Monday, February 26, 2007

i miss you too.

Wow. I feel as though this blog has become that old high school friend that you keep meaning to call, but never seem to find the time. And you feel so gosh darn guilty, but don't really do anything about it. So blog, I'm sorry. I'm here now -- what's new?

Well, quite a bit, and nothing at all. Last week was pretty exhausting and exhilarating, and I'm pretty sure I had enough mood swings for one girls' lifetime. Perhaps it was lack of sleep. The Ra Ra Riot show on Wednesday night was the best I've ever seen them play. They had enough courage to let their energy permeate throughout the crowd. Now that the songs are reworked and sounding better than ever, their live show has really reached a whole new level. And Canal Room? Albeit a beautiful venue but in sound and look, $9 for a gin & tonic is a big no-no in my book. Boo, Canal Room, boo.

Thursdays djing continued with the Rachael-needs-so-much-sleep theme, as I cut out early and left Nora to her expertise. After a long day at work (I made it through a week!) I hopped over to Union Hall for that little band I cant stop talking about the White Rabbits. I was beyond excited to see them, and I think it showed. I stood right up front and sang every single frickin word to every song. I should have been embarrassed, but I was having too much fun. Because there wasn't enough room for all of them on stage, they had a drum set up within the crowd. It was pretty amazing to watch. I seriously need to get every person I know out to see this band. I talk about them enough, that they need to see it for themselves.

But it was pretty tricky to get into Friday's night show, as they were playing a very small venue with French Kicks, who if you have been reading this blog for some time, know I have a bit of a history with. Sounds scandalous, doesn't it? Like I had some secret affair where I ran off to the Caribbean with one of them and wrote a tell-all about it later before making my millions. Ah, a girl can dream. No no, sadly it was just an awesome interview experience and I've always had a soft spot in my heart for this band. A lot of people gave up in light of their last album, but I actually quite liked hearing it on record. 

However, for some reason, on Friday they less than entertained me. Perhaps it was the fact they followed White Rabbits, or perhaps it was the fact that there were a group of annoying girls up front who wouldn't stop pushing through, but I ended up leaving half way through to head back to the city. I do love me some French Kicks, but I also wish that they'd play some old tunes once in a while. Hearing what they have in store made me just a little bit concerned. And yet once I got back into the city that night I managed to almost get in a fist fight with some girl, walked down the street with a gin&tonic from a bar, and didnt get home til 5:30 AM. Something tells me I should have just stayed to watch French Kicks.

My plan to stay in on Saturday didn't exactly work out so well. I had dreams of laying in bed and watching 24 and passing out at 10 PM, but I'm a bit of a night owl, so that changed. I hopped just around the corner to Parkside, where I ran into more people I knew then I'd ever expect (people actually go to Parkside? Who knew!) I caught a set by a Philly band called Blue Sinatra, and had so much fun watching them. It's got a little scat, a little ska, and a lot of fun. They all ended up playing the drums by the end of the set, and the lead singer even played his keyboards with his feet AND his stool. Now that is showmanship if I ever saw it.

I considered live blogging the Oscars last night, but again...was too tired. I did managed to head all the way to Queens to eat some delicious spinach dip and laugh more than ever imagined. That's so much better than live blogging on your own.

I swear I'll have some proper posts once I get the hang of all this. Meanwhile, there's two awesome shows this week that I better see you at: A Brief Smile/Mason Proper @ Sin-e on Thursday, and Jukebox The Ghost on Saturday. More details on that last one soon.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Blog Show #20

From now on, every 10 shows Nora and I will recap the past bunch of artists. This way, you won't forget just how awesome they are. And our clever banter. And something else...that I can't remember right now. I'm so tired.

But seriously, this is a great mix so do head on over to and click on "The Blog Show." It's a nice collection for this rainy rainy day.

Let's Call It Off - Peter Bjorn & John
Elegy - Beat Radio
Why Not Me? - Locksley
Pile Of Gold - The Blow
Fille A Plumes - Malajube
Labyrinthian Pomp - Of Montreal
All The Days - Aeroplane Pageant
Our Lies + Your Smile - Via Audio
30 Helens Agree - Morning Theft
So Far We Are - French Kicks
Calendar - Bishop Allen
Trouble - Voxtrot
New Shoes - Paolo Nutini
Closer - Hourly Radio
Ex-Girl Collection - The Wrens
Like Cursing Kids - Kevin Devine
No Ace - Seth Kallen & The Reaction
The World Is Smaller Than You Think - Mason Proper
Ruby - Kaiser Chiefs

Wake me up when it's the weekend.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

here, there, everywhere

The blog is going to be very scatterbrained from now on. I hope that's okay. This job is like a total rush 24/7 and I feel on edge and excited all the time. Is that strange? Perhaps. All I know is today I got to speak with Kevin Devine, and I almost died. I love him.

Read the story about Capitol dropping him right here.

