the riyl revolution

sing now, talk later
September 9, 2008, 12:22 am
Filed under: music, news | Tags: , , , , ,

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.

love, dory.


life is easy
June 29, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: music, news

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.

real live tigers – yes still

real live tigers – leave a map

real live tigers – what fort worth is for

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.

x dory

hey mona lisa come home
June 23, 2008, 4:20 pm
Filed under: music, story | Tags: , , ,

I love music videos. Three minutes of life brightly colored, well-choreographed, sexy as hell and perfectly nonthreatening. Everyone is beautiful, everyone emotes at the right times and in the right places, and the music always matches the mood. It’s a fantasy that lasts just long enough for me to care, and ends just before I get bored with it. Hip hop music videos (especially high budget, mainstream hip hop videos) are the best. They’re always political disasters– girl power is being super hot and insinuating lesbian makeouts with your half-naked friends! I know there’s no excuse. And I know it’s wrong.

But I fucking love the Pussycat Dolls. And Kanye West. Like, a lot.

But what I think is the most interesting is that fact that sometimes, liking these bands is not embarassing, it’s actually super ironic and cool. Long since pioneered by artists like Soulwax/2 Many DJs and Girl Talk, mashups and remixes are the hippest fodder for an entire generation of self-conscious college students. It isn’t just Kanye West, it’s Diplo‘s REMIX of Kanye West! Which makes it cool! Which means I am still edgy! Because if I am not edgy, I am nothing. Obvs.

But sometimes the remix is hip for a reason. Sometimes it kicks the shit out of the song’s original. Sometimes the remix makes me feel good about wanting to be edgy. Sometimes the remix is like an entire fucking summer dreamworld where life really is a music video and Will.I.Am wants to date me and every word I say pops out around me like a huge delicious candy bubble, and I can dance, and I know everything, and I know everyone, and life wants to open up and eat me like a pill, and everything is glowing in the blacklight.

Sometimes a remix can do that. This one does.

Kanye West – Flashing Lights (Diplo remix)

x dory

the games we play
June 16, 2008, 2:51 am
Filed under: story | Tags: , , , ,

to love music is to love live shows. and to love live shows is to endure huge numbers of bro’d out tools, huge volumes of cigarette smoke, and several eternities of standing around awkwardly staring into space waiting for the band to start. so what’s a girl to do? there are only so may times i can go pee in an hour. solution: the venue olympics! a game of questions! a collective interview! a totally judgemental and cruel assesment of a room full of strangers!


game number one: who farted?
because someone always did. always. and the whole little venue starts to smell sort of sour, like smoke and fart and sweat, and the bodies are very close and even the most immaculately manicured hipsters have pit stains blaring through their athletic gray american apparel tshirts. so who the fuck farted? because no one is safe.
“the shitty looking guy in front of me” usually feels like the right answer… but what about when you are the shitty guy in front? what about the shitty guys in the VERY front? like that extremely tall one standing behind his extremely short girlfriend, and he’s got his fingers in her belt loops and he’s drumming on her hips along to the music, and she looks bored, and the whole situation makes you faintly ill. was it him? was it her? could he feel her fart against his leg?

game number two: where is the drummer’s penis?
it just gets worse and worse.
i’m sorry. but skinny boys in tight navy courderoys sitting on very tiny stools MUST have penises, but where ARE they? the problem with this game is that when i win, i feel gross, because it’s like this horrible outline bulging through their pants and then it’s all i can see, even though it’s the last thing i want to see, and i always feel bad like some straight guy who accidentally stares at a woman’s breasts even though he doesn’t really care at all about them, and then the lady gets upset and he feels like a cliche, because he is. so basically what i’m saying is that looking for the drummer’s dick can be a tricky one, because when you find it (and you will) you will wish you hadn’t.
also, lady drummers fucking rule.

game number three: who does this band wish they were?
this is a little obsessive, i’ll admit. but sometimes i just stand at shows at stare at the singer’s contorted face and think about who they sound like. like how calico just wants to be a country-western version of explosions in the sky. or how anathallo is just like the dirty projectors only it takes like eighteen million people for them to do exactly same thing.

when the band finally starts (or when you get super tired of the band and they finally stop), at least you know you’ve done something right. you’re supporting the artist, not the record company; the venue, not the man. and if it smells like farts and the music is old and everyone on stage is a little too real to be comfortable, at least you know you tried.

these are the sacrifices we make for the things we love.

x dory

the world has oceans and across them are fantastic things
May 30, 2008, 1:54 am
Filed under: interview, music, story

if you’ve been reading this thing since day one, you remember that one time when i gushed about that one band from that one place. you know. the UK. stars and sons. FREE EP!!! whatevs.

anyways, i had the pleasure of internetinterviewing mike lord, the spokesperson of s&s’s infinitely mysterious collective. below you can find the unabridged transcript. eat it up, go download their EP, and keep your eyes chronically peeled for a new track & a video sometime next month.


