My Chemical Romance: The Foundations of Decay

They’re baaaaack.

Of course I have some feelings about it.

Some initial reactions: They’ve once again made a shift, style-wise, and this time they’ve landed on something more old-school metal-inflected. Loud, thudding, a touch of ogre-roar but just a touch; mostly Gerard Way’s vocals ring clear as bell. And there’s a little bit of artistic noise going on towards the end. It’s perfect stomp-and-sway material, and for me, old person and metal fan, it’s instantly familiar and comforting.

Lyrically it’s a death-themed kaleidoscope, flipping through several storylines at once, including a reference to Way witnessing 9/11. If this is the opening salvo for a concept album – and since all of their previous records have been concept albums, this is a reasonable assumption – I’m looking forward to finding out more about these narrative threads.

Life in the Dark, The Felice Brothers

Here are some thoughts on some of the songs Life in the Dark, the latest record from the Felice Brothers. I’d say they got their Americana mojo back, but I don’t think they ever really lost it – more took a stroll down a different path for a while, and have now rejoined the original trail.

Aerosol Ball: A Cajun-inflected delight that is dark commentary on consumerism in a bubbly, danceable disguise. I will never look at the St. Paulie Girl the same way again.

The Felice Brothers | Life In The Dark, "Aerosol Ball"

Jack at the Asylum: I heard the first couple of bars and thought Oh, they did ‘Jack of Diamonds’ again?, which – yes, but also no. It’s Jack of Diamonds, done American Gods-style. The embodied voice of the frontier, slipping through time, hopscotching states; an American everyman, a rambler, a gambler, a long way from home, counting his cards and making his luck, long after his luck has run out, writing us all a note from the “looney bin” that is both warning and entreaty.

The Felice Brothers - "Jack At The Asylum" (Official Audio)

Triumph ’73: Echoes of Vietnam, though “rich man’s war” could just as easily apply to activities in the Middle East. I like to listen to this one when driving through empty farmland under threatening stormy skies. It would probably be good on a time travel soundtrack.

The Felice Brothers - "Triumph '73" (Official Audio)

Plunder: I’m going to be blunt: this is a super bouncy shout-along song about PTSD, an in particular, mood swings, violence and persistent memories of the horrors of war. I didn’t like it the first time I heard it, but – it’s grown on me. Sometimes I still skip past it, though.

The Felice Brothers - "Plunder" - Life In The Dark

Sally!: Nearly-wordless Appalachian porch jam. Excellent company for traffic jams and/or sitting in the back yard in the shade with a cold beverage.

The Felice Brothers - "Sally!" - Radio Woodstock 100.1 - 6/24/16

Diamond Bell: Over six minutes about a dashing female bandit and the innocent boy who loved her, or: Murder, A Love Story. It unfolds slowly and gracefully and the ending pinches my heart every time.

The Felice Brothers - "Diamond Bell" - Radio Woodstock 100.1 - 6/24/16

Sell the House / Chain Me to the Earth: An Appalachian Fields of Athenry. Haunting. Heartbreaking. Also sometimes puzzling – why take the kids to Jacksonville?? Hidden at the end of the recorded version: the true last song, an expression of unmoveable defiance.

The Felice Brothers "Sell This House" (Live @ EXT)

If you’d like to listen to the whole thing, there is a full album stream here.

A Good Read A Good Listen and A Good Drink: Carter McNeil, Ghost King

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.

Ghost King is one of the bands I was sorry to miss at SXSW, not least because I arrived at the venue not two minutes after they got finished.


However, in much happier news, their new record – Bones – has been turned loose upon the world, and we can listen to it any time we want.

It’s an oddly-shaped little gem. The best way I can think of to describe it is “occasionally syrupy surf pop with an undercurrent of fuzzy menace.”

Ghost in Love is one of the poppier tunes:

While the two-part title track reflects the, uh, syrupy fuzzy menace:

And with that I will turn the floor over to Carter McNeil (vocals/guitar; center, in stripes, below), who joins us today to talk about a favorite book, record and drink.


