Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sugar Assault Me Now

Happy Halloween everyone!  Here's a little mix to cover all your all Halloween-y occasions. 

Last night I went to a Halloween party dressed as Sailor Mars.  I was accompanied by a "Katy Perry on Sesame Street" and "Amber from Teen Mom."  It was a pretty strange mix and as we discovered, none of us were super recognizable.  As for today, I bought some candy after brunch (such a shame you can't trick-or-treat when you're in your 20's).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

receive all they deserve

This is my declaration of love for CMJ, my oft-desired, less-attended NY music festival of my dreams.  Every year I inch closer and closer to being the kind of hardcore CMJ attendee I want to be, but am always thwarted by things like having a job and friends and then oversleeping because of hanging out with said friends and missing the free Saturday showcase I wanted to go to. SIGH.

In any case, my big CMJ night was last Tuesday, when I had tickets to the showcase at Irving Plaza headlined by Jenny and Johnny.  But I'll get to them in a minute, because there were four bands that led off the evening, and I feel that they're all worth a mention at the very least.  So here we go.

La Sera
A sweet-sounding all-girl band, whose lead singer Katy (of the Vivian Girls) channels the hair of Jenny Lewis and the adorable factor of Zooey Deschanel.  Their sound leans more towards a dreamy/fuzzed out/reverb-filled pop act.  Their album doesn't come out until 2011, but their single Never Come Around has been floating around the internet pretty well.

Happy Birthday
A four-person band, this time with an aesthetic that remind me of some of the people I knew in high school.  Let's say if they were on Freaks & Geeks, they'd be out back chillin' with Daniel and Nick and Kim.  Their sound is considerably happier (poppier?) than I would have guessed (I know, I know, don't judge a book by its cover, blahblahblah).  Regardless, they're signed by Sub Pop which is solid and awesome, and I'd say they live up to that particular notoriety.

Times New Viking
I would like to pause here to mention talk about how I like some bands purely based on their name, whether or not I listen to their music.  I'm actually hesitant to ever listen to Casiotone for the Painfully Alone because what if I don't like it?  Then my favorite rhyming and yet emo-sounding band name will have been a let down.  But back to Times New Viking, whose allusion to a boring font is made way more awesome by inclusion of those Nordic warriors who just (unfortunately) happen to also have been by high school's mascots.  Speaking of the Midwest, these folks hail from Ohio and give that state more credibility than, well, anything else I can think of.  They're not exactly new (I mean, they're signed to Matador, which is a "real" label much like Sub Pop...), but their energy was intense and frenetic, and their pace from song to song was handled like the bus was going to blow up if it stopped for even a second.  Their drummer deserves a major round of applause.

Wild Nothing
There are always those bands that have so much freaking hype and play a million CMJ showcases and I always wonder to myself if they deserve it.  Wild Nothing was totally on that list this year (along with the likes of DOM and Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr), which meant that I was somewhat skeptical leading into their set.  As it turns out, they sing songs that sound sincere and gentle, in an 80's John Hughes sort of way.  They will steal your heart, both musically and well, aesthetically.  Funny story, though: they opened for Freelance Whales and the Morning Benders this summer at Governor's Island.  "Weren't you at that show?"  Why yes, yes I was.  But: we were in line/eating food for their whole set.  Oops?  Better late than never.

Jenny and Johnny
Ok, a million years later, here we go: the main act!   I've already discussed my love of Jenny Lewis, but any of the criticisms I had for Scissor Runner the song have since been dispelled by the rest of their album I'm Having Fun Now which is choc-full of sweet-yet-sultry Jenny Lewis vocals which mix quite nicely with her boyfriend's.  I still hear "Losing My Religion" whenever I listen to the beginning of "Animal."  On stage, she's a petite little thing that you'd never suspect would proclaim a fondness for the strip clubs of NY because "everyone needs a little smut" - but it's that LA-tinged grittiness that I love about this former Troop Beverly Hills-star-turned-frontwoman.  Their set was solid, and included an acoustic number sans their backing bandmates, but no encore.

And now I will share some crappy pictures and momentarily whine about how I need a better camera!
 Katy of La Sera (see what I mean?)
Happy Birthday
Times New Viking
Wild Nothing

Johnathan Rice
Jenny Lewis
sharing is caring
the whole band!
I have more CMJ-related commentary, but that will have to be saved for another day, clearly.  This has been a head-first leap back into how time consuming blogging can be.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

polar bear bear

So while I'm in the midst of writing up my post-CMJ thoughts, and pre-Halloween thoughts (and don't even get me started on the other things I've wanted to share), I just had to lead off the week with this gem:

The non-remixed version is on their Myspace page: I Wish I Was A Polar Bear by Ted & Francis

Ted & Francis are from Australia (win) and re-mixed my favorite Two Door Cinema Club song (win), and have this awesome song about my favorite animal that will probably cause the end of my life one day when I try to hug one.

I do like the song, but some part of me knows that if almost anyone made a song about wanting to be a polar bear and then made a youtube video of a polar bear walking around in the snow, I'd be bound to fall in love.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

nature should take its sweet time

Surprise!  I lost my voice at a housewarming party on Saturday, and here we are Thursday night and I still sound ridiculous.  In the meantime I've honed my non-verbal communication skills and consumed a gross amount of mint tea.  I've also had some time to think about how my blog has taken a slow death lately, but I want to get things going again!  I barely even know where to start...

While I've tried to lay low and save my voice, yesterday a curveball of the best sort came my way.  The odds have prevailed and yesterday afternoon I found out that I won a pair of tickets to see The Thermals play at Irving Plaza!  After a frantic series of texts to find someone that was free, Gabe and I were off to rock out (in silence, for me).  Even though the timing was somewhat ironic (laryngitis + rock concert?, the crowd had an amazing energy and it was a total blast.  A perfect little nugget to lead into CMJ next week (I only have plans to see two official shows, but we'll see what happens).

I've never been a hardcore Thermals fan - they're definitely one of those bands I always like whenever I hear them, and I have random attachments to certain songs, but do I sit around and listen to them?  Not really.  But that may change now!

Here are some awful phone pics that don't particularly represent my levels of fun:
some creepy Furbies hanging out on stage

The opener was supposed to be Cymbals Eat Guitars, who were replaced last-minute by Twin Shadow, who were definitely channeling some New Order up there.  There was a pretty heated comments section on the BrooklynVegan post about the switch.  A little crazier than the average BV snark-fest.