maybe it's just narcissism

dear friends,

1. denizens of montreal, I'll spare you my pathetic spanish accented "parly-voo" & just get to the point in plain ole ingles. I will be man in gray's stowaway this weekend on their journey up to canada (or canadia as I used to call it as a child 'cause it sounded more, eh...magical*) they will be playing a venue called l'escogriffe on saturday, april 29 at 9PM & if you are living/loving/studying locally, are otherwise unengaged & willing to take a chance on a fun, noisy little band from nyc, come on out. also, please wave hello to the merch girl with the trembling closed-mouth smile. she's trying her best.

2. in my continuing adventures in cat impersonation, I will be taking part in a friendly march on monday outside a tribeca film festival screening in full feline gear. let's just say it is all for the love of chris marker. he makes movies that work like dreams.

3. strawberry fire wrote a post** about cansei de ser sexy some time ago, which I read & then promptly jotted down the band's name on my desk pad next to a scribbled "check out!". I'm caught up now & I gotta say these fellow south americans are rocking my headphones right now with art bitch, their snotty little ode to people who are feted by visionaire. now, would playing it back to back with art star be too much? befriend cansei de ser sexy on my space.

4. note below the triumphant return of our contributor-in-japan kirsten who finally got to see her beloved shiina ringo live & wants to tell YOU about it.

love, d

* in the same arena of childhood insanity. I thought that canada was where cain went to live after he was banished for that whole fratricide thing. somehow, cain + "land of nod" = canada. yeeeeah. I spent a lot of time by myself as a child. it happens.

** also good is this post about lyrical swede indie-popsters, amandine.

song to seek: art bitch/cansei de ser sexy

I sense no pattern here

I wanna play tooooooooooo!

1. how am I feeling today? "Oxala" Madredeus
2. will I get far in life? "Mulitply" Teenage Squirrel (Getting far really is a misconception.)
3. how do my friends see me? "My Girl is a Beard" Thunderbirds (hahaha!)
4. where will I get married? "Run Around" Blues Traveler
5. what is my best friend? "Star power" Ezra Reich
6. what is the story of my life? "Goodbye is Forever" Arcadia (huh?)
7. what was high school like? "Underwater" dip (maybe maybe so)
8. how can I get ahead in life? "Sister, Do You Know My Name" White Stripes (wtf, mate?)
9. what is the best thing about me? "Man Who Sold the World" David Bowie
10. what is today going to be like? "Portland Oregon" Loretta Lynn and Jack White (White again?)
11. what's in store for this week? "Image Fight" Quruli (raWr!)
12. what is in store for this weekend? "Army" Quruli (again?!?! Shite, I have a lot of Quruli)
13. what song describes my parents? "Bolero Falaz" Aterciopelados (eh. notsomuch)
14. to describe my grandparents? "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" The Darkness (HAHA! Dude, my ancestors believed in a thing called chopped liver. Love was never the thing)
15. how is my life going? "Invitation" Dragon Ash (sottobi warande. Yeah, ok, I'll buy that)
16. what song will they play at my funeral? "How Long" Red Hot Chili Peppers (LAME!)
17. how does the world see me? "Herida" Brenda K Starr (hahaha! I am a salsa vixen)
18. will I have a happy life? "Bad Reputation" Joan Jett
19. what do my friends really think of me? "Mirame" Daddy Yankee
20. do people secretly lust after me? "Trifles" Maika Shiratori (I'll take that as an angst ridden maybe)
21. how can I make myself happy? "Chinga Tu Madre" Molotov (HAHAHAHA!)
22. what should I do with my life? "Wave of Mutilation" Number Girl
23. will I ever have children? "True Colors" Cyndi Lauper (christ)
24. what is some good advice for me? "Always" Stevie Wonder (fuck I love this song!!!)
25. how will I be remembered? "Take it Off" The Donnas (bleh)
26. what is my signature dancing song? "70% Yuugure no Uta" Chara (sure, I like to slither)
27. what is my current theme song? "Smalltime Shot Away" Massive Attack (no way no way)
28. what does everyone else think my current theme song is? "Mira la Esencia" Aterciopelados (them again?)
29. what type of women do I like? "Moonlight Sonata" Beethoven (drammy goth bizznatches?)
30. what type of men do I like? "Waterloo Sunset" Elliot Smith

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Are You as Old as You are Poised?

Oh what a tasteful group!

Now that the lights are on, I can see just how tasteful you really are.

I just quoted Bette Middler. Don't judge me? Okay fine, judge me.

Ever since I was a wee and tender zygote, I have been dazzled by ladies who draw crowds. Who don't need to bare a thing. Who know exactly what they want to see and don't give a flying chinchilla what anybody else thinks. (added bonus: if they growl, I get extra happy)

I refuse to recognize Shiina Ringo's latest obsession, the collective Tokyo Jihen, as anything cool even though they completely are. Yet the declaration "I just saw Tokyo Jihen" somehow lacks panache to me. Yes, they are staggeringly good performers, achingly brilliant musicians (her appleship would have nothing less), and just the cat's meow but fuck me if I can remember their names. (Seiji Kameda on bass however is an exception as he is a multi-tasker) I saw Shiina Ringo live. There, that feels better.

I kinda wondered what the average Shiina Ringo fan looked like. Back home, I was by and large a hermit with my obsession. Oh, I had to fight for these tickets. They sold out faster than the Pocky du Jour. I had to score from a Yahoo auction to see my idol live in Niigata. The venue was not huge which I appreciated. Ringo doesn't do Tokyo Dome. That's for the screaming Gackt fans. The crowd was mostly my age, female and fashionably dressed.

Aside from the cosplayers. I may be mad but the last thing I ever cosplayed for was the "Brain Candy" premiere and I was all of 16 then and that is the only excuse I will make for myself. Some turned up in kimono. Ringo has a tendency to doll up in customary threads. If a kimono isn't tasteful, I don't know what is. I spied a nurse costume in the mix. A Shou Shou Stripper. Whatever dudes. Go ahead and be 16.

