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?

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Blogger kathryn @ 5/10/2005 10:04:00 AM:

whew, epic post.

i have been told that it's been about six or seven years since the village voice last had a band on the front cover.    


Blogger mr gilbert @ 5/10/2005 11:38:00 AM:

catherine's pita claims it's been 15 years (she got it from french kiss, though they specify that they are the first NYC band to grace the cover over that timespan. whatever, it's cool.    


Anonymous Alan Gilbert @ 5/10/2005 10:26:00 PM:

I should have concurred.    


Anonymous Anonymous @ 5/12/2005 12:08:00 PM:

Sean Daly
You look like you were built for me
You talk like you want to steal my drink
You kiss like you already came
And that's a lifter puller line for those with out any game

Craig Finn
nelson algren came to paddy,
at some party at the dead end alley.
he told him what to celebrate.

St. Patrick
Nelson Algren came to me
And said clebrate the ugly things
The beat up side of what they call pride
could be the measure of these days


Now I just need some lyrics to bring it back to Atmosphere...    


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