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finally… a new music playlist

Wow. alright. it really has been far too long again. a bit of a decent excuse this time, as I recently had a computer stolen, and have slowly been getting back up to full speed. There’s nothing good about it, but… one thing that did come of it was that I lost all the music I had that wasn’t already on the external hard drive. So, I’ve went back and discovered some stuff I missed the first time around. I’ve got like 60GB of stuff waiting to be imported to Itunes already, so… i should be able to put together a bunch of playlists in pretty rapid succession. But you don’t want to hear about that. Here’s some music, and then a very exciting announcement below about Oxford Collapse.

Here’s this week’s playlist.

NP: “For Love Instead”In The Pines. This isn’t new, but it’s new to me. Kansas City band made an awfully fine record full of simple melodies and plaintive strings. It’s wrought, but not overwrought.
NP: “Summer’s Not The Same Without You”James Yorkston. It’s nice to hear James sing a simple song without too many production bells and whistles. He drops the whispery, gauzy atmospherics and knocks me on my ass with this straight up little love song.
NP: “Emer’s Dream / Aisling Eimear”Colm Mac Con Iomaire. Violin player from The Frames drops this absolute gorgeous instrumental album. If I ever produce a movie, I’m having this guy do the score.
NP: “Hungry Heart”Aidan John Moffat. Speaking of accents, how can I not highlight this cover?
NP: “Holding Out For A Hero”Doveman. Speaking of covers, how can I not hightlight this? Doveman covers the entire Footloose soundtrack song-by-song. Either the boldest or the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. It definitely works, though.
NP: “Beautiful Eyes”The Aluminum Group. I will always have a massive soft-spot in my heart for The Aluminum Group. They’ve made a couple of the most ridiculously overlooked records I’ve ever loved. And while this new one doesn’t quite live up to some of their previous work, I’ll still listen, and I’ll still try to cram them down your throat.
NP: “Needlepoint”The Spinto Band. The long overdue new album from The Spinto Band is finally here. I need to give it about 25 more listens, but… it’s already grown on me tons, and I can’t wait to see them with Frightened Rabbit in a couple of months.
NP: “Alright”Shh… This Is A Library. Honestly, the worst band name ever. I can’t even believe I’m typing it. And the record is inconsistent, but has some flashes of brilliance. Needs an editor and somebody to call “Oberst” on him every now and then, but… maybe somewhere down the road could be somebody to keep an eye out for.
NP: “Here It Is”Sennen. If you’re going to name yourself after an early Ride single, you’d better have the songs to back it up. Not just the style, but the songs. Sennen don’t have either, unfortunately. But they DO have a couple of pretty songs. Eight-tenths deduction for appropriating the name.
NP: “I Love You Like A Madman”The Wave Pictures. OK. I don’t know how the hell I never found this one last year, but… I’m kinda obsessed. Honestly, if you download just one song out of this bunch, make it this one. And if you don’t like it, then, well… I don’t even know what to tell you. Maybe just keep it to yourself, and know that you’ve got something to work on? (For a bit of a hint, though… think Go-Betweens, Jonathan Richman, and Jens Lekman).
NP: “My Mother The War”10,000 Maniacs. Oxford Collapse covered this at their last couple of shows. I’m chagrined to say that I didn’t recognize it, but I’m also man enough to admit it. I’m also man enough to admit that it caused me to go back and listen to nothing but 10,000 Maniacs for an entire day last week.
NP: “Bear Face”Abe Vigoda. The younger, scrappier, punker parallel evolutionary branch that brought us Vampire Weekend in NYC.
NP: “Danseparc (Every Day It’s Tomorrow)”Martha And The Muffins. This stuff is pretty dated, but… it’s still kinda nice to hear a couple of these songs remastered and reissued.
NP: “Graveyard Dog”Sunset. I liked this for a little while, but now that I’ve heard it like ten times while making this playlist… now I’m not so sure. I like the OMD-keyboards in the verses… it makes me think of The Breakfast Club, but I guess it’s just too long for its own good, and the drums are starting to sound too much like early Nine Inch Nails.
NP: “Night Terrors”Wild Sweet Orange. This isn’t really the most representative song on this album, but it jumped out on one of the listens, so I threw it in here. I definitely recommend you track down some more music elsewhere, as the rest of the album has a much different production value.
NP: “In The Battle Of Sun Vs. Curtains, Sun Loses And We Sleep Until Noon”Woodpigeon. A nice little pop song with a snarky Indie 2.0 song title.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_08_20.m3u”stream all of the above songs.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_08_20.rar”rar file of all of the above songs.
NR: New Yorker article about “The Chameleon”. Lots of web stories about how to encrypt your laptop data for travelling through airport security.