Ringo embraces the vintage. Her flavor is blending rock and jazz/enka. She didn't do it as skillfully on Tokyo Jihen's debut, Kyoiku. It was wise, however, to keep Seiji Kameda (bass) around. I always thought that even if I didn't particularly like Shiina's delivery of a song, her arranger was a genius. That genius was Kameda. He was her producer for Shou Shou Strip and his influence is prominent on Tokyo Jihen's second album, ADULT. How do I know this? Because behind every likeable Ringo tune there is a turtle field (亀Kame=turtle, 田da=field) and I like every song on it.

The stage was dominated by a huge projection of a Heian-era courtesan. When the room darkened, it went black and tiny points of projected snow flitted across the stage. Cue swirling piano. Enter Ringo. A vision in heavy white silk and black obi, carrying an umbrella and singing "Yuki Kuni" (Snow Country) with all the drama and flair of an abandoned diva, elegantly bitchy. She began delicate and ended with a bite. I swooned. The stage direction was outstanding. The Lady knows how to put on a show.

Other notable tracks from her latest offering are the infectious and nigh on bouncy "Toumei Ningen" (Invisible Human). I hear it and think of sunny streets and rousing musical finales. A happy ending hurrah. Then there's the majestique show-stopper, "Superstar". My personal favorite was not offered that night, a B side from one of her singles called "Kurumaya-san" (Car Salesman). A fusion of bluesy jazz or jazzy blues with some flaming enka in the cocktail. I adore it. There's also Keshou Naoshi (Redecoration) for those more into the bossa nova. Not as good as Miho Hatori's take on the genre (I like Miho' voice better with that shade) but still noteworthy.

On the subject of enka, I have been hooked on this ditty ever since I saw it lip-synched by the dashing and pouty Ryuhei Matsuda. Not since Duran Duran's heyday has pink lip gloss ever looked so stunning on a boy. The film is called "Showa Kayou Daizenshuu" (Showa Love Ballad Greatest Hits). A quirky underground comedy about a gang of middle aged housewives and jobless young men (two volatile and potentially dangerous groups who operate in packs) and their shared obsession--cheesy love ballads.

The song is called "Koi no Kisetsu" (Love Season) and it's by Pinky and the Killers. If Austin Powers were Japanese, this would be playing in his swank ride.

I will end with a guilty pleasure. I only like two things about Miyavi--his hair and one song. I could compare both to jellybeans. The song has an extravegantly long name and is reminiscent of rockabilly Green Day. In short, it's called "Kekkonshiki no Uta" or "Wedding Ceremony Song".

Songs to seek:

Yuki Kuni雪国/Toumei Ningen透明人間/Superstar/Kurumaya-san車やーさん/Keshou Naoshi化粧直し - TOKYO JIHEN 東京事変

Kisetsu no Koi 季節の恋/Pinky and the Killers ピンキとキラーズ

Kekkonshiki no Uta 結婚式の歌/Miyavi

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I am all yours & only yours (LATE EDITION)

dear friends,

1. I am TIRED. last night, I manned a merch table very badly in that I realized that I need to practice smiling in a way that doesn't suggest a shark, thus frightening off potential prey, I mean customers, who swim away before they buy anything, HENCE the badly. once I get that whole "approachability" thing taken care of, I vow to be the best merch person EVER! (cartwheel)

2. in reference to my last post, kellie pickler is out! I can't believe the good will of the american people deserted that salmon lovin' girl next door from ruraltown, usa. it must mean that the terrorists are winning! also, since the song corporation did not play it, eternal flame still suxxxs. (triple snap) yeah, I said it!

everything worked out though since the song corporation played an excitingly muscular set despite the bangles-absence, man in gray played a cover of 20th century boy* & all that made me very happy indeed. so happy I turned into santa claus for like 5 seconds but no one saw it, thank god. also, I have to send a very special thanks to eric from the secret life of sofia (which are not to be missed live, observe their show listing on left) who is a very good sport for sittin' there with me at the aforementioned station of merchandise, listening patiently as I assigned him ear homework** & babbled on & on about music. I mean really, who needs random women sitting behind makeshift tables telling you what to put in your ears? no one. eh, what am I sayin'?

3. the new dunkin donuts jingle. it has been playing in my head. on a loop. all week. I'd paste the you tube video of it but it is like ringu, it will take over your life & before you know it, you'll be speedwalking past a billion running little leaguers, latte in hand, screeching "DOING THINGS IS WHAT I LIKE TO DO! YESSSSS!" & I don't want that to happen to you. so instead I will direct you to my latest pop pleasure I love you by the boyfriends. go to their my space page to hear it. it's all about love, kids, all about love! sung by a man who probably listened to louder than bombs one too many times. & I say that like it's a good thing.

4. SO, back to the tired, I'm sitting at my desk, overly caffeinated (can't ya tell?) & every time I close my eyes, I see row upon row of tiny little zzzzzzzz. tonight I plan to watch the america's next top model episode I left taping. if you are neither sleepy or addicted to programs with OUTFITS then I recommend you go see another band that's a must to see live, mistakes, which I first talked up here. they're playing the deli magazine's shindig for their brand new issue at tonic. go check 'em out, they'll make you oh so glad that you stepped out of your little apartment.

love, d

* to read a review of man in gray's delancey performance & see a photo which features a prominent shot of my shiny chignon, head on over to the always excellent earfarm.

