ranarock mpls, come get yo rawk on

I didn't post my tv/etc breakdown yesterday (I was unable to finish a third Memorial Day post), but I'll get to that later this week. Tonite, I'll be down at First Avenue to see my favorite band for the first time in about ten months. I've posted about RANA many, many, many times since I started this blog last year, so at this point I don't know what else to say. Eight bucks will get you two sets of the RAWK in the Entry (doors @ 8pm, RANA around 10 or 11pm), and there's pro wrestling in the adjoining main room ($7) if you're looking for some pre-show fun. I wanna see more Mpls residents at this event than just my tiny crew, so roll on out people!

MP3 RANA - "My One Dear Son > We Will Not Be Lovers"
MP3 RANA - "Loves It, Automatic > Baby's Got A New Bike"
Here are a couple more live cuts from the notable 2/3/05 event at NYC's Tribeca Rock Club, the entirety of which is available through Rockslide. The first is a common RANA combo, a hard-rocking original that segues into the Waterboys cover that inspired it. The latter combo is more unusual, with the powerful "Automatic" leading into the looser, hip-shaking "Baby's," complete with Durant breakdown & sick Metzger guitar solo to cap it off.

Damn, I miss live RANA. Oh man, do these Jersey boys have chops.

bonus MP3 RANA - "Backstage Pass"
Here's what I wrote about this song back in April 2004:
This is an old school RANA tune, written back in 2000 [...] during the Fourteen Ways to Sink a Penny sessions & included on the Your Brain Will Change EP (2001). You will usually hear this song closing out a particularly rawkin' set - it's notorious for being played at the end of RANA's most revered shows. It's a testament to the rock 'n' roll grind & a tongue-in-cheek [...] comment on tourbus groupies. A classic.

Here's hoping tonite's event is worthy of a "Backstage" set closer or encore. This track can be found along with many others on the band's music page.

RANA coming to your town? Check out their tour dates, recent setlists at the band's MySpace page, and reports from the road at Matt Durant's blog.

we had a good time at the beginning

Memorial Day 2005 Post #2
[CAVEAT: There is probably nothing new in this post. It's all stuff you've read, seen or heard elsewhere (or at least you could have), so you'll have to forgive me (ok, I guess you don't have to). Last week's busyness & this week's sickness kept me from writing about this stuff more promptly, but I'm going to post it nonetheless. That is all.]

MP3 Sleater-Kinney - "Entertain"
Now that the new Sleater-Kinney record is finally in stores, I can finally write about it. I went gaga over 2002's One Beat, so I've been looking foward to The Woods, which released last Tuesday (5/24) but leaked to the internet a couple months ago, to the band's chagrin. But now it's out, and it f**king rocks. Correction: it brings the RAWK. Producer Dave Fridmann let the VU's go into the red, and the S-K ladies let it all hang out, incorporating classic rock guitar styles into their tried & true grrl punk aesthetic. This is the album's first single, courtesy of the band's new label Sub Pop.

MOV Sleater-Kinney - "Entertain" video (20mb) via

MP3 Sleater-Kinney - "Rollercoaster"
The Woods scored a 9.0 & a "best new music" label from Pitchfork last week, and IMO both are much deserved. It was tough to pick a track to feature, but I decided to go with "Rollercoaster" (which follows "Entertain" on the album) for a couple reasons. The signature S-K dual-guitar poppy-punk rock attack is here in full force, with metaphorical lyrics and relationships/sex etc. However, just before the two minute mark the levels in the mix shift, and the next minute and a half sound like the gals just busted your speakers. The thunderous blown out low-end sound builds up over Corin Tucker's love-or-hate-them vocals (with Carrie Brownstein & Janet Weiss backing her up) until the bridge crests around 3:30, when everything stops & the final verse comes in. It's old-fashioned Sleater-Kinney, but kicked up a notch. I also picked it because it sounds like Will Ferrell is exploring the space in the background, getting his cowbell on.

Wanna hear the rest of The Woods? Check out Sub Pop's album stream.

Also garnering "best new music" status last week was the new Stephen Malkmus record, Face The Truth. It's good, and it feels more like Pavement (despite the electronic stuff), but why does seemingly every review I read diss on Malkmus' previous LP, 2003's Pig Lib? I really liked that record, but everyone seems to mention of the new disc is a big improvement over the last one, which is generally thought of as disappointing apparently. Weird. Any other Pig Lib fans out there agree with me? Hands up, people.

