Thursday, September 29, 2005

Kids In America

The 'Good Night, And Good Luck' director and star says he's never had the desire for George juniors. "There isn't anything in me that wants to replicate," he says. "I believe in all of those things in a way, but I don't necessarily think it has to be from my loins."

George Clooney doesn't want kids. He's saying so on TV. He's saying that it's a huge responsibility and he wouldn't want to jump into something half-assed.

George Clooney is my hero.

I'm a woman who has never wanted to have kids. I made a bet with a friend when we were 18 that 10 years from that point, I still would have no kids. I won. Whatever female chemical which is supposed to shoot off in my system has never fired, I don't stare longingly at babies, I don't fantasize about what my child with (slip boyfriend's name here) would look like, and I don't daydream about pregnancy. I have plenty of friends who do, and I have plenty of friends with kids.

Ole George (one of my favorite "movie stars," by the way... I'd love to have a beer with him and shoot the shit sometime) can get away with saying that sort of thing though... It doesn't hold the same sort of stigma that it does for a woman. Fortunately, most of my close friends understand. However, I find myself regularly having conversations with people who think I could be a great mom, and they either want to A.) analyze me to understand why I won't do it or B.) convince me that I'm wrong.

I don't mind this, and I'm used to it as well. It's unnatural for a woman in her 30's in the US to not crave children. (I also don't like chocolate or coffee, so I acknowledge I'm not quite "normal" in this world anyway and I'm glad for it!) When I was in Berlin, I learned that Germany has a declining population. People are just not having kids there. If I remember correctly, the government was worried about that,but I thought it was terrific. There are plenty of extra people on this planet already, and I have no reason to add to it.

Basically, if people want to have children, excellent. If they don't, please don't talk down to them about it. The most common thing I hear is, "You just don't understand." Okay, you're right. But it's my choice, which, evidently, you don't understand. At least, those who try to convert me to parentdom don't. Thankfully, most of my friends aren't like that.

Anyway, thanks for speakin' up, George.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Just Another Shorty I Put the Naughty On...

Lots of stuff going on this week, soooooo...

I'm DJing on a Tuesday night(yes - the 27th - check your calendar), at the wonderful Short Stop in Echo Park! The Shorty was a cop hangout till some corrupt cops got nailed (there are even bulletholes in the walls somewhere, but it's too dark to see them). Then a few years ago, some hip, young, music industry types bought the place and made it cool for hip, young folks. These were all great guys who just love a good dive and a good time, and that's the kind of place the Shorty is today. They had dancing for a while, without permission from the city to have it or something, cuz they got busted and the dance floor went away... But it came back this past May, and I am absolutely thrilled to be spinning there. If you need any enticement, here's what the we'll have to offer:

Excellent grooves (punk'n'funk, rock'n'soul, hiphop, and... it wouldn't be me without some discolicious new-wavey type stuff tossed in!)

Even more excellent drinks

Plenty of free parking

A pool table and the photo booth for drunken making-out late in the evening


So, all you beautful people, come on down. A beyond-good time is promised. I picked up a plaid miniskirt while in Berlin just for this very occasion, therefore school uniforms are encouraged. ;)

The Shorty is at 1455 Sunset Blvd in Echo Parque. See you there, and wear your dancin' shoes!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Lights Out

While I was away, I heard that there was some sort of recurrence of the power outages California was so fond of a few years back. Thanks to my pal Pam for forwarding me the actual details.

Hollywood Power Outage Sends City Into Chaos!

No electricity for 26 minutes. 'This is our Tsunami.'
By Joshua Gates... Actor. Photographer. Victim.

LOS ANGELES, CA, September 12, 2005 - Horror and disbelief swept through the greater Hollywood area this afternoon as a minor power-outage turned the city into a virtual war zone and local residents struggled to deal with the devastating aftermath.

