Filed under: music, story | Tags: bikes, boing collective, folk punk, james miska
So I originally found out about the Boing! House through my humanities class last year. Since then I’ve been going to quite a few shows there (mostly folk punk), and the boing! café, a weekly low cost vegan café that generally has good food and takes place every friday. A separate story begins in the second grade, when I first picked up some drum sticks. Now I’m not the greatest drummer, in fact, for the amount of time that I’ve been ‘playing,’ I should probably be a lot better than I am. However, I’ve always loved playing and listening to music. These seemingly unrelated stories clashed last week at a show at Boing (James Miska, Chaz Prymek, Joshua Faulkner, Trouble on the Prairie, and The A-Star Team). This post will focus on James, rather than the four other talented (mostly) musicians. At that show, I realized that I wanted to play guitar. Without being overly sappy, i basically had a sort of epiphany at the show, and realized that guitar was really something of a missing piece in my life. Long story short, James is an inspiration, a friend to many, and a wonderful musician. Here’s a track, and you can download more older stuff here and here, and non-downloadable newer stuff is here.
Filed under: music, news | Tags: australia, dinner, indie folk, pop, update, video
oh hey guys, remember when we updated regularly?
me neither. that will change soon.
in the meantime, here’s a video of indie folk darlings polka dot dot dot (thanks meagan) singing songs while they cook dinner. please note the phone ringing in the background. these kids have got their priorities sorted out.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Some called it ‘selling out.’ Personally I don’t give a shit. Do you like pretending it’s the ’70s? Do you find yourself wearing bell bottoms and listening to funk? Well, even if you don’t, Herbie Hancock is for you. This is definitely not in the same boat as his jazzy Blue Note classics, but more of a turning point into his later funkyelectrojazzpop (it’s a new term) that still sounds fresh today.
Herbie Hancock & The Headhunters:
you can listen to the whole album here!
Filed under: Uncategorized
For a good time, call Bob Log 3, Tit and Turd fetishist extraordinaire, he’s a funny one-man-band (move over, Matt Mayhem) and always wears a motorcycle helmet with a phone attached to it. Unless i haul my as to PGH right when I return to Ohio in august, i’ll probably miss him this summer. (Anyone wanna give me a ride?) But if/when he is in your area and you are in for a sleezy time, call your buddy bob. But beware, he’ll probably expect a standing ovation.
His tour, which started last thursday in Texas, is coming around, so don’t miss it. He’ll be at:
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis, MN – Sat 7/19
Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL – Thu 7/24
Mercury Lounge, New York, NY – Mon 8/4
Southpaw, Brooklyn, NY – Tue 8/5
Johnny Brendas, Philadelphia, PA – Wed 8/6
Iota Cafe, Arlington, VA – Thu 8/7
31st Street Pub Pittsburgh PA – Fri 8/8
Cafe Bourbon Street Columbus OH – Sat 8/9
Thu 8/14/08 Bar Deluxe Salt Lake City UT
Sat 8/16/08 Doug Fir Lounge Portland OR
Mon 8/18/08 El Corazon Seattle WA
Wed 8/20/08 Bottom of the Hill San Francisco CA
among other places. His tour is pretty big, so if you don’t see your city here, make sure to click over to his site for the full tour.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Bipolar Bear – Mountain Dewd
This one has been sitting on my shelf (read eye-tunez) since May, when it came into our lovely radio station. It has been sitting around gathering dust and probably few revolutions per minute. Turns out, that is kind of a shame! This record is pretty good.
Heiling from LA, Bipolar Bear breaks the puns not like it is their job but because it is their job. Mountian Dewd, their full length out on Yosada/Kill Shaman, Quick cuts that cut to the quick, this album clocks in at just over 22 minutes, which is thankfully short, allowing you to injest all the dissonance they deliver in jest.
RIYL early Les Savy Fav, labelmates Bad Dudes (who’s new album I’ll hopefully buy and review soon), and other grizzly shit. Bipolar Bear wants to tear your heart out because they love you so much.
If you like, you should buy.
ps- this post is dedicated to and made possible by the summer serum and heat beater Purely Decadent. One of these days i’m going to live on a turtle mountain, and you are all invited to party with me. Even if you are gluten free, i’ll get some cookie dough.
Filed under: music, story | Tags: cupcakes, deadlines, minimalism, one million bagpipes
I had five deadlines today. Several thousand words needed to be submitted electronically by 5pm, and thanks to the procrastination skills now refined from 10+ years of experience, I didn’t get started on any of it until mid-afternoon. The last time I put something off this much was when I ended up plastering Dory’s facebook wall with photographs of elaborately decorated cupcakes. Whatever, I finally managed to perch myself on my porch with a mug full of ice water, ready to produce something spectacular.
