Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Ready, Set....Crash

Just when I thought my luck was getting better. I found an amazing apartment, found two paintings at Bed Bath & Beyond on clearance, and was making great time driving into the city from New Jersey on a Tuesday night. I was just telling my two friends who came along for the move how much I hate the FDR. In fact, it's my least favorite highway in the US. Now, more than ever.

I was listening to my newest mix, just lit a cigarette when the car in front of me slammed on his breaks. I slammed on mine and luckily didn't hit. The idiot behind me must have not been paying much attention because a couple seconds later, Marcel the Mini was hit from behind.

Two hours later, New York's finest was cracking jokes and Marcel the Mini looked banged up, but drivable. The car behind me - not so lucky. So with a splitting headache and a couple aches and pains we continued our way to Brooklyn to move furniture. Joy.

At the time of the hit, this song was playing. So there you go:
Stellastarr* - Sweet Troubled Soul (right click, save as)

I'm sorry if this blog has been terribly boring and slacking lately. I'm trying to sort out the next issue of the magazine, while getting ready for school and moving into a new apartment. Soon, I swear, I'll be back to normal so don't say goodbye just yet.

This weekend I'm heading to Chicago to visit my sister. She's been living there for 3 years now and of course I finally get out to see her for her going away party. She's moving to Baltimore in a couple weeks.

While I'm there I'm meeting up with Jonny the drummer of The Changes for an interview.


The Changes - When I Wake (right click, save as)
The Changes - Her You and I (right click, save as)

Buy their CD here. According to Nora they'll be playing CMJ on September 15. Sweet-o.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Go Go Go

I waited 14 hours for the cable guy yesterday before throwing in the towel and heading back to New Jersey. In the process of writing a very worded email to Cablevision, as we speak.

But who needs cable when The GoStation is playing their last night of their summer residency tonight? You'd be a silly banana in your pajamas if you miss this one.

The GoStation Summer Residency
@ Arlene's Grocery
95 Stanton St., NYC
August 29 - Final Night!
8:30pm, FREE

See you there!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

New York's Best Kept Secret

Officially moved in to my new apartment in Brooklyn. Officially obsessed. Spent most of the day unpacking and watching too many episodes of Futurama before realizing I needed to get out. Lana came by to check out the place and we traded summer in Europe stories before she had to leave for dinner plans. I called everyone in my phone to see what they were up to for the night. What's with everyone going away for the weekend? Guess it's almost the end of the summer, better get out while you still can.

Regardless, I wasn't going to sit inside all night so I hopped on the subway back into Manhattan to catch Underrated favorites A Brief Smile's first TISWAS show. I can't even count how many times I've seen these boys play now, but it had been a good couple months since they last played. There seemed to be a few nerves floating around pre-show, and understandably so. But personally, after listening to some new tracks over the summer, I knew they were up to something good.

The only disappointment last night was the fact that the open bar, well, wasn't so open. I am shocked, and relatively surprised that A Brief Smile haven't caught on in this city. They seem to be what everyone needs right now. Fresh, talented musicians that aren't trying to do what's "in" right now or attempt at some recycled 80's act. The new songs are incredibly meticulous and the old ones transformed to sound original. What A Brief Smile is now was executed perfectly in their last two songs: "And So It Begins" and "Perfect Mess." It was, hands down, the best I've seen them play in the year or so I've been watching them. A new EP is on its way with some of the reworked songs plus some new tunes. But for now check them out on their website or buy their EP on iTunes. Trust me, they won't be a secret for much longer.

A Brief Smile - And So It Begins (right click, save as)
A Brief Smile - We Could Get In Trouble (follow link)

Listen to more at myspace.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Tomorrow: A Brief Smile @ Don Hills

WHO: A BRIEF SMILE with MOJO FILTERS and APPOMATTOX
WHERE: TISWAS @ DON HILLS ||| 511 Greenwich St. @ Spring St.
WHEN: AUGUST 27th @ 11:30pm
and...
OPEN BAR TRIPLE 8 VODKA 11pm-12am
THE CORAL RECORD RELEASE PARTY WITH FREE SONY/BMG GIVEAWAYS!!!

Print out this flyer for reduced admission ($5):

A Brief Smile

WRITERS WANTED

Please repost if you can!