The outage struck at 1:35 PM, during L.A.'s busy afternoon coffee and Pilates rush hour. Traffic lights fell dark, local gyms and sushi restaurants were without power for nearly 30 minutes and many businesses were illuminated only by the light of the
sun and its blistering 78 degree heat. "It was horrible," said out of work actor and voice-over artist Rick Shea. "I was in a Jamba Juice on Melrose when it hit and the blenders simply shut down. A woman lunged for my Berry Lime Sublime an after that, well, it got pretty ugly."

In the ensuing panic, local radio stations broadcasted conflicting reports as to exactly which local businesses would be offering relief supplies. Almost 100 people flocked to the Starbucks at Santa Monica and La Brea only to find helpless baristas, no hot coffee and a totally meager selection of baked goods.

"My mother is 83 years old and we heard on the radio that this Starbucks was going to be up and running. If she doesn't get a venti Arabian Mocha Sanani, I don't know what's going to happen to her, I really don't." said Lucinda Merino of Los Feliz.
To make matters worse, those few people who did manage to get coffee were further thwarted by a total lack of artificial sweeteners on site. "Sugar in the Raw? Are you frigging kidding me?," sobbed avid salsa dancer, Enrique Santoro. "I'm on the South Beach Diet and my insulin levels are going to go crazy if I use this. Why isn't the rest of the country doing something?"

Deteriorating conditions will force authorities to evacuate the thousands of people at local Quiznos, movie theaters and upscale shopping centers, including The Beverly Center, where a policeman told CNN unrest was escalating. The officer expressed concern that the situation could worsen overnight after patrons defaced multiple "So You Think you Can Dance" posters, looted a Baby Gap and demanded free makeovers en masse at a MAC cosmetics store during the afternoon.

At least 2,000 refugees, a majority of them beautiful, will travel in a bus convoy to Beverly Hills starting this evening and will be sheltered at the 8-year-old Spago on North Canon where soft omelettes with confit bacon and Hudson Valley foie gras was being airlifted in by The National Guard.

Honorary Mayor of Hollywood Johnny Grant told a group of reporters at a Koo Koo Roo Chicken restaurant on Larchmont that, "The scope and scale of this disaster is almost too much to comprehend. Local carwashes are at a stand-still, the tram tour at Universal Studios has been on hold for almost an hour now and I've been waiting for a
rotisserie leg and thigh with a side of green beans for upwards of 15 minutes. This truly is our Tsunami."

"We want to accommodate those people suffering in the Beverly Center as quickly as possible for the simple reason they have been through a horrible ordeal," Grant said.

"We need water. We need low-carb bread," said Martha Owens, 49 who was one of the thousands trapped in the Beverly Center when the escalators stopped moving. "They need to start sending somebody through here."

Along miles of coastline, the power simply surged, causing writers to lose upwards of a page of original screenplay material, causing Direct TV service to work only
intermittently and forcing local residents to walk outside and look helplessly at the Pacific from their ocean view decks.

"I can hardly begin to put this experience into words," said longtime Two and a Half Men writer John Edlestein. "I was just getting into my rhythm and making some real
headway on a scene where Charlie Sheen parties with a busload of female volleyball players when my Power Book crapped out. I have nothing. Simply, nothing."

Delivering his weekly radio address live from the White House, President Bush announced he was deploying more than 7,000 additional active-duty troops to the
region. He comforted victims and praised relief workers. "But despite their best efforts, the magnitude of responding to a crisis over a disaster area this sunny
and trendy has created tremendous problems," he said. "The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need, especially in the Hollywood
Hills, and that is unacceptable."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

La Vida Loca

Free music alert!

The Echo Park Music Festival is happening this weekend, at (duh) Echo Park. The lake, to be more specific. It's a music and art thang, and it won't set you back any cash, which is a bonus. The planners put it together to showcase the diversity of their community, so you can wander around, hear some cool music, check out some interesting art. Once the park closes at sunset, the fun moves over to the lovely Taix Lounge, where you can get the cheapest shot of Patron I've ever had the pleasure of having.