I am pumped to see Ra Ra Riot tonight at Canal Room. I was honored to be sent a couple tracks off their forthcoming EP, and get ready. The demos never fully represented how intense this band is live. These new tracks will do that justice, and then some. From what I heard, they were all reimagined versions of songs I've heard before -- adding in a little edge, a little funk and a whole lot more energy. It's pretty remarkable.

You can go listen to the new version of "Each Year In Our Graves" over on their myspace.

Now let me listen to the Arcade Fire live mp3 download and cry because I wasn't there. And get back to work.

I'll be dancing tonight. Watch out.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sorry | Youth Group

I was walking to work this morning, on an unseasonably warm day (well compared to yesterday) and I found myself reading all of the posters, signs, and stickers across Houston. One of these days I'd like to take out a pen and paper and write them all down, make them into some pretentious poem or give them to a band to make some kick-ass song. One of these days I'll have time to write again, for pleasure. There's a play I worked on throughout college that I'd like to return to. I find myself talking about it a lot lately, and like an old friend - I'd like to sit down and chat with it for a while.

But time, my friends, is never on our sides.

I started the new job yesterday and have never felt time go by so quickly. It was honestly thrilling. One of these days (besides getting back into writing for pleasure) I'll learn how to avoid being so awkward upon first introductions. But I have faith I'll be comfortable in no time. I left work so elated last night from the day's events. I hate to admit it but I haven't felt that productive in over eight months. While completely frightening all the time, I was satisfied by day's end. But of course I then had to head home and deal with people who forget sometimes that most of us all in this for the right reasons. And yet some people (I won't name names) like to blame others for their own faults.

I won't let it get me down, because in all honesty I haven't felt this happy in a very long time. I keep waking up to some very strange dreams and wondering if everything has been switched around. Like in Sonic The Hedgehog (which my roommate purchased last week and now has become our obsession), when you are racing each other (I am always Tails) and you switch places. The screen goes all crazy and all of a sudden you have no idea where you are. But somehow you are ahead.

I like that.

Again, posts from now on will be a little sporadic, but I will do my best.

Youth Group - Sorry

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Drew Barrymore is so indie

I like Drew. She seems cool enough, dated a Stroke, and wears fun t-shirts on TV. Sadly, her latest movie Music & Lyrics turned out to be an $11 nap. Oh well.

She posted her playlist up on iTunes. Not too shabby.

Click to enlarge.

A Brief Smile | New Shows

For the spring premiere of Lost, I found myself in the company of five different local bands. Now, I could go into a long dissertation about the relationship between fans of both music and Lost, but I won't. I'll just say it was pretty cool. And I got to play Wii for the first time. So there.

And what I did get to hear while I was there was a brand spanking new demo from A Brief Smile. Seriously folks, you have no idea what you are in for. It has been a long time since I heard anything absolutely new from the band (probably because I see them play live every chance I can get), but holy sneakers. This young band is probably the most ambitious songwriters I know. And it's working out for them. Just wait til you hear what is in store. You'll be floored.

While I was very excited to hear that new demo, I was not happy to hear that there were no shows coming up at that point. Luckily enough, that has changed in the last two weeks as now A Brief Smile will be playing two local shows, both of which are pretty frickin cool.

You obviously know about my latest obsession with Mason Proper, and so the fact that they will be playing with A Brief Smile at my beloved Sin-e is pretty spectacular. And one more for our friends The Music Slut with Locksley? Oy vey.

Here's what you need to know. See you there.

March 1: Sin-E
with mason proper
doors: 7pm, mason proper: 8pm, a brief smile: 9pm

March 24: The Delancey
the music slut spring fling
with the midnight hours, the silent years, cassettes won't listen and locksley
doors @ 8pm

Check them out on myspace and purchase their debut album R.E.S.T.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Birdmonster - Moving Out

Ah, it starts again.

Word is the Birdmonster boys are about to retreat to a cabin in the woods to write a bunch of new tunes that they will take on tour with them this spring, very similiar to the experience they embarked on to record their debut No Midnight this time last year.

And while I'm dying to hear some new tunes, I'd take a Billy Joel cover anyday.

Check out their performance of "Moving Out" from their show in San Fran on New Years Eve. Looked like fun.

[Update: O em gee. They also played one of my all time favorite songs, "500 Miles" by The Proclaimers. Amazing.]

birdmonster - 500 miles

Tonight: Battering Room Presents Knockout! Round 2

More info here.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Blog Show #19! w/ The Muggabears!

Nora and I were very lucky to have The Muggabears stop by this week and play an exclusive set for us, thanks to Jeff and D over at Neon Lights. Make sure you listen to the whole show for that set and an awesome giveaway! If you want to check out the band this Saturday at Delancey, email us at theblogshow (at) gmail (dot) com with "Neon Lights" in the subject line for your chance to win two tickets plus a gift bag full of cds, stickers, and other fun goodies.

Also on this week are some other favorites, plus every other segment Nora and I proclaim we hate each other, so find out why. Clickity-click right here for the best show on the internet.


