September 28, 2006

According to the local independent weekly Of Montreal will be playing a free show tomorrow afternoon at Duke University. Too bad I’ll be at work.

song o’ the day

September 28, 2006

Stephen Malkmus – “(Do Not Feed the) Oyster”

Suck you like a seagull into the sound

Pavement, etc. flew undetected by my rader back in the day. Only now am I finding I like that sort of thing. And I like Malkmus especially. Hearing this song made me buy the album.

(Hat tip to Jason.)

song o’ the day

September 25, 2006

Imperial Teen – “Lipstick”

Why you gotta be so proud?
I’m the one with lipstick on.

The Other Robin keeps bringing Imperial Teen into my life. I like that about her. This song is so perfect powerpoprock, the sound reminds me a lot of what my version of early 90s college rock sounded like, according to my memory, but the album’s actually more recent than that.

a wealth of shows

September 23, 2006

I went to three shows in the last week. If I were a different person and didn’t have any responsibilities, I would have gone to at least two more. It has been one of those weeks around here. Sometimes a bunch of touring bands converge on the Chapel Hill area in one week, and there are too many shows to see, and not enough time. And then other times, no one of interest to me comes to play for weeks on end.

Tuesday – M. Ward/Lambchop/Portastatic – at the Cat’s Cradle

I have not ever really been a fan of Portastatic, but I liked their set this time around. It was not rocking at all really and Mac’s singing voice sounded pretty good. I was ill (I am still ill now) and I was determined to drink a lot of beer, and I only had three beers, but that was enough. I had never really heard Lambchop before, and after their set I have decided I need to get ahold of their albums. I was standing close in front of the crowd and was entranced by their slow lovely music. They had a dozen people onstage. M. Ward simply rocked, and I was glad of that. He played my two favorite songs of his (“Four Hours in Washington” and “Poison Cup”) back-to-back early in the set, which suffused me with happiness. The happiness lasted all evening and into the next day, actually. It was a perfect convergence of an evening.

Thursday – Sufjan Stevens – at Memorial Hall, UNC

The venue is lovely (although the air-conditioning vents being directly underneath the seats make for a VERY UNCOMFORTABLE evening), the music was lovely, Sufjan’s chatter between songs was lovely, the night was lovely. But I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the time that I saw him play last year at the Cat’s Cradle. It was not as engaging, which is likely just due to the difference in venues. Also maybe had something to do with the fact that I felt so very, very OLD at this show. I have to say, the kids going to shows don’t bother me at all, it’s just that when I’m surrounded by them at a show, their very presence makes me feel very, very startled. The rendition of “Casimir Pulaski Day” made me want to cry, which is unsurprising, as the song always has that effect on me.

Friday – Beirut – at Duke Coffeehouse in Durham

I’d been wanting to see a show at this venue for a while, and I finally had the chance. It’s a student-run cafe at Duke University that somehow manages to book some good acts every once in a while. I was standing at the back, on a step that gave me a good view of the stage, right next to the soundboard. The people working the soundboard were either too drunk or too incompetent. The band was constantly asking them to fix the mics (with good reason), and the people working the board were talking on their mobile phones or just gazing off into space. It was beyond annoying. But the band! It was great. Seeing the band play gave me a sense that it’s not just one guy’s bedroom project anymore. And they were really tight together and looked like they had a lot of fun. Zach, the frontman, had a fever and he looked like he was feeling pretty awful, he was pale and clammy looking, and I felt pretty bad for him, but he definitely gave it his all, performing really well I though. For their last song the band brought their instruments into the crowd and played in the middle of everyone, and people sang along (not difficult as the crowd didn’t need to know the words…just a bunch of yodeling, for the most part) and I was very excited and happy to see this band bring their music down to such a personal level for the people around them. It really warmed my heart to see all these young “hip” kids in the crowd being drawn into the experience of live music like that, and such a strange sort of music it is, Balkan folk music through an American filter. I have more to say about this but not the words for it. However, the best part of it all for me was their tambourine man, who was channeling Bez, banging the fuck out of two tambourines, dancing around, throwing his arms around people. It was really quite astonishing and incredible. That crashing tambourine sound is so integral to Beirut’s music, and the tambourine guy just did it so perfectly.

(not spell-checking like I usually do…cheers!)

summer music mix, vol. 2

September 21, 2006

Summer’s almost over. In fact, I think the first day of autumn is this Saturday? I can’t wait. I’ve been looking forward to autumn all summer long. It’s quite possibly my favorite season, although I say that about all the seasons. Except for summer. I don’t like summer much.

Here is my end of summer mix, featuring most of the songs I’ve been listening to the past few months and writing up in my Song O’ the Day. Enjoy. And let me know what you think.

What Do You Do When the Music Stops? – download (102 MB)
Summer 2006, vol. 2

1. Henry’s Dress – Definitely Nothing
2. Camera Obscura – Come Back Margaret
3. M. Ward – Poison Cup
4. Spiral Beach – Voodoo
5. Jens Lekman – Black Cab
6. the Gaylads – My Jamaican Girl
7. Jonathan Richman – Circle I
8. Architecture in Helsinki – Do the Whirlwind
9. Bib – I Wanna Be A Better
10. the Zutons – Secrets
11. the Smittens – Sapphire
12. I’m From Barcelona – We’re From Barcelona
13. Galaxie 500 – Temperature’s Rising
14. the Pink Mountaintops – Can You Do That Dance?
15. the Pipettes – Pull Shapes
16. Rigas – Stench Of You
17. Western Graves – My Love Rides With You
18. Ballboy – Where Do the Nights of Sleep Go To When They Do Not Come To Me
19. Headlights – TV
20. the Aislers Set – Falling Buildings
21. Cansei De Ser Sexy – Music is My Hot Hot Sex
22. the Positions – Back To Me

getting ready for the day

September 20, 2006

We’re getting ready for school right now, everyone’s dressed, I’m at the computer checking my e-mail, eating some bread, drinking coffee. My two girls come up to me and proudly stick their chests out saying, “Look at us!” They are both wearing cardigan sweaters, but they’ve only fastened them halfway, from the bottom up. I distractedly lean over and do my meddlesome, motherly duty, that is to begin to fasten their sweaters the rest of the way, but they back away in horror. “NO! Mom! They’re supposed to be like this.” And they’re trying so hard to look cool, so I figure this is some fashion concept they’ve defined for themselves? Somehow they decided half-opened from the neck down cardigans look cool. OK, that’s cool then. So I say to them, not at all mockingly, “You two are soooooo cool.” And they strut off to the other room, very pleased with themselves indeed.