Friday, September 30, 2005

We Have Sound

Tom Vek is my pick for 2005 now that it is 75% done. The album is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. Recorded in a garage, it transcends any genre you want to put it in. It's not exactly dance, it's not exactly electronic, and it's not exactly rock. It's not. Because it is Tom Vek.


  • A Little Word In Your Ear (m4a)
  • C-C (You Set The Fire In Me) (m4a)
  • Direction (m4a)
  • Cover (m4a)

  • C-C (You Set The Fire In Me) (windows media)
  • I Ain't Saying My Goodbyes (windows media)
  • If You Want (quicktime)
  • If I Had Changed My Mind (quicktime)

    Tom Vek performed on Morning Becomes Eclectic during CMJ. Listen to the incredible performance here or watch the performance here (real media).

    I've been consistently kicking myself over the past two weeks because I had the chance to interview Mr. Vek but had class. Damn.

    Close seconds: We Are Scientists, Editors, The New Pornographers, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Nightmare of You, and The Subways. I'm sure there are more, and we still have another 25% to go.

  • Wednesday, September 28, 2005

    Worth The Wait

    It's that time again. Happens every so often, basically because I like to put off everything else I have to do and sit in front of my computer and make the perfect mix. I don't think it is ever perfect, but I sure as hell enjoy it. So here you go, what I am listening to, as of late. Let me know what you like, dislike, what I should be listening to instead, etc. But nonetheless, enjoy.

  • Saints + Lovers - Like It Was Yesterday
  • The Head Set - Last Call Doll
  • Wolf Parade - Shine A Light
  • Franz Ferdinand - The Fallen
  • Beat Radio- Ancient
  • The Ravonettes - Love In A Trashcan
  • Village Green - Let It Go
  • We Are Scientists - Worth The Wait
  • Spinto Band - Crack The Whip
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Ain't No Easy Way
  • Mike Doughty - Unsignable Name
  • Morcheeba - Lighten Up
  • Alec Ounsworth - Cecil Stick With The Story
  • The Diggs - Minimum Safe Distance
  • Ryan Adams feat. Norah Jones - Dear John
  • Tom Vek - Cover
  • Cloud Cult - Living on the Outside
  • Stars - Romantic Comedy
  • Nightmare Of You - I Want To Be Buried In Your Backyard
  • Smallspace- Right Here

    Oh and for all of those who like to hear about the wonders of my "Writing About Pop Music" class (ok maybe only you, Jerry), we've been discussing The Band and their influence on culture. We've had scintillating conversations on darkness and politics in music. Everyone in my class is scared of playing anything current, because they fear it may not be considered authentic. Psha. I think I'm bringing in Bright Eyes' "When The President Talks To God." I think that has some politics in it, or so I've heard. We got into the conversation on whether or not we believe music to have educated us. Has it changed our lives? Do we now go read famous writers because a member of our favorite band said he did? I doodled in my notebook for that conversation, seemed kind of silly to me. But I did write my paper on whether my band of choice was authentic or not. Haven't heard back from my professor yet, so we shall see.


  • Wake Me Up...on Friday

    This morning's wake-up was rough. Let me give you the recap early this morning, because once the day gets going, multitasking will be out of the question. But what a treat it was last night to see three of my favorite bands, all in one place. It seems silly, but it felt like home walking into Rothko last night -- so many familiar faces. However, I blame Liz for convincing me to drink a bottle of wine with her even before we made it to Rothko. That left me with just enough money for a salad for dinner, hence today I want to crawl underneath my desk and hide.

    The Upwelling started things off and proceeded not to blow out a speaker this time. It was an interesting set for the boys, sans computer, creating a raw sound that I happened to quite like. I caught one or two new songs in there (one of which I swear Ari was rapping) and I still wince when they play "Annie on the Rooftop." Too bad it happens to be one of my favorites. But what is really important in the scope of things are Ari's super cool Paul Frank shoes. I told him later I liked them and he said he'd let me borrow them. I think I may hold him to that.

    The Upwelling @ Rothko

    Next up The GoStation. Matt opened up the set with an acoustic version of "Wake Me Up When September Ends." And the show was closed by my favorite number. No complaints here. Liz and I will never be able to stand still during a GoStation show, and we like it that way.

    The GoStation @ Rothko

    I'm not sure if I'm biased now that I know The Diggs, but each time I see them, or merely listen to one of their songs -- I am consistently impressed. They happen to be super nice guys, and lucky for you and me, make incredible music. I think during the last song, the fantastically haunting "Trouble Everyday" I started yelling to Susan that this is what music is supposed to sound like. It gave me chills and to my recollection I had to cover my mouth because I was gaping. I think I even told Rob that he was authentic. Then I realized it was probably best for me to get home.

    The Diggs @ Rothko

    We left to the sounds of Nora playing "Oh Mandy" and life couldn't be better. I made my way over to Canal to catch the Q but had to have a smoke before the long ride home (lord knows I don't need another ticket). I happened to bump into my good friend Andrew who I swear I haven't seen in years. As silly as it sounds, I feel like I've got a place in this city now. And as terrible as I feel right now, nights like those make it all worthwhile.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    Just a friendly reminder...