Hospital Beds - Cold War Kids
We Used To Vacation - Cold War Kids
Hang Me Up To Dry - Cold War Kids

Carmen - Bridges and Powerlines
Mumbles - Bridges and Powerlines
All In - Bridges and Powerlines

Lola Stars and Stripes - The Stills
Animals + Insects - The Stills
In The Beginning - The Stills

Young Folks - Peter Bjorn And John
Amsterdam - Peter Bjorn And John
Paris 2004 - Peter Bjorn And John

The Muggabears Live Set

Check it out (for free) at

Mason Proper - There Is A Moth On Your Chest | Tour w/ Birdmonster

People tend to ask me what I'm listening to. I don't know why but apparently I'm somewhat of a music addict, who feeds on new music and usually can't keep quiet about it. And while I keep thinking I'm about to go into some sort of musical rut, something keeps coming along that reminds me that there are far too many bands out there, and only one of me. The odds, my friends, are in my favor.

2007 has started off strong for me. When I am not listening to local favorites White Rabbits, or a few guilty pleasures (Mika, anyone?), I have been habitually picking apart Mason Proper's debut album There Is A Moth On My Chest. I first wrote about this band in December, and seeing them play for the first time really sealed the deal. And now that I've got a copy of their album, thanks to Dovecote Records, it's really all I can listen to anymore.

What I need to tell you is that it is good. No, this is not just the type of good that you'll listen to for a week, really like, and then move on. This is not the type of good that you are just waiting for the band to really find their sound for their next album, and that will be better. And this is not the type of good that is easily accessible, or too far-fetched to be considered ordinary.

No, my friends. This is a different type of good.

This is the type of good that reminds you of every band you loved. Equally early 90's rock, influenced by some of the greatest indie rock gods of our time, it's straightforward and the perfect amount of quirky. I'd hate to make comparisons because you'd easily laugh at me, so instead I'll tell you that this is likeable rock, with a little bit of fuzz, a little bit melody, and a whole lot of fun. You will dance. You will pick apart the lyrics. You'll wonder what pedals or what production tricks they'd use. But in the end, you'll say...this is frickin good.

And because I can never keep my mouth shut, I happened to mention to the Birdmonsters about my new obsession (they've experienced this first hand, after all) and now the two have decided to do a little tour together. And how happy is this girl? Well, I'm sure you get this by now.

Go pre-order Mason Proper's debut There Is A Moth On Your Chest over at Dovecote Records right now and get a free 7" Picture Disc of "My My (Bad Fruit)" with exclusive B-side "Traveling Man" AND a free poster signed by the band!

So download these below, order the album, and I'll see you at the shows.

  • Mason Proper - My My (Bad Fruit)
  • Mason Proper - Miss Marylou Carreau
  • Mason Proper - 100 Years
  • Mason Proper - Carousel! Carousel!

    and in case you forgot...

  • Birdmonster - Cause You Can

    Birdmonster & Mason Proper Tour:
    Mar 24 - The Subterranean - Chicago, Illinois
    Mar 25 - Mad Hatter Club - Covington, Kentucky
    Mar 27 - Lager House - Detroit, Michigan
    Mar 28 - The Horseshoe - Toronto, Ontario
    Mar 30 - The Middle East Upstairs - Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Mar 31 - The Gramercy Theatre - New York, New York (buy tickets here)
  • Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    Valentines Day Mix 2007

    Any holiday that gives me an excuse to make a mix is fine by me. Sure, I've been known to say I hate this day and damn all those happy lovey dovey people, but in actuality Valentines Day isn't half bad. Who doesn't like chocolate and cheesy romantic gestures? And let's be honest, who doesn't like love songs. Not this girl.

    I woke up this morning to a good amount of snow and an even greater hangover -- the perfect mindset to make a Valentines Day mix. It's a bit of an eclectic bunch of songs: some old, some new, feel free to borrow, but some will make you blue. Regardless it works for both you happy go lucky people and the miserable alike. It's also available in a handy dandy zip file below as well.


  • Neutral Milk Hotel - Ghost
  • Broken Social Scene - Lover's Spit
  • The Postal Service - Against All Odds
  • The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset
  • Sure Juror - Ex-Cuties
  • Let's Go Sailing - All I Want From You Is Love
  • The Cure - The Love Cats
  • The Brunettes - Your Heart Dies
  • Arcade Fire - Crown Of Love
  • Jeff Buckley - Lover, You Should Have Come Over
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cheated Hearts
  • The Wrens - She Sends Kisses
  • Birdmonster - Janine
  • Elvis Perkins - Without Love
  • Radiohead - High And Dry
  • Levy - So Hard
  • Jose Gonzalez - Broken Arrows
  • Marcy Playground - Sex And Candy
  • Blind Melon - Change
  • Oh No! Oh My! - Skip The Foreplay
  • Ryan Adams - Love Is Hell

    Download: Valentines Day

    And make sure you come to this tonight.

  • Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    Battering Room Presents: Knockout! Round 2

    After today I get a little bit of a vacation before I start the new job on Monday. Well, it's not really a vacation. With a big dj gig tomorrow night (anti-valentines day, you will be there, yes?) plus a bazillion other shows, I may end up more tired than usual. We'll see.