MOV The White Stripes - "Blue Orchid" video (18.6mb)
Going back to leaked records, Jack & Meg's latest album may be hitting stores on June 7th, but Get Behind Me Satan is already out there for those who wish to seek it out (legality aside). Last week, Daily Refill posted a couple tracks from the New York Times' (or at least Kelefa Sanneh's) new favorite record. Here's the video for the album's lead single, "Blue Orchid."

WMV Annie - "Heartbeat" video
WMV Mylo - "In My Arms" video
WMV Mylo - "Drop The Pressure" video

Here are a couple more streaming videos (on a more pop/electro note), via Arjan Writes. Up first is uberhyped Norwegian popstress Annie, with Pitchfork's favorite single off of Anniemal, which also (at long last) gets a stateside release on June 7th. Scottish G4 electro artist Mylo also provides two fun & clever videos, both off last summer's Destroy Rock & Roll LP.

ETA (6/1/05): MP3 Annie - "Heartbeat" (via Insound via LHB)

Sadly, I missed last week's sold out Voltage: Fashion Amplified event at First Avenue because I felt like absolute crap. Local faves The Soviettes, Olympic Hopefuls, Mike Gunther & His Restless Souls, Ouija Radio, The Deaths, The TV Sound, The Violettes & Golden Valley upstarts Melodious Owl all provided the tunes while some of Mpls' best designers provided the threads, and apparently it was a blast according to MN Speak & the Pioneer Press' Ross Raihala. Perhaps I'll be in better health next year, assuming I'm still in Mpls.

ETA: Chuck Blogumentary has a few Voltage pix (via East-Lake), there's a flash gallery from Mordac & David de How Was The Show provides a review.

Lastly, I'd like to point out that Jay Good Times Roll has abandoned the Blogger site that detailed his nitely drunken misadventures in the NYC music scene. Fear not, because Jay has merely moved his blog over to his latest venture, online music publication Loose Record. LR's focus will be on live independent music, though it will still have album reviews, interviews etc, like the recent Sleater-Kinney profile or M.I.A. feature. Like everybody else & their cousin, LR is also on MySpace. The site just launched a few weeks ago, so give it a looksee. I'm sure there's more to come.


these are the parts of a terrible past

Memorial Day 2005 Post #1
[CAVEAT: There is probably nothing new in this post. It's all stuff you've read, seen or heard elsewhere (or at least you could have), so you'll have to forgive me (ok, I guess you don't have to). Last week's busyness & this week's sickness kept me from writing about this stuff more promptly, but I'm going to post it nonetheless. That is all.]

Let's start with last weekend's trek down to Chitown for the big hipsterfest at The Metro. After my interview at Cheapo (is it weird to start working at a record store?), I darted home to grab necessary supplies & swung around to pick-up JRDN & begin the long drive down I-94. 6-7 hours (and a rainstorm) later, we snatched up Mouk & made our way to the sold out venue.

After nearly two hours of standing & waiting & jockeying for position, DJ Diplo finally came out & spun a short dancehall set, but the audience was anxious to get Miss Arulpragasam out on stage. After Diplo teased the beat from "Amazon" throughout his set, the lights went down & the video projection switched on a chopped-up video of a press conference with a certain prime minister being constanting interrupted by a certain president, whose response was always: "M.I.A." Diplo scratched alog with some of the cuts, and the whole thing was pretty amusing. When the lights came back up, the video projection switched to Maya's animated artwork, after which M.I.A. finally emerged & the crowd erupted as she launched into "Pull Up The People," the lead-off track (excluding the "Ba-Na-Na" skit) from Arular.

M.I.A., backed by Diplo & her back-up singer/dancer Cherry, plowed through just about all of her material during her 30 minute set, though it didn't seem short to me at all. She pranced around the stage confident & self-assured, often with a huge grin on her face. She broke down some dance moves with Cherry, slapped hands with the crowd & joked around with Diplo. Maya seemed to be having as good a time as the audience, and we were having a friggin' blast. She mentioned that they had just finished shooting a video for "Bucky Done Gun," which I hope gets some stateside airtime. To no one's surprise, "Galang" closed out the main set, with the audience going semi-bonkers during the "YA-YA-HEY" outro. After repeated audience chants of "M-I-A," Maya came back out & encored with mashed Piracy Funds Terrorism versions of "URAQT" & "Bingo", as she had done earlier with "M.I.A.". All in all, while her stage show is still in its infancy, the girl lived up the hype IMO, though the local Sun-Times, Tribune & IL Entertainer would disagree. M.I.A.'s Metro performance does get some better reviews from Funtime OK, GigWise, ChiChronicles, JLT/JLT (who has more photos), Matty G & Kristen's Concert Blog. I'm with them.

