday, the french soft rockers Phoenix played Summerstage in Central Park. With little more then a "Hello, New York", the band launched through the highlights of their three albums in two straight sets with little onstage banter (although, they did thank "Passion Peet" for opening for them). It was clear that they were having fun though, "If I Ever Feel Better" was transformed into a disco-fied metal jam, and as you can see below in the video, "Liztomania" builds and crashes with more energy then the studio cut. The crowd was clearly feeling the energy, and people were dancing, which, lets face it, is rare to see in New York.

I found a clip on the youtube....you can see a bunch of them if you click here.


Harry Nilsson-Pussy Cats

Drunkenly recorded in a beach house in Malibu in 1974, Harry Nilsson's Pussy Cats album is legendary for the debauchery which took place while it was completed. Produced by John Lennon, the vibe of the album reflects the boozing which occurred while it was made; loose, slow, sometimes sloppy and out of tune, Pussy Cats is the sound of two drunks filling their beers full of tears late into the night.
The legend behind it goes as such: Lennon and Yoko Ono were not getting along, so he and his assistant (with whom he would have an affair) packed up for Los Angelos, where he contacted his friend, singer-songwriter Harry Nilson to produce Nilsson's next album.
To ensure that everyone involved made it to the studion on time, the musicians (including Ringo Starr and Keith Moon) all holed up in the same house. This apparently only served to create a chaotic atmosphere of drinking, drugging, and fighting. Lennon and Nilsson were kicked out of the Troubadour club on the sunset strip twice for fighting while recording, and Nilsson injured his vocal chords, making his throat raspier then usual for this . However they were able to finish the album through all of the setbacks, and produced Pussy Cats.
Among music fanatics the album is legendary, and has been inspirational to countless musicians including The Walkmen who covered the whole thing note for note right after recording 100 Miles Off , so it was obviously an inspiration to them, which explains to me why 100 Miles Off is the only bad album in their discography. Listen to the unhinged and funky "All my life", with its repentant lyrics about drinking, and the pleading screech of "Many Rivers I've Crossed" to experience the flavor of two talented musicians totally losing their shit. Beautiful.

Harry Nilsson-All My Life

Harry Nilsson-Many Rivers to Cross (Jimmy Cliff Cover)

The Walkmen: DC Homecoming

Last night The Walkmen played the 9:30 club, it was a triumphant homecoming for the DC natives and graduates of St. Albans High School. Hamilton Leithauser playing an electric guitar on the first song, and throughout the set would occasionally strum on an acoustic, but mostly stuck to singing. Leithauser’s vocals were the most surprising thing of the night as his howling was actually pitch perfect. Songs such as “On the water” were spooky and reminiscent of Halloween. Other songs such as “In the new year” were uplifting, and the juxtaposition of spooky songs and hopeful ballads made for a very diverse set list.

The Walkmen-On the Water

They are traveling with a horns section, one of whom Hamilton introduced to the crowd as his wife Anna. This addition of sound made certain songs richer. On stage Leithauser is calm and confident, and you can tell these boys have spent some time on the circuit before, because their live performance is tight. Paul Maroon's chops on guitar were spell binding, and the tunes set a mood as opposed to really rocking out. The Walkmen are a class act, be sure to check them out.

The Walkmen-In the New Year


Chad VanGaalen-Did You Find Peace?

Chad VanGaalen, is one of those musicians who manages to put out albums with some varied styles yet still sound cohesive in the end. One thing that ties his music together is his distinctive damaged upper case warble, similar to Neil Young's lungs. This is an outtake from his 2008's Soft Airplane release. He is a true DIU artist, and even does the art for his covers, one of which is pictured above. I read somewhere that he was once a profesional skateboarder, I cant confirm that; and besides, what is a professional skateboarder exactly anyhow? Anyhow here is B-side to Soft Airplane, its a simple guitar and voice composition, but should show you why to check out more of his music.

Chad VanGaalen-Did You Find Peace?

You can download this song and the rest of the free ep of B-sides he released here

Oh yeah, one last thing...this is a video for the song Molten Light off of Soft Airplane which Chad directed.


