Ah one week down, one to go before most responsibilities are out the window and it's smooth sailing to my birthday, the show, and then London baby.
I will however be taking a mini-break this weekend to finally go see my good friend Josh down in DC. Yes, I know I have a billion and one things to do. Yes, I know I probably wont get much work done down there. But I'm itching to drive and I got us tickets for Crystal Skulls show on Sunday. (Tonight's show at Bowery was sold out, and 21+). So quit hounding me, I need a break.
If you are in town this weekend (and not at Coachella like I wish I was right now) there are a bunch of great shows. Tonight I'll be seeing This Radiant Boy do their Philly thing in Brooklyn. Won't you join me?
This Radiant Boy at Galapagos, 7:30 PM
Crystal Skulls at Bowery, sold out
Pilot To Gunner at Rothko, 8:00 PM
NYCSmoke opens for The New York Dolls at Irving Plaza, sold out
Phantom Planet at Knitting Factory, 7:00 PM & 11:00 PM
Q and Not U at Northsix, 9:00 PM
And an extra treat, some Crystal Skulls to kick off the weekend.
No Room For Change
See you Monday!
Friday, April 29, 2005
Ah one week down, one to go before most responsibilities are out the window and it's smooth sailing to my birthday, the show, and then London baby.
Posted by Rachael at 2:27 PM
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Well folks, officially finished my last class of my junior year. One more year to go, scary and yet fantastic at the same time. I was talking to a kid from my class today who is graduating next week and he seemed pretty okay with the situation, even in spite of his lack of a job. Good for him.
All I have left school wise is a paper discussing what I would do, hypothetically, if given $100,000 to start a record label. What a fantastic final. I haven't exactly figured it out yet (it's not due til Wednesday, so naturally haven't started it) but it's gonna be pretty spectacular let me tell you. The best idea I heard from my class was one kid is spending all his money on a kick-ass RV and some recording equipment. He'd drive around the country and pick up some locals to record and distribute via the internet. I like it.
I feel as though I've been neglectiing the real 'music' part of this whole blog type deal, so I'm offering up some mp3 for you all to enjoy. Once I get this next issue out I'm returning back to my new band of the day. I swear. I've been bombarded with great new music, it would only be fair to share some of the love. But for today, I offer a nice selection.
First, a little preview of June 2's awesome show. You better have marked your calendars by now. (right click, save as)
Dave Lear - Please Mr. Sunshine
This Radiant Boy - I Miss Ole' Miss
Rockets & Cars - The Protest
The GoStation - Another Day
And these, because I love you.
Honorary Title - Bridge & Tunnel
Country Club - Over Inflated Clown Balloon
The Shapes - Overflow
Posted by Rachael at 7:57 PM
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Oh yes, a couple more days and this whole school business will be out of the way and I can concentrate on this next issue of the magazine. Speaking of, we have confirmed our four acts for the June 2 show. There may be a fifth added next week, we'll see...but for now, this show is rocking and I cannot wait to see you all there, when I will finally FINALLY be able to order a drink without a worry.
June 2: Underrated Magazine's Issue 6 Release Party
Tribeca Rock Club
This Radiant Boy
Rockets & Cars
Be there, or be square!
Okay, so last night was an interesting show at the Bowery. I missed both openers while I enjoyed some good old Magic Hat #9 with my good friend Mikey who came all the way out from Jersey to join me at the show. I'm finding it hard to pester my friends to come out to shows with me on weekdays, especially during finals. What is wrong with them? My god.
So we arrived just before Louis XIV took to the stage. I headed upstairs to my usual location behind the sound guys and yet found myself not able to get this post out of my head. Not gonna lie, it creeped me out. Yes, I felt pretty bad-ass listening to their latest album walking down the street, but being there I felt dirty, skeevy even.
Beyond the strange dance moves that included a lot of kicking and bending, beyond the constant raising of the arms after strumming the guitar, and even beyond the spitting into the audience, I would say that these guys put on a good set. I especially enjoyed some of the older, acoustic numbers that they played that I hadn't heard before. I think "The Hunt" was a highlight for me. However, all I wanted to hear was "All The Little Pieces" live, and they didn't play it. Boo.
What I did notice is that this band knows how to get a crowd dancing, especially in New York, and even to the point that the girl next to me almost fell over the glass divider into the sound guys. Speaking of, Louis XIV had the most talented lighting guy I have ever seen. If you were at the show and noticed how synched up the lights were to the music, you should have seen this guy in action. It was like he was playing the keyboards with all the buttons. I found myself more entranced by him, than the actual show. Oh well. I got rid of a nice stack of magazines after the show, attempting to mask myself as one of those annoying distributors after shows that I've always hated. What goes around comes around.
And now for something, completely different...
A joke to brighten your rainy Wednesday, as told to me via the internet from Sara, located in good ol London:
Sara: hahaha I have a joke for you
Rachael: go for it
Sara: what did sushi A say to sushi B
Rachael: I do not know
Rachael: that is genius
Posted by Rachael at 10:52 AM
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Quick post as I am in the middle of writing an article for the first time on something other than music, and it turns out its all about wine. Should be easier, except when I look at all my notes, they turn out to be a bit incoherent, I wonder why. Hoping to get it in New York Times in time for father's day (it's a first person essay about my father's obsession with wine) so wish me luck.
First let me make clear -- I’m okay. I've found that in the past few weeks everyone from professors, to friends, to acquaintances, to the security guard at my office keeps asking me if I'm okay. I'm either exuding pessimism or I look completely crazy. But trust me, I'm okay. It's just that time when I get a little bit stressed, but you know I live for this kind of pressure. So no need to worry, I'm quite happy the majority of the time, I swear.
