Saturday, February 28, 2009

t o a s t e d

Nothing more to say on the subject of Jeans Wilder, at least for the moment, except that he's got a new track called "t o a s t e d" up on the ol' Myspace. Same deal: downtempo, fuzzed out, and short. Heads up for the Antiques cassette, which I hope will be in my mailbox sometime soon. Check that new one out here, as well as the others.

P.S. Weather kept me from Dirty Projectors/Icy Demons last night. Bummspot.

P.P.S. No Pain in Pop will be releasing their new compilation April 6, as they announced two Wednesdays ago. Peep the creepy/cool little video they posted over there right here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

"My name is Weezy. I'm almost perfect."

"Even when I'm layin on my back I'm never backin down
So over-stand me:
I got a condo in Miami
And my doormat is always sandy
And I run Louisiana, but I've never pulled a hammy
And I got a condo in Atlanta
And I always wear a bandana
And when it comes down to stuntin
You boys is just buntin
And I'm swingin for the fence"

What I'm trying to prove in this post is that, no, Lil' Wayne isn't quite as flawless as he tells you he is. He blasts you with boasts ("Hi, my name is 'Best Rapper Alive' and your mouth is the best crapper alive"), but in reality only half of his newest mixtape, Hottest Nigga Under the Sun, is really worth spinning.

First of all, there's 26 tracks. That's enough for each letter of the alphabet (note: "Ransom" ft Drake). It starts strong, as the mixtape commandments surely dictate, offering a quick one-minute clip from potential album feature "My Name Is" before the heavy spitting of "New Orleans Maniac." Soon thereafter we find "Filet Mignone," where Wayne bleeds sugar over the chorus of "I wish I could fuck every girl in the world." No joke. This directly precedes "Yes," which features Pharrell on a few-lines verse as well as the chorus. Other highlights include "Blow My Mind," the soulful "Murder" ft Trey Songz, and "Ay Man" ft Metatron, which reaches above and beyond banger status.

The problem I'm running into is I don't get beyond the first half of the mixtape. It's almost enough material for two albums, so I suppose I've digested the first. Now time to tackle the second, which may take weeks since the first half did. Do yourself a favor and check it out (as long as you aren't offended by his filthy flows which happen often).

Lil Wayne - The Hottest Nigga Under the Sun

P.S. Let's hope these gun possession charges (via MTV UK) don't affect Wayne's ability to bust out track after track (well maybe except for that "rock album" Rebirth, which is scheduled for release on May 19). He's due in court April 20 to deal with the gun evidence. Cue weed jokes.

Dirty Demons

I have officially come across a ride to Bennington tonight to see Dirty Projectors and Icy Demons play at the Bennington College Student Center at around 8PM. Tickets are $10 for non-Bennington students (or $5 if you know someone who goes there). I'm assuming it'll be well worth the price, as one of the two times I've caught Dirty Projectors they were really great, playing songs from their Rise Above record for the last time (New Year's Eve at the Knitting Factory). They're got a new record coming out on Domino, as well as one on Dead Oceans. The Domino release will be called Bitte Orca (album cover up there), and will be available June 9.

Also check out/download their super-giddy song they did with David Byrne for the Dark Was the Night (4AD) compilation, "Knotty Pine," here (via

However, I have neither seen Icy Demons nor heard them til just now, and they're not half bad. I'm all about the track "Centurion" from their Miami Ice record, which came out last year on Obey Your Brain. I think you can still download the track "Miami Ice" here (via Oh yeah, and there's a dude from Man Man (Christopher Powell a.k.a. Pow Pow) in the band.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nite Jewel

Just been alerted that Nite Jewel will be playing Smith College's Davis Ballroom (pretty sure that's where the Girl Talk and Feist shows were last year) with Eric Hnatow and Triangle Forest March 11. Doors are at 7PM, tickets are $3 in advance (at the Smith campus center from 11PM-2PM on March 3, 4, 6, and 11) or $5 at the door.

Nite Jewel (a.k.a. Ramona Gonzalez) is one of those people I never really checked out even after hearing lots of praise, but since I did (4 minutes ago) I'm completely down. Her record from last year, Good Evening, is described by dublab as "shoegazey, lo-fi 80's electro," which is pretty much spot-on. "Weak For Me," which was recently featured on dublab, embodies this description perfectly. The CD version of Good Evening is set to be released on March 17 on Human Ear Music (the vinyl came out last year on Gloriette).