** to find & listen to the beatles' cheeky oddity you know my name.

song to avoid: the new dunkin donuts jingle

song to seek: I love you/the boyfriends


sunshine through the rain

dear friends,

1. ok, I've restrained myself so far but it's time for me to talk idol. american idol. SKIP AHEAD IF YOU CANNAE TAKE IT.

despite feeling a sincere affection for prematurely gray haired tourette's tic-ing ray charles/sam cooke lovin' taylor hicks & his very strange dance moves, I have moved on. because I love an underdog & right now that underdog is elliot yamin, or as I like to call him, "the camel" thanks to his uncanny resemblance to joe camel.

yamin has teeth straight out of deliverance, a too short haircut that makes him look like a relative of jim carrey's character in dumb & dumber & a perma-slouch that gives him a slight hunchback look. yowza! I know, that's a lot to work with. but then there's his voice, a totally unaffected buttery r&b croon. if you just listen to him go without looking at the screen you would never in a million years think that THAT voice is coming out of that man. it's too confident, too polished & too strong. & that guy looks like he's 5 seconds away from a serious case of flop sweat &/or looking for a mad scientist to assist. his first ever performance on idol was of moody's mood for love*, which seemed an odd choice of song in that it's jazzy, tricky & fairly obscure if you take into account that most ai viewers song recognition runs to mainstream country & r&b & contestants often choose material reflecting that. he did a fine job though, navigating the song's little bebop time changes with finesse. I was impressed.

of course, everyone who watches american idol knows that show is not about singing ability alone. it's about singing plus personality. this year's crop is slightly better vocally than the usual so presence might be thing that determines the photo finish. we have the aforementioned taylor hicks whose innate warmth & passion for music comes across in his interactions with judges & guests alike. then there's little paris_bennett who is both blessed (because it truly is phenomenal) & cursed (because it makes her slightly freakish) with a dark wine-stained soul voice that does not sound like it belongs to a chirpy 16 year old girl. one second, you want to give her a pony & the next she's singing about hitting the bedroom floor & it's all deeply, deeply wrong. katharine mcphee is the resident mchottie (despite the ai stylists who keep putting her in weird maternity blouses) with her big brown eyes, long wavy hair, heart shaped face & much back. the camera closes in on her & she looks & sings exactly as you would expect an operatically trained girl who has been going on acting auditions for years does. technically clean & flutter lashed pretty. unfortunately - & this won't hurt her chances since a femmebot won last year - she's the type of girl that sings whitney houston's histrionic I have nothing as in if I don't have you with a GIANT GRIN on her face. total disconnect. girl is so busy making eyes at the camera & looking like she's snow white, she don't even realize the song is about one big meltdown! everything about her style as a singer is artificial & cookie cutter. which means WINNER of course. next up is chris daughtry, the odds on favorite(!), who looks like a q-tip, sings like he's on the toilet, & loves creed. yes. I said he loves creed. & according to last night, also loves bryan adams' have you ever really loved a woman. that's all I need to say about that. bad taste aside, he has a compelling back story involving adopting his wife's daughters from a previous marriage & being an awesome husband/provider & I'm touched, I am. but creed? c'mon! last but not least, there's kellie pickler. trim, blonde & permanently chatty, pickler is the ai contestant you love to hate or hate to love. her singing is something like a country & western cruise cabaret act & I'm being kind. the reason the girl is still there despite her relative inadequacy is that she's charming & has the best I'm just a hillbilly act since dolly parton. pickler chirps away in her winsome twang about calamari, what's a minxes & making pottery & it's hard to not to be suckered. ALSO, her mother left her when she was an infant, her daddy's in jail & her grandpa brought her up by himself. now how can you not vote for a nice girl like that? even when she warbles unchained melody, a song that not even the best singers can sell thanks to its neverendingness?

which leaves us with the camel. poor yamin looks so very uncomfortable even when he's talking about songs that matter to him, such as the donnie hathaway number he chose to sing last night. his hesitant & stuttering intro was nothing compared to the real feeling he brought to the song in performance. his was the best vocal of the night. of course, he'll probably be going home today & kellie pickler will keep holding on until the bitter end. that's life!

2. speaking of weird looks to voice comparisons. kristie of the song corporation is the picture of calm self-possession onstage. a pretty, slender girl with corkscrew curls playing her gibson with a look of relaxed concentration. she sings evenly in a sexy, simmering alto, her eyes fixed towards the exit sign as she shifts her weight from one foot to the other in hypnotic time. that captivating voice of hers says "cool & measured, that's my style."

of course, when you actually go up to her to tell her that you enjoyed the show, you'll find yourself talking to a back slapping, bad-kid grinning tomboy with a mischievous glint in her eye that's straight out of thackeray. a woman who is WAY more likely to grab your arm & scream "cheese fries!" than give you an icy brush-off. you can compliment the serene stage vixen all you like but be prepared for the sassy & saucy, 'cause that's what you'll get. aren't you glad that these janus ladies exist? I sure am! the song corporation plays tonight, at 8PM at the delancey. FREE, FREE & FREE.

3. please note contributor bryan's magic 8 ball playlist below, also posted today. I love these! more! more!

love, d

ps speaking of sassy & saucy, I DARED kristie & mike from the song corporation to cover something that they & their friend janine swore up & down was a good song & I insisted was most emphatically nothing but pure SUCK. which song? eternal flame by the bangles. oh yes. the one with the burning. will they prove me wrong by performing it tonight? will I close my eyes & give them my hand?!?!?! there's only one way to find out. be there.

* which I know from a king pleasure & blossom dearie duet that a friend once put on a mix for me...anyone know if that's the original?

american idol contestant to root for: elliott yamin

band to see live: the song corporation

the magic 8-ball thirty

So I can still feel like an actual contributor to this site...