I only made it to one of the three shows last night. I was scrambling to finish up some notes and various articles, so it was a nice outing. I walked past Arlene's Grocery to check out Last Week and noticed all the 14-year-old girls screaming, and knew I didn't want that kind of environment tonight. Made it to the wonderful El Jezel who played a rocking Monday night show, debuting a bunch of new songs from their recent recordings that should be out next month. The Mando Diao show was sold out, and I didn't get hold of the publicist until after El Jezel when I had already had my pint and was yawning (sadly it was only 10 o'clock, but I was exhausted.) She told me she'd hook me up for their date at Bowery next month, so I'm looking forward to that.
Another night, another show, I'll be heading around the corner to check out Louis XIV with Nic Armstrong at Bowery. Pictures and re-cap tomorrow.
Hey what's that? Is that the sun I see out? See, I told you I'm optimistic.
Posted by Rachael at 12:06 PM
Monday, April 25, 2005
Yeah, I realize there are a number of typos and poor grammar in that post below. I'm shocked I can even write anymore. I feel like I'm constantly looking for words that I don't know what they mean, and I should just ditch it all and head to a deserted island. In fact, I was discussing with a friend earlier what we would do if we were given one million dollars at that exact second. He said he would pay off his professors and then go skiing. I decided I would first pay off my credit card bills, then head to a record store and buy hundreds of albums, load them on my iPod and head to Fiji. I'd sit on the beach with my headphones and my new blackbery so I could still harbor my e-mail addiction. Ah, to dream.
Tonight I'll be show hopping, see if you can catch me.
El Jezel at Luna Lounge, FREE, at 8:30 PM
Last Week at Arlenes Grocery, CD release party, 7:30 PM.
Mando Diaowith The Comas at Mercury Lounge, 9:00 PM, sold out.
Posted by Rachael at 4:11 PM
"That show changed my life."
As I walked down the stairs on Saturday, an older gentlemen behind me made that ironic joke. Oddly no one else shared in his humor except for my chuckle. It got me thinking.
I vowed I wouldn't make my final conclusion of my weekend with The Shins until I experienced their show for the second time. It turned out that it all depends on who you are with that can make or break a show.
Let us start from the beginning (it's a very good place to start), but I promise I will not make this some long commentary on pop culture meets indie rock. And I am not one to bring a pompous attitude to music by saying I liked the band pre-Garden State. Okay, so I did, but that's not the point. I have a special relationship with The Shins (the kind where you don't actually know the band, but you feel like you know them through their music. Okay, I'm digressing. I was introduced to The Shins in one of the high-points of my life, when I was interviewing Ryan Miller of my favorite band Guster. Because I wanted to be the coolest person in Miller's eyes, and basically have something to talk about besides my adoration for his band next time when I would meet him, I felt inclined to surround myself with this band that named themselves after a forgotten and sometimes painful part of the human body. So I did, and I fell in love immediately. It was creative. It was catchy. It was wonderful. Listening to The Shins was like finding that warm and fuzzy place inside that I wouldn't swear to never let go of.
Okay, so the Garden State happened and everyone and their mother started to hear about The Shins (okay, a bit exaggerated, I know) and like every indie-snob that I hate, I became jealous. It's a terrible thing when a band you really like becomes popular, because you are torn between your possessive love, and your wish for their success. But they were not top 40 or all over MTV, yet, so two nights at Webster, I will willing to finally come out of my shell and see them live for the first time.
Night #1 I was on the press list, and so Liz and I were given VIP passes. We had no idea what they gave us (all we wanted were free drinks) but it led us to a sectioned off area upstairs with a good view, so we were satisfied. The Brunettes wowed us and we were giddy from pure exposure, and while Liz was not nearly as excited as I was to see The Shins, things were on its way. I still could not get over the fact that they had sold out three nights at Webster, and knew this wouldn't have happened so quickly if it wasn't for Mr. Zach Braff, but again, I'm not bitter. I wished them all the best.
So it was finally time for The Shins and Liz and I had moved over to the side of the stage to try and get a view. No luck. People were pushing and groping, and we were just not about to have anything to do with that. So we gladly stepped back, tilted our head to the screen in front of us, while I tried standing on my tippy toes just to get a peek.
Now I know everyone claims New Yorkers are obnoxious but I never believed it until this night. Perhaps it was because we were in that so-called VIP section, but my god! People would do anything to get in front of you, never hearing of the world "excuse me" and felt it was funny to jump up and down knocking into your camera without apologizing. This is The Shins people, not some Kentucky Derby.
Night #2, I was a regular old Shins fan, picked up my purchased tickets and headed in with Jenn. I was pleasantly surprised with a wrist band even after showing my real ID (that has to mean I'm almost there). We walked into the doors to find The Brunettes already on stage, and a packed crowd. We leaned up against the wall towards the side of the stage and I warned Jenn of the freaky Olsen masks. This time Marty and (I think?) James joined them with the weird tribute. Still weirded out, but beginning to come to terms with it.
So The Shins, both nights played solid sets. If I had to pick one, I'd obviously pick the second night because I was in the company of normal (and when I say normal, I mean civil) people, and the crowd just felt more excited to actually be there and listen to the music. They played basically the same songs each night, but in a different order. Highlight for me was "Pink Bullets" and an oldie, "We Built A Raft and Floated It." Although, I don't think there is a Shins song that I wouldn't have loved to hear. I wish they would have played "Weird Divide." I would have loved to have heard that live.
On my walk home in the rain for the second night in a row I reflected on what was bothering me. Why was I not on a naturally high from just seeing The Shins play two nights in a row? A friend of mine months back kept warning me about seeing them live. According to her, they were shitty live, but I wouldn't dare to go that far. They were great performers and James's voice is unreal. What I've decided is that for me at least, I enjoy The Shins on a personal level. It's not that I don't like sharing them with the world, because I recommend this band to everyone I know, but when I listen to them, I prefer to be completely surrounded by their sound, opposed to 14 year olds screaming in my ear, or the constant echo at Webster.
Would I see them again tonight if I had tickets? Absolutely. Do I prefer to listen to them on iPod, yes. But for the record, the ideal experience would having them come to my tiny apartment and play for me. So if you can hook that up for me, let me know and you'll be invited.
