Politickin’

14 05 2008

Let this be known… as much as I hate to admit so, I pay as little attention to the current presidential race as possible.  It’s not that I’m totally apathetic, because I’m not, but how many democratic debates do we need?

However, I have to give props to Chris Matthews last night for speaking probably the truest words ever.

Hillary Clinton.  Blue-collar white people like her, old white people like her, most of Mizzou’s students don’t like her.  It’s clear to Chris Matthews:  “It’s almost like she’s the Al Sharpton of white people.”

I could not agree more!

And despite the fact that ol’ John McCain finally wised up today and realized that global warming is real (you go girl!)… I cannot stand aside any longer and pretend to ignore the fact that that guy is way old.  Reaaaaally old.  Older than:  Alaska.  Barack Obama’s parents.  Plutonium.  Chocolate chip cookies.  And a lot of other stuff.  Check out the full list here, at Things Younger Than John McCain.

By the way… to all the Barack Obama nuts and the Clinton nuts, and the McCain nuts (do those last two really exist?) I have this to say:  Fuck y’all, I’m voting Ron Paul.





Muxtape! Muxtape! (What? What? What?)

25 04 2008

Anyone else really loving this whole Muxtape thing?

What you do is go to their website, create a username that will serve as your domain on the site, and then post 12 mp3s to create a virtual playlist. It beats the hell out of waiting to upload your mix on SendSpace or burning a bunch of CDs if you want to share your mixing skillz off (and you know you do).

Caveats: you can’t post more than one song from a given artist or your muxtape will be taken down, and right now it only accepts music files in the mp3 format… other than that, nothin’.

For example, mine features the musical stylings of Atmosphere, Metric, MGMT, and Department of Eagles among many others (… eight others, to be exact.)





John Vanderslice and The Show is the Rainbow at The Billiken Club (April 17, 2008)

24 04 2008

What better way to celebrate my newly birthdayed self than road tripping it out to St. Louis my favorite artist for to see? It is so appropriate that my comeback to the blog underworld comes at the hand of one Mr. John Vanderslice and his astonishing performance and St. Louis University’s Billiken Club.

Allow me to go on a bit of a jealous rant for a second… The Billiken Club. What a genius concept, really. SLU, a wet campus full of, as far as I can tell, the most uppity and toootally hip hipsters around, happens to have on their campus a concert venue that allows them to reach into their deep private university pockets and pull in amazing national names like Dan Deacon, Enon, Menomena, Caribou, The Twilight Sad, and the Mountain Goats among so many others. It would be one thing if that was it, but it’s not. They also are able to put on concerts with good regularity with FREE admission. Que ridiculo! Being in College Music Committee here at Mizzou, I have a vague idea of what kind of budget we student activities committees have to work with, and we basically wring every last dime from that budget to pay for talent to come out to Columbia, and even when we charge for entry, we STILL lose a lot of money. At this point, I just more or less try not to think about what the operating budget must be for that place… but I digress.

After a quick detour (unplanned) to a Schnucks for directions ol’ lady Gina and I got to the Billiken Club, like the competent young ladies that we are, just in time to see one man band The Show is the Rainbow a.k.a. Darren Keen set up. From the very onset of his frenetic live show, I knew two things: 1. This guy is crazy. 2. I kind of want to marry him.

The Show is the Rainbow’s Darren Keen… during one of a few moments of rest.

Mr. Rainbow hails from my new neighbor to the northwest… Nebraska! He also harbors a lot of resentment towards midwestern behemoth Saddle Creek golden boy Conor Oberst (vomit here) and the rest of his label-mates. In fact, I think he played 3 songs in a row about his hate for the record labels and how they “reject [him] every day.” “Sometimes I don’t even send them demos and they still reject me,” said Keen. A shocking revelation, what with songs like “Do the Skinny” – ostensibly about a girl who weighs 400 pounds, then loses 300 pounds “so she can fuck skinny hipster guys.” The catch? “… all the fat goes in her pussy, so none of the guys can get their dicks in.” Poetry!

He was an outrageously entertaining, and straight up outrageous, performer – running laps around the audience, literally at times, all on a broken foot. How was it broken? By being drunk and naked and falling off a runway at a show in Minnesota. Yep, that’s my kind of guy.

Moving along, Gina and I went outside between sets to enjoy the finally nice weather while simultaneously enjoying a cigarette. And then we did both of those things whiiiile simultaneously chatting up Ian Bjornstad keyboardist/sometimes accordionist in the ol’ Vanderslice band. Super nice guy, super curly and awesome hair, super used to be an ESL teacher in California, super kind of flirted with Gina. Uhhhh….

Anyway, we made our way back inside, and up to the front like the totally not lame fangirls that we are. John, Ian, David Douglas (drums/moog), and the touring violin god that is Daniel Hart took the stage, making “dad jokes” as they played a wide range of songs, spanning years of their discography. Granted, I now love about every song that John has put out over the years, so I am more than a little biased in my views, but the crowd seemed just as excited as we were about the set. Highlights included “The Tower,” “Tablespoon of Codeine,” “Exodus Damage,” and of course, “White Dove.”