Please come out Thursday night to celebrate the release of “BITS” by Oxford Collapse. Their fourth (and finest) full-length, it came out last Tuesday on Sub Pop. Here’s the show info:

Thursday, August 21
Glasslands Gallery
Oxford Collapse
Italian Ice

advance tickets:

more info:
289 Kent Ave (between S. 1st & S. 2nd)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
L to Bedford, J to Marcy

And, mark your calendars for this one:

Saturday, October 18
Music Hall Of Williamsburg
The Spinto Band
Frightened Rabbit
The Sw!ms

advance tickets:

And… here’s a dumb note: any poker players out there? i’m reviving my old home game, and looking for a few new folks. mostly $2/$4 limit rotation, but maybe a little $.50/$1.00 PL omaha, or NL, too. Drop me a line if you are interested in more information!

holiday 2-for-1

OK, OK… it’s been forever. Far too long. But get ready for not one, but TWO big playlists. A lot of this has been piling up, so apologies if some if this isn’t exactly new. We’ll move on with a collection of much newer music next week.

But here’s installment #1 for today, which is a rocking set full of good times.

NP: “Junkeee… Julie…”Blood On The Wall. The best album outta NYC in the last year? I think so.
NP: “Amongst Friends”Oxford Collapse. The next “best album outta NYC this year” is going to be the BITS album by Oxford Collapse coming out next month on Sub Pop. This is a song from their 12″ that just came out on Jon Solomon’s new Comedy Minus One label.
NP: “This Love Is Fucking Right!”The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. And, of course… this may be the best EP outta NYC in quite a while. C-86 fans take note: when The Big Takeover namedrops Close Lobsters in the review of TPOBPAH, you gotta take it seriously.
NP: “The Sandwich Song”Benny Stoofy. I can’t even begin to explain the strange method by which we became aware of the utterly retarded Benny Stoofy from Detroit, but i have to admit: coming back to it a year later, there’s something worth a listen here. Especially if you’ve ever been a fan of Ween or early Beck.
NP: “Robbin’ The Clown Bank”Benny Stoofy. Since the songs are so short, here’s a second one.
NP: “Read About It”Midnight Oil. Went through a kick where I listened to a bunch of the early (pre Diesel And Dust) Midnight Oil records. A couple of them definitely stand the test of time.
NP: “Royal Gregory”Holy Fuck. So so good. You absolutely must own this record and go see them live. Anything less is not permissible.
NP: “Out At The Pictures”Hot Chip. Ended up hanging out with them and seeing them play like 5 times in a short period of time. And they were great every time, even though they were plagued with sound problems every time (problems that weren’t the fault of Steve or Ilias, their awesome sound engineers).
NP: “Bendable Poseable”Hot Chip. Couldn’t pick what song to put, so…
NP: “Wrestlers”Hot Chip. So I put my 3 favorites from the recent album.
NP: “Come And Dance”Awesome Color. Glad that something like this is getting some attention. Great organ sounds, truly awesome solos… this is some great rock n roll.
NP: “Jump In The Fire”The Night Marchers. I wanted for this to be the best thing ever, but instead it was just really good. Great to see Gar from Tanner on guitar and Jason on drums, though. I would watch those two every chance I get.
NP: “Darksided Computer Moth”White Denim. Austin’s next big export, possibly. I’ve missed them play far too many times. Next time through they are a must-see.
NP: “Alpha”The Forms. Solid second record from these boys came out last fall and I totally missed it while in the UK for 3 months. Trying to make up for lost time. They’ve added a bit of Wolf Parade or Arcade Fire to the mix this time.
NP: “Cappo”No Age. Honestly, I don’t really get all the rage. I think they’re fun and have written a couple of catchy and fun songs and put on fun shows, but… I don’t think they’re as worthy as the attention as some other bands, but… It’s still damn exciting to see a band like this getting tons of play on mainstream MTV.
NP: “Foxes Mate For Life”Born Ruffians. Just a damn catchy song that I’ve been meaning to post here for quite a while. Old news, but still a great song.
NP: “Out Of Sight”The Brother Kite. Their set with Frightened Rabbit at Piano’s at the start of the tour feels like forever ago, when it was merely 40 days ago, but… they played a great set.
NP: “Campaign”Russian Circles. I thought this was going to be a little more rocking, but it’s quite lovely in an Explosions In The Sky meets something a little poppier kinda way.
NP: “Fear And Loathing In Mahwah, NJ”Titus Andronicus. I meant to write about them before they were Pitchfork darlings, but… it was only going to be by like 4 days, anyway, so it doesn’t even matter. They are good, and made an engaging record. Somehow they’ve done for Jersey emo (think: Lifetime, Bouncing Souls) what the Pogues did for Irish Traditional, without it sounding like Dropkick Murphys or Mighty Mighty Bosstones or something and instead sounding like a high school marching band covering Neutral Milk Hotel after practice.
NP: “The Thing I Like Best About Him Is His Girlfriend”The Wedding Present. Best Wedding Present song (and song title) in quite a while. Couldn’t sniff the bicycle seat of anything offa George Best or Tommy or Bizarro or Seamonsters, of course, but… still an awfully solid track.
NP: “Answering Machine (Solo Home Demo)”The Replacements. This is the kind of thing re-issues are meant for. I can’t even begin to explain the tingles this caused the first time I heard it. Absolutely spellbinding.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_07_01.m3u”stream all of the above songs.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_07_01.rar”rar file of all of the above songs.
NR: Just purchased “Bullet Park” by John Cheever for at least the third time in my life. 100 pages in and i can’t believe i’ve never opened it before. I’m an idiot.