As long as you behave.
Posted by Rachael at 1:41 PM
Sunday, April 24, 2005
I'm going to preface this blog and the next with the following statement: I love The Shins. I am going to refrain from speaking about last night's show until after I see them again tonight, for reasons I will discuss later. Nothing big, I just need to check things out for a second time. (I knew it was worth spending the cash for tickets.)
Okay, but let me tell you about the openers, The Brunettes. These New Zealanders were the most fun I have ever had watching a band. There were seven, yes seven of them. The way they were set up on stage it went (from left to right) rock band, female keyboardist, marching band. But oh do they know how to write catchy songs that got the whole crowd dancing. They were so happy on stage, I wanted to run up and give them a hug. Then I turned to Liz and told her that I want to be in The Brunettes. I think I would die of pure giddiness.
Okay, there was one thing that freaked me out just a little. See photo below. Yes that is a Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen mask that all of them donned up on stage while singing a song about my fellow classmates. Weird. But funny.
Complete wrap-up of The Shins tomorrow. Why am I still in front of my computer? I gotta go!
Posted by Rachael at 8:02 PM
Saturday, April 23, 2005
From CNN: E-mails 'hurt IQ more than pot'
Wow. So the fact that I'm saving up to purchase a Blackberry can't be good. My senior year and first two years of college spent in a haze couldn't have helped. And the fact that I went from hungover to drunk in a matter of 20 minutes this morning should be icing on the cake.
No wonder I'm so tired all the time. And I think I'm getting sick, again.
Posted by Rachael at 3:52 PM
Friday, April 22, 2005
With all the things in the world I have to do in the next two weeks, I've been quite unproductive for a Friday off of work. And for my fellow unproductive friend Josh, here is a sampling of The French Kicks for your listening pleasure.
You are welcome Josh-U-A.
Posted by Rachael at 6:50 PM
Oh no. I had every intention of checking out Five O'Clock Heroes and Downtown at Piano’s last night, I swear. It was the first Thursday in a long time that I could go out and drink (and drink) with the luxury of enjoying the hangover at my apartment instead of the office. So it was quite a surprise when my roommate woke me up on the couch (when had I fallen asleep?) I was disorientated. I didn't know what day or time it was, or how I had gotten there. She told me to go to sleep. I agreed. I woke up at 3:30 this morning fully dressed, contacts still in, and realizing the error of my ways. I think I fell asleep at 8:30. How did I end up an old lady?
Alas, the weekend is shaping up to be one full of a lot of work, some sleep, and The Shins!! I'll be heading to Webster both nights (I figured I got one night on the list, I can shell out the cash for a second) How do I love The Shins? You'll find out after the shows when I will be gushing, and gushing, I'm sure.
Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of meeting John Leland, author of the fantastically addicting novel, Hip. If you haven't heard of this novel, well then, you surely are not hip. Just kidding. He was completely refreshing, and not pompous at all (and he's a former rock critic!)-- just the type of person who should writing about the origins of culture.
Good News! I think I've got my next editorial. I'd share, but then it would ruin the surprise. Think Hip. Think labels. Think The Bravery. New York. And it may all start with a regular walk home.
I'm helping out the ever so enjoyable band A Brief Smile with their next show at The Knitting Factory on May 7. You should be there.
Young boys with guitars? Free magazine giveaways? What more could you ask for. I'll remind you, don't worry.
Monday will either be a very happy day, or a "stay away from Rachael day," depending on some up-coming news. So, I'm going to enjoy the weekend while I can. Ta Ta for now.
Posted by Rachael at 10:05 AM
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
I just found out my super hip uncle in Ireland hooked me up with free tickets to this year's Oxegen Music Festival in the land of green.
On the lineup:
-Queens Of The Stone Age
-Jimmy Eat World
-LCD Sound System
-Death in Vegas
-Super Furry Animals
Wow. I don't think I could be anymore excited. July 9 & 10 -- why aren't you coming too?
Posted by Rachael at 9:27 AM
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
It's that time again, when Rachael needs to remember to do breathing exercises, get at least 1 hour of sleep a night, and try not to smoke too many cigarettes. Yes, it's called deadlines.
I was almost on the brink of a nervous breakdown today. Everything is just winding down with school, work, and the magazine. The weather is nice, but I can't enjoy it because I have too much to do. My apartment looks like a bomb hit it, with CDs, clothes, boxes all strewn about. Oh yeah, Time Warner thought it was funny to cut off our internet again, which only causes me more anxiety knowing there are emails piling up that I can not answer. And then there's that goddamn mouse (we’ll call him Mickey) that will not take the hint and leave.
And then there was this sort-of feud that came to light yesterday, that I swore to my closest friends I wouldn't expose. At first it was funny, then inspiring, but now I'm sort of upset. But I promised; so let's hope it doesn't really exist.
But things got delightfully better. I am always a nervous wreck before interviews, because part of me is still than young girl wanting to meet that band that she's been listening to and impress them with her musical knowledge that she really doesn't have. And group interviews terrify me. It also didn't help that Matt of The GoStation confided in me weeks ago what he hated about interviews and how it needs to be organic. Great. Now I had that much more to prove.
Luckily, the interview went quite well. It turned out to be that conversation that journalists strive to achieve while still getting the basic facts in order to formulate the story. And afterwards I got my own private show, which was a first for me, and pretty damn cool. With a taxi ride back into Manhattan from Brooklyn, I was up my stairs, said hi to Mickey (he's hiding now, figures) and began sifting through the emails. Turns out someone at CMJ likes my little 'zine and wants to know if I'd like to contribute. I didn't know how to say YES any faster.
So I'm breathing a little easier for the time being. Sleep is questionable. Blogging may be a little less insightful, or at least cheerful for the next couple weeks.
But I promise, once this next issue is out I will be swigging, smiling, and singing my heart out. And it will all be legal.