    Katrina Benefit Show

    When: Tuesday, September 27th @ 8pm

    Where: Rothko (Suffolk & Rivington)

    Why: To benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina by donating all proceeds to Oxfam America’s hurricane relief efforts

    Who: “Special Guest”Other PassengersThe DiggsThe Go StationThe Upwelling • and DJ Nora K

    How much: $10 @ the door (cheap!)

    Sheesh, what a lineup. And if that doesn't convince you, listen here:
  • The Upwelling - Annie On The Rooftop
  • The Upwelling - Worthy Enemy
  • The GoStation - Wandering Away
  • The GoStation - C'mon
  • The Diggs - Stagg
  • The Diggs - Trouble Everyday
  • Other Passengers - Bank
  • Other Passengers - In The Belly

  • Monday, September 26, 2005

    I Want You To Stay

    I put myself under house arrest for most of the weekend to get a lot of work done. Instead, I watched documentaries. I don't know why.

    But after a mini Lost marathon with Georgia yesterday, we headed into the city to catch the always wonderful Maximo Park at Bowery Ballroom. Last time I saw them it was crowded and hot at Rothko, so this made it an extra special treat.

    The Cloud Room opened and seems to be on to big things. While they were a bit awkward on stage (although I geniunely enjoyed the lead singer's humor), the highlight of course was "Hey Now Now." That song still gets me up and dancing. They brought on a bunch of their fans to dance with them on stage, which seemed like a lot of fun.

    The Cloud Room @ Bowery Ballroom

    The Cloud Room @ Bowery Ballroom

    Apparently the show is going to be broadcast on some website, according to a flyer I received while leaving. However, I lost the flyer, so check them website to see if it comes up. They are off to the UK now for a tour with Editors and We Are Scientists -- reason enough for me to leave all my obligations behind and go back to London, don't you think? You can also catch The Cloud Room host MTV2 Subterranean on October 2. Big things, big things.

    But it was time for Newcastle's finest, Maximo Park. Man, I love this band. Paul Smith is hands down the most spastic lead singer, and I love it. They threw out a couple new tunes which are equally as likeable as the ones off "A Certain Trigger." For some reason Mr. Smith really likes to sing while pretending to read a book (which we later found out was about post-modern Paris). I didn't really get that, but I love him anyways. For the encore, the keyboard unfortunately broke. Lukas was ok with it though, it gave him more opportunity to dance like a robot on stage. They premiered their new song for the Warchild charity compilation CD in the UK, entitled "Waste Land." Alas, when the night was over I didn't want them to go, they should stay in NYC forever.

    Maximo Park @ Bowery Ballroom

    Maximo Park @ Bowery Ballroom

    Maximo Park @ Bowery Ballroom

    Maximo Park @ Bowery Ballroom

    Maximo Park @ Bowery Ballroom

    See more pictures from last night's show here.

    Downloads (right click, save as):
  • Maximo Park - Waste Land
  • Maximo Park - The Night I Lost My Head
  • Maximo Park - Limassol
  • Maximo Park - Going Missing
  • The Cloud Room - Hey Now Now
  • The Cloud Room - Blackout

    Watch The Cloud Room's video for "Hey Now Now" here.

  • Saturday, September 24, 2005

    I've got to admit it's getting better, getting better everytime

    Ok, blog readers. Let's give you some official business so you can begin to get as excited as I am. Here's the lineup for the seventh issue (!) of Underrated Magazine.

    On the cover: Five O'Clock Heroes

    -Tim Williams
    -Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    -The Cloud Room
    -Nightmare of You
    -The Diggs
    -Dirty on Purpose
    -My Victoria
    -Kevin Devine
    -Saints + Lovers
    -Sam Champion
    -The Secret Machines
    -Cut The Wires
    -The TItle Ceremony
    -Say Hi To Your Mom
    -Parts & Labors
    -Chris Burns
    -Country Club

    Special UK Section:
    -Christopher Rees
    -The Boy Least Likely To

    -Aberdeen City
    -Matthew Good
    -The Changes
    -Colored Shadows

    PLUS! CMJ/Warped Tour/Oxegen Wrap-Ups, A Feature on an in-the-works documentary on The Wrens, A History of BritPop, and Ireland's Hard Working Class Heroes.

    Not bad, eh?

    Look for it NEXT MONTH with a special issue release party in November.

    Friday, September 23, 2005

    I heart The Diggs

    Let me just say, I've never had that much fun conducting an interview before. I think I told them that maybe 4 times throughout the evening. You know The Diggs by now from this blog. You've read about them in other blogs. You've heard them through their website, and maybe you've even had the chance to check them out live (which is the icing on the cake). But get a couple rounds with this band and let the fun begin.

    The reason I started Underrated was to find out the stories behind bands. To get to know band other than through their music. Because music can be completely arbitrary, and who am I to justify what music you should listen to. So I had the longest week ever, and one of the longest days ever. From a French exam this morning to a very busy/uneventful day at work, all I wanted to do was go home and lay on my couch. I wanted to start my weekend of productivity/laziness. But oh yeah, I had to interview The Diggs. It started to rain as I walked through the Lower East Side. I told myself, one hour, and I'll be on the subway home. Let's get this over and done with.

