net radio day of silence

June 25th, 2007

Tomorrow is the net radio day of silence to protest the extreme hike in rates that will go into effect July 15 if the law isn’t repealed. The list of stations participating includes my own KZSU. Other Bay Area radio stations participating include KPFA, KUSF, KALW, and KALX. KCRW, Pandora and a huge list of other internet radio stations and simulcasts are also participating.

Speaking of Saving Net Radio, as the Bay Bridged reports there’s a Save Net Radio benefit set up by Soma FM and Bagel Radio in on July 1st with solo sets from members of the Heavenly States, the Herms and Peloton, a set by HIJK and DJ sets from Soma FMer Elise and Bagel Radioer Ted.

it’s so easy

June 25th, 2007

Head over to DCist for the rest of the comic (jabs at the Shins and Joanna Newsom) and to Argyle Academy for other comics from the same people.

ipickmynose radio

June 25th, 2007

I’ve added a flash mp3 player on the right side of my blog. It’ll stream a dozen or so of the latest mp3s.

It’s not perfect and I’m working on improving it, but it’s usable, I think and stable. Let me know if you have any opinions about it or how it should work.

One known issue is that if mp3s were encoded oddly, they can play too fast. I will just be more careful about the mp3s I upload in the future. This is happening with some of the Seam mp3s.

holy shitballs that’s a beautiful song: Jenda Wight’s “Luxury of Time”

June 24th, 2007

The other day I found Jenda Wight on myspace. A song played. I pressed back and listened again. And again.

“Luxury of Time” is a beautifully orchestrated song from this Brooklyn songstress. It sounds like electric piano, Mellotron and (possibly sampled) harpsichord, and strings that are making up a bed for Jenda to sing over. There’s melancholy that washes over you with the cyclical music. During the chorus she only sings pretty much the same line over and over and I just find myself wanting her to sing it more.

Jenda Wight – Luxury of Time (mp3)

I won’t be your friend unless you download this song.

Jenda tells me that she’ll have a self-titled EP coming out in the fall and there are plans in the works for a Canada and Midwest tour in October. Keep checking her myspace page for more info as that time approaches.

19/ 20 years later: Rattle and Hum

June 24th, 2007

The indie rock community always has an odd relationship with mainstream artists. Some are accepted and expected that you like (everyone loves Bruce Springsteen this year; Beach Boys are another popular indie rock mainstream artist). I don’t know where the indie rock consciousness currently falls with U2 but I don’t care. If I had to limit my record collection’s 80s section to two albums, I’d leave The Queen is Dead. I’d leave Surfa Rosa. I’m taking The Joshua Tree and Graceland.

I watched Rattle and Hum again tonight, for the first time in possibly eight years, when I last watched it in my first crazy-about-U2 phase partially initiated by my friend Wally constantly singing along to U2 and eventually showing me Rattle and Hum.

Though it was released in 1988, the bulk of the filming of this documentary happened 20 years ago in 1987. Of course, the clothing and hair styles are bad, hilariously bad, even. No one should wear a leather vest with nothing underneath. Or only suspenders (no shirt) in public.

I don’t listen to U2 daily, or even weekly most of the time, so I was a bit surprised at my reaction to some of the music. I like a lot of the songs, of course. “With or Without You”, “Bad”, “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and “Where the Streets have No Name” are great songs. I was listening and enjoying. However, when they did the version of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” with the gospel choir from Harlem, I had goose bumps. My serious visceral reaction to “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was even more intense. Multiple times in the song (at the beginning, when the drums first come in, and during the “Fuck the revolution! No more!” part) it felt like the entire skin shell of my body was tensed and bristled. I’m not going to write off a song or band that can cause that sort of reaction.

Bono was the so-full-of-himself-but-can-sort-of-get-away-with-it-because-he-really-is-that-good guy before Kanye came around. For anyone to say that they’d just discovered BB King and wanted to work with him seems absurd, but U2 does it and pulls it off. There of course is some total wankery. The part where Bono takes a flood light and dramatically lights the Edge during a solo is just silly.

The black and white parts of the film are the most artistically interesting from a visual perspective. Some of the color parts (Bono backlit in blue, Bono lit from below with the fog machines on) seem a bit cliched and forced.

There is a bit of a SF connection to the film. The version of “All Along the Watchtower” was performed and filmed live in an outdoor square in SF. In the middle of the song, Bono goes up to a sculpture and spray paints it with “Rock N Roll Stops Traffic.” I think Woody’s got you beat on “musix does [x]” claims there, Bono, but I’d still like to see Chris Martin do that.

