Thursday, March 31, 2005

New Upwelling Songs!

I've been pestering Josh to give me the so-called exclusive The Upwelling album featuring unreleased tracks that they have been playing live. He was talking it up so much when I chatted with him over the weekend that I've become quite impatient. Lucky for you and me, they have posted new songs on their website. I'll still pester, but now I have some listening pleasure to hold me over until I get that actual CD in my hands.

Currently streaming:
Bridge Above The Valley
Birthday Girl
Annie On The Rooftop
The Real Thing
The Room Where No One Ever Goes
The Steps
Who Needs You Now?
Worthy Enemy
California Snow
Diamond Ring

My roommate thinks I'm crazy because I'm blasting all the songs and yelling at her to come listen. I'm a little excited, can you tell?

Go! Listen! Now!

Hint of Spring

Today was the first day in a long time that I brought my iced coffee to the park and sat outside for a good hour. It was glorious. I found out from Time Out New York that the Jack Johnson shows at Central Park in September have already sold out. Boo! How did I miss that? Well, here's hoping for a press pass.

Speaking of warm weather, the June 2 Issue Six release party is gearing up to be quite the event. The GoStation and Dave Lear are confirmed to play, and I'm still waiting for the official yes from The Upwelling and Snowden. It just may turn out to be the best birthday party ever. Lord knows I'm itching to become legal. This whole ID situation has caused a lot of issues. I don't know if I'll be able to see Man In Gray tomorrow night at Luna or The GoStation Saturday at Don Hill's. Keep your fingers crossed that something comes through. Either way you should go because they are both great bands and you may need to be my eyes and ears while I sit home sober.

Speaking of great bands and warm weather (aren't my transitions thrilling today?) the ultra-cool Snowden released it's 7" single for "Black Eyes." It's a sweet-ass song. You can download it here or purchase the 7" here.

And that's all I gotta say about that.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

All The News I Care To Fit

  • Bright Eyes new video for "First Day of My Life" was just released. It's pretty cool. Geniune. Mushy. Sad and yet happy at the same time. You know, typical Conor Oberst for you. Conor and The Faint will be playing four (yes four) shows at Webster in May with future Underrated feature Mars Black. Download the video here.

  • New Oasis song, "Lyla" leaked. It's not bad, not great. Sounds the same as most Oasis songs do. I hope the album is a little more innovative, but this song is likeable. Hear for yourself here.

  • The world as we know it, is over: Guster snipit of "Diane" was played on the Ashlee Simpson show tonight. I don't know what's more sad -- the fact they were on it or the fact that I was watching.

  • Ryan Adams new album, "Cold Roses" to be released May 3. He's now known as Ryan Adams and the Cardnials, his website is still weird, but I can't wait. Rachael Yamagata guests on two songs, and the album will be followed by another this summer entitled "September." Track listing for "Cold Roses:"
    Disc one:
    "Magnolia Mountain"
    "Sweet Illusions"
    "Meadowlake Street"
    "When Will You Come Back Home?"
    "Beautiful Sorta"
    "Now That You're Gone"
    "Cherry Lane"
    "How Do You Keep Love Alive"

    Disc two:
    "Easy Plateau"
    "Let It Ride"
    "Cold Roses"
    "If I Am a Stranger"
    "Dance All Night"
    "Life Is Beautiful"

  • There's apparently this fight going on between The Killers and The Bravery. How silly. Brandon Flowers made some comments here and then The Bravery responds here. I'd pay to see it in person, but the words..come on, grow up.

  • That's all for now, folks.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2005

    $5 Is Better Than Free, Trust Me...I'm Credible

    Tonight I headed up to that other school in NYC for "Noise from the Underground," a panel discussion on the credibility of webzines, alt glossys, and blogs in the music journalism world. Now I won't say that it was a complete waste of time, because it was quite interesting, although it definitely was not interesting in the way the panelists would have hoped. If anything, I think the credibility of the panel was the first mistake. How can these people talk about the underground journalism, especially blogs if 90% of the panel either don't read them. Sasha Frere-Jones was the moderator, the pop music critic from The New Yorker, which seems like an oxymoron to me. Anthony DeCurtis, contributing editor at Rolling Stone was worthless. He didn't even know what a blog was. I could go on an on, but according to them: no one reads long blogs. So I'll give you a brief wrap-up with what I actually found worth sharing from the event.

