Friday, July 30, 2004

Weekend MP3 Post

I'm moving this weekend, so I'll be busy (meaning away from the internet).

It seems that talking about the Pixies is un-hip nowadays. I know we've been bombarded with Pixies this, Pixies that, since they reunited. So in the spirit of being un-hip, I thought I'd mention the Pixies a few times and post Broken Face from Disclive's Pixies Live in Spokane, WA. I have disc #672. I'm going to see them in December at Constitution Hall in Washington DC. You should see them when you can. For streaming only, as always.

How did I ever miss the trampoline jumping??

Now there's a talent!

The Miss America pageant gets real, because looking pretty is talent enough.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Today's MP3 posts

#644 has great MP#s today, including Gemma Hayes' gorgeous acoustic Evening Sun, which should be listened to in private at sunset. She sings,

"Evening Sun
Why don't you stay
Just a little longer, please"

Fluxblog has Air's Alpha Beta Gaga (Mark Ronson vocal mix). The vocals are be a rapper named Rhymefest. M. Perpetua says:
Rhymefest makes up for his intensely lame moniker by delivering a strong vocal performance similar in style to that of the GZA and Kool G Rap, and Ronson reshapes Air's original arrangement into something falling halfway between contemporary mainstream pop and old school hip hop.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Speaking of Jack White & Beck...

Jack White will be appearing on an as-yet unnamed track on the new Beck album. Since both are blues-influenced guitarists, and the Dust Brothers are producing, I predict...well, I have absolutely no idea what it's going to sound like. It's like trying to predict what Dennis Rodman and Madonna's love child would have looked like. You can be sure of one thing, ain't gonna be boring. News story here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Fell in Love With a Hound

Jack White channels demons through his vintage red Airline. They scream out and chill the air between our speakers and ears, and leave a buzz in what was empty space. From what depths does White summon these voices? Perhaps he is a ghost himself; with his ivory face and tangled ragged hair, he appears to be the spirit of a confederate son. I hear the same voices howling when I listen to Hound Dog Taylor and his Houserockers. Alligator Records released "Release the Hound," a 2004 collection of his raw chicago blues. When you listen to "Wild About You, Baby," see if you can taste the smoke and liquor at the Smiling Dog Saloon in Cleveland, and feel your forearms press against the bare wood at the bar.

Download: "Wild About You, Baby" (1974) from Release the Hound

MP3 posts

Kingblind has Of Montreal's Disconnect the Dots today. There are so many surprises in there, but I won't give away too much here. Listen to the song start with a fading drum sample and hand claps open up into swirling starry guitars and a simple chorus, "Come disconnect the dots, poppy..." repeated, then from a sweet piano melody with Brian Wilsonesque vocal harmonies to more guitar breaks that sound like a kung fu movie theme heard in a handheld arcade game.

Fluxblog has Diana Ross. No, FB is not going motown. Diana Ross is a sweet pop song from the Concretes. They're from Sweden. God, I'm starting to feel so predictable.

Monday, July 26, 2004

My Neighbors Are From Sao Paulo

And so is Cibelle. Finally, after listening to so many ho-hum indiepop mp3s today, I came across something interesting to listen to, courtesy of The Suburbs Are Killing Us. Waiting and No Prego are tracks from Cibelle's self-titled debut album. She's yet another Brazilian neo-bossa nova songstress. Envelop yourself in her warm rhythms. I missed her show tonight, but I'll make up for it when The Keoki and I see Bebel Gilberto at the 9:30 next month.

From Cibelle's website:
Cibelle - who wrote all but one of the album's tunes - downplays the conscious elements in her music in favour of chance, love and inspiration. "We don't just have bossa and samba in Brazil, we have loads of rhythms," she says. "I say it's like cooking; you get all these different elements and you just play about with them."