    One hour turned into three. One drink into six (?). Interview turned into a lot of laughs. This night redeemed my love for what I do. So people, lets all join together and proclaim The Diggs as exactly what New York needs. Unpretentious, ridiculously talented, and super fun guys.

    Oh yeah, and all you bloggers out there, they only had nice things to say about you. So continue the love. They deserve it.

    Just don't tell Charlie he looks like Lyle Lovett. Whatever you do.

    Listen up!

    From 6-8 every Friday you can listen to DC's coolest cat, my good pal Katie, host her radio show. Listen here. PLUS! I call in at some random time to play my favorite New York bands of the week. What's cooler than that? I thought so.

    For the benefit...

    Man oh man. I am so happy it's Friday. It's been a hell of a week. But what better way to wind down than interviewing The Diggs. Speaking of, there's a very cool benefit show on Tuesday with some of Underrated's favorites. Go, watch, love, and contribute.

    Katrina Benefit Show

    When: Tuesday, September 27th @ 8pm

    Where: Rothko (Suffolk & Rivington)

    Why: To benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina by donating all proceeds to Oxfam America’s hurricane relief efforts

    Who: “Special Guest”Other PassengersThe DiggsThe Go StationThe Upwelling • and DJ Nora K

    How much: $10 @ the door (cheap!)

    I'll see you there. Don't forget!

    I am laying low for the weekend. Have a lot of work to do. But Maximo Park at Bowery on Sunday. Ooooh baby.

    Thursday, September 22, 2005

    Breath in, breath out

    Jerry posted about the new Bloc Party video for "Pioneers" today. I've watched this like 10 times now. Not only is it one of my favorite songs off the album, but this video is amazing. Georgia, you are going to looove this.

    Watch here.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    Picture This

    The Five O'Clock Heroes @ Rothko

    The Five O'Clock Heroes @ Rothko

    The Five O'Clock Heroes @ Rothko

    The Five O'Clock Heroes @ Rothko

    The Five O'Clock Heroes @ Rothko

    The Five O'Clock Heroes @ Rothko

    See more here

    It's About Time

    Sorry for my post last night. I was "fuming" in more ways than one. But back to what's important. Big announcement! I can officially tell you now that The Five O'Clock Heroes will be on the cover of the next issue of Underrated Magazine out next month. Since the band is half British/ half New York it seemed perfect. Not only will we feature the best of the locals here in NYC but some of the UK's Underrated acts as well. It's full of fantastic fantastic bands, people, so keep a look out.

    I first met up with Antony and Elliot in May over some drinks in the east village. Lucky for me my tape wasn't exactly comprehendible that I got to meet up with them...again. This time with the whole band. Boy I'm a lucky girl. I headed down to Rothko for their sound check. I was greeted quite warmly and we caught up on summer stories. I told Antony how I became addicted to NME over the summer (to which he called rubbish, even though they are off on the NME tour this weekend, shh). If you happened to read any of the letters from New York, he was mentioned three (!) times. Yesterday their feature came out in the issue as well. Not too shabby, but compared to Underrated? Rubbish!

    So we walked around the Lower East Side for a while, trying to find somewhere quiet to go. I think they were more conscious than I was about the tape this time. Perhaps I just wanted another excuse to hang out. We found somewhere that seemed low-key until a group of crazies came in. Oh well. We kept it going. It's funny; I used to be extremely terrified giving interviews. I would more often that not be overly prepared with a billion questions and still fumble over them. I went in there with a tape recorder and no notes. Probably one of the most relaxed interviews yet. I think I've finally found my rhythm.

    The boys went off to meet Elliott's mom (aww) and I finished my French homework at the bar (blah). Met Liz for some pizza and headed back to Rothko. I told myself I could only have two more drinks for the night and actually held to it, despite Liz trying to convince me otherwise. Ran into Nora who seems to have a liking for Antony. It's hard not to. The Heroes put on such a great show. It's nice to see a band have so much fun on stage; I think that's almost forgotten these days. These guys are going to be huge. I guarantee it. But I can't imagine that it would change them at all. They work hard. They do it all themselves. And they deserve all the success they receive. Cheers!

    As we were leaving we ran into Matt outside (I think he's following me). He had a little bit of a press leak for me, which made me feel super cool. The GoStation was asked to play NEMO, Boston's equivalent of CMJ on October 1. It's a huge show, sponsored by ASCAP and MySpace. Heard of them right? Yeah, exactly. However Nick will not be able to make the show due to a family commitment, so they have Dennis from Saints + Lovers stepping in. Cool, right? And then Matt had his own Anton sighting later that night, but that's a whole other story.

    I had to use Liz's camera last night because I didn't have mine with me, so pictures from the show will be up whenever she gets around to uploading them. Which could be tonight, could be next year. You never know with that girl. But enough blabbing, you need some music, don't you?

