Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Bonus Jonas

Sorry for the blogging absence, I wish could blame it on a fugue state or maybe a bender in Reno, but really I have a far more mundane excuse: finals and long hours at work.  Boring, anyway...

Previously on Children's Hospital...maybe you're like I was this time last week and these words don't mean anything to you, if so then listen up.  Children's Hospital, a little gem of a show, is funny and actually does the medical genre right, ie it shamelessly makes fun of it.  My little brother forced me to watch the new season premier with massive amounts of passive aggression last week, I put up fight, but thankfully wasn't a match.  Episodes are only 15 minutes, and a welcome reprieve from the normal shite of popular "pop" culture.  So be prepared for nuggets like the bonus Jonas, ridicule of the healing power of laughter, and my new mantra "Sometimes no matter how smart you are, you have to do what your brain jelly tells you to do."  Watch full episodes on the adultswim site.

Okay, 5 songs for the 5 days of our upcoming work week...I'm going to need 'em.  Download below.

Luna: Bonnie & Clyde

Austra: Beat and the Pulse
Timber Timbre: Woman
Nancy Sinatra: Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham
The Rosebuds: Second Bird of Paradise

Oh, by the way, in case you're not a 13 year old girl, the bonus Jonas refers to the fourth, unknown Jonas brother not it the band.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Heading Into Empty Space

I really wanted to write a witty one-liner for this post.  Realistically, it's not going to happen.  I can't decide if it's because I haven't slept in over 40 hours or if I just don't have it in me.

Pro tip though: combine sleep deprivation, a strange sense of removal, and a dark room for optimal listening of this song:

Sound familiar?  Lead vocals on this track done by the xx's professional etherealalist Romy Madley Croft.  Anyway, this is Creep, just another Brooklyn duo making great, twisted electro.  Can't wait for more from these two ladies.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Keep Shelly in Athens..Again

I'm still in love with mysterious, down tempo, electro masters Keep Shelly in Athens -- pleeease come play LA!  The duo just put up a string of recent remixes to download, for free.  Listen/download below.  I was pretty blown away by how they completely transformed Lasting Love into this totally creepy, amazing song; check out/compare with the original here. Or listen to some non-remixed KSIA here, and tell me you don't love it.

Our remixes by Keep Shelly in Athens

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fab Friday Music

In an age when sexy boy/girl band duos are the norm, it takes something pretty good to get a bit of buzz swarming around a twosome.  Cue in Big Deal...a sexy boy/girl band duo from the UK who has that something which means they haven't left my "listen to on the ridiculously long bus ride you have to take because west-side apartments are so GD expensive" playlist.

To quote the pair: "We don’t know how to put this but we’re kind of a big deal."  Weirdly, I'm sort of into the arrogance.  Enjoy.

MP3Big Deal – Locked Up

Talk by Big Deal

Homework by Big Deal

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Golden Age of Girl Rock - Coachella '11

"VV" of the Kills at Coachella
With memories of Coachella '11 already blowing away on the trailing edge of the Santa Ana winds, I have got to get this post out before it's irrelevant.  So, let's get to it...Coachella this year was in one word: amazing.

And, all about the ladies!  Or at least the female-led bands.  Robyn and Alice Glass (aka 1/2 of Crystal Castles) stole the show Friday.  Arcade Fire was awesome Saturday, but it wasn't until after Régine Chassagne took the lead for Sprawl II that I lost it.  And don't even get me started on Sunday - Alison Mosshart from the Kills reminded all you dudes that she can rock harder than you, the Strokes had nothing on Phantogram's dance-friendly, trip-hoppy, dirty beats, and wow, PJ Harvey...the real closing headliner of Coachella...I've never had my mind blown so hard.

Call it progress, social evolution, whatever. Thank Patti Smith, Kim Gordan, Joan Jett, whoever. The point is when I think back to who made the biggest impact for me this year, and which act I still can't get out of my head, it's obvious Coachella '11 will go down in history as the Year of Girl Rock.

Okay, festival highlights:


Warpaint  I've touted the Silver Lake quartet on this blog before, so it shouldn't surprise you that I was front and center for the spacey, psych alt rock.  And the group definitely delivered, in all it's dark, transfixing glory.  For a weekend in which more than a few bands where plagued during sound checks, the tone was set from time zero, when the group sound checked for like .1 seconds and jumped right into it.

Ms. Lauryn Hill  Doo-wop, Fu-Gee-La, Ready or Not, Ex-Factor...a pretty good/nostalgic reminder of how awesome she was.  Please, a moment of silence for the Fugees.  May they rest in peace.

Interpol  Remember that part in Gladiator, when Russell Crowe just won a fight and the emperor comes out and puts his fist out, thumbs up, you live, thumbs down, donezo?  Yeah, this wannabe Roman emperor writer is deeming Interpol thumbs down, not good, so over it.  Okay, the light show was pretty cool though.

