Monday, October 29, 2007

(10.29.07) Recommends:

(Really) Free (Not Really) Secret Sigur Ros Show.



In order to get a wrist band for this free show you must show up at Amoeba in Hollywood between 6-9pm tomorrow. And as luck would have it, you were already planning on being there for the free Sondre Lerche in-store performance.

Who says LA is an expensive town?

(10.29.07) Recommends:

More David Dondero Youtube Videos.

It's been all David Dondero all the time around here lately. This might not stop for a while. You people need to buy his albums and attend his shows.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

(10.28.07) Recommends:

David Dondero, "My Fuse Is Lit."

So last time we spoke we were hyping the David Dondero/Richard Buckner show at Spaceland in Silver Lake. Dondero played this song. It was eerie. Evocative. Provocative. Angry. Sad. Goose bumps.

The world around us rarely makes sense and we turn to art for some kind of explanation or some sense of comfort or at least a sign that we're not the only ones who feel the way we feel. This song doesn't offer an explanation or a sense of comfort, but we do feel less alone in the world when we hear it. And there's comfort in that, we suppose.

The version performed last night seemed to have more lyrics, but here's a version of the song performed earlier this year.

Friday, October 26, 2007

(10.26.07) Recommends:

David Dondero.

Wow. We cannot believe that it is 2007 and we're only just now being exposed to David Dondero. We live in an era of refrigerators and fax machines and internets and we're really just now finding out about this? Amazing. You're gonna take one listen to the mp3 we're offering today and you're gonna say, "Hmmmm, this voice really, really reminds me of a certain young troubadour from Omaha." And then you, like us, will wiki David Dondero. And then you, too, won't believe that it's 2007 and you're only now learning of the connection. Unless -- and this is entirely possible now that we've actually thought about it -- you are much hipper than us and already know about David Dondero, in which case we're gonna have to ask why the eff you didn't bring this gentlemen to our attention sooner?

Well, enough wondering already. Because for those of us in Los Angeles, we've got quite a treat this weekend. Not only is Mr. Dondero in town, but he's opening for Richard Buckner -- a true hero of this blog -- at Spaceland. More info here.

So, if you're in LA and you know us, come on out. If you're in LA and you've somehow stumbled upon this blog, come out and let's meet. We like meeting new people. By the time the show starts, KU will possibly be 8-0 in football and moving up in the BCS ratings. Writing that is almost as insane as not finding out about David Dondero until now.

So, check 'em out, saddlecreekers:

David Dondero -- Rothko Chapel -- mp3
.

More to hear at his Myspace.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

(10.24.07) Recommends:

The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir.



It seems like every week we've been putting up new Bloodshot releases. Well, Bloodshot must be employing press release writers whose aim is specifically to get us and those like us to bite on these bands. Because when we get the following in our inboxes, our electronic ears perk up:

Chicago-based chamber pop collective The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir aren’t your typical debauched rock stars reveling in a pastiche of self-destructive clichés. Leading a band that’s shared the stage with both the Arcade Fire and Ira Glass, Spoon and Dave Eggers, it’s clear that lead singer, guitarist, and keyboard player Elia and his scrappy group are comfortable straddling the divide between the debased rock ‘n’ roll world and the high-minded literati. As it turns out, both shoes fit. Not content with merely performing with some of the most notable names in independent music, the band has explored their connections with the literary and theatrical worlds, performing with Eggers, DeRogatis, This American Life’s Glass, author Joe Meno, and Saturday Night Live regular Fred Armisen.

And Aspidistra was the accompanying track. We like it. So up it goes. There's more to get into at the bands myspace page.

Oh, and speaking of Myspace. As we're sure you've heard by now, today Microsoft threw a large chunk of change for a 1.6 pct stake in Facebook. We particularly liked the following quote from this Times article:

Mr. [Lee] Lorenzen and other Silicon Valley investors are often dismissive of MySpace, Facebook’s larger rival, which has more than 110 million active users and is owned by the News Corporation. “MySpace is not based on authentic identities. Facebook is based on who you really are and who your friends really are. That is who marketers really want to reach, not the fantasy you that lives on MySpace and uses a photo of a model,” he said.