    The Five O'Clock Heroes

  • Run To Her
  • Head Games
  • Turn It Up
  • Anybody Home

    I had a nice little surprise waiting for me when I got home today: an advance copy of We Are Scientists debut album "With Love and Squalor." It's not due out until January, but I can tell you now it's fantastic. I've listened to it three times in a row and I hear different things each time. I'd share some of it with all of you, but there are some crazy crazy copyright warnings on it that are getting me a little scared. So for now, a song that the band ever so nicely posted on their website (and happen to be on the debut album):
  • In Action
    Buy the EP here

    I caught Sam Champion at Virgin last Wednesday, bought the album and highly recommend. (Not to mention they are in the next issue as well!) I think I told someone the other day that it sounds like Ben Kweller, with a whole band, and more balls. Or something. Their album release party is on Friday at Mercury. I'd go in a heartbeat, if I weren't so broke now.
  • TV Fever
  • Now Look At Me

    Now it's time to recap with Lost and watch the season premiere. I've been waiting all summer for this.

  • Transit Authority: !@(&$^#(!&*)#$(!&#!

    Dear Transit Authority,

    I was on my way home from the Lower East Side thinking of a creative way to write about my fun night with Underrated's next cover story The Five O'Clock Heroes.

    Then the Q train decided to stop service. Then my iPod ran out of batteries. Then I realized I had to get up in 5 hours. But I stayed positive, finally making it to Prospect Ave, and was patiently waiting for the shuttle service to my apartment.

    I have an addiction.

    I needed a smoke.

    What I didn't need was an undercover cop walking over to me as I am stamping out my Parliament Light asking to see my ID. I thought he was joking. He was not.

    Now I have a $50 summons for smoking on a platform.

    For the record: the platform is outdoors, there are no signs that say I cannot smoke, and I HAVE AN ADDICTION.

    Now I have to figure out a way to find $50 within 15 days because I'm seriously broke. Thank you Transit Authority for proving to me that I have the worst luck ever.


    P.S. - Five O'Clock Heroes recap and pictures will be posted...soon.

    Monday, September 19, 2005

    Authenticity...blah blah blah

    So remember that class I am taking? Today's topic was authenticity in music. We have a lot of talking heads in this class, but I did my duty as a serious blogger and was the only person scribbling away in my notebook during the class. I missed the class last Wednesday to pick up my CMJ pass but apparently my prof asked some people to bring in some tunes for the class to decide whether on not the music was authentic. Here's what we had to choose from:

    1. "Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth" - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    2. "Party All The Time" - Eddie Murphy
    3. "Magnet" (I think) - Lindsay Lohan
    4. "Sunshowers" - MIA

    Take a wild guess to which were considered authentic but the geniuses at NYU. (1 & 4 if you really need to know.) However there was a bit of a debate with our buzzy Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. In fact one girl (I won't name names) went as far to call Alec "a retarded David Byrne." And another who apparently works for a record label revealed that her label has been consistently offering deals to the band but that they are resisting...but not for long, she said. We'll see.

    What else did we talk about? How imperfection can be authentic, for example: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards harmonies are considered authentic because they weren't exactly perfect. A band is authentic if they are relevant to the times. And basically everyone in my class decided that being in a band to make money isn't authentic, however my teacher quickly reminded us of a famous saying that "only a fool wouldn't write for money." I agree. It's a living. They won't be able to make music for us to hear unless they are to get paid. Let's not be so naive.

    For Wednesday I have to choose a band and write a paper on whether I believe them to be authentic or not. I have a band in mind, but I am hesitant to reveal it just yet. I'll wait until I write it, and perhaps until I get it back. But if you have any suggestions, and some thoughts on this authenticity debate, I'm all ears.

    From this moment on, I will only showcase authentic music. Because there’s a very clear and obvious definition to what makes music authentic. Riight.

    Sunday, September 18, 2005

    CMJ Day Four: Everything Ends

    And so it goes. CMJ is over. I can't say I'm too disappointed. I'm behind on sleep, work, sobriety, etc. It was a blast and I'm proud of myself for making it to at least one show a night. Met a bunch of cool people and saw a lot of great bands. I must say that I'm glad this is only once a year, and I'm glad I only know of one show I'm going to this week. I think I need a second to breathe.

    So the day started out yesterday a little later than usual, but I made my way up to Times Square to catch the screening of Elizabethtown. Cameron Crowe was supposed to be present for a Q&A session following the film, but could not make it because he was back in the editing room. For good reason. I may be one of the biggest Crowe fans, but I'm not going to make something out of nothing. It's not a great film. It has its moments and naturally a killer soundtrack (Ryan Adam's seems to be the muse for this one). Prior to seeing it I thought Kirsten Dunst would bother me, but she was okay. Orlando Bloom, while nice on the eyes, should never attempt an American accent again. I don't know why he was chosen for the film. Apparently an edited version will be released in theaters, so I'm curious to see what Crowe changes. Needless to say, I was quite dissapointed after waiting awhile for this film.

    After the flick, I jumped on the subway and dropped my stuff off at Georgia's apartment before running (literally) to CB's Gallery for the Dovecote Records showcase. I missed Tim Williams but made it for The Late Greats, a fantastic band from the UK. Their music is a unique collection of eclectic pop and power rock that seem to blend together seamlessly. Watch out for these guys.

    The Late Greats @ CBs Gallery

    From there I was off to Scenic for the first time since it opened. Very cool venue. Small space but great sound. I ran into Karen and the yummy Five O'Clock Heroes boys who were also there to check out We Are Scientists. Unfortunately things ran late (like usual) and I had to leave but I caught a few songs. They are impossible not to like. I just want more.