  • Amy Philips, freelancer and an actual blogger (oh my!), called blogs a radical political act. It gives voices, especially to females, that still are not present in mainstream print world. She called the rise in internet journalism the democratization of the critical voice. They needed more like her.

  • Tunde Adebimpe from TV On The Radio was the only one who really made any sense. While the others were arguing at the fact that no one was making any sense, he said very few words but ones that were both informative and (gasp!) new. For a musician, he mentioned that it is frustrating to see reviews recycled. He said that he can actually see where different critics cut and paste what has already been written. He also mentioned that because of blogs and the instant scenes they create, there is a fear for the musician that they are being pushed for a quick turnover. A label wants them create as much music as possible in the shortest amount of time, while they are still on the minds of today's fickle listeners.

  • According to Knox Robinson, editor at The Fader, indie-rock bloggers are name-droppers and link addicts. That is why I chose not to link him, and any other of the panelists that I didn't care for. So there!

  • In the end, the true test of any journalism is if people who don't know you, or are not as obsessed with music, still find your posts/articles entertaining, that's what will make it. Music writing is writing first.

  • I'm glad it was free. I wanted to know more about the real underground. I wanted to know about mp3 sharing on blogs. I wanted to know about the instant reviews, the publicity for up and coming bands, and where they thought the future of music journalism was heading.

    Instead, Liz and I kept rolling our eyes at how ridiculously pretentious the majority of the panelists were. Music critics put themselves on such a high pedestal it honestly disgusts me. I pray I never become like that, and I don't think I will because I will never call myself a critic. If anything, I realized how little I want to work for a mainstream publication, and hope I can continue my quest with Underrated. They are so focused on the critic, the critic the critic. Music journalism isn't all about judging. I don't care to read any reviews in any publications because I think they are bullshit. I think all the panelists forgot or never were in the business for the love of music to begin with. They were too concerned with how much credibility they would achieve. It's unfortunate.

    But on to the best $5 I ever spent at The Features/Ben Kweller/Walkmen show last night. Besides the crappy dentyne gum that was given out, I was so impressed with The Features who opened. They remind me very much of The Kings of Leon who I also adore. Their southern-rock, in your face, ball of fun was a great start to the night. I was pumped. I also had a bit of a crush on their drummer. That guy was crazy.

    Next was one of my favorite people in the world, Mr. Ben Kweller who is perhaps the most loveable indie rock star ever. Liz was quite the fan, stealing my lighter during his set to give him props. And contrary to her protest of posting the picture, I like to be controversial. It adds to my credibility.

    No new stuff from Mr. Loveable, but he did a great cover of Creedence Clearwater's "Have You Ever Seen The Rain." It could have possibly been my favorite moment of the night, however it was topped by another cover later. Needless to say, even with a dorky sweater, Ben Kweller never ceases to put on a great show. It was show #3 for me, and quite possibly my favorite. I could have done without the obnoixous guys behind me, but what can you do? Favorite songs: "How It Should Be (Sha Sha)," "No Reason," and "Wasted And Ready," (to name a few.)

    And last but definitely not least were the incredible The Walkmen who rocked the rest of the night away. Despite a couple sound issues for the first couple songs, Hamilton blows me away. He is perhaps one of the most unique vocalists I've heard today. He borders on screetching, and yet borders it well. They played a bunch of new stuff which sounded a bit different from the Bows + Arrows album. It had very much a calypso sound, and yet worked for the band. The best part of the night was The Kinks cover, "Monica." You can never go wrong with The Kinks. Never. But other highlights were "138th Street," "Bows +Arrows," (dedicated to Ham's mom in the back, how cute), and of course, "The Rat." That song never gets old.

    I have to say that picture is one of the weirdest one I've ever taken. I'm digging the lights; it makes Ham look like he's ascending to another world. Whoa, groovy man.

    Uh oh, the credibility police are going to come after me! My post was too long and I wasn't cutthroat or visceral enough. Shit man! Puh-leeze.

    Monday, March 28, 2005

    Found it

    Thanks to coolfer, here's the link for the NY Times article I was talking about:

    "Cover Me: Introducing The Instant Tribute".

    Back at work today, what a bummer. I'm sure I'll get distracted and post here later. We'll see if I can keep up the "band for the day" ingenious idea. How unique am I?

