links links links (and a couple videos)

July 22nd, 2008

Daytrotter posted their Bon Iver session yesterday. The version of “Lump Sum” is magnificent. “Flume” and “Re: Stacks” are really good. And I’m going to pretend that version of “Creature Fear” doesn’t exist.

Gorilla vs Bear posted one of my more favorite hip hop tracks in a while: “The Prayer” by Cleveland-based Kid Cudi. It’s off of a mixtape and the sample he raps over is from those sometimes Walmart-loving Seattlites Band of Horses.

In case you missed it, John Vanderslice posted a teaser video of recording from his next album a couple weeks ago:

The Bay Bridged announced the Rock Make Music and Craft Street Festival they’re organizing with Whizbang Fabrics and Best Bay Area indie band Tartufi. The same day as the last day of Outside Lands, this will be DIY where that is corporate and free where that is really expensive.

Anyone’s Guess posted this really funny video called “Everyday Normal Guy Rap Song”. Watch out! Explicit lyrics! (Audio NSFW.) It’s got some pretty quotable lines: “I’m pretty good at making spaghetti sauce, motherfucker!”

Did you know there was such a thing as the Bay Area Indie Festival? Hard Rock Chick pointed to an SF Weekly article that accuses the promoter, 3 Udders, for being a disservice to the local scene for still not having paid bands from last year’s festival. The promoter says the article is not fair, but admits that he hasn’t paid bands. I don’t know, I think if you’re not paying bands then you’re not exactly helping things. (Also, I find it funny that he accuses the writer of having “very little knowledge about how the music industry works” and then complains that the SF Weekly ran the article while he dilly-dallied on getting them more info. Here’s how the print publication industry works: deadlines.) The promoter also cites this rebuttal if you want a different biased opinion.

Slate has an interesting piece about Jay-Z weaponizing Oasis’ “Wonderwall” when he covered it at Glastonbury (which was a response to the fracas that ensued when Noam Gallagher said that Glastonbury was for guitar-based music.) It also dives into all the subtle and not-so-subtle things people are saying with cross-genre covers. Is Ben Gibbard being serious, like he says, when he covers Avril Lavine’s “Complicated”? Read on.

MGMT: “Time to Pretend” sounds (too much) like other songs that were written before it?

June 25th, 2008

A commenter pointed out that there was a similarity between Styrofoam’s remix of “the Postman” by American Analog Set (off of 2002’s Updates) and MGMT’s “Time to Pretend” (off of 2008’s Ocular Spectacular and 2005’s Time to Pretend EP). Not overly familiar with the latter song, I went to check it out. The opening sequence does bear a passing resemblance.

When I listened to the song and once the vocals came in, I heard a much strong resemblance to another song I knew. Harmonically, rhythmically and melodically, parts of it are much closer to Her Space Holiday’s “Sleepy California” (off of 2003’s The Young Machines). Granted the vocal line in quested is pretty is someone monotonous–heck, even HSH acknowledges his singing limitations (“Like that kid who asked me if I knew I couldn’t sing/ That’s like asking a blind man if he knows that he can’t see”)–but “Time to Pretend” made me immediately think of “Sleepy California”.

But you can decide for yourself:

MGMT – Time to Pretend (mp3, 2008, also came out on a 2005 EP)

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American Analog Set – the Postman (Styrofoam remix) (mp3, 2002)

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Her Space Holiday – Sleepy California (mp3, 2003)

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the mommyheads are back?!

June 18th, 2008

I wrote about SF indie / power pop band the Mommyheads as a “lost gem” about a year ago. In the late 90s I listened to their self-titled final album so many times it was ridiculous. I’d sing along to it in the car and made mixtapes with songs from it on them.

I initially found out about them–like many bands that I liked at that time–about a week before they dissolved, so I never got to see them live and all new (to me) material was just their older albums.

Well according to their myspace, they’re are back! Wow!

After a 10 year hiatus, the Mommyheads are working on a new record which is slated to be out later this year. We’re back with the same lineup – Adam, Mike, Jeff, and Dan – and plan to play a few shows in early September. The album will include many previously unreleased tracks, a couple of new (and, we think, better) versions of songs from our Geffen Record, one or two remixed singles, and – yes – some new material.

the Mommyheads – Jaded (mp3)

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the Mommyheads – I Started Breathing (mp3s)

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They even have a gig scheduled at Cafe du Nord:

9/3 the Mommyheads @ Cafe du Nord, 9:30pm, $12, 21+

Snap up those tickets.

