Friday, March 30, 2007

What I've Been Listening To

In the last four months I've spent more money on medication than on music. This is not okay. I'm sick, again, for the 80th time in the past four months and frankly am getting for lack of a better word, sick of it. So I'm working from home today, and it's been a good opportunity to re-listen to a lot of the music I've been digging as of late.

It's been a while since I've posted any MP3s, mostly because I don't have my library at work. When I'm at work, I'm usually trying to focus on a story and music has become more of a distraction than a solace. Strange, right? But I have a CD player that I use, or listen to what everyone else is listening to for suggestions. In fact, one of my coworkers listened to this on repeat yesterday. While everyone else found it extremely annoying, I loved every minute of it. Go figure.

But the truth is, I have been listening to a ton of music lately, mostly on my subway trips to and from work, or the wind-down hours before sleeping. Most of it will not be new to you crazy folks, but I have been a little slow to discover these days. Regardless, the mix below is a lot of what I've been digging, so hopefully you will too. A lot of it is due to SXSW or sent to me by people with their fingers much closer to the pulse.

I blame the sickness.


What Rachael Has Been Listening To Vol 1:

  • Illinois - Alone Again
  • Ra Ra Riot - Each Year
  • The Lisps - Pepper Spray
  • Modest Mouse - Dashboard
  • LCD Soundsystem - Time To Get Away
  • Kristoffer Ragnstam - Lonely Lane
  • Mika - Love Today
  • Matt and Kim - Ready? OK
  • Voxtrot - Stephen
  • Pela - The Trouble With River Cities
  • Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
  • Bright Eyes - Cartoon Blues
  • Peter Bjorn & John - Start To Melt
  • The Antlers - The Universe Is Going To Catch You
  • White Rabbits - While We Go Dancing
  • The Pipettes - Judy
  • Love Is All - Felt Tip
  • Datarock - Fa-Fa-Fa
  • Thursday, March 29, 2007

    Mercury Lounge: Open For Business

    A little while ago, someone told me that Mercury Lounge might be closing. If you've talked to me (sober or not) you'd probably heard me complain that there is a lack of good venues left in the city. I have a lot of bands asking me for help when they come to NYC, and I just don't know what to tell them anymore. If a band is on tour and needing to make money by having a good gig with people who will come out to the show regardless of the lineup, there are venues few and far between. So when I heard my beloved Mercury Lounge might be turning into an apartment complex, that was not a step in the right direction.

    And then this morning, I saw this post on Paper Mag:

    According to New Media Feed, the reason for the shut down is linked to real estate development. Raises in rent and plans for high-rise luxury condos have already forced out other key venues in the neighborhood such as the Luna Lounge (which re-located to Brooklyn) and Sin-e (which will shut its doors soon).

    So the little reporter than I now apparently am, I reached out for either a confirmation or denial. And thankfully this is the official word:

    total bullshit, some dick box started the rumor.

    Phew. Top-notch reporting right here.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    Birdmonster vs. Mason Proper

    In case you didn't know, two of my favorite bands are currently on tour right now. They will both be in New York this Saturday at Gramercy Theater, so you are a fool if you don't buy your tickets asap. Oh, and did I mention Miss Jena Malone and her Bloodstains will be opening? Oh yes. This will be interesting.

    Anyways, I came across this hilarious myspace bulletin that Mason Proper posted that gives you a little insight into their tour thus far. Here is an excerpt.

    was the jam
    it was a small crowd
    because it was tuesday
    and mew was playing a mile away
    and it was pouring rain
    and many other excuses that i make to sluff off responsibility
    but the people that WERE there
    were the greatest persons in the history of persons
    and those that came to love on birdmonster
    loved on mason proper
    and those that came to love on mason proper
    loved on birdmonster
    and mason proper and birdmonster loved on each other
    and i guess that means it was kind a big gross love orgy
    but you should've been there
    because there was an epic ping pong battle between
    zac mason proper
    justin birdmonster
    and when the smoke cleared
    justin stood,
    paddle smoking,
    over zac's ping pong ball-addled corpse
    and so we had to have zach birdmonster be our zac for the night


    Mason Proper recently did a lounge session for WOXY. You can download that here.

    Birdmonster debuted some brand spanking new songs on MPR which turned out to be an amazing acoustic set. I can't wait to here these new songs again, and until Saturday, you can stream the performance here.

    The boys also stopped by Sirius' Blog Radio and Dodge has some mp3s. Sah-weet.

    See you Saturday.

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Music Slut's Spring Fling: Casettes Won't Listen, A Brief Smile, Silent Years, Locksley @ Delancey

    I wish I had a camera that worked because this is going to be a very text-heavy post. But something tells me that if I did have a photographing device, I wouldn't have remembered (er, had the ability) to document. Luckily years of show going has aided in my memory despite outside influences, so here we go.