Posted by Rachael at 11:39 PM
Monday, April 18, 2005
So we don't have to say goodbye to another friend...
Pledge to save Arrested Development.
I know it has nothing to do with music, but so what! Link thanks to AD fan who is praying for the show's return all the way in London, Conor. And yes, it will pay to be optimistic.
Posted by Rachael at 10:31 AM
Sunday, April 17, 2005
It was a sad and unfortunate weekend for many reasons. Friday I was so concerned that I had to be a million places all at once, that when I fell asleep at 9 PM, I knew the weekend was to be a sham. A chest cold ensued, I was asleep every hour, and watched the entire season of Freaks & Geeks for the millionth time. My cable and internet went out for 6 hours on Sunday causing a near nervous breakdown from yours truly. I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a technology junkie.
And then, I said goodbye to a dear friend of mine. My cough filled interview with the very cool Dave Lear was the last my prized notebook will see. That green pal of mine has been with me since the beginning...well, since the summer before senior year of high school when I took my first journalism class at NYU. It's seen the best of times (interview with Ryan Miller of Guster as one) to the worst of times (high school hazing article) and a lot of doodles in between. I never thought I'd see the last page of it. Let's all have a moment of silence for my friend, the notebook.
You will be missed.
Posted by Rachael at 11:33 PM
Friday, April 15, 2005
Some links and news to get you through the weekend...
Shows this Weekend...
Ambulance Ltd / Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at North Six
The Walkup at Crash Mansion
Bishop Allen at CBGBs
Marwood at Mercury Lounge
Of Montreal at Northsix
Aloud at Don Hill's
The GoStation at Pianos
And special birthday shout-outs to Ashley (the roomie turns 21) and Dave (the boy Liz will have her family of dogs and cats with).
Enjoy the weekend!
Posted by Rachael at 4:18 PM
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Once upon a time there was this group of friends that came out of the deep dirt of suburban high school life and formed what would be an eclectic hogwash of good times. Who would have thought that as time went on that this group would stay as close, if not closer, while spread across college campuses, houses, and even continents.
A couple weeks ago my good friend Josh told me on the phone (after I told him I couldn't come down to DC for the weekend for the 3rd time this year) that I was putting the magazine/bands/shows above my friends. So it got me thinking about whether my priorities were straight and if I had been alienating those closest to me. And then I said fuck that, they can come up to NYC and go to all these shows with me, and then I don't think they will be too upset. But in light of all these wonderful emails that we all have been sending to each other lately, I thought I would take the time to work on a little present with the only resources I have to say that my priorities are still in check.
The Usual then:
The Usual now:
For all of those that have no idea who or what I am talking about, don't fret. I haven't lost my focus, and I think all will enjoy this little gift called music sharing. I just wanted to add a personal touch to those crazy folks I call my friends. You all now how much I love making mixes, so without further adieu, A Very Usual Mix (and for you dumbasses, you know who you are, right click and save as to keep on your computer. It's free!)...
Bloc Party - Banquet (Dance Remix)
Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot
Hot Hot Heat - Goodnight Goodnight
Mando Diao - Ringing Bells
Athlete -Vehicles & Animals
The French Kicks - The Trial of the Century
Low - California
The Secret Machines - Nowhere Again
Ben Folds - Jesusland
Hidden In Plain View- Bleed For You
Snow Patrol- Same
Heath Brandon- Billie Jean
Dave Lear - Pretty Head
The Decemberists - The Engine Driver
So there you have it my friends, I hope you all enjoyed my musical appreciation of The U. I miss you all terribly and can't wait to see you all this summer when we all convene back in the USA. Until then..
Posted by Rachael at 3:23 PM
on a Wednesday night when I have class at 8 am the next morning. Here I am, 5:30 in the morning trying to finish my work and remember the show last night. I think it was good. I know I enjoyed myself a little bit too much. Let's see... oh yeah! M-Lab were awesome, and contrary to popular belief, the drummer was so nice. Lana and I talked to him after the show and gave a copy of the magazine away. I kept looking over at it in his back pocket for the rest of the night and I think that made me happy. What else? I think I remember DL of A Brief Smile telling me they had a bad show, but I can't remember why. I do remember running into someone from my highschool while waiting on line for the bathroom...weird. Oh and Aberdeen City packed Pianos and rightfully so.
I know I managed to get lost on the 4 block walk home and broke my bag. Here's some pictures...
A Brief Smile:
I need water.
Posted by Rachael at 5:33 AM
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
It was brought to my attention last weekend by the future NYUer, Seth Kallen that the school's daily newspaper staff reviewed albums from NYU musicians. Awkwardly titled, "Face The Music" the "feature" by the WSN "staff" pretty much put down every artist featured. With such scintillating comments like "expected Pixies rip-offs one might expect from the hipster-leaning NYU crowd" and "can see this five-song demo living in the glove compartment of many a Grand Caravan," I ended up laughing at the staff, rather than the artists. Like many a NYUer, they think they are better than the masses, know more than everyone else, and finds the need to prove that by making stupid comments to put others down. And this especially happens with music. They invite NYU bands to submit their albums, and then act all elitist. They're too lazy to actually go out and find those many a talented NYU bands that would rather be caught dead than be called an NYU band or reviewed by the WSN staff.
For a great show by my favorite non-NYU band that happens to attend the school, check out A Brief Smile tonight at Pianos when they open up for Aberdeen City. They, luckily, were not featured in that groundbreaking article.
Posted by Rachael at 5:07 PM
Liz and I were beyond thrilled to attend the DIG! DVD release party last night. Even though are nerves were at an all-time high waiting outside Rothko, within minutes we were inside sipping on the free Heinekens. I searched around for some of the film's stars. Obviously Anton wouldn't be there, but I hoped that perhaps I might run into my favorite BJM member Joel. But alas, it was early. The night was still young.
