streaming Rogue Wave

April 30th, 2007

Rogue Wave’s “Sight Lines”, off of the Superman 3 soundtrack can be streamed at Spinner.

Rogue Wave’s cover of “All You Need is Love” can be at their myspace. (Also their cover of “Debaser” is there.) They always do interesting covers. personal card loan accept credit80 loan to calculator value20000 loans quickequity home 125 alabama loansacorn loansalexandria loans mortgagebernardo 16875 college loan west dr2nd loans home Map

rules for reviewing

April 29th, 2007

Here are some guidelines:

  1. The Beatles sounded like about 10 different bands. Say which one you’re talking about. Beulah sounds like “Rubber Soul-era Beatles”. If you don’t know the Beatles albums well-enough to know which to compare a band to, then leave this comparison to people who do.
  2. Sun-shiney harmonies don’t make a band automatically sound like the Beach Boys.
  3. If you compare a band to Neutral Milk Hotel, it’d better be fricking epic and life-changing, not just some dark fuzz-pop with random instruments.
  4. Just because it’s finger-picked and folky, doesn’t make it sound like Nick Drake.
  5. “sounds like [band name] on [drug]” is weak and stupid. (McAnulty alerted me to this one.)
  6. “sounds like [super obscure band #1] had babies with [super obscure band #2]” is usually useless.
  7. Making a judgement of an album based on personal beliefs of the band makes you seem small.
  8. Mentioning a band member’s facial hair and passing judgement on an album based on that makes you seem stupid and small.
  9. Making a judgement of an album based on personal activities of the band or band members is stupid.
  10. Not all lo-fi bands sound like Guided by Voices. In fact, none of them do.
  11. Seriously, have you even listened to Slint’s Spiderland??
  12. Don’t make a judgement about an album based on a comparison or objectionable phrase on its promotional one-sheet. The band probably didn’t write that. They might not have even seen that.

Am I missing any?

Finches @ Hemlock, review, photos

April 29th, 2007

Last night I saw one of the local bands I’m listening to, the Finches (myspace) at the Hemlock.

I’d never been to the Hemlock before. It’s a bar with a music space in the back room. The back room is tiny, smaller than most, if not all, of the other venues I’ve been to in SF. It’s a nice space and the sound was good.

The band that was up when I got there was a guy (Stephen) who goes by French Quarter. Immediately after I got there, he did a slowed-down, finger-picked version of Stayin’ Alive, so I was immediately in (slowed-down and interesting covers of mainstream tunes almost always reel me in).

The French Quarter guy is the sort that even I made fun of in high school: his pants were too small, his sweatshirt too big, wearing a headband, with unkempt hair and not wearing shoes. But his songs were good, just guitar and vocals. Heartfelt, sincere and interesting. I bought an album from him after the show.

I’m going to skip over the middle band. The Finches were headlining and I’ll just get to them.

Carolyn and Aaron were nice and gentle, actually. Between that and their music, I found it very appropriate when Carolyn revealed that they work with pre-schoolers. Their set was nice and I enjoyed it overall. They finished with my three favorite songs: “House Under a Hill”, “Daniel’s Song”, and “Last Favor.” Daniel himself, Carolyn’s brother, was standing right behind me, so that made for an ultracute moment, there.

View the full photo album here. Check my previous post for some mp3s.

seven swans vinyl reissue, mp3

April 29th, 2007

Sounds Familyre (Daniel Smith of Danielson’s label) is rereleasing one of my favorite albums of 2004, Seven Swans, on vinyl. The interesting part is that it comes with an extra 7″ with unreleased session tracks
“Waste Of What Your Kids Won’t Have” and “I Went Dancing With My Sister.”

I couldn’t locate either of those, but another non-album Seven Swans session song is “Borderline” which ended up on a Rough Trade 7″:

Sufjan Stevens – Borderline (mp3)

You can pick this reissue up at insound.