Here's an idea of the schedule:

Saturday the 24th...
3pm The Brokedown (at Sea Level Records)
4pm Icebird
4:40 Yoko Eno
5:15 Artichoke
6:00 Future Pigeon

Sunday the 25th...
4:40 Fosforo
5:15 MezKlah
6:00 Helen Stellar

Anyway, the weather is supposed to be lovely and it's always fun to stroll a festival... go here for more info.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

After the Flood

I left for Berlin the day the floods hit New Orleans. I watched it on TV in airports, and then talked about it when I landed. When people found out I was American, they asked if I knew anyone in New Orleans. I said, "No, I only have a friend who lost a house, and I'm glad he wasn't there." The consensus of the people (as far as I could tell, from overheard conversations and newspapers) was something to the effect about this being more of the USA's descent, which started at September 11th, and how it just seems like hell over there. How we treat our poor, how we treat other races, how our arrogance is coming back to bite us in the ass... Well, they've stated it in a much kinder way than that, sort of.

But Germans are also very into America. My friend was saying that after September 11th, people busted out red, white and blue clothing and trinkets and stuff, to show support. During my visit, I saw a woman at one subway stop flaunting her "We Be Jazzin'!" New Orleans tote bag.

Hence this note:

Rough translation:
Regarding: Hurricane USA. Everyone blames George Bush for not reacting in time. Of course the affected surface area is great, even our polititians couldn't do it. All the people are responsible = environmental change. After 16 years Germany has not managed to rebuild East Germany.

This was found (with many, many copies) scattered around the base of the Victory tower (of which I posted an "artsy" photo yesterday). You can just imagine the kook who was shouting in defense of George W. while passing them around to hapless tourists.

I was very happy when I got back to the States and found that a lot of people also believed, not what this German had flyered, but that Bush fucked up royally. From Professor Immanuel Wallerstein at Yale University:

The entire world has been following with stupefaction the incredible performance of the U.S. federal government's response to the physical and human disaster of the hurricane Katrina. All the television networks of the U.S. and of many other countries plus all the major newspapers have been following the story in detail. The general reaction has been to ask how could the government of the richest and most powerful country in the world have reacted to this disaster as poorly as, or even much less well than, governments of poor Third World countries? The simple answer is a combination of incompetence and decline. And the results of this disaster will be a further diminution of respect for the president within the United States and a deepened skepticism in other countries about the United States' capacity to put action behind vacuous rhetoric.

For more, go here.

May Rita downgrade by Saturday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Wings of Desire

As I may have mentioned a couple times, I've been in Berlin.

I had a wonderful, wonderful time there. Truth be told, Berlin was never near the top of my list (much less even ON said list) of places I wanted to visit anytime soon, despite the fact that my father's side of the family hails from there. But over the last couple of years, I developed connections to Berlin. One of my closest and most special friends on the planet lives there, and as soon as he seemed to be pretty entrenched in his German lifestyle, I knew I'd be heading out at some point.

Berlin is great, so shame on me for thinking otherwise. It is full of history (see if someone can go 5 minutes without mentioning "the war"), interesting old and new architecture (or as my friend put it: "MONUMENTAL architecture"), gorgeous rivers and lakes, hopping bars and clubs, friendly cafes, cute shops, great public transportation, and, of course, amazing beer.

Just a few things I noticed about Berlin:
- People are really nice
- Women (of all ages) have a tendency to dye their hair extreme variations of red or purple, often in chunks more than streaks
- Older folks aren't into deodorant
- All dogs are cute and very well behaved (and I'm a cat person, big time)
- PDA is A-OK
- Not a lot of traffic
- Bicycles kick ass
- No SUVs!! (really, very few big vehicles at all)
- Naked swimming!
- Fashion is very 80's, and not in a VICE magazine sort of way
- Socks with sandals and pumps
- Beer is cheaper (WAY cheaper) than water
- Everything is under re-construction... all over Berlin... FOREVER.

I'm glad to be home, but I was sad to leave Berlin. I'm missing it more and more. Till next time...