    I arrived at Delancey for the blogger/band pizza party (thanks Sluts!) so I was at this show from the very beginning. Good idea in theory, until it's 2 in the morning and you realize you'd been drinking for almost seven hours and somehow found yourself djing Journey. Ah, all in a night's work.

    So I'm going to refrain from talking about Midnight Hours, and start with Casettes Won't Listen, who I have seen twice before. Frankly it wasn't the best show I had seen of him, but perhaps it was because I was in the very back. What bothered me was the fact that instead of just bringing up his guest singers (who are extremely talented, I must say) he had to pretend it was some sort of reality contest and we were supposed to believe that they were just regular show goers. Well, if I had a voice like the girls he brought up, you'd bet I'd be in some sort of musical act. It was a bit of sham, and threw me off for the rest of the set. Plus, no special appearance by Tim of The Diggs for that fabulous remix (or Trent Reznor) so that was sad. However, even in spite of all this I'm still a fan. So that should count for something.

    Ah, A Brief Smile. What can I say about this band that I haven't already said? Well, luckily for me they have premiered some brand spanking new songs in the past two shows I've attended, so there will always be material for me to go gaga over. And let me tell you, I'm really digging the new songs. Wes asked me if I prefer the new or old Brief Smile (which is noticeably different.) While I'll always hold their old songs near and dear to my heart (and frankly they are much easier to sing and dance around like an idiot to) I'm much more impressed by the new ones on a first listen basis. Immediately I'm blown away at how far this band has come, and I can see (and hear) that this is the direction they want to move in. It's much less poppy, much more epic and detailed. Did I mention there was moshing? Holy potatoes. In case you want to know, "2005" is my new favorite song. Get that EP out pronto, boys.

    Next up was The Silent Years who I was itching to see ever since Nora picked them one week on The Blog Show. I was pleasantly surprised and although I was stuck in the back (which makes viewing quite difficult), I thoroughly enjoyed what I heard. It sounded to me as though they are a less popp, more moody Spinto Band. I'll have to see them, and literally see them again to garner a full opinion. But so far, so good.

    And last, but certainly not least was the cutie pie boys of Locksley. The last and only time I saw this band before, Nora and I (thanks to a bit of alcohol) went totally nuts dancing up a storm and screaming like 13-year-old teeny boppers. These boys have that effect on you. Sadly no matching suits this time around (probably for the best since it was 1000 degrees downstairs) but they brought their same old happy go lucky pop songs to an enthusiastic crowd. The crowd had dwindled a bit for the super late start time, but everyone was still having a pretty damn good time. This band has commercial appeal written all over their boyish faces. It's only a matter of time.

    Congrats to Matt and Jen for an awesome night. Can't wait until the next show.

    White Rabbits @ Bowery Ballroom

    Okay, it's official. I love the White Rabbits. After an incredibly exhausting week of going out every single night (not so glamorous, I promise you) I was tempted to stay in and get an early night. But there's only one (okay maybe 3) bands that could get me out when everything else is telling me to stay in, and that's the power of the Rabbits.

    I wrote a blog post for about the show last night and included Wes's pictures (thanks!). Check out the post here.

    I also found this very funny video diary of their trip to SXSW. A must-see, if I say so myself.

    Don't forget that their debut album Fort Nightly will be out May 22 on Say Hey Records. I can vouch that it's one of the best releases of the year.

    Check out a bunch of new songs on their myspace.

    Saturday, March 24, 2007

    Tim Fite, Pela @ Sin-e | The Lisps @ Mo Pitkins

    It's almost as if I never left Austin. I swear I told myself on my flight back that I'd take it easy this week, have a little mini detox, and let the indie rock bands of today frolic around New York without my attendance. But no. Somehow I found this relentless stamina that has caused me to continue the party, with my hands up in the air.

    Last night I celebrated the fact that it was Friday. In perhaps one of the longest weeks ever (thanks to my suitcase being lost and arriving four days late), as soon as I was done with work I decided it was officially weekend. I headed over to the Beev party at Sin-e early enough to catch a band called Fun. In short, they were not so fun. So we shall just move on.

    What happened next was completely unexpected. I had heard from many reliable sources that Tim Fite was somewhat of a genius. Never had I heard one track. Never had I seen a picture. In fact, I don't even think I knew he was a rapper. But I trusted my sources. Fite happened to be outside while I was smoking a cigarette and I noticed him putting on a jump suit over his three piece suit. This was the first sign that what was to come would be very strange indeed.

    I am the last person in the world to speak about hip-hop, so I will tell you what I found intriguing about last night's performance. First of all, Fite is a total kook, in the most endearing way. His facial expressions deserve to have their own spotlight, as he works with the crowd making them feel welcome and uncomfortable in the same smirk. He sings/raps to a video screen projection of himself, with his brother next to him handling the beats and backup. It had all the elements for me to hate this set, and yet I was completely blown away. The songs in itself are an incredible mix of thought provoking and down right ridiculous. Favorite moment? Singing along to his "Burn Burn Burn" song. I hadn't seen that many white hipster kids get down like that, ever.

