go see great lake swimmers, winterbirds @ bottom of the hill this friday

March 31st, 2009


the Winterbirds @ KZSU

There’s a pretty sweet bill at the Bottom of the Hill this Friday: Great Lake Swimmers (myspace) and locals Winterbirds. Kate Maki’s also on the bill.

You may remember Winterbirds from when they played down at KZSU. They play gorgeous male + female-vocaled slowcore in the vein of Low and Pedro the Lion.

the Winterbirds – The Thing We Will Forget (Live at KZSU) (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Great Lake Swimmers are a band I’ve liked since I reviewed their debut full length for KZSU. Playing folk with a nice sense of space and natural reverb, the band has consistently put out good music for the past few years. I haven’t had a chance to see them yet, so I’m excited to see this show.

Great Lake Swimmers – Pulling on a Line (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Great Lake Swimmers – Moving Pictures Silent Films (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You can stream the whole new album at Spinner. Also, Thousand Island Life had an interesting article a while back about the band recording that album in the US-Canada border region called Thousand Islands.

Here’s info in compact form:

4/3 Great Lake Swimmers, Kate Maki, Winterbirds @ Bottom of the Hill, 9pm, $12, a/a

See you there?

“I once was Canadian” radio show!

March 31st, 2009

control A
cred: ipickmynose

Starting in a few minutes I’ll on the air doing my “I Once Was Canadian” radio show on KZSU 90.1FM. You can listen in each week to hear me Tuesdays from 3-6pm. Listen in!

During either show you can listen online or at 90.1 FM. You can also follow along with my playlist online.

Here’s the show (as mp3s) and the playlist:
KZSU – I once was Canadian [first hour] (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

KZSU – I once was Canadian [second hour] (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

KZSU – I once was Canadian [third hour] (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Music Tapes – Song for Soon to Be Sailor
  • the Octopus Project – What They Found [sound bed]
  • Bon Iver – Brackett, W9
  • My Morning Jacket – Golden
  • Fleet Foxes – Oliver James
  • Mark Kozelek – Bad Boy Boogie
  • Red House Painters – Song for a Blue Guitar
  • Nick Drake – Which Will
  • the Finches – Daniel’s Song
  • Peter Broderick – With Notes in My Ears
  • Andrew Bird – Tenuousness
  • Fionn Regan – Hey Rabbit
  • Fionn Regan – Black Water Child
  • the Reindeer Section – If there Is I Havent Found It Yet
  • Liam Finn – Gather To The Chapel
  • Born Ruffians – Kurt Vonnegut [request]
  • Bishop Allen – True Or False
  • Mountain Goats – Against Pollution
  • Pavement – Shady Lane
  • Eleni Mandell – Personal
  • Sam Phillips – Don’t Do Anything
  • Grandchildren – Cold Warrior
  • Animal Collective – My Girls
  • Geographer – Leave
  • the Apples in Stereo – Tidal Wave
  • An Horse – Little Lungs
  • Frightened Rabbit – Good Arms vs Bad Arms
  • the Supremes – When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes
  • the Exciters – He’s Got the Power
  • Maxine Brown – Whatever Happened to Our Love
  • the Velvelettes – Needle in a Haystack
  • the Angels – I Adore Him
  • the Shangri Las – Last Train to Kansas City
  • Wild Jimmy Spruill – Mind On Loving You
  • Gospel Supremes – Sinner Man
  • Sam Cooke – Sad Mood
  • David Ruffin – Heaven Help Us All
  • Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – (Your Loves Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
  • Dot Tape Dot – Rounded Tree [sound bed]
  • Beirut – La Llorona
  • the Low Anthem – To Ohio
  • Frontier Ruckus – What You Are

arsenio hall grills vanilla ice

March 30th, 2009

Vanilla Ice recently apologized. I was poking around and found this video of Arsenio Hall grilling Ice about authenticity, among other things. This is harder hitting than 60 minutes!

Did you know the album “Ice Ice Baby” was on became the best selling hip hop album ever, up until that time?

tallest man on earth @ rickshaw (photos, review)

March 30th, 2009

This show was as much about movement, subtle and overt, as it was about music. Kristian Matsson (aka Tallest Man on Earth) sat on a small stool at the back of the Rickshaw Stop stage last Wednesday. He leaned forward in his seat and his fingers began working in precise and rapid movements on his six strings. Slowly, slowly he stood up and moved toward the microphone.