    We Are Scientists @ Scenic

    Liz was waiting outside so I had to run. Beginning to feel the alcohol run through me but knew the night was young. We made our way down to Crash Mansion for the consistently wonderful GoStation. Liz wasn't drinking so she wasn't her usual crazy self but that didn't stop moi. The boys debuted some new material which on first listen was pretty strong. Hopefully it won't take them another 2 years to release another EP.

    The GoStation @ Crash Mansion

    We stuck around for a little while to embrace the couches and space that we knew would be lacking at Mercury. But we said our goodbyes and walked across Houston to catch Dirty on Purpose. Made it there with only two songs left but two songs is better than none right? Love the environment that band projects both on record and live. It's like stepping into a dream world of melodic pop.

    Dirty on Purpose @ Mercury Lounge

    Although I was quite intoxicated at this point I was still standing and not going anywhere (thankfully). Next up? Australia's own Youth Group. I've been in love with this record since I purchased it in London and seeing them live was like icing on the cake. They are just super good, need I say more?

    Youth Group @ Mercury Lounge

    And then it was time for the closer of the night and one of my favorite local bands The Upwelling. I made my way up to the front because I was drunk enough that I didn't care if I was seen singing along to every song. It had been a good three months since the last I saw these guys, which is perhaps the longest I've ever gone. Never to be disappointed, the songs sounded better than ever. So good, in fact, that they blew a speaker right into the last song, "Diamond Ring." But Ari was on top of things, and opted to sing a song solo sans mic. Made for a unique set and an even more pleased crowd. Kudos to them.

    The Upwelling @ Mercury Lounge

    It was definitely time to go home after that. I hopped in a cab for the first time in awhile up to Georgia's apartment. Thank god she let me crash there or else it would have been an interesting subway ride back to Brooklyn. We traded stories of our nights and then very quickly passed out.

    I hope up early this morning and thought that I was dead. Not just the usual next morning headache, I felt like my entire body was going to explode at any given second. I swear they need to put warnings on pint glasses. I met Liz for brunch at Schillers which felt great at the time, but quickly resulting in being in rough rough shape. We walked around the Lower East Side for a bit until I felt the need to lay down. Luckily, we found a bench.

    I almost was about to just hop on the subway and head home but felt the need to end the weekend on a high note. I very slowly made my way over to Pianos to catch the annual post-CMJ show. After chatting with Carter I got myself a nice big glass of water and sat down. Who did I see come straggling into Pianos? The one and only, the infamous Anton Newcomb. I stood for a second in shock and then was about to say hi but feared I might get kicked in the head if I said something stupid. Within those 10 seconds he walked in and he walked out. I missed my change.

    Caught The Late Greats for the second time in less than 24 hours but had to step outside half way through their set. My head hurt. Met up with Susan and Sof and returned back to the stage for A Brief Smile. They got a nice sized crowd in for a Sunday afternoon. But as soon as the set was down and after sharing some delic french fries with Sof, all I wanted to do was get myself home.

    A Brief Smile @ Pianos

    Here's to doing laundry, work, sleeping and detox. Work begins again tomorrow morning, perfect timing. See all the pictures from this weekend here.CMJ, see you next year.

    Saturday, September 17, 2005

    Turn It Up

    I guess I'm not all as ambitious as I thought I was. I caught Kevin Devine at The Living Room early in the night (although it was quite packed) and met up with Liz for some drinks at 2A. A couple pints later and I was on my way back home. I felt it neccessary to save up my energy for today. Besides, it's not like these bands will never come back to New York, right?

    Kevin Devine @ Living Room

    But tonight is the night where there's no excuses for hitting up all these shows. Fantastic bands, Saturday night, a place to stay in the city...a girl could not ask for anything more.

    -2:30 Elizabethtown Screening @ Paramount Screening Center
    -7:30 Tim Williams @ CBs Gallery
    -8:00 The Late Greats @ CBs Gallery
    -9:00 We Are Scientists @ Scenic
    -10:00 GoStation @ Crash Mansion
    -11:30 Dirty on Purpose @ Mercury
    -12:30 Youth Group @ Mercury
    -1:30 The Upwelling @ Mercury

    And don't forget, tomorrow a post-CMJ show at Pianos featuring The Late Greats and A Brief Smile.
    Pianos (Ludlow & Stanton)
    1:00 / $5
    Annual POST-CMJ Matinee Show!
    2:00 The Late Greats
    3:00 A Brief Smile
    4:00 The Besties
    5:00 American Princes

    Friday, September 16, 2005

    CMJ Day Two Recap/Day Three

    I'm beginning to realize why bands and show goers are not the biggest fan of CMJ. It's just far too much in too little time. My hopes of seeing over 40 bands in 4 days are no longer. One day at a time. I don't know why I feel the need to see all these bands when half of them I’ve seen before and half of them will be back in NYC soon enough. So with that said. I am taking it easy tonight and then going all out tomorrow. Last night was the most bizarre day ever. The interview with Brandon went pretty well. His view on those "lazy hipsters" was unapologetic. "I hate the people just like me," he said. Can't blame a guy who's honest, right?