Monday, September 19, 2005

American Grafitti

Another review to tide you over while I'm recovering from drinking beer in Eastern Europe:

The Raveonettes Pretty In Black (Columbia)

There are a couple things that you can tell about the Raveonettes at first listen: they are immersed in the ‘50’s. Specifically, the ‘50’s as defined by Americans… big cars, motorcycle gangs, and jukeboxes. You can also tell that they listened to a lot of Jesus and Mary Chain, and didn’t shy away from any type of Wall of Sound.

Pretty In Black, the third release from the Danish duo, show that they are more than the garage rock popsters stealing as much from Stereo Total’s particular pastiche as from the Ramones and the Ronettes. Literally. They actually got Ronnie Spector to do a beautifully sad vocal on the nostalgic “Ode To L.A.,” which is full of her trademark “whoa-oh-ohs,” alongside singer Sharon Foo’s pretty harmony. Their cover of “My Boyfriend’s Back,” written long ago for the Angels by one Richard Gottehrer (who also co-produced this very album) is a squelchy new wave synthesizer version which still smacks of the smarminess of the original. Moe Tucker of the Velvet Underground contributes drums to a couple of tracks, and Suicide’s Martin Rev also guests on the album.

The first two Raveonettes releases were famously garage: each song under 3 minutes, using only 3 chords, in either B flat major or minor. This album gives up on that formula, and thankfully so. It shows a wonderful diversity without sacrificing what made the band interesting: their retro future sound, which mainly springs from the mind of the male half of the duo, Sune Rose Wagner. The twangy Buddy Holly (they named themselves after one of his songs) and Roy Orbison style guitars, the dreamy 60’s harmonies and echo chamber effects, the noisy early 90’s fuzz distortion… all of which make it sound familiar, but still recognizable as something new.

“Love In A Trashcan” and “Sleepwalking” most embody the current sound of the Raveonettes – two surging and dark pop songs with haunting melodies and attitude that sound just right on the back of a motorcycle on a dark Hollywood road. They foray into the Faint territory with their contribution to the dance floor, “Twilight,” a groovy surf number infected with strains of an altered “Twilight Zone” theme and some electronic percussion for extra oomph.

The Raveonettes have fully realized an album of such scope, within their realm, it’s as if they took Sonny & Cher and made them more badass… or Nancy & Lee and made them less weird.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Too Cool For School

Every other Friday night, I DJ at the Burgundy Room in Hollywood. It's fun. The Burgundy is a cool dive, pretty small, generally too crowded, and filled with rocker types. Guys with mohawks, who have probably had a mohawk since 1978, girls with pirate tattoos and bleached hair, lots of denim and leather - you know. It can be a tough crowd, but my friend (who happens to own the joint) & I generally have a good time DJing there. Fridays can bring in a more diverse crowd, and we like to keep people entertained.

I used to DJ there once a week for about a year, but I got burnt out... Reason being that the regulars only want to hear "the regular" music. Basically, only songs that start with a guy yelling (in rapid fire): "One two three four!" As a result, I can no longer stand to hear the Ramones or Buzzcocks purely for entertainment. Somehow the Clash and the Misfits have escaped this fate - maybe because they are actually that good, maybe because I quit DJing there before those bands could also get burned across my eardrums and, therefore, I can still enjoy them.

There's always a bit of a goth element to the night too - kids love the Bauhaus and Ministry. This particular Friday (as an every other week thing, I can handle it) we got on a little goth dance jag. When I say jag, it's maybe 4 or 5 songs before we change it up. So we had Siouxsie ("Killing Jar"), the Cure ("The Walk"), Nitzer Ebb ("Control I'm Here"), and Depeche Mode ("Master & Servant") all played up - some people were dancing even - when we got passed this note:

Oh, oops! We were too gay! Well, if the person paasing the note had taken a close look, they would have noticed that I'm a screaming fag anyway. Come on, my name IS "Mo," after all. I kid, I kid. But it was so disheartening. So I countered this note by playing Judas Priest and Queen. Hello! They are rock, and they are TOTALLY GAY. I made sure to yell, "This is so gay!" over each cut. My friend really wanted to play Bronski Beat (the "tell me why!!!" but would have sounded so great) but we opted for L7 instead, so I could yell, "So lesbian!!!"