Installment #2 for today is a much calmer set, but also features some amazing tracks.

NP: “Ay Distress”Baptist Generals. Still wondering if this is real or staged. I’m thinking real.
NP: “Brothers And Sisters”Micah P Hinson. Not sure if i’ve met a nicer musician than Micah. It helps that he’s both great and worships Eric Bachmann.
NP: “If It Rains”Robert Forster. Really should be dedicating like 1000 words to this record. It’s really lovely in every way, and sad as hell. It still hasn’t really sunk in that we’re living in a world where Grant McClennan is dead.
NP: “Peace Has Come”Hackamore Brick. These guys can still sing and play. Really hope I can help them get another show booked one of these days.
NP: “Dark Horse”Bowerbirds. Gets mentioned in the same breath as Bon Iver a lot, but I really don’t hear the similarity. This is perhaps a little too in the middle for me… I can’t tell if I wish it were happier or darker.
NP: “A Pencil Without Lead”Lost On Purpose. Los Angeles bedroom taper guy that perhaps has a bit too unhealthy obsession with Elliott Smith, but… when he nails it, he nails it.
NP: “See The Sky About To Rain (Live)”Neil Young With Crazy Horse. If you don’t have “Live At Massey Hall” yet, you need to go purchase it right now. Maybe the best live album I’ve ever heard.
NP: “I’ll Be Here In The Morning”Propinquity. Hands down the re-issue I’ve listened to the most this year. From 1972, this very little-known group made a sweet little LP. This is a Townes Van Zandt cover.
NP: “Standin’”Vetiver. Another Townes Van Zandt cover.
NP: “When We Go, How We Got (Part II)”Rock Plaza Central. I always forget about how much I like this song, then I listen to the album and I remember.
NP: “I Had A List And I Lost It”The Drift. Kinda reminds me of Hood… I don’t know anything about these guys, nor where I got it.
NP: “Killing Off Our Friends”The Coast. Young Canadian band. Reminds me a bit of that band Spouse that I loved so much, or perhaps All Shook Down-era Replacements.
NP: “Hallelujah”The Helio Sequence. I thought this record was going to make them huge. It didn’t, but it’s still a solid effort.
NP: “Lovecraft In Brooklyn”The Mountain Goats. “Some kid in a Marcus Allen jersey asks me for a cigarette.” Somehow, after 400+ songs, this is one of my favorite John Darnielle lyrics ever.
NP: “Glamour”For Against. I’ve been a fan of For Against ever since seeing their exquisitely packaged records on Independent Project Press in the 80’s. But who knew they’d get better (and meaner!) with time. Wow.
NP: “About To Walk”Throw Me The Statue. I was obsessed with this song for about 48 hours. It’s lost a bit since then (it had to), but… still a great song.
NP: “Hercules’ Theme”Hercules & Love Affair. You’ve already heard all the hyperbole you need about this record, but… it is a delightful little romp, for sure.
NP: “N Wddng Ck”Fol Chen. For fans of Of Montreal, this one’s for you. Super catchy and awesome.
NP: “Kaounding Cissko”Toumani Diabaté. I’m not going to claim this is the best record of the year so far (as I’ve heard some other folks say), but… If you are looking for a record that works the same way as a nice cold glass of sparkling water between two glasses of sangiovese, you should definitely consider this. A pallet cleanser of the highest order.
NP: “Lucklucky”Veda Hill. A catchy song with a hint of Tanita Tikaram in there, perhaps? I like. A lot.
NP: “Family Glue”Wye Oak. If I wanted to listen to Myra Lee-era Cat Power, I would put on Myra Lee-era Cat Power. This song still manages to be OK, but over the course of an album Wye Oak fall flat.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_07_02.m3u”stream all of the above songs.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_07_02.rar”rar file of all of the above songs.