During the setbreak, people seemed to get more insistent in their attempts to move toward the stage. Mouk, JRDN & I really had to stand firm in order to maintain our positions & not get pushed around. Annoying, but typical. After Diplo & company finished breaking down, James Murphy & crew came out to set up for their headlining set, as the crowd's anticipation built up.

I was lined up dead on with Murphy as LCD Soundsystem finally came out & he took center stage. Drummer Pat Mahoney kicked in with the opening beat of "Beat Connection" & we were off. As the rest of the band kicked in, the Metro began to move, writhe, pulsate. The dance fever escalated until it the rhythm switched up & Murphy came in with the vocals, "And nobody's falling love - everybody here needs a shove!" As a frontman, Murphy is intense at the mic, which helps since the rest of the band doesn't do much.

Murphy & company just killed throughout their set, playing most of the LCD favorites including (in no particular order) "Losing My Edge," "Give It Up," "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House," "Movement" (where I completely lost my sh**), "Tribulations," "On Repeat " & the wild set closer "Yeah (Crass)." They also played two covers, Siouxsie's "Slow Dive" and another I couldn't identify. Murphy kept ribbing bassist (and !!!/Out Hud member) Tyler Pope all nite, saying that it was "Tyler's show" and prompting audience chants of "TYLER! TYLER!" And while Radio Free Chicago may be right that Murphy's tongue-in-cheek irony/snark was mostly absent from the band's live performance, I don't think that's a bad thing. For a fun live show, especially that involves as much booty-shaking as this one did, the band has to show up with energy & excitement, not dwell in its "indie slacker" dogma. James Murphy showed up & wore my ass out big time. I was completely wiped by the end of the show, so dehydrated & tired that I had no interest in the after-party next door (where Diplo was spinning). I failed to follow my own advice: always get a bottle of water (maybe two) at a show like this. Duh.

We all cabbed it back to Mouk's APT, where I drank ALOT of water. Despite JRDN's insomnia that nite, we ventured downtown the next day to catch a certain movie (which I'll discuss in a later post), had all-you-can-eat sushi that nite & drove back to Mpls on Saturday morning. It was good times throughout, though I regret having to miss Mike Falck's bachelor party & I got stuck with the awful cold upon arrving home that plagued me all week. But LCD+MIA was worth the trip & the show lived up to my expectations.

MOV LCD Soundsystem - "Disco Infiltrator" video (19.3mb)
One song the band failed to play in Chicago was their next single, the Midnite Vultures-esque "Disco Infiltrator." The song's "day (& nite) in the life" video recently went up on the LCD website, and it's worth a look.


cough cough hack hack cough cough

I'm still here. Last weekend was mad busy & I've been a sick sicko all week.

A hearty happy birthday to my old NYC pal & roommate, Joe Blink.


from th' small place to a bigger city

First off, we now have a venue for the 5/31 RANA event, and it's the 7th Street Entry, which the guys also played on their only previous visit to Mpls in October 2002. In the adjoining main room the same nite: pro wrestling makes its long awaited return to First Avenue. Yikes. RANA is $8/21+/8pm doors, and the sweaty & possibly well-oiled men are $7 ($5 adv)/18+/8pm doors. According to RANA's tour page, the band will play TWO SETS, starting at approximately 11pm (openers TBA). It's gonna be one late Tuesday nite.

Geez, there's a lot to cover today, and very little time. Ka-blamo or not ka-blamo?

Hey, is there a movie coming out today? Thus far, the reviews are generally favorable. I'll be seeing it tomorrow, since Hipsterfest Midwest is tonite.

I'll be swinging around to pick up JRDN around noon, and then we'll be road-tripping it down to Chicago for tonite's LCD Soundsystem/M.I.A. gig at The Metro, with our good buddy Mouk in tow. Should be a pleasant evening.