Underrated Magazine, a local NYC music magazine is looking for some new blood. You don't have to live in the NYC area (although preferred). You don't have to have (much) experience. But you do have to love music.

We aim to bridge the gap between musician and fan by highlighting underrated artists across the country, and even the world. The magazine is feature based, so if you are looking to write reviews, look somewhere else. Interviews are required. This could be your chance to meet your favorite band.

If interested, please email rdarmanin@underratedmagazine.com. No pay, but you will contribute to the well-being of mankind. What's better than that?

Visit www.underratedmagazine.com for more information and past issues. Serious inquires only.

Thanks!

CMJ 2005

Finally got confirmed, now it's time to go crazy. My plan, thus far (subject to change):

Wednesday:

  • 5 PM: Elizabethtown screening with Cameron Crowe (my chance to finally shake this guy's hand could come true)
  • 7:30: The Cribs, King of France at Bowery
  • 10:00 Motion City Soundtrack at Tribeca, Jaymay at Living Room
  • 10:15: Doves at Warsaw
  • 11:30: Feist at Knitting Factory
  • 12:00: The Comas at Scenic

    Thursday:
  • 7:00 PM: Soft at The Delancey (is this right?)
  • 7:15: The New Pornographers at Bowery
  • 8:55: Arcade Fire at Central Park
  • 9:30: Nightmare of You at CBGB's
  • 10:00: Five O'Clock Heroes at The Delancey
  • 10:45: Army of Me at CBGB's
  • 10:50: Regina Spektor at Irving Plaza
  • 11:00: The Honorary Title at CBGB's
  • 12:00: Cloud Cult at 169 Bar
  • 1:00: Of Montreal at Knitting Factory, Wrens at Mercury

    Friday:
  • 6:00 PM: Brick Screening
  • 7:00: Longwave at Warsaw
  • 8:00: Kevin Devine at Living Room
  • 8:45: Say Hi To Your Mom at Ace of Clubs
  • 10:00: Imogen Heap at Living Room
  • 10:50: Saints + Lovers at Rare
  • 11:00: Robbers on High Street at Mercury
  • 12:00: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at Mercury

    Saturday:
  • 7:30 PM:Tim Williams At CB's 313 Gallery
  • 8:00: The Black Spoons at Pianos
  • 9:00: Aberdeen City at CB's 313 Gallery, We Are Scientists at Scenic
  • 9:30: The Spinto Band at Pianos
  • 10:00: The GoStation at Crash Mansion
  • 11:30: Dirty on Purpose at Mercury
  • 12:30: Youth Group at Mercury
  • 1:30: The Upwelling at Mercury

    So many conflicts, so many bands. I'm tired already, but can't wait for the fun to begin. Maybe I'll ask Cameron if he wants to hop around with me for the weekend. I'm sure he's not busy...

  • Thursday, August 25, 2005

    London Calling Part I

    It's taking me a little longer than anticipated to catch up/adjust back to life on this side of the ocean. The magazine is now going to press early October, opposed to September. I'm still reloading everything back on to my computer. Moving into a new apartment is a pain, yet exciting. And I have one week left before I officially enter my last year of school. Things are changing.

    Monday was a fantastic return back into New York. It was nice to see the GoStation boys play a great set at Arlene's. If you haven't seen them yet, go check them out next Monday for the last night of their residency.

    I miss London, more than I thought I would. The six weeks went far too quickly and it was just when I felt I got a hold on the city and it's life, I had to leave. I guess I'll just have to return sooner than later.

    Today and tomorrow I'll finally give you a selection of my favorite acts I saw this summer, culminating in my latest mix early next week. If I forget to tell you tomorrow, go check out A Brief Smile on Saturday at TISWAS.

    London Calling Part I:

    The Boy Least Likely To (website)

  • Be Gentle With Me
  • I'm Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon to Your Star

    Editors (website)
    Editors

    Editors

  • Someone Says
  • Fingers In The Factories

    The Subways (website)
    The Subways @ Camden Barfly

    The Subways @ Camden Barfly

  • No Goodbyes
  • Mary

    FeverKing (website)
    FeverKing at Bar One Four

    FeverKing sit down for an interview

  • Genius Boy
  • White Bus

    More tomorrow.