In other news, it’s really all about the show at Southpaw tonight:

Wednesday, July 2
Frightened Rabbit
Oxford Collapse
The Lame Drivers

There are still some tickets left, but it will sell out, and early. (if there will even be tickets left at the door at all).

We hope you can make it out.

We’ll submit a more even-handed rundown of recommended shows sometime very soon.

I Drink Your Milkshake

some political movements i would start if i weren’t lazy

1. As a tall man, I find it ridiculous the height that most shower heads are installed.  We’re in a relatively nice hotel in LA right now, the shower is 3’x6′ and about 10′ tall.  The shower head could have been installed anywhere on the wall.  It could have even been made into a nice outdoor-type shower with a big overhead nozzle or perhaps have been located on an arm that could be rotated up and out over the shower.  I can also only assume that this shower was “built for two.”  But… where’s the shower head installed?  The height is about 6’2″, and it sticks out from the wall no more than 4″.  This gigantic shower, and you have to take it standing in about 10% of the space it takes up.  This shower doesn’t offend me as a tall person, this shower head just offends me as a human.  Totally stupid.  If I weren’t so lazy, I’d do some serious campaigning to make showering better.

2. Fix the fucking post office.  Going to the US Post Office is possibly the worst experience of any given week.  These people are slow, stupid, petty, and, ironically, there’s not enough of them!  The new postage rates (for those of us that have to mail out promos and mailorders all the time), are ridiculous, but…  here’s the thing:  raise the prices even higher, just give me better service.  I don’t want to walk into the 4th Ave. and 10th St. post office and find only 2 people sitting behind the 12 available windows and 35 people in line.  People unite!  This is OUR post office.  We pay for it with our postage.  If any other company had the customer service of the US Post Office, they’d be dead.  But somehow we put up with this shit.

(And… An aside:  has anybody ever been in the post office when they lock the doors WITH A KEY from the inside after closing time, but before the line clears?  What the fuck is that all about?  I mean, I understand the need, but… let’s see a bar do that at 4:00 AM and see how fast they get closed down for fire code violations.  Can you imagine?  Where’s the quality of life violation for that?)

3. This one’s actually political.  It needs a catchy name that I haven’t come up with yet, but the idea is this:  “Kids, educate your grandparents.”  There will always be a giant political gap between the young and the old, and this is an attempt to address that.  I know it’s hard, but, on a purely personal level, the goal would be for each young person to attempt to sway the political opinions of just two older, more conservative, perhaps religious, perhaps rural, etc. people.  The upcoming election is likely to be decided by a small gap… if just 100,000 kids can sway 2 people each to vote against the Republicans, then that would be a 400,000 vote swing.

Now, I’m not saying it would be easy.  It won’t be.  But, there are a plenty of people in the middle of this country who have never been to another part of the world.  They need to understand the way other people view America and Americans.

But even more than that (or perhaps, even, LESS than that).  To just try to convince these folks to give the Dems a chance, even if they don’t agree with it.  To hopefully perhaps to get them to understand that it’s not all intellectual elites, but it’s actually the friends of their grandchildren and that those people are looking for a better life and a better government, and it’s the older, conservative folks that are out of touch with modern life, and city life, that are standing in the way.