David Bazan, New Year and the Indie Rock Hall of Fame @ the Bottom of the Hill

June 23rd, 2007

“Maximum Occupancy: 249” the sign said and it wasn’t even full. Maybe 150 kids there. Among those that did check out this show were members of the future Indie Rock Hall of Fame…

I love two band bills, especially when both bands are good. I came to see David Bazan (myspace) , even though I saw him a month ago at the Fillmore (with Ben Gibbard) but as the show approached, I kept hearing people talk about it in terms of the New Year. I hadn’t really heard of them, though I had heard of their previous band, Bedhead; I was excited to see what they had to offer.

Bazan was up first. I’ve seen him a ridiculous number of times; he tours a lot and I always enjoy seeing his sets. This was no different. Overall, he played a pretty similar set to that Fillmore gig. This time he started with, I think “Of Minor Prophets and Their Prostitute Wives” and then “The Devil is Beating his Wife”. He played a number of songs from “Achilles Heel” and his solo EP. Two songs he played that I haven’t heard in either a long time, or ever, were “Secret of the Easy Yoke” and “Options”. About “Secret” I heard him later say that he didn’t feel any spark during that song. We did, though, as evidenced by the kid a few feet to my left that said “thank you” after he played it. He closed the set with his Leonard Cohen cover, “Hallelujah”. It felt like a short set, but I’m not sure it was.

It was good to see Bazan back on the small stage. I like being able to see his quirky facial expressions and slouching. I like that he did his “Anyone have any questions?” thing again. These are the sorts of things that make him seem like a normal guy (that can write amazing songs).

It was during the latter half of Bazan’s set that I started noticing it. But more on that later. This is a music blog, after all, so I’ll cover the music first.

The New Year was up next. As I said, I hadn’t heard of them before this concert. They’re a five piece, I think: three guitars (one of which switches to keyboard sometimes), bass, drums. They sort of remind me of early Pedro the Lion and of Seam (who I just posted about.) Pedro the Lion for the interlocking lines from all the different instruments and Seam for some of the same, plus the quiet vocals, the sense of melody in the loud parts. The mix was good and the band put on an enjoyable set, even for someone that didn’t know any of their songs.

The New Year – Age of Conceit (mp3)

I don’t have a NYC-inferiority complex, but the NYC blogs are always talking about spotting sufjan or bowie at a show. Well…

So I knew John Vanderslice was going to be at the show because we’d talked about it beforehand. Before Bazan went on I saw a guy and a girl walking to the back section, with the billiard tables. They looked familiar; they were Jason and Kori aka The Mates of State. As Bazan went on I saw JV and he was with Ian Bjornstad, his keyboard player (and upstart solo artist). Dave Douglas (JV’s drummer) joined them shortly there after. During the middle of the set I saw someone walk toward the bar: Yup, Ben Gibbard. I started to think What’s with this night?.

After Bazan’s set I was chatting to JV and his bandmates (save Broecker, who was in Seattle) in the courtyard area and I saw Mark Kozelek poke his head out into that area. After the New Year went on, JV went back to near the back to watch the show. JV waved me over and introduced me to Chris. I said the “Hi. I’m Adrian” thing and then I realized: Oh, that’s Chris Walla. So I was standing there watching a show with what ended up being JV, Bjornstad, Walla, Gibbard, Bazan, and Kozelek.

Afterwards, Kozelek took off pretty quickly and I didn’t see the Mates after Bazan at all, but I chatted to Chris, Ben, JV, Bjornstad and Bazan. Overall a really nice set of people. I got the most nervous talking to Bazan, for whatever reason. There was a surreal situation where I was explaining some mechanical engineering principles behind a mechanism in a consumer product to Ben and JV. (I swear, they were asking about it. I’d cut myself short but Ben kept asking more questions.)

No less interesting to talk to, though a bit lower profile were:

One piece of juicy gossip: Mates of State are recording right now at Tiny Telephone with (I believe) super producer Chris Walla at the helm. I’m excited to hear that.

You can buy Pedro the Lion, David Bazan, The New Year, and Bedhead stuff at insound.

song obsession friday! slightly belated

June 22nd, 2007

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.” Quite often it’s easy to explain why the song is good; it’s much hard to explain why we’re obsessed. Maybe you’ll become obsessed with one of these.

Lots of people are moving and changing various things in their life this week so it’s a small selection this time.

Adrian (me): Sea Wolf – You’re a Wolf (mp3) (buy)

There were a few songs that stood out this week but I wasn’t legitimately obsessed with any, just very taken with a few. Anyway, I was reviewing this EP for KZSU and I kept getting distracted so I would keep having to go back to listen to this song again and then suddenly I was into it. It’s got nice instrumentation; the dark cello line really adds a lot. I like his melismas a lot. The instrumentation or maybe it’s reverb or those melismas that gives this a sort of floating/ hypnotic feeling.

