Friday, March 27, 2009

Two of my favorite things

Skating and MUSIC. Having free time to do things like surf my favorite websites and blogs is always a beauuuutiful thing. Especially when I find something as kick-a** as this. Seriously. Love it. Skaaaaattting is so much sicker than silly football! (I recently got in an argument on the subway today about this. Feel free to weigh in. Who deserves more money as an athlete: Football Players or X Games Athletes/Amazing-Extraordinary-Death Defying-Super Human Beings?)


Thursday, March 26, 2009

I didn't want to wake you up, but I really want to show you something....

One of the many aspects that made my parents amazing parents growing up was how much they fed my sisters' brilliant writing and my wreckless imagination without us even knowing it. There is nothing more powerful than having someone you love read you a story. Each night before I went to bed from before I could remember until I was about nine or ten, my father read to me. This book is an everlasting tale of love, hope, family, friendship and goodness. The movie embraces each one of those qualities with brilliant creativity. I cannot wait:

For more information and to visit the official website: Where The Wild Things Are.
*And a bit of music news as well: Jonze on who's scoring the flick: "Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. She did some of the score and is doing some of the score. Her and Carter Burwell are sort of doing it together."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring...where the heck are you?!

Arriving back in my beloved city tonight I was not a happy little girl. First, what the heck weather gods?! What the heck. It is almost April. It has been freezing since November. Give a girl a break already. Now normally I try not to huff and puff about the seasons because I choose to live where I do and one of the reasons for loving New York is because we have seasons. Each shade of Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall in all of their glorious colors and textures. However this year I have had my fill of winter. Sorry my beloved hiver, but I have. I fell four times this year total during snowstorms. I have had my heat a blastin since before Turkey holidays. I forget what it is like to be in the sunshine. When I go out doors my eyes sting and cause tears to run down my cheeks. I have never before been wishing for Spring like I am right now. Only a few short weeks away I know in my heart of hearts I am being a bit of a brat about it all. However, when missing warmth and days of dancing on the beach I turn to my music. And New Zealand again has all the answers I could possibly need and want. Surf City are kind on the ears for anyone who loves the collective of animals. They are youthful, boysterious, anxious and full of joy.

Their various influences are, "footloose and groundhog day. pavement, sonic youth, the clean, velvet undergound, the jesus and mary chain, the beach boys, the zombies and various other reissues." I cannot chose a favorite out of their songs because they are each delightful and happily at home on even the greyest of March days. I am hoping that everyone starts loving them as much as I do-for New Zealand is very far get on it you music loving folks! Let's get them over here STAT. I think we all could use a lil bit o sunshine.
Surf City-Mt. Kill.mp3
Surf City-Free The City.mp3

I found you one day with a mouth full of attitude and you stole me away, you stole me away

Oh Modular records. You've done it again. Ladyhawke is loverly. She is not exactly anything we have not heard before but she does it with equal amounts of sass and class and hailing from New Zealand sets her apart from our local hometown tarts that float around the States pop charts. She is in town this week during the post SXSW fallout that happens each year. She is one of the only artists that I would want to catch before she leaps back across the great divide. Her songs are like crack. Magic is by far my favorite and although the blogs have been pushing Paris is Burning as well I would recommend just sitting down with the record and listening to how she planned for it to flow. Manipulating Woman is equally as fetching and full of spitfire. My Delirium could possibly be the sneak-attack-sleeper hit of the album. The beat will completely transport you back to the 80's with scenes from films like Heathers or Fast Times flashing through your mind. Couldn't you totally see Winona rocking out to this around her bedroom before Christian sneaks into her bedroom to try and kill her? Heck yes! In a completely good way of course:
Catch Ladyhawke tomorrow night at Bowery Ballroom if you are around or Thursday night at Studio B. I recommend the Studio B show...this lady's music is MADE for dancing!
Ladyhawke-Back Of The Van.mp3

Friday, March 20, 2009

After all of this is all said and done, who would you rather be?

One day last week I was walking to work loving Neko Cases' latest album and had the realisation that thus far 2009 is so the year of the vicious lady-singer. Sorry boys, but it totally is. Think about it. We have new music from all of the following vixens who could toss and trounce you in about two seconds flat: Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Karen O), Ladyhawke, Lily Allen, Neko Case, Bat for Lashes, Lady Sovereign, Emmy the Great and my personal favorite: Metric. Now Metric has a little spitfire as a vocalist that you might happen to recognize the name of, Emily Haines. She only was part of the one and only great, Broken Social Scene that broke off into super group after super group. Maybe that is where Emily gained her superhero powers. This latest Metric album could be the soundtrack for any girl who is going through anything that is even the slightest bit frustrating or disheartening. Plug a little Emily Haines into your Ipod and everything you come across will be a little bit easier to deal with. Which is a feat it it's own right. If you watch the video posted below of Emily touring Argentina she is simultaneously frighteningly fragile yet strong as steel. Admitting to her fears and her deepest desires for her art which she holds closer than a second skin we realize what it is that draws us to her as both a front woman and as a feminine presence. She is the girlfriend you would go to for advice but also hold in your arms if she needed them. Listening to her talk to you just know she is destined for great things. Beyond what she and her bands have already done. Emily Haines is a lady for the history books. You follow her wistful gaze as she looks over Buenos Aries and you feel it in your heart. She has wisdom beyond her years and though she might not feel it strength to last the ages. This new Metric album is stellar. Catchy and spewing with pop it is also classy and brazen. The album will be released on April 7th by the band itself and will be available for digital download on March 31st. If you visit the bands website you will also see a ton of pre-released packages and free gifts for ordering early. Keep an eye out for tour dates sometime late spring and into the summer.