Devandra Banhart-Baby

Here's Devendra Banhart's new single "Baby" off of his upcoming major label debut for Warner Bros. It would be a hit on "AM Radio" if that was still around...

Devandra Banhart-Baby


Lucero: Darken My Door

Lucero is about to release a new album called "1372 Overton Park" on Ocotber 6th and they have released the first video. The video was shot in Washington DC and features a puppet as the protagonist. They will be touring the country with Amy Lavere, Cedric Burnside, and Lightning Malcom and calling it the Rambling Road Show and Memphis Revue. They will be at the 9:30 club in DC on 10/15 and at Webster Hall in NYC on 10/17

Darken My Door from Lucero on Vimeo.


The Never Home-Live! EP

The greatest thing to ever come out of Union City, New Jersey....Here's the latest from the boys, recorded live from the soundboard at Arlene's Grocery, and mastered by guitarist Rene Martinez. Next up, the 169 bar, and then Shorefest at Washington College. Contact me to book them for your next wedding.

Julian Casablancas-11th Dimension

Expectations need to be met when you're the lead singer of one of the worlds most well respected bands. Little to nothing has been heard from Julian Casablancas since it was first announced that he was dropping his first solo joint. First there was the preview video (which we covered here), and then a website emerged, which simply hosted that video and not much else. When the album cover was put out on the web, the only music to have emerged was the proggy instrumental track which accompanied the preview video. The lack of well, anything, only fueled the hype for this album which no one except Casablancas had heard. There were/are no leaks, no nothing, and it was as if the master tapes were being kept in some high security vault on a spaceship orbiting the moon, guarded by the Predator.
Finally we have a fucking song, which debuted on the myspace page yesterday. It completely lives up to the hype. I didn't expect it to sound like the strokes, and didnt want it to either. In an interview Casablancas said he was going to do things that he couldnt do with the Strokes on this album, and clearly hes going for it. For one, this song has a bassline that's way too funky for a Strokes album; the drumming is almost tribal, and the song is based around a hyped up organ riff. The 80s vibe is heavy on this one, and it's cool; cuz you can dance to it.

Julian Casablancas-11th Dimension

Suckers: It Gets Your Body Moving

Suckers make tunes with easygoing harmonies and infectious melodies, well connected in the Brooklyn scene; they start touring with the White Rabbits in late October. Their song “It gets your body moving” is just a taste of the laid back sounds of this quartet’s EP. Check the myspace page and listen to “Easy Chair”, a song whose title encompasses their vibe for me. Also if you think the band name is bad be happy they didn’t go with their first choice: Feelings. For more info on them check out this article from New York Press.

Suckers - It Gets Your Body Moving


Balmorhea: All Is Wild, All Is Silent

Austin natives Balmorhea have released a complex, classically inspired, and very moving new album. The band has added a few more members and now have six members playing guitar, banjo, piano, violin, cello, drums and upright bass. The album's name, “All Is wild, All Is Silent” was inspired by the writings of early Texas settler William B. Dewess; and there is something about the music that conjures up images of an old American West and the vast landscapes depicted on the cover art. The drastic twists and turns of “Harm and Boon” , leading from the melancholy to the intense, mimic some of the classical greats such as Ludwig Van Beethoven himself. The song brings you on a musical journey and with strictly instruments evokes tremendous emotion. “November 1, 1832” is an eerie and lonely song.

Balmorhea - Harm and Boon

Balmorhea - November 1, 1832

Snoop Dogg-Fallin' Asleep on Death Row

The vaults of Death Row are apparently spilling over now that its been divvied up by the courts. This one isn't quite on a par with 'Poor Young Dave', but its still an interesting snapshot of what was happening in California in the 90's. Dr. Dre is on the production again for this one, and this was apparently recorded around the time of 'Deep Cover'.

