Thursday, May 23, 2013

Furthermore!

Where the fuck is fulsome while all this SCIENCE is happening?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Most Difficult Aspect of Mixes

I am finding it difficult to make a mix, due to both the intended audience and the sheer size of my digital music collection. My theme for the mix is bands associated with my musical experiences in DC, either local bands or those I saw in person. I would love to include at least a song from every band I’ve seen since 2005, when I started attending shows on a regular basis, but a cd can only hold so much. Several of these bands have been fairly popular indie-ish bands like The Fiery Furnaces, and some have been large acts, like The Chemical Brothers and DJ Shadow. I must work on narrowing the scope.

The audience will hopefully find a song or two from familiar bands, but not enough to warrant the use of a track selection button, and an abundance of new bands with which to delight their ears. My theme provides me with a lot of material from some bands, and very little from others. I buy a cd from pretty much every band I see, provided sufficient fundulation, but this means that I do have some albums that I wouldn’t want anyone to hear, including me, and some that just won’t fit within the larger group. This isn’t a compulsion, more of a way of supporting the people involved in entertaining me, like tipping a waiter or bartender.

I recently absorbed a massive amount of music from my brother’s computer when I resurrected it. The fix only required a power supply swap, and now I have this other computer full of his wife’s photos and his music collection. Some friend of his went to town on the computer and uploaded a couple of iPod’s worth of mp3s to the hard drive. Being an opportunistic sort, I made a back up of all of this music onto my music hard drive. The problem here is not the variety of music, nor the ethical dilemma in listening to it, but the sheer volume is making it hard to find the music pertinent to this particular mix.

For clarity’s sake, I haven’t stolen a single mp3 since 2002. Bearshare was fun for a while, but 7 gigs later I had a whole mess of forgettable techno and radio rock. The only songs I download these days are from review sites, like Fluxblog or You Ain’t No Picasso, which I assume have permission to distribute. I suppose that copying the contents of my brother’s hard disk is probably theft, since I haven’t bought those albums. Many of the albums are on my list to own someday, when I am gainfully employed. Listening to music in my library is nice while I am working, but doesn’t work in the living room.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Entire Show for Those of You Who Missed It

If you’re in a similar boat as I, or perhaps your boat is in a different ocean, you may have missed this show.  I would rather have been at the show, but shit happens.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Good Time Tunes

While driving from the Middleofnowhere, Iowa, to the Uppermiddleofnowhere, Wisconsin, I wanted to make good time on the roads without risking my life.  I could have downed 75 ounces of coffee and just floored it, but I get jittery after 60 ounces, while also spacing out on extremely productive, but distracting tangents in my internal monologue.  Instead I limited myself to 56 ounces of coffee over several hours, and rotated through my CDs.   Since I know that you are just sweating in anticipation of seeing this list, here it is:

Silver Jews – American Water (Originally recommended to me by a man who will no longer speak to me, but that is what happens to two men with a woman involved.)

The Duhks – Migration (First heard on NPR All Songs Considered {I think, it was a while ago.} and then seen live at Iota.)

Action Painters – Eponymous Album (Seen live as an opener for Olivia Mancini and the Mates, ’80s-esque rock that sounds genuine.)

Architecture in Helsinki – In Case We Die (I should really get their new album {albums?}.)

Old Crow Medicine Show and Various – My Phone (I made an upbeat playlist on my phone, it starts with Cocaine Habit and Tell It to Me by OCMS, and Cocaine Blues by The Man in Black, and then stays at that pace for a while.)

Various Artists – Carondelet (A mix album from an unknown west coast-based blogger, containing everything from The Zutons to The Wrens, with some Canasta, Architecture in Helsinki, and Of Montreal thrown in for giggles.  The music snob who mixed the album helpfully refused to include proper encoding on the tracks, so that those who wished to purchase the respective albums could only do so by listening to every song everywhere to determine the origins.  That’s hipsters for you.)

A lot of the still active bands with sites beyond Myspace have at least one or two free downloads, and I would recommend that you check out the sites except that I am fairly certain that only I and dontEATnachos will ever see this post.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Maedgen/Gillet at the Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage, 1-10-12

I was lucky enough to hear about this concert before the fact, and doubly lucky to make it to the show.  I missed the first half thanks to traffic, but the half I saw was enthralling.  If you don’t have time to watch the video, and you should make time for it, their music was atmospheric and creative, like a Sigur Ros from Belgium by way of New Orleans.

The entire show was recorded and uploaded.