We laughed -- literally LOL'd -- when we read this. We used to be embarrassed by Myspace. But at some point we learned to stop fearing it, and embraced it. Outside of Rhapsody, we're not sure there's a better tool for discovering new music than Myspace. And that's why we think the VC following world is missing the boat with their recent, incessant Myspace bashing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

(10.23.07) Recommends:

White Rabbits.

So the transition to moving to a new city and a new neighborhood has been made smooth due pretty much exclusively to the generous and large-hearted people who we know. They've cooked us meals. They've invited us over to play Scrabble. They've invited us out to shows. Frankly, we're still trying to figure out what we bring to the table and why these generous people continue to return our phone calls, and reply to our text messages and emails. But in the mean time, we'll just go with it. So the latest in our burgeoning list of cool things to which cooler-people-than-we have invited us was to see Tokyo Police Club at the El Rey.

Long time readers will remember that we've been batting our eye lashes at TPC for a while now. They were, we're happy to report, really fantastic live.

But before they hit the stage, White Rabbits had the place up and dancing. We had not heard of White Rabbits before tonight, but we have a feeling they're gonna be a pretty indispensable part of our music collection going forward. And I'm not saying this just because they're quasi-hometown homies -- they got their start in Columbia, Mo. They had the crowd whipped into a frenzy, and anytime an opening band can do this, attention must be paid.

There's very few things we enjoy more than walking into a show, completely unaware of a band, and walking away converts.

It happened tonight. Check 'em out for yourself.

Monday, October 22, 2007

(10.22.07) Recommends:

Malajube.

We're late on this one, we know, but better late than never. We're here now and we're enjoying the view. It will be weeks before the following two songs stop playing on repeat through our speakers:

Malajube -- Montreal -40°C -- mp3.

Malajube -- Étienne D'aoút -- mp3.

(mp3s from iheartmusic.net via CBC Radio 3)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

(10.21.07) Recommends:

Luke Temple.

Remember that time when you were in the fourth grade and your teacher went up to the chalk board and wrote, "A Man, A Plan, A Canal: Panama!" and you actually thought to yourself, Man, dyslexics get all the breaks sometimes. Then you went home and cried yourself to sleep because above all else you are emo and you couldn't believe that such horrible thoughts were fermenting in your brain?

Well, all those feelings came rushing back to us when we stumbled upon the music of Luke Temple this weekend. And by this, we mean that when we first heard his music we thought to ourselves, A Man, A Voice, A Guitar, Based in Brooklyn: Huzzah!

Listen to Saturday People. Just a little dash of banjo goes a long way toward creating a tasty treat, right?

Luke Taylor -- Saturday People -- streaming audio.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

(10.20.07) Recommends:

Getting over yourself.

Since I try to shield my fragile self from popular discussions of politics, I'm not sure if it's still trendy to ask What's the Matter With Kansas? At any rate now, in addition to that inconvienent truth that Kansas has a Governor who is a female and a Democrat, we have this to consider.

Friday, October 19, 2007

(10.19.07) Recommends:

Del McCoury Band Live on NPR.

There is no finer bluegrass band in the country than the Del McCoury Band. Here they are in a live in-studio performance on NPR. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

(10.16.07) Recommends:

Trendwhore.ca

This is the site that yesterday shook the blogosphere to its very core when it presented the world with its Bruce Springsteen/Arcade Fire videos. Even though the site has apparently only been around since July there's pretty much no reason for most blogs to continue. Blogging Jesus has arrived, and he's Canadian. Of course.

And as long as we're mentioning blogs that are rendering the blogosphere obsolete go here several times a day. We mentioned this blog a while back, but truth be told we could -- and probably should -- mention it every day.

Monday, October 15, 2007

(10.15.07) Recommends:

Manchester Orchestra's cover of Annuals' Brother.