  • Help Snowden play Coachella 2006

    From the wonderful band Snowden:

    Help Us Play @ Coachella 2006. Please.

    There's actually not much involved to giving us a decent shot at it. If you like our music PLEASE do this for us. We've yet to even play a show on the West Coast and this would be a decent first gig there we think. Ha.

    Here is all you have to do to help get us noticed by people organizing the line up. It's very simple. Really...

    1. Just add the Coachella Myspace Profile as your friend by clicking HERE (you have to add them to vote in the next step, but you can always delete them if you must after the deed is done)

    2. Next, all you do to vote for us is go to this blog link HERE and add a comment along with the rest like... "I vote Snowden" or "Damn, I vote for those sexy kids in Snowden" or just plain "Snowden"

    3. That's all there is to it. Please tell your friends to vote for us too! (you can repost this complete with links if you click the reply to sender button and then copy and paste this into a new bulletin.)


    1 band/artist and 1 dj will be chosen to play Coachella 2006 based on the following criteria:

    1. their artistic talent/song quality
    2. votes from their friends (you!!!)
    3. the opinions of the coachella staff

    The winners will be announced with the 2006 line up.

    PLEASE do this for us folks. It only takes a second.


    And if you've been under a rock, check out the tunes (right click, save as):
    Victim Card
    Good News
    Chin Up
    Kill The Power
    Come Around
    Anybody Else
    Black Eyes
    Time of The Season

    Monday, August 22, 2005

    My Name is Trouble

    My computer has some serious issues. Just hours after that lost post praising the genius bar it crashed again. Luckily, I had just finished uploading my pictures up on Flikr. To make a long story short I had to wipe out the entire computer again, buy a new hard drive and have spent the last day trying to sort through my backups. Needless to say I have to import all my music in again, but I promise you...this week....there shall be tunes.

    However there are some great tracks floating around on other blogs that are worth noting. So without going on another day of disservice, I'll let you know where they are.

    Dodge posted some great tracks from a band that graced NME's cover the last week I was overseas, The Magic Numbers. Two girls. Two guys. Southern roots. NYC and London upbringings. Perfect summer soundtrack. You will not be able to get enough. Check them out here. My favorite (although I do love them all) would have to be "The Mule."

    I caught the band at Oxegen and walked into a tent with hundreds of drunken Irish people swinging each other around like a ho-down. It was excellent.

    Magic Numbers


    If you read Ultragrrrl's blog at all then you've heard about Nightmare of You. I had never heard the band but was reading about them this summer. Turned out my roommate in London is a BIG fan. She played me some tracks on a walk home one night and I thought they were pretty good. Unfortunately their EP is sold-out for the time being, but Central Village posted a track the other day. I, too, am oddly addicted to this song. It's actually becoming a problem. I made a mix for my car the other day and put it at track #1. I can't get past it. There has got to be something hidden in it, I swear.

    Other tracks:
  • Ending East has great tracks from The Teeth, We Are Scientists, and the A-Sides.
  • Chris reposted Feist covering The Kinks here. A must.
  • You Aint No Picasso finds a recording of The Decemberists, Stars, and Death Cab covering Fleetwood Mac's Go Your Own Way from this week's show in Central Park. Now I can sort of pretend I was there. Get it quick.
  • Take Your Medicine, a blog I came across this summer has the in on the indie scene in the UK. Worth checking out? Two tracks from The Bridge Gang. Check them out here.

    Tomorrow I head into New York for the first time in over two months (my god). First stop is Brooklyn to sign the lease on my apartment that I can't move into until Sept 1 (boo). Then into the city to slum around before heading down to the Lower East Side for some yumminess that is Schillers and some greatness that is The GoStation play their weekly (FREE!) show at Arlene's Grocery. It'll be nice to get back to my old neighborhood.

    On a completely unrelated note, who watched the finale of Six Feet Under? I've said it before and I'll say it again: hands down, the best show on television. Best cast. Best writing. Best directing. Best music. I will sincerely miss The Fishers and will have to save up some money to get all the DVDs. I'm not entirely sure yet what I thought of the ending. I don't think I particularly liked it, but then again, I wouldn't have liked it have just ended with Claire driving off into the sunset. Mr. Alan Ball is far too clever for that. Can't wait to see what he conjures up next.