Stream/download "Weak For Me" here.

Video for "Artificial Intelligence":

P.S. Peep Eric Hnatow's tour blog here. Keep up on his current (and first) tour as well as his eating and record buying habits (dude loves kale & beans and apparently he is also into Real Estate).


Related (almost):

So back in September, GvB first posted about Nite Jewel and how she's like Glass Candy and Ariel Pink (ALSO you can download the track "Chimera," the track where I think she sounds like Madonna, at that link). In the same post he mentioned the new Sibylle Baier track "Let Us Know" (check that here), which appeared in the new Wim Wenders film Palermo Shooting. Sibylle is an old family friend of mine, in fact, and when her son Robby released a collection of her home-recorded work from the 70s I was both baffled and excited. Turns out the record, Colour Green, is great, an absolutely beautiful span of solemn folk musings.

Anyway, turns out Sibylle has been featured in the first issue of Morning Magazine, a publication for cult 60s/70s music. The print is limited to 130 copies, so follow directions here to snatch up a copy.

Check out some tracks from Colour Green on this Myspace page.


This here guy, Andrew Cedermark, plays guitar in Titus Andronicus and also does the dew solo. His Myspace states that he's played a single show as his solo self, during which he covered Galaxie 500 and Spacemen 3 so he's alright by me. His 'Space also admits his undying love for Joe Murray's classic Nickelodeon program Rocko's Modern Life (The B-52's Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider do that theme song from Season 2 onward).

Knickknacks aside, Cedermark's music, or at least those songs streaming from the Myspace, are all over the place. The first one up, "Now Is Better Than Before," seems to draw from Jonathan Richman in its straightforwardness, while the next track, "When the Ship Comes In," blisters with distortion only achieved by poor recording equipment. Two of the other tracks, "From Memory" and "Will Not Compete," seem to show more promise, as they're full-fledged songs, enthusiastic and excited, perhaps more in line with his involvement with Titus Andronicus.

Cedermark's got a new release, in a way, but with no certain date of release. In his own words: "I will have prepared for your delight a BOX SET of sorts that will include two cassette EPs, ballsdeep artwork, and a booklet whose contents are yet to be determined. Boxes will cost somewhere between five and ten dollars, likely on the cheaper end, and you will be able to purchase them over the Internet so long as I can figure out a way to take money from you." You heard the man. Ballsdeep artwork. The box will include his new EP along with Mighty Oaks' Mighty EP. Message him, see what's up, and try to give him your dollars.

Suburban Dogs

Real Estate threw one of those handy Myspace bulletins out there this morning letting everyone know they've got a new song up on RCRD LBL. The track's called "Suburban Dogs," offering musings about summer, Jersey ("back home"), rain, and streetlights - a.k.a. nothing too pressing, but everything quite pleasant. It's just a demo, apparently to be released on their second album on Mexican Summer.

One might ask, "But Real Estate, your first record hasn't even dropped yet. What's the big deal?" I would say hold on cos their first record will be released by Woodsist soon enough, then you can worry about the follow-up. Speaking of which, RCRD LBL also has a re-worked version of "Fake Blues" (sounds a bit cleaner, still rad) for download which will appear on that forthcoming Woodsist record.

Until those albums are available in their entirety, soak up what's on their Myspace and download the MP3s here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dogus Bitus

See, normally a dog bite would be a a bad thing, but No Pain in Pop keeps up keepin up with this stream of "Brand New" from Atlanta's Dog Bite and proves that not all bites are born bad.

The song's summery and lazy, as NPIP accurately describes, possibly something one might think up if given the task to imagine a Panda Bear b-side (these guys seem to agree). The songs on the Myspace are rad as well, especially "Color Mark," so check em out.

If you really dig it and managed to click the most recent blogpost on the Myspace page, you may have found a link to Dog Bite's EP The Owls and Eyes. You can't go wrong with free MP3s cos I don't even need to suggest supporting the artist. Dog Bite knows best.