As he sang, he arched his eyebrows and furrowed his brow, looking up longingly or, more often, out into the audience. He shifted his gaze around and–I think–everyone thought he was looking at them, singing to them, for some of the show. Stepping back from the microphone between songs or verses, he’d move to his right or left and up to the edge of the stage, close to the audience. He’d lean forward, bringing his face even closer to the audience.

With clear and nuanced, though strained in his trademark-style, vocals and rhythmic and precise guitar playing, the music filled the small club. With tracks off of his excellent and addictive full length debut, Shallow Grave, as well as tunes off of his self-titled EP, he played full set that only seemed too short.

A one-man show succeeds or fails on engaging the audience. Tallest Man on Earth engaged the audience from beginning to end both through music and movement.

Herman Dune started the show. I found them to be like a less wry-witted and less flamboyantly performing–and more awkward, not particularly in the good way–version of Jonathan Richman.

10 x 100, desert island discs x songs, ipickmynose’s 1000th post

March 29th, 2009

(I didn’t intend to hit two milestones in one week, but what are you going to do?)

money (that's what I want), #2
I wouldn’t take “Money (That’s What I Want)”, but I would take some Motown. Photo by Adrian Bischoff

For my 1000th post, I’ve decided to compile some of my desert island picks: 10 albums and 100 songs that I’d take take with me if I had to pick some music for the rest of my life[1]. These aren’t necessarily my 10 favorite albums and 100 favorite songs but they fulfill some need. And they’re good.

Here they are, in chronological order.

The 10 [albums]:

  • Sam Cooke Portrait of a Legend [recorded 1951-1964; release 2003]
    The man who invented soul, they call him. This is a great retrospective of his incredible music.
  • New York Philharmonic Bernstein Century – Copland: Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, Billy the Kid [1960]
    Aaron Copland’s music is so grand and so American. Blending beautiful traditional songs with gorgeous orchestrations, this would fulfill my needs for classical music.
  • Beatles Revolver [1966]
    I’d have to bring one Beatles album at least, and this is my favorite. I love the harmonies and orchestrations they bring to the table here. “For No One” is probably my favorite Beatles song and its on here.
  • Paul Simon Graceland [1986]
    I loved this album when I was 12 and I love it now. Besides its warm nostalgia-value for my childhood and my parent’s country, it’s just a great album of pop music, blending Africa, Zydeco and American music effortlessly.
  • U2 Joshua Tree [1987]
    For all the musical revisionists and contrarians, I still think this is U2’s best album and I think it’s one of the best rock albums of the last 20 years. It’s not without false steps, but they’re so minor in the scope of this album that I can listening it front to back repeatedly.
  • Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane over the Sea [1998]
    I’ve already gone on at length about how incredibly meaningful this album is to me. An epic fuzz-folk masterpiece about Anne Frank.
  • Pedro the Lion It’s Hard to Find a Friend [1998]
    I don’t listen to Pedro the Lion constantly but I have seen Bazan a ridiculous amount of times live–are there such things as Bazanheads? not that I’d want to be labeled one of those–and I love his music, so obviously I connect with it. Sometimes Control best fulfills my Pedro-need but this is a more balanced effort in the end.
  • Notwist Neon Golden [2002]
    Part of this is nostalgia–it reminds me of my summer in Germany, where I bought this and listening to this constantly–and that is reminds me of the people and places I saw there. The other part is that it’s a great blend of electronic and organic elements into a fantastic album.
  • Sufjan Stevens Seven Swans [2004]
    Suf’s one of my favorite artists and this is my favorite album of his, so it’s got to come along. Beautiful, stripped-down (by Sufjan standards) folk with no less incredible songwriting behind it.
  • Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago [2007]
    It wasn’t all that long ago that I went all gah-gah over this album (again). Gorgeous and heart-wrenching, it’s a perfect example of what an album should be: greater than the sum of its parts.

The 100 [songs]:
1940s:

  • Horton Barker Two Sisters [recorded around 1943, traditional song]

1950s:

  • Clifford Brown & Max Roach Quintet Cherokee [1955]
  • Almeda Riddle Bury Me Beneath the Willow [recorded around 1959, traditional song]
  • Alabama Sacred Harp Singers Sherburne [recorded around 1959, traditional song]

1960s:

Check out the rest of the list after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

song obsession friday! (for the week ending March 27)

March 27th, 2009

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.

