Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top anything of anything 08


1. Mae Shi - Run To Your Grave (Live at the sweaty-crack Market Hotel in Brooklyn this summer)
Ant and I got half naked for this one, not cuz we're gay or nothin' but because if we didn't, we would have DIED. The inverse of two naked dudes - one hypothermic, one not - spoonin' each other naked in a sleeping bag. We really do do this all the time.

2. Bourbon Ball French Toast at Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville.
Somehow this video got like a billion views. I don't blame anyone who watched 30 seconds of this, but half a minute with this little beauty was not long enough. As Goldie said of the time he slept with Naomi Campbell, "I had to whack off like 4 times before I did it so I could last longer". Thats how this French Toast was for me...only without the drum and bass and gross-ness.

3. Lil' Wayne "A Milli" live in the round on FNMTV
Not only is this song fucking amazing, this is one of the best performances I've ever seen. Awesome enough to snap me out of an entire year's worth of web-cruising ennui.

4. Steve Reid and Kieren Hebden - "NYC"
Not even sure if this is out yet, so if not, refresh this page at around midnight in 8 days and POOF! Relevance! I've always dug Four Tet, and I thought his other collabos with Steve Reid were worthwhile, but this is the next step, more congealed, and fuckin beautiful. I'd call it this generations "On The Corner" if we even had a "Generation" or if I ever had the patience to sit through "On The Corner"
Check Out "Lyman Place" Here

5. Hot Chip - Made In The Dark
Early 2008 was pretty sweet solely because of my intimate involvement with this record. I was tasked to write a piece about the album for Metropop, and while the piece is just OK as far as I am concerned, my time spent in the hedgemaze that is "Made In The Dark" will never be described on paper. The record is big...really big. Bigger than the tiny blokes strumming guitars that we all first heard on the Mexico EP, and their "debut" Coming On Strong. With this one, from mere mortals they became Ultraman villains, huge shifting behemoths stomping entire cites under disco boots, ultra-rare sneakers, and wrestler boots.

6. Tokyo Gore Police
90 minutes that I wouldn't take back if you paid me. 90 minutes happily devoted to the most glorious Cronenberg-ian, RoboCopping, Body Horror-ing, Penis Cannon blasting Blood Leg flying Head Exploding Pigfucking insane madness since...well...fucking...anything. See this movie. Bring your Grandma, your girlfriend, and your ex-girlfriend. Who dares wins.


7. Evil Nine (Ft. El-P) - "All the Cash" (Glitch Mob Remix)
Yeah I know I already wrote about this, but it will be still be brilliant for at least the rest of the year.

8. Michelle and I getting featured on NPR. Thats just sweet. Sorry for the shameless self-promo but I'm proud god damnit.

Best band name ever. The rest is inconsequential.

10. Discovering Shugo Tokumaru
His closet full of tiny percussion, his weird blues/slide-guitar via Japan riffs, and the way he pronounces "Parachute".

11. This Dan Deacon Performance, and the 14 hours that led up to it. Thanks Miles and Ant (and Milos, sort of), ya fucks.

12. The Bug - London Zoo
The sequel to Kevin Martin's debut as The Bug, Pressure. Call this one "The Legend of Curly's Gold"....except...good. Martin still fucks with the dancehall sound, burying it 6 feet below a rotten strata of broken speakers and fried amplifiers, tended by a scattering cabal of paranoid maniacs and thinkers with megaphones. Turn it up and say it with me now. "Skeng".


Monday, December 15, 2008

El-P Glitch Mob Zombies

Evil Nine (Ft. El-P) - All The Cash (Glitch Mob Remix)
Can't stop listening to this. El-P's density is his most attractive asset, and that's not a fat joke. Like most of his tracks, his lyrics are a grower, but the beat here is instantly accessible (a shower? too much). Regardless, the louder the better, and the dense lyrics ricochet off the Glitch Mob's drums like stray bullets.

Heard this at Le Pouission Rouge (worst. venue name. ever.) last weekend while Glitch Mob fucking KILLED EVERYONE...including their shitty opening act.