Non gays suck. Well, non gays who write lame post-it notes to DJs suck.

So here's something totally gay, from my gay best friend:

Arnold still hasn't officially vetoed the bill that would allow same-sex marriage in CA. If you have a moment, call his office... press a few buttons... and register your opinion in favor of the bill.

Follow these directions:

1. Call the Governator:916-445-2841

2. Push: 2 (voice your opinion on legislation)

3. Push: 1 (gender-neutral marriage bill - Senate Bill 849)

4. And push: 1 to support marriage equality

Do it - it'll be totally gay!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Speedo's Army!

Man oh man! I leave town for a couple weeks and all hell breaks loose.

09.02.2005 - FAREWELL SHOW - Halloween 2005
On Halloween night in San Diego, Rocket from the Crypt will be playing our farewell show. After 16 years of scars and ear damage all in the name of spreading goodwill and the Rock N Roll doctrine, we will take the stage for the last time on our favorite day of the year. We know that it is very difficult for those around the world to be with us for this celebration, but we invite all that have been a part of this awesome ride to come out one more time and give it up for the band. The show is unfortunately 21 and up only as there will be rampant live!r-defying consumption. The rest of the info is below.

Rocket From The Crypt’s last show
Monday, October 31 2005
Westin Horton Plaza Grand Ballroom (910 Broadway Circle – San Diego, CA)
21 and up
Other bands TBA

Guess I know what I'm doing for Halloween this year! RIP, my dear RFTC...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

California Dreamin'

Ah, is there hope for San Diego? Choices at last? A return to former glory? Thanks to a SD reader who is thankfully keeping me in the loop about these things while I drink too much beer in Berlin:

Also, this was reported in one of the radio trades yesterday. Just thought you might be interested.

FINEST BROADCASTING Alternative XTRA-F (91X)/SAN DIEGO went jockless on SATURDAY (9/10) rolling through their entire library in alphabetical order.

91X VP/Programming KEVIN STAPLEFORD confirms that MARCO COLLINS has been hired as MD. For COLLINS, it is a return to where he started his illustrious career. He most recently was MD at ENTERCOM Alternative KWOD/SACRAMENTO.

Concurrently, former ARIZONA LOTUS Alternative KFMA/Tucson APD/MD/afternooner STEPHEN KALLAO has signed on as Creative Director. KALLAO is overseeing the 91X re-imaging process. Both MARCO and KALLAO will also be on-air in yet-to-be-announced airshifts.

Meanwhile, current MD "SMILIN' MARTY" WHITNEY segues out of day-to-day operations, but will remain on-board for swing shifts and weekends.

STAPLEFORD said, "We're going to bring 91X back from the dead, and we needed people of MARCO and STEPHEN's caliber to be on board. These guys are incredibly talanted and well connected, giving 91X an instant surge. I look forward to collaborating with these two guys--and the rest of the 91X team--in making this station even better than people remember it being 'back in the day.' Just wait."

"I'm totally excited to be coming back to the station where I started my career," said COLLINS. "I think I'm most excited about working for an independent radio station free of the CLEAR CHANNEL stranglehold. I'm looking forward to creating some great radio with a unique twist."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Help Me If You Can

From My brethren at Amoeba SF... I know some of these dates have passed (sorry I'm lagging!) but perhaps you can offer some help with future auctions. Anyway, check it:

Amoeba Music Auctions for Red Cross Relief Efforts

Hurricane Katrina Relief...

Please help us help! We’re accepting donations of music, movies, and other related stuff (i.e. tickets, memorabilia, cross promotional items ranging from the strange and the obscure to cool and high demand)! All donations will be auctioned to raise funds for donation to the American Red Cross Emergency Services, and other organizations to Benefit Gulf Coast Victims. Amoeba is matching each donation dollar for dollar!

Our first auction will be held this Friday, September 9th, between 5:30 & 6 PM. The next auction is scheduled on Sunday, September 11th, time TBA. We would like to continue accepting auction-able items and scheduling events to follow, but we’ll need YOUR help.