(Thanks to Burt for the tip.)

SF gets another fricking festival…great…

February 22nd, 2008

SF Weekly’s All Shook Down blog reports that SF is getting another festival, this one a 3 day affair (August 22-24) in Golden Gate Park called Outside Lands Festival[1]. This one has Radiohead, apparently. Others are reporting Jack Johnson and Tom Petty will perform as well.

Apparently it’s another Another Planet Entertainment festival, Makes me wonder: will they also organize another Treasure Island Festival just a few weeks later in September? I also wonder if there’s any friction with Noise Pop who co-organized last year’s Treasure Island but appear to be absent from the organizers on Outside Lands with Superfly (of Bonnaroo, Vegoose) apparently in on it instead.

ANYWAY, go ahead and go into your excited squealing mode. It’s ok. I’ll wait.

I’m not squealing. I’m not a huge fan of the big outdoor festivals. I can see more bands I actually want to see for less money and with fewer other people in clubs, simple as that. (Case in point: last March I saw 11 bands for a total of $98. Three incredible shows, four great shows and four good shows. My outdoor festival experience hasn’t matched that and I don’t see reviews of outdoor festivals with that sort of hit rate.) Also, I like listening to Radiohead occasionally, but I’m not a die hard fan at all. They’re just not meaningful to me beyond making some nice-to-listen-to music.

I’ll post later today or tomorrow about the awesome experience I had last night seeing a couple small bands put on great sets in a nice club with a small audience. That’s the sort of stuff that gets me really excited about music.

[1] see also regarding the name

I’m just saying

October 22nd, 2007


(from gtmcknight’s flickr)

There was this thing last week where the Hype Machine launched a new site. It’s good, works well and looks nice. I gladly tell people about Hype Machine and use it frequently myself. It’s basically an awesome resource. But they did this thing where they wouldn’t launch their new site until 10,000 people were looking at the front page at once (though that apparently failed and they launched anyway). I thought it was a pretty stupid thing on their part. Why would I want to keep that page open for a whole day waiting for 9999 other people to also be staring at that page? It seemed like a silly grab at attention and I didn’t tell people about it.

I saw a number of other sites mention it, though, and encourage other people to go there. I don’t mean to be a rabble rouser [1], but did you notice a number of the the sites that encouraged people to visit were sites that run ads? I’m not an idiot–I know what drives traffic to music blogs and the Hype Machine drives more traffic than even Google in many cases. If that’s down indefinitely due to a publicity stunt, your site views drop and if you’re running ads, your income drops. That’s not hard to figure out.

Maybe I’m just reading into things. Maybe all those people just thought that Hype Machine’s publicity stunt was cool.

[1] This is 1940s week at IPMN.

I’m doing my part

September 13th, 2007

to keep 50 cent off the shelves.

Are you doing yours? Some people are.

[Note: yeah, I'm a Kanye fan and my hip hop catalog doesn't extend to too many more releases. what can I say: Kanye picks good producers (Jon Brion) and doesn't always rap about bitches and hos and getting high, though he does cover those topics as well.]

taipei street vendor rips off local (SF) indie poster designer the Small Stakes

September 3rd, 2007

So I was walking through the Shilin Night Market in Taipei and I saw a Nada Surf shirt. I thought that was pretty cool, so I stopped. That’s when I saw that it was a shirt for a show at the Great American Music Hall during Noise Pop 2005! I went to a bunch of shows during Noise Pop 2005! (Though not that Nada show). It seemed awfully familiar. I ended up buying it; it was just too weird not to buy.

Anyone else recognize it? I’ll give you a hint:

Yeah, that’s right, it’s local poster designer Jason Munn aka The Small Stakes’ design! I’m a big Small Stakes fan (here’s my interview) so I remembered pretty quickly where I’d seen that heart-with-a-zipper before.

The only thing that’s different about the shirt is a “brand name” of Cabane de Tom (warning: crappy website). This whole situation seems very odd.

you know your career is on it’s way out when

September 2nd, 2007

Newsweek slams you, as they do with James Blunt in their fall music preview section

Last & Least

James Blunt, ‘All the Lost Souls,’ 9/18: Just when it seemed safe to enter Starbucks again, this earnest singer-songwriter is back with a follow-up to one of the whiniest debuts ever made. Blunt claims his new CD “illuminates his growth as an artist and a person.” We’re not saying that breaking up with a supermodel (a.k.a. Petra Nemcova) wouldn’t offer much in the way of potential for growth, but we’re not saying it would, either.