1. how am I feeling today? "gleaning" apostle of hustle (indeed!)
2. will I get far in life? "steogsaurus" the pussy posse (a 49 second long song about sharp teeth and tails? hmmm.)
3. how do my friends see me? "For The Widows In Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti" sufjan stevens (jeeeeez)
4. where will I get married? "no more shoes" stephen malkmus (ok whatever)
5. what is my best friend? "Crawl(ing on the floor)" Man in Gray (no she aint)
6. what is the story of my life? "Walking Through" Ted Leo/Tej Leo(?) RX (hmm yeah that might be right, at times)
7. what was high school like? "Motel Blues" Big Star (oh come on, i wasn't THAT bad!)
8. how can I get ahead in life? "Greener Pastures" Free Kitten (rock music, huh? riiiight)
9. what is the best thing about me? "Gold digger" Kanye West (shit.)
10. what is today going to be like? "Black Vomit" Wolf Eyes (double shit.)
11. what's in store for this week? "Anthrax" Gang of Four (fuck!)
12. what is in store for this weekend? "Counting off the days" ...And you will know us by the trail of dead (eh?)
13. what song describes my parents? "Afraid of Americans" David Bowie + Sonic Youth (at times, sure)
14. to describe my grandparents? "Flip-top Box (Super Mario Mix)" Self (somehow this almost makes sense)
15. how is my life going? "The Seed" Cody Chestnutt ('uif Mary dropped a baby girl tonight I'd name her Rock 'n' Roll' .... um.... um....)
16. what song will they play at my funeral? "One" John Zorn (do that and I'll come back and kill you... at least pick Branca if you're going to be pretentious)
17. how does the world see me? "Hornbeam" The Impossible Shapes (WTF is that supposed to mean? it's a short instrumental fuzzy garagey noisey rock song hmmm)
18. will I have a happy life? "Black and Beige" Lake of Falcons (i love this song but I'm not sure it sounds so happy - sounds like a hard life to me)
19. what do my friends really think of me? "Addicted to Love" Ciccone Youth (shut up. I know what you're thinking.)
20. do people secretly lust after me? "A Brief Conversation Ending In Divorce" Smart Went Crazy (hmmph.)
21. how can I make myself happy? "Insectual Hum" Hunches (screaming my head off?)
22. what should I do with my life? "From the Curve" Superchunk (crazy hair!)
23. will I ever have children? "Space (I Believe In)" Pixies (it should be spelled Geoffrey - minihumans do take up space, that's for sure)
24. what is some good advice for me? "Tables and Chairs" Christmas Decorations (I guess i should ask Nick what that song is all about)
25. how will I be remembered? "Poor Old Soul (Part One)" Orange Juice (oh that's just great)
26. what is my signature dancing song? "She" The Real Kids (it's about having an awesome girl and never letting go. it's true.)
27. what is my current theme song? "Polar Opposites (live at KVRX)" Modest Mouse (hmmm it's possible, though not very pleasant - "Primer gray is the color when you’re done dying" hmmph)
28. what does everyone else think my current theme song is? "Drowner" The Katies (huh?)
29. what type of women do I like? "Behr Island" DraculaZombieUSA (furry ones?)
30. what type of men do I like? "Internet Porn" Chuck Naked (HAHAHA. oh man. Charley is probably the only dude I've seen naked. shut up. I recorded this album. ridiculous.)

Come visit Subinev. I've been drawing pictures.

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Since this was the lazy-girl's way to contribute to Softcommunication, here is my Magic "8-Ball" List. I used D's thirty questions:

1. how am I feeling today? If You Ride It To The End You'll Get What You Came For – Man In Gray
2. will I get far in life? Two Headed Boy, part 2 – Neutral Milk Hotel (that's kind of depressing)
3. how do my friends see me? Beautiful Boyz – CocoRosie (but of course)
4. where will I get married? Handshake Drugs – Wilco
5. what is my best friend? Impossible – Figurine
6. what is the story of my life? He is, She is - Mission of Burma
7. what was high school like? The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts – Sufjan Stevens
8. how can I get ahead in life? Puzzled Into Pieces – All Natural Lemon and Lime Flavor
9. what is the best thing about me? 13 Bees – Mary Timony
10. what is today going to be like? 5 a.m in Amsterdam – Michelle Shocked
11. what's in store for this week? Jesus (Closet Mix) – Velvet Underground
12. what is in store for this weekend? A Living Will – Elliott Smith
13. what song describes my parents? Better Luck Next Time – Quasi (aww, no!)
14. to describe my grandparents? Palmcorder Yajna – The Mountain Goats
15. how is my life going? The Crippled Hand – Daedelus
16. what song will they play at my funeral? Judy is a Punk – The Ramones (that is fantastic)
17. how does the world see me? Plump – Hole (oh that is not fantastic)
18. will I have a happy life? Sympathy for the Strawberry – Sonic Youth (as a wild strawberry)
19. what do my friends really think of me? The Incomplete Image – Michelle Shocked
20. do people secretly lust after me? Light's On – The Secret Machines
21. how can I make myself happy? Let Down – Radiohead (oh joy, it's not gonna happen)
22. what should I do with my life? Another Morning Stoner – And You Will Know Us by The Trail of the Dead (wake and bake is in my future I suppose)
23. will I ever have children? Turning Backs – Vashti Bunyan
24. what is some good advice for me? See America Right – The Mountain Goats (I plan on it)
25. how will I be remembered? Blue Sky - Jason Collett
26. what is my signature dancing song? So Low – Julie Doiron
27. what is my current theme song? Lugu lugu kan-ibi – Bunun Tribe/David Darling (Tribal for the week)
28. what does everyone else think my current theme song is? I Bleed – Pixies (Considering I just sliced my hand open a few weeks ago, this is appropriate)
29. what type of women do I like? Fitter Happier – Radiohead
30. what type of men do I like? Chewing Gum - Annie

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are we are not men?

dear friends,

been fighting (with one arm tied behind my back) a sinus infection all week. damn you pollens! damn you weakened immune system! went to r&r (rare) on saturday & discovered the following things:

1. rare used to be a place called the cooler where sonic youth (follow the venue link) & others once played secret shows back in the late 90's. I had no idea. intriguing in a small "hmmm," finger on chin kinda way.

2. irina yalkowsky, the lead guitarist for the soft explosions is one hot shit musician. I mean it - DANG! I was watching her like a fifth avenue hawk as she played solo after solo marked with dexterous precision & taste. a tasteful solo? surely not? but yes! she wasn't there to bash her shredding skills over everybody's head. each ringing note served a purpose within the soft explosions' verve-like pop compositions. a definite must see & hear for those that secretly read guitar magazine & the people that love them.

3. contributor bryan texted me that guns 'n' roses were playing there at 2AM. judging from the seriously cleavaged & bottle service swilling crowd that started piling in after the bands, I thought this might be entirely possible. but alas, I don't think axl & co. really came. & I owe the monkey a quarter. what can I say? I'm a cheap gambler as well as a cheap drinker.

I ripped this off from contributor mike's post. I added a couple more questions, I could not resist:

magic 8 ball playlist!

put your music player on shuffle.
press forward for each question.
use the song title as the answer to the question even if it doesn’t make sense.