The Hobbit. Elves are pretty cool.


12 Bar Bruise By King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

I like to put it on and jump around in my room.


Red wine. It just feels really good . . .

A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink: BANDITS

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.

One of the bands I saw at SXSW this year was BANDITS, a three-piece crew from Colorado. Members are Lulu Demitro, her brother John, and Andrew Oakley, and they play blues-inflected rock and roll, with the occasional burst of guitar-heavy jamming for spice.

Here, as an example, is Kill Tonight, a musical foray into the power of shared madness and the dark places that can lead.

And with that, I turn the floor over to the three of them, who join us today to talk about a favorite book, record and drink. NB: They were extra good sports and did this LIVE and IN PERSON in a bar early in the day on St. Patrick’s Day, on the second day of SXSW.

BANDITS, #texas #sxsw

A photo posted by Rufus (@rufusowl) on

A Good Read

Lulu Demitro: My good read is East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It’s sort of one of my favorite books because it takes place in California and I love the story and how many characters are in it and the development.

John Demitro: My favorite book is the Beatles Anthology. Because it’s a book that kinda lets you in on the life of the Beatles that a lot of people didn’t know about. I, I don’t know, I can relate to that book a lot and I enjoy it.

Andrew Oakley: My – I don’t want to say favorite book – but a great one that I just finished, is The Monkey Wrench Gang, by Edward Abbey. Growing up in Colorado and the Southwest and spending a lot of time out in the desert it’s really relatable for me and it’s just a great story.

A Good Listen

LD: I’m going to say a good listen is Iggy Pop’s new album Post Pop Depression. I think it’s so great. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see his concert last night – I wish that I did! – but his album, the new album, is just great and there are a lot of great musicians on it, so that is my good listen.

Iggy Pop - American Valhalla | #PostPopDepression

JD: My good listen is, I’d have to say – kind of a hard one – but I’d have to say Led Zepplin I. It’s just like the cornerstone for rock and roll bands. Every time it comes on it’s pretty awesome.

Good Times Bad Times

AO: My good listen is Gris Gris by Dr. John. Dr. John’s first album.

Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya

A Good Drink

LD: I’m going to say – I don’t do a lot of alcoholic drinking – I’m going to say a cold glass of sasparilla. Love a good rootbeer.

JD: I on the other hand do do a lot of alcoholic drinking, and my favorite drink is Jack Daniels on the rocks. Because it’s good.

AO: My good drink is just an ice cold IPA.

braeyden jae, botched communion

Painting by Andrew Alba

Painting by Andrew Alba

Among the many benefits of being subscribed to Warren Ellisnewsletter is that sometimes he includes a music section.

It was there, this week, that I found botched communion, by braeyden jae, and on listening to it, wanted to share it with y’all.

There are only two songs. Closed Visions features soothing church-organ and church bells as a background to guitars so fuzzed out they almost sound like chainsaws; this song goes on for 10 full minutes and is awesome.

Cannot Reach has slightly brighter, cleaner tones winding through the buzzsaws, and is also delightful.

My Dear Mother, David C. Clements


There are certain metaphors I abuse. Most of them are nautical. One is lepidopterological: I tend to think of musicians in the studio as caterpillars in a chrysalis, or, more accurately, in a cocoon. And fans as the tenders of these cocoons, sitting outside, waiting for a sparkly wing to emerge.

David C. Clements has been in a cocoon for a very long time, and yesterday, a delicate wing popped out: My Dear Mother, his first EP in two years.

Four songs, two new (My Dear Mother, When We Go), one alternate version of an earlier tune (On The Border), one interpretation of a Neil Young tune (Philadelphia), all collectively a teaser for a record coming early next year.

The whole thing is awesome – the new/old version of On the Border is slower, but more expansive; there’s some muscle to it, now – but here are the two new ones:

My Dear Mother, the title track, and an excellent introduction to his style, i.e. catchy shuffle-sway beat, sing-along chorus, lyrics that will tear at you. (Front rows of Norther Ireland: if you aren’t dancing to this, I’m giving you some serious squinch-face.)