* Full disclosure for a semblance of journalistic integrity, I knew Helen Gillet in college and am not exactly an unbiased reviewer.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cello Pop: Not Something You Eat

I was cruising the music review websites that were previously part of our linky love list when I found a post about Ben Sollee on Aurgasm.  Normally, I peruse all the posts while downloading every mp3 hosted.  I don’t  have any restrictions and download everything I see, even Fluxblog’s infrequent over-produced rap superstar links, because I figure that I can always delete the stuff I don’t like but always find something new to pique my interest.  Contrary to the trend of everyone I know, I still buy albums in the physical format, but almost all of these purchases are influenced by mp3s like the two I downloaded from that post about Ben Sollee.

Though the entire album wanders between bluegrass, folk and jazz, his deep Southern influence is unmistakable.

Given my current musical proclivities, this sentence is like High Fructose Corn Syrup on the cake.  If I weren’t stuck in a miniature version of the national recession, I would be marching out to buy this album down at my local.  The two songs are further reason for me.

Cello Pop?

How can that not grab you and make you say, “wait, did that guy really just bring a cello on stage?”  Let me tell you that a cello blends marvelously with an acoustic guitar.  The cello brings a deeper resonance* that grounds the normally airy and light acoustic guitar.  I have heard an impromptu song at Iota on a First Monday that consisted of a cello and a guitar and was surprised by both how mesmerizing the sound was and also by how frigging quiet the crowd became once the two gents started playing.

*Look at the big words on that guy.  Is that even an appropriate word?  Writing about music makes me feel awkward.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Shows I Hope to Attend

The Velvet Lounge schedule is chock full of shows I want to see.  Or maybe it’s chock a block full.  Regardless, I’ve got to find some way to go to these shows:

Thursday, Wise Light Born (mem. of Barkitecture/Meadows/Antlers/Baby Killer Estelle), Adventure (Carpark), EAR PWR (Asheville electro-pop), this show raises my eyebrows of doom and makes me scratch my chin.  And it’s only $7!

Friday, Girl Loves Distortion (CD release!), Relay (shoegaze/psych-pop from Philly, Bubblecore), Timberwolf Division (ex-Ropers/Sounds of Kaleidoscope/Fretblanket/Owls & Crows), Himalaya (ex-Three Four Tens, NYC shoegaze/ psych-rock), how can a guy miss this show?  The sheer number of explanations and genres mentioned would probably rouse even fulsome from his decades-long hibernation.  All this for $8!

Next week, Stella Schindler, Rose, and the Blueheels are playing on the 3rd.  Two women I have been hoping would play a show together have responded to my subconscious wishes.  I hadn’t heard of the Blueheels until tonight, but damn, I like their music.  If I lived in Madison, Wis, I would be going to their show on the Memorial Union Terrace on the 31st of August.  I guess you call the sound alternative country or indie american or some shitty description for music that always seems to fail at describing music I like.

Also up next week, First Monday of the Month at Iota Club and Cafe.

I’m pretty broke, so if people could put Chuckles on the list at the Velvet Lounge, I’ll blog about your show.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Holy Fuck, The Fiery Furnaces and Super Furry Animals at the 9:30 Club 1/27/08

There are times when you come home from a show excited, whether by the music you just heard and are about to hear or because you had a cool time and got a phone number. Then there are times when you walk 30 blocks or so before realizing how cold it is and how far you have yet to go because you are astounded at the wonderful new thing that was always there that you have only tonight been allowed to witness and enjoy. I had a freaking blast at this show. I had never heard Holy Fuck or Super Furry Animals before and had not seen The Fiery Furnaces live, either.

I should apologize to Holy Fuck as I missed all but the last couple songs due to the fact that I am an idiot. The doors opened at 8 and I got to the club at 9. I figured that the first band wouldn’t start until then, but I was clearly wrong. Holy Fuck sounded like techno-house with those annoying incessant beats that last for hours for the ecstasy-addled, except without being annoying or incessant. Imagine a house song with real drums, synths, a bass player, another drummer and all sorts of weird effects and the song actually ends. These guys play music like I cook, throwing stuff in because it is good and blends. You can roll a song around in your mouth, turning over new flavors and strange tastes with each chew. They are like pita chips and cheescake, but musical. An aural alchemy. I will be buying their two albums as soon as I can. (I have yet to buy these albums as of 8-18-08, but I am broke and unemployed.)

The Fiery Furnaces were on next and I was excited to see them since I had missed them the last couple times they were in DC. They didn’t seem to really get into it until they played Blueberry Boat, but the crowd also seemed rather reserved until then, too. I liked seeing them but felt sorta blase about it because they looked so tired or bored. After they perked up, the music felt a lot more vibrant. I suppose you can’t blame people for being tired, everyone has off days I guess.