1. how am I feeling today? "wild deer at dawn" diane cluck
2. will I get far in life? "the protagonist realizes what he must do in the middle of downtown traffic" the most serene republic
3. how do my friends see me? "I thought you were my boyfriend" the magnetic fields (huh??? my friends see me as awesome gay techno? I guess that's pretty cool)
4. where will I get married? "dancing shoes" arctic monkeys
5. what is my best friend? "groupmegroup" liquid liquid
6. what is the story of my life? "major leagues (demo)" pavement
7. what was high school like? "cortez the killer" built to spill (hmmm...like an indie rock band covering a legend apparently)
8. how can I get ahead in life? "plastic passion" the cure (through the use of credit cards?)
9. what is the best thing about me? "you tear me up" the buzzcocks (ha ha ha, I'm a tiger)
10. what is today going to be like? "she lives in my lap" outkast
11. what's in store for this week? "the ghost" scarlet fever school (I take it this means going la la la, not haunting)
12. what is in store for this weekend? "cars" gary numan (actually, that's true)
13. what song describes my parents? "half the world away" oasis (it's downright spooky)
14. to describe my grandparents? "wake up" the arcade fire
15. how is my life going? "dance commander" electric six (su-weet!)
16. what song will they play at my funeral? "back in black" ac/dc (not a bad idea, actually)
17. how does the world see me? "brilliant mistake" elvis costello (nice.)
18. will I have a happy life? "misty water" the kinks
19. what do my friends really think of me? "don't think twice, it's all right" john martyn
20. do people secretly lust after me? "hot boyz" missy "misdemeanor" elliott (that's awesome & totally not true.)
21. how can I make myself happy? "thinking it over" cody chesnutt
22. what should I do with my life? "I'll be your mirror" the velvet underground
23. will I ever have children? "diagonal girl" bearsuit
24. what is some good advice for me? "the scene is dead" we are scientists
25. how will I be remembered? "requiem op. 48 - pie jesu" gabriel faure
26. what is my signature dancing song? "sparta #2" the fall
27. what is my current theme song? "the goldheart mountaintop queen directory" guided by voices
28. what does everyone else think my current theme song is? "let it bleed" the rolling stones
29. what type of women do I like? "love vigilantes" new order
30. what type of men do I like? "jocko homo" devo (EXCELLENT)

o silent contributors, feel free to post your own magic eightball playlist so we can all enjoy the fact that you have michael macdonald songs on your ipod. ok, maybe that's just me. I blame warren g & nate dogg. they gots to regulate.

love, d


yours for the taking

dear friends,

1. a long time ago, a schoolmate of mine & I were discussing male indie albums vs female indie albums. that is, albums that indie rock loving men tend to gravitate to more than their female counterparts & vice versa. we decided to make an exchange. I gave him liz phair's exile in guyville* (like, duh.) & he gave me dinosaur jr's bug. I still remember his eyes drilling into mine as he passed it to me saying, "this. is. good." as if willing me to worship. I didn't. he didn't like the one I gave him either. thus endeth our exchange; no whimper, no bang.

why didn't I like bug? sure, it's not a perfect album, but I'm fond of imperfection. the guitar playing is choice. messy as sock strewn room, but with method behind it. a sock cathedral in the corner, perhaps. the songs were good. nice little models of noise pop. j mascis' voice is unusual...but I'd heard & gotten into odder singers. yet, ultimately, it WAS his voice. it's the croak of a man who can't be bothered to open his eyes to anything other than maybe the floor & that's only to check if it's still there & either way, it doesn't, like, matter or anything. apathy in extremis. & I couldn't invest in that. you don't care, so I don't care, so no one cares. nah ne nah nah.

eventually I came around. largely in part to hearing mascis cover richard thompson's sad bastard classic I misunderstood (as in, "I thought you were saying good luck, you were saying goodbye") with that same mentally challenged whine but this time, I thought I heard connection. I went back & re-listened & discovered it was always there. just muted under layers of feedback & deliberate rhythmic stumbles. better late than never, eh?

2. nate borgen from low lustre sounds like j mascis if j mascis suddenly decided to sit up straight & sing his little black heart out. the absolutely charming dancing blind from their self-titled ep starts off in a rather generic fashion but then surprises with an unexpectedly lovely waterfall-like guitar line. borgen's vocal rides right on top of that line until the chorus hits & he takes off into the stratosphere with an ah-ooooo & the high is beautifully unforced. bassist matt lein & drummer mark rode hold down their corners of the triangle providing further proof that nothing beats a power trio.

according to their my space page, low lustre's july 11-14 shows in new york city are currently TBA** - their schedule says "need help! band & venue!". anyone know any bookers? bookers are you looking? get on the horn, sort that out.

love, d

* yes, I know, I know guys listen to exile in guyville too. who doesn't love flower? I suppose what I was talking about were albums whose point of view are decidedly male or female & that's what makes them particularly attractive to someone of the same gender. then again, is a woman more likely to think about something like that than a man? hmmm...a topic for another time.

** I see that they've booked a show at trash on july 12, way to go!

album to seek: bug/dinosaur jr

song to seek: dancing blind/low lustre


Green light, yellow light

Dear friends,

It's a fact! #6: I sometimes sing the following R. Kelly lyrics to J when we're out in the supermarket or park: "You remind me of my jeep/I wanna ride it!/You look just like my car/I wanna wax it"* to which he replies by looking at me out of the corner of his eye and murmuring sotto voce, "We're in public."

It's a fact! #7: Every time I see the R. Kelly spoof that Dave Chappelle did entitled "Piss on You", I laugh my ass off and I've seen it HUNDREDS of times. It. Never. Stops. Being. Funny.

It's a fact! #8: I've seen various parts of R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet HUNDREDS of times and it too, never. Stops. Being. Funny.

It's a fact! #9: I am very sorry the Chappelle show is over because I'll never get to see Mr. Chappelle's take on Trapped in the Closet.