Anyway, it’s destined to fail, and I’m describing it all wrong.  But… the idea is alright.  It’s not homegrown, it’s literally HOME.  Hell… buy the vote, trade the vote, say “Grandma, I’ll bring you to NYC for the weekend, and you can see what it’s like, just do this for me.”  Anyway, there’s something to it.  Maybe some day.

music for this week

NP: “Away (Live)”The Feelies. The Feelies reunion (and reissues) that we’ve been waiting for a long time are finally almost upon us. They’re playing July 4 with Sonic Youth (and… there’d BETTER be a Maxwell’s show or two in the works), and the re-issues are coming out on Bar/None. I have this bootleg of two shows they played one night at Maxwell’s in 1988. It’s blistering, and makes me happier than just about any music possibly can.
NP: “If Only The Moon Were Up”Field Music. This is the band of the School Of Language dude I posted last week (although, if you read the backstory to these albums and the School Of Language album, you’ll understand that that statement isn’t entirely accurate.) This is a great in an XTC kinda way, where School Of Language is great in a Futureheads kinda way.
NP: “Mallo Cup”Lemonheads. We went to go see the “It’s A Shame About Ray” Lemonheads show at Bowery the other night. I would have killed to see Evan pull this one out, but… I knew it wasn’t going to happen.
NP: “Stove”Lemonheads. Same with this one. There was even less of a chance, actually, as “Mallo Cup” was always a live staple of the post-Ben Lemonheads shows.
NP: “Rudderless”Lemonheads. And here’s where I actually admit that I followed The Lemonheads around for a week in the summer of 1992 on their first “It’s A Shame About Ray” tour. There are many great moments from that tour… watching Nic teach Evan a song written by his girlfriend called “Into Your Arms” at soundcheck at CBGB’s, and then Evan actually playing it solo that night at the start of the encore. Going with Evan to buy weed in Asbury Park, NJ, and then having him come back to the venue to find out he bought a baggie full of oregano. Being told, repeatedly, that I was a loser and a nerd for continuing to show up at the next town/show by the bass player for The Juliana Hatfield Three, who happens to be Bob Weston. Etc. ad nauseum. So, anyway… the Bowery show was pretty great, actually. It was seeing Turnpike Down and Alison’s Starting To Happen that were the real treats, although “Rudderless” is still my favorite song on the album.
NP: “School”Nirvana. Bedroom Walls covered this at SXSW, and it’s been in my head ever since.
NP: “Puerto Rican Jukebox”Panther. I don’t really know anything about this, but… catchy song.
NP: “Reverie’d”Five Blank Pages. Same as above. I don’t even know where I grabbed this. But… a great pop song for those of you that like Ladybug Transistor or Great Lakes or Stars kinda pop.
NP: “Pour Me Another”Ola Podrida. Beautiful. Restraint at it’s finest.
NP: “I Sing I Swim”Seabear. Just a nice little pop song.
NP: “The Weight Of Lies”The Avett Brothers. I tracked this down after reading about it in Magnet (when’s the last time you heard anybody say THAT phrase?) And it’s a bit samey at times, but… quite nice at others. Reminds me a bit of The Haynes Boys / Tim Easton and something else that I can’t put my finger on.
NP: “Jodi”The Dodos. Animal Collective and Lightning Bolt and a dozen other bands get mentioned when talking about The Dodos, and unfortunately those both sell them pathetically short. The Dodos are the real deal, and can (and should) easily surpass those bands both in quality and popularity. Meric Long’s got the muse that only visits the likes of Doug Martsch, Eric Bachmann, Jack White, Isaac Brock.
NP: “Five Ways I Didn’t Die”The Low Lows. Parker, from Parker & Lily. More sad tales of drunken stupidity. I’m assuming, at least… I can’t really make out the lyrics.
NP: “Raindrops Remain (First)”The Boats. It’s a bad idea for these guys to pick such a moniker so alike The Books, if only because there are probably a dozen bloggers that are going to type a similar sentence.
NP: “Yod He Vau”Ya Ho Wha 13. I really should have went to go see them at Knitting Factory last week. I’ve been listening to this reissue on Cold Sweat a lot over the last two weeks. Every time I expect to be sick of it, and then suddenly, somehow, this 11-minute composition just makes itself at home. (Even if it IS a bit like The Mighty Boosh episode about finding “the new sound.”)
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_04_10.m3u”stream all of the above songs.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_04_10.rar”rar file of all of the above songs.
NR: OK… so just listing “The New Yorker” is pretty dumb. So… lessee… “Auteur Wars” by Richard Brody in the April 7th issue, about Godard and Truffaut and the French New Wave is pretty interesting. “The Real Work” by Adam Gopnik, a history of modern magic, in the May 17th issue was fantastic.

Frightened Rabbit will be on Fearless Music TV in NYC this Sunday night, April 13, performing “The Modern Leper”. Fearless Music TV is on Sunday night at 1:00 AM (technically Monday morning) on Fox 5 in NYC. If not in NYC, check out the time and channel listing at the Fearless Music Myspace Blog to find out when and where else it airs (it’s on Saturday nights in most markets [including usually in NYC]).