Adrian (me):
An Horse – Little Lungs (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I saw 43 bands in 4 days last week. When I wasn’t at shows, I was sleeping or eating or blogging. A lot of that time was spent listening to An Horse’s album Rearrange Beds for whatever reason. Though not the best song on the album, “Little Lungs” is the one that would stick in my head a couple hours…until I saw a live band at least. I like the tension in the first half that releases into a nice build to a loud part near the end. Basically, give the song a couple minutes before you judge it.

As I said, the band that most changed my opinion of them at SxSW was Mumford & Sons. They put on a great set and that made me re-evaluate their recorded music. I’ve been listening to their stuff quite a lot since I got back and this is the song that most sticks in my head. (Too bad I won’t be able to ever play it on the radio due to all the FCC violations.)

Keith:
Neko Case – People Got a Lotta Nerve (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I try not to align myself with the slobbering Neko Case fanboys searching for symbolism in the cover of her new disc (is that a COUGAR she’s perched upon?) – but this new effort is big-time obsessive-worthy. My wife quipped that “she sounds like Kirsty MacColl” during our shared commute last week. My response – “That’s not a problem – that’s an ASSET.” I do sorta wish she did some Hall and Oates covers though.

Oz:
Love Language – Lalita (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Caught Love Language at SXSW and they are my favorite band of the moment. Their self-titled debut album, released earlier this year, is a low-fi masterpiece. If memory serves, the lead singer recorded in his house and played every instrument.


Andy:
the Eulogies – Bad Connection (mp3) (pre-order)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This song came to me via H. Hirway’s twitter account. I had not previously heard Eulogies, but I like Hrishi, and generally trust his taste in music, so I decided to give it a listen. It’s a very nice piano/voice/reverb tune with just a touch of guitar to fill in around the edges. It started getting plays simply because it was on my work computer’s desktop, and was easy to load, but after a few listens, the melody started to stick – “Hope you find me // If I try to run away” ran through my head about a thousand times. If that doesn’t qualify as an obsession, I’ve got nothing.

the terrible twos, ipickmynose’s 2nd birthday

March 26th, 2009


Remember that time I pretended I filled out my taxes with my occupation as “Rocker (I rock out)”? Woo. Good times

It’s your 9th most favorite blog’s 2 year anniversary since a post about some record stores. Not a lot of reason for celebration, but if you’ll indulge me on a brief look back, I’d appreciate it.

I didn’t know what I was getting into two years ago. I set out to write the blog I wanted to read. Sometimes I succeed at that; sometimes I don’t and I try to improve.

While 50 states in 50 songs may have received the most hits and attention and the post about MF Doom being a fake at a local show got a lot of comments, I think Train Tracks: a Personal Essay on a Train Trip Across America, a post mixing a train trip journal and train songs, may be my favorite.

My favorite post title was Holy shitballs that’s a beautiful song: Jenda Wight’s Luxury of Time. It was also one of the first times I felt like I was introducing a song that no one else was talking about.


John Vanderslice @ Tiny Telephone

Here are some of my other favorite posts:

There are a few things I’m proud of that aren’t posts per-se:

elvis perkins
Elvis Perkins by ipickmynose

I’ve had all sorts of comments, here. My first comment from someone I didn’t know was an offer to crash at her house for the Pitchfork Fest. But I’ve gotten all sorts. I try not to let the complimentary ones go to my head and I try to learn from the negative and caustic ones. I like the ones that provoke thoughtful discussion and some are just interesting while not really being about the post. Some are probably spam but I leave them because I can’t understand Chinese. Okay, maybe that’s just one comment.

Finally, of course I love when the bands weigh in or when readers find something they like because of my blog.

Anyway, thanks for reading this and my blog in general.

on sale soon (03.26.09 edition)

March 26th, 2009

Posted every Thursday, 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, Shoreline, and other Livenation venues, the Warfield. Another Planet booked venues like Greek Theatre @ Berkeley, Palace of Fine Arts, etc. Bimbo’s.