    Friday I will be djing Battering Room's Knockout! Round 2. I happened to dj Round 1 as well, but didn't get to see any of the bands. I'll be happy to only have to play tunes between sets this time around, so that I can check out the bands. It's a pretty sweet lineup.

    Sure Juror is playing the last show of a month long residency in New York, and this is sure to be their best. If you haven't seen them yet, you should be there. The Muggabears will be a very special guest on The Blog Show this week, so I heart them already. Johan is Dutch and making a special trip over to the US for this show, and The Antlers have an awesome name.

    Sold, right?

    Right. Head on over to Pop Tarts for an mp3 from each band, and keep a lookout on Battering Room for a post about the show today.

    And I'll see you on Friday.

    Nicole Atkins Contest!

    It's been ages since I've seen Nicole Atkins perform, but her new EP Bleeding Diamonds is the perfect soundtrack for the day before Valentines Day. Tomorrow you will get drunk, but today you are free to be melancholy.

    A staple in the New York local scene, Atkins will put her crafted songwriting and haunting voice to the test when she releases her upcoming debut on Columbia Records. But for now, she is headlining Mercury Lounge next Tuesday, and we are holding a fun contest to support that show.

    Here are the deets.

    To win two tickets to see Nicole Atkins and her band the Sea at Mercury Lounge on Feb 20, write a haiku with the theme “Seahorses Take Manhattan” and Nicole herself will choose a winner. You can email me at underratedmagazine (at) gmail (dot) com, or leave your haiku in the comments.

    Fun, right?

    Nicole Atkins - Carouselle

    Hear more on her myspace.

    My co-workers are so sweet...


    aw my co-workers rock!

    Monday, February 12, 2007

    The Undisputed Heavyweights @ KidRockers | Live EP!!

    Saturday night I may have drank a bit too much, but that didn't stop me from heading all the way up to 110th Street on a Sunday afternoon to see my beloved Undisputed Heavyweights perform at The Underground Lounge as part of the KidRockers series. KidRockers is a fairly new idea put together by some super-hip parents, bringing in two acts on a regular basis to perform for a bunch of kids and their parents. Seriously -- fun for the whole family.

    Artists perform original, not specifically made for kids songs in an authentic and kid-friendly venue. And let me tell you, these kids were the coolest ever. Not only were they requesting songs from James Levy and The Heavyweights, but they were rocking out to Bob Dylan before the show. I only wish I could be that cool.

    Watching The Undisputed Heavyweights perform in front of a crowd of kids was interesting and enjoyable. Perhaps it's because when I watch this band perform, I feel like a six year old -- giddy and enthusiastic, entranced by Casey Shea's antics and persona. One kid kept telling Casey he was crazy. Yes, he totally is, which is why this band is ideal for any age group. You'll always feel young at heart.

    The greatest moment was when the band played a truncated version of "Bitches Been Trippin" (cut out the whole bitches part). Casey exclaimed that he had the "stay in school" blues and that he gets mistaken for Harry Potter too often. The kids loved it. And the organizers of KidRockers handed out sunglasses for all them to wear, sharing in Casey's blues. What a sight to see.

    All the pictures above were taken by Sarah Ivy, and more can be found on The Undisputed Heavyweight's flickr. Check out KidRockers over at


    The Heavyweights will be playing next Thursday at Mercury Lounge (February 22) as a release party of their first ever Live EP. Live From New York City is the first in a series of EPs from Family Records, a division of Liberated Matter.

    The EP features six songs recorded over at Joe's Pub, by Ryan Ryspace, with one bonus track recorded at Rockwood Music Hall. The EP will also include 11 (!) videos from various performances and backstage antics. Partial proceeds of each EP sold will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Sowbackya Illam Children's Home in India.

    Live From New York City is the first volume in a limited edition box set, called, The Bootleg Series. The Series, which will be released under Family Records, will feature several local artists. Super exciting.

    It's been a long time coming to have an official release from The Heavyweights. Consider yourself lucky, and pick one up on Thursday at Mercury Lounge!

    White Rabbits @ Sin-e | More shows, Debut Album News!

    White Rabbits

    So it's been ages since our show that we presented, but I'm getting through them all. And since I found myself surrounded by those dear White Rabbits on Saturday night, celebrating the completion of their debut album. But we'll get that in a bit. Let's talk about the fact that even though I was near-death that fateful Saturday night, I stood front and center for what is officially declared as "my new favorite band" for one of the most enjoyable sets I've seen by the band (and in a short time, I've seen a good amount).

    White Rabbits

    I was afraid that after all of my hype that people might be disappointed. Luckily enough, every single person that I had been telling how much they'll love this band, did in fact love them. And that had to be the greatest feeling ever. Because truth is, this band is pretty fantastic. And it wont be very long that they are being kept secret. Mark my words.