After our first free drink, they apparently ran out, so Liz and I shelled out the $6 for another beer and ventured our way through the crowded club up to the front for Issue 5 feature, Hopewell. Jason and the rest of the band were on fire causing Liz at one point to turn to me and drop her jaw. Yes, I told her...they are that good. The band played a couple songs off of their new (and might I add quite enjoyable) album Birds of The Appetite. And the highlight of the entire night was definitely "Calcutta," that song rocks the boots off of anyone in its way.
So after Hopewell, we headed back to find a way to smoke a cigarette. As we're making our way through the hot and sweaty (and might I add smelly) crowd, I saw him. Yes, Mr. Courtney Taylor from The Dandy's. He was coming toward us, so I turned to Liz and pointed ahead. Perhaps too many beers, perhaps it's just Liz, but she made for my favorite moment of the night.
As we passed by Mr. Dandy, Liz screams into his ear, "You're GREAT!" Mr. Dandy replied, just as loud, and rather oddly, "Whyyyy?" Don't ask. I didn't. I just touched his arm so I could say I touched Courtney Taylor. Yeah, I'm that cool.
And it was only downhill from there. Courtney and Brent DeBoer from The Dandy's played an acoustic set that was nothing short of disappointing. For the first song, people in the crowd actually had to shush everyone around them, partly because you couldn't hear or understand what Courtney was singing, and partly because no one even knew they were playing. Song after song sounded exactly the same. They even butchered two Beatles songs, slowing them down and mumbling the words. Come on Courtney, you know you are better than that. They ended with a BJM cover in which Anton would have surely started a fight over. I like acoustic sets. I like the Dandys. But that had to be the worst performance I had ever seen.
I scored a DIG! poster and matches and then needed some air. I guess Courtney himself was questioning his own greatness that night.
Posted by Rachael at 12:17 PM
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
So ordinarily I wouldn't waste a post on celebrity sightings. I currently see that one Olsen every Tuesday outside one of our school's buildings. I'm always smoking a cigarette and notice a big black SUV that has a parking permit with a California license plate. There’s a big guy in the front who picks up his walkie-talkie at approximately 3:20 PM and then in a matter of seconds one of them comes out, followed by another big guy. It's not that exciting besides the realization and surprise that someone that small actually exists. I swear, it's not human.
But let me back-track to earlier today, as I had the absolute joy and pleasure meeting with Allisa Levin, the genius graphic designer who created her own company, Point Five Design. She was kind enough to sit down with me for about an hour (thanks to my favorite professor) and talk about the magazine. Ordinarily I don't like talking about myself, but when it comes to the magazine, you can't shut me up. She gave me some invaluable advice about layout, and I'm thrilled to work on this next issue. She also told me I could call her anytime for advice/help. I don't think she knows what she is getting herself into. (Ahem, 4 AM freak outs, perhaps)
So I get to class later in the day, have my Olsen sighting, this time in the stairs going up. I suppose she was a little late, or I was early. Who cares. Class was class, I'm walking outside chatting with Jocelyn about my stalker tendencies and whether it was okay when who do I see across the street, none other than Danny Masterson.
Now let me preface this by how much I do love Danny Masterson. Not only is he part of the hysterical That 70's Show as my favorite, quick witted, stoner (seems like an oxymoron, but he pulls it off) but he also has the amazing radio show on the amazing Indie 103.1 that I am a huge fan of.
So I see him across Broadway and I turn to Jocelyn and tell her that’s Danny Masterson and start telling her about my love. Good old Jocelyn proceeds to scream out, above all the weirdos camped outside Best Buy to See Mariah Carey, "Danny Masterson, Rachael loves you!" He turned around and waved. I waved. We had our moment.
Normally, I would have freaked out, walked away and called every person I know. But somehow, lord knows I don't know where it came from, but I suddenly had the balls to walk up to him. By this time he had gotten into a black SUV (I'm seeing a trend here) and yet that didn't stop me. Our conversation, word for word, as follows:
Me: Hey! I listen to your radio show.
Danny: Oh yeah? That’s cool. How?
Me: Online. I love all the same music.
Danny: Nice. I'm Danny. (puts out his hand)
Me: I'm Rachael. I have this independent music magazine here in New York.
Danny: Oh yeah? You should do a story on us.
Me: I would love to.
Danny: What's it called?
Me: Underrated. We have a website, you can check it out online.
Danny: Cool name. I will. You can go on our webpage and me and Brent's email address is on it. Just shoot us an email and mention you met me in NY and we'll do an interview.
Me: Wow. Okay I will.
Danny: Nice to meet you.
Me: You too.
As I walked away, I then freaked out, and called everyone I knew. So maybe look for a story on my new lover, Danny Masterson, in a future issue.
Speaking of, THE MAGAZINES ARRIVED! As if my day couldn't have gotten any sweeter, I hopped on the subway down my dad's office where he had brought in 60 or so copies of the magazine that were shipped to my house in Jersey. It was love at first sight. I could not be more thrilled at how they look, and to be honest I'm a little obsessed. I keep pressing my hands on the nice shiny paper and I am in awe.
How did all this happen?
Tonight I will be heading over to Rothko for the DIG! DVD release party. I'll be there, gushing over the film, drinking the free Heineken, and stalking Courtney of The Dandy Warhols. That is, of course, if they accept my ID. Let's hope this day's pure luck will continue.
Posted by Rachael at 7:08 PM
Monday, April 11, 2005
My wonderful roommate (psychologist extraordinaire) did a mock therapy session with me last night for a half hour that felt like a train-wreck that lasted 16 years. Besides both of us realizing that I am a control freak, addict driven, hopeless romantic, I found that most of the time I'm living in this completely different world from the rest of society. Before you get the straight jacket out (roommate considered it for a second), let me explain. I border on the fine line of overly ambitious and utterly scared. Many things excite me; I become overly excited to the point that I forget why I was excited in the first place. And when it comes to music, that's where all hell breaks loose.