MP3 Destroyer - "An Actor's Revenge"
Today's music starts off with an obvious tie-in to the movie I mentioned above. This track is from New Pornographer Dan Bejar's day job, Destroyer. This bombastic, New Porn-esque song from this spring's Notorious Lightning & Other Works EP is markedly different than the the original version on 2004's Your Blues LP, which is defined by its soft horns, hushed vocals & more intimate tone. I approve. I also hope Hayden does a better job than he did the last time, but since Lucas is still writing & directing, I pretty much expecting a rather wooden performance. MP3 courtesy Insound.

MP3 Spoon - "Revenge!"
Staying with the theme, here's a non-LP track from Austin TX's Spoon, off the Creative Commons licensed Wired CD compilation. More Spoon below...

MP3 The Walkmen - "Revenge Wears No Wristwatch"
One last revenge-related tune, this one from NYC's The Walkmen, from their excellent 2002 debut album Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone. Anakin should listen to this one & calm down a little. Okay, a lot.

MP3 The Modern Lovers - "Roadrunner"
Since I'm taking to the road today, I felt it was appropriate to repost this classic lead-off track from The Modern Lovers' 1976 self-titled debut. When I posted it in July 2004, I was making the trek out to NYC with my sister, which may be the last road trip I've been on. It's also the last time I saw RANA, so I'm long overdue for the rawk. Guess what? I'll be talking about RANA a lot for the next couple weeks, so get used to it & come to the show.

MP3 Talking Heads - "Road To Nowhere"
Here's an old 80's classic from Talking Heads, which ties in with Modern Lovers through keyboardist Jerry Harrison. This song was originally on the Little Creatures, but I took it off of the 1992 two-disc "Popular Favorites" compilation, Sand in the Vaseline. Well, we know where we're going...

MP3 Spoon - "Chicago At Night"
Yes, we are headed to Chitown, which has been name-checked in two recent posts to great fanfare. This song closes out 2001's Girls Can Tell, but if you haven't checked out the latest from Britt Daniel & company, the recently released Gimme Fiction, what are you waiting for? Though I think the album ends kinda weakly, those first seven songs are...oh my.

i bongo with my lingo

I'm gonna have to come back to finish this post later (perhaps tomorrow), as I'm running short on time & need to both get my sh** together & get to an interview. But I still want to discuss Arrested Development's renewal, the jam-packed season finale of Gilmore Girls, tonite's finale of ER & Carter's lame send-off, how awesome those new Seinfeld & Scrubs dvd's are, the 3 day class I just took to dominate my troublesome Mac, Jay Good Times Roll's new online music mag Loose Record & much more. So come back tomorrow or this weekend, I may even have some pix from LCD+MIA.

I hate not being able to finish a post. Argh. Crap, I gotta go.


things are easy, here in the usa

Stay tuned for a political rant, folks.

If you haven't heard about the "Downing Street Memo", I don't blame you. The mainstream press has been woefully lacking in their coverage of what should be front page, somebody-call-a-hearing news. Before the UK's recent elections, the Times of London printed a document containing minutes transcribed during the British Prime Minister's meeting on 7/23/02 - a full eight months prior to the invasion of Iraq - that details the Bush administration's intentions to invade despite the lack of an imminent threat, and their need to "fix" intelligence in order to make the case for war.

Now, a lot of us already figured that this is what was going on, so this is not a big surprise. But this is actual proof, people. This is the smoking f**king gun (and it's not a mushroom cloud). Why is our government spending wads of cash reforming its intelligence system, when the "intelligence failures" were purposeful? Simply to cover the President's ass. Janeane Garofalo has been ranting about Bush's cherry-picking of intelligence for months & months, and guess what? She's not a lunatic conspiracy theorist. She is right (correct), and so is everyone else that has doubted the administration's credibility all along. Can't we impeach this guy, already?

The cowed U.S. media have shown this story little attention, to the dismay of Daily Kos, Atrios & other bloggers who realize the importance of this development. Thankfully, the trusty Paul Krugman takes on the issue in today's NY Times. But one editorial isn't going to do the trick - this info needs to get out into the public consciousness. Where is Jon Stewart on this? Maybe he'll cover it this week, though it's ridiculous that I expect a comedian to be on top of the news better than so-called "real" journalists.

End of rant. Now go read this. And tell your friends. Do it. Seriously, do it.