Oh snap!

In other news, they’re throwing their money behind Kanye in this 50 Cent-Kanye feud:

‘Graduation,’ Kanye West, 9/11: West’s third record drops the same day rival rapper 50 Cent releases his new CD. A showdown has ensued (naturally), and 50 has vowed to quit the rap game forever if West outsells him (country crooner Kenny Chesney has also thrown his Stetson in the ring, but no one seems to have noticed). Judging from the West songs we’ve heard, 50 should start checking the want ads.

Personally, I may buy Graduation just to help 50 Cent out of the business…or into an awkward situation where he has to explain he didn’t actually mean it.

MF Doom at the Independent was a fake?

August 17th, 2007

The opener for Wednesday night’s MF Doom show at the Independent is saying that it wasn’t actually MF Doom:

The show started off just fine–I played, Pigeon John played, I did another half-hour or so after Pigeon John, everything went along smoothly–then Doom took the stage. Or rather, “Doom” took the stage. That dude with the mask and the mic was:
1) lip-synching
2) not actually MF Doom

The only thing that was actually live about the show was the hypeman’s mic. Everything else ran straight off a recording, and fake Doom pretended to rap and walked up and down the stage doing rapper hands. He faked his way through a set of about 20 minutes, walked off the stage, and jetted out the back door.

Was anyone there? What’d it sound/ look like from the audience?

(via largeheartedboy)

breaking news: John Vanderslice can get whoever he wants to tour with him: Bowerbirds, Bishop Allen

August 2nd, 2007

Billions is showing that John Vanderslice will be touring with bowerbirds (who we already knew JV likes) for the first eight or so dates and Bishop Allen for most dates after that. It may be the case where they are just not confirmed for the intervening dates.

I saw Bishop Allen just last night and they were good. I can’t believe what a good bill that’ll be: John Vanderslice/ Bishop Allen. They sold out the Independent last night (I think) and then they’ll be back there (not on Billions, but announced by the band during the show) supporting John Vanderslice. Totally sweet.

John Vanderslice tour dates with supporting acts, from the Billions page.
*=Bowerbirds supporting
^=Bishop Allen supporting

Thu 9/6/07 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour *
Fri 9/7/07 San Diego, CA Casbah *
Sat 9/8/07 Phoenix, AZ Modified *
Sun 9/9/07 Tucson, AZ Plush *
Tue 9/11/07 Austin, TX The Parish *
Wed 9/12/07 Norman, OK The Opolis *
Fri 9/14/07 Dallas, TX The Loft *
Sat 9/15/07 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon *
Mon 9/17/07 Orlando, FL The Social ^
Tue 9/18/07 St Augustine, FL Café Eleven ^
Wed 9/19/07 Tallahassee, FL Club Downunder ^
Thu 9/20/07 Atlanta, GA The Earl ^
Fri 9/21/07 Durham, NC Duke Coffeehouse ^
Sat 9/22/07 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel ^
Mon 9/24/07 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s ^
Wed 9/26/07 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
Thu 9/27/07 Cambridge, MA Middle East Upstairs
Fri 9/28/07 Cambridge, MA Middle East Upstairs
Sat 9/29/07 Buffalo, NY Buffalo Icon ^
Mon 10/1/07 Toronto, ON Horseshoe Tavern
Tue 10/2/07 Ann Arbor, MI Blind Pig ^
Wed 10/3/07 Cleveland Heights, OH Grog Shop at Coventry Yard ^
Thu 10/4/07 Athens, OH Baker Theater ^
Fri 10/5/07 Bloomington, IN John Waldron Arts Center
Sat 10/6/07 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
Mon 10/8/07 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry ^
Tue 10/9/07 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
Thu 10/11/07 Denver, CO Hi-Dive
Fri 10/12/07 Provo, UT Velour Live Music Gallery
Sat 10/13/07 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
Mon 10/15/07 Vancouver, BC The Red Room ^
Thu 10/18/07 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
Sat 10/20/07 San Francisco, CA The Independent