Super Furry Animals were a complete unknown to me until Uncanny Canadian instructed me to see this show no matter the cost. They were amazing, awesome would be a completely appropriate description as I was was awed by their music. Live shows are almost always better for that certain something, even if the songs are played almost exactly the same way as they were recorded on the albums. You can let yourself get caught up in the performance and forget all that stuff that gets tacked on to a home listening, like that time you made out with some girl while listening to Wish You Were Here, or how you played Transmissions from the Satellite Heart to psych yourself up to ask out some person at a coffee house. If you have never heard the songs before you see them live, you will always have that experience to play in the back of your mind while you listen at home. I’m drifting but maybe you follow me. SFA blew me away. They played and seemed to really be having a blast, and that feeling transferred to the audience. I can’t tell you what songs they included in the set, but they were all amazing. I would recommend SFA to anyone. They sound like bottled joy. At one point, the lead brought out some sort of huge, red, Power Rangers-looking helmet and held the microphone up to a hole in the top right and sang though the helmet. It sounded like he was singing from the back of some cave, or with a helmet on his head. Uh. Anyway, I have some pictures of that on my phone:

Um, yeah, so…my pictures were so bad that they broke the bloggio. We’ll have to wait a minute or two for those.

The blob on the left is the singer.

The blob on the left is the singer.

That is the red helmet on the singer, the light blobs are his hands.

That is the red helmet on the singer, the light blobs are his hands.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Federal Reserve at Iota 1/7/08

Since the last two music posts I have written went straight down the tubes, as these things are wont to do, I am not too worried about this post being read at all. It might have something to do with the new version of WordPress, but after Repoohblic of Dogs was stricken with some mighty affliction I am not eager to switch to any new version of WordPress. As I am not an administrator I know it isn’t my choice, either.

The Federal Reserve is a group of bands and musicians or musicians and bands. I am not really sure how many people are involved in this fantastic endeavor but there are eight bands and their relationships have been described to me as “kind of incestuous, really.” On the first Monday of the month, The Federal Reserve and many other local indie darlings/rockers/wannabes gather at Iota Club and Cafe for an evening of music. The atmosphere is relaxed and fun and seems more like a house party full of musicians. A guy may be up on the stage playing a slow rambling song about his horrible family with only a backing guitar at the start of the set and have a drummer, bass player and backing vocals by the end of a song. A lot of the music can be described as indie-americana, despite the cringiness of that term, but how else would you describe a sound created from a blend of bluegrass and rock without being country?

Last night, my ladyfriend and I arrived shortly before Anchorage started their set. Though not part of the collective, they are pretty good and I am looking forward to seeing them again. John Bustine came next and he started with an awesome song about people called “Tough Shit.” I didn’t catch the name of the last group of three guys but they* The Moderate went on next and were also good. The guitar was more blues inspired. My ladyfriend and I had to take off because it was getting late and work ruins our fun rather consistently. The exhaustion I feel now is totally worth it.

I hesitated to write about this wonderful event because it has become one of the highlights of my month and feels almost like this little secret place I know that none of the cooler than thou indie bitches from my side of the river would dare go. I like being able to ask a musician a couple questions while I get a beer. I will freely admit that I am a complete wannabe and the closest I get to rocking is air guitar and the medium setting on Guitar Hero.

*I am a frigging doofus. I was reminded that these guys are The Moderate by the lovely ladyfriend and the band only had to say that like four times for me to totally space on it less than 24 hours later.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I’d Like You To Listen To This Album Right Now.

Ok, so I’ve been kind of out of the listening/buying music scene for the past couple months.  A lot of this is due to the fact that when I moved out to Wisconsin recently I didn’t bring my CD player with me due to space issues and its general sucktitude.

Without a CD player though, I find that my desire to buy music is greatly diminished.  It just sounds so much better when it’s coming uncompressed off a CD and going directly into the receiver.  Lately though, I’ve been kind of jonesing for some new music.  As I was browsing a Best Album of the Year at CHUD message boards that I came across the suggestion of Apartment – The Dreamer Evasive.

I headed over to their site to see if they had the album online for streaming and they totally do.  I’ve been listening to the thing as I try to get some work finished up tonight and I’m just really loving it.  It’s exactly what I was looking for and a great bunch of songs.  I highly recommend giving it a listen.  I think even Fulsome would like it (if he were still capable of typing … he tragically lost his fingers in a fingercuff mishap).