the riyl revolution

James Miska by thebrandnew007
November 11, 2008, 2:23 pm
Filed under: music, story | Tags: , , ,

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.

Anthem Of Positivity (For The Traveling, Adventure-Seeking and Otherwise Nomadically-Minded, Kids) – James Miska

Seriously, Who Gives A Fuck? You’re Wasting Your Life Thinking About It. – James Miska



sing now, talk later by dory t
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.

“Why Me?” — Nancy Kerrigan circa 1994 by yujean
June 30, 2008, 10:05 pm
Filed under: music, story | Tags: , , ,

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.


the objects don’t need us

my paperhouse on fire

origami [sandklang remix]

riyl: focusing, getting whatever you need to do done, and enjoying it.


(Oh, and here are more cupcakes.)

life is easy by dory t
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

All yer idols in the back of a cab by stuffguyswhopeopleconfuseforqueerslike
June 26, 2008, 3:50 pm
Filed under: music, news, story

Last fall I was all hooked up on the coolest fucking idea ever; amazing band playing in the back of one of those goofy touristy Black Cabs, with the suicide doors and tons of space. And these guys were getting some quality acts just by catching a band on their way through town, hailing a cab and throwing down one acoustic take.

But then as things go, i forgot about it and I haven’t been back over there in a while. I am just now building a mix tape and wanted to put on it this great song by Seasick Steve, and that sparked my mammary- So clicked my way back there and was quite happy to see that they have kept busy in these last 6 months, adding new songs with Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, and Okkervil River*, among others. These are great little snips from the bands you love, and maybe some you haven’t heard of.

Bon Iver finally commanding the attention he deserves- seeing Bon Iver in a club last (whenever that was) was fantastic, but he had trouble holding the room. Now he literally fills the entire space with his timid presence and knocks out a great version of Creature Fear.

Phosphorescent doing a solid version of ‘Wolves’ rides alongside the Cave Singers, Baby Dee, Lykke Li. My Morning Jacket manages to play something tolerable, and Sunset Rubdown plays a long (but interesting) number.

Of the 47 sessions on the site, there is a little something for everyone so poke around, find something you didn’t know you love, but surely not to be missed are Daniel Johnston, Jeffrey Lewis, Bill Callahan and St. Vincent, just to name a few.



*Dirty secret: Although Wil Sheff is totally amazing all over, but he is kind of shit at the harmonica.

hey mona lisa come home by dory t
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

No Rap or Country For Old Men* by stuffguyswhopeopleconfuseforqueerslike
June 21, 2008, 12:16 am
Filed under: music, story | Tags: , , , , ,

Those of us (and you) helping to fuel the recommended if you like revolution find greatest efficacy in a diverse web of recommendations, right? But honestly, all of our posts seem to share a similar sound- So in the interest of calling upon some more varied tastes, I will toss in a little rap and some country and maybe something else later.

When I want to listen to some hip-hop, i’m wowed by interesting beats and clever lines. And I really don’t have to look much further than Stones Throw, the label that brings such amazing beatsmiths and rhyme slingers as Madlib (and all his various projects like the unbeatable Quasimoto), MF Doom, J Dilla, and my personal favorite (and label head) Peanut Butter Wolf. Well, later this month they will be releasing a collaborative one-off by J Dilla, Ghostface Killa and MF Doom. This is bound to be 100%. Doom and Ghostface were both working off tracks from Dilla’s brilliant album Donuts. (Shit, Donuts is more of an All-You-Can-Eat buffet of beats than a straightforward album. And believe me, it fucking works.) The Dilla/Killa/Doom single is slated for release later this month on the Stones Throw store.

I offer these three tracks for dinner, and you’re just going to have to wait to get your dessert. All are kind of old, but they are sold gold. First, from My Vinyl Weighs a Ton, we have a perfect example of PB Wolf’s top-notch concoctions and productions. Second, a track from Madlib’s Blue Note remixes Shades of Blue. This is an unbelievable album- Madlib had open access to the entire Blue Note catalog (all the masters of Jazz, Funk and Soul are represented) and made some very amazing grooves. And finally, a little Doom under his moniker Viktor Vaughn on the record Vaudeville Villain. This one isn’t actually on Stones Throw, but I like this album better than Madvillany, which is. Oh, and fourth – Madlib and J Dilla were working on an album together before his untimely passing in 2006. Together, they are Jaylib. These songs are pretty incredible.

RIYL: digging deep in the bins (or just listening to the amazing shit Peanut Butter Wolf has dug deep and found), indie-hop like EL-P or Atmosphere, 30’s comic books and superhero cartoons, and humorous rhymes.

Peanut Butter Wolf – Casio (buy!)

Madlib -Slim’s Return (buy buy buy!)

Viktor Vaughn – A Dead Mouse (here)

Jaylib – Mission Remix

There is new business coming from Stones Throw is James Pants, from Spokane WA. He’s pretty alright with some worthy beats: I’ll just link to the video of his song because it is pretty weird- he zaps Peanut Butter Wolf with a ray gun.

James Pants – Cosmic Rapp

Well, I promised a little country, didn’t I? Well if you want your fix of the hicks, check out Jesse Montgomery’s radio show over at WOBC.ORG. During these hot summer months, he’ll be on every wednesday morning at 10am with Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. Jesse consistently delivers the gold standards as well as new stuff, and things all in between. Also make sure to check out Bluegrass Irwin’s reputable Bluegrass Special, just don’t expect to understand what he says most of the time.

RIYL Hank, Woodie, and Johnny

For a good time, check out Trailer Bride, from Chapel Hill, NC, they play some nice gothic country a-la 16 Horsepower, but are fronted by a lovely lady named Melissa Swingle. Sadly, they have recently broken up, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the 4 albums they have out.
RIYL the Denver country scene, not alt-country, smoking indoors.

Trailer Bride – High Sea

Currently on tour with Drive-By Truckers is a little dirty band Dead Confederate- Twice now i’ve almost put them up on RIYL Rev, but changed my mind at the last minute. However, they keep clicking up on my radar and they keep growing on me.
RIYL spaced out sludgey stoner jams, letting an album grow on you, sitting through a (likely to be shitty) Drive-By Truckers set or paying $25 for the opener [I gotta move to a real fucking city.]

Dead Confederate – Tortured Artist Saint




*This joke comes straight from Nick Mayor- i can’t take any credit for it. It was going to be his new post-coilage screen name, but it was too long.