While I was home over the weekend, I was driving with my brother and his new girlfriend to dinner. My brother was one of the first people that really introduced me to the whole underground music scene. He has always been big into the punk/emo scene and would play me Blink 182 before they ever made it onto MTV, and bands like NOFX, Big Wig, etc. He was always in some band growing up, and I always had high hopes that he would make it some day. But unfortunately he's become quite the sell-out lately, entering into Corporate America and putting his rock star dreams on hold. But needless to say, I respect his musical opinions.
For the past few weeks, I have been listening to the new The Upwelling songs non-stop (note, addict behavior, yes). When it comes to this band, I was almost too excited from the very beginning, and it hasn't really stopped since. And with these new songs, I seriously cannot go a day without listening to them. I can't imagine that's healthy...or normal. And I had been thinking of whether after all this time I have put this band on a higher pedestal than really deserved. I know they are good, but are they really as good as I make them out to be? The war in my head continued, and I figured there wasn't a better person to put to the test than my dear older brother.
Now because his girlfriend was in the car, I had the opportunity to throw out "Hey, can we listen to this one song?" I would usually be punched or laughed at if I ever tried to touch his stereo. But I saw my window of opportunity and went with it. I had told my brother about The Upwelling, but he had never actually heard any of their songs.
I watched carefully while singing along in my head, trying not to sway their decision or opinions. "Sam" came on and my brother started moving his head. "In Your Arms" continued without the break (thank god for that) and he really started to get into it. We listened to the whole EP. I swear on my life that I have never had that much control of my brother's car before. It was remarkable.
He was most concerned with their recording process, as I had told him earlier that it was all recorded in a basement in Brooklyn. "How many mics did they use? Where did they get them? What program did they use?" There were a lot of questions, some of which I didn't have the answer to. But I asked my own question as well.
"So Neil, what did you think?"
"Really good. Who are these guys again?"
I repeated their name.
"Burn me the CD."
"Can I put on another CD? I have tons of stuff that you would love. I've been getting new stuff every day." I began flipping through my CD booklet, beaming, and yet realizing I had pressed my luck. He plugged in his iPod and began flipping around. Alas, some things never change.
"Some other time, Rach. Some other time."
You can't win every battle, and yet history had been made. I wasn't crazy, my excitement has justification, and I had impressed my musical guru. For that, I considered it quite the success.
[Ed Note: For all you New Yorkers, The Upwelling will make their first TV appearance on Manhattan's Fearless Music. The show airs at 8:30 PM on Time Warner Cable channel 35. Also performing on the show will be Elkland, Metric, Go To Town, The Shore, Benzos, Bamboo Kids, and Gogol Bordello.]
Posted by Rachael at 1:02 PM
Saturday, April 9, 2005
I wrote a whole long recap of my day yesterday, and then it dissapeared. So, this is the quick version, as I have to hop on a train back to Jersey in a half hour and my apartment looks like a bomb hit it.
Okay, so Thursday sucked, but yesterday was incredible. Today, the sun is out, it's a beautiful day in NYC, so things look to be on the up.
Ondi Tinomer is a genius. You are probably sick of me talking about DIG!, but I can't help it. It's constantly on my mind. So I had my first "real" celebrity interview yesterday (you know, on a press junket, interview in the hotel room, only had a half hour). But Ms. Tinomer was inspirational, extremely sweet, and very open....to the point of breast feeding her son during our chat. Can't say that's ever happened to me before. I won't go into great detail on what we talked about because you can read Georgia's article in the next issue, but she did give us some insider scoop -- she no longer speaks to Anton of the Brian Jonestown Massacre (he apparently wasn't a fan of the film, I wonder why), she's listening to a lot of reggae music in preparation for a new documentary on the Jamacian music scene, and she hangs with the Dandy's on a regular basis.
I did manage to get that autograph on my DVD. I felt like a tool, but she was nice about it.
After the interview I met up with Liz for Seth Kallen's show at The Alphabet Lounge. (Sidenote - first time using the newly aquired expired ID of a friend, and it worked.)
Kallen's song are easily likeable and radio ready. He's that singer/songwriter with the pop/rock/folk that you can't help but like. He sings about heartbreak, love, and life. He's only 18! I met up with Kallen today for coffee after his NYU orientation this morning. From his debut CD I found out this boy knows how to write songs. From his show last night, he's quite the performer. And today, I find he's super nice. But boy, did I feel old.
Seth Kallen - Losing Control (right click, save as)
Posted by Rachael at 3:45 PM
Friday, April 8, 2005
Yesterday was a little bit rough, but as they say: every day is the first day of the rest of your life. So I take on that mantra, and wake up each day with a fresh state of mind. And come on, it's finally Friday. You can't get any better than that.
So okay, I've got a long day at work and won't step back into my (hopefully) mouse free apartment until late tonight, but that’s okay. Because right now I'm listening to KEXP's week in NY at the Museum of TV & Radio. The week has featured fantastic acts such as The Fiery Furnances, Dutch Kills, Phoneix, et al. I just listened to the wonderfully talented Tori Amos and am waiting in anticipation for my favorite French Kicks. They are on at 12 PM, and I am so tempted to skip out of work and walk a couple avenues over to watch. They claim the show is "full," but has that ever stopped me before?
So after work, I am so delighted to get to meet my latest hero, Ondi Timoner, director of DIG!(see yesterday's post.) I can already tell I'm going to be at my most freaky, tempted to bow down in appreciation (or maybe just get her to sign my DVD, we'll see.)
I am then heading downtown to catch future classmate, Seth Kallen play his first NYC show at The Alphabet Lounge.
Tomorrow I head back to Jersey to spend quality time with Irish relatives that are in for the week. If you are in town, check out The English Department at Mercury Lounge.
Here's to better days.
Posted by Rachael at 10:58 AM
Thursday, April 7, 2005
Wow. If there's one thing you do with your life, see the film DIG!.
