Friday, September 29, 2006

The Stills Ticket Giveaway!

Canadian rockers, The Stills, are coming to the Henry Fonda this Monday, and Rewriteable Content (thanks to Vice Records) wants to send you and a guest to the show. Not a bad deal. All you have to do is write your full name in a comment below or email us (if you are a private soul). This show is in LA, so unless you want to fly in from New York or Indiana, please keep it to only So Cal residents.

The giveaway ends on Sunday night at 12:00AM. The winner's name will be on a list at the box office with a +1.

10/02/06 Henry Fonda (w/ Land of Talk)

[mp3] The Stills - In The Beginning

Check out a vid here.

Continue reading "The Stills Ticket Giveaway!"

Taking chances with Tap Tap

I don’t like taking chances but that doesn’t mean I never do. You can blame it on romantic rejection in the preteen years or whatever you want. Yet sometimes moments occur where I gather enough confidence to do something out of the ordinary.

When Clap Your Hands Say Yeah released their debut album, I went right out and ordered it having never heard a single note and only reading the back flip inducing Pitchfork review. It became one of my most played albums of the year soundtracking my workouts, drive-a-rounds, and karaoke shower-time that my neighbors must have hated (I never did get any complaints though).

I don’t usually go out and do this type of thing but it seems to have happened again. After positive readings here and there about Tap Tap, the debut release on the blogger come grassroots record label, Catbird Records, I decided to shell out the seven bucks to buy an album that I had never heard before. (Wait…did he just say seven bucks? Methinks he did.) So far it has been the best seven bucks I have spent all year.

Tap Tap’s debut album, Lanzafame, is a dozen quick tutorials in the art of indie pop. The under three minutes rule that Tap Tap used on this album left the songs lean and to the point. The fat has been cut off of every one of these tunes and used to grease the dance floor that you will inevitably find yourself jiving away on. The influences are subtle yet present, you can almost hear a lost R.E.M. song or David Byrne nodding in approval as Tap Tap orchestrate the awkwardness of a love struck dreamer that can’t get this chick out of his head. But then again, a British accent can hide anything fairly well.

Don’t even listen to these songs. Just go and buy the album and try your own chances.
I guarantee you’ll like it or…you can wag your finger at me.

[mp3] Tap TapWay To Go, Boy

Tap TapTalk Slowly
Order Tap Tap’s Lanzafame NOW over at Catbird Records (it’s only seven bucks!).

If this sounds similar to Conner’s rant on Arizona, so be it.

Continue reading "Taking chances with Tap Tap"

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Xiu Xiu - The Air Force

Jamie Stewart is a psychologist's wet dream. A tortured soul, who survives the day by translating his pain, via musical bars and verse. Each Xiu Xiu song invites the listener to experience Stewart's misery, and leave feeling a little better about his or her own existence. Long story short, this isn't music for a Friday night.

I hope you enjoyed that little taste of surface conceptions surrounding Xiu Xiu. The gloom and doom (a la Harvey Pekar). Are all these notions correct? I suppose the answer is yes, but I refuse to believe it's that simple. There is no doubt that Xiu Xiu voices a lot of personal anguish, and despair; however, people often forget to mention the music's stunning composition.

There are two types of Xiu Xiu songs: the experimental pop ("I Luv The Valley OH," "Boy Soprano"), and the sparse hauntings ("Fast Car," La Forest).
The Xiu Xiu albums that work are the ones that incorporate both aspects of Stewart. Fabulous Muscles really nailed this for me, and The Air Force exists on the same plane. One day I will give La Forest the time and patience it deserves, but for now I'm spinning The Air Force day and night. Like all great LPs, the power and beauty of the album expand upon each listen. I was driving today, making around my tenth pass through the album, when "The Fox and The Rabbit," a song I hadn't paid attention to, suddenly blew me away. There is an "Oh Shit" moment at 2'15 that I'm not sure how I missed prior. The point is this album ages like a fine wine, and I'm afraid people will miss out - if not patient.

The only truly disappointing song on the album is, closer, "Wig
Master," which attempts to shock with its lyrics, but falls flat. Jamie has always written provocative and chilling lyrics that come from an honest place, and despite my single exception above, The Air Force is a continuation of this tradition.

A little trivia:
According to Wikipedia "The album's name was picked so that Google-generated ads would bring up advertisements paid for by the US Armed Forces and therefore waste the warmonger's money on Xiu Xiu fans who are intelligent and well versed in global politics, capitalism, and empire."

Some other reviews.

Tour Dates:

11/09 The Echo

[mp3] Xiu Xiu - The Fox and The Rabbit
[mp3] Xiu XIu - Boy Soprano

Continue reading "Xiu Xiu - The Air Force"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Emily Haines @ the Viper Room

“Rather give the world away then wake up lonely”

It’s hard to imagine that Emily Haines actually envisioned her debut solo effort to play for crowds and rooms filled with friends. Her dark, often haunting, songs seem quite inappropriate for any type of friendly get together. Yet, it was (almost) all smiles and love for the beauty queen of indie rock when she took the stage at the Viper Room last Thursday. The usual talkers and watch watchers were there in the back, something that has turned the Viper Room into a less than pleasant place to enjoy a night of good music, which also seems hard to come by at the one time hot spot.

