One night, passing through Park Slope on an almost-empty F train and listening to to the Mountain Goats' Tallahassee for the tenth dozen time, I suddenly heard strings in a track that I never realized had strings before. I turned off my iPod only to realize the strings were still going. Turning around, I realized that during the previous stop, directly behind me, a busker had wheeled in a cello and a stool and started playing.
Nat Baldwin plays a bass, but I relive that weird, incongruous feeling listening to his new album. Here's him playing the track "Weights":
You know, I usually don't dig on music videos featuring kids. Unless, of course, those kids are engaged in rocking out black-metal style and/or some incredible cartoon violence.
The pixel video artist/chiptune genius who is Doc Octoroc (previously) has made this awesome cover of the 2010 Doctor Who intro, straight-up SNES-style -- the scaling effects are perfect. Even though I stopped watching Doctor Who about halfway into the tenth Doctor's tenure, I have expressed my love for the theme and this is a great take on it.
Co La (a.k.a. Matt Papich) has released the entirety of his new album Dial Tone Earth for listening. It's a 46 minute long track, and is some fresh, great exotica in the vein of Monster Rally. It's some sweet, minimal goodness for sunbathing on the moon.
Sound engineer/composer Diego Stocco built this instrument, which he dumbs the "bassoforte" out of a dismantled piano and chunks of a guitar, bass and chimney.
Check out his videos for more awesome sound experiments.
So, with Family Guy, you have to take the good with the bad in order to appreciate the humor. The "good" in this case being a pitch-perfect parody of Street Fighter II and the "bad" being that one of the characters involved is an Asian laundromat owner named "Mr. Washee Washee" (complicating that further, that name was used as a "make-the-audience-feel-ignorant" joke, so it's just cans of worms all the way down.) So let's all just enjoy this for what it is before Fox takes it down off YouTube for copyright infringement and this post becomes entirely irrelevant:
Yet-unable to corral the hit boybands of the 90s, the first (1996) season of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch had a rather ... intriguing guest star: The Violent Femmes. Unfortunately, I can't figure out if making the preppy cheerleader Libby have an enormous and (magically) requited crush on Gordon Gano was out of irony, necessity or both. Watching this, 15 years later, long past the cultural relevance of both the show and the band, the temporal gap between the two is that much greater and the whole scene just way, way odd.
I saw the Tune-Yards play this Saturday at the Music Hall of Williamsburg; wasn't too excited about the show but just glad to keep up my concert spree. There was a big drought between April of 2010 (when I first saw them live) and a month or two ago. So, now I'll go and see bands that I even kinda sorta enjoyed just to get out there and see live music. I don't want to talk about the Tune-Yards, though -- not that they didn't play a great set -- but Buke and Gass, one of their openers.
They use home-modified instruments, run down here by NPR:
"Dyer plays a modified baritone-ukulele run through effects that squeal with delight, while Sanchez runs his guitar-bass hybrid through two amps (one for the three low-end strings, another for the treble)."
To add to that, Sanchez' bass drum has a tambourine and a smaller bass drum inside of it and Dyer also wears some sort of modified tambourine strapped to her foot, which has its own mic. I haven't seen a set-up like that since I saw A Hawk and a Hacksaw (when the group was still a Jeremy Barnes solo project) open for Broadcast about eight years ago. Anyway, the sound that came out of the two of them was just so much bigger than the two individuals playing the music, and I was immediately a fan.
You may remember the following video for "Jaaan Pehechan Ho" ("We Should Get To Know Each Other Better") from the opening scenes of Terry Zwigoff's adaptation of Daniel Clowes' comic Ghost World. It originally appeared in the 1965 Bollywood picture Gumnaam ("Unknown.") I love that every shot of "Ted Lyons" -- the lead singer of the band overdubbed by Rafi -- is at a canted angle making him look like the greatest 60s Batman villain ever.
So, this is Kim Fowley. Well, it's Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire's Nelson Van Alden) playing Kim Fowley in 2010's biopic The Runaways. As the movie makes abundantly clear, Fowley was directly responsible for the formation of the band:
Fowley was a 60s and 70s producer/impresario and also recorded some pretty wild stuff himself. For instance, here's his trippy spoken-word "Invasion of the Polaroid People":
...and the pièce de résistance is retro-electronic group Add N to (X)'s remix of the above track, bearing the same title. For almost ten years I've dug this track, having no idea it was a remix, just a guest vocalist.