Dog Bite - The Owls and Eyes EP

"It's time for a new album"

...states Grizzly Bear's Myspace page. Though everyone already knows this, there's still excitement over here that it's actually coming out, though we must wait til May 26. Veckatimest follows up 2006's Yellow House (which I've been spinning a lot lately), gathering as much hype as any other record slated to be released this year. The new one features contributions from composer Nico Muhly as well as Victoria Legrand of Beach House. They've got a couple dates scheduled, but no tour. If the past repeats itself, they'll come around Northampton. Last August they played the Calvin Theatre with the New Pornographers and blew them out of the water.

You can check out their new(ish) song "Two Weeks" in its live version streaming from their Myspace or download the MP3 here (via GvB).

If you like what you hear (and I wouldn't be surprised if you did), you can pre-order the Veckatimest vinyl here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Here We Go Magic

So everyone's been talking about Here We Go Magic already, but I got a promo copy of their self-titled record at WMUA and I've been digging it. Their bio on their site sums it up efficiently:

" It all seems silly on paper, but there are no dirty words: groovy, psychedelic, pretty etc... are all fair game."

There's a couple pop songs, a few dronier pieces, and overall some real interesting rhythms and vocals. The packaging tells me Sufjan Stevens thinks Luke Temple has "... one of the most beautiful voices in pop music." While I don't entirely agree with this bold statement, Temple does sound great on the songs he does sing on, liberated and golden. My favorites are "I Just Want to See You," "Only Pieces," and "Underwater," whose sound I would liken more to a teeming jungle than a watery abyss. "Fangela" is certainly successful as well (I've played it), but it seems too clean-cut juxtaposed with the rest of the album's cluttered murk. Makes me wish I checked them out opening for Department of Eagles recently in Boston (speaking of which, this is great) cos they won't be back around for a while.

Check out "Fangela" on the Myspace.

Download "Tunnelvision" here (via

Watch the video for "Tunnelvision" here (via

Monday, February 23, 2009

Navy Blue//Green River

New tracks aplenty from all those Myspacers. This afternoon Real Estate upped "Green River," one of the more upbeat tracks I've heard by them. Its enthusiastic vocal take almost sounds like a mix between the dude from Band of Horses and Avey Tare. The Grateful Dead references persist and the song's real quick and fun. Coming up they've got a bunch of shows including tons of SXSW showcases (including Woodsist's) and a show with Titus Andronicus in Brooklyn at the end of March. The Suburban Beverage 7" is available now from Underwater Peoples. Stream the track here.

Jeans Wilder keeps it up with "Navy Blue," a wilted, abstract version of the JW from "Tough Guys" and "Simpler Times." The track creeps along a damp, abandoned subway tunnel and never finds light. Check that streaming here.

John Kolesidis

John Kolesidis photographed the riots late last year in Greece which I posted about in December. The rumblings were stirred up by an officer's shooting of 15-year-old Alexander Grigoropoulos during a small disturbance. The violent outbursts were a product of pent up rage over various issues including mistreating protesters, education reform, and corruption. Kolesidis took shots of the clashes (via, documenting the riots' scale and ferocity. I've been unable to find any biographical information on Mr. Kolesidis, except that his photos are credited to himself and REUTERS, but the shots speak volumes, appropriately telling of the human impact of the riots themselves. Click the images for good resolution and sizing.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Some good news out of the Night-People camp: Jeans Wilder's cassette Antiques is out now. Check out that hot track "Tough Guys" here, as well as "Simpler Times," which completely abandons the bobbing dub bliss of "Tough Guys" and sort of resembles Blank Dogs' deep, dark attempt at Joy Division. If you dig, try and buy the cassette here, though these two tracks don't happen to be on it. A comprehensive review once I receive the tape.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sweet, Sweet Fantasy Baby

Last night's Telepathe/Teengirl Fantasy show at Matthew's Mug in Vassar's campus center was a blast (people got down with TF and the between-set jams ie: "Fantasy" by Mariah Carey), especially when I got to the venue and learned that Brooklyn/Chicago trio These Are Powers were added to the bill. Turns out they released a record on Tuesday, All Aboard Future (Dead Oceans), from which they played many noisy/dance-y jams including "Adams Turtle," which I think is from that new album. Also, dudes like Missy Elliott.