Playing straight through Knives Don’t Have Your Back, Ms. Haines proved that these tunes were for a room filled to the brim. Her off kilter voice with slight hushing could be obviously eerie yet surprisingly relatable. The melodies bounced like she was a lost sister of Ben Gibbard, the one that wandered off into one of those bright colored Tim Burton films where the blond headed beauty turns around to reveal her likening to crocodiles.

A fan on Emily’s Myspace page described her voice like “a murderer running his hands up and down your spine” and that horror sums up the entire record and her performance. Her demeanor was toned down compared to the stage dancing she does with Metric though the confidence and strong femininity that has always surrounded her persona was apparent. With a girl trying to make her way in a world dominated by men with ego-sized guitars you know she is hiding a few weapons up her sleeves. And did I mention this might be the best thing she has ever done.

[mp3] Emily Haines & the Soft SkeletonCrowd Surf Off A Cliff
[mp3] Emily Haines & the Soft SkeletonThe Lottery

Buy Knives Don't Have Your Back at Insound.

And check out the great video for the track "Doctor Blind."

Continue reading "Emily Haines @ the Viper Room"

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wolf Eyes - Human Animal

I'm so glad RC doesn't assign a point system to our record reviews, because any number placed on Human Animal would be a joke. As with every Wolf Eyes release, it stands alone, for better or worse.

What motivates Wolf Eyes' ever growing collection of industrial nightmares and torture-chamber soundtracks? Truthfully, I remain conflicted regarding that subject, and I think the noise making trio might like it that way. Unlike my need for a philosophy attached to Banksy's work, Wolf Eyes is successfully in their ambiguity. If anyone is laughing that I just called Wolf Eyes ambiguous, please hear me out.

Wolf Eyes' brand of noise is unmistakably brutal and vicious; however, below that initial layer, the noise allows for two paths of understanding. Either Wolf Eyes is embracing the nihilism and dirth of existence, or they are holding a mirror up to those trapped in the doldrums of life. An example of the latter is The Blood Brothers, who create a fierce sound with a hope for positive change, while a band like The Locust seem stuck in the median - slightly leaning towards the abyss. I can't assume Wolf Eyes is one thing or another; however, I can propose a thought. If Wolf Eyes' music was a campaign of hopelessness, why would they devote their lives to it, instead of just wasting away or pulling the trigger? With around 150 releases, they rank among the most prolific musicians of all time. That leads me to believe that Wolf Eyes have something they're desperately trying to tell the world - WAKE UP!

My journey through Human Animal:

1) "A Million Years" got me out of Burned Mind mode, and made me think back to earlier Wolf Eyes releases like Dread and even their Black Dice project. It's pretty sparse, but kept my attention the entire time.

2) "Lake of Roaches" is like a piston releasing a mountain of steam.

3) "Rationed Riot" is a perfectly named song, because it only hints at the impending doom found in the rest of this LP. There are a lot of squealing horns in this album, and they play a prominent role in this song.

4) "Human Animal" opens the gates to Hell. 15 minutes of subtlity, means Nate Young and co. have a lot of catching up to do, and they get right down to business. This title track brings back the Burned Mind aggression of "Stabbed in the Face."

5)"Rusted Mange"... um. Yikes.

6) "Leper War" gives the listener time to take a breath (for about 45 seconds), until the razor sharp static holds you hostage for the album's "single."

7) "The Driller" has a slow steady beat holding up the song, and a vocal "melody" that feels like it's trying to crawl out of vat of molasses.

8) "Noise Not Music" establishes that, if we know nothing else, Wolf Eyes "makes noise, not music." Ironically the song has more musical structure than any other on the LP.

So there it is, my journey and reflections through a pile of beautiful noise. Obviously, a lot of people will dismiss this record as pure, talentless garbage. While I don't blame their reactions, I can't deny what I hear. There is a pulse and arc running through Human Animal that is intentional and meticulously crafted. One reminder for those that doubt - Jackson Pollock.

[mp3] Wolf Eyes - Human Animal

bonus track:

[mp3] Wolf Eyes - Stabbed in the Face

Tiny Mix Tapes has a review up as well.

Continue reading "Wolf Eyes - Human Animal"

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Mover Mix (a subtle reminder)

I can’t stop yawning. My back hurts, my eyes are dark, and I constantly complain about how tired I am. I refuse to believe that I have begun the long decent into old man’s land. For goodness’ sake, school starts this week; I can’t be that old, right? And with these thoughts going through my head for the past few days I thought it necessary to put together a mix to get the blood flowing back to my brain, to put the uppity back in my jump, and just get my feet moving again. It seemed that my little time off has had the best of me and has turned me into a walking potato head. Luckily, I have chosen this week as “the week” to start anew, afresh, and repent of my evil doings of lackadaisical living. Without further ado, the Content presents its Mover Mix.

Boo ya ka sha!

[mp3] Daft PunkRobot Rock
[mp3] AnnieMy Heartbeat
[mp3] Junior SeniorMove Your Feet
[mp3] My Robot FriendOne More Try (w/ Antony)
[mp3] Junior BoysIn The Morning
[mp3] LCD SoundsystemDaft Punk Is Playing At My House
[mp3] MSTRKRFTEasy Love
[mp3] The Rapture The Devil
[mp3] RatatatSeventeen Years
[mp3] Girl Talk - Hold Up
[mp3] The KillersWhen You Were Young (Jacque Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Radio Edit)

Also, Nathaniel over at IGIF put together a nice little mix for studying and getting things done.