    Completely off-topic, I'm currently reading Lighting Up: How I Quit Smoking, Drinking, and Everything Else I Loved In Life Except Sex by the wonderful Susan Shapiro. She came to speak at one of my classes last week and was almost as insane as her book is. I've been laughing my way on the train, subway, and everywhere because I basically cannot put this book down. I highly recommend it, needless to say, I could find a lot of myself in her addictive personality.

    Tonight I'm off to see Ben Kweller and The Walkmen play at Irving Plaza for that wonderful $5 show. Even if Hamilton is in it just for money, at least it's not coming from my pocket. Look for the re-cap and some pictures tomorrow.

    Let's make the rain stop please! I hear Thursday will be 65 degrees and sunny. All I can think about is iced coffee and a book while sitting in the park in flip flops. Ah spring. Get here fast.

    Sorry for being all over the place today. It's one of those days.

    Saturday, March 26, 2005

    Indie Covers

    Great article in today's New York Times Arts & Leisure section about indie covers. I can't for the life of me find it online, but if you can pick up a copy of the paper it's a good read. I never really thought of how different it is that artists nowadays cover friends, or even songs that have yet to be released. It's no longer a tribute to legendary influences, it's more about playing a song just because they like the song itself. The article explains it much better than I ever could, and mentions fellow blogs stereogum and fluxblog. I'll post the link if I can find it.

    Also, check out for some pictures of last night's Kaiser Chief's show at Bowery. Bob sent me a nice email giving me the heads-up, so be sure to check it out and live vicariously through him, if you are like me, and missed it.

    Friday, March 25, 2005

    Kaiser Chiefs

    Because I am further away than my usual 32 steps from Bowery Ballroom, I unfortunately will not be attending the Kaiser Chiefs show tonight. They play Maxwells on the 29th when I will be back in the city. Why do I keep getting these things wrong?

    I first heard of the British boys a little while ago, reading posts on various blogs and I read in NY Post that of all the bands trying to be Franz Ferdinand, these guys actually hold merit. First off, why are Franz Ferdinand the superior? I like them, but come on. One album! Okay. Not the point.

    The first song I heard by the Kaiser Chiefs was their blow-up single in the UK, "I Predict A Riot." It's like crack. I remember being on the subway the day I added it to my iPod and kept on playing it over and over again. I kept tapping my foot, bobbing my head...basically looking like an idiot. It's one of those that you really can't stand still to. So beware of some odd looks if you have it on your headphones.

    I've been listening to their debut, Employment all week and I'm in love. As a huge fan of the Kinks, I wouldn't dare make a comparison, and I hesitate to even say they sound like them. But that have that same pure British sound that The Kinks used, without alienating the music. The first song, "Everyday I Love You Less and Less," is the greatest break-up song yet. Following that Riot song (yes I went to the next track) is the moody "Modern Way" that is one of the few tracks that steps back from that in-your-face constant energy that the rest of the album takes on. But it's a gem, in every sense, because it still keeps that highly addictive melody driven songwriting. I've always said, I love songs that I can sing along to, and this album has a lot of them. From "Na Na Na" to "Born To Be a Dancer," every song showcases an organic enthusiasm and dare I say, fun, that bands these days sometimes forget to have.

    Take a listen, you'll be bopping your head too. I don't think I've had this much fun in a long time. Why am I not at their show? I'll just sit here in Jersey listening to the album instead. Join me with a couple songs (right click, save as):

  • Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot

  • Kaiser Chiefs - Caroline, Yes!
  • Always a Jersey Girl

    I haven't been back home in quite sometime. With the family all home for the holiday weekend, I figured it was about time to cross that GW bridge back to good old New Jersey. It feels nice to get out of the city, even though I still can't drive because my brother took my car to Philly while his is getting fixed. But I can't be mad, because it's his 23rd (no way) birthday today. Happy Birthday Neil!

    In honor of my return back home, five favorite Jersey musicians (in no particular order):

  • Ted Leo

  • Bruce Springsteen

  • Port (RIP)

  • Saves The Day

  • Bon Jovi

  • Living on a Prayer, you know you love it. Don't lie. I feel like there are so many I'm forgetting. Any favorites?

