Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Family Portrait performing an epic 11 minute jam at Bruar Falls November 23, 2009 at a show curated by PopJew. Watch Evan Brody on guitar channeling Elvis Presley, hard, via sideburn. Ari Stern with a big gorgeous bass and drum machine. Sean Stolar on guitar/keys. Missing (but not for much longer!) from the original line-up were Sawyer Jacobs (bass) and Michael Mimoun (drums).
Monday, January 25, 2010
Courtesy of the Alfred-Wegner Institute for Polar and Marine Research, you can listen to a super-compressed live stream (with a delay of just a few seconds) of the underwater sounds of the Antarctic Ocean. It's fucking awesome.
Please note, this transmission is not optimized for easy listening, but for scientific research. It is highly compressed (24kBit Ogg-Vorbis), so sound quality is far from perfect. Additionally, animal voices may be very faint. Amplifier settings are a compromise between picking up distant animals and not overdriving the system by nearby calving icebergs. So you might need to pump up the volume - but beware of sudden extremely loud events.
Providing an acoustic live stream of the Antarctic underwater soundscape is a formidable challange. After all, more than 15000 km lie between Antarctica and our institute in Germany. Underwater sound is recorded by means of two hydrophones by PALAOA, an autonomous, wind and solar powered observatory located on the Ekström ice shelf (Boebel et al., 2006). The data stream is transmitted via wireless LAN from PALAOA to the German Neumayer Base. From there, a permanent satellite link transmits the data to the AWI in Germany.
A constant hiss pervading the signal is partly due to electronic noise as we push the hydrophone amplifiers to their limits, but also the natural ocean background noise made audible here through the use of ultra sensitive hydrophones. Additional broad band noise caused by wind, waves and currents adds to it on occasion. There a three sources of click-like interference: switching relais, electrostatic discharges caused by snow drift, and sferics produced by thunderstorms ten thousands of kilometers away. Due to the limited bandwith of the satellite link, jamming of the WLAN link due to storms, or energy shortage, the connection might temporarily be down or scrammed. In this case, please dial in later!
Not for easy listening, my ass! Just get some headphones. There's a better quality OGG-Vorbis stream that works if you have VLC but is not playable in iTunes.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Mount McKinley - "Into the Dark"
This might be my favorite Mount McKinley song yet. Starting off strong with a quick and powerful intro, this track is reminiscent of Deerhunter's Microcastle but with a faster, messier (in a good way) tempo and more distortion. Though Dylan White doesn't have Marfan syndrome or wear dresses and deep throat mics onstage, there's definitely something Cox-ian about his style. Good things to come from Mount McKinley, good things...
Another mind-bendingly awesome visual masterpiece from video artist Todd Ledford, the dude behind Olde English Spelling Bee, for "Hard to Kill" by Sky Juice, the solo project of Lambsbread's Zac Davis. (Watch Zac Davis and James Ferraro performing at DBA on November 5, 2009.)
The video, Ledford's best yet, contains excerpts from the 1983 film Nightmares starring a pre-Repo Man (and pre-pubic hair) Emilio Estevez as J.J. Cooney, 8-bit arcade wiz kid whose night takes a nightmarish (haa) turn for the worse when the Bishop of Battle (the scary green grid-faced dude you see here) exits screen and enters reality. Spliced with those gems is old 70's anti-drug animation, which works fucking perfectly. I got home late last night only to find a delightful sneak peak of this baby waiting for me to curl up with in my bed. Though watching this thing right before zonking out hard was arguably a mistake, the dreams that ensue are worth it. And as Todd put it,
PLAY THIS SUCKER LOUD!!!!
Below are some tracks we got along with the video from OESB:
Sky Juice - "Can't Cross the Border" (Hard to Kill LP, July 2008)
Sky Juice - "Empty Grave" (Above the Law LP, February 2009)
Sky Juice - "Slimescape (For James Ferraro)" (Above the Law LP, February 2009)
Buy all releases at ye olde OESB Online Shoppe.