Snoop Doggy Dogg-Fallin Asleep on Death Row

BlackRoc-Hoochie Coo

Rap-Rock Crossovers have been happening since Run DMC teamed up with Aerosmith for 'Walk this Way'. We can blame the desire to blend these musical art forms for Cypress Hill's "Skull and Bones" album, Limp Bizkit, BodyCount, amongst countless others. The trend continues however, and thus we now have Blackroc, a project spearheaded by Dame Dash and featuring the Black Keys performing with various rappers. This first track off of the album features Jim Jones and Mos Def. It almost makes sense. Jones hopped on MGMT's hit 'Electric Feel' to add 16 bar verses for an unofficial remix last year; and Mos Def did put out the iffy "New Danger" album, which was a disorganized mish-mash of rock and rap stylings. What doesn't make sense is that the Black Keys are involved, their muddy minimalist blues rock doesn't owe anything to Hip Hop; but suprisingly, this seems to work.
Blackroc-Hoochie Coo


Cass McCombs-Executioners Song (Video)

Cass McCombs has an ear for bittersweet harmonies, and an obsession with death. There is a an air of detachment in voice which helps him escape from expressing any real raw emotion, and his delivery is so pitch perfect that one must assume him to be a classically trained singer.
This song is about being an executioner, and yet, he sings about it like it was just any old profession, which gives him "purpose" and gives him happiness. The song is written as a love song to an unnamed lover: "I love you, and I love my job". It's an incredibly strange and unsettling sentiment.

Arcade Fire-My Body is a Cage (Unofficial Video)

A young videographer named Tyler Helms set a particularly dramatic Arcade Fire song to scenes from Sergio Leone's epic masterpiece Once Upon a Time in the West, one of the greatest westerns of all time.
In watching this video before seeing the movie, you will have spoiled the experience of seeing one of the best revenge stories in cinema play out. If you have seen the film already, then this video is essential viewing as it plays like a highlight reel of essential plot points of the film, with a soundtrack which transcribes the violence and tension of the film's visuals into something completely different.

Timber Timbre-Demon Host

This is a song that can be described as 'rewarding' for the flourishes of piano that build it up to a slight crescendo at the very end. At first I believed this to be a field recording from the 1940's until I did a little googling and found a myspace page. I believe this to be written by someone who loved that "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack as much as I did.
Timbre Timber-Demon Host

Here's a video for a Timber Timbre track I found on their website; it's overly simple but it visually captures the group's grainy aesthetic perfectly.


AA Bondy: Live at the Rock and Roll Hotel

A.A. Bondy has created two albums of folk songs that are achingly good, his songs reflect an older matured artist. His tunes are heartbreaking but within each one a small ray of light shines through. He is currently touring for “When the Devil’s Loose,” his second album which has been receiving critical acclaim.

He hit the stage accompanied by a bassist and a drummer who also played the steel pedal guitar at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Thursday night. The song “Slow Parade” has a soft warm start with lyrics about the sea “talking sweet to me” and it builds with an distorted guitar becoming angrier and darker as he speaks of waves crashing around him.

He switched back and forth between a wide body electric guitar and an acoustic which made for a nice dichotomy of sounds. The biblical imagery he incorporates into his lyrics makes his songs sound like they were from an earlier era. His raspy and imperfect vocals add an authenticity, creating a sound which is truly his own.

Between songs Bondy told stories, which gave his performance an added value. At one point, He spoke of an experience he had in Alabama walking his mother’s dog:

“I was out walking my mom’s dog and some other dog that had escaped from its electrically protected home tore my mom’s dog eye right out of its socket. She is ok though, I saw her and the eye was all sewed up. It was like out of a Fellini movie.”

He also told weird stories from the road:

“I was leaving Chicago and was under on over pass that was under another overpass and I saw a homeless man with a shopping cart full of his stuff. He was talking to a female cop. Then I noticed the female cop…well… she had an axe. AMERICA!.”

Bondy is a giant in the alt country music scene right now. It's easy to see why, with his poignant lyrics and a showmanship. He gives hope that folk music in all its glory still has artists out there who are keeping it alive and well.

After the show, Bondy came over and sold his own cds and tee shirts at his merchandise table. He talked with his fans, gave autographs and thanked everyone who came to the show directly. I spoke briefly with him about living in Brooklyn, but he proudly stated he spends most of his time in Alabama, where he is originally from. He said he liked working with Fat Possum Records and is hopeful about the future. I also asked about his name, wondering what A.A. stood for. He told me that it stands for August Arthur, the name given to him at birth.