However, they played last and there were two acts before them. Teengirl Fantasy went first (just barely caught em) and played all their great stuff, including "Portofino" and "Hoop Dreams." I grabbed one of their CD-Rs for WMUA, something like 11 tracks 50-something minutes with a lot of tracks not available on their Myspace.

Unfortunately I still don't get Telepathe. People love "Chrome's On It" (which you can check oiut on the Myspace), but I honestly can't stand the song. They got going and their set got better, but they disappointed for the most part.

Teengirl Fantasy


These Are Powers

These Are Powers



Thursday, February 19, 2009

You Know Who You Are

Tonight is that Telepathe/Teengirl Fantasy show at Matthew's Mug on Vassar College campus I mentioned a couple days ago. I am indeed heading out to Poughkeepsie in an hour to catch these two in hopes that much dance vibrations and neon wardrobes are stinking up the place. Still not sure about Telepathe, but Teengirl Fantasy is really growing on me as one of the best new deals I've heard in this year, 2009. They've got that Portofino 7" out now on Merok as well as opening for Telepathe for these current shows before some more with Juiceboxxx. Get a taste over at their Myspace page. I recommend "Hoop Dreams" (crazy girl doo-wop glitches), "Portofino" (samples "Throw Some D's") and something called "Now That's What I Call Vol. 2," which is apparently the first thing they ever recorded. Good stuff. Eat it up.

Speaking of Merok, they put out Salem's Water EP which GvB told everyone about a while ago as well as Titus Andronicus' Titus Andronicus 7". The latter will be stopping in Northampton sometime in the coming few months with Lucero.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Australia wants Brendan Sokaluk dead. As a result, he's being held at a secret location in protective custody. Sokaluk was the lug who set the fires at a timber pantation in Churchill. They've burned through Australia, destroying homes and killing many (the current death toll is 189).

I'm waiting to hear one break in this story - why he started the fires in the first place. Sure, the fires have devestated property and killed people, but what about cute koalas such as the little trooper pictured above? Habitats for many animals have surely been obliterated, not to mention the mass marsupial roasting which has undoubtedly occurred. What's worse is Sokaluk was not simply charged with arson causing death and deliberately lighting a forest fire. According to today's New York Times article, he was also charged with possession of child pornography.

Lake House

So turns out this is my 100th post. Go team!

To celebrate, here's some fun news - Vivian Girls sent out a Myspace bulletin this afternoon entitled "New song posted!" The new song is called "Lake House," but unfortunately all the Girls' songs on their Myspace seem to be down. Once they're up, go ahead and enjoy. The track will appear on Almost Ready Records' new World's Lousy With Ideas Compilation, about which nothing is listed on the label's site. They've listed up til Vol. 7, but it's not noted that the Vivian Girls appear on the comp.

Also, the Vivian Girls new 7", out on For Us Records, is almost done with mixing. The bulletin goes on: "Did I mention the studio is on a tiny island? We had to cross a really long, narrow footbridge to get here, it was awesome." Sounds fun.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Yes Maa'aam

My current favorite ukulele player, Dent May, has another great video from his new record The Good Feeling Sounds of Dent May and His Magnificent Ukulele, out on Paw Tracks. This video, for the album's second track "Meet Me In the Garden," follows the same basic aesthetic as the first of his videos I posted, "Oh, Paris!," crafting a few minutes of awkwardly low-budget bliss to accompany his sultry, tropilcalia-backed croon. U.S.A. flag garb remains a theme, though this time we've got some amateurish projections, dusty and backlit scenes of Dent and, presumably, his blonde Caroline, and bubble-bath lounging. Don't forget - he's playing with the New Pornographers' A.C. Newman March 14 at the Paradise Rock Club.

Video courtesy

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hoop Dreams

You really gotta check these guys out. Teengirl Fantasy was introduced to me by this teen girl who posted this blurb. Turns out they're pulling a WAVVES/NODZZZ and hitting up Bard College's SMOG this Wednesday, then Vassar's Matthew's Mug the following night, both dates with No Pain In Pop's Telepathe. They're a duo, Logan Takahashi and Nick Weiss, and they make very fun music. Listen to "Hoop Dreams," it's a blast. Listen to "Portofino," it samples Rich Boy's "Throw Some D's." I'll be at that Vassar show snappin photos and dancin hard.