Continue reading "The Mover Mix (a subtle reminder)"

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ratatat emerge from the fog

It has recently come to my attention that I attend an unhealthy amount of shows. I know that sounds lame, and potentially like self-flattery; however, I promise you it is nothing of the sort. I'm just starting to lose that innocent joy surrounding live music. However, there's a glimmer of hope coming from all this - I swear.

When I arrive at the Troubadour on Wednesday night, I met up with my friend Rob, who had driven down from Ventura and was more than excited about the impending show. Thank God for his excitement, because it helped transport me back to that pure state of being. It also brought back memories from an old Jimmy Eat World concert housed under the same roof. So, yeah, that was my experience prior to Ratatat's emergence. Jammed packed with action, to say the least!

Now it was time to turn the fog machines to 11, and prepare for something great. Ratatat swam onto the stage through a sea of smoke and light, and got right down to the business of gettin' down. My earlier claim of mandatory dancing was somewhat overstated, due to the mesmerizing component of Ratatat. I'm not one to boast about virtuosity, but the guitar work during their set was jaw dropping. At one point I started to laugh just to release some of the overflowing joy. The set was evenly divided between hypnotizing melodies and back breaking basslines.

The highlight of the night was, of course, "Seventeen Years," which jump-started the entire room into a Euro dance party. I want to sneak that song into a retirement village, and see who gets out of their wheelchairs to start dancing. In a close second was "Loud Pipes," which is found on Ratatat's new album Classics. If you don't already own Classics, buy it here.

More Ratatat talk here.

I give the bandana boys in front of me MVP awards for best dance moves. You know who you are.

[mp3] Ratatat - Wild Cat
[mp3] Ratatat - Loud Pipes

Bonus track:

Ratatat - El Pico

(Photo Cred)

Continue reading "Ratatat emerge from the fog"

Thursday, September 21, 2006

LA Bands worth checking out (because you may have forgotten)

A few months ago, we declared Rewriteable Content to be a place of permanence. Since we want our politics to be clean we are trying to sway away from any flippity floppiness. With that said, the Content is bringing back some of our favorite LA sounds over the past few months (or so). If you haven't already heard us rave about these bands then be sure to check the links so you can fall in love with them too.

Eskimo Hunter really caught me off guard. After being just another odd named band that passed through my ears week after week JAX finally gave me reason to give them a chance and holy hell was I surprised. I hate getting all messy with enthusiasm but Eskimo Hunter really gets me excited about listening to music. Their sound is something like listening to Kevin Shields soundtrack a day in the life of an Angelino; static beauty with enough melody to pull you through that big cloud of fuzz. Be sure and catch their live show next week at the Echo.

[mp3] Eskimo HunterSurfing At 32F
9/28/06 – Echo

Golden State’s James Grundler has long been an infatuation of mine. Ever since seeing Grundler almost one up Jimmy Gnecco as he performed with his band Paloalto at the Roxy many years back I have been obsessed with getting to the root of his song writing and his impressive vocal styling. It’s hard to deny the talent of a voice that sounds like Bono singing Bends-era Radiohead.

[mp3] Golden StateAlbatross
[mp3] PaloaltoDepression Age
9/23/06 – Viper Room

The Little Ones are our friends. Shucks, they are probably everybody’s friends. This five piece might have authored the Content’s most played disc of the year and it’s only their debut EP. In between recording time, signing with Astralwerks, and a nationwide tour backing the French Kicks, the Little Ones look like the might be making a lot of friends all over the place. If you haven’t gotten to know the band yet head over to New & Used Records for the latest installment of their amazing podcast series with special guests, the Little Ones.

[mp3] The Little OnesCha Cha Cha

The first time I heard Minor Canon all I heard was a cymbal crash. Luckily that one crashing outro gave me enough to purchase their 3-song demo. With their many live shows around LA we have been able to catch the Minor Canon a few times. Their great sets are filled with enough drums, trumpets, and man power to do battle with any Elephant 6 band.

[mp3] Minor CanonA False Start

Due I really need to say anything about the Cold War Kids. I think we have said enough already. But if you still haven’t taken the time then here is your chance.

[mp3] Cold War KidsWe Used To Vacation
- Detroit Bar

Messes proves that Myspace is good for something besides _______ (fill in the blank). After coming into contact with this LA based folk hero through a random Myspace message, I was happily surprised by Messes’ easy-on-the-heart lullabies that sweetly contrast amidst the workings of our sharp edged city.

[mp3] MessesLight In My Eyes

Let’s Go Sailing is soon to be releasing their first full length of indie pop gold. What else could you expect from a songwriter that left her old band, Irving, to do her own thing. Radio Free Silver Lake has a mini interview with LGS's own Shana Levy.

[mp3] Let’s Go SailingHeart Condition

Remy Zero
is back! Oh my schoolgirl giddiness is getting everyone around me ready to beat me into shape. It’s been a few years since the boys have done anything formally but boy are we ready to fall in love with this band again.

[mp3] Remy ZeroAnger (Live)
BONUS [mp3] Remy ZeroResurrection (Demo)

Continue reading "LA Bands worth checking out (because you may have forgotten)"

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Banksy banks(y) on Hollywood - Brad Pitt coughs up the cash

Here's my thought process regarding Banksy:
-I love his work.
-I have a fascination with his subversive acts.
-I'm confused by his highly (in)visible persona.