Yoda at the Oscars

Get used to it:

Sunday, July 25, 2004


This photograph was on the front page of the Washington Post Arts section on Sunday. It's a life-sized self-portrait sculpture by American artist Tom Friedman. What really bugged me about this piece is that it's made of brightly colored construction paper. Here's a material that we place in our kindergarteners' backpacks for art projects that invariably return home to our refrigerator doors in the form of valentine's day cards and handprint art. Friedman perverts the construction paper medium by associating it with death, suicide, terrorism, and unintentionally, 9/11 (the piece was sculpted in 2000). Is he making a statement about the fragility of life, reducing human sculpture from iron, stone, or clay to something flimsy and fibrous, readily torn? Or is this just how he sees himself--insignificant, laughable?

I imagine Mr. Friedman would be satisfied by our stopping, looking, and asking the questions. His sculpture is on display at the Site Santa Fe Biennial 2004, titled "Disparities and Deformations: Our Grotesque." Some of the other exhibition highlights are here.

The Web: "Largely an Invention of the Devil"

So says Michael Dirda in today's Outlook section of the Washington Post (registration required), on the NEA's report on the decline of reading:
[I] was fairly late in coming to the National Endowment for the Arts' "Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America."
No doubt I could have looked online for the report, but I prefer to regard the Web as largely an invention of the Devil. I use the thing for e-mail, but that's just about it. I have seen the best minds of the next generation, and a few from my own, destroyed by its insidious ensorcelments.
Insidious ensorcelments?

He continues:

Still, at least one in six people reads something between bound covers each month, and I suppose we should be grateful for this saving remnant. Yet what the NEA report fails to say is that most of those people have chosen the very same 12 books, starting with "The Da Vinci Code," followed by a) the latest movie tie-in, and b) whatever Oprah Winfrey has recommended lately.
And Amen to the following:
But most of the bestseller list tends to be innately ephemeral -- jumped-up magazine articles, journalistic dispatches in disguise, commercial novels that are essentially screenplays-in-waiting, heavy on plot, shock and spectacle. Such works can hardly be called literary reading. They are entertainments, little more than 250-page TV shows and documentaries.
So what's a good book? He tells us:
Great books tend to feel strange. They leave us uncomfortable. They make us turn their pages slowly. We are left shaken and stirred.
So why is the web an invention of the devil?
"Reading at Risk" is right to lament the decline of what I will forthrightly call bookishness. As the report implies, the Internet seems to have delivered a possibly knock-out punch. Our children now can scarcely use a library and instead look to the Web when they need to learn just about anything. We all just click away with mouse and remote control, speeding through a blur of links, messages, images, data of all sorts. Is this reading? As Gioia reminds us, "Print culture affords irreplaceable forms of focused attention and contemplation that make complex communications and insights possible. To lose such intellectual capability -- and the many sorts of human continuity it allows -- would constitute a vast cultural impoverishment." So, more and more we know less and less about less and less. And we don't care. Who among the young aspires to be cultivated and learned, which takes discipline, rather than breezily provocative, wise-crackingly "edgy"?
Ouch. At least he didn't mention blogs by name. Oh, wait, he does:
But come the dawn and our good intentions usually evaporate. Why persist with Plutarch or George Eliot or Beckett or William Gaddis when you can drop into a chat room or gaze at digitized lovelies or go to still another movie? Instead of reading Toqueville or Henry Adams, we just check out the latest blogs. In short, we turn toward the bright and shiny, the meretricious tinsel, the strings of eye-catching beads for which we exchange our intellectual birthright as for a mess of pottage. For modern Americans, only the unexamined life is worth living.
Double ouch. Meretricious tinsel, hahaha. Dirda, you Luddite. Badmouth the web all you want. There's still a breathing Anakin within the Vader that is the web. You can get a good daily poem here, read good short stories in the New Yorker (like this one and this one), the Atlantic, and other online journals, and even novels, provided that their authors have been dead for at least 50 years. Finally, Mr. Dirda, I'll never give up reading your weekly online discussions on books. See, the value in your discussions and in reading the good blogs is that they help us decide what to read. Now if only we could turn our eyes away from the monitor long enough to do so...