We thought Annuals' Be He Me was one of the strongest records of 2006 and it didn't even come out until October, perhaps even exactly a year ago tomorrow? Well, happy anniversary people. Because Annuals are now hitting the road with their Atlanta-based friends Manchester Orchestra. And in honor of the 20-date slate of shows, a vinyl 7" containing each band covering each other's tracks will be available at the shows. Obviously 7" vinyl is way too music hardcore/underground/snobby for us. I mean, all we've got is a crappy laptop which is certain to crash at any second, taking with it most of the music we've purchased over the last five years, and a rickety CD player that makes most of our CDs skip. Luckily for us Luddites, a few of the songs showed up in our email this morning. Take a listen, wontcha?

Manchester Orchestra -- Brother (cover) -- mp3.
Annuals -- Brother (original) -- mp3.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

(10.14.07) Recommends:

Joe Posnanski and The Soul of Baseball.

Now that we're into the meat of the baseball playoffs, it seems like an appropriate time to mention Joe Posnanski. There may be no better baseball writer than the Kansas City Star's Joe Posnanski. He is a sports writer for people who otherwise hate sports writing. He very well be a sports writer for people who otherwise hate sports. He is gentle and humane and charming and not afraid of real, genuine emotion; his column's are like mini documentaries; he has the traditionalist sensibility of someone who has understood the joy of baseball since his earliest days, yet is intellectually curious enough to listen to outside voices (in Kansas City he was incorporating the work of, e.g., Bill James and Rob Neyer long before the release of Moneyball); he is occasionally, literally, laugh out loud funny.

This summer I discovered that he that started a blog in promotion of a new book.

The blog is a must read. The one caveat is that while in his columns he is "sports writer for those who hate sports writing," the blog tends to be more "baseball writer for people who spend at least two hours each day contemplating which baseball team had the best powder blue uniforms in the 1980s." (Please feel free to leave your votes in the comments) Of course, for baseball fans, this is an utter treat. There are 8 months of archives and it might take a few days to get through them all, but it's hard to imagine you'd be sorry for doing it.

Then, at some point at the end of the summer, he decided to scrap the blog because it was taking up too much time (hahahahaha!). But fear not, nerds, JoPa is back. His latest entry -- the first I've read on the new site -- is a 5,700+ word (!!) opus ostensibly about LeBron James' YankeeHatGate, but ends up telling Posnanski's crushing history as a Cleveland Sports Fan (he's from Cleveland). It's pretty classic Posnanski. The word "stunning" and the phrase "we're lucky to have a writer like this alive" are far too overused in our culture. But there's simply no way of getting around the fact that they both apply to Joe Posnanski.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

(10.13.07) Recommends:

The Airborne Toxic Event.

We were laid up, sick, in bed all day yesterday. First we thought it was one of those innocuous 24-hour bugs. Then we thought maybe it was something more serious. We were feverish and we worried we were dehydrated. So, we walked to the market (the people of California call their grocery stores "markets") to pick up some Gatorade. We almost fainted four times on the way to-and-fro the market. Then we could not "keep" the Gatorade "down" and the funny/gross/educational thing about that is when you drink red Gatorade followed by blue Gatorade it does, in fact, come back up green. Who knew. So we were convinced that we would not be able to keep our body temperature down or our vital organs replenished so we were sure we were going to die.

Then, we remembered how the night before we had eaten a Caesar salad for dinner. Caesar salads, of course, are made of lettuce. And everybody knows that California lettuce was recalled last year due to E.Coli concerns. So naturally, we were convinced we had E. Coli and were going to die at any moment.

Then we convinced ourselves that we noticed some weird smell in our apartment. We were convinced that there was some kind of weird mold growing somewhere, the breathing in of which would slowly, surely, kill us.

Which brings us to the point of this blog entry. Since we were convinced that we were literally on our death bed probably due to breathing in mold, we naturally went looking to verify our symptoms on the internet. We Googled "toxic airborne" which, when we look at this search string now, makes little-to-no sense to us. But at the time, we were under an insane feverish delusion. At any rate, the first search result was for The Airborne Toxic Event, which is a band from Los Feliz, which, for people not familiar with the area, is a somewhat hipster-LA neighborhood.

So I clicked on the link.

Immediately the song "Does This Mean You're Moving On" pops up.