Thats all I got. Work has been wicked busy, and if anyone is going to be in Minneapolis next week. Call me. We drink the beers.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Name Drop Stones

I don't know much about the Rolling Stones, but surely this song must be their finest achievement. To their longtime fans, this song is clearly the one to judge the rest of their output by. This is their "Master of Puppets".

Monday, December 08, 2008

Too many damned blogs...

Hey there,
Apologies for a lack of updates. I'm sure both of you are pissed. Just added a new post at the now-functioning, consistently updated MRI blog. Check 'er out. Also added a new 30 seconds of nothing. Its nothing-tastic.

MRI Lightpainting
30 Seconds of Nothing

The Troof

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Check us out on WebUrbanist.Com

Happy Thanksgiving folks,
Michelle and I were interviewed by WebUrbanist a few days ago. They were interested in our lightpainting and hit us up to do a feature. Apparently, their turnaround is lightning fast because its already up. Check it out at the link below, and send us some bonus internets.
MRI Lightpainting on WebUrbanist.com

Also, we just found out that National Public Radio's Science Friday wants to do a video piece about us, which we are shooting next week. So stay tuned.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Un-Google-able. Five Songs With “The Nothing Chorus”.

During CMJ my good friend Katie was putting on a week of events at 205, a club on Chrystie street. She hit me up last-minute-style one day and asked me to put together a quick "top 5" type article for a 'zine they were going to give out at the event. I had an idea I had been sitting on with no place to put it, so I fleshed it out and gave it to her. For whatever reason, it didn't run in the 'zine. Not sure I blame her or whoever made the editorial decision, as this kind of thing probably only amuses me. In truth, I had a blast writing it, and I hate seeing it go to waste, so I added some videos, and put it up here for y'all to check out. Enjoy...or not.

Presented for your approval:

Un-Google-able. Five Songs With “The Nothing Chorus”.

Ah yes, the songs with “nothing” choruses. Is there anything better? Sometimes they go “whooaaa whoa whoa”, sometimes they go “ah ah ahhhh”, and rarely do they make any damn sense at all. This is fine. Their lack of words and “lyrics” show a kind of primal sophistication that says, “To hell with a message, let us just yelp a bunch of sounds and really feel it.”

What follows is a list of five classic songs with “Nothing” choruses. They might not be the most obvious choices, but they are definitely the most aggressively idiotic, exuberant, and hilarious.

1. Howard Jones: “Things Can Only Get Better”.
This 80’s relic might not seem like much, but wait until this beast comes on in the grocery store while you’re rippin’ through the malt-o-meal aisle. Howard’s brainless chorus of (I’ll do my best here) “Whoa whoa whooooaaahh whoooahh whoa whooooaaahhh” interrupts absurdly optimistic verses and blaring horns that do nothing but turn your life into one of those sweet 80’s “turning-your-life-around” montages. This song was playing on my headphones once when I saw a bum pooping on the street and it made me want to high five him and go cram for a midterm.

2. The Kills: “Getting Down”.
Kind of a new one here. This song actually kind of sucks, but in the best way possible. Over nothing more than a punchy drum machine and a simple bass groove, The Kills eschew a proper chorus in favor of a good ol’ “ah ah ahhhh ow ow ahhhh” chant that will burrow its way into your brain and stay there until Howard Jones comes through to dig it out. I finally got to say “eschew” in a sentence. Fuck yeah.

3. Baltimora: “Tarzan Boy”.
Yeah, yeah, Listerine commercial yeah. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? That too. Before all that though, Baltimora was just a simple Italo-Disco Project with a prancing Irish frontman. You know, a typical working band just trying to make their mark. To craft their massive hit, they took Tarzan’s war cry, savagely beat it in the basement of an Italian drag show, and unleashed it to scream atop a pile of canned 80’s instruments and lyrics about “monkey business…on a sunny afternoon”. Don’t ever watch this video. Ever.

4. Sam Cooke: “Good Times”.
Some next level “whoa”-ing here. Sam swings open the track with some golden “whoa”-ing and “la la”-ing and lets his voice melt the raw “whoa” into pure verbal honey, “It might be one o’clock and it might be three, time don’t mean that much to me, I ain’t felt this good since I don’t know when, and I might not feel this good again”. By the end of the barely three minute song it is clear: Be it “whoa” or words, Sam Cooke is an actual genius, not an accidental one. There’s no clever comment to add here, he’s a goddamn genius.