It's a fact! #10: Unrelated to Dave Chappelle but somewhat related to R. Kelly, I like Will Oldham, though he is not, as Contributor Jared likes to say once a year to me, my "favorite" artist. Fact is, I've never been able to make it through an entire Palace/Palace Brothers/Palace Music effort in its entirety. However, he has written many songs that I hold dear, such as New Partner off of Viva Last Blues. That's my joint, right there. The older version though, not the revamped one he did as Bonnie "Prince" Billy, his most recent recording alias, on Bonnie "Prince" Billy Sings Greatest Palace Music. Aliases? Singing his own songs under another...persona? Is it another persona? Confusing, eh? Almost as confusing as the plot to Trapped in the Closet. I'm still not sure where the midget comes in.

Anywho, Oldham once did an interview where he was talking about his deep love and respect for R&B and how irritated he was by certain indie types who dismiss its quality because it's not guitar-based music. Since reading that, I have patiently waited for him to cover some R&B, put it out there for the aforementioned indie types and maybe make some converts. The wait is over (kinda.) Now thanks to this post from When Apes Rule The Earth!, you can hear him tackle R. Kelly's Ignition**. It won't make anyone join the church but you can definitely hear the pleasure in Oldham's voice as he instructs you to "Bounce, bounce, bounce." An honest homage. Hey, it's a start.

Love, D

Song to seek: Ignition (Live)/Will Oldham

* The classic You Remind Me of Something from R. Kelly

** Which I like to think of as You Remind Me of Something, Part Deux.

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I'll give you peace of mind

Dear friends,

I never go to shows alone*. Mostly because I'm full of ride-subways-by-myself fear. Late one night at home, bleary eyed and bored, I saw the video for UNKLE's Be There featuring Ian Brown on the TV and it played like one of my mini-nightmares. For those of you of you who will watch it, the nightmare is the subway car not the fake-out prior, which I love, because it makes people very uncomfortable with themselves.

As to the song itself, Ian Brown is, was, will always be one of my favorite vocalists. Whenever J and I have the "The Stone Roses weren't ALL that" conversation (him being the hatah, natch), all I can do is babble about how when I bought that tape, it was the best thing going at the time and neither the benefit of hindsight (the songs are fairly simple) or my relative maturity (Madchester?!?) can change my opinion that I Wanna Be Adored, Made of Stone and I Am The Resurrection are the shhh! Brown, with his Manc accented not quite bored, not quite apathetic, schoolboy growing out his hair and dabbling in psychedelics delivery, manages to succeed where other singers biting his style fail. He makes his ambivalence sound like passion. And in Be There, that style of his makes it sound like the you got a friend-type promise of the title is coming from as far away a place as death. So what does that make him? A ghost? A guardian angel? Either way, it gets you.

Love, D

PS Contributor Stephanie would very much like to see the somewhat terrifying (to me, anyway) Leslie and the Ly's live. Unfortunately, their shows at The Bowery Ballroom on 4/22 and 23 are SOLD OUT. Anyone out there who has any information on somehow getting tickets to this event, please contact us. We would be most appreciative.

* or to Clinton Hill/Greenpoint/Williamsburg for that matter. I heard that the G train was "the rape train" way too many times at an impressionable age, which means I will never, ever ride it by myself past the gremlin hour. To those friends of mine that reside in those illustrious cemented areas, I am sorry, I am so sorry, can I offer you a cup of coffee? And yes, I know, this is irrational but some people are afraid of moles and spiders. Thems the breaks.

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there was something so pleasant about that place

dear friends,

I had the day off for good friday. I only did the following things: picked off the bacon in my egg sandwich in honor of the one day a year when I do what mi abuelita made me promise to do (not eat meat on good friday*). wondered if eggs count. drank tons of coffee. trolled the internet looking for music. popped benadryl. put off going to the supermarket because I am lazy. smarted over the fact that the tape I used to tape lost ran out before the end so I have no idea if the fake pirates come back. & yes, I still use VHS tapes. I represent people who can't catch up & I feel okay with that.

1. thanks to the village indian post with its cover-lure, I actually listened to crazy by gnarls barkley. I'd seen the parody pictures & somehow went into a state of not caring very much. not 'cause I don't like dangermouse or cee-lo or find said photos hilarious, but because I tend to think anything with that much publicity don't need my ears. NOW I'll say it once, I'll say it twice, I'm an arbitrary idiotic sorta person & sometimes when it comes to music, I'm my own worst enemy & I'm sorry I resisted. don't be like me, go hear it now.

2. the redcoats are coming! list henry darger and rosemary's baby as influences. I was skeptical of this description at first. I got this odd visual of appendage sporting little blonde girls on horses fighting ruth gordon & satan & could not imagine the kind of sounds that would accompany this unholy spectacle. oddly enough, their song crown heights (available for listening on their my space page) sounds about right. creepy christmas carol keyboard line with affectless young girl voices hovering over it; it's exactly the kind of music that announces ritualized murder in films. all quick cuts, slow stabs & saturated reds. definitely worth a listen.

the redcoats are coming! are playing tonight, friday, april 14 at the brooklyn lyceum at 4th avenue & union (take the r/m to union, leaves you right in front). it is a common ground collective benefit & admission is $10. the incomparably unsettling (& when I say unsettling, I mean haunt your days with her gorgeous songs) diane cluck starts things off at 7:45. local peeps take note.

love, d

songs to seek: crazy/gnarls barkley, crown heights/the redcoats are coming!

* I would think that actually going to church would be more important. then again, this was mi abuelita, which means she too must have placed way too much importance on minor details.


I know I can, I know I can

...or 10 things about last night's Art Brut show at Southpaw

1. Contributor Bryan had a +1 to the Art Brut* show at Southpaw and since I am very skilled at the +1 game, I said pick me! pick me! And so I went, leaving the VCR taping American Idol (F'ing QUEEN night! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!) and hopped on ye olde 63 bus for some hoped for good times.