74 listens later, and we think our impending death, too, is moving on.

Here's a youtube video of the song:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

(10.10.07) Recommends:

Making it big on the stock market.

Some have been suggesting for a while now that our economy is in the throes of another bubble. And while talking about personal finances publicly is always a faux pas, the fact that some of us are making out like bandits in this current climate is faux real.

Learn the game of mergers and spin offs and this too may be yours some day:



Go ahead, click on the picture. Get a close up of that dollar amount, you know you want to.

Awwwwww, yeah. What up, ladies in the audience? You like all those digits to the left of that decimal place, don’t you?

Now, I know what you’re all (I’m speaking to the ladies and the non-ladies now) wondering: the only number that could possibly be larger than the number on the check is the number of readers of this blog. How will this newfound wealth effect you, our humble editor? We come to learn about the new and the underappreciated; will we continue to get our irregularly updated filling if you cash in and sell out and move on? With an excess of cultural outputs, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you (woo woo woo).

Fear not. There will be some changes around here obviously. How couldn't there be? But change is what sustains us. I am transparent and want to assuage your fears. I want you to sleep soundly knowing that you can take the boy out of the middle class, but you can’t take the middle class out of the boy. Following find a list of How Things Will Change:



Oh, Law school! How paid off are you now!



Oh, Fire place! How your flames will burn high and warm and will shine like a beacon of hope for your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free, once my treasure stuffs your bosom full of logs!



Oh, Chris Ware signed art! How you will remain an anchor, even though you're only a print, in my new room financed by my bounty and dedicated to nothing but the art of our most important graphic designers.



Oh, Tickets to the shows of our most ambitious and compelling musicians! How my treasure will no longer require me choosing between you and tuna fish sustenance!



Oh, Brooks Brothers sweaters! How to choose between Cotton or Cashmere or Lambswool or Shetland or Camel Hair or Merino or Saxxon Wool? Why not have them all!



Oh, Window-unit air conditioner! How you will soon be replaced by central air! Our break up -- It’s not me, it’s you, that’s true: see, central air uses ducts to distribute cooled and/or dehumidified air to more than one room, is not plugged into a standard electrical outlet, and because it is located outside the home, it offers a lower level of noise indoors than a free-standing air conditioning unit! -- will be somber yet amicable.



Oh, Book of poems! How I will no longer have to rely on your sad truths to make ends meet! Art is my muse, but capitalism is my daddy. Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. (I am large. I contain multitudes).



Oh, Paper shredder! How you will soon grow in size and blade strength and shred speed now that I am a Noted Industrialist and must be protected with ever-greater vigor from all the foils of identity theft!



Oh, Jif Peanut Butter! How I can now afford to send you on that fancy date with Jelly for which you've long pined!



Oh, Jif Peanut Butter, again! How I can now afford to store you somewhere other than in the shower!



Oh, Chuck Taylors! How I can now get you in 365 different colors, one for each day of the year!



Oh, James Gatz! Even though I was not named after you, how you become my spiritual guide as I enter my own Gilded Age!



Oh, Second home! How I will be kept up at night, Gatsby, wondering do I summer in West Egg or East Egg?

---

So there you have it. While there are Big Changes in store, it’ll be the same as it ever was around here. And now you’re probably also wondering: how do you find the time to work and play and live and love and discover new and underappreciated cultural voices and make a killing in the public financial markets?

Well peeps, if I got all Rich Dad Poor Dad on you, I’d have to charge you $16.95 each. But as it is, I’m willing to break down the secret behind my financial freedom into a manageable formula.

Start with the fundamentals...:



...Understand the competition...:



...Learn to count...:



...Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run...:



...Repeat after me: it's a subtle blend of science and art...:


...a subtle blend of science and art...:


...never underestimate the value of a puffy shirt...:


...or a big yellow hat...:


...and this, too, can be yours:

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

(10.09.07) Recommends:

The Song "Meet Me Down At Heavy Load" by Deadstring Brothers.

The Deadstring Brothers' record "Silver Mountain" is the newest offering from one of our favorite labels, Chicago-based Bloodshot Records.