Metric-Collect Call.mp3

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I won't drag my feet in whatever dirt you track in

I am incredibly superstitious. Always have been. I loathed that story about stepping on cracks and breaking my mother's back when I was little. It terrified me. I never pick up pennies that are tails-side down on the pavement. I avoid walking under ladders (for two reasons...that is just not safe!). I throw salt over my shoulder when it spills on the table. For as long as I can remember when my mom left for work in the morning I would wave goodbye from the window until I couldn't see her car, otherwise I would worry she wouldn't make it home. When my dad traveled on trips the last thing I always made sure I said was I love you. I don't write about boys when I have crushes in my journal...whenever I do and I am happy things head straight to the trash bin. Once when I was walking home while living in Avignon a black cat crossed my path and I literally gasped out loud causing my french family to give me the hairy eyeball. I can't help it. I am beginning to think March is my unlucky month. Just like Cesar bad things befall me during this transition from winter to spring. Last year my boss at the time called me in for a meeting and told me he didn't like my taste in music or my attitude. At the time I was supposed to be at SXSW but had passed up the opportunity to go because I did not want to miss work and spending time with that lovely boss of mine. I remember sitting at my desk listening to Justin Vernon crooning live Bon Iver songs over the airways and straight into my heart and had to bite my lip as hard as possible to stop me from getting up and throwing a chair at my presiding officer due to his lack of intelligence and TASTE. "Where is Bon Iver now", is a something I would love to ask him if we ever crossed paths. Maybe I am his black cat. Things work in this way, especially in New York City. People have different ways of understanding the music business and I have come to understand that it is because no matter why you entered into the arena you end up making it by on your instincts. Music is an instinctual behavior. You either like something and the way it sounds to your own ears, or you don't. You can learn to appreciate an artist, yes. But like them and choose to listen to them on your own that takes a little bit of work and love. But I digress. Again this year I was supposed to go to SXSW and I didn't...for the same reasons as last. Friday I walked into work and was released from my job. My music venue could not afford me anymore and will be booking through outside promoters only now. I did not cry. I cursed March.

And so today I am back talking to my computer and drinking my green tea from the comforts of my little apartment. I can do things like jump around to the Clash and play the latest Silversun Pickups songs as loud as I want to. I don't have to answer to anyone for the moment and until next week I won't be full on freaking out about the R word I don't like to mention. For now I am continent. Which makes it the absolute perfect time to share the latest songbird to soothe my nerves, Alela Diane. She has been floating around the scene for a bit now and was recently signed to Rough Trade records and will remind you a bit of her label mates Basia Bulat and Emilaina Torrini. Her LP To Be Still was released in February and she has recorded a session with Daytrotter that is stunning. To Be Still is the first song by Alela that grabbed my ear immediately. Her lyrics are honest and intense. Although she is a beautiful feminine creature she does not hide behind the pain of loss or loneliness. Instead she steps over the boundaries of fear and fragility and tells you, her listener, exactly how it is going to be.

No I won't drag my feet in whatever dirt you track in
Will you look at me when your face shows the lines of years
While you've been away
I have needed your strong hands

Alela Diane-To Be Still.mp3
Alela Diane-White As Diamonds.mp3

If you are lucky enough to be down in Austin please visit her and support her live:

Mars-19~2:30 PM-SXSW-French Legation Museum-Austin, Texas
4:45 PM-SXSW-Lamberts-Austin, Texas

Mars-20~3:30 PM-SXSW-The Mowhawk-Austin, Texas
10:00 PM-SXSW-Garden Hotel, Black Cab Showcase-Austin, Texas

Mars-21~3:45 PM-SXSW-The Mean Eayed Cat-Mojo BBQ-Austin, Texas

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hungry Villagers

I have been trying to read J.D. Salingers' Franny and Zoey since New Years. This statement is a sorry fact to make for it is an incredibly skinny novel and Mr. Salinger is considered one of our countries most brilliant writers. I however have no warm feelings for the fella. His stories are messy patch-worked versions of self-indulgent characters that remind me of the sort of lot I spent four years of college avoiding except for two hands worth of friends that I would not trade for anything. However, one quote within its pages rang so blisteringly true that I have stuck with it and decided to give Mr. S. another shot.

" And the old horror of being a professional writer, and the usual stench of words that goes with it, is beginning to drive me out of my seat. It seems terribly important to try, though."

The same spirit has brought me back to at least trying to write again and the perfect band to start with on a list of many are the Hungry Villagers. With everyone getting ready to head down to Austin for this years' SXSW if there was one band I would be tapping my feet in anticipation to it would be this foursome from Houston. They only have one show and hopefully someone will see their live show and add them to more. Their lush and foreboding sound captured my heart and quickened my pulse immediately. A combination of so many sounds I hold dear in a year of music that has not really found its pace yet-they stand out as a shining beacon of beautiful creations occurring despite the recession, friends and family losing jobs, chaos abroad and a winter that ceases to release us from its' grasp. Listening to the Hungry Villagers is to release a burst of hope and fresh spring air. Abraham Houck, Jacob Houck, David Houck, Ferrik Hallaron IV are the players involved. They have a key element that always makes me giddy with delight--the family connection. Abe and Jacob are brothers from South Africa, drummer Ferrick is used to be a member of the band Midnight Pilots. Their catchy single, Little Fingers is available digitally and on glossy vinyl March 17th with a version of Tree Full of Ghosts as a b-side. My personal favorite is Sleeping With My Milk, a stirring and muffled lullaby/lovesick poem/brutially honest letter:

My voice drowns in your laughter, take these tears you're after

As is the lesson with most things worth learning more than one listen is worth your time and you will be thankful.
Hungry Villagers-Tree Full Of Ghosts.mp3