Before and after the episode airs, fans should go to the Fearless Music website and vote for Frightened Rabbit. The band that receives the highest amounts of votes will be featured again on next week’s episode.

The performances they recorded a couple of weeks ago were actually AMAZING, so I’m really hoping to get to see one of the other songs!

Also, Frightened Rabbit have just signed on with Domino Publishing Company. This week Domino announced their two new publishing clients: Frightened Rabbit and a little band called The Jesus & Mary Chain. Not too shabby!

In other news-type-announcements, Rock Plaza Central are going to be touring in Europe in early July (July 6 – 18). If you have somewhere they should play, or know somebody that can help, please let me know!

Rock Plaza Central also just announced a string of dates with Plants & Animals, and one big show for a good cause with The Mountain Goats:

05.14.08 Philadelphia, PA Рat World Caf̩ Live Upstairs w/ Plants & Animals
05.15.08 Baltimore, MD – at 8×10 w/ Plants & Animals
05.16.08 Brooklyn, NY – at Masonic Hall w/ The Mountain Goats. AIDS Walk Benefit
05.17.08 Brooklyn, NY – at Union Hall w/ Plants & Animals
05.18.08 Boston, MA – at TT The Bear’s w/ Plants & Animals

Here are some other upcoming recommended shows in NYC:

04.17 – The Forms / Cloud Cult @ Union Hall
04.18 – The Forms / Cloud Cult @ Bowery Ballroom
04.18 – High Places / CEX / Evangelista @ Market Hotel
04.19 – Palomar / The Oranges Band / My Teenage Stride @ Union Hall
04.19 – Tapes ‘N Tapes / White Denim @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
04.24 – Foals @ Bowery Ballroom
04.25 – Big Dipper / Antietam @ Southpaw
04.26 – Fiery Furnaces @ Southpaw
04.26 – American Music Club / Franz Nicolay & Major General @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
04.27 – American Music Club @ Mercury Lounge
05.03 – The Acorn / Ola Podrida @ Union Hall
05.07 – The Night Marchers @ Mercury Lounge
05.08 – Foals / The Ruby Suns @ Union Hall
05.10 – Jukebox The Ghost @ Mercury Lounge
05.14 – Cut Copy @ Bowery Ballroom
05.15 – Los Campesinos! @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
05.16 – The Mountain Goats / Rock Plaza Central @ Masonic Temple
05.17 – Rock Plaza Central / Plants & Animals @ Union Hall
05.17 – Blood On The Wall @ Bowery Ballroom
05.27 – Joe Lally @ Knitting Factory
06.06 – M.I.A. / Holy Fuck @ McCarren Pool
06.08 – Jamie Lidell @ Bowery Ballroom
06.09 – Jamie Lidell @ Bowery Ballroom
06.11 – Swervedriver @ Bowery Ballroom
06.12 – Swervedriver @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
06.20 – My Morning Jacket @ Radio City Music Hall
06.21 – Polvo @ Bowery Ballroom
06.26 – Eddie Izzard @ Radio City Music Hall
06.27 – Eddie Izzard @ Radio City Music Hall
06.28 – Eddie Izzard @ Radio City Music Hall