Jon and I attended Banksy's "Barely Legal" art show last weekend, and were blown away by both the astonishing artwork and the hoards of teenage girls with their moms. The industrial gallery was a perfect fit for Banksy's asphalt canvas, and the works' presentation was methodical and highly detailed.

Obviously Banksy's work is highly charged, which I really enjoy; however, walking around a crowded space with Kristen Dunst, I felt a little thrown off. Questions started cycling through my head that are applicable to all political/subversive art. Do Hollywood stars discredit Banksy's work by buying his paintings? I'm not claiming to have an answer, but it is a very valid question, considering the nature of Banksy's work. He is very vocal regarding the exceedingly wealthy, and the false god of celebrity; however, he is making a large sum of money from his art (painting at $100K), and has created a intentional aura of mystery regarding his identity (tons of videos). His art is so aggressive that it feels necessary to know his position. If Banksy is ok with these paradoxes surrounding his work, then I'm ok with it also - I've just never heard his philosophy. Shepard Fairey (of Obey) works for Corp. America by day, and subverts the very same companies at night. Everyone has their balance.

Since I drive around LA a lot for work, I have become compelled with the poster/graffiti art that springs up all over the city. The nature of the medium gives each piece a great narrative. How in the world did Shepard get that 10 foot Obey Giant on the side of that 5 story building? Did he get away? It also begs ethical questions. Where does an artist stand on personal property damage? Banksy has talked about his work in public spaces being justified by the legal presence of multi-billion dollar advertising companies. These artists are the anti-hereos of our generation, but their rising notoriety has the potential to remove the venom from their fangs. I have faith in them though.

Here are a few Banksy themed songs to get you through the middle of the week:

[mp3] The Clash -
Death or Glory
[mp3] Sex Pistols -
Anarchy in the UK
[mp3] The Streets feat. Pete Doherty -
Panging Out
[mp3] Rage Against the Machine -
Bullet in the Head
[mp3] CSS -
Meeting Paris Hilton

For more great photos visit Supertouch.

Continue reading "Banksy banks(y) on Hollywood - Brad Pitt coughs up the cash"

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Junior Boys bring the sweat

Some have called Junior BoysSo This Is Goodbye a travel disc, a companion that is demanded on cross-country outings, train rides through Eastern Europe, and a nostalgia inducing remembrance drug. My first impression on Junior Boys new electronic popscapades is more time travel to a decade stained with neon, “Skinamax,” and high hair than post-graduate excursions in order to “find oneself.” Upon first listen it is easy to envision an early 80s love scene, inevitably involving Bruce Willis with some other no-name actress. The cut and copy rhythms of heavy breathing that are found throughout the album, most notably on “In The Morning,” coupled with the soft vocal appeal of Jeremy Greenspan, make for some of the sexiest music that I have ever come across. Junior Boys’ pop essence is slow and growing; yet, somehow the disc comes off as rather immediate in its songwriting.

After seeing Junior Boys last year, performing with Caribou
and the Russian Futurists, I have been eagerly awaiting the Boys’ new album, as well as a chance to catch the dynamic duo live again. Fortunately, there are still tickets available for next week's show at the Troubadour - so jump on it.

Junior BoysCount Souvenirs

Junior BoysIn The Morning
More over at the Hype Machine.
Buy So This Is Goodbye over at Insound.

BONUS [mp3] Junior Boys - Birthday (Manitoba Remix)

9/25/06 – Troubadour (tix)

Continue reading "Junior Boys bring the sweat"

Monday, September 18, 2006

Soulwax - Nite Versions

Thank God I did a little Soulwax research before writing this post. I would have looked like quite the fool to any Soulwax aficionados out there. Here is the thesis to my original post:

Soulwax has bypassed the remix middleman, by creating a dance album that hints towards rock origins.

Sounded pretty good to me, until I read this:

"Nite Versions is an entire album of brand new interpolations and reinterpretations of tracks taken in part from their highly acclaimed Any Minute Now – replayed and reworked, twisted to work on the dancefloor and a homage to the extended 12” format."

As Steven Colbert would say, "I CALLED IT!" (cue red, white and blue balloons dropping from the ceiling). I think Soulwax would be happy with my initial thoughts on the album, because it's a testament to the success of their endeavor. Here I thought I was being all tricky talking about a remix album existing as an official release, when Soulwax was already a step ahead.

Nite Versions holds its own amongst one of my favorite dance releases of the year, MSTRKRFT's The Looks. Its strongest sections come when the original songs resurface for a few moments, before being swept away by the dancefloor beats. The reworkings of Any Minute Now remind me of a De Kooning's painting called Excavation. In this piece De Kooning applied several layers of paint to a canvas, and then took a chisel and scraped off areas of paint to expose the older layers underneath. Thus he excavated the painting. My image of Nite Versions is that the Dewaele brothers took Any Minute Now, buried it under a flood of dance beats, and then slowly excavated out pieces of the original.

It's clear that the renaissance artist of the 2000's is someone that can create a rock album for day and an electro-pop disc for night - David and Stephen Dewaele are the poster children for this movement. With both Soulwax and 2ManyDJs in their arsenal, the brother duo are a perfect weapon. If you want more details on their intertwining projects, consult wikipedia. With the current wave of technology, artists have the resources to helm every aspect of production, putting people like Jesse Keeler and the Dewaele's ahead of the pack. However, outside influences can be vital to the creative process, and I feel the best artists still understand that (i.e. Thom Yorke's use of Nigel for The Eraser). If you enjoy a good session of dancing, buy Nite Versions HERE.