    Band for the day coming up later.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2005

    The Shins, Taxes, & The Decemberists

    Today I cleaned. I was so busy cleaning that I forgot it was 12pm and time to buy Shins tickets. After inhaling a lot of bleach, I hazily turned to my watch and ran to my computer. It was 12:30, and tickets were gone. Two nights at Webster sold out. I started swearing at Zach Braff for putting them in Garden State so that every Joe now knows who they are. But then I remembered I pose as this magazine editor sometimes and put my writing skills to work emailing their publicist. It still shocks me that I manage to get press passes, but I scored big time. Also found out the next album will be out next year. Made the return of the snow (where the hell is spring) a little sunnier.

    Before I get to the second band for the day, I will share my experience in my class that I had tonight. Part of the new Clive Davis Recording School at good ol NYU (did I really just link my school? oh god) is an open arts class "Constructing a Record Label." I think I'm the only one in the class not an artist or an aspiring A&R rep, but needless to say its given me a little more conversation when I interview artists. Education can be good, or so they say.

    Tonight we had a guest speaker, Steve Gordon, a lawyer who worked for Sony for ten years before getting fired, who now just wrote a book about the future of the music industry. I, along with my other classmates, sat there the entire time rolling our eyes and questioning this guys sanity. He laughed at his own jokes, was beyond bitter about being fired at Sony, but somewhere in the middle of that he had some interesting things to say. While I won't bore you with a summary of the three hour chaos, he spoke in detail about the backlash of Napster. In fact, he was quite bitter about Shawn Fanning as well, calling him a "schmuck." His solution for downloading free music? Tax all computer and blank CD manufacturers so that the labels retain money and still allow for consumers to download for free. I never even thought about it, but he said that no one is downloading for free. You have to have a computer, high speed internet, and blank CDs or MP3s to carry out the process. If record labels went to Congress and asked for a tax, they can still maintain their revenue, and artists can begin to make money faster off of record sales (that can be easily tracked by number of downloads) because the distribution and production costs of selling things online is much cheaper.

    This guy was crazy, but it's an interesting point. And my hero, Steve Jobs, apparently loses money off of iTunes. Gordon says he isn't in it for the music, but I don't know. I'm a geek. I watch those webcasts and he's so passionate. But I suppose he's also a smart businessman. iTunes was only the vehicle to get people to buy those iPods and send the stock flying. It all comes down to the money, don't we all know it. But it was interesting to see how the internet is really changing the music industry. We've yet to see a band have a true success story without a label and solely selling on the internet. I think it's in due time. We'll have to wait and see.

    Band number two for the day is The Decemberists, another part of my iTunes binge from the other night. Unlike, say Autolux or Great Day Coming, it's organic, without hidden layers or over-production, and really focuses on it's lyrics. I read on Punk Planet that they called them "literary pop" and that sounds just about right. Their third full-length, Picaresque was released yesterday, and it's not a departure from their previous work, just an extension.

    Sad news regarding the band: their trailer was stolen from outside a house in Portland last week that had practically every piece of instrumentation belonging to them. Then it was found a couple days later, but all the contents were missing. If you feel like throwing some cash out to a great band, information of where to donate is on their website as well as a stolen gear list in case you see something mysterious.

    In the meantime, for your listening pleasure (right click, save as):

  • The Decemberists - The Engine Driver

  • The Decemberists will play Irving Plaza May 4 and then back to Brooklyn to play Warsaw on May 26.

    Great Day Coming

    I'm not ashamed to admit that I don't know what I'm talking about half the time, especially when it comes to music. Some bands you can make those clear comparisons that really irk me, and others you can ramble on and on about and when you actually listen to the song, find you are completely wrong. And some music just can't really be explained. Every song is different, it cant be declared to sound like anything else familiar, and that's when I think music is at its best.

    Before I left I received the album for Great Day Coming. I imported and loaded it on to my iPod to listen for the agonizing plane trips. I remember listening to it and felt it very fitting on a plane. Why? I have no idea. I just felt like it was meant to be listened to above ground. Regardless, I enjoyed the numerous listens and when I came back I wanted to find out who this band was.

    Great Day Comingis just two guys, Glenn Larkin and Thomas El from good old NYC. When you listen to the album, you cannot imagine how two guys can create the ridiculous layers of sound. Then I find out it was all recorded in a home studio. You can hear every sound imaginable on this record, from acoustic and electric guitars, to flutes, trumpets, salt shakers, kazoos, xylophone...and yes, heavy breathing. It's quite the experience.