5. Black Rob: “Like Whoa”.
Alright yeah I know, there are other words in the chorus, but “Whoa” is the centerpiece. For Black Rob, “Whoa” can mean anything. And isn’t that the point? The musical “whoa” replaces words with pure feeling, no matter what the occasion. Doc Strange in the Range? Whoa. Grenade through your window? Whoa. Losing control of your brand new Semi Truck because you were screwing with the radio? Whoa. The “whoa” transcends language and crosses borders, and it will unite us all…which is totally what Black Rob was talking about. Duh.

In summation, the “Nothing Chorus” represents pop music at its most base and simple. Sometimes the human language isn’t big enough to express the emotion of Howard Jones, or Sam Cooke for that matter. Sure, there are lyrics between the primal yelps and hollers, but it’s the yelps and hollers that punctuate the words and give them feeling. For our short list, the evolution of language is an afterthought. As long as we can make the “whoa”, we’ll be fine. In “whoa” we trust.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CMJ Recap Day 5 - Transexuals, Zombies, Strangers

Alright, lets wrap this up people.
The final night of CMJ came too quick. Looking back, the amount of good music experienced was staggering even for a New York Transplant who is used to this kind of thing.

I'm not sure what happened during the day, but I am guessing it involved me beating the piss out of Ant in Blitz The Leage 2. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that was it. After that, we stepped into a cold, wet night to Otto's Shrunken Head, a Tiki bar in the East Village to celebrate a friend's birthday party.

I put down a Zombie (best drink with confusing ingredients that ISN'T a Fog Cutter from the Red Dragon...Ogre, you know what I'm talking about) and a beer before heading to the Bowery. The agreement was that we would high five the birthday guy, run to the Bowery to see Marnie Stern, (Who has a restraining order out on Ant after the last time we ran into her.) A Place To Bury Strangers and Crystal Antlers, and then meet up with the party around 3 am. Surprisingly...we succeeded. We weren't thrown off course too terribly...pretty amazing.

We showed up to see the last 30 seconds of Marnie Stern...Ant threw his panties onstage.

Then it was Vivian Girls, who as of this writing, I have completely forgotten everything about...uhh...

Then I finally got to see Crystal Antlers, and they really did live up to the hype. I don't think there are any New York "fans" of this band, who know all the songs, and truly enjoy themselves non-ironically, but that's neither here nor there. They were noisy, and their songs went on for a long time, which is a good thing when it comes to noise. Check them out.

After that we stuffed in earplugs for A Place to Bury Strangers. They are loud as fuck and are pretty reckless with other people's hearing, which makes them great. I saw them for CMJ last year in a basement and it was deafening, so this year I was prepared. They weren't AS loud, but their squalls of noise were much thicker, making it harder and thus more rewarding to find the near-pop songs underneath. In my opinion, they killed it, and had me drooling and stumbling by the end of their set...which devolved into sheer feedback, the singer whipping his guitar with its own cord.

Their track "To Fix the Gash In Your Head"

The end of their set

After that, we reconvened with the birthday party to drink some whiskey and hear about the trannies that saw the birthday boys nuts by request. Good times.

Dying in a cab at 4 am on the way home, I was glad. CMJ was done, it was over. WIt was a fucking mess, but if you let yourself get into it, disregarding the branding, the bored audiences, the lame industry people, the hype, and the expensive drinks, the fact is that you have an opportunity to see a month's worth of unbelievable music in one short week. Just don't stop, you can't ever stop.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Name Drop Zombies

Taking a break from this CMJ madness, I just had another Zombie story posted on Tales of World War Z...if you are into that kind of thing. It continues the story of my zombie pimp and my main character maniac. It's extremely graphic and possibly offensive, you have been warned.

Untitled Part 4 on Tales of World War Z

Thursday, November 06, 2008

CMJ Recap Day 4 - Rugby, Stabbings, Homosexuals

Friday, and the week is drawing to a close, by this point I hadn't been home before 1 am in 4 days. My nose ran compulsively, and I sneezed into my hand more times than I washed it. Yet, I was happy, I had seen so much damn good music, and everything had gone off without much of a hitch. I had taken to napping in chairs on the NYU campus, and I think these 45 minute naps saved my life. After all, I was just a guy with a backpack, so I blended in quite well with the frazzled idealists scurrying back and forth trying to get one signature or another on an audit to drop their African Foreign Policy class and pick up a Survey course in consumer electronics. Or whatever it is college kids do these days.

