Friday, March 30, 2007

Letter From Texas

So when I went to SXSW, I did the time honored practice of renting a room from somebody via Craigslist. Now, I was actually sent there for work, but my company is so lame that they decided 2 weeks before the event, and you know there ain't no rooms available in any hotels at that point.

I needed a letter from my "landlord" in order to get reimbursed. This is what she sent. I love her.

March 19, 2007

To Whom it May Concern,

This is a letter to confirm that Mo rented a room from me during the SXSW Music Festival. She paid me for the nights of March, 14-17. While I found her overall demeanor to be pleasant, she was fairly finicky and demanded both turn-down service and mints on her pillow. What was particularly perplexing about her demands was the fact that she is… something of a pig. While my lawyer has cautioned me to not offer too many details, let me just give you a quick run-down of her antics, night by night:

March 15, 3:15 AM: I found Mo and Pete Townshend deliberately clogging my kitchen sink with Raisin Bran and soy milk. They both had devilish glimmers in their eyes, and I knew that the bathroom sinks were next. My plumber said she’d never seen anything like it.

March 16, 2:58 AM: I was awoken by the crooning of a gaggle of Swedish hipsters in the tightest white pants I’d ever seen. Were they cute? Of course. Did the neighbors appreciate Mo leading them in a drunken ABBA sing-a-long? Not so much.

March 17, 3:05 AM: four words---Mo and John Doe. That’s all I have to say about that.

So, all in all, it was a good time. You’ll be hearing from my lawyer. And the plumber.

Have a great day, and keep an eye on Mo---she CRAZY,


All lies, every word. Except for the Swedes... and boy, those white pants WERE tight!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

We Got the Message - I Heard It on the Airwaves

Here ya go, people... the Little Radio playlist for March 29, 2007:

Dirty Man - Laura Lee
My Friend Jack - The Smoke
Antichrist Television Blues - The Arcade Fire
Windfall - Son Volt
Blackstone - Kristin Hersh
Thuggery - You Am I
Birthday (Christmas Eve/Day version) - Sugarcubes (with Jesus & Mary Chain
Under the Illusion - Dimmer
Lest I Forget - The One AM Radio
Just As I Thought - William Bell
Brand New Cadillac - The Clash
Kingdom of Doom - The Good The Bad & The Queen
Nothing Matters When We're Dancing - The Magnetic Fields
Elephant Gun - Beirut
We're Leaving - Devotchka
La Noche y Tu - Lola Beltran
Tojo - Hoodoo Gurus
Welcome to Nowhere - The Mint Chicks
Jerkin' Back & Forth - Devo
Magick - The Klaxons
Circuitry of the Wolf - Mew
Baby I love You - Aretha Franklin
In My Room - Yaz
Someone Great - LCD Soundsystem
A Method - TV On The Radio
Ego Tripping - Nikki Giovanni
Fat Mama - Tito Puente
Finger Poppin' - Ike & Tina Turner
Too Nice to Talk To - The English Beat
Strugglin' - Howard Tate
Faith To Arise - Terry Reid
The Red Lantern - Jeff Klein
So Full of Holes - Actionslacks
Imogene Threw Me Over - Actionslacks

There ya go!

And if I have any advice for any of you, especially if you're in California, it's to check out Actionslacks and You Am I this weekend. A stellar rock spectacle, raw and rowdy. Bottom of the Hill in SF on the 31st, and Spaceland in LA on the 1st. Hope you can make it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tune In, Tune Out, Tune Back In...


One DJ at a time.

It's time to rock! And roll! And all the other stuff you can shake your ass too!

Thursdays, 8-10pm PST (11pm EST, 3am Fridays in Berlin, and 3pm Friday in Oz... I think... Our daylight savings thing has me all out of sorts.)

Tune in! And if you won't be at your computer, tune in anyway! Make me feel the love, friends!