    That was a terrible explanation, see! But for the record, when I imported it into iTunes, the genre was "Unclassifiable." So it's not only me. Just listen for yourself. (right click save as)

  • Now You Know Why (from album)
  • Happy Ending (rough cut, new song, not from album)
  • Parlez-vous francais?

    Funny, last night I was complaining to my roommate about the fact that I will be taking French Monday-Friday for the next year of my life to fulfill the language requirement I left until my final year. And now this...

    Crazy! Thanks to the French music magazine and blog, Green for the link. Some of the site I could actually understand, that should be language requirement enough.

    Two bands for today coming up later...

    Tuesday, March 22, 2005

    Bar Graphs & Autolux

    I fell off my chair last night, and it was not because I was drunk (or was I?) but it was the result of this silly little graph that I check every day because I am obsessive compulsive. I teeter with the business side of the magazine here and there, okay more here than there, and as I'm gearing up to bombard NYC to get advertisements, I naturally check the webstats of the magazine's website. I figured yesterday would be a little bit higher than usual due to my annoying posts on myspace and various other stalker communities. I clicked and clicked to see this month's stats and that's when I fell.

    Bar graphs are a little dorky, yes. But let me preface this by saying a year ago, the website was pitiful, the only people who visited were my parents (even they said it could use some color), and I spelled the name of the magazine wrong. So with the new website a couple months ago, I wanted the world to visit. And apparently, in one day, the population of my hometown in Jersey logged on. Okay maybe not even, but it had some value hidden in there somewhere.

    Did you fall off your chair? No? Well, after I picked myself up and regained composure, I questioned the validity of this wonderful graph. Warren Nellis, an British graphic novelist who also designs computer games and animated films caused the little-website-that-could to generate the most traffic in its short history. I naturally sent him a nice thank you for the post and for calling the latest issue "impressive." I wanted to let the world know that this guy is my new best friend. Not to mention that he also was named one of the 100 most creative people in entertainment by my bible, Entertainment Weekly. Can't get much cooler than that. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Enough of bar graphs and my own childish excitement, on to what I had promised. The band for today is Autolux. Unfortunately, I found out about this band 30 minutes too late. When I went to go see the Secret Machines a couple weeks ago, I walked in to find DL and Jared of A Brief Smile praising the opening band that I had just missed. I believe they even used the word "godly." So in an iTunes binge yesterday I purchased their debut, Future Perfect. I can't say exactly whether I would consider its divinity just yet, but it is a great album. LA's latest buzz band just ended a tour with Ambulance Ltd and will be back in New York in June with The Raveonettes. The trio has that electronic pop thing going on that is also vocally impressive. Usually you get one or the other, but I like this. It's got unintentional production nuances, emotionally groovy tunes, and tin drums. What more could you ask for? I guess to not be late and miss them next time.


    Autolux - Here Comes Everybody (right click, save as)

    Sunday, March 20, 2005

    Ciao Bella!

    For a couple moments over the past 10 days I was sad that I was not in Austin enjoying the sweet sounds of this year's South by Southwest. And then I remembered that I was walking down the streets of Florence, Italy and I was okay. Really.

    I had a fabulous time, thank you for asking. It was the most necessary vacation I have taken thus far, and I had a ball. Unfortunately I didn't get to see any local shows. The only posters I saw on the street that I could understand was a Beatles cover band playing next week. I would have gone. I did observe and question what music is "popular" on the other side of the Atlantic. Not surprisingly I heard a lot of Green Day, Gwen Stefani, Britney, and Maroon 5 everywhere I went. But it was nice to see The Killers find their way into some clubs, as well as the new Moby album which I am digging, and some Depeche Mode.

    In between the wine, pasta, and yummy gelato, I found one guy on the street who played a mean guitar every day. I went to introduce myself and started asking him some questions, but he just smiled. He didn't speak any English. Damn.

    Musician on the street:

    View at the top of the Duomo, that surprisingly has more steps than my apartment. Who knew?

    My favorite bartender, Sergio

    and finally, my favorite person in the world who I miss dearly.

    Speaking of Europe, I found out the day before I left that I was accepted for the journalism study abroad in London for six weeks this summer. Look for a british edition of Underrated as issue seven in August. Should be fun. Oh yeah, also saw an Olsen that same day, who by the way is so small it's not even human. All in all a crazy day to leave.