I don't know really what to say except for the fact that I am completely blown away and inspired at the same time. This does happen a lot for me. I'm a big picture person, and when I see creative things done I am put on this other planet where I can see how everything falls into place. I'm beginning to get prolific, let me start from the beginning.
I received the advance copy of the DVD yesterday from one of the few publicists that I can stand. Kip from Magnum PR is a doll. Anyways, I left class early, watched the episode of Lost (even though I'm still weeks behind), and after reading over Liz's latest profile, popped in the DVD.
From the first few minutes I knew this was going to be great. Okay, so I knew it was going to be great months ago when I heard all the buzz. Why I hadn't gone to see this film in the theaters is beyond me. It's funny because the same thing happened with Almost Famous. No one would go see it with me, so when the DVD came out I immediately bought it, knowing it would be fantastic. And it was. And I got that same warm fuzzy feeling inside watching DIG!.
If you haven't seen the film, I won't give it all away but the premise is two bands, friends from the beginning, one takes the big record deal, the other tries to do it themselves. It's a story seven years in the making but the wonderful director Ondi Timoner, who I just have the utmost respect for. But we'll get to that later.
So I'm watching the film, and all of a sudden I see something scrambling on the floor in my kitchen. A mouse. I closed my eyes for a minute and cringed, turned off the film (regrettably), grabbed my keys, and was out of there. My mission: get drunk enough that I don't remember that I have an extra friend staying for the night.
Yet as soon as I got home, I wanted to watch the rest. It's like a drug, this film, you can't stop watching it through all the misery and fighting. So I sat back down on my couch, pressed play, and before I knew it was 5:30 in the morning, I was awake (fully dressed and with contacts still in) on the couch. The movie was over! I definitely had missed a good portion.
So at 6 AM, I started it over. at 10 AM, I watched it again. In my drunken stupor last night I remember telling Liz about how much I respected this director, and how I could relate to her vision. Her quest was to show art vs. commerce from the story of these two but through her eyes. God, I cannot wait to meet her and shake her hand. Sometimes I need things like this, people like her, to remind me and show me the way. Everyday I feel like I'm getting closer to my big picture.
So in light of this new inspiration, I've got it. I want to be a rock documentarian with a pen. I want to write in a way that I show who these people are, and in doing so, comment on musical history. Journalists, critics: stop judging the music. You are missing out on what's really going on. There are these people out there that are trying to do something different, change the world, one note at a time. I don't want to sit in my room and just listen to records all day and try to convince you that I'm some expert. No way man. I'm going to go out there and tell you who these people are.
No, I'm not like Anton Newcombe, I don't think I'm God. But I am on a journey, and with films like this, I feel like there is a way.
Watch the DIG! preview here. DVD is released 4/12/05.
Posted by Rachael at 12:28 PM
Wednesday, April 6, 2005
Who's gullible? I am, I am!
Whenever I'm singing along to a song, my brother turns to me and says, "Hey Rach, who sings this song?" I get really excited and go into a ten minute spiel about who the artist is, usually giving a brief bio, and then my further opinion of the song/band/music industry/life in general. He then proceeds to say, "Let's keep it that way." Ha. I get it. And yet everytime I still fall for it.
So disregard my post regarding the new Guster album. It was, as it turns out, an April Fools joke that clearly went over my head. They do have a new album coming out sometime this fall, but not a country album. Those Guster boys are always pulling a fast one on me.
Perhaps it could be my usual lack of sleep. I was in vacation mode for too long. Ten days in Florence and then two weeks off of work felt like Christmas. But school is winding down, this next issue is starting to come together to coincide with the show that has to be planned. Therefore, headaches ensue.
I'm not one to usually get stressed. If I didn't have the magazine I wouldn't know what to do with myself on a daily basis. Plus, we have a great issue coming up. I'll be interviewing Nic Haracourt of the fantastic LA radio show, Sounds Eclectic, future NYU-er and star with a guitar Seth Kallen, Georgia rocksters Snowden, as well as NYC's own Dave Lear and GoStation. And those are just my articles. There's so much more. I set Georgia up for an interview with DIG!'s director Ondi Timoner. As I am finishing up this post, the advance copy of the DVD just arrived. 2-disc special edition! So now when I am awake at 3:30 in the morning making to-do lists in my head, I'll have something to entertain me.
So stress schmess. It's all in good fun.
Posted by Rachael at 1:26 PM
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
I had a rough time coming up with the title for today. First it was going to simple, March Mixtape, but then I realized that it is, in fact, April. Then I'm like okay...mixtape mixtape, I'm thinking alliteration, how about Monday Mixtape Madness. Wrong again. It's Tuesday. I'm all sorts of confused today.
Drinking heavily on a Monday night = fantastic.
Waking up Tuesday morning at 7:00 AM to wait on line to register for a class that you don't even get = torture.
However the beautiful sunshine makes it all okay. Matt also stopped by to hand deliever the new GoStation EP with his adorable puppy (not so much a puppy anymore, but all dogs are puppies to me), so my addiction for new music has been satisfied for today. And without further interruption, I give you my latest mix. It would have been nice for me to link all of these to MP3's, huh? Yeah, I'm not that cool. Enjoy.
Since U Been Gone/Maps - Ted Leo
Thinking of a Dream I Had - The Walkmen
Falling - The Comas
Might Be Easy - Dave Lear
I Want You To Stay - Maximo Park
Airport Motels - Crystal Skulls
Some People - Codachrome
Engine Driver - The Decemberists
Beautiful - Moby
King of The Rodeo - Kings of Leon
Blow It Out - The Features
Everyday I Love You Less and Less - Kaiser Chiefs
Moscow - Colored Shadows
First Day Of My Life - Bright Eyes
Nowhere Again - The Secret Machines
River (Depot Song) - Longwave
This Boy Is Exhausted - The Wrens
Here Comes Everybody - Autolux
All The Little Pieces - Louis XIV
Girl - Beck
Barrio Superstario - Pilot To Gunner
Dirty Mouth - Hot Hot Heat
Oh Fine - French Kicks
Spelling - PS
Walking With A Ghost - Tegan And Sara
Crown of Love - Arcade Fire
Primitive - Ambulance Ltd
C'mon - The GoStation
The One That GOt Away - Great Day Coming
Collect The Diamonds - Q and Not U
One of These Days - Doves
Black Eyes - Snowden
Banquet - Bloc Party
Yeah, try and fit it on a tape. I dare you.
