SWF, Let It Be Told


I am not going to lie, this record – Let It Be Told, by SWF (Stevie Weinstein Foner) – really made me cranky at first.

Then after a couple of listens, it grew on me. No, not like a fungus. More like moss. Psychedelic moss.

Now I find myself queueing it up with the express purpose of wrapping it around myself like a (slightly fuzzy, perhaps faintly horse-and-patchouli-scented) aural blanket.

There are songs like Turtle Brain that have lyrics like hey turtle brain, sparrow eyes, purple haze which is both a puzzle and someone I feel like I’ve met, all at the same time:
Let It Be Told by SWF
And Warrior, for rallying the internal troops / providing a late-afternoon jolt of energy:
Let It Be Told by SWF
And also Automobile Blues, which I like because sometimes I do miss driving around listening to the radio. But it does just as well with the rumble of the uptown train as … Continue reading

A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink, ALX, Love Crushed Velvet

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.

I first encountered Love Crushed Velvet a couple of year ago when they were part of a Beatles on the Ukelele production in Brooklyn. One of the songs they covered was Back in the U.S.S.R.; afterwards lead singer ALX and I bonded over being among the few people in the room old enough to … Continue reading

My Chemical Romance: Conventional Weapons (to date)

The lost album is lost no more.

Conventional Weapons is composed of the 10 songs My Chemical Romance made – and shelved – in the space between The Black Parade and Danger Days. I titled this post “Conventional Weapons (to date)” because they’re eschewing a traditional album release and instead putting the songs two at a time over the course of several months, and so far only four have been released. Two more will emerge in mid-December, and the last four will surface in early January and February.

Not going to lie, this is maddening.

I want the whole thing, all of the songs, and I want it right now, so I can lie down on my kitchen floor with my iPod and crank it up and plunge in.

But I cannot have it, so I must be patient, and absorb them as they arrive.

So far my reaction is: This is very interesting.

The songs contains their evolution, as a band, and are an aural fork in the road, the point where The Black Parade finally shambled to a halt, and when it came time to choose their adventure, they walked briefly down a simpler (and so far, … Continue reading

Wölfbait: Wölfbait

Wölfbait is a sonic sledgehammer-steamroller, heavy experimental noise that walks the fine but bright line between deeply satisfying and painful to listen to; and is for anyone who has ever listened to Metal Machine Music and thought This needs to be faster and should also have some echoey howling and shouting and more weird screeching noises.

Other notes: they do interesting things with feedback, and their drums are steady and powerful but not as pounding and punishing as some hardcore drums can be.
Gasp (Grey Earth) by Wölfbait
Aftertaste by Wölfbait

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The Dirty Nil: Little Metal Baby Fist

The Dirty Nil’s summary of themselves on bandcamp is The Dirty Nil play rock and roll, and, you guys, that’s an accurate statement. They sound like a dive bar: loud and a little dirty.

Little Metal Baby Fist is the A-side from their most recent single, which I picked because I can almost see the circle belling out and the pit forming before they even get through the first chord. I would totally wade into the fray and put my arms up to bounce sweaty dudes away from me while scream-singing along to this song.
Little Metal Baby Fist by The Dirty Nil
I can also recommend the B-side, Hate is a Stone (slightly heavier, sounds like stewing in self-loathing) and their cover of Moonage Daydream.

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Video: Tina Turner, What’s Love Got To Do With It

Tina Turner turned 73 yesterday, so this is both a belated birthday celebration and a general appreciation.

What’s Love Got To Do With It is from Private Dancer (1984); the song won three Grammys in 1985 and the original video got an MTV video award, also in 1985.

I’m pretty sure I became a Tina Turner fan in that year too, partially because of the music, and partially because she was Aunty Entity, Queen of Bartertown. If you haven’t watched Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, GO DO IT NOW.

Meanwhile, the video you are about to watch is from her last tour, in 2009. I can only hope to be as fierce as she is when I am her age.

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Video: Fall Out Boy, Sugar We’re Going Down

Fall Out Boy didn’t play Fueled by Ramen’s 15th anniversary shows last fall, but they were there in spirit, via the music between sets. At some point during night two, this song came on over the PA.

I was deep in the crowd, half listening, half trying to wriggle into a better spot, when I noticed a female voice in the chorus that I was pretty sure hadn’t been there before. I actually spent 30 seconds trying to remember if they had pulled someone in to guest vocals – Maja Ivarsson from The Sounds, maybe? – before the penny dropped.

It wasn’t Maja.

It was the room.

It was hundreds of girls – including me – singing along so loudly they had become one voice, soaring and swooping and almost drowning Patrick Stump out. And it remains one of my favorite concert memories.

This video is from 2006, and is a classic FOB dash of visual absurdity.


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Video: Little Jackie, 31 Flavors

The holiday season is upon us, and with it, long car trips in which my sister and I get to explore the contents of each others iPods. On our most recent voyage, I got a One Direction song stuck in her head, and she introduced me to Little Jackie, aka Imani Coppola (no relation to Francis Ford!) and Adam Pallin.

This song is from their second record, Made4TV. I love this video because it is beautifully shot, and the song because it is sexy and snarky at the same time. Coppola is also a solo artist, so if you like her voice be sure to grab all of her work!

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Thunderclap: Banks of Yarrow

Nick Kinsey (Diamond Doves, Elvis Perkins in Dearland) has an exciting new project.

Working under the name Thunderclap, he’s reimagining the Child Ballads, a group of 305 English and Scottish folk songs collected by 19th century folklorist Francis James Child. Kinsey is not covering each one individually; instead he is reworking the songs, mixing and matching between tunes to create original and modern interpretations of the source texts.

The song you are about to listen to is based on Banks of Yarrow, but also borrows heavily from a song called Sir Hugh. It features Jean Garnett on lead vocals; Nick Kinsey on drum programming, percussion, synths, keyboards, guitar, vocals; Zach Tenorio-Miller on Celesta and effects; and it is quite lovely.

Banks of Yarrow by THUNDERCLAP

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