    So today I returned to some new CDs that I will get to listen to this week as well as the proof of the first professionally printed copy of issue five. I screamed, everything looks perfect and I couldn't be more thrilled. (Okay I found one typo. Forgive me.) Give it 10 business days and Underrated will swarm the city.

    I tried to stay away from a a computer during my vacation but those damn internet cafes pop up everywhere. I was sad to see that my regular respondents of each issue haven't said anything yet. What's up guys? I can take the criticism! Come on, my own sister hasn't even read it yet. Maybe they're all excited for the hard copies. You know I am.

    I have the week off from work, so I'm gonna be doing some cleaning, catching up, and listening to a bunch of new tunes. I'll give you the heads-up with what's good.

    Also, I did a big update on the website today, complete with a bunch of great concerts that I don't have the money or ID to go to in the next couple months. I'll find a way. April is jam-packed with The Shins (!!!!!!!!) and Mando Diao. May's got Ben Folds, Kings of Leon, and Snow Patrol. And Jack Johnson in September. Shit man. I can't wait.

    Ciao for now.

    Wednesday, March 9, 2005

    One Day Early!!!

    Well my friends, it's official. Issue 5 is released.

    Who would have thought that it would go out a day early? Not me. To download the pdf you can go to the website or click here.

    Now that I'm beginning to relax, get ready for Florence tomorrow, I'll give you those photos I promised you.

    Secret Machines @ Irving:

    The Upwelling @ Bowery:

    It was great to see The Upwelling play at Bowery, although I have to say it, wasn't the best show. I think when they play at Mercury, their sound fills up the entire room. At Bowery, they seemed...quiet. Josh told me that their mics weren't up all the way. Scott mentioned that his keyboard had some issues during "Murdered." No sweat. They're gonna be back in May, I hear. I want Bowery to give these guys the sound they deserve, come on now.

    I managed to stay awake for the entire show, including a great set by VHS or Beta. It was the first time I had seen these guys live, and I was blown away. Their recordings do no justice. Worst part of the night was having my ID taken away from me by the scary bouncer outside. I think it was the pigtails that gave me away. I have four months left and I'm at a loss on what to do. I can't shell out that sort of cash again, but how can I not survive? Especially since I now cannot go see Snowden at Pianos tonight. Grrr, not cool.

    Anyways, please PLEASE read the issue and let me know what you think. I'll be back in the country on the 20th, and who knows, maybe I'll find some great Italian band. Or not. I'll be sure to let you know.


    Tuesday, March 8, 2005

    Whoa there Koyen

    Still awake, clearly. So if you find me curled in a ball tonight at Bowery, you'll know why. Just wake me up when The Upwelling go on.

    Hold on music, let's talk about journalism for a second here. Today, Jeff Koyen of NY Press resigned instead of taking a two-week suspension because of the Pope cover. I don't question his choice, who would in their right mind take an unpaid two weeks to "think about what you've done wrong." We're not two here.

    But I met Koyen a couple months ago and have written for The Press. Koyen always wanted to be edgy and a little bit contraversial, however, I think this went too far. Call me good-hearted, but I just don't find it funny. It doesn't matter what religion you are, or if it's not serious. It's a newspaper with a wide distribution, so be prepared for some back-lash.

    I'll be honest in that I'm sad to see Koyen go. He and I shared a common ground in that we both started "zines" and he was quite nice and cordial to me in the short-time I knew him. Sorry Koyen, but you'll probably be better off back in Europe anyways. I guess we just didn't get your sense of humor this time.

    Gawker interviews Koyen


    It's 9 in the morning and I have yet to sleep. Okay, that's a lie, I passed out for an hour after I went to Swift with Liz to do some research for an article she is writing. If anyone has some thoughts on the perceptions of girls who order mixed drinks opposed to beer, let her know. We had fun last night observing for a little while. Somehow managed to meet the publisher at Spin magazine last night too who was incredible. Offered me some amazing advice and got me so inspired. He told me to keep calling, so that's what I gotta do. Liz and I decided we love doing what we do. Has to be a good thing, right?

    I somehow managed to speak to Josh of The Upwelling at 2 this morning as well when I got home. I hope I was coherent and now looking back at what I was writing while speaking to him on the phone, it sorta makes sense. They play Bowery Ballroom tonight before heading out on a tour for three weeks. Tonight, they open for VHS or Beta. It's a show you do not want to miss.