When We Go, which shows off his range and flexible voice. Apparently this one is a fan favorite, and well, I can see why, because I also love it when he cuts loose and goes for it:

The Boxcar Boys: Cicada Ball


Reasons I am super fond of Cicada Ball, by The Boxcar Boys:

1) Awesome cover art! They even have the creepy silvery wings. It only be better if some of them had red eyes.

2) Awesome tunes! The Boxcar Boys specialize in Dixieland jazz-folk fusion, featuring horns, mandolins, accordions, and the occasional burst of klezmer. Unlike actual cicadas, they’re good company on a lazy late-summer afternoon.

Some examples:

Shaking off the Cobwebs is a peppy little instrumental number:

Old Tracks, one of the few non-instrumental tracks, features sweet beautiful vocals by Kelsey McNulty:

And finally The Busker, which is both the longest and the most spare and delicate song on the record:

To listen to the rest, check them out at Bandcamp.

Post War Glamour Girls, Feeling Strange (Part 1)

Feeling Strange (Part 1) - Post War Glamour Girls

“Kudos to those with the broke nose breathing it in”

Truth is, I should have been writing about Leeds band Post War Glamour Girls here a long time ago, but sometimes the relationship between a listener and a band plays out like a film romance – a glance across a crowded room, light and awkward flirtation, mixed signals, the listener ends up going home with some other band only to run into the first band again at some coffee shop, and stilted conversation is followed up by falling into bed together.

You know, metaphorically speaking.

In short, I am remiss for not mentioning it before, but PWGG are a good band. A really good band. Their 2014 full-length debut, Pink Fur, still enjoys heavy rotation in my listening and can still make me gape in wonder. Now, in the run-up to their next LP, to be released in October, PWGG are offering some of those new songs free for a limited time (as in, it was announced on August 14th that it would be free for two weeks, and it’s the 18th now, so…) in the form of the Feeling Strange (Part 1) EP. Listen and download below.

The band are moving in a bit of a different direction – like using distortion and fuzz on the thumping, exciting “Felonious Punk” – but they still emphasizes their strengths, like the urgency of singer James Smith’s tortured yelp and their mastery of evoking mood, as on the exotic and undulating “Gentle Is Her Touch”.


A second EP is scheduled to drop in September with the LP coming out in October.

Post War Glamour Girls @ Bandcamp
Post War Glamour Girls @ Twitter
Post War Glamour Girls @ Facebook

Chill Out, Drown Out: Resplendent, In Vivid

Chill Out Drown Out: music for when you need to, well, chill out, and also drown out extraneous noise. Tunes for calming down and concentrating on important tasks or just having a peaceful time in the middle of a hurricane of a day/week/month/year/existence.

I occasionally feel bad when my highest recommendation for something is “this is excellent background noise,” but – it is truly one of the finest accolades I can give. It means the music has successfully walked the fine line between “delicate, beautiful, but unobtrusive, integrates well into the process of multi-tasking” and “so boring I forgot the first song half-way through.”

Resplendent, by In Vivid (Ben Snook, of Lawrence, KS) is indeed delicate and beautiful. The swirling textures and gently propulsive energy make it – for me, at least – ideal for tasks that require concentration and creativity. And, best of all, it stands up to repetition; I listened to it three times in a row one night last week and never got sick of it.

Here are three songs to whet your appetite, chosen at least in part because I liked the titles.

Lightswitch Indicator: The second song on the record, this one is for when your brain is still spinning up. The mix of high and low tones supported by a steady warm background thrum is perfect for when it is way too early but the work must get done.

Some Imagine Caretaker: This one has a steady thud-thud at its heart, surrounded by oscillating bands of other tones. It feels a bit like having a friendly metronome around to prod you out of the sloughs of distraction.

Three Person Pillow: There are vocals, on this one, but they mostly sound like aliens making vaguely familiar encouraging noises. Aliens who have brought their very own extra large pillow for all of you to sit on together while you complete your tasks and they watch with great interest, because they have never seen PowerPoint before and are fascinated.