[mp3] Soulwax - Miserable Girl

I have both versions of "Krack" up as way for you to examine the track's Nite Version transformation.

Soulwax - Krack
[mp3] Soulwax - Krack (Any Minute Now version)

De Kooning's Excavation:

Continue reading "Soulwax - Nite Versions"

Saturday, September 16, 2006

New and Used Records / RC Present - The Little Ones Video Podcast

Will, over at New and Used Records (a great blog up in SF), has completed his seventh video podcast, and his subject for this installment is The Little Ones. Will has made it his (unpaid) job to film and interview his favorite bands, and he does a great job at it. RC got a collaboration credit for the piece; however, I think we were consultants at best.

Go check out the video podcast
HERE and be sure to catch all his past shows.

Continue reading "New and Used Records / RC Present - The Little Ones Video Podcast"

A drop of Blood (Brothers)

It's going to be a great Fall my brothers and sisters. Here is a taste of things to come (Blood Brothers related of course):

New Album Art!

Promo Photo (Loving the hair Jordan)!

LA Tour Dates!

10/10/06 Amoeba Records (Free)

11/30/06 Henry Fonda Theatre*

12/01/06 Henry Fonda Theatre*

Stream New Mp3s!

BB's Myspace Page

Continue reading "A drop of Blood (Brothers)"

Friday, September 15, 2006

Cold War Kids/Dr. Dog @ the Troubadour

The Troubadour was full with a crowd consisting of browsers and back up singers. Entering with Dr. Dog tearing through their vocal chords, screaming out jingles from black and white television commercials, attention was granted to the doo-wop-to-the-southern-rock band. I could hear them in the hall, clearly from the bathroom stall, and the rafters reverberated their southern anthem sing-a-longs through my tissue wad earplugs. This all made me want to sing along with the girl next to me (she was gorgeous and she was everywhere tonight).

[mp3] Dr. DogWake Up
[mp3] Dr. DogEasy Beat
More over at the Hype Machine.

Now for the “in between,” the take down/setup that is never done with the NASCAR, pit stop speed that it deserves. I fall into rubbing elbows, checking smiles, scoping the scene. That gorgeous girl seemed to have brought her many sisters or had magically split and reformed a thousand times behind my back. And as the lights dimmed my libido took a rain check. It was probably just scared for whenever I hear the Cold War Kids I think of smoky, sepia stained prison band rock and prison will scare any honest man’s innate desires down to hell. The guitars are dirty, played hollow down empty concrete hallways. The drums are persistant, the chippity chip chip of your inmate's midnight escape plans. The piano is broken, slightly off key with character and the vocals are dancing and neurotic. But don’t think this is the redemption at Shawshank, this is the music soundtracking Cool Hand’s many attempts at freedom, always failing yet giving hope to all his audience.

[mp3] Cold War KidsRed Wine, Success
[mp3] Cold War KidsThe Soloist In The Living Room
Two brand new CWK mp3s over at Daytrotter.
More over at the Hype Machine.

The Content is always excited to hear of little bands growing up. Though some speculated about the risk of recording three EPs without any real way of disbursing them, Cold War Kids fans are in for a treat with their signing to Downtown Records. Their official debut LP, entitled Robbers & Cowards, is set to drop October 10 with a tracklist comprising of a few new songs (seriously, go visit Daytrotter) and many of the songs off their last two EPs, Up In Rags and With Our Wallets Full, with a few of those tracks being newly recorded. Go and mark your calendars. Here is the tracklisting.

Robbers & Cowards

1) We Used To Vacation
2) Hang Me Up To Dry
3) Tell Me In The Morning
4) Hair Down
5) Passing The Hat
6) Saint John
7) Robbers
8) Hospital Beds
9) Pregnant
10) Red Wine, Success!
11) God, Make Up Your Mind
12) Rubidoux

All photos by Braedon.

Continue reading "Cold War Kids/Dr. Dog @ the Troubadour"

Thursday, September 14, 2006

TV on the Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain

Keith Richards once said, "silence is a musician's canvas." TV on the Radio's sophomore album, Return to Cookie Mountain, rests its melodies on a bed of static and pulsing percussion - their "canvas of silence" is lying in a dumpster somewhere outside of Brooklyn.

A band's second album has always been the true test of musicianship, and guess who just passed the test? The Young Liars EP was a perfect entrance for TV on the Radio. By releasing only a 20 minute taster of their urban-barbershop sound, they left people begging for more. "Staring at the Sun" was a great first listen for me. The slow build drew me in, and the vocals nearly knocked me over. At this point, that day is ancient history; however, TVOR have been patient with their songwriting and in turn have reaped the benefits.

Return to Cookie Mountain is not a departure from Desperate Youth, but instead an expansion of its musical boundaries. Desperate Youth is the foundation on which Cookie Mountain was built. As I stated earlier, the album is jammed packed with sound, which on first listen felt slightly overwhelming. However, once more through the disc, and I felt comfortable submerged in the fuzz. A song like "Playhouses" is a prime example of how TVOR create a driving force from the static. The constant drone keeps the song very linear, and leaves the listener focused on the track. "Province" is one of my favorite tracks on the album, due mostly to the chorus, and its subtle uses of sound. I love how the swelling synth elevates the vocals. Beautiful.