On to brighter, shinier things. Over the weekend, Frank Chromewaves clued me into some Arrested Development renewal rumors from Defamer via E!'s Kristin Veitch. There was even word from Jason Bateman that it might get a two year stay of execution, so it can make syndication money. Now I don't always trust what Kristin reports, so I'm being cautiously optimistic. We'll find out soon enough, when Fox announces their fall line-up at Thursday's (5/19) upfronts. Stay up to date with all things AD at The O.P. as always.

Now go buy the season one dvd. And sign the loyalty oath. I'm bossy today.

ETA: The rumors were true - renewed for a FULL 3RD SEASON! HUZZAH! Details & reaction at Defamer, the Futon Critic & The O.P. Talk Room.

Jersey's finest rockers are coming to town. Damn skippy. The Brooklyn-based Mr. Durant, Mr. Metzger, Mr. Southern & Mr. Thornton - otherwise known as RANA - are currently out touring the USA (free opening set tonite in Crystal Bay, NV, Reno tomorrow), and though it's not yet listed on their itinerary, I've received word that they will be playing my hometown of Mpls on May 31st (venue TBA). Yes, it's gonna be a Tuesday nite. But if you're local, I damn near require that you come out to see these guys. I haven't seen RANA since my jaunt off to NYC last summer, so it's been a while since I got my fill of the rawk, so you know I'll f**king be there. Consult the tour page to find out if & when they will be hitting your town. Do it, do it, do it.

MP3 RANA - "Good Book" (Knitting Factory NYC 3/22/02)
MP3 RANA - "Good Book" (Here in the USA, recorded 3/02)
MP3 RANA - "Good Book" (Tribeca Rock Club NYC 4/21/04)
MP3 RANA - "Good Book" (Tribeca Rock Club NYC 2/3/05)

If there were one signature monster RANA tune, it might be "Good Book" (though that statement is likely to start a row in some circles). Here are four different versions of the song, the first of which is an audience recording from a classic event I attended at the Knit NYC in March 2002. The next is the studio recording (which I linked to in March '04) from the band's debut Here in the USA LP, which was first released at CBGB's on 6/14/02. The third version comes from an April 2004 performance at NYC's Tribeca Rock Club, the entirety of which can be downloaded at Archive.org. The last "Good Book" is from the final event of this past spring's three week residency at TRC, a wild two set romp which you order on three disc set from Rockslide.com. This 2/3/05 version is also up at RANA's new MySpace page (via Matt's blog). Now listen to all four & compare/contrast them in the comments. Failure to do so will result in an incomplete, suckas.

ETA: Dang, I totally forgot to mention this Glide magazine article about RANA offshoot & fellow Brooklynites Sam Champion. Drummer Ryan Thornton will rejoin bandmates Noah Chernin, Jack Dolgen & Sean "Bones" Sullivan to hit the road in June, including a jaunt into the midwest to perform on-air at Cincinnati's WOXY (6/24) & Chicago's Empty Bottle (6/25 supporting NYC's Longwave). Sam Champion's debut album Slow Rewind will finally get a release on 8/16, through Razor & Tie, with a three song EP preceding it in June. Oh yeah, they have goodies at their MySpace page too.

Lastly, take note of tomorrow's notable dvd releases: the emmy-winning fourth season of Seinfeld (its best IMO) and the first season of the often underrated Scrubs. Check out what else may do damage to your pocketbook over at Largehearted Boy's always helpful weekly rundown. Ch-ching.


"dumb is dyin' when you ain't gotta"

Stay out of his way, because Brother Justin is one unhappy anti-christ. Yowza.

R.I.P. Carnivàle.

Dark Horizons (via Reuters) reports that HBO has pulled the plug on its uneven depression-era mystical drama. I'm not too upset with the network, since it did renew my favorite (and television's best) show, The Wire. The critical accolades paid to David Simon's show may have allowed it to survive despite modest ratings, just as the lukewarm response to Carnivàle may have sealed its fate. Creator Daniel Knauf has a deal to produce a new series for 3rd-tier cable network Showtime, so I guess everyone will be moving on.

Damn. And the show was finally getting good. It just took too long to do so.

MP3 Tom Waits - "How's It Gonna End?"
Since it's Wednesday, here's some fitting Waits, from 2004's Real Gone.

Unfortunately, Evil Sofie is stuck in eternal limbo, alongside Twin Peaks' Evil Cooper.