On sale now/ Thursday March 26:
5/26 Passion Pit @ Bimbo’s
5/27 St. Vincent @ Bimbo’s

6/18 Zap Mama @ Bimbo’s

7/18 Richard Cheese & the Lounge Against Machine @ Bimbo’s

Presale Thursday March 26:
5/9 The Shins @ Fox Theater (password = ‘den’)

On sale Friday March 27:
4/18 Morrissey, The Courteeners @ Paramount Theater
4/24 Fonsi @ the Warfield

6/11 Reik @ the Warfield

On sale Saturday March 28:
7/9 Rise Against, Rancid, Billy Talent @ Oracle Arean

On sale Sunday March 29:
5/3 Ben Lee, Low vs. Diamond @ Slim’s
5/13 Realistic Orchestra @ the Indpendent
5/20 Robin Trower @ the Fillmore
5/21 BB King @ the Fillmore
5/27 Butch Walker @ Great American
5/27 Ben Harper & The Relentless 7 @ the Fillmore
5/28 Tiga @ the Independent
5/29 Langhorne Slim, Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers, Guns for San Sebastian @ the Independent
5/30, 5/31 moe @ the Fillmore

6/2 Gavin Rossdale @ the Fillmore
6/7 Brandi Carlile @ Great American

7/17 Infected Mushroom @ the Grand

8/5 Phish @ Shoreline Amphitheatre

On sale Monday March 30:
11/14 Billy Joel, Elton John @ Oracle Arena
11/17 Billy Joel, Elton John @ HP Pavilion

Double check all information as venues and promoters often change on-sale times and days up until the last minute.

back on the air right now on KZSU

March 24th, 2009

control A
cred: ipickmynose

After a week off for SxSW, I’m back on the air right now doing my “I Once Was Canadian” radio show on KZSU 90.1FM. You can listen in each week to hear me Tuesdays from 3-6pm. Listen in!

During either show you can listen online or at 90.1 FM. You can also follow along with my playlist online.

Here’s the show (as mp3s) and the playlist:
KZSU – I once was Canadian 3/24/09 [first hour] (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

KZSU – I once was Canadian 3/24/09 [second hour] (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

KZSU – I once was Canadian 3/24/09 [third hour] (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Joe Pug – I Do My Father’s Drugs
  • Alias – Well Water Black (ft Yoni Wolf Of Why?) [sound bed]
  • The Tallest Man on Earth – Pistol Dreams
  • the Avett Brothers – Die, Die, Die
  • Horse Feathers – Curs in the Weeds
  • J Tillman – James Blues
  • Two Sheds – You
  • Ohbijou – The Otherside
  • Marching Band – Feel Good About It
  • A Classic Education – Stay, Son
  • Bishop Allen – Middle Management
  • Andrew Bird – Effigy
  • The National – So Far Around the Bend
  • Wye Oak – Please Concrete
  • Beirut – La Llorona
  • Antony And The Johnsons – Another World
  • Vetiver – Through The Front Door
  • Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele – College Town Boy
  • Dot Tape Dot – Rosa Luxemburger [sound bed]
  • Sam Phillips – No Explanations
  • Frontier Ruckus – Orion Town 2
  • Justin Townes Earle – Mama’s Eyes
  • DM Stith – Hoarse Sorrows And The Whole Blind Earth…
  • Mumford & Sons – Roll Away Your Stone
  • the Welcome Wagon – But for You Who Fear My Name
  • The Low Anthem – Charlie Darwin
  • Here We Go Magic – Fangela
  • Fanfarlo – Ghosts
  • An Horse – Little Little Little
  • the Wrens – Hopeless
  • Grandchildren – Saturn Returns
  • Sgt Dunbar & His Hobo Banned – A March Through Charlie Mingus’ Garbage Pile
  • the Rural Alberta Advantage – The Deadroads
  • Oh No! Oh My! – I Have No Sister
  • The Album Leaf – Over the Pond
  • The Wooden Birds – Bad
  • Blk Jks – Lakeside
  • Theresa Andersson – Birds Fly Away

sxsw 2009 recap (favorites, lists, numbers, photos, etc.)

March 24th, 2009

If you like this, check out last year’s recap.


