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. Kris Bowers is a Julliard grad twice over (undergradate plus a master’s degree in jazz performance with a concentration in film composition), winner of Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition (2011) and has performed at both the NEA Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony at Lincoln Center (2012) and on Watch the Throne (2011) by Kanye West … Continue reading
Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton: This is Stones Thrown Records is the story of Peanut Butter Wolf (Chris Manak) and Stones Throw Records, the record label he founded in 1996. Setting the Stage: The Eagles documentary begins with 30 seconds or so of their famous harmonizing; this one starts with a house party in a room full of records. It looks like a slice of vinyl junkie heaven. Peanut Butter Wolf is in the middle, acting as DJ, while various artists shuttle between browsing the shelves and talking amongst themselves. He’s isolated, but not completely alone, and he looks more comfortable there than he does at nearly any other point in the film. After a series of quick cuts between the party and various guest stars – Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Common, ?uestlove – whose commentary serves to introduce Peanut Butter Wolf (and show their genuine affection for him), the camera comes to rest as Dâm-Funk grabs a hot mic and blows through Don’t Go Swag. It sounds like a warning but really is more of an affirmation. Peanut Butter Wolf doesn’t care about swag. He does what he wants. Sometimes that works really well right away, other times it … Continue reading
File under: things I would go to if there were not an inconvenient ocean in the way. The Denovali Swingfest does not actually involve any swing music, though the name is in honor of the Swing Kids who culture-jammed the Nazis. Instead it focuses on experimental music, including dark ambient, electronica, jazz and string-driven neoclassical. The London event, one of three (the other two are in Berlin and Essen), will take place on April 18-19, 2014 at the Village Underground and Cafe Oto. Some of the artists performing, such as Piano Interrupted, Origamibiro and Petrels, are signed to Denovali; others, such as The Haxan Cloak, Anna von Hausswolff, and Porter Ricks are not. Also, there are no headliners; each band will play a full club set. A tasting menu of the line-up: Hidden Orchestra – Vorka from Tru Thoughts on Vimeo.
Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there. Or Late Night Viewing, I guess, this time around. For all of you making puzzled faces right now: yes, Yoshimi is originally a Flaming Lips song, but this particular version of it, which features Jenny Electrik from Dynasty Electric is new, and part of a larger work: Chapter 2: Ritual Dreams, a multi-part tale of post-apocalyptic New York by The Adversary (Andre Mistier). If y’all didn’t know I have a weakness for post-apocalyptic tales, well, now you do. This one came into the world via Burning Man, and is about two young people living amid the ruins of New York, while the surveillance system that maintained order in the world slowly fails. You can enjoy the video below without knowing the full story, but the other songs are great, too, and you can listen to some of them here or else catch up in under five minutes with the video for Maybelline, from Chapter 1: The Ruins.
Better late than never, pt 2! I suppose I should explain this venue too. The Santos Party House, which opened in 2008, is partially owned by Andrew WK, King of All Things Party-Related. This particular show was held in the basement, which is medium-swanky, as opposed to the upper levels which I have never seen but are at the “table reservations available” level of fancy. Anyway, onwards to pictures! Deep Pockets: I only caught about three of their songs, but what I heard I liked. They classify themselves as indie grunge on bandcamp, but they sounded like a punk band with a refined pop sensibility to me. As it turned out they had the lightest vibe of the evening; it would get progressively darker and sludgier from there. Loss Leader: My notes on this one were “aggressively weird heavy droning rock and roll” and please know I meant that in the best possible way. I spent most of their set watching their lead guitar clamber all over the stage – and one point I lost him, only to realize a few seconds later that he was perched on the top of a nearby wall – and the end of their … Continue reading
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. Everyone is Dirty is: Sivan Gur-Arieh (vocals/violin), Christopher Daddio (guitar), Tony Sales (drums), and Tyler English (bass). They are from Oakland, and they mix fuzzy aggression with pockets of sweetness to create some of the finest grunge out there. Here they are with the video for Mama, No!!!, their first single: Everyone Is Dirty – … Continue reading
Better late than never, right? Or something like that. Anyway, to back up a little bit, in early January Fadeaway Records reanimated first themselves, then The Gay Blades, and finally (and for one night only) Maxwell’s, for a benefit show for cancer charities. The following week they did it all over again (minus the reanimation) at St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. I was at both shows, but the pictures from the first one were supremely terrible, so I’m only posting the ones from Brooklyn. In addition to the shows, there are also three, count them THREE, records being sold as part of a general “screw you, cancer” effort. On the records are over 30 previously unreleased tracks from Motion City Soundtrack, Frank Iero, Saves the Day, Judy Chong, Reggie and the Full Effect, The Gay Blades, Nightmare of You, Head Automatica and many more. The records are available in fancy vinyl as well as digitally. Now onwards to the pictures. Fred Mascherino (The Color Fred, Taking Back Sunday, Breaking Pangaea, Brody) is a man of many bands; his most current project is Terrible Things. States & Kingdoms (Members of Rival Schools, Thursday, Retisonic, Small Brown Bike and Atlantic/Pacific) are super-loud … Continue reading
Ok, so first I have explain the venue. Shea Stadium Brooklyn is, uh, not the ballpark, which used to be a few miles north in Queens, until it was demolished in 2009. It’s actually the opposite of a stadium: one cozy room with comfortable couches scattered around the edges and affordable drinks. The vibe is very punk-rock clubhouse, largely because that is what it is; it was founded by members of the SoSoGlos, also in 2009. It’s also unlike other venues in that every performance is recorded and made available on the internet for free. The process takes about a week, so if you’d like to hear the show I went to, check their website this weekend. Now, onwards to the show. Note: the one thing Shea Stadium Brooklyn does not have is strong stage lights. So some of these postcards are very blurry postcards. Phone Home was first, and they played what I can only describe as a torrent of heavy jammy-psychedelic noise. If you clicked on that link back there, and I encourage you to do so, know that they are 200% louder and more viscerally intense live. Here they are in action: Next was Weird Womb, … Continue reading
Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there. shallow swell is the first ep from electronic producer/multi-instrumentalist edapollo (Ed Bidgood), of Bristol, England. And it is the perfect thing to put on to unwind in the evening after a long day, or at any other time you need just over fifteen minutes of sounds that are soothing, but definitely not boring. I’ve included the whole thing below, mainly because the songs flow so neatly into each other, like movements of a symphony. Like it? You can buy the EP from Bad Panda Records at bandcamp!
Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton: This is Stones Throw Records is the story of DJ and producer Peanut Butter Wolf (Chris Manak) from his early life outside San Francisco to the founding of Stones Throw Records in 1996 to the present. Directed by Jeff Broadway and featuring appearances by Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Mayer Hawthorne, J Dilla, Mike D, Common, ?uestlove, Mad-Lib, Dam-Funk, DOOM, and Tyler, The Creator, it will officially premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in March. But – true to the label’s pioneering approach to the music business – it’s also going on a promo tour across North America, and most of the screenings will be followed by performances by Stones Throw artists. Here’s the trailer: For updates, check out their Facebook page.