In more encouraging TV news, last nite's season one finale of Veronica Mars was ridiculous. Maybe not as good as last week's, but close enough. And oy vey, the cliffhangers! Mama Mars takes off with Veronica's college money - again! And what happened to Logan? And who was at Veronica's door at the end? I can't believe it still lost in the ratings to friggin' According To Jim!

I'm looking forward to season two (thanks UPN). Oh yeah, Papa Mars rules.

ETA: Oops. I almost forgot. Happy 30th birthday to Frank Chromewaves!

mother's day grill-out extravaganza

[FWIW, I meant to get this up yesterday. Apologies for my tardiness.]

So how was your Mother's Day? Mine was pleasant enough, with the Gilbert men doing some serious BBQ grilling while the ladies sat back & relaxed. And I threw down, with two burgers, a dog, jello & some chocolate cake making for a very full young man. I made my mom a Decemberists mix, picked up Feist's Let It Die (totally ripping off JRDN's idea), and packaged them with The Daily Show's America (The Book) - always a good gift IMO - as well as the recent Jane Fonda autobiography. It was the first time I had been in charge of Mother's Day gift buying (that I can recall, anyway), and I think I did an okay job. I can only hope Dana & Alan (my sibs) concur.

This weekend, I tracked down a copy of the new Russian Futurists cd that I have been eagerly awaiting, Our Thickness, at Cheapo in Uptown (shocker - it wasn't at the Fetus). I stumbled across the Futurists, aka Matthew Adam Hart, back in 2003 when I went gaga for the unique blend of sugary pop hooks, clever lyrics & lush laptop electro soundscapes on "their" previous LP's, 2003's Let's Get Ready To Crumble & 2001's The Method of Modern Love. The ten songs on Our Thickness are just as good, if not even better, than anything on those earlier discs - the buzz out there is well deserved.

MP3 The Russian Futurists - "Paul Simon"
MP3 The Russian Futurists - "Still Life"

Justin Cober-Lake writes from today's Under The Stylus:
The first track on the Russian Futurists' new album, "Paul Simon" will, without a doubt, improve your mood for the day (even if it apparently has nothing to do with the singer it's named for. Matthew Adam Hart uses the kitchen-sink bedroom orchestration (meaning a multi-tracked keyboard) to great effect, creating catchy hooks and fun lyrics that bounce and tumble oh so fluidly.

Since tracks from Our Thickness have already been blogged by StyPod, Moebius Rex, Uncritical, Stereogum & Fluxblog, I'm only linking to the two songs above, available from Hart's Toronto-based label, Upper Class.

ETA: junkpile-art pointed me to an interesting review of Our Thickness by Aaron Newell over at Cokemachineglow that begins with a long, yet interesting rumination about the drawbacks of trying to keep up with the constant influx of new music as many of us mp3 bloggers tend to do. I am certainly guilty of underappreciating albums or artists while I am off hunting for the next thing to get obsessed with, and sometimes I get frustrated with myself when I realize I've done so. I get bogged down by the time/attention commitment necessary to actually catch up on what I haven't listened to enough, and it's hard to break out of that cycle. But I like to think that even if I neglect a worthy song/album, I'll probably get around to it eventually.

Anyway, Cokemachineglow has more downloads from Our Thickness:

MP3 The Russian Futurists - "Our Pen's Out of Ink"
MP3 The Russian Futurists - "2 Dots on a Map"

MP3 girlsareshort - "Mississauga Theme"
While perusing the Upper Class website for Russian Futurists info, I checked out the label's radio.blog & was reminded how awesome this track was from their now-defunct labelmates girlsareshort (aka Alex Puodziukas & Daniel Zabawa, neither of whom are female). Like The Futurists, girlsareshort also produce eclectic saccharine bedroom electro-pop, though their particular brand gives off the distinct aura of summer (as I detailed about a year ago).

MP3 girlsareshort - "The Natural"
From Upper Class, here's another track from 2003's earlynorthamerican LP.

Over the weekend, I picked up a couple more new discs, one of which was The Milk of Human Kindness, the new disc from Dan Snaith - the artist formerly known as Manitoba & currently known as Caribou. Snaith's experimental electro-noise-pop (I don't know what else to call it, damn labels) has already been blogged about by 20 Jazz Funk Greats, Music For Robots & even me, so again I'm hesitant to post another track. But I am psyched for Caribou's June 5th show at the 400 Bar with the Russian Futurists & yet another Canadian laptop-electro-pop act, critical darlings Junior Boys. Snaith spoke briefly about the three-headed-monster that's currently out on tour in a usounds interview that was posted yesterday.