In the store:

* Auctions will be held weekly for continued support in our San Francisco store, and possibly Berkeley as well!
* We plan to maximize what’s donated by auctioning at optimum times with relative events.
* Posters and flyers will be made and posted in our stores that include a tag directing attention to our website for a complete list of auction items, and other details.
* Random in-house announcements about auction details will be made building up to each event. Maybe we’ll get some support from local radio.

On the website:

· Your donation will be listed, with the respective auction details, and your logo and/or name. Perhaps dates and beginning bid prices will also be included.

In Our Ads:

· Bigger or more valuable items will be set to auction after our 9/14 advertising run date so that we can tag the auction items & details, and direct traffic to our website for more info.

Ideas and concerns, as well as donations are always appreciated.

We’ll accept cash, credit and checks made out directly to the Red Cross.

Questions? Need more info? Call or email Naomi. Thanks!

Naomi Salazar

Amoeba Music

1855 Haight St.

San Francisco, CA 94117

415.831.0395 Direct

415.831.1200 Main

415.786.7500 Cell

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Silver Lining

Lately, I've been listening to a lot of Sub Pop stuff. Because I like it.

Low The Great Destroyer (Sub Pop)

The kings of slowcore return with an album that… well, isn’t. “It’s a hit, it’s got soul, steal the show with your rock and roll.” Huh? The reverb masters, filled with melancholic fuzz and ethereal voices which inspired fans to stare modestly into the depths of their shoes have churned out an absolutely hoppin’ album of beautiful pop gems which command those downturned eyes to stare straight out at the band and (gasp!) maybe even bop their heads.

The things that Low are known for, minimalism, hypnotic melodies courtesy of guitarist Alan Sparhawk and drummer Mimi Parker, intensity in quietness, are still there - just further developed. It’s not that Low isn’t capable of rocking out like the best of them (and we mean indie rockers, not stadium filler types), they just generally don’t. Well, not quite this much. And even this level of “rocking out” is negotiable.

But when an album opens with a throbbing bassline (Zak Sally’s work) which demands your attention, like this one does with “Monkey,” and then declares, “shut up and drive,” you listen. The earlier quoted track, “Just Stand Back,” along with “California,” have a jaunty americana-ness to them more familiar to Bennett era Wilco, and one can detect hints of Teenage Fanclub circa Bandwagonesque in the pop numbers like “Step” or the flippant “Broadway (So Many People)”. Yet those bands, along with Low, have been around for some time and have no doubt all influenced each other in some way. There’s even a Neil Young inspired feedback moment in the majestic “Pissing” jam, which opens quietly and builds to a level that requires the listener to crank the stereo up to eleven and keep it there, even when the track sonically explodes. There is a lushness to the loud, a sadness to the lyrics which revolve around death and loneliness with the occasional bit of smarm tossed in, and a beauty – as always – that Low is able to convey.

“They say music’s for fools, you should go back to school, the future is prisms and math,” Sparhawk sings on “Death of A Salesman,” lamenting the death of a dream for the breadwinner of the family. Thing is, it is the slowcore audience that has been taken back to school, and taught that Low can accomplish just about whatever they set their minds to, apparently. Even being kinda fast.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sunny California

A local gal done good:

Inara George All Rise (Everloving)

A sunny Californian folk pop album straight outta Topanga Canyon, reflecting the earlier wave California folk pop from the likes of Aimee Mann or Jackson Browne, but with the melancholy of Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake tacked on to balance it out quite nicely. Inara George (formerly of Lode and Merrick), who has a charming girlish voice which also carries a slight huskiness to it, has released her first solo effort consisting of pretty songs with a bit of bite. All Rise is a collection of clever lyrics and simple arrangements to accompany them. At times intense (the opening “Mistress”), and at times torchy (her sly cover of Joe Jackson’s “Fools In Love”), her songs are always pleasant and catchy and easy on the ears. It’s only later that you realize she may have been singing about something a little less than nice… “I don’t want to be one more paper doll that’s blown all through the town like this,” she claims on “Turn On/ Off,” declaring her individuality and her frustration with those around her, and as the child of a cult rock hero (Lowell George of Little Feat) and veteran of critically lauded indie rock bands, one could understand why. Her debut is an endearingly intelligent take on the singer/songwriter genre, and takes it just a little beyond.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Nerds Who Folk!