I stumbled bleary eyed into the streets near NYU around 6, craving coffee, on my way up to see April Smith at the Rugby Store. My friend manages her, and I wrote her bio. April, on top of being a ridiculous talent, is cool as hell. She drinks whiskey, loves Tom Waits, and thought Robert Plant was Jesus until she was like 7 years old. She really is going places. I believe in April Smith.

After that we grabbed dinner with Metal Sucks Ben. I shoveled down another load of Pho, and felt it save my insides from civil war. A quick tab later and we were en route to the land below Canal street, through the busy tangle of fashion SoHo, past a shady mixtape spot or two, and into the Knitting Factory for the Panache Magazine showcase featuring a thousand hip-ass bands...

This was the only night my badge was denied, so I paid my fare and made it in for An Albatross, who I've been wanting to see for a while. They were alright, not as nuts as I thought, but I still support anyone tinkering with the components of metal as they do.

Then it was downstairs to see Sole, who was there with his Skyrider Band. Now, I haven't seen Sole in fuckin forever, but he was always a presence when I was chasing Rhymesayers around Minneapolis...back when they ran with Anticon. Now, both Anticon and Rhymesayers have blown up in separate sectors, and Sole has stayed busy, just not in front of me. I was excited to see him again, so it was funny when I saw him that night as a drunk, kind of fat, and sloppy version of his former self. Belushi. His music stayed quality though, and the live band is a decent touch. If you really focus though you can tell he was oiled up and about a millisecond behind the beat. Sole...

Then it was The Mae Shi. I love them, they were the reason I showed up. 10 minutes into the set, the "stand around with hands in pockets" bug left me, and I grabbed my girl, and used her as a battering ram to clear into the crowd, where we jumped up and down, grinning idiots matching their ecstatic music.
"What do they sound like?"
"Joy", I said.

Bonus bands...there were a lot of acts playing that night on three stages, so we buzzed around to see them, seeing only one or two tracks by each before heading to the next one.

Aa (Big A Little A). Noisy as hell, I loved it, even if I couldn't really see them. Midgets, obviously.

The Homosexuals. Their singer was an old british dude, looked like a Crass roadie or something. I don't know their story at all, but it was fun to watch.

Somewhere in there, it got really crazy. Ha. They had a free photo booth there, where you can go in with your drinks and take hilarious pictures. The guy running the booth was awesome. So, after shooting a few pictures, we were standing around waiting for our prints. Sole and his band got thrown out for being drunk, which provided some entertainment while we waited. Then the group after us went in for their photos...a bunch of bro type guys who were funny as hell, crackin' jokes and busting each others balls.

Everyone was having a great time, when all of the sudden my girl looks at this guy walking past and belts, "WHAT THE FUCK?!". The guy was hammered, about six feet tall, lanky and goofy looking. He turned around and shot her a weird glance, blowing her off. It was the kind of exchange I would have with a friend I hadn't seen in a LONG time, so I thought they knew each other. They didn't. She puts her drink down and runs up to the guy, jabbing him in the throat saying, "WHAT THE FUCK?! APOLOGIZE MOTHERFUCKER?!" I was stunned, she's about 5'2", he's pushing 6'1" and drunk, which was hilarious to watch...she'd need a step ladder to get him in the nose. I still didn't know what he had done, so I threw my bag down, ran up, and asked her what he did, her anger kept her focused on him, so she didn't respond. I NEEDED to know what he did, and once I knew, I could hit him. So since I wasn't getting any answers, I asked him, "What did you do??!! What the fuck did you do?!!"

Before anyone could answer, the bro's in the photo booth whipped out walkie-talkies and started hollering "Security!!" 2 more guys came out of nowhere, grabbed him, grabbed her, and started escorting them out. Photo booth guy came to the rescue, a cool southern guy saying "No way man, she was minding her business when this guy came up and grabbed her ass".