A Good Read A Good Listen and A Good Drink: Oiseaux-Tempête

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.

Oiseaux-Tempête, more or less of Paris, are an ever-changing entity. An iteration of the band that includes Frédéric D. Oberland and Stéphane Pigneul (FareWell Poetry and Le Réveil des Tropiques), Ben McConnell (Beach House, FareWell Poetry, Marissa Nadler) and bass clarinet virtuoso Gareth Davis (Elliott Sharp and Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner)) have just released ÜTOPIYA?, the follow-up to their first, self-titled record.

In Oiseaux-Tempête, the band ventured to Greece to capture the sounds of political upheaval – not protest songs, but the ambient noises, and the sense of menace, the feeling of frustration, boiling over. For ÃœTOPIYA? they visited Sicily and Istanbul. The result is a complex and compelling work that mixes jazz elements with bright electronic tones, aggressive, dissonant feedback and the sense that even during seismic change, sometimes people do sit outside and listen to nightbirds singing.

As a taste, here is Omen: Divided We Fall:

And with that, I will turn the floor over to the band, who are joining us today – all four of them, a very special treat – to share a favorite book, record and drink.


OISEAUX-TEMPÊTE, 2015; photo by Pamela Maddaleno

OISEAUX-TEMPÊTE, 2015; photo by Pamela Maddaleno

FRÉDÉRIC D. OBERLAND: Guy Debord, Oeuvres Cinématographiques Complètes / Complete Cinematic Works. This book came into my hands late 90’s when it was almost impossible to find any of Guy Debord’s films to watch. The goal was fascinating: trying to understand and to enjoy these stunning film-essays just with the film scripts, without the actual image or sound. The narration is transcribed and you can find between the lines an informative depiction of what is happening on the screen and in the speakers. Reading the hopeful melancholy of In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consumimur Igni, I feel this just as much in my bones as in my mind: poetry and social revolution could be so easily related. Both are coming from the same vibrant, primal, essential breath.

STÉPHANE PIGNEUL: Héros-Limite from Ghérasim Luca. I’ve always thought that the best poets are the ones who write in a language different from their mother tongue. Luca as Cioran, is Romanian and was a kind of surrealist despite the fact he was never affiliated to the actual. Although he mastered the French language, he tweaked it in a new way, made to be spoken more than read, in a very musical way. The love for the words, the language, and of course with his famous sense of humour can be felt in every text he wrote. His poems are an excellent source of inspiration for those who want to write too, and be off the beaten track.

GARETH DAVIS: Bohumil Hrabal’s Too Loud A Solitude. I picked this up in Prague the first time I was there. There was an English language bookshop that was a fair walk from where I was staying, but it had the distinct advantage of being one of the few places to accept cards (at that time), a deciding factor as I was leaving on a train that evening to Budapest and had judged my cash supply in koruna down to the last bottle of water before departure. So I trekked over to the shop and picked up what was essentially a random pile of books for the train journeys ahead.

I’m guessing I must have read this five or six times over the following three or so weeks. Without giving too much away, it’s the story of man working 35 years compacting wastepaper and books, a process which has lead him to acquire an education so unwitting he’s unable to tell which thoughts are his own and which come from the books he has rescued from the hydraulic press. It is a novel of such incredible extremes, comedy, pathos, sophistication, sex and violence. An observance of sorts of the indestructibility of the written word.

BEN MCCONNELL: Paul Bowles’ masterpiece, The Sheltering Sky, is a powerful and eerie novel which traces the wanderings of three Americans throughout Morocco and the Sahara Desert following the end of WWII. A sense of unease, or even dread, permeates these characters as they journey deeper and deeper into the vast expanse of the Sahara, tirelessly searching for a sense of meaning or purpose in their lives in a desperate attempt to escape the stifling conventions and stale consumerism of western society.

Plagued by blinding sun, sickness, and thieves, all does not end well for these three; and it could be the ending itself which is this novel’s crowning achievement, taking an unexpected and horrific turn into an even further unknown, more treacherous then they – or us – could have ever imagined.

