A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink: Bahhaj Taherzadeh, We/Or/Me

Photo credit: Liza Mitchell

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. We/Or/Me (Bahhaj Taherzadeh) occupies a unique place in the musical world: he’s a Persian/Irish singer-songwriter. He grew up in Dublin and now lives in Chicago; he got his start when, after years of writing songs on the sly and sharing them with only a limited circle of friends, Glen Hansard called him to the stage … Continue reading

Father John Misty: Live on KEXP


And now, an NTSIB Thanksgiving tradition: an extended session from one of our favorite artists. This year it is almost a full hour of one of the finest folk balladeers / shit-stirrers / magnificent trolls working today: Father John Misty, recorded live at KEXP in the summer of 2015. The songs are all from his latest, I Love You, Honeybear. Happy Thanksgiving/Thursday, NTSIBberss.



tinörks, of Osaka, Japan, is a folktronica band. I was intrigued by this mainly because I wondered how “folktronica” manifested, exactly. In this instance, at least, it’s a ambient experimental noise with a soothing, gentle texture. It’s what I imagine a Zen garden would sound like, if a Zen garden had hands and could use a keyboard. Here are three songs from ODOMYUNICA, which is, as best I can tell, their sixth and most recent record. You can hear the rest, and explore their back catalog, on bandcamp. Komorebi [after a rain]: After a spring rain, I think, when everything looks bright and clean, as opposed to an autumn rain, when the world has a bruised cast to it. This is for a cheerful, hopeful nourishing shower, not a downpour. ODOMYUNICA by tinörks Ljus och snö [candles and snow]: At least part of this record was inspired by the Northern Lights; this song does sound like the warm glow of candles in the window during a winter snowfall while the sky is ablaze with colors. ODOMYUNICA by tinörks Railnöscape [rainscape]: This rain is a little bit . . . I don’t know, more jagged? A shade grayer, I suppose. Icy … Continue reading

Video: Family Force 5, Sweep the Leg


Family Force 5 are something of a chameleon, by which I mean every time I catch up with them they’ve changed their look. This year’s style appears to be a complex fusion of “video games” and “’80s nerd.” This time around there’s also been some line-up changes: their lead singer (Solomon Olds) retired, and their drummer, his brother Jacob, has assumed frontman duties. The infectious jams are the same, though. I saw them earlier this year at Warped Tour, at the end of a long, hot day, in front of an impatient crowd awaiting headliners. Family Force 5 started with Sweep The Leg and never took their feet off the pedal. The thing that really stood out: despite the heat, and the impatience, they had ’em dancing all the way to the back.

Los Porcos, Porco Mio


I am not normally one for yacht rock, but somehow, Los Porcos have won me over. I suspect it may be that the idea of pig-themed yacht rock is so deliciously absurd that I just can’t resist. So you can see the awesome album art and hear one of their tunes, here’s Porc Noise Complaint, from Porco Mio, their new EP: Long may you glide, my porcine friends; may yours breezes always be soft and warm, and your champagne never grow warm.

Video: Dignitary, Demon Beside Me / Destiny’s False Turn


Dignitary, of Los Angeles, has what can only be termed a cinematic aesthetic, genre: punk noir. Mike Cuenca, their frontman, was at one time a filmmaker, so this is not an accident. The two videos below are for Demon Beside Me and Destiny’s False Turn, both from their recent EP The Tautology; together, they tell a creepy tale of love and murder. Demon Beside Me: the tale begins, with a coven of witches, and a few of the seven deadly sins: Destiny’s False Turn: things take a turn for the murderous at a Halloween party:

Taxes, Lost At Sea / Your Other Left


Below are two remixes from Taxes: Lost at Sea, which is about clinging to love in the face of disaster, and Your Other Left, which is about a commingling of nostalgia and rage into a curdled stew of bitterness. I listened to the originals, and Lost At Sea has been expanded and given some quasi-orchestral layers, while Your Other Left has been completely reconfigured in tone and tempo, to align with that of Lost At Sea. They are both very good, and you should listen to them: Lost At Sea / Your Other Left remixes by Taxes

Lungs and Limbs, Lifelike


Lungs and Limbs are from San Francisco, CA. Lifelike is their first EP. I’ve been listening to it on and off for a few days now. I keep drifting back to it as a palate cleanser. It’s pop music, light enough to encourage repeat listening, but there’s some thudding drums and reverb in there to add some weight and texture. This is So Sweet, the first song, and, as it happens, the one that hooked me: Lifelike by Lungs and Limbs I’m also fond of Kaleidoscope, because I’m intrigued by the way they use light as a metaphor in the lyrics, and strategically deploy bright shining synth tones throughout the song: Lifelike by Lungs and Limbs

Two Songs From: Killing Kuddles


Ok kids. We’re switching gears. Putting the ethereal experimental noise back on the shelf and taking down the obnoxious noisy punk rock with a little bit of folky swing winding through it. Killing Kuddles are from Atlanta, and today we’re going to listen to Sinking Ship and Dirty Mouth from Sinking Ship, from an EP they put out this summer. Sinking Ship is also the first song, and when the guitars kicked in I just kind of smiled and nodded, because awww, yeah. Put this on your roadtrip playlist when you blow out of town in search of a fresh start. Sinking Ship by Killing Kuddles Dirty Mouth has a little bit of rockabilly flavor – but is played at breakneck punk speed. Mostly about cursing and staying up late and trying to not let your mom know you get up to those kinds of shenanigans. Sinking Ship by Killing Kuddles