    Go download his album, for free over at his website. It'll give you a hint at what may be one of the most interesting performers in New York.

    And then came Pela. For the last month or so, the minute I sit down at my desk at work, I play their debut album, and its stuck on repeat all day. I don't know what it is, but I've fallen completely head over heels for this band, and last night was my first time seeing them. I know, I know. Everyone else who lives in NY has seen them at least twice. Like I always say, sometimes I really miss out on a lot of things.

    Pela is the perfect combination of commercial appeal and indie credibility. The fact that one of their songs was played on Veronica Mars is no surprise to me (and plus I love that show). Lead singer Billy McCarthy has one of those wailing voices a la Alec or Hamilton, and yet it's not quite screechy enough to be considered quirky. This is a good thing. The band as a whole looks so harmless and they have so much fun on stage that you really can't help but fall in love with them. I kept on saying "this is my favorite song!" for each one. That's always a good sign.

    It was bittersweet at Sin-e last night, as it was probably the last time I'll be at that venue. Since moving on the same block, it's become a go-to place that always felt like home. The shows I've held there have always been an incredible experience; the staff and bookers were always supportive. I will miss you Sin-e. The number of quality music venues in the Lower East Side is sadly decreasing by the day.

    After Pela, we opted not to stay for ShyChild (I love you guys, but had to run!). We hurried up to MoPitkins to see The Lisps who is yet another band that I've heard a lot about and never seen. (Something tells me I should get out more often, right?) I had never seen a band at MoPitkins before, and the space was a little awkwardly set up, but the sound was just right. The Lisps are definitely unlike any other band I've seen out today, with their seriously retro looks, and their male/female battling lyrics. It's almost as if I stepped into a vaudeville act, and yet their sweet and charming songs keep me coming back for more. What stood out to me were the lyrics themselves, and I always appreciate watching a band where you can actually hear and understand what they are trying to express. Couple and lead singers Sammy and Cesar play off each other flawlessly, creating a live show that is endearing and unique. Listening to their music will definitely be a different experience now that I've seen them live. They are a band that you need to put faces, and emotions to the name.

    Three (okay four) bands in one night? Not too shabby. Don't forget The Music Slut's party tonight at Delancey, where I plan to camp out for the night. Another batch of bands to add to the week....this is getting fun.

    Thursday, March 22, 2007

    The Changes @ Pianos | Fujiya & Miyagi @ Mercury | Band Of The Week: Coconut Records

    I never had much luck traveling. I've been home from Austin since Monday and yet my suitcase has yet to arrive. After many hours on the phone with Delta (the devil), the guaranteed times have been anything but guaranteed. It's almost laughable now, if it was not for my antibiotics that are in there that I so desperately need. My newly brunette (but always logical) roommate tells me you cannot become addicted to antibiotics, but I beg to differ. I have always defied science. And I need them. I don't want tonsillitis to come back for the ninth time. Sigh.

    But I have not been sitting at home crying over spilt milk, or lost luggage. Instead, I've continued the craziness that was SXSW and hit up some more shows. On Tuesday, I caught the always loveable The Changes at Pianos. They actually were the last band I saw during SXSW, and the first one since I have been back. Imagine that! So for all you haters who think I only see three bands all the time, it's kinda true. I'm still okay with it.

    The Changes premiered some brand spanking new songs which Nora and I immediately have fallen for. It's pretty incredible to see this band progress. They were pretty spectacular to begin with, but now their live shows are passionate, tight, and my favorite front man Darren Spitzer has officially broken out of his shell. Cannot wait to hear what these boys have in store for their second album.

    After Pianos, Pat and I ran over to Mercury Lounge to check out one of my top 10 bands to see at SXSW, who I didn't actually manage to see. Good thing they stopped by NYC before heading home to the UK. I really didn't know what to expect from Fujiya & Miyagi. I liked what I had heard, and was intrigued enough to catch them live. The set they delivered was jam-packed of funky deliciousness, with no stopping from song to song. The entire room immediately got into this crazy groove, a feat I hadn't seen happen in Mercury Lounge for some time. Their songs, while all quite similar, were executed in fashion, precisely what I want when I see a band for the first time.

    Speaking of seeing bands for the first time, I sure hope Mr. Jason Schwartzman and his new project Coconut Records goes on tour pretty damn soon. I got the album Nighttiming and I'm already a believer. It's one of those albums that is sad and sweet, with Schwartzman the ringleader in your mood. If he's happy, you'll be happy. But he can get a little dark sometimes, so watch yourself. All in all, not a perfect album by any means, but just as scatterbrained as I imagine Schwartzman is in real life. And that in itself is awfully charming.