Fanfarlo @ Central Presbyterian

SxSW Coverage:
Day 1: Theresa Andersson, Marching Band, Deastro, Phenomal Handclap Band, J Tillman, Horse Feathers, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Morning Benders, Keenan Bell, Blk Jks, Camera Obscura)
photo album

Day 2: French Miami, Two Sheds, Tallest Man on Earth, the Wrens, the Avett Brothers, Passion Pit, Le Switch, J Tillman, Eli Paperboy Reed, Rural Alberta Advantage, A Classic Education, Sgt Dunbar and His Hobo Banned, Ohbijou, My Latest Novel
photo album

Day 3: Mumford & Sons, Oh No Oh My, Rural Alberta Advantage, Fanfarlo, Low Anthem, Chiwoniso, Laura Marling, Deer Tick
photo album

Day 4: The Wooden Birds (2x), Peelander Z, Joe Pug, Lou Barlow, Say Hi, Rosebuds, Ra Ra Riot
photo album


Rural Alberta Advantage @ Central Presbyterian

Top five shows:

  1. the Rural Alberta Advantage @ Central Presbyterian Church
  2. the Wooden Birds @ Okay Mountain
  3. the Avett Brothers, the Wrens @ Radio Room
  4. Fanfarlo, the Low Anthem @ Central Presbyterian
  5. Tallest Man on Earth @ Red 7

Bands seen (around): 43

Shows (showcases, parties): 23 (9, 14)

Bands seen that I hadn’t seen before: 30

Bands seen twice (and why): J Tillman (first time the sound was horrible), Rural Alberta Advantage (they were great and my friend didn’t see them the first time), Wooden Birds (they were great and the second time was on a great bill)

Number of bands seen before that I’d forgotten were great live (and who): 2 (Two Sheds, Horse Feathers)

Show that next year people will want to claim they were at: Rural Alberta Advantage @ Central Presbyterian

Most packed shows: Peelander Z @ Mohawk, J Tillman @ Mohawk, the Wrens @ Radio Room

Criminally underattended shows: Ohbijou @ the Ranch, Joe Pug @ Jackalope, Tallest Man on Earth @ Red 7, the Wooden Birds @ Okay Mountain

Bands that seemed like they were having the most fun on stage: the Wooden Birds @ Okay Mountain, Two Sheds @ Beauty Bar

Band that most changed my opinion about them (and how): Mumford & Sons (from mild dislike to like)

Bands who delivered exactly like I wanted them to: Fanfarlo, Oh No Oh My, Ohbijou, Joe Pug, the Wooden Birds

Band I heard as I walked by that made me divert from my original plan to see someone else: Horse Feathers @ Club Deville

Number of bands that ended their sets acoustic, in front of the stage (and who): 2 (Rural Alberta Advantage, Sgt Dunbar & His Hobo Banned)

Band who only played with a PA for vocals (no mics on drums or amps) and nevertheless had a perfect mix: the Wooden Birds @ Okay Mountain

Shows I tried to get into but couldn’t: 2 (Black Joe Lewis @ Parish, Rachel Ray party @ Maggie May’s)

Show with most number of name indie celebrities in attendence (and who): Merge/ Barsuk Showcase @ the Parish (Matthew Caws, M Ward, Britt Daniel)

Band I most wanted to heckle: Tim Easton

Photos taken: 1332

Decent-to-good photos taken (approximate): 100

Times I fell asleep on the couch while editing the day’s photos that night: 2 or 3

Average sleep a night, in hours: 4.5-5

Number of people I said “Wow. You’e that guy!” to (and who): 1 (Bob Boilen)

Band I recommended to said person: Two Sheds

Beers consumed: [redacted for the benefit of the author's reputation]

Best bar: Draught House

Bar where you’d probably say ‘wait, there’s SxSW going on all around?’: Bull McCabe’s (@ 7th and Red River)

Best meal: Jumbo beef ribs and smoked sausage at Artz Ribhouse

Best food from a street stand: pulled pork sandwich from Beelzebun’s cart.

Number of big time music bloggers that I saw but didn’t have a chance to talk to (and who): 2 (Justin Gage of Aquarium Drunkard and Craig Lile aka Dodge of My Old Kentucky Blog)

Favorite photos [click for bigger versions]:


Theresa Andersson @ Emo’s Annex


Two Sheds @ Beauty Bar


Tallest Man on Earth @ Red 7


Eli Paperboy Reed @ Peckerheads

[More photos after the jump.]

Read the rest of this entry »