more music, and upcoming shows

NP: “Swimmer”Four Tet. I’ve got to give this new EP about 48 more listens, as it hasn’t fully grabbed me yet. But I’m positive it will.
NP: “Magic Doors”Portishead. I’m not a fan of Portishead, I can admit. I’ve only went back and got the previous records after learning that there would be a new one. But there are a couple of songs on this record that I enjoy more than anything previous. This song gives me a nice Talk Talk meets “Wrecking Ball”-era Emmylou Harris tingle. (But, of course, nothing could ever be as good as Talk Talk or “Wrecking Ball”-era Emmylou Harris.)
NP: “Pennantless On Homecoming”Hills Like White Elephants. Sounds like an emo version of Hood, with a horn and string section. Or a wussy version of The Paper Chase. How’s that for an entirely un-useful description?
NP: “Under My Skin”Jukebox The Ghost. Philadelphia band that put out their own record recently. I only heard of them because they acted as the backing band for These United States at a recent TUS show. I tracked down this record and am thoroughly enjoying it. Hopefully you won’t see them touring with Say Anything anytime soon.
NP: “Let’s Make Some Plans”The Wedding Present. Speaking of covering The Wedding Present (foreshadowing), here’s The Wedding Present doing one of my favorite songs ever: “Let’s Make Some Plans” by The Close Lobsters. I’ve been making the Frightened Rabbit boys listen to a lot of Close Lobsters in the van the last couple of times they’ve been over to the states. I think they’ve formed an appreciation, or perhaps they’re just trying to get me to shut up.
NP: “Let’s Make Some Plans”Close Lobsters. Here’s the original.
NP: “Joni”Correcto. This could easily be a cover of a song which didn’t make it onto the Bizarro album by The Wedding Present. The production on this is a dead-on impersonation of 1988, and I mean that as a high fucking compliment. I would have played this on my college radio show between The Poster Children and The Feelies (and there is a song on this Correcto record that sounds like The Feelies, too.)
NP: “White Winter Hymnal”Fleet Foxes. You’re going to hear a lot about Fleet Foxes over the next couple of months. A lot of it is going to be warranted, as they ARE a good band. I don’t think they’re a great band, as I don’t think their songs are either a) catchy enough or b) lyrically important enough, and I don’t hear as much emotion from the lead singer as I’d like, but… perhaps with some touring under their belts they will turn the corner.
NP: “So High So Low So Wide So Long”These United States. Now here’s the band that I think Fleet Foxes could become. Although they’re a bit flip-flopped with Fleet Foxes at the moment: These United States are great live, but made a good record, while Fleet Foxes made a good record, while are merely OK live. Perhaps they should merge into one band? These United States are from DC and don’t sound anything like any other band from that town ever. Lead singer Jessie has a voice like none I’ve ever heard – breathy and soulful, he makes his way through some serious verbosity with clarity and warmth. Highly recommended.
NP: “Only As The Day Is Long”Sera Cahoone. Sub Pop putting this out. Sera has a real country voice that strikes hard and deep. I hear shades of Rebecca Gates, Lucinda Williams, Suzanne Vega, maybe even Aimee Mann, and 200 years worth of mamas singing to their babes. Something smoky and textural. Totally simple and pretty stunning.
NP: “Small Potatoes”A Weather. Perhaps too twee, but there is something about this song which is charming and good. I’m reminded of both The National and Haywood, but only nominally, and the boy/girl vocals don’t sound like either.
NP: “There Are Birds”The Ruby Suns. New Zealand lo-fi fuzzy weirdness. The album can be a challenging listen at times, but this is a great song.
NP: “Out Of My System”Jamie Lidell. There’s no tongue in cheek here… this is a serious attempt to recreate some sorta Stax/Motown/Blues Brothers soul. And like Multiply, it is seriously fucking great.
NP: “That’s What Counts”We Are Scientists. Holy fucking shit. What the hell were they thinking? This is straight out of 1984, and I love it like crazy. This is some total Lionel Richie or Wham slow jam, and they pull it off with panache.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_04_04.m3u”stream all of the above songs.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_04_04.rar”rar file of all of the above songs.
NR: Still wading my way through tons of New Yorkers, and now i’ve added Harper’s and Atlantic Monthly subscriptions. Yikes!

Thanks to everybody that came out to the Frightened Rabbit shows and party. A good time was had by all, as the ancients would say.

I’m having some serious bad luck with Chinese restaurants in NYC. First, Mee Noodle Shop, at 1st and 13th, burned down about a year and a half ago. Now yesterday we went to go to Ten Pell Street for the world’s best steamed vegetable dumplings, and it’s closed with a For Rent sign hanging up. Dammit!

Anyway, here are some upcoming show recommendations:

04.04 – Oxford Collapse / Cause Co-Motion! @ 132 W. 3rd St.
04.04 – Optimo DJs @ Studio B
04.04 – Bachelorette @ Sound Fix
04.05 – Lewis & Clarke @ Union Pool
04.05 – Malcolm Holcombe @ The Living Room
04.06 – The Dodos / Silje Nes / No Kids / Overlord @ Mercury Lounge
04.07 – Nina Nastasia & Jim White / Phosphorescent / Gary Higgins @ Bowery Ballroom
04.08 – Ya Ho Wha 13 / No-Neck Blues Band @ Knitting Factory
04.08 – Hot Chip @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
04.09 – Dirty Projectors @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
04.09 – Kaki King @ Bowery Ballroom
04.10 – These United States @ Cake Shop
04.11 – David Dondero / These United States @ Union Hall
04.11 – The Weatherthans @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
04.12 – Rogue Wave @ Irving Plaza
04.12 – Glenn Mercer @ Luna Lounge
04.13 – Eugene Mirman / Michael Showalter @ Union Hall (and most Sundays thereafter)
04.14 – Jukebox The Ghost @ Southpaw
04.18 – High Places / CEX / Evangelista @ Market Hotel
04.19 – Palomar / The Oranges Band / My Teenage Stride @ Union Hall
04.24 – Foals @ Bowery Ballroom
04.25 – Big Dipper / Antietam @ Southpaw
04.26 – Fiery Furnaces @ Southpaw
04.26 – American Music Club / Franz Nicolay & Major General @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
04.27 – American Music Club @ Mercury Lounge
05.03 – The Acorn / Ola Podrida @ Union Hall
05.07 – The Night Marchers @ Mercury Lounge
05.08 – Foals / The Ruby Suns @ Union Hall
05.10 – Jukebox The Ghost @ Mercury Lounge
05.14 – Cut Copy @ Bowery Ballroom
05.15 – Los Campesinos! @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
05.16 – The Mountain Goats @ Masonic Temple
05.17 – Blood On The Wall @ Bowery Ballroom
05.27 – Joe Lally @ Knitting Factory
06.06 – M.I.A. / Holy Fuck @ McCarren Pool
06.08 – Jamie Lidell @ Bowery Ballroom
06.09 – Jamie Lidell @ Bowery Ballroom
06.11 – Swervedriver @ Bowery Ballroom
06.12 – Swervedriver @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
06.20 – My Morning Jacket @ Radio City Music Hall
06.21 – Polvo @ Bowery Ballroom

the return of the self-starter NYC mailing list!

NP: “Head Rolls Off”Frightened Rabbit. What do I need to say?.
NP: “These Are The Eyes”Bodies Of Water. This record is not as good as this song may lead you to believe. It’s inconsistent, and not just because every song sounds like a different band. But when it clicks, it’s pretty great.
NP: “Tonight The Streets Are Ours”Richard Hawley. The fact that such a perfect classic pop song can actually exist just makes me happy.
NP: “Rockist Part 1”School Of Language. Wow. Pretty amazing.
NP: “Bright Tomorrow”Fuck Buttons. I must admit… the bloggers have got it right to rave about this one. Well, perhaps they shouldn’t be raving, but Fuck Buttons are an intriguing and challenging listen.
NP: “Strangers In The Wind”Cut Copy. This isn’t a high-quality rip, but it’s just so good I need to add it. This is pure synth-pop bliss. I have a feeling this album just may be my summer soundtrack.
NP: “Keep It Real”Plants And Animals. Rock Plaza Central is going to be doing a couple of dates with these fellow-Canadians. I love the record, and then getting to see them at SXSW made me have a whole greater appreciation for them. They’re the real deal. Great songwriters with great voices who can pull it off live and on record. Impressive.
NP: “Horse To Water”R.E.M.. Surprise #1 is that the album doesn’t make me gag. Surprise #2 is that most of the album is guitar-songs. Surprise #3 is that a couple of songs are actually pretty good. This is one of the three that fall in that category (and the single is one of the other two).
NP: “Kings & Compromises”Sleepercar. Jim Ward (ex At The Drive-In / Sparta) is back with this new project that I can only really describe as Replacements-y. Unfortunately, it’s “All Shook Down” era Replacements, but that’s still pretty damn OK in my book.
NP: “Michael Myers Resplendent”The Mountain Goats. This is the original boombox demo version of the song from Heretic Pride that makes my heart stop flutter (I have an infarction). Still beautiful, but in a very different way. [Special shout-out to Andy Espenshade for giving me this .mp3!]
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_03_19.m3u”stream all of the above songs.
NP: “30_milkshakes__2008_03_19.rar”rar file of all of the above songs.
NR: 2/3rds of the way through 5 different New Yorkers, 1/4 of the way through 3 other New Yorkers, and 10% of the way into an Edith Wharton novella that I can’t even remember the name of.

OK, so… I’m going to try to start doing this again. We’ll see how well I do, but… I *have* been listening to a lot of new music lately. So… what the hell!Will start doing some show picks as well. But not this week. This week is all about the Frightened Rabbit:

Thursday, March 20 – Lit – Listening Party / DJ Party / Drinking Party
Saturday, March 22 – Mercury Lounge – w/ Longwave
Sunday, March 23 – Johnny Brenda’s (Philadelphia) – w/ Sons And Daughters, Bodies Of Water
Monday, March 24 – Middle East Downstairs (Boston) – w/ Sons And Daughters, Bodies Of Water
Tuesday, March 25 – Union Pool – w/ Right On Dynamite