This week I'm bringing new stuff from Beruit, Arcade Fire, the Mint Chicks, LCD Soundsystem, Amy Millan and the Klaxons... Also bringing not so new stuff from Jeff Klein, Actionslacks, You Am I, TV On the Radio, Hoodoo Gurus, the Clash, and the Sugarcubes... And some straight up old stuff from Aretha Franklin, William Bell, Howard Tate, Terry Reid and much much more.

So tune in! And if you tune in earlier, you can catch Scott Ford's (you know, the awesome bass player for the Twilight Singers) supremely awesome radio show... complete with game shows and everything!

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Little Cheese With That Wine

Last week I was supposed to go see Amy Winehouse play at Spaceland... I saw her at SXSW, because I had a sneaking suspicion something would come up and I wouldn't get to see her back in LA in our tiny little hipster haven.

Monday night, she played with the Dap-Kings (just like in Austin) at the Roxy. I had the flu. Since my friends run the box office, I could've dragged myself over, but I opted to rest and drag myself to Spaceland instead.

By Tuesday morning, the rumors had already started... "The band is too big to play at Spaceland." "Looks like the Spaceland show is going to be cancelled." "Amy cancelled her radio station appearance this afternoon, looks like the show's not gonna happen."

Finally, that afternoon, it was officially cancelled. To quote the BFF: "They tried to make me play at Spaceland, but I said No No No..."

Maybe she was hit on just a little too hard by Bruce Willis (who was evidently calling her out from the side of the stage, and banging on her dressing room door backstage), or even worse, Sisqo (trying to get back on some sort of radar?) the night before at the Roxy? Perhaps she succumbed to the infamous Sunset Strip all night fueling frenzies? After all, we know she has a nose for the fun stuff...

It turned out that her band flew back to the east Coast on Tuesday afternoon, to rejoin Sharon Jones (their usual gig) so they could fly off to Europe for shows in France that were starting this week. Did Spaceland even have a chance?

On Saturday night, my dear friend Kevs was at the Roxy for Perez Hilton's birthday party. Kevs is pals with both Perez and the actual Paris, who showed up later. Along with Kelly Osbourne and... ahem, Amy Winehouse. Kevs is one of those people who will say anything to you, pretty much, no matter who "you" are... which is why he walked up to Amy Winehouse and said, "Thanks for cancelling the Spaceland show."

"Wot?" responded Amy, slightly taken aback. Here was a grizzly of a gay man getting all up in her face about Spaceland?

"Thanks for cancelling the Spaceland show, I'd only been looking forward to it for months. Actually, the whole group of people I was supposed to be going with had been looking forward to it for months as well."

"Sorry," said Amy. "But I'll be back!"

"That doesn't matter," huffed Kevin. "I don't want to see you at the Wiltern or wherever you play the next time around. I've liked you since the first album and I was excited to see you in an intimate venue."

"Well, I'll be at Coachella," she said, somewhat flabbergasted.

"I don't want to see you at Coachella," said Kevin. "But I will have my picture taken with you." She had to say yes. Then Kelly Osbourne asked if he'd like to take a picture with her, and he said no. This made Paris Hilton laugh... Good, cuz I would have been laughing my ass off too.

Amy, don't piss off gay men. They are a huge part of your fan base (who does that beehive wig of yours anyway?) and hold grudges.

Like I said, I sure am glad I caught her in Texas...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Big Hair, Big Shows, Big Time

Austin. SXSW. Always hours of pounding the pavement looking for some good music. There is always SO GODDAMN MUCH to see, that whatever I tell you about is simply the tip of the iceberg, as you know. But here's my lame attempt anyhoo:

The Pipettes: totally cute. The girl group thing absolutely did not fall flat live, which, frankly, surprised me. Good job ladies!

Greg Ashley & the Medicine Fuck Dream Road Show: One of those crazy "everyone does a little bit of everything" shows, where it gets a little twangy and gets a whole lot trippy, but is always beyond interesting.