    What's most enjoyable about watching this band play is two fold. Not only do they have incredibly addicting and entrancing songs, but they actually look like they are happy to be on stage. Most of my favorite bands put on rowdy live shows. It's part of what makes live music so special. And when you see White Rabbits play, they all have goofy grins on their faces and they feel the music. I know, sounds silly. But it's not that silly if you happen to be grinning and shaking your hips as well. It's a give and take, people. Get ready.

    Exhibit A: Goofy grin, below.

    White Rabbits

    I've had an unmastered version of their debut album for a little over a month now, and I can't stop listening to it. Seriously, it's an addiction, and for good measure. But as I said earlier, the record is finally finished and I can inform you now that it will be entitled Fort Nightly and will be out on Say Hey Records May 22.

    I know, feels like forever. But totally worth the wait.

    White Rabbits will be playing Gothamist's show this Thursday at the new Luna Lounge in Brooklyn. They will also be playing with French Kicks on February 23.

    Consider me there for both, goofy grin and all.

    (Photos above thanks to Abbey at Punk Photo)

    Sunday, February 11, 2007

    Live Blogging The Grammys

    Well, I've never live blogged anything before so I figured I'd give it a try. In truth, my roommate left me to watch the Grammys solo, so I need someone to share snarky comments with. You will be that person, thank me later.

    7:47: Just tuned into the pre-show on E!. I cannot stand the people who host these things. Ryan Seacrest, although everyone seems to have a crush on him now (what?) is so f-ing annoying. Outkast is very short. In fact, shorter than Seacrest. Weird.

    7:49: Fergie has to be the worst person ever. Scratch that, I think she may be an alien. They have a lot of diamonds, these Black Eyed Peas. People need to stop buying their albums so the world can be a better place. Ugh, they already won a Grammy. This is why I really dislike this awards show.

    7:53: Roommate is still here. She's playing me the Black Eyed Peas song that covered Sting during the commercial break. She says its good. I'm holding my ears and making strange noises to drown it out. Now she admits its boring. Success!

    7:57: Do we really care about John Mayer and Jessica Simpson? The answer is, yes.

    7:58: Quentin Tarantino is the man.

    8:00: ROXANNE!

    8:01: Holy crap. Just me or is Sting super sexy.

    8:03: Okay, that was awesome. They should just forget the rest of the show and keep the Police on all night.

    8:06: Yay! Pop Collaboration actually credited someone worthwhile. If that Shakira song had won I was about to turn off the TV, or throw myself out the window. Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder are two of the coolest cats ever. And yes, I said cats. The roommate thinks Tony is a hottie.

    8:09: Wow. Joan Baez does not want to be there. Okay, Dixie Chicks. Although I'm no country fan I think you guys are awesome. If they win tonight, I'll be pleased.

    8:17: Man, I love that iPod commercial with the Fratellis song. So good.

    8:18: Wow. Prince is like the sex again. Ugh, I cannot stand Beyonce. Bring on Jennifer Hudson! This is the worst song from the movie. She's looking pretty freaky these days. And that thing in her hair is a bit out of control. Her dress is totally see through! And she's totally off key. Ugh.

    8:22: Wow. I didn't know they announced nominees for Lifetime Achievement award. So what if you don't win? Hm.

    8:25: Oh my god. Mary J just named every person on this earth. I actually fell asleep.

    8:28: So this whole idea for performing with Justin is pretty interesting. It could make for great TV. Someone is going to mess up, or flash a boob and we'll see it all over you tube tomorrow. I can't wait.

    8:33: What is Justin Timberlake talking about? He's definitely stoned. How is he performing already? I thought it was going to be after 10 pm that the chick is announced. I'm so confused. And this is definitely not his best song.

    8:37: Okay, part one of JT = pretty damn good. Part two? He should not be shown in that camera angle. It's actually starting to make me cringe.

    Friday, February 9, 2007

    Love Is A Battlefield: The Anti-Valentines Day Party

    Love Is A Battlefield

    The Anti-Valentines Day Party

    hosted by Nora & Rachael

    at The Skinny

    10 pm - someone cries

    174 Orchard Street (at Stanton)

    No Cover, 21+

    $6 Special Mixed Drinks, $3 Shots

    Candy + other fun treats!

    Come with a date, come alone. Either way, we'll get you drunk.

    Click on flyer to enlarge. This is definitely my favorite one we've ever had. Thank you again Carolyn!

  • Pat Benetar - Love Is A Battlefield

  • Thursday, February 8, 2007

    Movies That Rock: Factory Girl

    After Sunday's terrible terrible movie-going experience (do not go see Because I Said So, repeat: do not go see it), I was itching to see a pretty quality flick. Actually in reality, I just didn't want to be disappointed. I had great expectations for that Mandy Moore flick (don't judge) that I figured I might as well go see a movie that I was pretty sure would suck. So there I went, to check out the contravesial, almost never saw the light of day movie, Factory Girl. And to my complete surprise, I totally loved it.