    You can listen to a couple songs on their myspace. Here are my two favorites.

  • Coconut Records - Summer Day
  • Coconut Records - West Coast

  • Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    sxsw's CMJ recap

    Okay, last SXSW post, I think.

    I wrote a recap of the CMJ party for well, I got to see Apples and Stereo and Les Savy fav for the first time, so that was pretty super. Plus, they even let me work the door! Ah, the power.

    Read the post here.

    (P.S. those aren't my pictures, my camera was broken so I have no visual recap of the festival for you. Probably better that way)

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    SXSW '07 : A Hazy Recap

    Last year I ventured down to Austin for the very first time. I had no idea what to expect. There I was schedule in hand, and determination in my eyes. I saw 90% of the bands I came down to see, and yet found the experience chaotic, yet fun. This year I hadn't the time or the energy to figure out a schedule beforehand. I rsvp'd to every email I received and went down with one intention: have fun. Any band I want to see will come to New York. I just wanted to relax, see some cool shows, check out some new bands, and catch up with some friends. And luckily, I did it all.

    It was exhausting alright, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. I always get flak for seeing bands I've seen a million times already, but that's just how I roll. But most of who I saw was new, and I was glad to get an opportunity to check them out in one place. And thanks to Wes, I got up early and checked out some panels. Had it not been for him, I probably would have slept right through them or started drinking much earlier, but I was happy I didn't.

    So as follows, my recap/awards/notes about this year's SXSW.

    Best Show By Someone I've Never Seen: I think I have to go with Mika for this one. I know, you all probably hate him or thing he's a flash in the pan or whatever, but seeing this charming little guy up on stage singing with that incredible falsetto brought a smile to my face. He's a born star, in every sense of the word and although he claimed everything to have gone with the show I saw, I thought it was spectacular. I was ready to go home right there and then after that and be completely satisfied. Ah, Mika. What a guy.

    Best Show By Someone I've Seen: The Rapture. Hands down the best band and the best performers out there today. It's always remarkable to me that they haven't received more attention, but perhaps its better this way. The longevity this band will have is so apparent; they just keep getting better and better. The crowd loved every minute of this show and I bounced and sang my little heart out. A great start to a fantastic week.

    Best Panel: Tie between the A&R one and the Music Supervision for TV & Film. First, I have loved Perry Watts-Russell ever since DIG! and hearing his thoughts on bands out today was incredibly interesting. In fact, although the panel consisted of 6 white dudes, they were all very smart (minus one, I wont name names) and pretty funny too. A lot of talk centered around Arcade Fire and their next moves, which makes sense. The Music Supervision one made me so giddy because Gary Calamar was the moderator. You may remember if you read this blog regularly, I interviewed him two years ago when he was music supervisor for Six Feet Under. Such a cool guy, and since my secret profession of choice is to become a music supervisor for a cool show, I loved every minute of it.

    Best Party: Fader Fort. Contrary to what Nora will think it wasn't just for the free So-Co juice mix, although that was so delicious, I could drink it all day. It hosted a great lineup throughout the festival, and I will forgive them for not letting me into The Good Bad And The Queen. Every time I texted anyone I had to use capitals: THE FORT. It was huge, and had great sound and an incredible step up from last year. Kudos Fader. You had me at free So-Co.

    Best Venue: Maggie Mae's. It was my favorite last year, so good to know they are keeping things up. Its beautiful inside, they make a slamming margarita and although each band takes forever to set up, it always sounds top-notch.

    Worst Venue: Eternal. Was there for the Mika/Amy Winehouse show and felt like I was going to pass out the entire time. Too many people, not enough air, and gross drinks. Plus, for Amy Winehouse I couldn't see a gosh darn thing. Time to make the stage a little higher or slant the floor for goodness sake.

    Best Celebrity Sighting: Toss up. Seeing Peter from I'm From Rolling Stone made me totally giddy because I'm one of the 5 people who are in love with the show. He was very nice in person and although he told me he couldn't tell me if he won, I have it on high authority that he did indeed. Other than that? Seeing Michael Pitt on the sidewalk was kinda cool too. Nora and I screeched. It was awesome.

    Most Nostalgic Moment: Seeing Birdmonster perform on the same stage that I saw them for the very first time, this time last year. And hearing their new songs and how amazing they are almost brought tears to my eyes. Almost.

    Best Food: Iron Cactus. No competition. We ate there with Tally Hall on Saturday night and the fajitas were top-notch. Okay, so I was there every other day as well, but that night stuck out in my head as a favorite. I love those Tally boys. They stayed in their colored (newly skinny!) ties all weekend. What troopers.

    Best Cab Driver: I forget his name, but the one we took from the Diesel U Party back to the Pure Volume Loft. Nora decided she wanted to marry him, but he needed to know a few more things. Sampling of questions: Do you like people who major in economics? How do you feel about dishonesty? Don't you think Justin Timberlake's Dick In A Box made a pretty dweeby guy cool? Amazing.