    From 7A, Katie and I walked down to the Lower East Side realizing we were far too early for Pianos. So instead we found it not early enough to start drinking. I had to bring Katie to Schillers for some Decent Wine. I ordered a half carafe and then Katie ordered her own delicious chocolate martini.

    Katie and her chocolate martini at Schillers... at 2 PM

    Then I drank the half carafe myself and wanted to take a nap. But nap I could not, as I put Katie in a cab to head back to DC and I made my way to Pianos.

    Two beers later, some familiar faces, and a entertaining set from The Changes and I could have been content for the day. After listening to this Chicagoans for some time now it was great to see them play in person. And is true what the say, they are perhaps the happiest band on stage.

    The Changes @ Pianos

    From there I had to run around on some errands, meeting my new Ad sales gal and picking up my French books from Georgia's. Then it was back down to Bowery for The New Pornographers which was sold out or something because they wouldn't let me in. Boo.

    So all the way up to Central Park where I was hoping to sit down with a nice cold beer and chill out to Arcade Fire and hopefully a David Bowie appearance. On the way into the park I ran into Josh and we caught up on our busy summers. The Arcade Fire was a bit disappointing, I must admit, but not at the fault of the band whatsoever. It was god awfully hot, which I presume cause everyone to stand still for the majority of the show. It was far too quiet from where I was standing as well. David Bowie was not the biggest surprise of the year but still fantastic. I love that man. And I loved his hat.
    Arcade Fire @ Central Park

    Back downtown where I stopped by Susan's for some reenergizing through water and checking my email. Thank god she lives next door to CBGBs where I caught The Honorary Title. I fulfilled my emo needs and found myself singing along to every song. Who knew?

    The Honorary Title @ CBGBs

    I was beyond tired and in need of starting my French homework but I figured I was next door so I would go see The Changes again. Clearly I didn't get enough earlier. However set times were running late so I caught a bit from an LA band An Angle who were surprisingly fun. Sort of Arcade Fire-esque but a bit less experimental and a bit more singalong.

    An Angle @ CBs Gallery

    A couple songs in and I was yawning far too much. I hopped on the subway trying to conjugate verbs and was home with just enough time to finish the assignment and get a couple hours of sleep. Hence, today...I take it easy.

    -8:00 Kevin Devine @ Living Room
    -10:00 Imogen Heap @ Living Room
    -11:00 Robbers on High Street @ Mercury

    Thursday, September 15, 2005

    CMJ Day Two

    I can tell you now not all of this is going to happen. But it's nice to dream, right?

    -3:00 The Changes @ Pianos
    -7:15 The New Pornographers @ Bowery
    -8:30 Arcade Fire @ Central Park
    -10:00 Joggers @ Scenic
    -10:30 Army of Me @ Delancey
    -11:00 The Honorary Title @ CBGB
    -11:30 The Changes @ CBs Gallery
    -12:00 Tom Vek @ Scenic
    -12:30 Dungen @ Bowery
    -1:00 Wrens @ Mercury Lounge

    Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

    No Sleep Til Brooklyn

    4 out of 9. I seemed to have overly anticipated my ability to run around Manhattan after very little sleep and numerous drinks. Note to self: no need to get a drink at every show. Two at one and skipping the next will work in your favor. Regardless the night was a blast and I'm ridiculously exhausted. Back in the city early tomorrow to interview Brandon of Nightmare of You and then catching the early show of The Changes. Then night #2 where I will have to revise my schedule due to the fact that I will be up town for Arcade Fire and sure as hell will not be leaving early. David Bowie, anymore? Anyway, my brief and sleep deprived run down of the night.

    Sam Champion made me feel cool. And when I found out Brian from my favorite band produced the album AND plays on some of the tracks, I felt that much more cool.

    Sam Champion at Virgin Megastore

    Levy packed Arlene's and made me feel all warm inside.
    Levy @ Arlene's Grocery

    The Cribs rocked my socks off and made me wish I was back in London.
    The Cribs @ Bowery Ballroom

    Jaymay broke my a good way.
    Jaymay @ The Living Room

    See more pictures here.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    CMJ Day One

    And we're off...

    -Sam Champion at Virgin Megastore
    -King of France at Bowery Ballroom
    -Dandy Warhols at CBGBs
    -Levy at Arlene's Grocery
    -The Cribs at Bowery Ballroom
    -Jaymay at The Living Room
    -Nouvelle Vague at The Canal Room
    -Feist at The Knitting Factory
    -The Comas at Scenic

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005


    Trying to take it easy before I run around like crazy for the next four days. But I will be checking one of my London crewmembers, Paul Hammer play at CB's Gallery tonight. Do it for you counrty. Do it for CBs. Do it because I said so.

    Tuesday • 9-13-05 • 8:30pm
    CB's 313 Gallery
    (Bowery & Bleeker)
    with Damon Daunno @ 7:30pm
    $5 Cover

    Check out Paul's tunes on myspace or on itunes.

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    Don't worry, Be Happy

    I'm taking this class this semester, "Writing about Popular Music." I was really excited all summer to be taking a class in exactly what I wanted to be doing with the rest of my life. In the last month or so I've been having career crises, reconsidering my plan for the next year and ending up completely lost. I suppose that's normal. This class may have proven to me that this may not be the route I'm meant to take.