Lily Allen: I think she can melt even the most jaded hipster with her drunken giggles... When she appeared onstage, she proclaimed she'd been drinking beer on the bus the entire day so she was kinda drunk, and that if she'd known the evening was presented by NME she wouldn't have done it. Then she giggled, and everything was ok. Her band was tight, horn section even tighter, and her vocals were spot on and even sassy than on record. Between songs she ragged on the NME, put some guy down for his "tiny penis," told everyone how sick of her single "Smile" she was, and did it dancing along anyway. She was quite a charming bitch, I have to say. I'd have drinks with her!

Honeycut: Bay Area supergroup featuring Bart Davenport and Etienne De Rocher playing bass and harmonizing had me dancing more than anyone else the whole week. It's like super electro funk, Bart's serious soul voice careening over the grooves and delivering all sorts of mayhem. Insanely good stuff. The only problem with the show was the SXSW official playing clockwatcher who kept shoving her cell phone into Bart's face so he could see they were a whole 2 minutes over limit (did no one tell her this was rock and roll???) during the massive "Impeach the President," and Honeycut returned the favor with fake ending after fake ending. Massive showmen - see them in your town!

The Mint Chicks: New wave punk nutjobs out of New Zealand, recalling early Devo (in their scary phase) and very early Talking Heads, but way more spazzy than that... just had the "angular" thing down. I think. There was lots of jumping around to be done. Melodically. Infectious, to be sure!

All Smiles: Caught a tiny bit of this pretty guitar jangly stuff from Jim Fairchild (formerly of Grandaddy) and I liked it. Coming on Dangerbird.

Margot & the Nuclear So & So's: Another one of those really, really exuberant shows were there are lots of people on stage having the time of their lives, playing all kinds of crazy instruments (along with some normal ones) and delivering heartfelt and fun indie pop. It was pretty sweltering in this tent, and we were all melting, but with smiles on our faces.

Booker T (sans MGs), Isaac Hayes, William Bell, Eddie Floyd (Stax 50th anniversary shindig):
Evidently I missed the intro with Isaac Hayes as it took 10 minutes to get everyone inside the building, but he came back later. Booker T got the party started, and just when my friend and I thought the evening was going to be all about the instrumentals, William Bell came on and gave us all his "Private Number." Then Eddie Floyd came on and got us all to 'Knock on Wood" while charming the ladies up front, many years his junior. Isaac returned, and the whole bunch of them did "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" with the audience taking care of the whistling part.

Joan As Police Woman: ...and now for something completely different... Joan Wasser of the Dambuilders, who also plays with Antony and the Johnsons, Rufus Wainwright and Tanya Donnely, did her own thing which was in turns soft and frightening or loud and crazed but always... pretty. Her motto is "Beauty is the new punk rock," and I think that suits her very well.

The Photo Atlas: "You'll feel like you're a 16 year old dance punk watching these guys," my friend warned. Well, kinda, but not really. They were too edgy for that. It was definitely groovy, and intense, and I'd almost want to say more like Girls VS Boys than the Faint... except that both of those bands are sexy and these guys were not. It's almost like they were intense and groovy because they had too much caffeine - but still fun!

Amy Winehouse: "Dude, I heard Pete Townsend was going to play with her tonight." "Where'd you hear that?" "Some guy on the phone at some restaurant." "That sounds like a good rumor to spread!" So we did. And he didn't play with her, but he did show up. So did Wayne Coyne. And so did the Dap-Kings, Sharon Jones backing band, but that was because they were doing double time as Winehouse's band as well. As for Amy? She was a tiny woman with gigantic hair only a serious drag queen can truly appreciate, and a booming voice that channels all the torch and sass available in the world in order to dish it right back out at you. "Back to Black" was the standout for me, and "You Know I'm No Good," but really - it was all great. (Good thing I caught her there as she cancelled the Spaceland gig I was going to see last Tuesday...)

The Black Lips: WOW! These guys were totally out of hand. Kinda like those 60's garage bands that just shouted alot, but were still obviously playing together, yet totally out of their heads. These guys were out of their minds, and balls out rocking. Howling mad. At one point, one of the singers, between lines, turned his head and puked. It happened so fast, we didn't even believe we'd seen it till we noticed just a bit of it drying on his chin. He was completely unfazed. Afterwards, he asked if anyone had any water and that was about it. I hear if a show is going well, he pees himself.