    Most Heard Complaint: "My feet are killing." I don't know how those girls in heels lasted more than a minute. Even in sneakers, I was hurting. All that standing around all day really does a number. We all need foot massages, I imagine.

    Band I Wanted To See And Didn't:  Peter Bjorn And John. It wasn't gonna happen. Sigh.

    Best Afterhours: PureVolume loft. Vodka and Redbull at 1 AM is necessary. So is Nintendo Wii.

    Best Band I Didn't Expect To Like: Matt & Kim. All the blog buzz in NYC really turned me off, but they turned out to be a totally fun and awesome band. Matt cracked me up with his in between banter, and the crowd there was having a pretty good time. So sometimes hipsters are right. Who knew?

    Best In-Between Banter: Although Matt was funny, nothing will top Malajube. This band put on one of the best shows of the week, and I had never laughed so hard at a show before in my life. First they called everyone "Irish Vegans" (it was St. Patrick’s Day and we were at the Brooklyn Vegan Showcase) and then they called out two kids for smoking pot. "This one is for you slackers." Maybe it was their French accents, but I loved them that much more.

    Scariest Moment: Checking out Amy Winehouse's cool tattoos and then realizing she had intense scratches all up and down her arms. It looked like a cat attacked her, but I'm sure that's not the case. For such a talent, she really needs to get some things sorted out. It'd be a shame if she doesn't.

    Band I Saw But Shouldn't Have: Badly Drawn Boy. Zzzzzzz.

    Best Dressed: Datarock. I want a red jumpsuit. Like now. (Oh and "I Had The Time Of My Life" to close out their set? Genius)

    Weirdest Moment: Seeing Golum wish everyone a Mazel-Tov and watching a hora ensue. I felt as though I walked into some hipster bar miztvah. Crazy.

    Best Cover: White Rabbits covering The Pogues' "The Old Main Drag" on St. Paddy's day. The frat boys loved it, and I was too. Success!

    Band I Didn't Expect To See But Did Twice: The Fratellis. Although both were acoustic sets, they were great. Shows just how good these boys are at songwriting. Wish I could have seen them perform with Pete Townsend, but oh well.

    Cutest Girl Band: The Pipettes. Seriously, every boy I was with swooned. I wanted their outfits. A win-win.

    Cutest Boy Band: Kristoffer. Mmmm. Swedish Boy with sunglasses and a guitar. Really can't get any better than that.

    Thoughts for Next Year: Get a hotel closer. Save more money.

    The end.

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    sxsw 2007

    Holy crap! That was fun. I'm still in Austin for another night, but I don't have the stamina or the cash to make it back downtown for any more shows. I always say I need a vacation after this "vacation" and it is once again a very true statement. I had a blast, though. A full recap will be coming up, but here's a list of bands that I saw this year in Austin.

    Hot Club de Paris
    The Pipettes
    The Rapture
    Tally Hall
    Apples In Stereo
    Les Savy Fav
    The Fratellis (x2)
    Ra Ra Riot
    Amy Winehouse (x2)
    Cold War Kids
    Jamie T
    Badly Drawn Boy
    Kings Of Leon
    Matt and Kim
    Tokyo Police Club
    Foreign Islands
    Jim Boggio
    Kristoffer Regnstam
    Thunderbirds Are Now
    The Good, The Bad, And The Queen (ok, so I was standing outside, couldn't get in)
    Trainwreck Riders
    Cameron McGill
    Cloud Cult
    White Rabbits
    The Changes

    35 bands, 37 shows, and 3 panels in 4 days = Rachael exhausted.

    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    last day

    Wow. No beter way to start off then seeing Kristoffer Raegnstam perform while sipping on a mimosa. He's battling Mika for my favorite first time seeing performer. Although I have to say Matt & Kim is a surprising second. I finally get what all you hipsters are talking about. But back to Kristoffer. He's so dreamy. More later.

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    an update

    Yeah, I suck. Internet access has been iffy and my sidekick reset back to december 31 last night and was giving me very questionable notices. Perhaps I've dropped it one too many times, perhaps. Austin has been crazy and yet not too ridiculous this time around. Its been nice to catch up with bands and friends, eat free food, and drink too much SoCo. Ill give a proper update hopefully soon, but for now know this: Birdmonster's new songs are awesome, The Rapture still is the best band out today, and Mika is fabulous. Seriously, all about Mika. Oh and Amy Winehouse and The Pipettes are so fun.

    Don't worry Mom, I'm still standing.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    SXSW: Day One

    Status: So frickin pumped
    In actuality: Exhausted, it's 4 AM and I slept for maybe an hour
    Most excited for: Austin, in general, including (but not limited to) margaritas, tacos, sixth street, cowboy hats, bands, bands, and a couple more bands.