    All for now.

  • Saturday, August 20, 2005

    I love the Genius Bar

    They truly are geniuses. They saved alllll my pictures. I love Apple.

    Will be uploading all weekend. For now:

    My two cousins from Ireland that are perhaps the cutest things in the entire world:

    I love these boys


    and the crew that took on London this summer:
    Journalism in London 2005


    more coming...

    Don't You Forget About Me

    Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I've been laying low since I've returned to the states, catching up with friends, emails, and cheap drinks in New Jersey. I found an apartment in one day (who knew?) and now will be living in Brooklyn. I will sincerely miss my place in the Lower East Side, but love my new place. A little change never hurt anyone, right?

    So my computer is still being repaired, and I believe that I have managed to save all my pictures from the summer (phew). If all goes well, I will be able to upload some music tomorrow. I'll attempt to do a new band each day this week, culminating in a kick-ass mix for you to enjoy. And keep checking the website for magazine updates. Next issue will be out in September (hopefully) and already has an amazing lineup of artists.

    Slowly, but surely, am getting back into the swing of things.

    Monday, August 15, 2005

    Running, Returning

    My house has never looked so good. My couch has never been so comfortable.

    I made it home.

    Time to watch Six Feet Under for the next 48 hours.

    Look for show updates, magazine updates, music posts like whoa and (hopefully) pictures from the summer.

    Back to normal in no time.

    Friday, August 12, 2005

    Oh My God I Can't Believe It...

    Last night (era, more like this morning): It's 1 AM. I'm walking along a highway in the country side of Scotland. Alone. How I got there? Not a clue. I have £2 in my pocket. All of a sudden I think to myself: I cannot wait to get home.

    It's been an interesting week to say the least. From having my purse stolen to realizing I hadn't paid for my hotel in Paris to getting to Scotland and realizing I had no money to not having a place to stay for the last night here, I'm a bit tired. And I'm sure that my parents are pretty tired of me too. (Actually I know, I've heard them yell). I'm a big believer in everything happens for a reason, but for gods sake -- this has been too much.

    Regardless, Edinburgh is a crazy crazy town. I happened to arrive here smack dab in the middle of the Fringe Festival. Street performers, film festivals, comedy acts -- things are going on 24/7. I had the pleasure of checking out two indie films, Imaginary Heroes and Festival, and the play Stirring before I ran out of cash.

    I must confess. It's been 2 weeks since I've last seen a gig. I'm starting to twitch.

    Dublin tomorrow to let my aunts and grandma take care of me. Come Monday I will be sitting in front of my television, not moving for at least 24 hours to catch up on all the Six Feet Under and Entourage I've missed. Then it's apartment hunting. Can't wait.

    Please keep your fingers crossed that nothing else happens to me before I get home. I don't think I can handle it. Oh did I mention that my computer crashed and I think I've lost all my pictures from this summer.

    Real cool.

    Get ready for some intense music posting when I get back. That's right.

    Monday, August 8, 2005

    Bonjour à Paris

    .... I almost didn't make it.

    I either have the best or the worst luck ever because it was my last day in London and I thought I'd take a walk down Portabello Rd. We stopped for a quick bite to eat, spirits were high and the menu looked delic. It had only been about three minutes when I looked down and my purse was no longer there. It was at that exact moment that I started to freak: my passport was in there.

    We searched and there was no sign. Bumming cigarettes from Katie, we trekked up the hill to the police station while my parents screamed at me on the phone. Not only was my passport in there, but also my green card (I'm not a US citizen yet). I filled out a police report avec tears to a dumbass police officer who was more interested in how I liked New York. I canceled all my credit cards, called Passport Control and they told me the earliest they could get me an appointment to fill out the paperwork would be Wednesday. It would take another week at least to get it to me.

    Did I have a place to stay? Non. Did I have any money? Non. Was I screwed? Mais oui.

    We walked back to the scene of the crime, ironically directly across the street from the travel book store that Hugh Grant woked at in Notting Hill. I vowed never to watch that movie again.