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Give Me Kisses, Give Me Kisses, Don't Say No - Acoustic Furnaces

Fluxblog posts a live acoustic version of The Fiery Furnaces' Quay Cur from East Village Radio. Pull out your eskimo-English dictionaries, because this is in Inuit.

Revenge of the Sith

It's the title of Star Wars: Episode III, as fans already suspected, after Lucas registered last year. What do fans think about the title? According to's poll, almost 90% either like or love the title. Merch (retro t-shirts) is already available on Might as well buy a t-shirt that says "Dork." Or would that be cool?

Beck, Dusted

The new Beck album should be out in October. Expect it to be a sea change from his current CD. But then, there really aren't any two successive Beck albums that sound alike, are there? The Dust Brothers, who produced Odelay and Midnite Vultures, are working on this one. Read more at Kingblind. How do I know that I'll love the new CD? Because there aren't any Beck records that I don't love. The man makes great music.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Don't Believe Me?

I know that some of you may think the Hives are posers. But if you don't believe me when I tell you they rocked the hair out of our follicles, look here and here. Sniff out some tickets any way you can.

Also, we can witness the boys in a shameless act of self-promotion this Sunday night on Subterranean. I'm as much a naysayer as anyone on MTV's content, but give them credit for showing the Madvillain, k-os, and Felix da Housecat videos.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Dammit Jim, I'm Just a Blogger, Not an MP3 Site.

YOU KLINGON BASTARDS: Ignore that last post about not downloading MP3s. Well, this is actually a MOV, but it will still do twice as much for you as the 9/11 report will. It's William Shatner covering Pulp's Common People. Listen to it now at TTIKTDA. It's only logical.

Storm of Steel

Ernst Junger's Storm of Steel is the next book I'm buying. Michael Dirda says that it's a "great book" that "matter-of-factly conveys the mysterious glamour of war, the exhilaration of its excess and intensity and, not least, the undeniable glory of men bravely preparing for battle as for "some terrible silent ceremonial that portends human sacrifice."

From the Washington Post Book World review:

Once [Junger] encountered a lone English soldier, separated from his own lines:

"It was a relief to me, finally, to have the foe in front of me and within reach. I set the mouth of the pistol at the man's temple -- he was too frightened to move -- while my other fist grabbed his tunic, feeling medals and badges of rank. An officer; he must have held some command post in these trenches. With a plaintive sound, he reached into his pocket, not to pull out a weapon, but a photograph which he held up to me. I saw him on it, surrounded by numerous family, all standing on a terrace.

"It was a plea from another world. Later, I thought it was blind chance that I let him go and plunged onward. That one man of all often appeared in my dreams. I hope that meant he got to see his homeland again."


Your ancestors would be proud if you downloaded the 9/11 Commission Report and read it instead of downloading MP3s or porn today. There, there...the MP3s and porn will still be there tomorrow.

While you're at it, you can find out all about the Committee on the Present Danger here. Their mission statement:
The Committee on the Present Danger is dedicated to winning the global war on terrorism. We are a bipartisan organization from the policy, political, academic, business and professional communities committed to resisting and defeating terrorist organizations, ending collusion between rogue regimes and terrorists, and supporting reform in regions that threaten to export terror.

Our mission is to educate the American people about the threat posed by a global Islamist terror movement; to counsel against appeasement and accommodation with terrorists; and to build support for a strategy of decisive victory against this menace not only to the United States, but to democracy and freedom everywhere.

The 80's as Collected by RHINO

Rhino records is releasing a fabulous 4-disc (!) 82-track (!!) 80's underground collection due Oct. 5, and titled "Left of the Dial: Dispatches From the '80s Underground." Read the news story here, and find the track listing here. Good stuff here, but I wish they put XTC's "Dear God" on there rather than "Senses Working Overtime." It reminds me of the creepy kid by the tree.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Hives and Hotnights

"Hello, Washington, D.C. We are the Hives!"