    It dawned on me, at about 2 AM when I couldn't sleep that I quite enjoyed my daily CMJ ramblings that perhaps I should bring that back out for SXSW. If only to chuckle at later, it will at least provide more blogging than I have in the last month. We'll see how long this lasts. Sidekick sometimes gets tired of me always pushing its buttons. Ha.

    So I'm currently en route to the airport and its still dark outside and I'm pretty sure my cab driver is singing louder than I ever will admit to that Ne-yo song. Ah, the fun is just getting started. I spent most of last night going through a checklist of things I knew I'd forget, while Pat looked at me like a crazy person, and I continued repeating "sunglasses, toothbrush, cell phone charger" out loud. I just want to make sure I'm ready for this craziness. In all actuality I just need a pair of jeans, a couple tees, and a prepared liver. Oh, and it would help if I didn't still have tonsillitis, but beggars can't be choosers.

    I've got Jack Bauer and a lot of work to do for the ride over. Ill be in touch from my second favorite city in the US later today. Wish me, and my liver, luck.

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    SXSW Preview: Austin, Here I Come

    photo via Kathryn's flickr

    Well here's the gods honest truth: nothing, no nothing, will stop me from heading down south for this year's SXSW. My deliciously disgusting tonsillitis has reappeared which means I'm probably going to have to get those suckers out, but not until after I've had my indie rock and taco fill. There are priorities at hand, I'll tell the doc. And roaming up and down Sixth Street for five days is one of them.

    I'm going to admit that I'm totally not ready for this festival. The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind both personally and professionally, and while I've RSVP'd to every invite I've gotten, I have no idea where those invites, or parties, truly are. But that's okay. Last year I had an organized schedule that I followed diligently, and probably missed out on half the fun. This year I'm going to just wing it. Like Nora, there's a lists of bands/artists that I want to see, and as long as I end up seeing at least half of them, I'll be set. And plus, this is all about discovering your new favorite band, so if I happen to drunkenly wander into a show and confess my love -- all the better.

    I'll do my best to update you throughout the week, but it may be tricky. I'm already trying to figure out how I'm going to balance getting news up on CMJ every day, while nursing the daily hangover with a Bloody Mary and a breakfast taco at the same time. This is going to be fun.

    Bands/artists I'd like to see at this year's SXSW:

    1. Amy Winehouse
    I know, I know, she's canceled her shows, which means I want to see her all that much more. Never have I been in such awe over an artist, because frankly she doesn't give a shit about any one else and yet she still pulls it off. That's talent, people. I was really looking forward to seeing her train wreck of a live show and then maybe meeting up with her for a margarita, or 10. Sigh. Maybe next year.
  • Amy Winehouse - Back To Black

    2. Kristoffer Ragnstam
    Basically? I wanna have his babies. He's Swedish and oh so dreamy, and plus his electropop has won over my heart almost instantly. You know me, I'm never one to turn away a boy who can manage his own beats while still looking good. So let's see if this guy can actually pull it off. Because right now, this is all in my dreams.
  • Kristoffer Ragnstam - Breakfast By The Mattress

    3. Peter Bjorn and John
    I got shut out of their New York shows, so I'm going to use my handy-dandy badge to its full advantage and chase these boys around until I can see them play. Plus, I need to sing "Young Folks" out at its most loudest drunkest volume just once. Please don't let that wish come true. Please.
  • Peter Bjorn and John - Paris 2004

    4. Birdmonster
    I know. I've seen these guys a bazillion times, and they'll be in New York a week later. I'm aware of all of these things, but never will I pass up a chance to see this band live. And a little bird told me they have been working on some new songs, so come on. I gotta be the first New Yorker to experience those, right?
  • Birdmonster - Spaceman

    5. The Fratellis
    As an Apple connoisseur, I can't get that frickin song out of my head. Good thing that the rest of the album is pretty quintessential Brit pop, just my cup of tea. I bet they are pretty fun live too, and well, I got shut out of this show too. Go figure.
  • The Fratellis - Henrietta

    6. Fujiya & Miyagi
    From what I've listened to, I dig, and from what I keep hearing about, I should dig them a lot. This is what SXSW is all about. The make or break. And since I don't have to pay for each show separately, I'll give anyone a fair shot.
  • Fujiya & Miyagi - Ankle Injuries

    7. Office
    I've still yet to see this Chicago band live, and it's killing me. Their album Q&A was a favorite last year, and I need to see them live. Please, someone make sure I do this. Because it didn't happen during CMJ, and I have only the alcohol to blame. Thank you.
  • Office - Wound Up

    8. Malajube
    Again, I got shut out of this show in New York, so here I go. Nora is so excited to hear me sing French to all these songs. I've been practicing and I've almost gotten all the pronunciation down. Actually, not even close. But it's going to be a hoot to hear me try.
  • Malajube - Ton Plat Favori