    Miraculously within two hours Katie received a call from the police station saying my passport was found. Huge sigh of relief. They didn't know what else, but to come back to the station to retrieve it. So I trekked back up the hill, this time at a bit more ease. I walked in to see my purse was there. The only things missing was cash from my wallet (10 pounds) and my cell phone (which wasn't mine, sorry Conor). The culprit wasn't even a smoker. Credit cards, sunglasses, my silly magnet I bought...all there. I couldn't believe it.

    So one thing was out of the way, I could continue my travels and eventually be able to make it back into the US. But then I realized I had no money, ATM card was canceled as well as my credit cards. Thank god for Western Union.

    Needless to say. I didn't make it to Donnie Darko.

    But I made it to Paris and realize that my French isn't as bad as I thought and that they really don't hate Americans (that much). I went to the top of the Tour de Eiffel yesterday and spent today at the Louvre. Tomorrow: Scotland.

    C'est la vie.

    Friday, August 5, 2005

    And they all fall down...

    Just about to print out my train tickets when I decided to check some websites, and unfortunately found this.

    Guster to play Nokia Theater in November. Nokia what? In Times Square? No Guster no. I miss your days of playing in college gyms and parking lots. Radio City was cool, but I can't yell out requests from the third balcony. Come play at my apartment, it'll be so much better. I'm whining. I know.

    Off for my last week of travels so I don't know if I'll get to post much. I'll miss London ridiculously. It's a very close second to New York. Good summer, but looking forward to getting home.

    Glamorous Indie rock'n'roll is what I need

    Check out Spin.com's band of the day.

    That's all for today. The Roxy took my liver last night.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2005

    The Power of Voodoo, Who do, You do

    Last night we hit up The Roxy (which has become my favorite spot in London) for some half price pitchers and some good tunes to dance to. We've only gone on Thursdays but Tuesdays were known to be as good...which wasn't exactly the case. Not the greatest music, but Katie finally got to hear her Faint song (after 6 weeks, mind you). We were just about to head out when The Editors came on, which then resulted in the best three songs in a row ever.

    The Editors - Munich
    David Bowie - Magic Dance (from the fabulous film, Labyrinth)
    Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)

    Frickin fantastic.

    I'll go to a show tonight, I promise. I know I've been slacking. But I booked my ticket to see Donnie Darko play at Kensington Gardens this Saturday as my farewell to London. It's sponsored by Stella (mmm) and will have a live orchestra performing the score, conducted by the fabulous Michael Andrews. Then off to Paris then next day, ooh la la.

    I still have Dance Magic Dance stuck in my head. I wish I had Labyrinth to watch right now.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2005

    Things Aren't Going to Change

    I'm supposed to be doing work. Supposed to.

    It's our last week of classes, and yet all I want to do is go out until 4 AM, see Buckingham Palace and then do it all over again. But no. I'm stuck inside a computer lab, avoiding transcribing interviews when London is right outside my window. But then again, that is the reason I'm here.

    I've become addicted to NME. Before you right me off completely and get on your high anti-hipster hating hipster horse (that makes no sense), let's talk about it.
    Me = addict.
    NME=weekly music guide of bands I actually like.
    Writing = not so good.
    US=doesn't have it.

    Yes, there is Rolling Stone where the writing is quite superior but I get bored reading it. Every week, less and less seems to be devoted to music. I want to hear about Pete Doherty's latest binge and how Maximo Park has become Britain's new favourite band. But sadly, the first thing I read is the Letter From New York.

    It's pathetic, I know. I'm in this fantastic city, I'm traveling around Europe and all I can think about is all the shows I'm missing back home. It was almost a tease, turning 21 weeks before leaving. I haven't been able to walk proudly up to the scary bouncers at Bowery or Mercury yet, or not hesitate before showing my ID at Pianos. And there seems to be all these great shows I'm missing. Shush. There was a point to all this.

    This week's Letter From New York called Antony Ellis of The Five O'Clock Heroes NME's new favourite rock star. Damn, those boys are gonna be huge. Give it a couple months. (Or until the next issue wink, wink). But once NME says it, it's, like, the truth, right? Please note the sarcasm, but I sure am gonna miss picking up my copy every Wednesday for half the price that it will be in Virgin when I get back. Ah addictions. What can you do?

    Get to work.

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