Posted by Rachael at 1:22 PM
Monday, April 4, 2005
Alas, it's Monday and I'm back to work. If you get distracted easily (or welcome worthlessness at your job) here are a couple links to waste some time.
1. Square One
2. What If
3. White Shadows
4. Fix You
7. Speed of Sound
8. A Message
10. The Hardest Part
11. Swallowed In The Sea
12. Twisted Logic
Okay, okay. Back to work.
Posted by Rachael at 2:25 PM
Sunday, April 3, 2005
So sometimes I'm wrong. I've been known to say that Don Hill's is my least favorite venue in the city, and I will hardly ever travel all the way over to the west side, unless there is a band that I must see. Case in point: Last night's TISWAS show featuring The GoStation, The Bon Savants, and The Walk Up.
Despite the poor sound, the dripping ceiling, and the flies swarming around, I found a new love for this venue -- they let me in without checking for an ID, served me alcohol all night, and had an open vodka bar from 10-11. Not too shabby.
Each band put on a great show. NYC's own The Walk Up was a late addition for the night's lineup and started the night off right with a big crowd and up-tempo rockster vibes. Boston's The Bon Savants was a nice surprise. The lead singer's voice was a cross between The Walkmen and The Darkness, but less intrusive. Their moody indie rock sound was well crafted and instantly likeable. And then The GoStation who are such a fun band to see each time. Matt's guitar playing is just out of this world. And the new songs that will be featured on an up-coming EP are so catchy it hurts. In a good way of course.
The Walk Up:
The Bon Savants:
Apparently it was The Bravery's record release party as well. In-between acts I felt like my iPod was stolen, playing bands like The Kaiser Cheifs, Bloc Party, The Killers, and what not. I guess that's indie-rock for you. I checked my bag to make sure they hadn't actually stolen my iPod, which they hadn't, and so I dragged my happily sloshed self back over the the East Side. I never thought I'd say this, but thank you to Don Hill's.
Posted by Rachael at 5:37 PM
Saturday, April 2, 2005
New Guster album, The Tears of San Pedro is out September 13. Country album? Eek. I'm scared, but the anticipation is bursting out of me, literally. On that note, time for some countdowns:
The Shins concert in 22 days.
Louis XIV concert in 25 days.
Last final in 30 days.
Bright Eyes concert in 49 days.
Rachael turns 21 in 60 days.
Issue Six release party in 61 days.
Rachael leaves for London in 83 days.
New Guster album in 164 days.
Whoa. I need a hobby.
Posted by Rachael at 3:22 PM
Breaking news: The first ad has been placed in Issue Six of Underrated Magazine. I won't be going bankrupt! NYCSmoke are the best! Cause to celebrate! Hand me a beer...oh wait.
As reminded from last night's obnoxious X's on both (not just one) hands, I am not legal. Georgia demonstrated the embarrassment quite well.
Why is she smiling? Well we were fortunate enough to travel to Brooklyn and attend an 18+ show featuring The Album Leaf, Blood Thirsty Lovers and The Roots of Orchids. I had no idea what to expect from any of these bands. Basically I was in need to see a show, and this was one of the few that would let me in without a struggle. What could have been a complete disaster of a night, luckily we were both pleasantly surprised.
The Roots of Orchids took the stage first for what would be the rest of the night of electronic pop meshing with rock (very technical label right there). Cool stuff. I dug it. Wasn't what I would usually listen to, but I could imagine myself chilling out to their music from time to time. I wouldn't say you would necessarily have to see them live, but these guys played musical chairs (er instruments) rotating around like crazy. The picture below is of the drummer who took to the front for a couple songs.
Next up was Blood Thirsty Lovers, and I was refreshed with some vocals and pounding guitars. I told Georgia that I'm a gal that needs to be able to sing along (even if I don't know the words.) These guys were fun for the first couple songs. I found out the lead singer was from the band The Grifters. He played one of their songs at the end on his own. But two songs in, they managed to break the microphone, piss of NorthSix, and make rude comments. I was bored. I needed a drink in my hand, dammit.
We had considered leaving, both tired and way too sober for a Friday night, but we had paid our $10 and had to at least see what The Album Leaf were all about. Never really understanding the whole electronica genre, when they began to play, I didn't know what to think. I was pleased to see two Mac laptops up there (I'm such a geek), and then there was a violin, and a guitar, and I'm just like what? But then they began to play. The lights blacked, a screen projected random patterns and visuals, and the music began. It was truly beautiful.
All in all it turned out to be a decent night. Who says you need alcohol to have fun? (Me.) Tonight, check out The GoStation tonight at Don Hill's. If you are there, buy me a drink, please. I promise I won't get you arrested.
Posted by Rachael at 1:51 PM
Friday, April 1, 2005
After a surprising day off of work (hope my boss feels better) I spent the day doing practically nothing, and I enjoyed it. Did get a chance to finally see the film Ray and thought it was fantastic. I take back all of my comments about Jamie Foxx being overly hyped. He was superb.
If you have one of those plastic things that say you are legal to booze all you want, then head on over to Luna tonight to catch Man In Gray and Unsacred Hearts. It's free, and Luna is still there, so make it there by 8pm to catch a great show.
If you are like me, an idiot who does not have the ticket to legality, you can join me at Northsix for The Album Leaf with Blood Thirsty Lovers and The Roots of Orchids. I'll be the one sipping on the diet coke. Sigh.
Posted by Rachael at 5:27 PM