    Of course everyone knows of Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick, but like many things in my life -- I know things just on the surface. I didn't really know anything about her life, or the relationship with Warhol himself. She was, to me, one of the first "it" girls who fell into Factory life and therefore her life was eventful but short. She was beautiful, and mystifying. She's a pop culture heroine, representing New York in the 60's, and a culture of the weird and underground. Basically, right up my alley.

    And yet I knew more about the making of this film than Sedgwick herself. Being a pop culture aficionado I pretend to be, I read up on all things movies and television just as much as music. I always liked Sienna Miller, and felt her tabloid life hindered any chance of her being taken seriously. And yet, it's ironic that it was her tabloid life that got her back into this film (they dropped her thinking she wasn't big enough of a name at first). I have to say, this is one of the strongest performances I have seen in quite some time, and had the release of this film been under different circumstances, I do believe she would have gotten an Oscar nomination. Quite unfortunate. And quite Edie.

    What makes Factory Girl a quality film is the acting. The story itself seemed a bit rushed at times, and I'd be interested to see the original cut (a lot of her relationship with Bob Dylan was taken out after Dylan himself threatened to sue). Guy Pearce was so Andy it was almost scary at times, but perfectly mixed sarcasm and humor into an incredible performance. And Hayden. Oh Hayden. You've never sounded or looked so attractive and I only wish they would have made you sing.

    The film itself is short and sweet, just like our dear Edie. You wish it could have lasted longer, but after the fact you feel as though you'd seen it all. My only problem? Could have had a killer soundtrack.

  • Bob Dylan - Just Like A Woman
  • The Velvet Underground - Femme Fatale
  • Blog Show #18: We're legal!

    Okay, so I have to tell you that I'm totally obsessed with the Mason Proper album (pre-order here), so that is going to need a separate post altogether. But I can tell you that you should listen to this week's "Blog Show" because I play three songs off the album, plus we have three other super bands.

    I also almost kill Nora by show's end, right before we play a new Arcade Fire song, so if that's not reason enough I don't know what is.

    Click here to listen, and don't forget to be our friend on myspace.


    Deaf Ears - The Hourly Radio
    Crime Does Pay - The Hourly Radio
    Please Forget - The Hourly Radio

    My My (Bad Fruit) - Mason Proper
    Mr. Charm - Mason Proper
    100 Years - Mason Proper

    The Fatalist - Robbers On High Street
    Spanish Teeth - Robbers On High Street
    Japanese Girls - Robbers On High Street

    Tell Me - Catfish Haven
    Too Hungover To Headbang - Catfish Haven
    Crazy For Leaving - Catfish Haven

    Intervention - Arcade Fire

    Wednesday, February 7, 2007


    I should be excited for Lost to come back. But like Whitney, life without the show hasn't been that treacherous. I had plenty of other shows to keep me occupied, and I can't even remember how the last part of the season ended. Thank god for the hour recap.

    But it's also that I don't want to get excited. Because if I get excited, that will only lead to disappointment. I'd much rather expect the worst. So the dog will die tonight. That's my bet. Where is that dog, anyways?

    Um, has anyone else seen this? A Lost music video? Oy vey.

    This song is so much better.

  • The Undisputed Heavyweights - Lost (On An Island)
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2007

    The Blog Show on Myspace!

    That's right. We finally made a profile.

    Be our friend and we'll leave you snarky comments.

    This Ain't A Scene? Hm.

    Okay, so yesterday was a very strange day. In fact I've been in a very strange mood ever since everything has sort of changed in my life and frankly I don't know where my head is half the time. It's so cold that my wardrobe has gotten too creative for my liking. And last night I took part in some questionable activity.

    Forgive me if I make you feel completely nauseous in the next three minutes, but my good friend (who will remain nameless in case of embarrassment) received a gift recently, a gift that is considered a bit strange by most people. She received earwax candles, and swore by them. So last night, after hitting up Pianos happy hour (best deal in the city, yes?) I found myself lying on the floor while Sean lit a candle that was stuck in my ear. Not your average Monday night, I'd say. But today I feel like a brand new person. If you ever find yourself wanting to try something truly disgusting but overall satisfying, this is my recommendation*.

    *[Update: Okay, perhaps I should have done a bit more research originally. But turns out earwax candles aren't really effective, and in fact dangerous. Apparently the results are completely psychological. Now, I'm a little bit sad.]

    And yet that was not the strangest part of my evening. Despite how exhausted I was by midnight, I found myself waiting up to watch Fall Out Boy on David Letterman. Why, you ask? Well, I'm addicted to their new song. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. I've listened to it too many times, and each time I want to sing along at the top of my lungs.

    So in an attempt to feel as though I'm not alone in all this, I'm posting the song. And in case I've lost all indie cred, there's a Shins post coming up soon, because no one has heard of them, right?

  • Fall Out Boy - This Ain't A Scene, It's an Arms Race

  • Let's Give A Tribute To The Shins

    On my bus ride back from DC on Saturday, I had the unfortunate experience of sitting in front of a girl whose iPod was so loud that I could hear every song played. I had just fallen asleep for a nice Chinatown bus nap, when I started to notice that this young girl was playing Britney Spears' "Toxic" over and over again. Seriously, at least eight times in a row. My roommate sophomore year in college did this to me when she wanted to piss me off. My greatest nightmare was reoccurring, and I wasn't thrilled.