Judging from the production found on all three TVOR releases (I know there is a fourth but I've never heard it), it is clear the band have a high regard for vocals. This is where my "urban barbershop" comment fits in. The vocals are way out in front on almost every song, and singer, Tunde Adebimpe, enjoys using a cappella styling to accentuate the production. While barbershop is synonymous with clean cut gentlemen wearing candy red, Tunde makes it his own by adding more grit and heart to the delivery. In order to prove my point I have added "Mr. Grieves" at the bottom.

For the love of Art please buy this album people.

[mp3] TV on the Radio - Province

Bonus MP3:

[mp3] TV on the Radio - Mr. Grieves

Tour dates:

09/15 - Dallas, TX @ Gypsy Tea Room & Ballroom
09/16 - Austin, TX @ Zilker Park
09/17 - Austin, TX @ Emo's Austin
09/19 - Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
09/24 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
09/25 - San Diego, CA @ Soma
09/26 - Pomona, CA @ Glass House
09/27 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Soho Restaurant & Music Club
09/29 - Sacramento, CA @ The Library
09/30 - Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheater
10/02 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
10/03 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
10/04 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox Showroom & Lounge
10/07 - Fargo, ND @ Playmakers
10/08 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/09 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
10/10 - Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
10/12 - Toronto, ON @ Opera House Concert Venue
10/13 - Montreal, QC @ Le National
10/14 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
10/17 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
10/18 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
10/20 - Baltimore, MD @ Sonar Lounge
10/21 - Philadelphia, PA @ Starlight Lounge

Continue reading "TV on the Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain"

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My Brightest Diamond – Bring Me The Workhorse

I am suddenly haunted. Not the ghostly ghouls that danced around your bed during your tender years, the years when shadows housed bodies that you shut your eyes to as you lay in your frozen framework of bones knowing that your toes hanging out of your sheet, if moved, would cause a stir you didn’t dare to come to pass. And none of those women beasts either, the ones that squeezed your heart with both hands, kneeling in prayer and clenched fists to bring you down with them. No, none of that actually.

It’s just you, your isolated self in an empty room with a window to the frozen forest outside. Your framed view of the white and brisk, leaves that would crack if nature allowed, snow that should curl around stomping feet that would lead you back. Back where? To the ghouls, to the beasts, to your self. And in this imaginary getaway, nightmare for the naive, dreamland for the aged, our isolation is our home to our haunting as well as our dreams.

It is somewhere within this isolation that a soundtrack plays darkly. A voice, that of a fallen angel that landed somewhere just out of view, amidst the trees and the frozen leaves. Out there you can imagine her broken, black wings as she raises them with her howling voice in response to the pain of her distant fall; yet also in rapture of the escape she has seemed to con. I could hardly imagine any voice less than that of Shara Worden, the black-eyed beauty behind My Brightest Diamond. Somewhere in an imagination where Antony has a begotten sister, one that studied the subtle emotional timing of Buckley as well as lived off film noir, My Brightest Diamond has written its first tune. And this imagery makes it somewhat strange that such moody music, filled with dark clouds raised by angelic string flourishes and overpowering Bjork-like vocal hiccupping, finds its home at Asthmatic Kitty, a ship guided by Sufjan and his quirky, easy on the ears and heart songwriting. And yet with the small roster, it is a seemingly obvious step to take in branching out the family tree that Sufjan and Asthmatic Kitty have planted.

[mp3] My Brightest DiamondDragonfly
My Brightest DiamondSomething Of An End (Planet Claire Session)
My Brightest DiamondWhen Doves Cry (Live Prince Cover)

Buy My Brightest Diamond’s Bring Me The Workhorse here.
Download Bring Me The Workhorse at eMusic.

10/09/06 – Wiltern LG (w/ Sufjan Stevens) SOLD OUT

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Deerhoof - Two Hoofs Up (Oooooohhh!)

If someone wandered into the Troubadour from the streets, only to hear twenty seconds of Deerhoof's set, they might alert the authorities. Why is there a small Japanese woman hopping around like a bunny? What drummer has only two drums total? WTF is this? These are all valid questions, and if only experienced in small clips, someone might mistake Deerhoof for a pre-teen band. However, taken in the proper context (in my opinion, a live show), Deerhoof are a daringly original (now) trio that owe their existence to Jazz.

Theme and variation, one of the basic tenements of Jazz, is the structure of Deerhoof's songwriting. They take a simple melody line ("Wrong Time Capsule" is a great example), and slowly build tangents off of it. Thus the melody is the theme and the tangent riffs are the variation.

Although Deerhoof uses a jazz structure, they immediately turn it upside down and make it into a pop song. The result is a quirky, upbeat tune that spirals its melodic loop farther and farther out- until it breaks away. This repetition and constant layering isn't very apparent on the band's albums; however, watching them at the Troub, each song was extended and improvisation became a key role in the experience.

One comparison I made while watching Deerhoof, was their common ties with The Locust. They might sound like strange bedfellows at first, but hear me out. The Locust is another band that took free-jazz and repetitive riffs, and made a unique sound. Therefore, both bands actually rely on the same musical foundation. The difference is that, while the Locust chose to present their sound as a nightmarish, space alien apocalypse, Deerhoof decided to walk the line between pop and noise. How off beat can we make a song, but still have people whistling it?