    9. Lily Allen
    I'm a huge huge Lily Allen fan, but I fear that all of her showcases are going to be so gosh darned packed that I'll never get in. Maybe if I explain to someone how often I listen to that album, so often so that I've got all of her songs memorized like the back of my hands, even to the point of mimicking her British cockney accent they'll understand. Maybe if I tell them I'm also British, and I could rock sneakers and a dress just as good as our girl. I need to get a British flag. So much to do.
  • Lily Allen - Knock 'Em Out

    10. Tally Hall
    I might just throw out the entire list above and follow these tie-wearing boys around Austin the whole week. I'd be totally content with that.
  • Tally Hall - The Whole World And You

    If you are going to be down in Texas, let me know. I'm going to need all the help (and alcoholic medicine) I can get.
  • Friday, March 9, 2007

    Happy Birthday Nora!

    Today is my radio co-host and all around partner in crime, Miss Nora's birthday. She is old-er. And to celebrate, we must do what we do best...drink a lot, dance a lot, and act like all around crazy people. And where is this happening? Our home away from home – The Skinny.

    I will be djing tonight in celebration. You are all welcome to come and wish her a happy happy birthday. Festivities start at 10. I can't guarantee anything after that.

  • Tally Hall - Be Born
  • Thursday, March 8, 2007

    West Coast!

    Wow. So I just found out I may be interviewing Hanson in the very near future and all of a sudden I feel like I'm a kid again. Amazing.

    You know how much I love Jason Schwartzman, right? Right. And apparently he's started a new band and is coming out with an album pretty soon. I must direct you over to his myspace to listen to his track "West Coast." See all those plays? Guarantee 90% of them were from me. I am obsessed.

    Go listen to The Blog Show today too! It's a good one.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2007

    i heart kristoffer ragnstam, as well as every other band it seems

    Ah, here you are. I knew there was some place I was supposed to rehash my silly shenanigans other than towards my friends. I knew there was a reason for the overabundance of eye rolling as of late. See! One plus of the internet. I can't see your reaction. Horray.

    So where did we leave off? Ah yes! Jukebox The Ghost, to whom I declared my new favorite band (in their presence) while toasting a shot (I may have drank a bit too much on Saturday). But in all seriousness, this band made quite an impression. I had never seen them live, but for the past few weeks I have made a killing on their few songs I possess. I spent the better part of their set jumping around and singing out all the words. I really have no shame.

    The trio hammered out an extremely enjoyable set to a packed crowd for the early hour on a Saturday night. I was sad to see it end, to be quite honest. Just when I was beginning to get over the initial shock (wow, they really are that good), they started to pack up their stuff. Perhaps that's the reason I drank so much that night -- I must have been in denial.

    For better and more coherent ramblings on the awesome show, check out Pop Tarts Suck Toasted or The Music Slut's posts. And keep a lookout for this band. They are coming back at'cha this summer with a Piano's residency. Mmhmm, I knew that they'd make an impression.

    Speaking of making an impression. This week I managed to have yet another awkward interview with Voxtrot's Ramesh, and yet another gush-worthy interview with Nic Harcourt. It's funny, both I have interviewed before in my past journalistic experiences. I'd like to think I now have a different outlook, nay approach to my interviews working for a legit publication. Nope, still the same ol' me. It's been a crazy last couple weeks here at CMJ, but my, I never knew how much I missed the actual act of reporting. And even  though I complain on a daily basis, and would rather stay in my nice warm bed and watch 24 all day, I'm pretty gosh darn thrilled that I ended up where I have. It's all been quite surreal.

    But yes! Let's talk about music. Because I've actually been listening to some new music and hopefully I'll get back into writing succinct posts about each. But for now, I'll just let you in on my latest find, Mr. Kristoffer Ragnstam (don't ask me to pronounce that) who we did a news story on today, and now that I've listened to him he's one of my new favorite peeps to keep an eye on (there should be a list of those somewhere in my head). Not only is he a cutie mc cute (always a requirement, isn't it?) but his electro fueled pop is almost like a toned down Tom Vek with a little bit more pop. Plus, he's Swedish. He'll be at SXSW, so it is now my goal to make sure I catch at least one show. Wish me luck.

    Kristoffer Ragnstam - Breakfast By The Mattress

    Speaking of SXSW, I am indeed going for the second year in the row. I haven't had a second to comb through all the emails or schedules, so I'm hoping I can tag along with either Nora or Wes and they will have some sort of plan of action. But something tells me they are thinking exactly the same thing.

    I'll also be mulling around with the Birdmonster boys (who just kicked off their ridiculous cross-country tour) and our Ra Ra Riot friends (whose EP you can finally now pre-order.) And yes, Tally Hall will be bringing their tie-wearing selves down south as well. I can't wait to follow those boys around.