With that declaration, Howlin' Pelle Almqvist jump-started a raucous 60-minute-plus set to begin their tour in support of Tyrannosaurus Hives, released yesterday. Pelle and the Hives had the sold-out 9:30 club in a frenzy at "Hello," and kept us there their brand of hot 2-minute punk. They reached frenetic peaks with "I Hate To Say I Told You So," "Idiot Walk," and their encore, "a.k.a. I-D-I-O-T."

Howlin' Pelle allowed no lull, and kept his audience in his pocket with his cocksure charisma and gyrating body english, gesturing at the crowd and climbing stacks to engage the balcony-dwellers. The crazy Swede declared "You stole us from Sweden." He told us that he was confident that D.C. was the right place to start the tour: "There is always a crowd at the clubs in Washington, D.C. Maybe not for everyone, but there is always a crowd for the Hives in Washington, D.C." About halfway through the set, sent the audience into a collective scream: "At this point, they say that we should have you in the palm of our hand," and, reaching his arm to the us with palm facing up, "Do I have you in the palm of my hand, Washington, D.C.?" Yes, Hives, Washington, D.C. is in the palm of your hand.

The opening acts, Reigning Sound and the Sahara Hotnights, also served up solid performances. The Hotnights' Maria Andersson sang flawlessly through their set, and I was amazed at the force and clarity of her voice. You don't hear all of what she has on their CDs (which, by the way, are very good). It's the kind of voice that freezes you and resonates in your bones. Their new CD, "Kiss and Tell," comes out in the U.S. next Tuesday.

If you haven't bought your tickets yet, what are you waiting for? Check their show dates here or here.

Linda Ronstadt on Michael Moore and the Lyric of the Day

She says she's going to keep praising him because it's an election year. How is this news? Does anyone give a half-shit what Linda Ronstadt thinks about Michael Moore?? Apparently so. Look at the message board threads at the bottom of the story.

Today's appropriate lyric of the day is from Beck's Pay No Mind:

Tonight the city is full of morgues
And all the toilets are overflowing
There's shopping malls coming out of the walls
As we walk out among the manure

That's why
I pay no mind

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

What's Your Music Personality?

Take the Music Personality Test.  Find out what your taste in music says about your personality, and "how other people see you based on what types of music you listen to."  I'm "Reflective and Complex."  According to the test results, I'm

"open to new experiences, creative, intellectual, and enjoy trying new things. When it comes to politics, they tend to lean toward the liberal side. Wisdom, diversity, and fine arts are all important to them. When it comes to lifestyle, high scorers tend to be sophisticated, and relatively well off financially. After a hard day of work, if they're not listening to music or reading a book, they enjoy documentary films, independent, classic, or foreign films."

Hey, they could have cut the wordiness and called me a pretentious snot.


Here's the test creator's scientific article, The Do Re Mi's of Everyday Life: The Structure and Personality Correlates of Music Preferences, in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Today's Music and MP3s

To warm you up for Drag It Up, the Old 97's release due next week, STG has an MP3 of Won't Be Home today.   Of course, you can also listen to it on the Old 97's website, along with Satellite and New Kid, both from the new CD.   Jersey Independent Music reviews the five-song EP Learn These, from The Consultants.  Listen to their bright, straight indie pop and lead singer Marisa Chinsky's warm yet playful tone here.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Great MP3s today on STG and TTIKTDA

Go, now,  to Said the Gramophone and download the Augie March track, then make your way over to Teaching the Indie Kids to Dance Again and get yourself some Polysics.  You won't be disappointed.  I promise.

Hulk on Hulk 2

Hulk write article for Onion.  Want know why no one want make next Hulk movie.  Hulk angry.  Why no one like first movie?  Maybe because so many people who go see first movie only have attention span long enough to make it through wrestling cage match.  Read here.