The boys (and girl) also have a new disc coming out at the end of January called Friend Opportunity. Here is the tracklist:

01 The Perfect Me
02 +81
03 Believe E.S.P.
04 The Galaxist
05 Choco Fight
06 Whither the Invisible Birds?
07 Cast off Crown
08 Kidz Are So Small
09 Matchbook Seeks Maniac
10 Look Away

[mp3] Deerhoof - Wrong Time Capsule
[mp3] Deerhoof - Milking
[mp3] Deerhoof - The Great Car Tomb
[mp3] Deerhoof - Holy Night Fever
[mp3] Deerhoof - Sealed With A Kiss

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Remy Zero Returns

“Imagine one of your favorite bands ever broke up and you called them up and said ‘would you come and play a show for me and my friends?’ and they said ‘sure.’” As annoying as many seem to find Zach Braff lately (anybody catch American Dad last night?), I understood how he felt as he introduced Remy Zero on Indie 103. The show was part of a promotional stint for The Last Kiss soundtrack which is supposedly going to be the follow up to the Garden State soundtrack, the signature indie mixtape for every sixteen year old and their mom. As it turns out though, the music to accompany The Last Kiss is more an advertisement for the Hotel Café and the 30-something, easy listening that Braff seems to be obsessed about.

After breaking up in 2003, subsequently turning their website into a tombstone, the Remy Zero members began focusing on their own separate projects. Fortunately for us fans, this three year hiatus has allowed the band members time to work on new sounds and directions, something that should be exciting to hear as they bring it together in some new recordings. But until then go ahead and grab a listen to the NEWEST Remy Zero song “Anger” as recorded live from the radio show.

Remy Zero returns live on Indie 103.1

[mp3] Remy ZeroIntro
[mp3] Remy ZeroProphecy
[mp3] Remy ZeroInterview #1
[mp3] Remy ZeroFair
[mp3] Remy ZeroInterview #2
[mp3] Remy ZeroAnger
[mp3] Remy ZeroInterview #3
[mp3] Remy ZeroHermes Bird
[mp3] Remy ZeroOutro

Remy Zero side projects:

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Friday, September 08, 2006

The Art of the Album (Part 2)

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions on the first part of this list. Obviously I could keep naming albums for a long time, but for now I'm just leaving it at this. At first glance this list may seem a bit spotty; however, this is my own personal story of albums that affected me. This is different for everyone, and I'd love to hear more of your suggestions. For now I hope you enjoy part 2 of list.

Tool Aenima
Aenima is where it all started for me, and I thus it has a spot on this list. The ever changing time signatures, the dark brooding guitars, talk of over consumption and numbness of the soul... perfect for any highschool kid.

[mp3] Tool - H

Bright Eyes Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
Bright Eyes has a permanent spot in my music catalog, and Lifted is the album that solidified this decision. It's easily the most ambitious indie album of the 2000's. The cd design alone seems impossibly detailed for a small label like Saddle Creek. However, the only aspect that truly matters is the music, and it sails through the roof. Conor is a beautiful storyteller, which is the basic concept of the album. It's also an album about friendship and community. This theme runs not only through Conor's lyrics, but also in the physical production of the album.

[mp3] Bright Eyes - Bowl of Oranges

Madvillian Madvilliany
Madvilliany is my wild card in a way. It's an amazing, playful album that united two great talents (MF DOOM and Mad Lib), and creates a great narrative. MF DOOM is a pop culture monster. He absorbs the current state of everything, and spits it right back at you in precise rhymes.

[mp3] Madvillian - Strange Ways

Tom Waits Alice
Let me first state that I am in the process of writing a rather massive Tom Waits retrospective. That being said, I wasn't planning on adding Alice to this list; however, I just couldn't resist. Watch out for the Waits post. For now I'm keeping my mouth shut. Download the song, pour some dark liquor, close your eyes and press play.

[mp3] Tom Waits - Alice

Additional albums:

Bonnie Prince Billy I See A Darkness (Visit the amazing Day Trotter to get 4 great live songs)
The Unicorns Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone (I know this band is no more, but we still have Islands)
The Blood Brothers Burn Piano Island, Burn

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Love Song Mixtape: The Back to School Love Story

My grandparents met in 1925 on the first day of school. My grandma was a junior, my grandfather a sophomore. It’s one of those storybook romances that you hear about; boy meets girls, wants girl, gets girl, loses girl, and finally makes it up to her. But in talking to my grandmother and recalling the endless amount of times I have listened to her throbbing heart of a story, she never ceases to drive in those first few months of puppy love.

I am sure we have all experienced it to some extent or another, regardless of if it has worked out for us or not. First day of school, after a summer of sun whose last month seemed to go by too slowly, our eyes catch another’s that weren’t there before or we just never seemed to notice. Especially in the sea of new clothes and similar summer stories being shared, there seemed to be something special about this one. There were the secret whispers to your best friend to let them in on what you were hiding, the lunchtime planning to try and get their attention, the awkward glances in between algebra. What followed was utterly impossible to imagine amongst the innocence, the first time your hands awkwardly touched or at a party where, left in a back room that all your friends just seemed to leave at once, you are together alone at last.

The first kiss.

I guess I am still hopeful for this time of the year. The kids going back to school marks a new year for most, one that is accompanied with a lot of excitement and eagerness for change. It’s no wonder that back to school season and the browning and turning of fall are fertile ground for the love story. Far away from any heartbreaking, mid-February day, back to school captures the innocence of falling in love that true love is built around. Even if you are not going back to school at this time, the Content hopes this Love Song Mixtape can get you in the mood to find that special someone or remember what it was like back when you and your significant other met.