FRÉDÉRIC D. OBERLAND: My instant choice could have been the boxset Claire Denis Film Scores 1996-2009 (Constellation, 2012) from Tindersticks.  Five LPs to listen to and to enjoy the way you want when you’re feeling moody. But this Kime Ne’ 12″ (Aboov Plak, 2013) I discovered last summer in Istanbul is a hidden masterpiece to dance to and to make love under the rain. The project is called iNSALAR and includes Cem Yıldız (on vocals, baÄŸlama and electronics), Barış K (on electronics) and Hogır (on percussion and vocal percussion). The lyrics are adapted from poems by 17th century Turkish poet musician Kul Nesimi (Ben Melamet Hirkasini) and 16th century icon Pir Sultan Abdal (Otme Bulbul). Play it loud and look at the way you’re shaking the head. Yes, Side A and B are exactly the same, and now you know why.

STÉPHANE PIGNEUL: Carnage Visors: The Cure. My choice at the moment if you ask, in part because I just borrowed the fantastic drum machine DR-55 from a friend, and that track was written with it. It’s the longest track Smith ever put on tape, something like 28 minutes, instrumental, minimal, a bit dark but super warm in the sound. Also the structure is something really smart, just as Smith always does with guitars. He composed it on bass, starting the harmony in E going through A and D then finishing in G, which are the open strings of a bass . . . A super intelligent approach, indeed.

It was proposed for a 30 minutes stop motion film the brother of the bass player did, and was projected before the 1981-shows they used to do. Only 30 seconds of this film can be found on the internet, kind of mysterious, after all these years and the power of the web . . . A kind of myth in The Cure sphere! Again, a super source of inspiration for those who want to make music. At least it has worked for me since I’m 15 . . . !

the cure - carnage visors

GARETH DAVIS: Erewhon, the debut record from David Thomas and the Two Pale Boys (Cooking Vinyl, 1996). In the 90s in London the choices for TV were, in most cases, still either four channels or a satellite dish. And then came cable. The introduction was a somewhat sporadic affair, and how many extra channels this meant become immediately available, I don’t remember. Only two have stuck in my mind from the first batch. One that was called Bravo on which I watched 1930s episodes of Flash Gordon with my father, and the other, MTV, back when they still actually played music.

There was a show called Alternative Nation on Sunday evenings and somewhere between the Tindersticks and a feature on The Crow soundtrack came this David Thomas live set. It must have taken around two months to track down the CD, a job made considerably more difficult as I’d not quite heard the name properly and didn’t know what the album was called. After 20 years I’m still constantly going back to this album. For anyone acquainted with Pere Ubu, it’s not going to be all that surprising a piece of work, but there’s also something, I think, a little different. A kind of urgency, unsurprising as there’s a lot of improvisation, yet at the same time somehow managing to remain decidedly laid back. There’s a live album which was part of the Monster (Cooking Vinyl, 1997) box set, alas not available when it was reissued in 2004. Absolutely excellent material if it’s possible to find, and definitely worth the trouble to look for.

David Thomas And Two Pale Boys live MTV

BEN MCCONNELL: Orchestre Régional de Kayes, The Best of The First Biennale of Arts and Culture For The Young (1970). I discovered this amazing gem through a limited repressing by Mississippi Records a few years back, which was later yanked from the shelves following a legal dispute with the band itself (apparently they had not been notified of its reissue). But in any case, from what I know of this recording, it comes from northern Mali, near the Senagalese border, where every year, or every two years, a type of battle-of-the-bands would occur, and this particular recording came about after the groups’ victory. It also happens to be their only recording, and has never been properly reissued on cd or vinyl, although thankfully it can be found as as a download online.

I played this for Jimmy Page one evening, and he came back to see me then next day to ask me what the name of the group was – he’d been thinking of the guitar solo in Sanjina ever since. And the guitar solo in Sanjina is a perfect example of why I chose this album to accompany the above novel: the syncopated rhythms and crisp guitar tones, to my ears, depict the feeling of the African desert at night, and even sometimes, in a moment of near synesthesia, seem to resemble the silvery shimmering of stars upon the infinite night sky.