Elliott Smith in NYT Arts Article

From Elliott Smith's Uneasy Afterlife, an article on listening to his new material and coping with the knowledge that he's not there:
USUALLY, when new music is tested out on studio speakers, the moment is pregnant with excitement. But listening to "From a Basement on the Hill," it just felt like a wake with great tunes.

"It'd be a lot easier if he'd be around to help us," Ms. Bolme said.

Mr. Schnapf added, "I was kind of hoping he'd show up."

As Smith sang, however, the sadness that flooded his five CD's swamped the room. "I'm burning every bridge I ever crossed," he sang, "to find some beautiful place to get lost." By the last line, two opposing things are true: Smith is dead, and Smith is here.

The new album hits stores October 19th, and Mr. Smith will show his face, one last time, on the covers of your favorite indie mags.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Susan Werner on Breakfast With the Arts

I watched Susan Werner  perform this morning on A&E, and oh, what a way to start Sunday.  I didn't toggle the remote for the entire segment - a good fifteen or twenty minutes - and that's a rarity for Sunday morning TV.  If you love good songwriting and nylon-string guitar, listen to I'm Not Sure, and if you like it with some soulful archtop blended in, try Tall Drink of Water (Real Player required), under "Songs from 'I Can't Be New'" on NPR

Thursday, July 15, 2004

U2: And They Give Themselves Away

Bono and U2 (or even better, U2) keep losing things.  First, their lyrics from their second LP, October, are stolen in Bono's briefcase back in 1981.  Then, Bono loses his laptop with song lyrics in a pub in 1999.  Now, the band loses a copy of their unfinished forthcoming CD at a photo shoot.  Guys, you need to take better care of your music.  After all, it saves people's  lives, and who cares if some people don't like you as much?

Think you know all there is to know about U2?  Think again.  The U2 quiz.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out (Daft Punk Remix)

I've read a lot of comments and blurbs on this remix being rubbish, but said the gramophone loves it, and has it available on his site for your aural pleasure.

Hot Night Crash

Click here or here (and follow the "video" link), to see the video for the Sahara Hotnights' Hot Night Crash, featuring hot Swedish 20-somethings in cowboy boots mercilessly rocking a cowboy hat-wearing audience in a southwestern dance hall. Shew. Yee-haw.

I'm going to see the Hotnights with The Hives next week at the 9:30 Club, with the Keoki and other friends. Let's see if they outrock the last stellar bundle I saw in NW DC, Ambulance LTD and The Killers, opening for Stellastar. Who played on the side stage that night? TV On the Radio.

Bonjour, et Joyeux Jour de Bastille

For my countless French visitors, I just wanted to say Happy Bastille Day. Upon coming into work this morning, I greeted the first person I saw with "Happy Bastille Day." This person returned: "What the hell did you just say to me?" Les Américains = les gros idiots, non?

In celebration of Bastille Day, I decided that instead of my usual ritual of checking the Washington Post headlines, I'd take a peek at Le Monde online. I gave the homepage a thorough look-over in French, then used the Yahoo! Language tool to translate the page to English. I came across this outstanding Yahoo-translated article's first paragraph:

The leading article of the World
The fault and the challenge
THE WORLD | 14.07.04 | 12h41

THAT is called a bad dream. During quarante-huit hours, everyone believed in the account of Marie L, this young woman who deposited a stolen complaint and to be wildly attacked with her baby on bottom of matter anti-semites. The various ingredients composing this fact were well likely to strike imaginations. A baby violently reversed with his poussette. A young woman in hillock with a band made up of a half-dozen of "wild stocks" indicated like maghrébins and blacks. Blows and estafilades with the face carried with knives. Insults against the Jews and of the swastikas drawn with the felt on the victim. The whole in the oar of the RER of suburbs, in front of inert passengers.

