Come On, Let's Go.
30Jan/123

Come Back Some Day

So this is Sleigh Bells new single "Comeback Kid" off the upcoming Reign of Terror and I'm really, really digging on it. Derek Miller's hardcore roots are really on display in the guitar work and Alexis Krauss' upbeat, poppy vocals are the perfect counter to it. Their new directions is starting to remind me more and more of the Raveonettes, except influenced by sources considerably more modern than rockabilly and shoegaze. And speaking of those sources, the band's aesthetics -- something the half-dead authenticity purist in me usually puts somewhere on the boring/obnoxious gamut -- are great. The whole 80s day-glo/letterman jacket/high school punk thing is a perfect fit for the sound. Still pretty mad I forgot to get tickets for their upcoming live show because it definitely sold out in a hot second.

24Jan/123

I Grow Dizzy

My boss is out this week, which means I'm stuck making and cleaning up my own messes at work for a while. Which means overtime and getting home way the hell past I'd like and, uh, I think you can see where this is going. So, here's something that's always (well, since the last time I heard it in ...2004?) relaxed me - Love Spirals Downwards' "Will You Fade":

23Jan/124

Percussus

So AV artist Bartek Szlachcic attached a couple of sensors to a drummer's sticks and recorded it, creating a motion-painting of a drum solo. It's unsurprisingly amazing. I've been going to live shows for a while now, and impressive drumming can be one of the most visually delightful parts of the show. I've previously written about the late Jerry Fuchs, who was a drummer of such skill that his kit was on the front line with the guitarists. Watching Jeremy Barnes (Neutral Milk Hotel/A Hawk and a Hacksaw) play "Drums on Fire" while on tour with Broadcast or, uh, whoever was drumming on Ladytron's Light and Magic tour play "USA vs White Noise" are some of my most cherished concert moments. So, this is video is a special delight.

17Jan/122

Calling Softly From The Street


Co. NeutralMilkHotel.org

So this Friday, my girlfriend and a couple of friends and I will be seeing Jeff Mangum play at BAM. I saw him a few months back in New Jersey and the moment tickets for this show came on sale I rallied the troops, found a friend with a BAM membership, and scored advance tickets. So, as a treat for y'all, I have a old, old demo of one of my favorite tracks, "April 8th". This actually predates Neutral Milk Hotel as an entity, being released under the Synthetic Flying Machine name (which you may remember from the lyrics to the "Up and Over" section of "The King of Carrot Flowers Pts. Two & Three.") It sounds very different than the original; it's considerably faster and with almost a bluesy/R&B beat and an entire extra guitar section. The lyrics, which are some of Mangum's best and unfortunately somewhat mumbly on the On Avery Island version, are much clearer too.

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16Jan/123

In My Home Town

I've been enjoying the new album by St. Petersburg hip-hop group Есть Есть Есть. The name translates to either "There Is There Is There Is" or "Yes Yes "Yes" depending on how bad my Russian is getting. They sound roughly like Anti-Pop Consortium: IDM-style beats and an somewhat abstract delivery with an odd, almost hypnotically monotone delivery. Most the lyrics go right over my head, but I catch snippets here and there. Like I wrote in this previous post, hip-hop can be about the sound of the vocals as well as the meaning, so we can all enjoy it on those grounds. The track is called Паста, which means "Pasta" and may or may not mean something else in Russian slang, but I have no idea.

12Jan/120

Buff

I don't usually post funny videos for the sake of funny videos, but this one is ...different. In that every single person I have shown it to has laughed and laughed and laughed. It's a combination of factors, really. Not to dissect gossamer, but the unintentional physical comedy, general hopelessness of the situation and surprisingly funny (if dickish) commentary, it's the perfect storm of a once in a lifetime comedy situation (comsit?) Once you're done watching it here, go watching Benny Hillified and of course someone made a Final Fantasy joke.

10Jan/120

Clowning

I am, quite literally, a year behind on the times with this, but I just started watching Portlandia (it just arrived on Netflix) and the opening song from the first episode has been stuck in my goddamn head for a week now. It's always good to see that a sketch comedy show with a budget you could hold in a change purse can produce something like this. Even without the humor, it's a good and almost unfairly catchy tune.

3Jan/120

Three Ring Orchestra

So, in the early 1990s composer Marc-André Hamelin decided to create a piece of piano music specifically for the player piano. How is it specifically for the player piano? Well, it is completely impossible for a single person to play this. Several might be able to do it, but then it wouldn't be played as intended. Here's a MIDI rendition, along with the sheet music. Now, I'm sheet-music-illiterate -- I got out of Music Appreciation in high school with my school's equivalent of a gentleman's C (meaning I made it clear that having me repeat the class would be to no one's benefit at all) -- but you can plainly see the complexity.

Of course, it's not the same without seeing it on an actual player piano. Or, more specifically, an actual player piano that looks as if it's possessed by ADHD-riddled ghosts trying to chase a cat off the keys:

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