Another purchase was Lost & Safe, the latest album from the sample-heavy Massachussetts-based duo The Books (aka Paul de Jong & Nick Zammuto). A follow-up to 2003's The Lemon of Pink LP, Lost & Safe is somewhat more song-oriented than previous works, making it more accessable (but less mysterious according to Mark Richardson at the 'fork) while maintaining The Books' unusual aural style. MFR, StyPod & the sorely missed gabbaPod posted tracks from the new disc, just as Comfort Music did on Monday.

ETA: The hilarious Riff Central mistakenly attempts to "interview" Spin editor-in-chief Sia Michel, thinking she doubles as the "chick in The Books."

Twins fan Craig Finn @ Warsaw in Brooklyn, 4/3/04 (photo by Kathryn Yu)

MP3 The Hold Steady - "Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night"
Lastly, my most anticipated purchase of the week was the new Hold Steady album, Separation Sunday. Last week, Pitchfork gave it a 8.7 and slapped their best new music label on the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Mpls rockers' sophomore effort, which should shine some more light on the band after being criminally overlooked for last year's excellent Almost Killed Me LP.

When the Hold Steady played the Triple Rock earlier this spring, this song was preceded by frontman Craig Finn's tale of meeting the guys from Dillinger Four (one of whom owns the Triple Rock) in Chicago & convincing them to move up to the Twin Cities, where Finn's Lifter Puller was part of the local hardcore scene. The track itself is kick-ass bar-rock at its best, with the band trying their darndest to drawn out Finn's emphatic shouted lyrics. Sasha Frere Jones notes Finn's unusual vocals in his profile for the New Yorker, "It is almost a mistake to call him a singer, though he is the one with the microphone," while Pitchfork's Tom Beihan likens Finn to "the sketchy drunk guy yelling in your ear at a show." They're both right.

MP3 The Hold Steady - "Stevie Nix"
Brooklyn Vegan pointed me toward this mp3, which comes courtesy of the Village Voice. The weekly NYC rag made The Hold Steady their cover story last week (via MN Speak), which according to jinners is a rare occurance for a musical act. "Stevie Nix" goes back & forth from explosive & rebellious & sardonic to nostalgic & thoughtful & regretful, juxtaposting balls out classic rock riffs with torch song power balladry. And praise the lord, it works.

ETA (5/16/05): Brian Howe interviews Finn & guitarist Tad Kubler for Pitchfork's weekly feature. Among the topics discussed: former band Lifter Puller, shooting a film for Target in LA, how Freddy Vs. Jason relates to Finn's lyrics, their distaste for the NYC dancepunk scene, the influence of classic rock, the different kinds of guitar solos & how Finn loves his iPod.

love, love in a trashcan

Holy crap, The Tofu Hut listed, like, every freaking mp3 blog. Holy moly.

ETA: The list has been copied wholesale for Wikipedia's "MP3 Blog" entry.

I've got a ticket for The Raveonettes/Autolux tonite at First Avenue's mainroom, where I saw a very laid back Built To Spill last week w/JRDN. The Danish duo of Sune Rose Wagner & Sharin Foo impressed me when I saw them open for The Strokes, which is why I bought an advance ticket. I wanna go, but I've also got alot of sh** to do this week - next week is going to be jam-packed, which I just realized, and I need to get ahead of the game. Of course if I stayed home, I would probably end up watching "fresh" episodes of Gilmore Girls & The Shield and the season finales for Scrubs & Veronica Mars (which sucked me in during the latter half of the season).

What is a boy to do?

Geek that I am, I can't help but anticipate the upcoming Star Wars flick (the same day as LCD+MIA in Chicago!). So last week, I bought the dang PS2 video game & stayed up all nite beating it (on "easy," pussy that I am). Am I a dork? Probably. Did it spoil the movie. Oh yeah. Do I care? Not so much. We all know what's gonna happen anyway, or at least I do now.

Majority Report fans, take note that co-host Sam Seder will be filling in for Jerry Springer all week on Air America's 9am-12pm ET timeslot. He did a solid job subbing for Randi Rhodes recently, and he's pitching in yet again. Now you can get Seder-azy in the AM, at least for the next couple days.