Dory (on behalf of the RIYL crew): the goat show ep is free, and i think this is totally fucking awesome. but it’s also sort of unusual; even with mp3blogs everywhere, a lot of groups are still charging for complete albums. what made you decide to make this first EP a free one?

Mike Lord: I think when bands offer something for free this early in their career it gives people a chance to have a proper listen, and it hopefully avoids the instant dismissal which is so easy when trawling around the interweb looking for bands. I would much rather people maybe listened to the whole EP on their headphones whilst lazing out in some tropical destination, than they listened to 15 seconds off Myspace on shitty laptop speakers. (Let’s not forget the donation button though!)

D: so we’ve all figured out by now that stars and sons is also the name of a broken social scene song. any connection? and maybe more importantly– any thoughts on maintaining the sanctity of your googleability when most of the search results seem to be about another band?

M: Well, I love the song and I found the title really intriguing… [Broken Social Scene] took it from the name of Dave Newfeld’s studio… so I’m just joining the big ‘ole chain of word stealing! Googleability isn’t really a massive concern of mine. (Though maybe it’s the true reason why that bunch were called “the beatles” rather than “the beetles”?)

D: so on your myspace there are four people (or one person who rocks at costumes). i know you’re at least one of them– but who are the others? and who IS that face on the mask?

M: It’s kind of a collective really. There isn’t necessarily a definitive number, but we all do out bit! Maybe its like The Waltons… “G’night John-boy” etc etc. The picture is of our founder David Strauss (recently deceased, ever present.) I think that the less people know the better. It lets us stay upwardly mobile, y’see. Economic and social advancement is surely just around the corner…

D: you’re all the way across an ocean from me, and most recent blogging about s&s has also been from the united states. d’you think that’s where most of your fan base is at this point? how’s the scene in brighton?

M: The scene in Brighton is pretty ludicrous. You can’t walk down the road without seeing 75 people with guitars on their backs. It’s really good that there are so many people involved in musical partakings, but its also kinda shit because no-one really cares when you say “Hey! we started a band!” I bet the people who own the practise studios are giggling with glee though… I had to ring 5 of them yesterday before I could book a slot (ARGH).

D: what’s the best live show you’ve seen recently?

M: The best live show I’ve seen recently was from a Brighton band called Charlottefield. They play incredible urgent and noisy music and (nearly) every other band in Brighton can only stand back and observe shamefully. When you watch them live you have to cling on to every second because they can be grumpy bastards, you never know when they will get pissed off and decide to stop playing! I since learned that they have decided to call it a day since the show I saw which is deeply gutting…

D: anything else new (and free) for the listening masses?

M: Sorry, but we’re changing the template again… For the next EP we are gonna make just 1 physical copy which will be in the form of a wind-up music box and sell that for £900. Times are changing guys: gotta… keep… moving…

in conclusion, mike lord is a badass and i want to be his friend. agree? disagree? do you also want to be mike lord’s friend? let us know.



sometimes these things take time
May 13, 2008, 10:41 am
Filed under: music, news

“new ratatat?”


it’s glitchy and slow, and maybe i don’t get it, but the vinyl is only $3 and it’s got sweet album art.

ratatat – shiller

that said, i saw ratatat live in cleveland (at the beachland ballroom) last year, and it was one of the best shows i’ve ever been to. glittery rock-god transcendence– an epic video projection back before every band on tour had an epic video projection, insane stage presence, and the grace not to say stupid shit between songs. i stood in the front row and sweat through all my clothes.

anyways, dig it if you wanna, drop it if you don’t. stay cool.

UPDATE: two hours later, i’ve listened to this song five or six times and decided that it’s ferocious and meandering and sick as hell. a little bit like background music, but background music to the beginning of some incredible zombie movie.

x dory

bridge to canada
May 10, 2008, 5:40 am
Filed under: music, story | Tags: , , , , ,

Today Meagan and Yujean and I drove to Michigan. On the way back, in the dark, after getting lost three times and barreling down any number of crazy-narrow log-flume tree-lined on-ramps, we passed what is perhaps my favorite road sign in a while: “Bridge to Canada, Next Exit.” We giggled and soldiered on into the night. In some fantastic parallel universe where I wasn’t carsick and we didn’t have obligations, though– in this universe we would have taken the bridge to Canada. And if we had driven until we got to Quebec, we might have gotten there in time to catch Two Hours Traffic play a show, and it might have sounded just as bright and power pop-y as it did as our car blew past semis on the way back to Ohio.
This music reminds me of things I liked in high school; particularly the things I liked when I worked at Baskin Robbins and had to listen to very happy nostalgic music every day in order to not feel like killing myself.
riyl: super clean for radio lyrics, having conversations where no one really listens but everybody gets really excited telling stories about senior year of high school, sunshine, iced coffee when most of the ice cubes have melted and all that’s left are little clear slivers of cold bobbing around and leaving weird watery trails in the cream, the 4th of july (Canadian independence day?), orange juice popsicles

Two Hours Traffic – Sure Can Start

Two Hours Traffic – Stuck for the Summer

If you like it, buy it here.

x dory