AA Bondy - When the Devils Loose

AA Bondy - Slow Parade


Mixtape Vol. 6

Up Against the Wall (Getaway Car Mix)-Group Home
Get Money-Junior M.A.F.I.A
Good Life (Silk Remix)-Kanye West
Killa Cam-Cam'ron
Let Me Ride-Dr.Dre
Mathematics-Mos Def
Fallin'-Teenage Fan Club (featuring De La Soul)
Foolin' Around-Rhymefest
Do you Believe-Beatnuts
Coolie High (Remix)-Camp Lo
4th Chamber-GZA
Holy Matrimony (Letter to Firm)-Foxy Brown

Ludwig Van Beethoven-Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, II. Allegretto

The second movement of Beethoven's seventh symphony is an aural assault from a madman who was losing the one thing he held most dear, his hearing. He wages a war against his pain, his anger, and his sorrow with an army of shivering violins, a squadron of mournful woodwinds, and tumbling drums that beat somewhere on the horizon. Its beautiful, its powerful, and its tragic that the man who created this masterpiece, couldn't enjoy listening to it.

Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, II. Allegretto.mp3


Theo Watson: Contemporary British Artist

Theo Watson is an artist specializing in video and also interactive art. He helped Michel Gondry at Dietch Projects in NYC for the exhibit Science of Sleep. His newest project is an augmented sand sculpture of the new Film Museum in Amsterdam. There are no camera tricks in this video this is shot live.

Also he has designed a new iphone application in which you can virtually spin vinyl. Video is below.

Spinning vinyl ipod app from Theo Watson on Vimeo.

Take a look around his website. He is also a collaborator for the Graffiti Research Project which lets people use a laser pen to write on buildings. Watch the video below.


Never Home at Arlene's Grocery this Friday

Our family friends The Never Home are set to play Arlene's Grocery on the LES this coming Friday. I really can't tell if people got the facebook invite to the show, even though I tried three times. We'll see...I'm excited for this.


Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears: Bitch I Love You

Black Joe Lewis picked up a Guitar at the pawn shop he worked at in Austin TX and shortly after gained notoriety at local open mic nights for his stage antics. He would often throw himself to his knees “Hendrix style.” He formed a seven piece band complete with a horns section and recorded with Jimmy Eno from Spoon. Eno said because of their raw live talent

“We were able to do about 75 percent of the album live, and that’s something you very, very rarely do.”

Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears are creating a sound reminiscent of James Brown and Howlin Wolf but have put a new raunchy edge to it that makes it their own. In the song “Bitch I Love You" you will see Black Joe's humor and honesty that is evident in his music.

Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears - "Bitch I Love You"


Real Estate

Martin Courtney from the rambunctious punk act Titus Andronicus is working with a new group called Real Estate. The song "Beach Comber" is a perfect end of the summer song. These Jersey boys are making some music that puts me at ease and has my mind wandering through memories of naps on the beach. They will be playing with The Japandroids at Rock and Roll Hotel in DC on Oct. 19 and at Glasslands in Brooklyn on Oct. 22. Come back for a review of the DC show.

Real Estate - Black Lake

Real Estate - Beach Comber


Shooting Gallery: Blue Basement

Heres the latest from our friends The Shooting Gallery. This was recorded at the Marcata Studios in upstate New York; but as you can hear, the peaceful countryside did nothing to mellow out the band.

Shooting Gallery-Blue Basement

If you're in New York City this coming Monday, you should come check them out as they rock the floor of Webster Hall. There's no cover, and there'll be a $20 all you can drink special. PBRs and bottom shelf whiskey all night long! See the flyer below for more info.