Over at the new celeb-packed blog/newswire The Huffington Post (brought to you of course by the esteemed Arianna), actress/comedienne Julia Louis-Dreyfus & her former SNL castmate husband Brad Hall give their disgusted take on the issue of gay marriage. Shocking, just shocking.

BTW: In case you were wondering, yes, they are still fillibustering. I luv it.

WMV Charlotte Hatherley - "Bastardo" video (via)

Lastly, this past weekend I couldn't help myself. I listened over & over to the catchy-as-all-get-out "Bastardo" from London pop-rockstress Charlotte Hatherley (off her debut album, Grey Will Fade). Do you still respect me?

get the kids out of the room, mom


The New York Times reports on the first Daily Show spin-off (via Atrios).

ETA: Ooh. Here's the cover art for Sufjan Stevens' forthcoming & much-buzzed-about Illinois LP, from Fanatic Promotion (via Largehearted Boy).

Lookee here. Both indie stalwart Pitchfork & one of the savvy bloggers over at Music For Robots have write-ups for the song "Chicago" - which I already covered last week. If I'm ahead of the curve, something is deadly wrong.

And congrats to the whole Music For Robots crew on their new compilation!

mixtapes, meloy, music, matthews

Dah! A sincere lack of originality seems to have set in. So, what to do? Since Insound & the Ultragrrrl crowd seemed to enjoy the Bloc Party/M83 remix posted recently, I figure rehashing the remix thing for songs you have probably already heard (alot) wouldn't be such a bad course of action.

MP3 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Maps (Diplo live remix)"
Here's a mashed-up version of the (somewhat) over-played MTV favorite, mixed live by Wes Pentz, who you may know as Diplo. This track comes from Diplo's Live in Montreal 2004 mixtape (also available via Juno & Boomkat for the brits), which contains an hour-long DJ set from a Canadian gig late last year. While most of the mix dwells in grime-ish territory, Diplo drops in this Yeah Yeah Yeahs song (originally from the Fever To Tell LP, of course) early on, tossing in some odd beats & sound fx to switch things up. For a good laugh, check out the Diplo "interview" over at Riff Central, as well as one for my former classmate & YYY frontwoman Karen O. Hey, I got through that whole thing without mentioning Wes' girlfriend! Aw, crap.

ETA: Said girlfriend is on Kimmel tonite. Heads up via DJ MonsterMo. She & Diplo also appeared yesterday on Morning Becomes Eclectic, which has streamable audio & video of the fairly laid back session. Much thanks GvB.

MP3 Soulwax - "Daft Punk is Playing At My House/Countach"
This remix/mash-up (discussed previously at the original soundtrack) was part of Belgian duo Soulwax's Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1 that aired on 1/2/05, and has since resurfaced as a 2CD set entitled 50,000,000 Soulwax Fans Can't Be Wrong (which I can't seem to find a link to online). Soulwax takes their Shibuya remix of LCD Soundsystem recent single (off LCD's self-titled LP) and procedes to mash it into Franz & Shape's "Countach" (from the Italian EP 12"), leading to a pulsing dancefloor anthem groove under James Murphy's vocals before winding down into the mix's next track. It's an entertaining & more layered take on the LCD original & I likey.

Thanks to Stereogum for the (barely) prior notice re: Colin Meloy's appearance on Air America last nite. He chatted with the Majority Report regulars about his politically-charged (and Rushmore-aping) video for "16 Military Wives", performed "The Engine Driver" & a truncated (due to commercial break) "Eli, The Barrowboy" from Picaresque & did his best to follow along as Janeane pseudo-psychoanalyzed the right wingnuts. Check out the show's podcast - Colin comes in around the 56 minute mark.

There's a bunch of good records dropping today, including The Hold Steady's sophomore effort Separation Sunday. But, as the essential Largehearted Boy points out, there are also new discs from The Russian Futurists, Caribou (formerly Manitoba), The Raveonettes, The Ponys, Oneida & Howard Hello (the solid EP I wrote about just over a month ago). Stop by your local Other Music or Electric Fetus or what have you this week & see what they got.

BTW: Those Jersey kids are still fillibustering & are scheduled to appear on Hardball later today. Don't take any guff from Matthews, you guys.

Just installed Tiger, which I'll futz with when I have some more time.

ETA: I like Frank's recap of last nite's 24. Jack Bauer knows what's up - China is the next superpower. He also knows how to ruin a woman's life for the sake of national security. I agree, Kiefer was great in that final scene.