[mp3] DeVotchKaYou Love Me
[mp3] AqualungFalling Out Of Love
[mp3] The RonettesBe My Baby
[mp3] Clap Your Hands Say YeahIs This Love?
[mp3] Iron and WineLove and Some Verses (Demo)
[mp3] The Beach BoysGod Only Knows
[mp3] Jeff MangumI Love How You Love Me
[mp3] Jose GonzalezLove Will Tear Us Apart
[mp3] Magnetic FieldsAbsolutely Cuckoo
[mp3] RadioheadTrue Love Waits
[mp3] Roy OrbisionLove Hurts
[mp3] The White StripesFell In Love With A Girl
[mp3] The Little OnesLovers Who Uncover
[mp3] Golden StateCriminal
[mp3] The PipettesI Love You
[mp3] American Analog SetThe Postman
[mp3] The Righteous BrothersUnchained Melody
[mp3] Spartan FidelityNow/Here
[mp3] Rachael YamagataBe Be Your Love
[mp3] Red House PaintersHave You Forgotten (Vanilla Sky Version)

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Art of the Album (A Blogger's Act of Reparation)

Can you smell the irony? I, a music blogger, am about to tell you why it is so important to experience an LP as a whole. Why sequence and over-arching theme matter in an album. This post is about the equivalent of a serial killer's plea for a stronger neighborhood watch. The hypocrisy stings the nostrils.

As a sharer of music, I am aware of the responsibility I have to not only expose an artist's work, but also promote the support of an artist - both financially and creatively. Blogs have helped open up the world to heaps of unknown bands; however, they have also played a small part in hurting music sales* and fracturing the art of the album.

Downloading three songs off an album, loving them, but never pursuing the true piece of art, is an unfair transaction. It's like going to a nice dinner, taking a bite of the appetizer, main course and dessert, complimenting the chef and leaving without paying. I get it though. Despite all good intentions, sometimes buying that new album just never happens. CDs are generally over-priced, and itunes is, in my humble opinion, a huge pain in the ass (coupled with fascist undertones).

So where does that leave us? I think a good plan of attack would be to get your first taste of an album from RC (of course :) ), check out the band on tour and buy the LP/EP/T-shirt at the venue (no tax or middle man). Also most small bands now sell their albums independently or directly from their label's website, which is another great way of axing the middle man's deep pockets.

This covers the financial side, but I want to mostly go over the creative elements of how a great album is assembled, and why it is essential to the listener. What makes a great album? Huge conceptual philosophizing isn't necessarily the right path; however, a calculated mood, flowing through an LP is a great way of drawing in the listener from the beginning. The same way a great mixtape begs to be played linearly, a great album holds a captivating sequence. There are so many different takes on "the art of the album," and keeping those creative channels open is vital. To give you idea of the albums that Rewriteable cherishes, I have made a little list below. Since the subject of great albums is quite overwhelming, I've decided to keep my selections somewhat recent (last couple of decades).

So I'm giving you one song off of each album, and I know we are getting back to that whole irony thing, but this is truly meant as just a taster. I trust most of you have these albums already. If this is the case, I'd love for you to try listening to these cds again, and let me know your thoughts. For those that do not own these LPs, I beg you to purchase them asap.

Part One (of two):

Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over the Sea
It doesn't get much better than Jeff Mangum's weaving tale about a two-headed boy's first love, the tragedy of Anne Frank, and the lush landscape of America. His lyrics have a physical quality that draw the listener into the deep recesses of his mind. Sometimes deeper than we necessarily want to explore. The honesty that he displays on this record is unparalleled. We can only hope this wasn't his swan song.

[mp3] Neutral Milk Hotel - Holland 1945

Radiohead - Kid A
I can still remember the first time I heard this record. Sitting in Spencer's messy room, the first measure of "Everything in its Right Place" floated by, and we both just froze. It was brand new. Sounds we had never thought to play through speakers. We knew it was special, but it took a few weeks to really grasp the magnitude of it. With Kid A, Radiohead redefined themselves, as well as the music world.

[mp3] Radiohead - Kid A (mp3 up soon)

Nirvana - In Utero
In Utero is one of the most under appreciated albums of the 90's, and I want to set the record straight. It might not have had the singles that continues to keep Nevermind dominant, but as an album it is far more mature - both musically and thematically. This album had a deeply conscious design that proves Kurt's true genius. The over arcing themes of fertility, sex and love seem somehow over looked by the general fan. It's a gorgeous and haunting LP that will always be my favorite Nirvana disc. It's in my car cd player right now.

[mp3] Nirvana - Pennyroyal Tea

Liars - Drums Not Dead
Drums Not Dead is the most challenging LP on the list; however, it is also the most important to experience as a whole. Each song feels incomplete when not placed in the proper sequence. It's a long droning journey that both exhausts and exhilarates. While They Were Wrong So We Drowned has much more of a concept feel, this disc delivers the goods more than Drowned.

[mp3] Liars - Drum and the Uncomfortable Can

A big thank you to Jane for making this post happen (and for baking us great cookies).

Part 2 on Friday.

*I know blogs aren't trying to hurt music sales, and I think in a lot of ways we have helped the sale of albums. However, it is a fact that people search every blog to get free music, and never follow up by supporting the artist.

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