Today's storefrontART Art-In to raise awareness of their Kirkland Ave. Project went on successfully this afternoon, drawing a decent-sized crowd to the alley's portal of graffiti-covered red brick. C3 Program Director Julia Handschuh and project manager Haley Morgan were very thrilled to see so many people in the avenue.

"There's so much excitement," Morgan said. "It's great that people came out even though it's so cold."

While the weather permitted the event to take place, the iced over pavement and general frosty air made for slight discomfort. Unfortunately, the hot beverages they were planning to offer to guests turned from hot tea to luke warm tea rather quickly, but the tea was not the issue, it was the proposals, the ideas, and the taking of action. The organization set up various investigatory stations atop milk crates around the alley, encouraging guests to participate.

One man needed no prodding, as he took to his charcoal and easel to create a landscape of one of Kirkland's corners.

Stations included one with various rolls of colored tape used to box off the alley's preferred artistic endeavors, one urging the participant to create color studies of the space, one for texture rubs, and one with a community journal for scribing Kirkland Ave. memories. In addition to storefrontART's suggested activities, various proposals for future works were presented. One man unfurled a 36-foot painting which he hopes to display or recreate on a building, while previous ideas such as a treasure hunt, projections, and a motion-activated sound installation were fleshed out.

Northampton electronic musician Eric Hnatow eventually showed up to appreciate the space. His enthusiasm for utilizing the space to its fullest potential was obvious, as was his exasperation towards the Iron Horse Entertainment Group after last Friday's High Places show, which he was opening for, was cancelled the day of the show. Hnatow offered ideas of movie screenings on large brick spaces as well as general agreement as the space for quieter musical events, the music portion of which Downtown Sounds owner Joe Blumenthal agrees with according to storefrontART.

"Building owners came out, excited to see everything that was happening," Morgan said. "We raised a lot of blog awareness and had lots of conversations with interested people."

The next phase of the process will take place March 13th, the same night as Arts Night Out and storefrontART's third artHAPPENING. The date will find artists putting their investigations to use, depositing temporary installations, sculptures, and performances in and around the space.

All Ages

Boxed Boat


Boxed Beaver + Hydrant

Lifer! Homeless.

Urban Terror

Kirkland Ave. Project

Graffiti has long been associated with sentiments of anarchy, a guerilla tactic for artists armed with spray paint canisters to covertly express themselves wherever they see fit. The law falls by the wayside when there’s an idle boxcar or some untouched brick to tag, the artist’s product forever in limbo between inventive expression and detrimental vandalism.

Those familiar with Kirkland Avenue in Northampton understand this debate. The red and black brick lining the practical walkway between Pleasant Street and the Northampton parking garage is plastered with spray paint scrawls, including both vulgar and inspirational content such as “KILL THE MAYOR,” “Kill Landlords,” “Let Us Love Us,” and “Lets recreate the World.”

According to local legend, Peter Laird, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book, often strolled through the alley in the early 1980s when he worked for a local Northampton newspaper. The myth claims the path served as a basis for the Turtles’ lair.

Recently, storefrontART, a program of the Commonwealth Center for Change (C3), was approached by one of the abutting buildings’ owners, Steve Jasinski, about the space’s potential for murals and installations. Since then, the idea has grown into a full-fledged affair named the Kirkland Ave. Project. The overall goal of the project is for the Northampton community to use the space effectively as a means of expression and to enhance its function as a strategic walkway.

“Our focus is on revitalizing the area by asking how and why people pass through it,” C3 program director Julia Handschuh said. “We want to create a different purpose for it.”

“The [current] graffiti is in touch with the undercurrents of the town,” Kirkland Ave. Project Manager Haley Morgan added, as slogans of freedom and militancy rule the bricks. The project hopes to take the varied ideals of the individual contributors and unite them in a way which gives the space legitimacy and vitality.