Amy Millan: "So last night, I drank many shots of tequila and stage dived. Just so you know where we are coming from today." The adorable singer from Stars and Broken Social Scene was highlighting her own collection of whiskey soaked tunes, which were just as pretty as anything those other bands have done. "Skinny Boy" alone is worth the price of admission.

Stars of Track & Field: I really do dig these guys live... Crunchy swirly noise intermixed with pretty, soft melodies... "Movies of Antarctica" gets me every time.

(Kevin from SOTAF with the stellar Jeff Klein, being sexy.)

Afterhours: The fact that I still don't have this album is stupid. These insanely rocking Italians are moody beasts, and seeing them live is a "wow" experience every time. The play to stadiums even if the room holds 40 people, they are truly rock and roll, and beautiful at the same time.

Buffalo Tom: I only got to see about 3 songs by these guys as the venue was crazy packed, but those three were good. Bill Janowitz is still Bill Janowitz. And I got to stand next to John Doe the whole time, which was beyond a bonus.

The M's: Friends of Wilco, unite! Chicago indie rockers with a little bit of twang and a little bit of psych to 'em.

You Am I: I saw them 2x in one day. They're from Australia! They don't get to come here that often! They totally rock! I now give people an Australian reference to this band as well - cross the Easybeats with the Saints, and you've got You Am I. And if you don't know any of those bands, then part of your rock'n'roll encyclopedia is missing. You Am I is simply one of the greatest rock bands to ever come out of Oz. Done.

Hoodoo Gurus: One of those 80's/early 90's new wavish guitar bands you forgot about, but you know their songs when you hear them... "I Want You Back," "Bittersweet," "What's My Scene," beautiful pop songs that were done with flair this evening - the crowd made the floor vibrate beneath us and the band was beyond happy to be there.

The Good The Bad & The Queen: Another band I saw twice... I didn't mean too, but I fell in love with Paul Simonon after the first show. This is an album that people either love or hate, it seems. I'm in the love category. For Damon Albarn's sequel to Parklife to rally work, showing the gloomy realities of today, he had to get someone from the Thatcherian era to help out, it seems... And it's a low key dubby affair, more like later Specials to me than either Clash or Blur stuff, but with beautiful hooks courtesy of Damon's voice and Paul's bass. Damon was "in character" the whole way - I'm pretty sure they did the album straight though - but Paul played like a panther prowling the stage with a machine gun. Mesmerizing. And they are both sexy as fuck. Really!

Drag the River: I had no idea that the guy from All was doing boozy country rock.

Cloud Cult: I couldn't really see these guys cuz the venue was tiny, but they rocked and made peculiar funky noises, and there were people painting while they were performing. So it was definitely interesting, from what I could see!

Terry Reid: A friend of mine got me into this British folkie who was a contemporary of the Beach Boys in their druggy years (or as he put it, "I went on the boat with Dennis, and lived!"). He had some truly beautiful borderline easy listening tunes back in the day, and he delivered them with quite a sense of humor and a bit more Van Morrison styling than I was expecting, but it was way cool.

Sharon Jones: I love the funk out of this woman. She really is the female James Brown.

The Beasts of Bourbon: This Australian supergroup (which means they are made up of people no one outside of Oz has ever heard of) is like an accessible Birthday Party to me... or Jesus Lizard... Very much a blues rock barroom band, but growling and mean and hilarious and in your face. I heard that back in Oz, they wowed the likes of Rollins and Iggy Pop with their ability to rock.

...and the Saints: An Australian band that made a dent in the punk rock scene with "(I'm) Stranded" back in '77, Chris Bailey ripped out buzzy guitars and pissy vocals which I never considered actually all that punk - it was just fast at the time so it got lumped in there. But they also did some good pop, and they played a fun fast set at the close of SXSW. It even had Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde jumping around barefoot and throwing devil signs.