    Perhaps it's just the school I'm in, but I'm almost sickened at the level of pretension that these people exude when talking about music. I hope I don't come off that way when I write in this little blog, because the truth is that there are many people who know a lot more about music than I do and I do not ever want to make the impression I remotely know what I am talking about. I like music. I like going to shows. I like finding out about new bands. And the magazine is simply to give other people an outlet to learn about them, then listen to them, and as a result make their own opinions.

    I have a bit of a commute now to school and work, which I completely embrace because it gives me time to read and listen to my iPod. Today after class all I wanted to do was listen to music that makes me happy. Enough talking, just listening.

    Below is a sampler of the music that makes me happy. I would never call them guilty pleasures because I don't at all feel guilty listening to them. But on the subway I can't help but tap my feet and sing along. And that, my friends, is what I love about this art form.

    No comparisons, no cultural phenomenoms. No need to worry whether these artists are authentic or will stand the test of time. It's just the music. Enjoy.

  • Sam Champion - Now Look At Me
  • The Futureheads - Decent Days and Nights
  • Devin Davis - Iron Woman
  • Hard-Fi - Gotta Reason
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Gimme Some Salt
  • The Changes - When I Wake
  • The Subways - I Want To Hear What You Have Got To Say
  • The GoStation - Wandering Away
  • Tom Vek - I Ain't Saying My Goodbyes
  • The A-Sides - Sidewalk Chalk
  • The Cribs - Hey Scenesters
  • Nightmare Of You - My Name is Trouble
  • The New Pornographers - Sing Me Spanish Techno
  • The Colour - Tambourine
  • The Late Greats - Hours
  • Dressy Bessy - Ringalingaling
  • The Stairs - Escape Clause
  • Picture - Blind Side
  • Five O'Clock Heroes - Turn It Up
  • The Stands - Do It Like You Like
  • Levy - Rotten Love
  • Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To
  • Stellastarr* - Lost In Time
  • Scoville Unit - Last Train to Scoville

  • Saturday, September 10, 2005

    I dig music

    Last time I starting drinking too early and missed The Diggs. This time I started drinking earlier but was sure I left Brooklyn to see them. I had a little apartment warming party with crappy beer and excellent pizza. Liz and I even danced along to The GoStation. Ah, just like old times.

    The Diggs at Sin-e

    The Diggs completely and utterly blew me away. My ears are still ringing. Recordings do this band no justice -- you must see them live. I thought other bands that only had three people were impressive, but the sound this band blasted into Sin-e was more than I ever imagined. In fact it was so intense that guitar strings were broken, symbols knocked over. Watching that drummer pound on that set with the water splashing. My god.

    The Diggs at Sin-e

    The Diggs at Sin-e

    I left screaming profanities down the street. Not only was I praising the band left and right but in my drunken state I managed to drop my monthly metro card down the toilet. I think my ATM card too, because that ended up missing as well. I wonder how I get myself into these situations. Obviously didn't hinder me too badly. Hopped uptown for some more drinks before making a very long and exhausting trip home.

    I'm saving my energy for this week. CMJ, man. I am pumped. I think I've basically figured out my schedule. I'm up to 35 bands in 4 days. I'm going to do to it too, just you wait.

    I'll try and post a bunch of music this week of artists I'll be checking out. I picked up the new The New Pornographers this week while at Virgin. Although I've read mostly mediocre reviews, I think it’s superb. Its classic creativity screams least, to me. They play Bowery on Thursday.

  • The New Pornographers - These Are The Fables
  • The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
  • The New Pornographers - The Jessica Numbers

  • Thursday, September 8, 2005

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ Warsaw

    Busy. Tired. Thouroughly enjoed CYHSY at Warsaw last night. Best I've seen them play. The crowd loved them. Alec and the boys seemed to have a lot of fun on stage. I was one of those people that left after their set and missed The National. Before you start throwing eggs or insults at me, I was way too early, way too drunk, and way too tired to stay out. That's all.

    I'll be interviewing Alec over the next couple days for the next issue of Underrated. So if you have any burning questions that you want to ask him, send them my way.

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ Warsaw

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ Warsaw

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ Warsaw

    See more here.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2005

    London Calling Part II: Things You Should Be Knowing

    I swear it's taken me this long to get my life back to normal, and I'm still trying to situate myself. I'm hoping that in a week after I start back at work I'll have my whole routine down. Anyways. Chicago was a blast, I'm sad to see my sister move because I'd really like to get back there soon. I know she's going to miss it like crazy so we'll have to take a trip out there together. The interview with Jonny of The Changes went really well -- super cool guy, very articulate, and many awesome things are happening to that band (and deserved). They'll be in NYC for CMJ on September 15 with two shows: Pianos at 4 PM and CB's 313 Gallery that night at 11:30. (Thanks Nora)

    I ran into a bunch of people today that were in London with me over the summer and I started to reminisce about the fabulous time and the even more fabulous music I was exposed to. So (a bit late), but here nonetheless is London Calling Part II. (Click here for the first part)

    Hard-Fi (website)
    Took me a while to warm up to this band. I was overly exposed with signs everywhere in London proclaiming me that this was Britain's newest and greatest act EVER. Naturally, I was skeptical. But I bought the album willing to give it an un-biased listen. At first I wasn't that impressed. Somewhat catchy, yes, but not instantly likeable. Although completely different bands, it was a similar experience with CYHSY. A lot of hype. But both albums aged well in my music collection. And both are truly works of art.