So there it was, an ass-grab. Apparently he didn't just grab a piece though, he went for the "full exam", from front to back, like a fuckin subway stalker. Thinking about it now, if I would have known I would have ran up and picked her up so she could chop his adam's apple in two. Even security hesitated so she could get a few good hits in.

So they let her stay, and offered to buy her a drink.

Security: "Sorry about that, what are you drinking?"
Michelle: "Uh...nah, its no big deal"
(Too polite to accept a free drink, and I hate a wasted opportunity, so I chime in)
Me: "I'll take another one of these Coronas with a lime."
Security: [Laughs] "I'm sorry, did you get YOUR ass grabbed?"
Me: "No, but this whole thing was very traumatic for me."
Michelle: "Jesus. I'll take a Vodka Cranberry"

After that, we were cool with security and got to go check out the rest of our bands. The best part though, is that if you check the photos of the bro security squad, the first three are all good times, the last one is them rushing out the booth with walkie talkies held high.

Michelle was pretty amped up though, like dog in a fight that didn't get to finish it off. So she stabbed a bum on the way home, I think she felt better after that. Hell hath no fury and all that...I'm proud of her.

Thats it for now. whew.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

CMJ Recap - Day 3: Vagrancy, Salem, Glasslands

Alright, so Thursday I blew off a panel about how fucked the industry is, to go to Piano's to catch part of the all day Brooklyn Vegan showcase. I showed up for the last 45 seconds of The Muslims. They were loud as FUCK. I met up with Ant and watched Japanese Motors, who were OK, and Friendly Fires, who I thought were sweet...again I lean towards the idiotic dance rock. I can't help myself. I left to back to the panels, which means I had to miss Crystal Antlers, which also meant I had to suffer Ant's ranting and raving about them later.

Japanese Motors

Friendly Fires

After my last panel, we headed to Brooklyn, driven by sheer curiosity, to check out a band with the greatest band name EVER. They were called "Check out the Tits on Tituba". The second I saw their name in the lineup I knew I had to see them. It was destiny...

I prayed to Satan that they would be a witch-hunt themed band who made references to their own name as often as possible. To my surprise, THEY FUCKING WERE! They dressed like witches and they were clearly more amused by their band name than I was, so they made tons of witch themed jokes:

COTTOT: "What did Giles Corey say as he was being pressed to death for witchcraft in 1692?"
CROWD: "More Weight!" [He really did, he was a beast]

Brilliant. Their music was OK, but the name was the centerpiece, the music was just an afterthought.


After that we headed down the block to Glasslands, where I have never been before. Its an odd place but cool as hell. One of those barely legal "venues" in Brooklyn. More legal than Market Hotel, but FAR less legal than the Warsaw. Legal enough to take credit cards though.

Miles met up with us to throw down some vodka and talk big, tuxedo-related plans (I'll explain later). We saw So Percussion, and Itsnotyouitsme, who Miles happened to be friends with.

This was the kind of wanky, experimental show I found myself going to in my rare Minneapolis days, when I was running around with the great and powerful Oceans In Space. It was a refreshing counterpart to all the self consciously hip shit I had been seeing all week. Especially Itsnotyouitsme. Its great to see some guys play who are not worried about being ironic or kitschy, and are just GREAT at their instruments. Good for them.

So Percussion


Thats all I got for now. Day 4 is on its way.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CMJ Recap - Day 2: Shugo, Pho, Assfreezing coldness

As day two's panels cleared up and the sun set, the city was slammed by a cold snap that I don't think anyone was expecting. I recall last year after the panels, sitting in Washington Square Park in the sun, catching up on work and making phone calls. This year after the panels it was dark, Washington Square Park was cut in two and decimated, and the first day of miserable cold weather blew threw the city. Strange.

So I met the girl, and we wandered towards the Lower East Side to see Shugo Tokumaru at The Bowery. On our way there, thanks to Katie's recommendation we grabbed some Pho in a shady Vietnamese place just north of Chinatown. Pho is the shit, when a great mind once said "crack in a bowl", they were right. Get familiar. I think it saved my life, as my body was already protesting the injustices it suffered in a short week, the Pho was the only salve. My brain still hasn't recovered...that's why I'm talking like this.

Anyway, we made it into the Bowery to a spare crowd of beardy hipsters and marketing interns trying to get us to play Guitar Hero in front of a camera. Thanks to Zune and XBox, CMJ was branded strong this year.

Shugo Tokumaru took the stage in his bare feet. Check my ipod and you won't find much stuff like this, but I have his album, and it holds a certain appeal to me that I can't quite pinpoint. Part of it is his simplicity, part of it is the way he says "parachute". Amazing.

This is something like his 3rd ever stateside performance, and its a little loose, but cool nonetheless. I think he can only get better, as he gets more confident in front of a bunch of belching yanks and morons with their hands in their pockets.

Oh yeah, stealth cam again.

After that, we stuck around to see Audrye Sessions, who Michelle LOVED. I thought some of their songs were really great, for one of those bands with a ton of instruments they were really tight, their singer sounded like the guy from Muse, and their bassist looked creepily like one of my ex-girlfriends.

Then we left, as I had already seen Love as Laughter, who were boring and followed only by Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, who are also boring, according to Ant...the authority on boring hipster bands.

There were talks of Psyopus at Knitting Factory, or Adventure at Le Pouisson Rouge, which would have been awesome but the weather blew and Shugo was good enough to justify an entire CMJ night.

More to come. Sorry for the horrid writing here, still trying to discern my ass from my elbow.

Monday, October 27, 2008

CMJ Recap - Day 1

Well, I am sick as hell, my hands are stained with strange markings, and when i shower I find strange cuts and abrasions that weren't there before. Also, I'm broke, my wallet is full of strange receipts and my phone has been dead for about 4 days. Must mean I spent all week and weekend at CMJ. Holy god. I will attempt to re-cap all that went down here, as it was an amazing week. I saw so much goddamn great music...learned a lot, and punished myself mercilessly every step of the way.

Day 1 - Tuesday - K'Naan, Brooklyn Vegan.
Early in the day I had to meet K'Naan to interview him for Metropop. It was to be my first face-to-face interview, so I went through 30 minutes of pure anxiety beforehand...which really isn't all that bad. I met my label contact at a restaurant on The Bowery. I was early (nerves) so we sat and chatted about the resurgence of A & M records, CMJ, and Herb Alpert. Then K'Naan came, and we sat down to our 30 minute interview over breakfast...well, he ate. I just sat and asked questions. When I do interviews, I tend to get too excited, turning the "interview" into something more like a barstool conversation...which sounds like fun, but later I go back over the tapes and wince at how stupid I sound and wish I spoke less.

So this time I spoke less, I was controlled. I acted like a god damn journalist. I was fucking 60 minutes. We talked about globalization, Maroon 5, and how he was literally handed the keys to Bob Marley's house, where he recorded his new record. He also poured a bunch of salt in his tea by accident so we were granted a hilarious moment of levity. He was really cool to talk to, laid back, and we discovered that he lived in the same Minnesota city as my Auntie Jer. I'm looking forward to writing the feature.

Then it was off to panels. They were panels. A lot of yapping about the current state of the music biz and whatnot. I won't bore you with the details.

Night came and I met Ant and his friend Shannon at The Music Hall of Williamsburg for the Brooklyn Vegan Showcase. I got there extremely early because I was paranoid about them restricting the number of badges that got in. This is a problem I ran into a lot last year, but only once this year. I got in no problem to see Emmy The Great...more like "Emmy the alright live but probably a lot more interesting on the album". Hey-o! Little bloggy joke there for you. But seriously, where you kids from?

Anyway. After her was a band, The Sammies, that sounded generic and lame for the first half of their set, but somehow morphed into Ram Jam for the second half. Divisive. Literally.

Then it was the "Special Guest", Shearwater, who I have never really heard before, but I kind of dug. His voice threatens to take over the music most of the time, which is OK if you like that kind of thing. I tend to enjoy it, but at least twice I cringed at how far he really took the "operatic guy in a waistcoat" shtick. And their drummer is Bruce Dickinson. Seriously.

Oh yeah, last time I filmed there, I got thrown out, so the camera was in stealth mode the whole night. Meaning you won't see much, but the audio will be there.