    So after that I fell asleep fully dressed and with my contacts in for about an hour before I jumped out of bed knowing I had a lot to do. Six hours straight I sat in front of my computer with not even one cigarette break. And now, it's done! (Well, after a final proof.) I gotta say, not to toot my own horn, but it looks great. It's definitely the best one yet, and I cannot wait to get it out. I remember when I finished the first issue I was terrified that someone would actually read it. This time, I'm all for it.

    Oh yeah, I went to see the Secret Machines on Sunday and they blew me away. If you haven't seen them live, you must. Their drummer is crazy. CRAZY! Georgia and I were right up at the stage and I felt like I was seeing Led Zeppelin in the 70's. It was just pure rock and roll. I have pictures that I will post one of these days. Too tired now.

    I got to get some sleep before class and tonight's show. Everyone check your mailboxes tomorrow night for Issue Five. If you aren't already subscribed, please do!

    Saturday, March 5, 2005

    Can't keep me away

    What is this? I'm addicted to wasting your time and mine. Must be something in the water. Honestly, I was going blind trying to make sure line spacing was universal on each page of the next issue. I'm sure you wouldn't even notice, but just call me OCD.

    Random musings:

    -A Brief Smile was great last night, as always. They get better with age, like a fine wine. I feel bad I subjected the young boys to my rowdy friends. Don Hill's is now officially my least favorite venue in the city, as well as the cab driver who didn't have change for a $20. Luckily the award for THE best cab driver in the city goes to Brian, who gave us girls a free ride later that night after I told him of my misfortunes. He rocks.

    -Guster's new album will be out this fall. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. I love the band, but I get scared of the Fa Fa's. However, I get a kick out of the hilarious bongo player Brian's studio journal where he talks about everything from what to do when your roommates underwear is in the dryer and you need to use it, to Ryan leaving messages on Vin Disel's voice mail. Oh yeah, they talk about the new album here, complete with video clips. This one cracked me up:
    "Adam recorded a guitar trill for the end of the outro too, but it sounded a little too "Mama Leone's Restaurant" so we made him hum along vocally while he did it. Somehow, that made all the difference." Check it out.

    -Anyone who is going to the $5 Kweller/Walkmen show has got to be excited. I know I am. To entice you to want to read this next issue that much more, I give you an interesting tid-bit from Ham, lead singer of The Walkmen that is part of a Q+A in Issue 5. Good to know the band is:
    a. aware of their shows
    b.know who they are playing with
    c. willing to do anything for money.

    You are playing a $5 show at Irving Plaza later this month with Ben Kweller.
    With what?

    Ben Kweller?
    Is it really? I’ll bet it is. Ahh, I was lied to. That makes a lot of sense.

    Tell me more about the concert.
    It’s sponsored by some corporation. It’s not legit at all. It’s completely like a farce of a concert. They are just paying us an obscene amount of money to play in this show. It’s just a corporation trying to use us to seem cooler.

    Good times. But now back to work.

    Friday, March 4, 2005

    Call me crazy

    You can all breathe a sigh of relief -- my passport will be arriving Monday. I know. You were all so worried that I just might have one of those nervous breakdowns. So was I. But all is good. I'll be out of this city in less than a week with no computer, no cell phone, and no way of contacting me. Just good friends, wine, cigarettes, and the city of Florence. Do I have to come home?

    Regardless, I will warn you that there will be a great lack of my pontificating for the next week. This next issue will be released at the latest on Wednesday, so I'll be stuck lining up columns and figuring out cheesy headlines until then. If you haven't subscribed, please do so. This issue is going to be the. best. one. yet.

    IN the meantime, I will be taking breaks to go to some shows. I've told you before, but I'll tell you again, just for good measure:
    -A Brief Smile - Tonight @ Don Hills
    -Secret Machines - Sunday @ Irving
    -The Upwelling - Tuesday @ Bowery
    -Snowden - Wednesday @ Pianos