Cut Copy  Always a good time, synth-pop, dance friendly rock from Australian's.

Crystal Castles  Noise rock meets disco.  I'm in love.  Made all the better by how weird and feral front-woman Alice Glass is.  Um, yeah, she was writhing on stage, crawling around, and making those noises...I'm totally freaked out in such a good way.  It was a no brainer passing up Kings of Leon.

Robyn  Dance-pop Swedish princess.  Acts like this keep you going for another full year until the next festival swings around.  The set was full of catchy, unabashed techno pop.  I still have With Every Heartbeat bouncing around in my head.


Gogol Bordello  Watch Everything is Illuminated and you'll love everything Eugene Hutz does too, no matter how brazen and arrogant he probably is.  The group has added a bit a Rasta/Latin vibe since I've last seen them, and honestly I prefer the Gypsy punk Gogol Bordello, but how can you be disappointed with anything coming from the Ukrainian, especially after he removes his shirt and demands you Start Wearing Purple?

Glasser  Another of the women who ruled Coachella this year.  The show was out there, but listen to the band and you know their music is out there...twinges of the Knife, or a little like the weirder side of Goldfrapp.  The feel of the music was made all the more complete, when front-woman Cameron Mesirow came out in a full body bridal veil.

Bright Eyes  A healthy mix of classics and songs from their most recent album, made for an overall crowd pleasing set from Bright Eyes, and reminded me why I liked the whiny ballads in the first place.  I think it's time to bust those old albums out from the indie attic for another listen.

the Kills  Ah, where to begin??  I was floored.  Garage rock, lead by a girl, head banging and thrashing around, getting grimey, all under a full moon lit sky.  In my top 5 acts of the weekend.

Empire of the Sun  More Australians, even crazier the rest!  The electro rock music is only half the reason to see these guys.  The real treat is the stage show, it was like Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Star Trek.  The show featured some pretty intense visual aspects: sequined Hammer-pants, space mermaid costumes, swordfish horse costumes, some sort of strange commercial sex workers from space, feathers, rhinestones, square head-pieces...suffice it to say it was a head trip.  An alien circus dance troupe, all played out to the bands songs.

  Of the Britpop bands reuniting this year, Suede was not the band I wanted to see gracing the Coachella bill (ahem...Pulp...ahem).  But Suede it was, and a deep love for the 90's genre brought me into the Mojave tent to see these guys, the force that arguably launched the entire Britpop genre.  Wow, do I feel ridiculous for every hoping for something else.  Suede completely delivered.  A full hour of hip swivels, raw sexual energy, and glamorous androgynes.  It was definitely a highlight.  If you at all are into the genre, check this group out.

Arcade Fire  The Saturday headliner, with a killer new album.  They played hits, synchronized with the Creator's Projects' visually stunning additions to screens.  Pretty much just as great as you would imagine.  About two hours in, a massive black box opened above the audience releasing huge balloonish orbs that lit up and changed colors corresponding with the music.  It was pretty gd amazing.  And like I said, Régine Chassagne blew it away when she took the lead for Sprawl II, with the screen going nuts with an abstract visual to the already super amped up situation.  It. Was. Great.


Health  Noise rock at Coachella!  Woohoo!  Read a few posts on this blog and you know I'm one of those people, you know, one who consumes My Bloody Valentine or Sonic Youth like it's manna from heaven.  The LA based band Health offered a respectable amount of dissonance intertwined with its Coachella requisite electro.  Just the way I like it.

Phantogram  Warning: biased review ahead.  I love this group.  Bringing in influences from all over (trip-hop, acid jazz, Detroit hip-hop, and of course electronic), these guys had the Gobi tent moving.  It's hard to believe they've only got one album under their belt.  The show was great.  I can't wait to see what this group comes up with next.

PJ Harvey  The highlight of the entire festival.  The only performer I insisted on showing up early for and getting as close to the stage as possible (which meant we were pretty amazingly close).  The woman has a truly impressive stage presence, I was completely blown away - brought right back to my little 15 year old wide-eyed self unable to articulate just how I felt when I first heard her music.  She stood up there, a sort of a pagan princess, in a floor length white dress and feather headdress, bemused, probably mischievous.  It was pretty much agreed upon by all those who turned up for the show, which overlapped with Kanye West, that PJ Harvey was the real Coachella closing headliner - and when the cameras focused in on a fan-held sign saying exactly that, that total agreement was vocalized by thousands of booming cheers.  Mother Gaia seemed to feel the same, with the winds getting stronger and stronger as the show progressed, carrying the music across the field and keeping Kanye's blaring at bay.  Songs came from all throughout the singer's prolific twenty year career.  Great music from a great musician. And thanks to AudioPerv, we can all watch the show again and again.

Photo above from the LA Times