Handschuh and Morgan plan to host an “Art-In” today, Feb. 13, from 4-7 p.m. in the alley. The event invites various artists to the space to create two-dimensional art in and about Kirkland Avenue as well as to plan three-dimensional art and installations for a March 13 storefrontART “Art Happening” before the project’s culmination, which will consist of collaborative performances and installations based on the project’s investigative findings.

The scheme was birthed last fall when Jasinski contacted storefrontART about the possibility of murals in Kirkland Avenue. Jasinski, along with Joe Blumenthal, owner of the adjacent music shop Downtown Sounds, is now excited for the project’s commencement and went so far as to agree to let the space use power from his building for installations and lighting.

Consent from building owners aside, the big issue with the project is the alley’s no-man’s-land status, as it is neither a public city space nor technically owned privately.

The surrounding building was initially a fire insurance agency owned by Harvey Kirkland, the walkway’s namesake, in the 1850s. According to 200-year-old maps Morgan found during research at the Forbes Library, the way used to be an actual road, though it is no longer recognized by the Department of Public Welfare, leaving it unplowed and icy.

Before he died, Kirkland left the building to his secretary, who proceeded to subdivide the area, making it virtually impossible to trace who actually owns the alley. Currently, different people have different ideas about who owns what.

“The area is contested,” Morgan said. “People have different ideas about whose space it actually is.”

The owners of the buildings around the space informally own the half of the alley which they face, allowing for tenants to park vehicles there and congest the area. Technically, in one way or another, the space owes the city $44,000 in back taxes, a major hurdle which storefrontART is trying to surmount. The organization is currently talking with the city, as well as with the buildings’ tenants, over safety and ownership.

“We have initiated conversation with the town,” Handschuh said. “They’re aware of our intentions, but we want conversations to be more open.”

So far, they’ve spoken with City Solicitor Janet Shepard, City Treasurer George Zimmerman, and the director of Planning and Development about the space’s litigation process, which has been going on for years.

While mediating the ownership of Kirkland Avenue has been a bit of an issue, funding and safety have come more easily. storefrontART provides insurance to cover the artists working in the space and the project has acquired various monetary boosts, including grants from the Northampton Arts Council and Hampshire College, where Morgan is completing her final semester.

Since the project is donation-based, they have received aid for Friday’s festivities in the form of hot tea from Deals & Steals and paper products from The Green Bean. In the case of inclement weather, the Guild Art Center, whose location opens out into the alley, has agreed to donate their space. Other mixed donations cover storefrontART’s material costs.

Though the project faces a long process of investigation, proposal, and bureaucracy, Handschuh and Morgan ooze optimism. Their enthusiasm appropriately parallels the sentiments of some lines scratched on one of Kirkland Avenue’s doorframes: “Why are we painting over each other? This takes cooperation. Not competition.”

Spiral Stairs


Here's some real fun stuff to get excited for in the coming months:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' new record It's Blitz! is set for release on April 14, complete with egg-crushing cover art. There was that one track on their most recent Is Is EP which I dug hard, "Rockers to Swallow," so I'm all hot and bothered for this impending full-length. The album features co-production from TV On the Radio dude Dave Sitek, who also co-produced that last EP. More TVOTR sightings appear on the record as well, as Tunde Adebimpe sings on a song and Kyp Malone shakes tambourine. Greg Kurstin from the bird and the bee also guests. The first single, "Zero," will be stacked on the iTunes digital shelf on February 24. The art looks like this:

Take a listen to "Rockers to Swallow" here if you haven't heard it yet:

Rockers to Swallow - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Also, Sonic Youth have announced the release date of their first record on Matador, and 16th overall, The Eternal. June 9th is the date and even though they don't have any U.S. dates except the No Fun Fest at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg, we can hope they end up playing some shows. Last time they came to the area was nearly two years ago to this day when they played a Valentine's Day benefit show for the Greenfield Center School at the Northampton Academy of Music. Mark Ibold of Pavement, who has been part of SY's live show for a couple years now, is now a full-time, recording studio member of the band.

ALSO, that MF DOOM track "Ballskin" I mentioned about a month ago is available for MP3 download over at No Pain In Pop. The Metal-Faced track's still ill and will appear on DOOM's forthcoming record Born Like This out sometime this year on Lex Records. In the mean time snatch that track up here and, if you're interested, check out this sweet piece of MF merchandise: