You've loved me before

Dear friends,

Do You Love Me Now? by The Breeders is one of those curdled little numbers where the question is more challenge than plea. Sure the words are straightforward enough but how could you love her when she sounds so childlike and insinuating and uh, creepy? This cover by El Jezel is a little less Whatever Happened To Baby Jane. Jessica Flanagan sounds more reasonable, less wild-eyed nutty than Kim Deal. But given the song's underlying feel, those wobbly guitars, the way it sounds like the room is spinning, that vocal cool-headedness might prove more dangerous in the end. Ladies and gentlemen, watch your hearts!

Do You Love Me Now? (Breeders cover)/El Jezel (mp3)

Tonight is El Jezel's CD release party for their new album, The Warm Frequency. Admission to Crash Mansion is free if you RSVP to rsvp@newyorkunderbelly.com and arrive before 11pm. There is an open bar from 9 - 11 10 PM. In addition to that, visit the El Jezel website to download their Champagne and Cold Coffee EP gratis. A plethora of riches!

For the softer side of this band, check out this brand new hairdresser in love themed video for Champagne and Cold Coffee directed by Chris Brunelle and Phil Rondeau.

The Warm Frequency by El Jezel will be available for purchase on eMusic, iTunes and Insound in the next couple of weeks.

Love, D

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I want you to know when I look in your eyes

Dear friends,

A dream:

I'm standing outside a thrift shop storefront. It's past closing hours but the window is lit, so I'm staring at the items inside. A red child's drum, some depression glass candy bowls, a lamp or two. You are there too and you are talking to a mutual friend of ours. Your back is to me, you're blocking me out from the conversation, on purpose it would seem. I know I should ask you to include me but I can't. I'm just too angry. I'm so angry in fact, that when I put my hand on your arm to move you gently to the side, I wind up digging my nails into your arm and shoving you hard. In the redness of that moment I fervently hope that you land in the gutter and crack your skull. But you don't, you barely stumble, you're fine. This all happens very quickly. "I'm sorry," I shout. "It was an accident!" Nervous laughter. But my eyes can't lie and things get very quiet. I light a cigarette to fill the silence, puff away for a couple of drags, realize what I'm doing and throw it out into the street. I run to a club next door, lock myself into their bathroom and scrub my hands. I keep thinking over and over about how you will tell everyone about my smoking and I won't be able to explain that I simply forgot that I don't do that anymore, that it was an accident. Another one, a real one this time. I start weeping. I wake up weeping. I can still smell the cigarette smoke.

Knife (Live on KEXP)/Grizzly Bear (mp3)

Knife/Grizzly Bear (video)

For a song about hurt, Knife by Grizzly Bear sure comes on like honey. I fell in love with this live version, partly because of the doo-wop meets luau vibe and partly because the vocals here are much more intimate than the studio version. Ed Droste's warm, fluttering vibrato keeps the central question, "You think it's alright?" light. As if the situation at hand is already happening with some distance and these statements are merely the fantasy of confrontation. A ghost doomed to bleed eternally from his disappointments, plaintively showing you his wounds, but unable to retaliate in any real way.

Buy Yellow House by Grizzly Bear.

Love, D

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There's someone I forgot to be

Dear friends,

I always resented having to think of George Michael as a sex symbol. My older cousins thought he was the hottest thing going and I was convinced he had smelly feet. Seriously. In the Faith video he wasn't wearing any shoes and I was sure his feet were stinkin'. Then in the Father Figure video he was wearing the exact same unwashed outfit and I knew I was right. Also, it wasn't just his feet. I decided he had all over funk barely masked by the kind of cologne local guys wore to go to Webster Hall on friday night. I obsessed over this notion while my cousins swooned, dreaming of putting their little hands (EW!) in his. Not I, I stood alone, wrinkling my nose in disgust.

I did love Freedom '90. He wasn't in the video, I didn't have to see those jeans or that stubble or that scowl. I could picture whoever I wanted singing it and to like the song any way I wanted. Whether the message was "I'm done being frowny leather jacket guy" or "I'm done pretending to be hetero frowny leather jacket guy" was irrelevant. The song sounded like the title and its attendant elation mixed with a little fear comes across beautifully.

Freedom '90/George Michael (mp3)

George Michael swears he isn't wearing Fahrenheit

You can't hate on this song. It may go on a bit. The clothes do not make the man a mite too often. BUT there's the fantastic syncopation - "Gotta have some faith in the sound/It's the one good thing that I...got", the faux gospel choir and the pre-chorus bit where Michael's voice takes on a new edge as he sings "I think there's something you should know..." as if to say but seriously now, let's get to what this is reeeeally about. It's an amazing vocal and if you don't believe me because it sounds so feather-light and easy, try singing this at karaoke sometime.*

Purchase Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1 by George Michael on Amazon Digital.

Love, D

* Sometimes, when I'm bored and I'm alone at home, I go to Oxygen On Demand and I sing a few of their Karaoke selections. I chose Freedom '90 a few weeks ago. Hoo boy.

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My musical coming of age knew no older siblings, no church-going folk, and no roving beer-guzzling events besides the dude downstairs. Still don't really know/care who/what/when a Black Sabbath is. I first heard them via Japanese cover. It was a Japanese man who gave me my first taste of Zepplin, Motorhead and his beloved Type-O Negative. Sure, I knew what an 80's metal band sounded like. I saw the "Wayne's World" movie. Still, I feel like I don't know what I'm missing when I flip on my Ipod and listen to ANTHEM scream.

M'friends, I've found my own personal Yoda.

Really, all teachers should be scary ex rock stars/lounge divas or at least make a convincing act. A rebel at 40. Scarred, gritty and allergic to everything except cocaine (or so he claims). My coworker in bygone days once fronted a fantastically unfamous rock band. He even showed me his poster. His 20 minutes of slippery fame have left him with rage against the dying of the spotlight and legends to tell over coffee. He was in the pit of Japan's first realized underground, screaming along in customary ripped midriff and bandanna. He knew the MODS, flailed to the PEES and worshipped at the shrine of RC Succession. When he asks what music I like in class, he makes happy faces if I cite his band. They truly are fantastically bad but I couldn't ever tell him that.

OMG! Tee-hee! We both think Elephant Kashimashi and the Red Hot Chili Peppers should marry and have a lovechild named PHREK. He lives in Japan and knows you can't eat Cibo Matto. He likes Bon Jovi under very specific circumstances. He knows precisely when to make the sign of the devil. He thinks Mr. Children is for kids.

He is the Nancy to my Sid!

How sad I will be leaving him soon.


After The Jump Fest - Noise Stage!

2008 Noise Stage Lineup
@ Galapagos
June 21st, 2008 Noon

Featuring: Ponytail, Power Douglas, Fiasco, The Shackeltons, Extra Life, The Austerity Program, Cursillistas, Monotract, Dinowalrus, Autodrone, Alex and the Horribles, Noveller, Brilliant Sweater, and more!!!

After the Jump is the joint effort of 20 New York City music bloggers whose sites attract over one million readers a week. Founded last year in support of underfunded city school music programs, After the Jump has planned and staged concerts in association with the massive South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas and the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City as well as our own all day and night festival last summer in Brooklyn. This summer, on June 21st, After the Jump will be partnering with Make Music NY to throw our second annual festival, taking over the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Galapagos Art Space, and the North 6th Street itself with four stages and over 40 bands.

After the Jump Fest 2008 is brought to you by our awesome sponsors:
Snoozer Loser
Gen Art Pulse

themusicslut . batteringroom . disconap . earfarm . ryspace . irockiroll . merryswankster . softcommunication . musicisart . sitdownstandup . watercoolergossip . bumpershine . themodernage . productshopnyc . subinev . punkphoto . poptartssucktoasted . stereoactivenyc . jinners

For press opportunities such as interviews with the organizers or bands, please contact publicity@afterthejumpfest.com
For sponsorship and all other requests, contact producer Jennifer Kellas: jkellas@afterthejumpfest.com

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If you don't love me now, you will never love me again

Dear friends,

If you're prone to feverish, fan-fictionesque flights of fancy about the rock bands in your life, then you must be a Fleetwood Mac fan. It's practically mandatory. They make it so easy. Everyone WAS sleeping with each other and busy as beavers being bitter about it. No projection necessary; most of the songs were meant as nasty little messages. To one another, old lovers, new lovers, rivals, to the listener.

The Chain/Fleetwood Mac (mp3)

McVie is talking MAD shit about your outfit.

Everytime I hear The Chain* it has such satisfying snap. Lindsay Buckingham is seemingly leading the recrimination charge with the lead vocal but since everyone else comes in and out on the singing as well, his attack doesn't quite land as it should. There's no clear injured party. Everyone is claiming the role of righteous victim. You wronged me, see? No, you wronged ME! And so on, and so on. Of course the song is smart too. It knows that because no one is willing to accept responsibility or see anyone else's point of view but their own, they will never be able to part. They are stuck with each other forever; a figure 8 of pointed fingers.

Purchase Rumours by Fleetwood Mac on Amazon Digital.

Love, D

* In fact, it's so fa-fa-fresh that I'm confounded as to why it wasn't Track 1 on Rumours. I never heard this album on vinyl, can anyone tell me if this was at least the first song on the second half of the record?

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Fugazi Covers Project (A Benefit)

Hello All,

Just wanted to draw your attention to The Fugazi Covers Project, which a fundraising effort for Braking the Cycle - proceeds go to benefit the HIV/AIDS services at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center of NYC.

Aside from the fact that the project benefits a really important cause, anybody who's participated in d's covers projects before knows that they're a lot of fun, not to mention a good opportunity for those of us who don't play in bands regularly to have some musical output. Plus, an exciting twist in this case is that Fugazi has actually approved the project and asked for a couple copies of the final product.

If you're interested in participating in the project (or just want to see what it's all about), just follow the link above.