PS - Watch Nightmares on Youtube in parts. It's that good:
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Twin Sister is coming out with a new EP Color Your Life and have released this video which is described as "Beach Boys-meets-Twin Peaks" by their label Infinite Best.
Don't miss their upcoming NY shows, like TOMORROW night at Bruar Falls. And of course the fucking awesome Chocolate Bobka shows later this month at Bruar Falls on the 29th and the following night Saturday the 30th at my loft on Jefferson St and Stanwix. (I actually kinda forgot about this until I saw it on the band's website and shouted out loud, "That's my house!" Loft jam, gonna be so sweet.)
Jay Reatard - "Gamma Ray"
Where the fuck was I? I love that song! (Well actually I love the (unofficial) music vid starring Chloe Sevigny. So good.)
Also I wrote this silly review a while back last summer on an old blog of Jay Reatard's free show at the Oval in StuyTown:
Jay Reatard played at the Oval in the quad of Stuy Town. That place gives me the fucking creeps. It's a housing community that has been transformed from low-income projects to yuppie family dwellings and city college kid housing. There were kids everywhere, pot smoke bellowing out of windows, and hipsters pouring out of the L at 1st Ave to take advantage of a recession-friendly free show. Funnily enough, this series is also advertised as family-friendly.
Also giving me the creeps was the old (homeless?) dude standing next to me wearing roller blades and wrestling with a stray cat under his tee-shirt. Next to him was a 10-year-old girl in a wheelchair with cerebral palsy, and on the other side of me was a half-assed attempt at a pit being made by aforementioned Brooklynites who were just aware of themselves enough to elbow and push each other around for five minutes.
The show was free, like I said, and the band was great. They played a tight, 40-minute set, banging out all your Reatard faves. But still, I couldn't help but feel like I was bearing witness to something wholly inappropriate and just sort of, wrong. The icing on the cake was the Verizon sponsorship of the summer concert series. Blech.
I left quickly and braved the Sephora in Times Sq to load up on free eyeliner before meeting this guy for a date to see Todd Barry at a fucking comedy club. I know, I know. Jesus christ, I must be a masochist. Lately more and more I have been looking in the mirror and not recognizing the person staring back. It takes only one trip to midtown Manhattan on a summer evening to make you completely hate yourself, in case you were wondering.
I forgot to include in that review the best part of the show. Jay was shouting out songs sorta 1-2-3 Ramones style, as per usual, and as he shouts out "Useless Children" he looks at the dozens of kids playing around the playground and in the grass, and totally gives them all the finger. Oh, and MGMT was there. Hence all da cloudsa smot poke.
Also check out this mini doc of him where he looks pretty thin and happy and awesome at home in Memphis:
So cute when he not spitting on/pissing on/punching people at his shows. This sucks. Everybody's always dying.
Alice Cohen, an incredibly talented musician/video artist over on Olde English Spelling Bee, has a new video out for her song "Memories of Glaciers." The song is the closing track off her spectacular album Walking Up Walls, and it is a perfect song for the recent chill that's settled into all our frigid bones. It certainly soundtracked my morning. Waking up in a freezing Bushwick loft with no insulation or heat on yet, the song dances slowly along as I watch my breath form a cloud in front of my face.
Maybe you accidentally overlooked this awesome LP by Cohen because it came out the same time as Ducktails and Julian Lynch, but hey - that's ok! Don't beat yourself up just yet. You get a second chance. Buy it here. And look at all these incredible videos that Alice has made that you'll surely recognize.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Tall Boys - "Miami"
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Mount McKinley is a Jersey duo with guitarist/vocalist Dylan White and Joe Bland on drums. But careful - just bland and white these boys are not. (Haa, sorry, just had to.) Rumors have surfaced regarding the origin of the band's name. One theory is that it comes from the nickname given to a certain band member's mother in high school cos she was, er, well-endowed in the chestular region. We think that's awesome. Check out the tunes below and feast on some lo-fi gazey goodness that will surely get your head a-bobbin'.