Jonathan Richman and Phantom Carriage at Castro Theatre

April 28th, 2007

Last night I saw Jonathan Richman perform live accompaniment to the 1921 Swedish silent movie Phantom Carriage at the Castro Theatre.

I haven’t been to the Castro Theatre in a couple years and as I went in and saw the beautiful molding and ornamentation in the theater, I remembered how amazing that place is. There was an interesting mix of people milling around and finding their seats: Jonathan Richman fans, silent movie aficionados, indie movie people, etc.

If you’ve never seen a silent film with live musical accompaniment, I’d recommend it. It’s usually a pretty good experience. The semi-improvisational nature of the music adds a lot of excitement to the movie.

The movie itself is pretty complex for the time. The plot’s based around a Swedish folktale. The idea goes that the last to die in a year that has bad things has to spend the rest of the year being Death’s carriage driver. It employed a few techniques that I was surprised were employed then, including non-linear story telling and some fairly good special effects techniques for the ghosts.

On now onto the music. I’d seen Jonathan Richman before. He’s really quirky live and has a lot of charisma and stage presence, so I was really curious how it’d end up when these things were taken away. The set up was Jonathan on (nylon string) guitar and pump organ. Other players were two hand bell players, a trumpet/ baritone player, a bass clarinet/ saxophone/ flute player, a violinist and a cellist. I thought their accompaniment was really good and all the players were very talented. It worked really well with the movie. The main characters had motifs and there were parts were these two motifs were almost colliding when two characters were talking or arguing. A daring move was during certain particularly intense moments in the movie there they left it completely silent; I think it paid off.

View the full photo album.

Steve Martin/ Bela Fleck/ Tony Truschka on Letterman

April 28th, 2007

If you didn’t know, Steve Martin’s a serious picker. The other night he, Bela Fleck and Tony Truschka were on Letterman all playing banjo on a tune Martin wrote for Tony’s last album. I was pretty blown away by it. Those three and the flat-pickig guitar player all do great solos, but Bela Fleck’s is even a notch up.

one more day for April mixtape

April 27th, 2007

Here it is. I’ll be taking it down tomorrow, so grab it now if you want it. adam ringtone cellularone mullen clayton larrydiab ringtones s66 siemens amrringtone aczessdelory al nokia ringtone99th floor elevators ringtone cingularhealth 2c warrington center doylestown wellnesscrazy frog 2nd ringtone clubremix venussiemens a3 ct56 ringtones Map

song obsessions of the week

April 27th, 2007

This is a new column. Song obsessions are those songs that we listen to on repeat. I noticed that my obsessions are often a week long. I also thought that other people might have similar obsessions. I’ve collected a panel of a few like-minded individuals and gotten their “song obsessions of the week.” Maybe you’ll become obsessed with one of these.

I wrote the following to a few friends/ DJs, etc that have similar musical tastes:

I get in these cycles where I listen to a song obsessively for a week or two. Two weeks ago it was Beatbeat Whisper’s “Lulu.” Last week it was Andrew Bird’s “Plasticities.” Does this happen to you?

Here’s the “panel’s” song obsessions for this week:

Adrian (me):
It was a close one, but I think it’ll have to be
Cloud Cult – Take Your Medicine (mp3)

Chris:

I didn’t listen to her album for a few months, then rediscovered it a last week. All the songs are really great, but this one stands out. Never gets boring even after numerous 16 minute listenings.

Joanna Newsom – Only Skin (mp3)

Scott:

i’ve been obsessively listening to the album ‘Raccoo-oo-oon Is Night
People’ by Raccoo-oo-oon (label Release the Bats)…specifically, the
song “Stamped From The Stump”.

Raccoo-oo-oon – Stamped from the Stump(mp3)

Dave, store manager of Crossroads Music:
Beirut – Scenic World (mp3)

Natalie:
Cat Power – The Greatest (mp3)

Rob:

I don’t know how frequently I’ll have a song that I’ve been
legitimately obsessed with in the past week, but for the past couple
it’s definitely been Billy Bragg / Wilco’s rendition of “Eisler on the
Go” off of Mermaid Avenue.