I think I could submit that as a prose poem and get into an MFA program of my choice. "A baby violently reversed with his poussette...Blows and estafilades with the face carried with knives." And holy shit, I'm using the phrase "inert passengers" TODAY!

For les idiots Americains: this site.

And may I suggest: Bastille Day Drink Recipes

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Badly Drawn Boy Video Premiere

Whaddya know, all Kim Jong Il needed was a bear hug. The Year of the Rat, on Warning: it's a sentimental, Lennon-approved love-will-save-the-world lovefest. You just might puke.

What was the last good book you read this year?

If you're like more than half of the Americans surveyed, you don't have an answer. Fewer than half of Americans surveyed read literature, and only slightly more than a third of males do. Read the news article or download the pdf report, Reading At Risk, from the National Endowments for the Arts. Or, if you're like most of us, just continue with your point-and-click reading in these silly blogs.

A Send-off for Weezy.

HEY HONKEYS, watch Isabel Sanford (aka Weezy) tomorrow night, starting at 8 p.m. EST, on TV Land, in a 6-episode marathon of The Jeffersons.
"TV Land will honor the life and work of acclaimed television, theater and film actress Isabel Sanford with a six-episode presentation of The Jeffersons on Wednesday, July 14 beginning at 8:00 PM (et/pt). TV Land has selected six of the most memorable episodes from The Jeffersons ranging from the series' first episode, "A Friend in Need," to Ms. Sanford's favorite, in which Sammy Davis Jr. guest stars -- "What Makes Sammy Run?" "

Monday, July 12, 2004

Never Believe

Watch this colorful video from Elf Power's Walking With the Beggar Boys.


Read about Those Good Old-Time Olympics, from Saturday's Washington Post. From the article:
These days, they got so many sports you can hardly keep track of them: badminton, table tennis, synchronized swimming and who knows what else. In the old days, we stuck to your basic tried-and-true sports: your running, your wrestling, your chariot racing, your pankration.

What? You never heard of pankration? It was the king of combat sports -- a combination of boxing, wrestling, mugging and a good old-fashioned butt-kicking. In pankration, you could do almost anything to your opponent -- strangle him, kick him in the groin, bend his fingers back until they snapped like popsicle sticks. Now, that's entertainment! Of course, you weren't allowed to gouge a guy's eyes out. I mean, we weren't barbarians! If you started gouging somebody's eyes out, the judges would step in and beat you with sticks. Judges didn't pussyfoot around in those days.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Franz Ferdinand Live MP3s from Glastonbury

Find them, follow them, and download them one MP3 at a time (12 MP3s in all). Link via Kingblind.

White Stripes Live DVD

The White Stripes are releasing a live DVD, containing footage from two live shows, by the end of the year. The Stripes condemned George Roca's backstage tour documentary, "nobody knows how to talk to children" as "not as good as we hoped -- the sound was poor, the editing didn't feel right, etc. - just not up to the standards our fans have come to expect." Read more here and here (click on "News"). Also, Pitchfork reports that a Rarities and B-Sides release is in the works.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Fahrenheit Banned!

Theater chains in Nebraska and Wisconson have refused to play Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." Read about it here.

From the article:
"...a statement from owner Robert Fridley said the company is not playing the film because it believes that "Fahrenheit" is propaganda. 'It has always been and will continue to be our policy to refuse to play what we feel are propaganda films, no matter the source. It was and is our feeling that 'Fahrenheit 9/11' falls into that category,' he said."

Propaganda, schmopaganda. It's a red-and-blue nation, and people have already made up their minds. The Reps are going to see the movie and call it unfounded trash, and the Dems are going to see it and call it all the news that FOX doesn't show.

"'We believe in Michael Moore's freedom to make this movie,' Karasotes told the Michigan-based Mining Journal. 'We trust that our customers will recognize and respect our own freedom to choose not to show it. During a time of war, the American troops in Iraq (news - web sites) need and deserve our undivided support.'"