I love this record. LOVE IT.

Fruit Bats Spelled In Bones (Sub Pop)

The Fruit Bats performed their first EP as a duo, and the next full length as a collective of sorts, and now have produced a full length with an actual band. Eric Johnson remains the constant, writing sunny pop songs laced with introspection and sadness. The album dreamily takes the listener along a sweet pop ride influenced by the likes of Unrest, the Hollies, the Chills, and Paul McCartney… Wings era. Johnson’s pop has a slight twang and a dose of bitterness to keep it a little off kilter, most notably on the opening track “Lives of Crime” which sounds familiar, but never quite breaks into the melody you expect it to, or “Born in the 70’s” that suddenly leads you smack dab into early Elton John, in a folky mood. In fact, the entire CD sounds familiar in that comfortable sort of way, but never sounds quite right, to the band’s credit. It’s that they have these slightly experimental moments, breaking into falsettos or taking away a chorus or melody at unexpected intervals, that sort of thing. As Johnson writes, “So take your earplugs out, hear what the birds have to say,” and he is trying to help you hear it. Keyboards, handclaps, jangly guitars, an earnest if not so capable voice… it all adds up to an endearing album that will charm you every time.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Pop in Wolf's Clothing

What's new? Well, this:

Wolf Parade s/t EP (Sub Pop)

Okay, they’re from Canada, some of them have played with the likes of Frog Eyes, Hot Hot Heat, and the Arcade Fire. They are the Next Big Thing in the Indie World. Do they deserve the hype? This little EP tosses out two tracks from their forthcoming full length and a couple extra tracks, and it’s chock full of what the kids love. Droney Stereolab keyboards with a groovy pop urgency fuel the appealing opener, “Shine A Light” while the following track, “You Are A Runner and I Am My Father’s Son” easily demonstrate the influence of both the Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse (whose Isaac Brock produced this track as well as others on the full length) in its quirky angular movements. They wrap up the EP with a little disco and a little more basic indie, but it promises an interesting debut if they stay a bit tougher than some of their Canadian compadres.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Cuckoo CoCo

So... while I'm away... you get to read a review I did for a wonderful e-zine. For some reason, the editor is nutty enough to let me spout my weak opinion. Here goes!

Coco Rosie Noah’s Ark (Touch and Go)

These otherworldly sisters present their particular brand of trip hop folkie social commentary on Noah’s Ark, their sophomore album and continuation of themes explored on their first album, with even more help from their friends. A true stew of many, many influences without sounding like something chaotic, Coco Rosie succeed structuring songs that bear a strong imprint of classical or folk styles layered with found sounds like telephone rings, animal cries, toy pianos and other unexpected noises. Then the voices kick in, and suddenly it’s a waify Billie Holiday wail over a child’s lullaby, telling the tale of a sad gay orphan finding love in the prison system (“Beautiful Boyz”) or of tolerated violence in an underprivileged community (“South 2nd.). Guests like Antony (of Antony & the Johnsons, lending his best Nina Simone) and Devendra Banhart add more intriguing layers to the already The songs are lovely and haunting, the kind of melodies that you hum later but find always disturb you slightly.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Dance Away the Heartache

From my pals at the Shorty... Celebrate and give!

Sunday Night.
Hurricane Benefit
All sales will go directly to the victims of the catastrophe that has befallen the
Great City of New Orleans.
We'll also be accepting checks/cash donations for the usual relief agencies.
To the Big Easy from the people of the Big Sleazy,
Lets Show La. that L.A. cares big time!

@The Short Stop
1455 Sunset
213 482-4942

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Auf Wiedersehen!

I'm going to Berlin for two weeks. I'll post some CD reviews and stuff here in the meantime, and tell you all about what it's like to not be in California when I return. And recover from the jetlag.