Sibylle Baier – Tonight (mp3) (buy)

i like the hints of affection hidden beneath the urgency. it also
manages to seem fresh (for something from the 70s) even though it
seems on paper to consist of the usual cliche
sing-songwriter-with-pedestrian-lyrics stuff.

Dirty on Purpose – Always Looking (mp3) (buy)
Dirty on Purpose – Always Looking (mp3) (buy)

(the two tracks are one song, I don’t know why they separated them) I really got into these guys when their album came out last year but had “put it on the shelf” until recently. I like all the layers the put into their instrumentation and vocals. This is definitely a summer
pick for me.

The Byrds – The Christian Life (Gram Parsons Vocal) (mp3) (buy)

I borrowed this album from a coworker (along with Pet Sounds and I just like the sweet harmonies and slide guitar.

“I once was canadian” radio playlist, 6.20.07

June 22nd, 2007

Here’s my playlist from Wednesday night from my show on KZSU.

If you want to listen to the show, here it is. (mp3).

It was an interesting set of music: some soul, lots of good indie stuff and I got a chance to play a few older songs/ artists that I feel like I never get a chance to play. This was probably influenced in part by the fact that Nick came down to his old haunts and we were talking about lots of 90s indie rock stuff.

Technically, it was pretty bad. I ran into a lot of technical issues throughout the show, things like a turntable only playing through one channel. Oops.

I’ll have more posts later today. It’s been a busy couple days.

on sale soon, 6.21.07 edition

June 21st, 2007

On Sale Soon is a weekly series of the tickets going on sale that weekend.

Where to get tickets: The Independent, Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, Fillmore, Warfield, and other Livenation venues. Another Planet booked venues like Greek Theatre @ Berkeley, Palace of Fine Arts, etc.

On sale now:
9/15 & 9/16 Treasure Island Festival w/ Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Thievery Corporation, Spoon VIP tickets for 9/15 and 9/16

Pre-sale now:
9/15-16 Treasure Island Festival w/ Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Thievery Corporation, Spoon two day pass presale (password ‘gold’)

Pre-sale Friday, June 22:
9/15-16 Treasure Island Festival w/ Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Thievery Corporation, Spoon single day pass presale (password ‘gold’)

On sale Sunday, June 24:

7/16 Burning Brides @ the Independent
7/30 The Slits @ the Independent

8/2 Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen @ the Independent
8/8 Bitter:Sweet @ the Independent
8/10 SambaDa, Aphrodesia @ the Independent
8/11 Hilary Duff @ Sleep Train Pavilion
8/11 Old Crow Medicine Show @ The Fillmore
8/15 Deep Purple @ The Warfield
8/17 Alejandro Escovedo @ Great American
8/17, 8/17 New Monsoon, Fareed Haque Group (8.17), Trevor Garrod (8.18) @ the Independent
8/20 Keb’ Mo’ / The Robert Cray Band @ the Fillmore
8/26 311 with Matisyahu, Dirty Heads @ the Concourse @ SF Design Center (worst venue EVER)

9/3, 9/4 Brian Jonestown Massacre @ the Independent
9/12 Wolf Parade, Holy Fuck @ Great American
9/15 Cinematic Orchestra @ Bimbo’s 365
9/21-22 Amy Winehouse / Paolo Nutini @ the Warfield
9/28 The Iguanas @ Great American
9/29 Girl Talk with Dan Deacon @ The Fillmore
9/30 Heaven and Hell with Alice Cooper, Queensryche @ Sleep Train Pavilion

10/1 Family Values Tour with Evanescence, Korn Shoreline Amphitheatre at Mountain View
10/6 Bryan Adams/George Thorogood @ Greek Theatre-U.C. Berkeley
10/21 Southern Culture On The Skids @ Great American
10/25 Mum @ The Grand At the Regency Center

high profile in the fall: Beirut, Girl Talk & Dan Deacon hitting SF

June 21st, 2007

As p4k reports today, there’ll be two high profile tours rolling through here in the fall.

Girl Talk (myspace) will be touring with electro dance buzz artist and fellow rock-out-in-the-midst-of-the-crowd-er Dan Deacon. They’ll be rolling through the Fillmore at the end of December:

09-29 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore

Beirut (myspace) will be rolling through the 916 capacity Herbst Theater in early October, right around the time they release their new and second album (on October 9):

10-08 San Francisco, CA – Herbst Theater
10-09 San Francisco, CA – Herbst Theater

(Both date with the Dirty Projectors)

If you remember, those are the exact same two dates Jose Gonzalez will be at the Great American. Good thing both acts are here for two nights? Which one are you going to go to first? I’d suggest Jose first night, Beirut second.

No word yet one when tickets go on sale for either of these.

I’ve seen both Beirut and Girl Talk (and Jose) live and they do put on good shows. I’d recommend going.