Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Beck's Record Club

Only recently have I begun to appreciate the crazy awesome coolness of Beck.

Case in point... Beck's Record Club.

I can't really describe this better than they do themselves, on the website:

Record Club is an informal meeting of various musicians to record an album in a day. The album chosen to be reinterpreted is used as a framework. Nothing is rehearsed or arranged ahead of time. A track is put up here once a week. The songs are rough renditions, often first takes that document what happened over the course of a day as opposed to a polished rendering. There is no intention to 'add to' the original work or attempt to recreate the power of the original recording. Only to play music and document what happens.

If you follow the blog, it works out to be a month or two of weekly music videos from one group of artists. Previous Record Club's have covered: The Velvet Underground & Nico, Songs of Leonard Cohen, Skip Spence's Oar, and most recently INXS's Kick.

Artists involved in the past: Feist, Jamie Lidell, MGMT, Annie (from St. Vincent), and Liars, just to name a few.

The new Record Club has just been announced and it will cover Yanni's Yanni Live at the Acropolis. Should be fun. Lineup includes Thurston Moore (from Sonic Youth) and Tortoise.

Check it out!

And I can't hold back, from the previous Record Club... check out Annie's vocals on INXS's Never Tear Us Apart and Need You Tonight. Amazing.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Altered Zones

As you probably know, I'm a big fan of pitchfork. Probably TOO big of a fan.

And, as one of my main sources of new music and music news, it's sometimes hard not to just repost whatever they post. In order to not duplicate them, I have basically vowed to myself to not post things that I read or hear about from pitchfork.

Anyways, with that said, this just in from pitchfork! LOL. It's an upcoming site featuring a collection of blogs that regularly post relevant and important things (news, .mp3's, pictures, etc.) about new bands, music, labels, etc.


Check it out, starting July 7th. In the mean time, read that post from pitchfork. And, if you're not reading pitchfork already, do so. That way I don't feel obligated to repost their stuff. By promoting them right now I can lie to myself and say that I already reposted their stuff... sort of.


The * is my teeth glistening.

The Like - Release Me

I held off on posting this as long as possible because my initial reaction to The Like's sophomore effort was, "What happened!?" It took me a few listens to get on board, but I finally have. The trick was to not allow myself to compare the two albums. Release Me is very different from Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? and, given my love for their debut and everything they did on AYTWIT, I found I can only appreciate Release Me by not expecting the same things. Bands have to change over time, right? Right. (not according to this band lol***) Anyways, just had to get that off of my chest.

One change must be noted, however. The sound has gone slightly retro (background singers, vocals that parallel the main melodies, a cute little organ, early rock 'n' roll guitar (the "Sqaure One" intro sounds a lot like King Khan & BBQ Show's "Fish Fight"), etc.). In fact, this is probably the most important change to be aware of before listening to Release Me.

The album contains a few hits that can stand alone and are playlist worthy. The opening track, "Wishing He Was Dead," is a fun, catchy song that highlights one of my favorite aspects of Berg's vocals: the occasional faltering and cracking. The title track, Release Me, is another chorus-heavy sing-along-song dealing with a doomed relationship. It seems the theme of dysfunctional romance rings throughout.

Overall, the album's decent. Not a classic like AYTWIT, but still a good, girly, retro soundtrack for impending breakups. I'll definitely pull this out when I decide I'm too good for Cristiano Ronaldo...

*** The title track off the album contains the lyrics "Nothing ever changes / People never change."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tool & Hercules and Love Affair

Tool tickets (Nokia Theatre, July 18-19) go on sale this Friday at 10am. They are a must-see-during-lifetime band. And they're playing Third Eye. Pretty much like the most awesome song, live, ever.

Hercules and Love Affair tickets (the Echoplex, August 14) go on sale tomorrow at noon. You might have heard a few tracks off of the debut album featuring vocals from Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons). I'm not sure whether Antony is out singing with the band, but either way, Hercules and Love Affair make for sexy and awesome disco dance music. So prepare to get down in the small, hot and sweaty Echoplex venue.

Los Saicos... getting more and more popular...

If you haven't been listening to Los Saicos, you've been missing out. Los Saicos were a garage rock band that existed in Peru from 1964-1966. They were definitely a unique sound within South America and they apparently weren't aware of similar styles of rock present in the U.S. or England during that time. After 1966, they stopped playing and went a varitey of ways. One member (guitarrist Rolando Carpio) died in 2005, but the rest of the guys are still around.

If you lurk around on the internet, you're bound to find some of their music, but if you aren't up for piracy check out youtube. Here's a link to check out...

Anyways, the news is that a Los Saicos documentary is on the way (has been on the way). There's no telling when it's coming out, but there have been test screenings of it and it was supposed to be out in 2009, so hopefully that means SOON. also has a variety of other links to check out, including a facebook page, a twitter page, etc. From those I found two little gems...

1. You can buy Los Saicos: The Complete Recordings Box Set from Munsterama. It comes in CD and 7".

2. This video of El Entierro De Los Gatos. Looks like Saicomania footage.

Jenny and Johnny part II

Just sent out from Jenny and Johnny...

9/1Santa Cruz, CA @ Rio Theater
9/2San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
9/3Oakland, CA @ The New Parish
9/5Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
9/8Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room
9/11Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
9/12Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
9/13Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
9/14Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
9/16Washington, DC @ Black Cat
9/21Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell's PRESALE SOLD OUT
9/23Chapel Hill, NC @ Cat's Cradle
9/24Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club
9/25Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jenny and Johnny

Everyone's talking about Jenny (Jenny Lewis from Rilo Kiley) and Johnny (singer/songwriter who has worked w/ Jenny in the past). The couple have already announced an upcoming LP entitled I'm Having Fun Now and they're also going on tour around North America.

The only date around SoCal so far is Oct. 3 @ The Hollywood Palladium. They're opening up for Belle & Sebastian and tickets are going for ~$39 ($50 after "service fees"). I highly recommend seeing this show if you have the money. (But if you have the money, you might also want to consider seeing Tool play "Third Eye." )

Either way, give Jenny and Johnny a listen by typing in your email address here. Given the current popularity of She & Him, I was expecting an acoustic duet. But the released track features a full band that sounds more like Metric than She & Him. Hell, it sounds more like Metric than Rilo Kiley or Jenny Lewis. If you love Rilo Kiley or Lewis's solo work primarily because of Jenny's vocals, this song might put you off as it's mostly Johnathan Rice. But let's hold off final judgement until we have some more tracks.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Considering turning this into a music blog...

So, since I'm currently working part-time, I've been thinking a whole lot about second jobs, second careers, hobbies, methods of time travel, etc. ...

And... I most frequently ponder the possibility of music criticism / music journalism in my life. I think, for awhile at least, I'm going to turn this into a music review / what-I'm-listening-to blog. We'll see where it goes.

No reviews to start, but there is some morning news...

* Radiohead are apparently finishing up another LP right now -