Mount McKinley - "The Beach"
Mount McKinley - "Boxes & Bags"
I've been jamming to "The Beach" on repeat. The vocals in "Boxes & Bags" work well once they become smothered with that warm haze and are engulfed by the cymbals and guitar.
Mount McKinley has also gotten some recent love from Get Off the Coast. Keep an ear out for an upcoming track from a side project tentatively titled "Tall Boys" with Kenny from Byrds of Paradise, another NJ native. These are some good times for the garden state. Jersey love.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Just cos I like being able to say, "I'm press, bitch," to doormen, I do some freelance work for BOMB magazine's blog which recently included covering the Dean & Britta show at Southpaw on NewYear's Eve. It was an early show, really chill, snagged a free limited edition print of the show's poster by Jenell Kesler. Read the review by my friend friend Lena, BOMB mastermind and party animalista extreme:
It would have been easy for Dean Wareham to rest on the laurels of his cult status and make a little extra money off reunion tours after the dissemination of Galaxie 500 and Luna, but—along with his bandmate and wife, Britta Phillips—he continues to produce new work and tour. In 2008 he released a memoir entitled Black Postcards; 2009 saw the release of 13 Most Beautiful, a DVD of songs Dean and Britta composed for Andy Warhol’s screen tests; and (according to their MySpace) they’ll be touring Australia this Spring. The two indie veterans graced Southpaw for an early show with their dreamy tunes and near-perfect bone structures on New Year’s Eve.(See whole review on da BOMBlog.)
Like good New Yorkers on December 31st, the crowd at Southpaw was pretty buzzed and enthusiastic by the time Dean & Britta came on stage in matching guitar straps and burst into “Malibu Love Nest” without any introduction. The band’s soothing, string-laden melodies didn’t seem like an obvious choice for party ready Brooklynites on a night reserved for debauchery, but the venue was packed nonetheless. The set list consisted of a generous dose of Luna songs thrown in with some D&B classics. The Dean & Britta songs are slightly slower and more instrumental than the lyrically dense Luna numbers, so the mixture of the two was a good balance. After the sweet duet “Singer Sing,” they kicked it up a notch with Luna’s “Chinatown,” which featured some awesome shredding by Dean. Britta took the mic next with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Keep It With Mine” from 13 Most Beautiful. Things got rowdier as a group of girls behind me started dancing to “Bewitched” and fans tackled each other for free posters Dean tossed into the crowd. The band cracked open cans of Red Stripe and Dean talked to friends in the audience between songs, making us all feel like we were crammed into someone’s living room rather than standing elbow to elbow at a Park Slope bar. The show’s highlight was the encore: a cover of Joy Division’s “Ceremony,” made even more haunting by Dean’s strange, nasally drawl. Video below:
Video by Elise Oh.
UGH BLECH BLAH gross digi cam video footage. I'm SORRY, WORLD!! But I just HAD to do it. Watching them play Ian Curtis's "Ceremony" was just too fucking good not to record. I LOVE the Galaxie 500 version of this, and when I closed my eyes and listened to Dean Wareham crooning it at me from 4 feet away, it was like hearing it for the first time but in reality it was like the 9,000th cos rAjc9%mWe,90sdfjml)!@! FUCK I love that cover.
Really I was just supposed to take photos and be out by 10, off to a bunch of parties with plenty of time left to get drunk and stay out til 6am. Nice n easy. But I just got a new digi cam for Christmas and hadn't actually had time to learn how to use it yet. (This was it, and I have since traded it in for this.) Soooo my photos all came out kinda goofy and red. But here they are anyways!
Saturday, January 2, 2010
You may have heard a previous version of "Rowena" on Pitchfork's Best New Music back in September, or "Rosebud" on Pitchfork back in August - a track that actually features the vocals of Evan Brody from Family Portrait/Underwater Peoples Records. Get Byrds of Paradise's cassette via Friendship Bracelet and try not to shit your pants in anticipation of their upcoming EP.