As my luck would have it, my last minute crunch happened to coincide with the outdoor bagpipe conference! I had half an hour and approximately 600 words to go when I began working on Item #4. Key the bagpipe players: people of all ages each carrying the instrument of their common affection creeped out of the dorms by the tens and converged under the solar panel-roofed parking lot next door. While I tried to write a decent book review on a work that connected the feminist movement against sexualized violence and neoliberalism I listened to three fucking rounds of thirty bagpipe players standing in a circle playing Amazing Grace. But miracles happen sometimes, even in Oberlin, Ohio, (487 miles away from 34th Street according to MapQuest) because twenty minutes and about a million dirty looks later, I e-submitted my fifth and final assignment with seven minutes left.
Maybe I wouldn’t have cut it so close if I hadn’t started my first assignment three hours before my final deadline. Oops. Maybe I also wouldn’t have cut it so close if I hadn’t been subjected to the trope of bagpipes that have infiltrated my surrounding areas and will remain for approximately a week. In retrospect, Berlin’s Phon°Noir would have provided just the perfect tunes for buckling down and focusing, two acts I haven’t gotten down quite yet. He did get me through much of my final-paper-writing-marathon, after all. I’m not usually one for instrumental music – Explosions in the Sky being a major exception – but Phon°Noir aka Matthias Grübel has managed to arrange the perfect blend of indie, electronic, and minimalism to a beautiful hailing of satisfaction from my ears. There are hardly any vocals, and it’s just so intimate and pleasant without being distracting. Intimate and pleasant. Two qualitites I don’t associate with bagpipes, and certainly not in mass quantities.
riyl: focusing, getting whatever you need to do done, and enjoying it.
(Oh, and here are more cupcakes.)
It’s a blessing to have friends who make music, a blessing to have friends who’re on tour. You can always hear their voices in their songs, always hope you’ll see them sometime soon when they pass through your little far-out town. I think my musician friends have a kind of magic in them somewhere, the mystical ability to move from city to city in the space of a night, to write songs that are pretty, to not worry how they look when they close their eyes.
My friend Tony is a musician, and his band is called Real Live Tigers. The power of the internet taught me recently that things are changing for him, and that very soon he won’t be a touring band anymore, won’t drift around and send us all postcards from afar. From his Myspace:
“I love traveling and I love playing music, but I think I can spend my time more productively these days, and I’d rather be a happier, more productive person than one who experiences the full array of emotions during a 24-hour period while touring.
[Myspace] has made things a little too easy for people to get their music out there and tour. Sure, it’s helpful to be able to communicate with any band anywhere in the world, but recording and setting up shows has become too easy and I don’t think I want to do any more tours in the United States as a solo performer playing acoustic guitar. It’s like playing a show on the bottom of the ocean. No one can hear you, and even if you’re there you’re not sure the music’s good.
It would be too easy to blame gas prices or a handful of bad shows, which is why I’m not. Everything that I’ve wanted to say as Real Live Tigers is out there. Please enjoy it. I look forward to seeing some of you in the coming weeks.”
Let this be a lesson for all of us: everyone we know is magical, no matter if they mostly stay home these days, no matter if now it’s our job to go visit them in their small towns. Tony will still be luminous, you will still be perfect, I will still be whole, no matter where we are or what we do. We are ourselves independent of what other people think.
So I’m biased, but Tony’s songs are gems. His newer stuff hints at solo Jeffrey Lewis, or a more tuneful and mature Fuck Yes!!. Tony’s voice is definitive and unique and his song writing is unflinchingly sincere. I’ve linked my favorite old song of his (Yes Still, off of “This is Sometimes a Riverbed”) and the two newer ones I can’t get over. There are plenty more tracks for free download off of Real Live Tigers’ Myspace (linked above).
If you like these songs, please find a way to see Tony play his music sometime soon. If you can, come to What the Heck Fest in Anacortes, WA this July. Real Live Tigers will be playing, as will countless other fantastic bands. Plus, Yujean and Meagan and I will all be there. Maybe you’ll see us and we’ll talk. For now, listen to these songs and think about the people you know.
RIYL: quiet times, late nights, honest answers, mail art, sitting in the park by yourself and sort of trying to read but really just watching all the people walk around, long drives, the huge dark mirror of the great salt lake in the middle of the night, an old journal entry that reminds you how it felt to have your heart broken the first time.