Towards the end of the set, the audience voted to forgo a fake “oh hey, we’re gonna leave guys” and then cheer them on for an encore, and instead opted to just take the energy from the set and move it outside to the cool midnight air. John brought his acoustic guitar, Ian brought an accordion and xylophone, Daniel brought his violin, and David brought out a floor tom to perform a handful of songs sans microphones. It was truly unique, and their performance of “Numbered Lithograph” could not have been any better.

Daniel Hart, Ian Bjornstad, John Vanderslice, hipsterzzz (note the Converse/Vans).

With everyone gathered around the musicians, the atmosphere was great and I really couldn’t help but love SLU for being cool enough to not only permit, but foster, this sort of relationship between performer and audience.

As people trickled out after buying their merchandise (John Vanderslice pillowcase, anyone?) Ian introduced us to Daniel and John. While Daniel and Gina talked violins, John and I talked gardening and songwriting – two activities he finds to be very similar. After their current tour ends, Vanderslice et al. will take to the studio to record their next album. Whether it will be ready for a tour in the fall, not even they know, but with a track record like his for both recordings and live shows, those who know, know that John Vanderslice is worth the wait.

Downloads:

School is Cool” – The Show is the Rainbow

White Dove” – John Vanderslice

Exodus Damage” – John Vanderslice

BONUS

Thanks to Schedule Two, based in Minneapolis, for providing concert footage of John and the band’s March 19th performance… Check it out, and footage from other great artists at www.scheduletwo.com.





Back in the Saddle Again…

23 04 2008

So after a long long long time, I decided to bring this ol’ shit back… Leopard for Mac ate my hard drive, and for some reason, the formatting was never quite right after that day, but I decided to give this thing another chance… forgive me for my mistake, my dear sweet WordPress. I was wrong. I want you back.





Happy Thanksgiving to All!

22 11 2007

And to all a good night…. 





Don’t Call it a Comeback…

12 11 2007

Wow… a mark of a vacation coming up soon is when the professors start piling on the work. School’s been insane, and I’m almost kind of glad then that October was basically a drought as far as good shows go. On the 30th we road tripped it out to St Louis University to attend their free Hallow-indie show at the Billiken Club featuring my all time favorite… Menomena!

Two great bands opened for them, the first was The Jumbling Towers, a local band that evokes the early (and good) days of Modest Mouse in their musical style, but with a vocal style like nothing I have come across before. The second act, Illinois, was also absolutely phenomenal… they’ve been touring forever it seems, as they came through Houston a few months back with The Hold Steady and are now just kicking off their tour with Menomena. Fans of Weeds (which every really should be) might recognize their song “Nosebleed” from the “Brick Dance” episode from Season 3. They’ve got a very eclectic folk-rock sound that the crowd really seemed to respond well to.

Menomena played a good set as well, although it was identical to the set they played in Houston in June – not that I have any complaints about it, but I’ll be excited to see them end their touring and get back in the studio sometime soon.

Next comes November, which brought about the appearance of probably the best mash-up artist around, Girl Talk. Greg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, is by far the best reviewed mash DJ, his accessibility coming from his use of both top-40 and more old school sound bytes.  Girl Talk shows are somewhat famous for their stage-breaking, nearly raver atmosphere, and last Thursday at Mojo’s was no exception. With a laptop covered in plastic for protection from sweat and silly-string, Girl Talk kicked out the jams for the manic crowd

By the time I emerged from the Girl Talk show, I think I had danced off 10 pounds and I was completely drenched head to toe in sweat, both my own and that of probably about 30 other people… it’s been a good 4 days since that show and I still am at a loss of words as for how to describe it. All I can say is: Best. Concert. Ever.

Downloads:

Asian Car” – Jumbling Towers

Nosebleed” – Illinois

Cough Coughing” – Menomena

Twenty Cell Revolt” – Menomena

Muscle n’ Flo” – Menomena

Hold Up” – Girl Talk

Bounce That” – Girl Talk

“‘Knife’ Remix (Grizzly Bear vs Clipse)” – Girl Talk





Mixtape!

1 10 2007

New mixtape is hot off the presses… it’s called “Hot Dog Sandwich,” as a tribute to my favorite kind of sandwich that I miss so dearly, and you can pick it up here. (via FileFactory)

Tracklist 

1. Shout Out Louds – “Tonight I Have to Leave It”
2. The Wildbirds – “Way Down Low”
3. Asobi Seksu – “Strawberries”
4. M.I.A. – “$20”
5. ABX – “Bros Before Whoas (Black Rob vs. Panda Bear)”
6. Cadence Weapon – “Sharks (feat. Final Fantasy)”
7. Tokyo Police Club – “Citizens of Tomorrow”
8. M.I.A. – “Paper Planes”
9. The Go! Team – “The Wrath of Marcie”
10. Donovan – “Hurdy Gurdy Man”
11. Arcade Fire – “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)”
12. Digitalism – “I Want I Want”
13. Car Stereo(Wars) – “Hey Hey Stick Stickley”
14. Tree Wave – “Sleep”
15. Blitzen Trapper – “Sci-Fi Kid”
16. STV SLV – “Got To Get Vans”
17. What Made Milwaukee Famous – “Almost Always Never”
18. Greenskeepers – “Back In The Wild”
19. The 1900s – “Two Ways”
20. Spoon – “Don’t You Evah”

Enjoy!