  • Middle Eastern Holiday (m4a)
  • Cash Machine(m4a)
  • Hard To Beat(m4a)
  • Move On Now(m4a)

    The Stands (website)
    <The Stands at VirginI'm always down for a free show and when I heard it was The Stands I was at Virgin Megastore quicker than you could say Noel Gallagher loves us. The similarities between this band and The Beatles are countless. No band will ever come close to changing the world musically as much as the Fab Four -- but this band is up there. They rocked the downstairs of the music store to a dedicated fan base. And when I talked to them afterwards, they chatted up a storm about how much they love New York. Too bad I couldn't understand a word they were saying.

  • Back To You (m4a)
  • When The Night Falls In (m4a)
  • Do It Like You Like (m4a)
  • Turn The World Around (m4a)

    The Cribs (website)
    I tend to dislike Pitchfork. I tend to disagree with them often. The Cribs is one perfect example. They gave the album a 3.0 and said that it is "less deserving of ire, and yet no more deserving of a listen." And what a surprise? They compared them to the Strokes. Come on! This lo-fi album is a gem of today's true brit rock. It's gritty but accessible. And musically it's incredibly impressive from a young band (and might I add superior to the Strokes). It may have flaws, yes --but this is just the beginning. I'm very eager to hear what this band does next.

  • Things You Should Be Knowing (m4a)
  • Baby Don't Sweat (m4a)
  • You Were Always The One (m4a)
  • That Can Be Arranged (m4a)

    Tom Vek (website)
    I technically wasn't listening to Tom Vek while I was in London because I only received this album two weeks ago. But I think it’s because of my summer in London that I appreciate it more. I've said it before, but I'll say it again -- I didn't ever used to dance at concerts, clubs, etc. I just don't have the moves. But there are certain bands and certain songs that you just can't help but boogie down to. London showed me that, and perhaps rid me of my apprehensions of looking like an idiot. And now I can proudly say I put on Mr. Vek and dance around my new apartment. Who needs a dance floor when you have no rug yet? It's an addicting album in all the right ways. And the coolest part is -- every instrument heard is recorded by this 24-year-old musical genius. Kinda cute too.

  • A Little Word In Your Ear (m4a)
  • C-C (You Set The Fire In Me) (m4a)
  • Direction (m4a)
  • Cover (m4a)

    Bonus from Australia:
    Youth Group (website)
    I bought this album just prior to my departure and it was on heavy rotation during the summer. I fell in love with the song "Skeleton Jar" and then I fell in love with the entire album. Can't wait to see if they can pull it off live next week at CMJ. Although I've heard mixed reviews, I think it’s a beautiful record from start to finish. Something about it screams warm summer nights sitting on a beach with a bottle of wine. It's peaceful, intricate, and everything I love about music -- it brings me somewhere else.

  • See-Saw (m4a)
  • Lillian Lies (m4a)
  • Shadowland(m4a)
  • Why Don't The Buildings Cry? (m4a)

  • Saturday, September 3, 2005

    Help Out

    Below are a list of Katrina Relief Charities where you can help out. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who is going through this terrible ordeal. Even the littlest bit could mean a world to these people. Please do what you can to help.

    Bread for the World
    Children's Fund

    Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC)

    Church World Service
    Relief and Development

    Heifer International
    Medical Corps

    Orthodox Christian Charities

    International Rescue Committee
    Mercy Corps
    Nazarene Compassionate Ministries
    Operation Blessing
    Oxfam America
    Red Cross
    Save the Children
    United Way
    World Concern
    World Hope International
    World Relief
    World Vision

    A big thanks to Bob for the list.

    Second City...perhaps

    Greetings from Chi-town. My sister and I have always had arguements as to which city is better - Chicago or New York. Granted this is the first time I've visited her. I must say that Chicago is a pretty sweet town. Went to see Second City the other night which was hilarious and had some yummy deep dish pizza yesterday. Mmm. But I've found that it's quite a small world. I met two of my sister's friends tonight and we were chatting about bands. They asked if I knew Aberdeen City and of course I did. Turns out they went to high school with them. Aberdeen City will be featured in the next issue of the magazine and is a fantastic band. Saw them when they had a residency at Piano's a couple months ago and will be seeing them at the Dovecote Records CMJ showcase on the 17th. Carter said I was "insane" if I didn't check out The Late Greats there too.

  • Aberdeen City - God Is Gonna Get
  • Aberdeen City - In Combat
  • Aberdeen City - Final Bout
  • Aberdeen City - Popular Music

    Listen to the The Late Greats here.

    CMJ here we come. The Dovecote Records CMJ showcase is on Saturday Sept 17th @ CBGB's 313 Gallery at 7pm. Come support, get free stuff... It will be fun. WE PROMISE

    7:30 Tim Williams
    8:15 The Late Greats (UK)
    9:00 Aberdeen City

    Hey Chicago ain't bad, but I can't wait to get back to New York. Back for good come Monday. Yeehaw.

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