Junior Kimbraugh: Meet Me in the City

Today is dead bluesman day, because we say so, and no one can tell us not to write about eccentric old bluesman who drive tractors, spawn tons of kids and kill people. In poking around for photos of R.L. Burnside for Tom's excellent bio (see below) I stumbled upon this dude Junior Kimbraugh. I gotta say, I'm feeling it; especially this song. Judging by whats written on the man's tombstone...I'm not alone.
Fun Fact: Besides playing the blues like none other, Junior also ran this fine establishment (pictured below) called Juniors Juke Joint, which was apparently quite a popular spot before it burned to the ground.
Junior Kimbraugh-Meet me in the City

RL Burnside: American Bluesman Remembered

RL Burnside was a bluesman from Mississippi who died 4 years ago yesterday. The cousin in law of Muddy Waters, Burnside had been playing music all his life but did not gain real recognition until much later in his life beginning in the early 1990’s. Burnside truly gained an audience when Jon Spencer and the Blues Explosion took notice and began touring and recording with him. Fat Possum Records was the label that recorded and produced his music that is well known today. Some of the albums were straight blues while others experimented with a mixture of blues and techno music. Burnside influenced all sorts of bands most notably The Black Keys. who often play covers of his songs and are also signed to Fat Possum Records.
Burnside made his living as a sharecropper and a fisherman in the rural hills of Mississippi for most of his life, professions fitting for a bluesman such as himself. He moved to Chicago in the 1950’s to look for opportunity and there his father, brother, and uncle were murdered. His music would later reflect upon these terrible tragedies that occurred in his songs "R.L.'s Story"and “Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down.”
In 1959 Burnside moved back to Mississipi to work as a tractor driver, and he himself was convicted of murder, spending only six months in jail for the crime. Burnside later said "I didn't mean to kill nobody ... I just meant to shoot the sonofabitch in the head. Him dying was between him and the Lord."
Burnside fathered 13 children many of whom continued on his tradition of playing the blues. Cedric Burnside tours with Kenny Brown and most recently with Steve 'Lightnin' Malcolm as part of the 'Juke Joint Duo', while his son Duwayne Burnside has played guitar with the North Mississippi All-stars. In 2004, the Burnside sons opened Burnside Blues Cafe, located 30 miles southeast of Memphis at the intersection of U.S. Highway 78 and Mississippi Highway 7 in Holly Springs, Mississippi.
After struggling with the bottle for years, Burnide sobered up, however health complications sidelined him from performing and recording in his twilight years. On September 1, 2005 at the age of 78 Burnside died in Memphis, Tennessee at the St. Francis Hospital surrounded by his family.

R.L Burnside-Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down

R.L Burnside-Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues


Dr. Dre- Poor Young Dave (featuring Snoop Dogg)

Apparently this track missed being on Dr.Dre's epic The Chronic Lp and has now resurfaced as part of it's reissue. In the context of the rap world this is like listening to a newly unearthed White Album outtake. Its a great song, but obviously not of the caliber of Let Me Ride or anything. However this is classic Snoop atop a now vintage Dr. Dre g-funk beat, trying his hand at some Slick Rick type storytelling.

Dr. Dre- Poor Young Dave (featuring Snoop Dogg)

You can find the remastered and expanded The Chronic on itunes.

Sebastien Tellier-Roche (Video)

This song is a fucking gem. Sebastien Tellier's Sexuality album was produced by Guy Manuel de Homem-Christie of Daft Punk, and he pushes Sebastien to use more synthetic sounds on the album than he had on his previous releases. The entire album slinks along with subtle grooves and a few more upbeat numbers, and everything on it is good; but this is by far my favorite song. This video compliments it well. When was the last time you saw a beardo playing piano on a deserted beach at sunset while wearing a white suit? Priceless.

Clearly Tellier doesnt take himself too seriously, this video is far too over the top to assume otherwise. However dont let his campy nature fool you. The man is an accomplished musician. I watched him perform at Le Poisson Rouge in the West Village last March, and his talent blew me away. He came out onstage, wearing his white suit, sweating profusely, and holding a flying V guitar which he proceeded to shred mercilessly for a five minute face melter guitar solo. That was the first thing he did when he got onstage. He switched off between the guitar and a giant piano a few times, and one of the highlights for me was when he pointed the mic at his crotch and declared that "Zis next song is about my misexuality" in a heavy french accent. It made everyone uncomfortable. It was one of the best concerts I've seen this year. You can cop this song off my first mixtape (scroll way the fuck down if you wanna find it.