This track is rock 'n roll concentrate: the music we love -- music that has ended wars and started revolutions and made us believe that we each individually posses more power than our small brains can possibly comprehend -- distilled down to 210 nearly perfect seconds.

The Deadstring Brothers -- Meet Me Down At Heavy Load -- mp3
.

Monday, October 08, 2007

(10.08.07) Recommends:

The Shaky Hands.



They play fun, energetic, indie pop. They are based out of Portland, Oregon. They were, ahem, hand picked to open the latest Shins tour. This music is joyous and easy to enjoy and seeing as today is a holiday, we suggest you go out and start enjoying it today.

The Shaky Hands -- The Sleepness -- mp3.

The Shaky Hands -- various tracks -- streaming.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

(10.07.07) Recommends:

The artwork of Ron Pippin.



He had an opening at Obsolete Gallery in Venice this weekend. His art combines taxidermy and found objects and the result is eccentrically creepy pieces perfect for viewing during the Halloween month of October. Check out some of his pieces here.

(pic via www.obsoleteinc.com)

Friday, October 05, 2007

(10.05.07) Recommends:

Clues.

When we last blogged about Alden Penner, he was playing, hidden away somewhere in the snowy climbs of Canada, sweet whispery music meant for long summer nights and mason jars of tea. Well, folks, it appears that this weekend at Pop Montreal -- we don't know if Montreal is a snowy climb in Canada, but we do know that non-Canadian Horse Feathers is opening the show, and we really love Horse Feathers around here -- Alden is re-emerging with a new band. They will come again to judge the living and the dead and they'll bring a sound that, judging from the album sampler mp3 that appeared on The Bleeting Heart Shows website, is as weirdly enticing as our favorite tracks from the Unicorns. We think this is gonna be really really good. Word is that Clues will soon release its debut album. We think this, too, is really really good news.

It's Friday and those rascally Canadians have come bearing good news again. Gosh, I like Fridays.

Clues -- album sampler -- mp3.

(mp3 via the Bleeting Heart Shows.)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

(10.04.07) Recommends:

Beirut, "The Flying Club Cup" (Ba Da Bing, 2007).

There may not be a musician alive putting out more important, interesting music than Zach Condon. Last year's "Gulag Orkestar" was one of the year's best records, with "Postcards from Italy" an instant classic. He's back with "The Flying Club Cup." It was due for an official release Oct 9 but leaked at the end of August, had an iTunes prerelease shortly thereater, and can now be streamed at Beirut's myspace. For those in the Bay Area the action is Oct 8-9 at the Herbst Theater. For those in Los Angeles it goes down Oct 10-11 at the Avalon. I haven't been this excited to see a show in a really long time.

Monday, October 01, 2007

(10.01.07) Recommends:

Comedy Is The New Indie Rock?

People smarter than us have been saying this all year. This blog's been dark for a while because we've been dark for a while because we've been driving up and down the western coast of the country getting a sense of the land that we have come to conquer. We're settled now. Kinda sorta settled. And it just so happens that we're kinda sorta settled right down the block from the Upright Citizen's Brigade's west coast base. So we recently had the chance to again test this "comedy is the new indie rock" theory. The night we stopped in Lauren Weedman -- who you might know as a one-time correspondent on the Daily Show -- was reading from her recently published book. And although parts of the show were awkward and didn't really work and had us somewhat skeptical of this new-fangled CITNIR theory, we've gotta say: the tickets were cheap, and the drinks were on the house -- seriously! -- and the crowd was hanging on her every word and ate the whole show up, and we don't know, but it felt like something was happening.

Is something new afoot? Our economy has been acting wacky lately, and digital distribution has made the music industry wacky lately, and it occurs to me now that I recently blogged about an experience that led me to question whether the Indie Rock Epoch is waning. Which very well might mean Indie Comedy is waxing. I did horribly in astronomy and as such am not capable of taking metaphors regarding lunar phases any further, but I'd like your thoughts on this issue. I'm still far from convinced and still think it's not even an appropriate question to be asking. But please write in and give your input.