2. Southpaw has a new bar in the downstairs area where the you can escape the opening bands. PSYCH! No, you can't. Their live image is projected on a sheet and the audio plays over the speakers. This can be a good thing, especially when you don't recognize The Rogers Sisters from the projection because their bass player looks like a fetchingly striped clad lady in tight jeans. The sound said otherwise, so I got the hell upstairs. In front of me, in the flesh, the bass player looked like he did the last time I saw him, namely, male. Projections are tricky that way.

3. It is possible, if you form an island of tall people to save your spot/protect you from carrion, to get to the bathroom and back to the front of the Southpaw stage, in 7 minutes. No foolin'. I timed it.

4. Eddie Argos, strong browed leader of Art Brut, has eyes that look like sad brown buttons** and a black moustache that, when his mouth is closed for put-upon effect, looks like this: /\. When he talk-sings, he uses his hands to punctuate his phrases, so the overall effect is like sitting in a bar with one of your friends as they tell you some terribly funny self-mocking anecdote about their sex life, someone they used to be obsessed with when they were 15 and how their little brother just discovered Rock 'n' Roll. Right down to the bar noise suddenly getting so loud that you can no longer hear them, but still you watch them and nod in empathy as those hands chop at the air and the mouth moves in silence.

5. Before every song, Argos would turn quickly on his heels, and crisply say (this from a man who claimed he was practically comatose from various allergy/flu medicines) "Ready, Art Brut?" to his band mates. And Art Brut would launch right into it with fervor and passion.

This reminded me of two things...first, of a middle-aged lion tamer and some very game tigers. Secondly, because I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I thought of lion tamers, that everything about his delivery reminded me of Laurence Olivier in the film The Entertainer, which is the story of a vaudevillean who spends his evenings performing his pathetically shabby act as part of a revue and his daytime hours ignoring his family and staving off his corrosive self-pity.

Let me explain...this doesn't make sense as a comparison to Art Brut's act. Especially considering that their set had more happiness, joy and PRESENCE than most bands I've had to stand through in the past few years. But...but as Argos kept repeating "Everyone disappoints me" after pleading with everyone in the crowd to start their own bands, I felt this same sense of something fading. The sadness. The fleeting moment. This experience would end. Had ended. Bye! How do you keep it, hold onto it? You can't. What did I do in response to this totally inappropriate train of thought? I jumped up and down and SCREAMED "toot toot toot toot toot toot!" in Bad Weekend until the feeling went away.

6. I had a sticker. I used it. Too bad it was on upside down. Alas, I never learned to read. No disrespect to Mr. Argos. I'm taking his DIY urgings seriously. Very seriously.

7. Art brut = bass (Freddy Feedback - hard kohl-rimmed eyes, singing along to all the songs with no mic, legs in gunslinger stance), lead guitar (Ian Catskilkin - Rat Scabies hair, ski slide down a razor guitar lines), rhythm guitar (Jasper Future - skinny cartoon blond in a playboy t + neck-bandana combo, enjoyed his playing immensely despite his stylishness) and drums (Mickey B - played kit standing, wow) = one fine tiger.

8. There was a mosh pit. Not the sissy elbows kind but the actual hurricane style shove, skank, climb on stage, big man flies out into audience kind. Luckily, I did not have to use my well practiced scrotum grab and pull. However, my hand was at the ready.

10. Really, really good: Formed a Band, Emily Kane, the b-side I didn't recognize. Really, really yeah-uh!: Bad Weekend, Rusted Guns of Milan.

11. Ok, I lied about there being 10 things. But this is important. I know that it's difficult to be motivated to go see a band that everybody on the internet is writing about like it's THE show to be seen at (i.e. Voxtrot, Tapes N Tapes) I know this because I feel the same way when I read the same instructions everywhere I go to read about music. I don't want an experience that's been taken out of my hands, with a foregone conclusion. I want something special. Well, I looked around that venue and saw everyone in their own little ecstatic world and that's how it should be. One woman's sublime with tigers and bathetic black and white British films is another's I need to start a band with my friends TONIGHT or even just a simple, I loved that song! That's what counts, is it not?

Love, D

* I first gave an incomprehensible shout out to Art Brut here.

** In my world, buttons can be sad. So can chairs, doorways, newspapers and blades of grass. Deal with it.

Band to see live: Art Brut

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allons-y, ma cherie

Spring springing! Makes me wish I led a life of leisure in a dreamy European city (anything with cobblestones will do) - I want a kicky pleated skirt, a Vespa, a pied-a-terre avec une petite kitten sunbathing in the windowsill, a precious neckerchief, a rendezvous avec un handsome artist ou photographer at a darling bistro down the way. What I've got is my desk and this computer screen and my ill-fitting polyester skirt from Tarzhay. And, bien sur, Fabienne Delsol. We make do, mes amis, with what we have.

(Alors! For even more lovely ladies and all the ye-ye you can stand, check out Cha Cha Charming, an online magazine run by an old zine pal of mine.)

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nothing's right if you ain't here

dear friends,

1. first the corrections: yesterday I accidentally linked contributor j aka jeremy aka the monkey (didn't want to mix my animals) to the unsacred hearts which if you hadn't had any coffee might have led you to mistakenly assume I jogged with contributor joe willie on sunday. now, the thought of me jogging is funny but the thought of jw & I joggin' together is pure comedy GOLD. alas, this was not the case. I make lots of mistakes & make up stories about musicians that simply aren't true & this is why you read my prattle, no?

2. go here to listen to catlow's marvelously bratty number one which details one band's crash & burn fame trajectory. short & sweet & done before ya know it. for fans of breathy girls & guitars & band drama as pop music. hmmm...that's pretty much everyone I know. if you're feeling friendly then please befriend catlow on my space.

3. I first encountered terry callier when I bought a beth orton ep that featured her covering dolphins (which is probably best known through tim buckley's purply baroque version) with him. there was a cute description from orton about how they settled the whole how shall we do this question by following callier's suggestion to sing each part as if the other were singing. which sounds nonsensical as hell but listening to orton slide around the notes you can see that she's actively emulating her partner. callier, on the other hand, sound like no one but himself. his voice is a warm, dark-tinged, oak-like thing but underneath such potential aural heaviness there's always the hint of a smile, of lightness to his delivery. he's got a trickster voice, suited for all sorts of styles. but callier, bless him, has stuck to exploring his own particular brand of soul folk throughout his four decade stint in music. luckily, this adherence to style hasn't stopped him from recently collaborating with various famous types from the uk electronic scene. which leads me to this - here is terry callier's smokin' slow burn of a guest appearance on massive attack's on live with me. enjoy!