And that's all. For now. Of COURSE I'll have more stories to tell you later!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Teaser Report

I just got back from SXSW. I think these are all the acts I saw:

The Pipettes, Greg Ashley & the Medicine Fuck Dream Road Show, Lily Allen, Honeycut, the Mint Chicks, Margot & the Nuclear So & So's, Booker T (sans MGs), Isaac Hayes, William Bell, Eddie Floyd (Stax 50th anniversary shindig), Joan As Police Woman, The Photo Atlas, Amy Winehouse, the Black Lips, Amy Millan, Stars of Track & Field, Afterhours, Buffalo Tom, The Ms, You Am I, Hoodoo Gurus, The Good The Bad & The Queen, Drag the River, Cloud Cult, Terry Reid, Sharon Jones, The Beasts of Bourbon and the Saints.

Not as many as last year, but I'm a little under the weather. And I had meetings.

Will tell some stories in the days to come...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Rock N Soul Little Radio

Here's the playlist for last night, where I got my girl groove on (with moments of hippiedom):

Little Radio 3/8/07

Disco 1 - The Mess Hall
Zodiac Killer's Son - The Time Flys
Great Northern Stomp - Otis Spann
Bim Bom - Astrud Gilberto
Ping Pong - Stereolab
Nowhere - Paula Frazier & Tarnation
Laughing - David Crosby
Heavenly Pop Hit - The Chills
The View From the People Wall - Mahogany
He Was Really Sayin' Something - The Velvelettes
Put Yourself in My Place - Jan Panter
Back to Black - Amy Winehouse
Reflections - The Supremes
I Can't Let Go - Evie Sands
Come See About Me - The Afghan Whigs
Wild Vanilla - Kristin Hersh
Headsfull - Amy Millan
Revolver - Isobell Campbell & Mark Lanegan
Faith to Arise - Terry Reid
Watch the Sunrise - Big Star
Just Ain't No Love - Barbara Acklin
Ooh Child - Dusty Springfield
Oh No Not My Baby - Maxine Brown
Llorando - Rebekah Del Rio
Too Tough To Die - Martina Topley Bird
We Fucked It All Up - Machine Gun Blues
Nature of the Experiment - Tokyo Police Club
My Boy Lollipop - Minnie Small
Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me - The Pipettes
Sophisticated Boom Boom - The Goodies
Indian Ropeman - Julie Driscoll w/ Brian Auger & the Trinity
The Rooster - OutKast
How Long Do I Have to Wait For You - Sharon Jones
Inner City Blues - Marvin Gaye
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever - Delroy Wilson
Carry, Go, Bring, Come - Justin Hinds & the Dominoes

And next week, we're all off to Austin... see you there?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

East Vs. West

Today on Little Radio, I had a special guest... My friend Tanya, visiting from Berlin, did some tag tam battle on the turntables with me and whipped out some fabulous new stuff as well as speaking sexily in German for any of the folks out there who have a thing for that.

So here's the playlist!

Little Radio 3/1/07

Somebody Led Me Away - Neko Case
Be For Real - Marlena Shaw
Blaulicht and Zwielicht - Element of Crime
Herculean - The Good The Bad and the Queen
Eternal Flame - Joan As Police Woman
I'm Fried - The Stooges
Good Not Great - Mission of Burma
I Can Only Give You Everything - MC5
The Resurrection Machine - Teledubgnosis
Shame For You - Lily Allen
Carnival - The Cardigans
Blessed Night - Howling Bells
B4 We Go Under - Barbara Manning
Burning - The Whitest Boy Alive
Publish My Love - Rogue Wave
Turbulence (Bis remix) - Arab Strap
Barracuda - Miho Satori
Alles Was Lebt Bewegt Sich - Barbara Morgenstern
You Ain't the Only Man (God Created) - Jeanie Reynolds
Crumbs Off the Table - Laura Lee
i'll Be your NETting - Belka and Strelka
Crystalline Green - Goldfrapp
Hungriges Herz - Mia.
Waking Up - Elastica
I Make Hamburgers - The Whitlams
Young Folks - Peter Bjorn & John
Mr. Grieves - TV on the Radio

Next week will totally be all American again. Kinda.