Orchestre Regional De Kayes - Sanjini


FRÉDÉRIC D. OBERLAND: Michel Couvreur, 12 Year Overaged Malt. Some French whisky, sorry guys! Since 1978 Michel Couvreur imports Scotch whiskies to his facilities in Burgundy, France, where they undergo a slow aging process in Spanish sherry, French burgundy or vin jaune dedicated casks. A dry, smoky and slightly sweet spirit, aromas of almond, tobacco, a generous and spicy palate which apparently remains in the old Victorian whiskies.  A friend of mine first offered me a bottle of this rare elixir 15 years ago – did I say the design of the bottle itself hand-sealed with wax and with the label placed around the corner of the square is exquisite? In a quasi-religious way, I kept this first bottle three years in a secret place, tasting only three sips of this Malt with a 99% dark chocolate square. Now I’m more mature and I love to share it. Sometimes!
STÉPHANE PIGNEUL: Un Réveil des Tropiques: a cocktail I created or maybe stole ! As a barman, I used to sell a lot of drinks in the bar. We have this other project with Frédéric and the DR-55 guy – Ad – called Le Réveil des Tropiques. It’s the cocktail I offered the most. Basically, it’s a mojito in which you replace the sparkling water with ginger and brown sugar! Half a glass of rum and mint, lime and the secret ginger, that you have to squeeze yourself of course. Really explosive one, tasty , once you tried it, you want an another one, and another one, and another one and . . .

GARETH DAVIS: I’ve got a thing about coffee. More precisely, espresso. Addiction would be another way of putting it, but perhaps calling it a thing and proving I’m in denial is the way to go. Frédéric told me I drunk all his coffee last time I was in Paris. I was looking for someone else to blame, but it’s not working, so I’ll probably need just bite the bullet and accept it.

Narrowing it down to one particular bean or roast I can’t do, particularly as there seem to be new roasters every other week, but I have noticed there there are a few blends I keep coming back to. Hair Bender from Stumptown seems to get on well with my machine, a rather temperamental lever action Pavoni, although it could just be that I like the name. Ed from Caffènation is another blend I’ve been using a fair bit recently and, to be honest, also the dark roast from my local supermarket which I’m probably not meant to admit out loud, but it’s really pretty good, so I can live with that.

BEN MCCONNELL: In The Sheltering Sky, a story is told of three sisters who journey to the Sahara, following their dream of having tea together while overlooking the sea of dunes, and vaguely hoping to find the handsome and mysterious stranger who had once visited the sisters’ village and made love to all three of them.  The sisters join a caravan which bivouacs under the full moon, then sneak out from camp to find the highest dune from which to have their tea. 

The sisters reach the highest, then see another, higher, in the distance; then another, higher; and wander on continually until they collapse from exhaustion and are later discovered where they lay, atop a dune, their glasses filled with sand. 

Sting wrote the lyrics to Tea In The Sahara based on this episode.  And if I were to recommend a painting to round out this presentation, it would be Henri Rousseau’s la Bohémienne Endormie (or, Sleeping Gypsy) … 

But, I digress, here is the recipe for making Moroccan Mint Tea: 

1 tablespoon gunpowder green tea leaves

1 large handful fresh Moroccan mint, or spearmint leaves, washed

1/2 liter (about 2 cups) boiling water

1/4 cup sugar

Boil at least a liter of water.  Rinse a small tea pot with about 1/4 cup of the water.

Add the tea leaves and another 1/4 cup boiling water. Swirl the pot to wash and rinse the leaves, and pour out the water.

Add the mint leaves and the sugar, and fill the pot with 1/2 liter (about 2 cups) boiling water.  Leave the tea to steep for five minutes or longer, or set the tea pot over medium-low heat and bring the tea to a simmer. Remove from the heat, and allow to steep several minutes more.

Gently stir the tea, pour into small tea glasses and serve.  It might be worth adding that Moroccans take pride in pouring their tea from a significant height, which aside from being visually impressive, serves to aerate the tea and heighten the flavor.