    If there's anything that soothes my anxieties, it's The Shins. All that hullabaloo about them changing your life is a bit of an overstatement, if I ever heard one. But the press loves it. The band? Not so much. But what is true is that they never cease to write and produce fantastic albums that sound very similar. But it's the good kind of similar. It's welcoming, and comforting -- the kind of pop music that is easy to stand behind, while still appreciating the incredible song writing of Mr. Mercer and crew.

    Wincing The Night Away has been on a steady listening routine, but it wasn't until that bus ride back on Saturday that it hit me just how much I liked it. Each album feels like a direct continuation of the last, as if they were written and recorded one after another. They really are timeless. I can go back to their previous efforts and its as if I never left them. And yet hidden gems, like "Sealegs" show me that this band has so much more left in them, and I just can't wait to hear it.

    Wes let me in on an album titled The Shins Bluegrass Tribute. It was available on eMusic so I figured it was worth a shot. I really had no idea what to expect, not really being much of a bluegrass expert myself. But it's pretty amazing how well these songs have been translated. I've listened to the album continuously in the past 24 hours and I am still amazed. I have no idea who this band is, [Edit: It's Iron Horse, thanks Belch] but they really did a top-notch job. Go pick it up.

  • The Shins - Sea Legs
  • The Shins - Red Rabbits
  • The Shins Bluegrass Tribute - Know Your Onion!
  • The Shins Bluegrass Tribute - Kissing The Lipless
  • Monday, February 5, 2007

    An Underrated Update

    Dear regular, semi-regular, once-in-a while, and newbie blog readers (Yes, all of you),

    I wasn't sure how to start this post. Or whether I should even bother to write it in the first place. To be honest, most of you regular blog readers are friends or acquaintances of mine, and we've already gotten drunk to celebrate the news that I'm about to tell you. And the other 98% of you couldn't really care, and are here to get free MP3s (there's some at the bottom of this ramble, I promise). And then I think it may not be that big of a deal. And I should just continue yapping about hottie musicians and songs I play too many times.

    You see, when I started this blog it was a lot more personal. I actually wrote what I did on a daily basis. It was incredibly boring and self-involved and frankly there’s only so many ways you can write about going to see shows, getting too drunk, and making a fool out of yourself. So I focused more on the music itself, which is why Underrated was created in the first place. And since then, I have been very hesitant to share any information of my personal or professional life. You never know who could send you a creepy email.

    Here I go again, I'm babbling.

    The point is that I've accepted a new job. I feel very silly making a big deal out of this, but just can't help it. For the past week I've been walking around with a very awkward grin on my face because frankly, this is exactly what I've been working towards. When I started Underrated, back in the day, stapling those pieces of paper together was step one. I had no idea what I was doing. To be quite honest, my taste in music was questionable. But for some reason I was determined to make this my life, and with each issue, show, blog post -- I'd like to think I got a little bit better at all this. And for that, I'm so terribly excited and yet utterly scared about this new adventure that is about to take place.

    With that said, I will continue to update this blog as much as I possibly can, but please be patient with me in this whole transition interval that is about to take place in the next couple weeks. Underrated has been my biggest accomplishment to date, and I would feel a little bit lost without it. So while I'm trying to prove myself over at CMJ, I'll be back here swooning about which band I'm chasing after. Feel free to stick with me, if you dare.

    Thank you to all for reading over the years and forgive me if this all came off as ridiculously sentimental. I'll learn…one of these days.

    With that, here's my version of a cheesy inspirational mix.

  • Radiohead - Lucky
  • The Stills - Ready For It
  • Ryan Adams - Elizabeth, You Were Born To Play That Part
  • Office - Possibilities
  • Ennui - Change
  • Morrissey - Do Your Best And Don't Worry
  • Joni Mitchell - All I Want
  • Friday, February 2, 2007

    Seth Kallen & The Reaction @ Sin-e | Sideproject: The Lloyds

    Seth Kallen + The Reaction

    My my, our show feels like ages ago (has it not even been a week?) but I promised that I'd get up posts on each artist, so here I am with number two. Up second last Saturday was none other than Seth Kallen + The Reaction who actually was the catalyst in the whole evening in the first place. It was Mr. Kallen who had booked the evening and looked to me for expertise (or maybe that was what I said) to fill out the lineup. So if you happened to have fun Saturday night, you have Mr. Kallen to thank.

    No one ever believes me when I tell them how old Seth is, because he neither looks nor sounds like he is only 20. And while I feel bad always harboring in on his age, it's impossible to overlook. Saturday night might have been the strongest set from the band, where Seth's vocals filled the entire packed venue. Nora was partial to her new favorite tune "Shiver" but I always love "No Ace" which ended the set. It's got the perfect amount of twang that Seth isn't afraid to let loose. It was an impressive set, and I'm pretty sure all you close-minded hipsters were dancing along during "Who The Funk Are You."