    Needless to say, I'm psyched. That's all for now.

    Just kidding. Here is a brand spanking new track off of Ra Ra Riot's new EP. I've heard some more tracks and shista, they are good.

    Enjoy this one for now.

    Ra Ra Riot - Each Year In Our Graves

    Friday, March 2, 2007

    Underrated Presents: Jukebox The Ghost

    It's been a while since I've latched onto a band. Okay, that's a total lie. It happens on a regular basis, but I'd like to pretend that it's much more special than that. Because, in truth, it actually is. At least for me. See now that I'm super busy all the time (trust me, I'd rather have the opposite) these posts will be less regular but when I do post, do know that they are worthwhile. And this is one to take note of.

    Let me introduce you to this band named Jukebox The Ghost. They are from DC. They are a trio. And they will make you happy. Not just "whew this is fun," no sir. This is what I listen to every single morning on my way to work to ensure I have a good day. Because when you are listening to Jukebox The Ghost, every thing just seems so dandy.

    I love pop music. This is no surprise to anyone who knows me. I like songs that are memorable, bands that put on a good show, and music that is different but accessible. Jukebox The Ghost fills that niche just perfectly. Their piano driven vaudeville act is creative and cool, like a hip Ben Folds, or a Rufus correlated into something concise, authentic, and sweet. For every sing along there's a surprising change of pace, and for every happy-go-lucky note there's an unexpected lyric. Each turn and twist you go through with this band is worthwhile. Because in the end? You absolutely adore them.

    This is, after all, only hearing a handful of songs. But trust me, I think I've listened to them enough times to understand that I really like this band. And the more I hear, the more I will love them more.

    So come out on Saturday, at 8 PM sharp at Pianos and let me introduce to you your new favorite band.

    Here are hot off the presses exclusive MP3s for you to enjoy. Learn all the words. I want to see you sing.

    Jukebox The Ghost - Hold It In
    Jukebox The Ghost - Good Day

    Thursday, March 1, 2007

    tonsillitis is no fun. or is it? nope, not fun.

    You know what's fun? Being sick. Again. And this time? It's tonsillitis! Something makes me want to pretend I'm on one of those commercials and do a little cheer and dance because I have this illness. Maybe it will help. But probably not.

    I can't believe it myself, but I've managed to spend the greater part of the last six months on some sort of medication, complaining. Frankly, I wish this wasn't the case. And as much as I hate doctors offices, I forced myself there after work, fell asleep on the examining table, and tried to be optimistic over the fact that I don't have mono or strep. Nope, just tonsillitis. And if this horrific pain that I am currently experiencing doesn't go away in three days, those suckers are on their way out. Ice cream, anyone?

    Let's find some good news, shall we?

    The good news is that there's a fantastic show going on tonight with my newest obsessions Mason Proper and old-school Underrated loves A Brief Smile. It all starts at 8 PM tonight, and is guaranteed to be a seriously good night. Just don't tell my mom I am going out. And I swear I'm not contagious. So don't be afraid to say hey.

    I really like that flyer.

    There's a new episode of the blog show up today, but I will get to that later. Everything is finalized for this years SXSW and I couldn't be more excited (hoping that I'm 100% better by then, because I want my margaritas, now). It's amazing what a difference a year makes, as last time I was apprehensive about going down not knowing very many people, and this year basically every band and blogger I know will be there. It's going to be awesome.

    What else can I tell you? Next week I've got a super exclusive for you that I'm so happy to share. But before that, you must come to see Jukebox The Ghost on Saturday at Pianos. I'm going to write up a full post about how lovely this band is on Friday, complete with exclusive mp3s for all y'alls. Your new favorite band? Perhaps. Mine? Definitely. Here's the flyer for the show, because it's oh so pretty.

    I think that's all I have to say for now.

    Blog Show #21...uh oh, we're legal!

    We thought the day would never come, but it has! The Blog Show can now drink...legally! In honor of that we have one of our most interesting shows yet...complete with Nora having a Brit-esque breakdown half way through the show...and it's all my fault. Plus there's that band that sings that song "Ruby" that we talk about, AND you FINALLY get to hear some Jukebox the Ghost. Yay!

    Clickity-click right here to listen.

    Under My Skin - Jukebox The Ghost
    Good Day - Jukebox The Ghost
    Hold It In - Jukebox The Ghost

    I Can Do Without You - Kaiser Chiefs
    Learnt My Lesson Well - Kaiser Chiefs
    Thank You Very Much - Kaiser Chiefs

    Free Stress Test - Professor Murder
    The Mountain - Professor Murder
    Champion - Professor Murder

    Gets Me Down - Ampop
    You Could Be Lovely - Ampop
    Two Directions - Ampop

    Clamour For Glamour - The Ark

    blogger templates | Make Money Online