Billy Bragg & Wilco – Eisler on the Go (mp3)

And there you have it!

Danielson: a Family Movie (review)

April 26th, 2007

After missing a few showings in SF, I finally saw Danielson: A Family Movie, which finally came out on DVD a couple weeks ago.

I’d heard of them for a couple years and I saw Danielson last summer, so I knew they were a bit nuts. Describing their recorded sound is hard enough, but their live sound is even one step up the ladder. I can’t think of better words (which is not to say there aren’t better words) to describe the band than my previous review. “Danielson is sort of a quirky indie pop folk band with epileptic fits of craziness in the middle of their songs.” I later added

This band is just crazy. Quirky is probably a better term. They have these softer or sweeter parts to their songs interspersed with these intense, high-energy parts with often high-pitched vocals. It’s almost disorienting to see them play. Daniel Smith, the leader of the group, has this way of singing that’s half in falsetto, but the parts of his mouth and throat that he uses to sing aren’t normally used by people unless they’re imitating a cat meowing. His two sister and the keyboard player, Evan, all sing with such energy that it seems like they’re yelling into the mics.

Danielson – Did I Step on Your Trumpet? (mp3)

That gives you some taste for the band. Daniel Smith and the bands he’s involve with have a bit of an odd history. They started as a thesis project for Daniel’s art degree. They were first released on Tooth and Nail but weren’t really accepted by the “Christian Music” community. They gained some ground as an “outsider” art/ music within the “secular” music world. This film picks up after they’ve gotten some press, but still have room to grow.

It’s a film about a band getting bigger. It’s about a band of Christians (the awkward phrasing to avoid “Christian band”) in the indie rock world. It’s about friends and family being pulled in different directions. It’s about an artist trying to grow. It’s an interesting film, with a good story. I liked it.

There’s a lot of Sufjan in it. He was hanging out with the Smith’s when it was being filmed. I like Sufjan and it’s cool to seem him just talking and hanging out and playing whiffle ball. However, I think the one big misstep in the film is a five minute diversion talking about Sufjan’s big rise to fame. It feels like it was inserted afterwards to try to take advantage of Suf’s popularity.

Overall, good stuff. Put it in your netflix queue already!

link links, vol 2.4

April 26th, 2007

(SECRET: I just make up the volume numbers.)

I read the internets so you don’t have to.

The Stranger thinks that trumpet is the new saxophone. That’s cool. I’m a trumpet player. I don’t think saxophone’s totally out though. Did you see the One AM Radio’s last tour with two tenor sax players? Nothing cheesy about that.

Stereogum has a great song by Mice Parade called “the Tales of Las Negras.” Sort of post-rocky, but sort of experimental in that Swan Lake sort of way. Also has the electic piano in a similar sort of setting to the Album Leaf. Grab this one.

John Vanderslice talks to the St. Louis Riverfront Times about his recent idea of having audience members sing his songs at shows this tour. Here’s one video of Craig Ness singing at the Portland stop. JV also grooves along to a drumline, further proving my theory that marching bands are cool. Also, it looks like the Union Hall stop stop on the tour was the one not-to-miss with guest appearances by Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) and Peter Hughes (Mountain Goats, Nothing Painted Blue).

Pitchfork reports that there will be various people with cred (Will Oldham, Devendra Banhart, Superchunk, etc.) covering their “guilty pleasure” songs (by people without cred, like Mariah Carey, Journey, Destiny’s Child). You can check out a few samples at the album’s myspace page. I’m pscyhed about the idea after Ted Leo’s awesome cover (which, it appears, people request all the time at shows but I haven’t heard him play live) but the songs up there are…well, judge for yourself. 1 888 all loanmortgage 106 loansgaranteed approval 100 loansmonth 6 loans rates interest1.2 loansunsecured loan 5000corp s adding to vehicle loanagricultural bad credit for loansvan 0 loans auto interestguarnteed loan 5000