    Next time, I wanna hear a Tally Hall cover.


    When he's not spending time with his band The Reaction, or thinking up ways to propose to Regina Spektor, Seth can be found working on two different side projects. The first, Algo, is guitarist Frankie Celenza's jazz infused group that is playing a sold out show tonight at Knitting Factory.

    The second, which I am most excited about is a folk project entitled The Lloyds (no website just yet). Together with other guitarist Adam Samuels on the mandolin (Nora, contain yourself) and Liz Hanley (violin), they will be introducing new artists on a regular basis to perform and record. I'm very intrigued and curious on how this will all sound, but us New Yorkers might have to wait a little while for them to make their debut. They will kick off the project in Philadelphia on February 23, but no news of a NYC show just yet.

    irockiroll presents

    I'm off to DC for the night to celebrate Miss Katie's birthday, but will be back in time tomorrow for this...

    See you there!

    Thursday, February 1, 2007

    Ra Ra Riot @ Mercury Lounge | New EP

    Last night I made the grand re-emergence of 2007, stepping out of my apartment for the first time since Sunday morning's fun trip to the ER. It felt nice to be outside the confines of a couch and reality TV. Granted I didn't go very far...only a couple blocks west to Mercury Lounge for yet another stellar lineup.

    It's always a pleasure to see Ra Ra Riot whether it be in the middle of a clothing store or on a well-refuted stage. Last night was the latter, and actually my first time seeing them at Mercury Lounge. While I expected the band to sound top-notch sonically, something was up with some funky mics that left more to be desired. Regardless, the band put on yet another rowdy set (complete with "Hounds of Love" cover, always a crowd pleaser) that was nonstop fun.

    Not to sound like a complete former stoner, but I find Ra Ra Riot at their best when they are jamming out. I wish they extended those instrumental jams sometimes. It's such a privilege to listen to a band like this with such a talented a string section that I frankly can't get enough. And when they get into those crazy moments where all the elements lineup and each part perfectly compliments the other, well...that's when the crowd goes really wild.

    Last night the band debuted a couple reworked tracks from their upcoming EP. Specifically "Dying is Fine" has a brand new intro that teases and pleases thanks to lead singer Wesley Miles vocal antics. Watching them made me very excited to hear the new recordings, in which the band was working on this past weekend. Apparently they worked so hard they finished a day early, which means we'll get a copy one day earlier as well. Awesome. No date yet on its release, but something tells me it may be in time for SXSW.

    The band will in fact be down in Austin probably playing a billion shows over the four day festival. Following that trip, Ra Ra will be heading overseas, with a mini-tour in the UK. Check out their myspace for more deets.

    This will be the last Top Chef post for a little while, I promise

    ....unless of course I win the Bravo contest to have the winning chef come cook at your house. Yes, I've entered that contest every day. Don't mock me.

    But yay! Ilan! I knew it from the beginning. I haven't watched the whole episode just yet (I heard it was a bit of a snooze fest, but whatever), but I was so happy when I watched the last 10 minutes and heard them call my future husbands name! Horray!

    From Gail's blog:

    I think it is clear why, of the two, we chose Ilan as our Top Chef. They both have the passion and drive to be successful in whatever they now decide to do. But at that meal, Ilan’s food reflected not just a capable hand, but also the ability to direct a team in creating the exact meal he envisioned from the start. It was consistent, considerate and, above all else, really fun to eat. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

    She forgot to mention that he's a hottie.

    Good thing Lost is back next week or else my Wednesdays would feel pretty lackluster.

    Band Of The Week: Shy Child | Live @ Mercury Lounge

    So I've been in a completely ridiculous mood lately. Like giddy and all that jazz, basically bouncing off the walls at every moment, unable to really contain any normal excitement. It can be embarrassing sometimes. Especially on a crowded subway.

    Last night after Ra Ra Riot and meeting the roomie for a drink over at 2A, I went back to Mercury Lounge to check out Shy Child. I really didn't know anything about this group, other than they are signed to Say Hey Records (home to my beloved White Rabbits). But I figured they had to be good. I just didn't know how good.

    Like I said, I've been in a very giddy mood lately, so hearing Shy Child totally worked for me. And it's working today. I've listened to their album One With The Sun over and over again, while bouncing around in my chair compulsively. There are only two people that make up this band, but that’s all you need. I spent most of my time last night fixated on their impressive drummer that totally made me jump up and down like a complete idiot. Oh, and there’s a keytar. You cannot, I repeat, cannot lose when you have a keytar.

    The band has toured with Hot Chip, which makes total sense because both bands know how to keep you dancing from beginning to end. Even though I was seeing them for the first time, I didn't want their set to end. I seriously would have stayed at Mercury Lounge until 5 in the morning if they kept those beats going. This band just protrudes energy.

    Go see this band immediately. Bring your dancing shoes.

  • Shy Child - Summer
  • Shy Child - Break Your Neck
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