Well...okay, very patriotic. But support for the administration does not equal support for the troops. Just ask former Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Shinseki.

What's next, are booksellers there going to pull Michael Moore, Al Franken, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Richard Clarke off the shelf? We need the controversy, we need the discussion. Let's allow it all to play and trust that the citizens of Grand Island, Nebraska, and Marquette, Wisconsin are intelligent, and able to watch a movie without believing it's all real.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

MP3 Download of the Day: Mouse on Mars

Mine is in Yours, from the forthcoming Radical Connector. Vocals receive the Daft Punk treatment, but the music is considerably spookier. Download at one of my favorite MP3 blogs, fluxblog.

"Last Words of Brother Ray" the current issue of Rolling Stone:

"'Death,' Ray Charles told me when he first learned that cancer was devouring his body, 'is the one motherfucker that ain't ever going away.'"

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

GREAT Charlotte

Who's Charlotte Hatherley? She's not just another crusader in the guitar pop revolution. This gal's got spirit. If Paragon doesn't widen your veins, open your pores, and seize your entire musculature, then nothing (legal) will. Download from TTIKTDA. You can also download her single, Kim Wilde, from her website. Reviews on the site liken her to Bjork or Scritti Politti, but I'm thinking Kim Deal, only skinnier. Check out the photos at her site.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Federico, his Guitar, and his 'fro

Who is that classical guitar-playing, sampled beat-laying, afro-topped Argentinian who gets away with wearing a blue shirt with green pants in his press photos? Why, it's Federico Aubele. Preview his album, Gran Hotel Buenos Aires, and while you're at it, chick out the video for Postales. The album preview is pretty lo-fi, but you get the gist. Irresistable guitar hooks with sick beats and electronic miscellany built around them.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Amazon: An Insider's Story

Who doesn't love, with its Minority Report-esque personal recommendations and starred reviewer ratings. Nowadays, we all have our book-buying processes, which might go something like this:

1. Read a newspaper, magazine, journal, or internet book review. We won't mention Oprah here.
2. Go to Barnes & Noble, Borders, or a local bookseller, hold the book, read a chapter. Peek at the last page. If it the number at the top of the page is greater than 700, purse lips and sigh.
3. If you're going to read it or use it as end table dressing, and it's discounted, buy it. If it's not discounted, put the book back on the shelf.
4. Compare prices at,,, or my new favorite,
5. Order your book at the lowest price, including shipping.

No doubt that, like E-Bay, started a cultural revolution in the digital universe, and helped popularize and consumerize the internet more than that crusading internet pioneer of yesteryear, Al Gore. The company's employee #55, James Marcus, shares his five years of experience as a senior editor and book mini-reviewer, in Amazonia: Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot.Com Juggernaut. Read Jonathan Yardley's Washington Post book review. From the article:

"...Marcus is right to say that 'as the Internet becomes more and more of a mainstream phenomenon, it's easy to forget just how much utopian baggage it used to carry.' The Internet has 'a transcendental capacity to shrink time and distance' and 'has ushered entire communities into being, and given a literal twist to the notion of kindred spirits,' and it was out of such notions that Amazon was born."

Read the mini-review here.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Stars At Noon the title of NYC-based (again!) Sea Ray. Listen to the album here. It's dreamy, atmospheric, drone-rock interrupted with sudden staccato guitar and drum bursts. Like all great music, repeated listenings reveal different songs and may just make you a different person.

POP image

For those who care, the POP image above consists of:

First P: The P from Potter in a "Harry Potter" poster. This P represents the movies/entertainment component of POP.

O: A Compact Disc. Represents the music.

Last P: Part of a pottery inkwell found in the first century B.C. This P represents the literature/print media component of POP.

The purple background is a modified bubble wrap image.

I got bored of the old template.

French Kicks

New Music Monthly says of the French Kicks' Trial of the Century, "It's really freaking good." They're one of the bands under NMM's Best New Music section in issue 123/124. Yet another NYC band with ridiculously infectious melodies and rhythms. Are you sick of it yet? So am I, but bring on some more. The French Kicks got TEXTURE. Listen to One More Time from their new album.

Jasper the Music Photographer: Thank You

Thank you for capturing our favorite bands on your stunning photographs, and letting us access them anytime. Time-faded concerts are resurrected in still images at All we have to do is imagine the cold beer in our hands, the dense fog of smoke, and the ringing in our ears between songs.

Friday, July 02, 2004

WXYC Chapel Hill, NC playlists

WXYC 89.3 FM is the non-commercial student-run radio station of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In November 1994, it became the first radio station in the world to rebroadcast its signal over the Internet. WXYC is a core reporting station for CMJ, publisher of the New Music Monthly magazine. See their top records/playlists and stream their broadcasts here.

Mindy Smith on VH1

From her album One Moment More, watch Mindy Smith's latest video, Come to Jesus. Want to get intimate with Mindy? See her on tour:

7/1/2004 Los Angeles, CA - Knitting Factory
7/2/2004 Santa Cruz, CA - Moe's Alley
7/3/2004 Jacksonville, OR - Britt Pavilion
7/6/2004 Chico, CA - Sierra Nevada Tap Room
7/7/2004 Saratoga, CA - Mountain Winery
7/8/2004 San Francisco, CA - KF! OG Live Lunch
7/8/2004 San Francisco, CA - The Independent
7/9/2004 Temecula, CA - Pechanga Resort & Casino
7/10/2004 Santa Barbara, CA - Lobero Theater
7/16/2004 Baltimore, MD - Artscape
7/17/2004 Philadelphia, PA - Penns Landing w/WXPN Annual Songwriters Weekend
7/18/2004 Winter Park, CO - Winter Park Ski Resort w/KBCO!
7/22/2004 London, UK - Bush Hall
7/23/2004 Nottingham, UK - The Maze
7/24/2004 Glasgow, UK - Royal Concert Hall
7/25/2004 Manchester, UK - Academy 3
7/28/2004 Dublin, Ireland - The Village - Dublin
7/31/2004 Caimbridge, UK - Cambridge Folk Festival
8/1/2004 Caimbridge, UK - Cambridge Folk Festival
8/5/2004 Boulder, CO - Fox Theater w/AAA Conference
8/7/2004 Newport, RI - Apple & Eve Newport Folk Festival
8/13/2004 Nashville, TN - SoBro Lot
8/28/2004 Schwenksville, PA - Philadelphia Folk Festival- Schwenksville
9/4/2004 Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot Festival
9/5/2004 San Francisco, CA - KFOG Oakland Art & Soul Festival w/Los Lobos
9/19/2004 Austin, TX - Zilker Park
10/9/2004 Irvine, CA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater w/KZLA Big Bash

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Vanity - my favorite sin of all.

Cosmetic surgery television: Extreme Makeover, I Want a Famous Face, Nip/Tuck, The Swan. The promise of renewed (or created) beauty and vigor. It's enough to make you vomit. Remember, narcissi of America, the lyric of the day from Thom Yorke: "gravity always wins."

From The New Atlantis, via ALDaily:
"Ten years ago, if you shouted 'nasolabial folds' at a crowd of middle-class, middle-aged women, they’d return baffled glances. Today they would nod knowingly, instantly begin trading tips on Botox injections and facelifts, and offer their informed reviews of the latest plastic surgery reality television show."

Viva mp3 blogs!!

...especially gramophone, Teaching the Indie Kids How to Dance, Fluxblog (all linked over there-->) and the brand new Scenestars. Scenestars has everything from the 6ths, Fantastic Plastic Machine, and !!! to Loretta Lynn, the Cure, and Sinead O'Connor to alt-Country gods Wilco and sizzlin' croonette Tift Merritt. Happy listening. Buy records.