    Wednesday, March 2, 2005

    The Specialist

    So to continue with the Interpol recap, I give you good friend and staff writer, Georgia:

    georgia(1:58:18 PM): so i figured something out
    rachael(1:58:19 PM): ok
    georgia(1:58:33 PM): remember how they played that song "the specialist" last night
    rachael(1:58:37 PM): yes
    georgia(1:58:56 PM): and i was like freaking out
    georgia(1:59:02 PM): because it sparked a neruon
    georgia(1:59:06 PM): in my brain
    rachael(1:59:08 PM): lol yes
    georgia(1:59:09 PM): a memory neuron that is
    rachael(1:59:13 PM): of course
    georgia(1:59:15 PM): well i figured out what it was
    rachael(1:59:24 PM): what was it?
    georgia(1:59:35 PM): i bought an interpol t shirt when i went to see them the first time
    georgia(1:59:41 PM): and the t shirt said specialist on it
    georgia(1:59:45 PM): that is it.
    georgia(2:00:01 PM): see how amazing the brain is
    rachael(2:00:07 PM): is it a song tho? it didnt sound familiar
    georgia(2:00:51 PM): its not on their albums
    rachael(2:00:57 PM): yea i didn't think so
    rachael(2:03:42 PM): very interesting
    georgia(2:03:48 PM): what?
    rachael(2:03:55 PM): your memory
    georgia(2:04:04 PM): haha... yes
    georgia(2:04:10 PM): its very very very selective
    georgia(2:04:15 PM): i found out my short term memory died
    rachael(2:04:21 PM): thats too bad, did you have a funeral?
    georgia(2:04:34 PM): well if i did recently i wouldnt remember
    rachael(2:04:40 PM): thats true

    I think that about covers it.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2005

    New York Cares

    Interpol = Fabulous.

    Need I say more?

    Okay, I will anyways. I was walking out of Radio City after an incredible show by my favorite NYU boys, Interpol and someone was complaining that the show wasn't "intimate" and what a "stupid" venue for them to play in. I've heard this before. But you know what? It's THE best sound in the entire city. Hands down. When I saw Modest Mouse play there in November, it was such a treat. I didn't care that tonight I was three levels high, because my ears were pleased. They loved it. They appreciated the quality and the clarity. This post is sponsored by Rachael's ears.

    I had no complaints. The shy boys (no small talk here) banged out song after song, including, "Slow Hands," "NYC," "Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down," "A Time To Be So Small," you know. All the good stuff. I'll include a picture, if you can even see anything. Oh, but the second one was the really cool shadow from Carlos D. that made me smile.

    Yup that's how close we were. Thanks to a beautiful thing called -- a zoom lense. I won't subject you to the 50 other pictures of lights that I took.

    It was cool. I swear.

    In other news, you should download every song by Horses quick, while they are free. They just signed with Sub Pop today. Although its one of the few labels I have respect for (and am doing a presentation on next week), who knows how long those songs will be available. Download them all here. They are amazing. On tour with Iron & Wine sometime later this year I hear.

    Talked with my good friend Nick from The French Kicks finally today to clarify all the quotes that I didn't write down during our last interview. I found out that he is 6'6. That's mighty mighty tall. Must have been eating lots of...broccoli? I forgot to ask. Dammit. Anyways, he says hi.

    Don't forget -- A Brief Smile this Friday @ Don Hills. Catch them while they are still young!

    You want proof? I got it.

    Didn't believe me when I told you that El Jezel was the best dressed band in NYC? You doubted my fashion sense? How dare you! Here's proof, thanks to Bryan from Man In Gray. (You can hear Man In Gray's new song, "ThirtySix" from their split 7" here)

    Note the tilted glasses. How hipster. And according to Dan, he has many more endangered animal t-shirts. Oh baby.

    Speaking of looks, I was delighted yesterday after schlepping through the snow to find a beautiful package left in my mailbox from the wonderful band, snowden. How ironic, walked through the snow to find snowden. Hah! I got a chuckle. Anyways the package, as seen below was hand painted. I vote that the best press kit yet.

    Download the FREE EP at their website. Okay, lazy. I'll post the songs from the "band you didn't know you love." I expect banana bread in return. Or warm oatmeal cookies. Mmm.

    Right click and save as, or Mac users, hold down control and click.
    From The Snowden EP v2.0
    1. Victim Card
    2.Good News
    3.Chin Up
    4.Kill The Power
    5.Come Around
    6.Anybody Else

    The boys will be playing THREE (yes three!) shows next week in the city.
    Tuesday - Acoustic Show at Sidewalk Cafe
    Wednesday - Pianos
    FRIDAY - Crash Mansion (I got that wrong the first time. Thanks Nora & Happy Birthday! As much as I would love to be there, I will hopefully be on a plane on my way to Florence by that time. Still no passport though. Grr)

    But I will be at Pianos. So will all of you. See you there. Bring the goods.

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