OR for those of you that get a rash when you hear echoing beats, go here to hear a fine terry callier kcrw session.

love, d

songs to seek: number one/catlow, live with me/massive attack feat. terry callier


you would judge a woman by her ringtone

dear friends,

didya have a nice weekend? I sure did! contributor marta got me a manicure (cuz I'm a girl) at a place where they serve you cosmopolitans (cuz I'm a two drink drunk). contributor stephanie & I (aka the hardtogettes) sang & danced for the unsacred hearts, at pianos for their wonderful cd release show & managed to successfully do our cribbed from nancy sinatra on you tube moves without killing dave s. or falling off the teeny tiny stage. & lastly, contributor j ran with me yesterday in prospect park which is great 'cause when he does, I like to pretend the he is the graceful gazelle grazing in the distance that I, the weezing lioness, must catch or ELSE! look, I have to keep it entertaining or else the exercise just isn't happening.

here's two recent adds from my space ---

1. obvious name implication aside, girl in a coma, manages to recreate some fine smiths-influenced pop on their wistful their cell. vocally, there's a little chrissie hynde wounded quaver in singer nina's tossed off phrases about tattooed lovers but the main influence here is definitely moz & that's not a bad thing in my book. but it's not just her voice that makes things feel like high school all over again but the chiming guitar behind her, which turns the tune into the perfect soundtrack to disaffected teendom on its slow walk home from another day trying to interpret the mysterious actions of classmates & avoiding the slightly creepy neighborhood boy with the blond 'fro. download their cell from their my space page

2. animandible is a band that those polar takes on the 80s music, contributor jenny (love it!) & contributor bryan (hate it!) could both appreciate. their song ask any mandible traffics in disjointed disco a la scritti politti & you get no love is a punk song about well, getting no love. & halfway between enjoying both these tunes, I can't help but feel like maybe I'm being had...

what's going on here? is it irony? are they assholes? hard to say... their song filthy limousine goes for post-power ballad(!) with an "earnest" description of their vast ride whose interior is ready for action & just like you'd expect, the song is dire. but ask any mandible is trashy fabulousness of the highest synth fucks guitar order. so the question is, am I in on the joke? or is it, am I the intended victim? is there even any joke to be found? are these people just friends who decided to write songs by the numbers & have some fun with it at the expense of show-goers that are so aching to say "I heard it first!" that they're willing to go along with any ole emperor? or are these folks happily enjoying the naivete of what they're doing without any sort of calculation?

late in song scene scum, the tune inexplicably turns into circa I confess english beat albeit on muscle relaxants before returning to the jet propulsion punk that carried it previously. it's a moment like this that make me realize that whatever unpolished quality animandible are going for, there's way more sophistication behind it than you'd think. & that intrigues me beyond measure. only their live show can reveal what they mean to do with themselves & you. animandible plays the delancey saturday, april 22 at 8. naive awesomeness or just the latest vice magazine house band? for now, I'm opting for the former...go see for yourself & tell me what you think.

3. contributors & readers, be sure to make your way over to a recent music blog discovery, strawberry fire. why? the writing is great, the downloads are tasty, the apples in stereo song is su-weeet & I think we can all agree that glockenspiels ARE wonderful.

love, d

songs to seek from my space: their cell/girl in a coma, ask any mandible/animandible, scene scum/animandible

music blog to read: strawberry fire


in darkness with memories

dear friends,

more you tube laziness from this year's girl. the theme is covers.

1. I've written about greg dulli & the afghan whigs before here. I bought the cd single for what jail is like from gentlemen back in the day just so I could hear their "b-side" cover of my favorite supremes song, the weird & wonderful my world is empty without you*. this version replaces the maniacally smiling diana ross-ness of the original (don't get me wrong, I'm no ross fan, but I do love her cooing robot disconnect in that song) with a vocal from a guy who sings like he got a mouthful of rusty nails with his scotch & a backing beat so insistent & sinister, it puts the I'm a'gonna die threat in the song front & center.

2. when I first heard about bjork & pj harvey doing a cover of satisfaction at the brit awards or something or other, I thought it was yet another internet mislabeling, you know the cure covering creep when it's really tears for fears butchering creep, etc... then I heard it & was stunned into ohmygawd, it's them-ness. & yes, it's them-ness is the latest craze. seriously.

if you haven't heard this version, hop to it, hit play.

NB: contributor tina & I used to sing along to this together sometimes (I was pj to her bjork.) I feel that this sorta thing is the natural progression from playing agnetha & frida from abba with my cousin mane when I was a kid. sadly, minus the elaborate dance routines. but I suppose that can be arranged.

3. I wrote about john martyn in that same soft communication post linked up above. for those who get the heebies from anything remotely folk here is everyone's favorite smooth hipster appropriator, beck, tackling his go easy. can you hear the sea change? I sure can.

love, d

ps go see the song corporation start their death disco residency tonight at the delancey!

pps go see el jezel rock rothko at 8pm tomorrow night!

pps go see the unsacred hearts unleash their in defense of fort useless lp at pianos on saturday night!

pppps these are commands by the way. whip crack!

* which also included a snippet of another supremes classic, I hear a symphony.


as I live & breathe

dear friends,

behold exhibits a & b! exhibit a pertains to my last post (in that it features a live tv performance from the duke spirit) & exhibit b (morrissey flailing about in his new video for single you have killed me) pertains to the post prior. now I have objects in glass cases to go with the babbling! exciting! enjoy!

exhibit a:

exhibit b:

love, d

ps contributor steph & I are researching 60's hairstyles for our return appearance assisting the unsacred hearts as the heartlettes (or +ettes, the hardtogettes, depending on who you talk to) at their record release party next saturday at pianos. if anyone of you can find us a good link, send it my way!