After that, Ponytail, who fucking crushed at Market Hotel (which is basically what a venue would look like if they had a venue in that movie Judgement Night), but sounded completely different here. We all agreed they were better suited to a 400 degree slum/venue than the Music Hall, but they were still pretty damn sweet nonetheless. I don't usually roll with the yippy ecstatic female music but I can do it in small doses.

Then it was Passion Pit, who were fucking amazing. Now you can tell which way I lean, musically: moronic dance rock. Thats how I roll. Really loved these guys.

Then it was singing DJ Jens Lekman. He did one of his own tracks as Shannon and I danced our asses off, making Ant uncomfortable because he likes dancing just as much as he likes ranch dressing.

Then it was a cab ride home to dry out for Day 2. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Last weekend was brilliant. It was my birthday and I will never forget it. My girl got me tickets to Hot Chip as a gift, and despite the boners in the audience, it was an amazing show. Especially this...they played a new song, "Alley Cats", and I can't stop listening to it. Its smoother, without the schizophrenia (great as it was) that characterized "Made in the Dark". It's controlled and builds logically, like a calmer "No Fit State". I also like how none of the instruments really come out of the wash, they all just melt into the same warm mass. Actually, this wouldn't be out of place on a Gas or any number of Kompakt records. Anyway, enjoy. With some bonus vids from the weekend...including a trip with our limo driver, Hogan. Call a number, and a shitty limo comes screaming from the night blasting Rick James, the driver shakes a tambourine, and the whole thing smells like gas so bad you can't even taste your beer. Thanks again friends.

Hot Chip - Alley Cats

Hot Chip - Playboy

Hot Chip - And I Was a Boy From School

Hot Chip Covering Sinead and adding their own track

I don't care if you can't see whats going on.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Name Mikey Acid

It's nice to hear Mikey Skinner's voice again. From his sorta-hooded-out first record, to his story album about growing fame and adventures, and his last album that covered the pitfalls of real fame and rockstar celebrity, it's been great watching him grow up. I suppose he just reflects whats in front of him. Luckily he does it over great beats. And say what you will, in his own english way, he kind of, sort of, redefined "rapping". I'm excited to watch his next step. Check out "Everything Is Borrowed" from the album of the same name.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Devin Drop Acid

So, since Devin the Dude has a new album coming out, and since he is without a doubt the greatest mind to walk the earth since my uncle Jeff. I'm posting all of his "High Y'all Doin" Webisodes. Alright, i'm just bored and its raining and this shit is cracking me the hell up.
Do it Devin,
High Y'all Doin...(Intro)

High Yall Doin (Episode 2 - PSA)

High Yall Doin - Episode 3 - New Spice 1 Track

HIgh Y'all Doin - Episode 4 (Timepiece Update)

High Y'all Doin - Episode 5 - @ The Coughee Pot

Have a Great Weekend. All you NY heads, come to Artists and Fleas tomorrow. We'll be there selling some shee-it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Welcome to the Fall

The weather in New York airs out a bit, and everyone calms down accordingly.
Thanks to a post by BV, I'm really digging this gentleman's music right now...
Seems to be a perfect soundtrack for watching the leaves fall. The hope is that the world decays and dissipates, dies through the winter, and comes out on the other side with a few new questions to answer. Isn't that what Fall is all about?

So its cooler outside, and you still hear, "stop looking at me you fucking junkie" on the street in Astoria. Only now it stops there. Instead of a shiv, its a shrug. We're all of us crawling back inside for the cool air that demands it.

Thankfully the hustle summer didn't seem so hustle-y in New York this year. I sweat through fewer pairs of socks than in previous years, but there were some brutal ones, to be sure. Those summer days where even the air is urgent - saturated, and ready to crack all over everyone. Two years ago we swam through Brooklyn only to show up late to a Boot Camp Clik reunion (how many of those have there been now?). You could see the air. It clung to you and asked politely for your wallet.

What a unique experience. This city in any season. Summer though, everything sweats and everyone hustles harder. The walls of the subway station are slick. It cools and dries and goes god-knows-where once you get on the refrigerated train.

Point is, I'm glad its Fall. I just moved into a brand new place with my girl. We have arcade basketball and a hell of a collection of zombie flicks to plow through. You are all invited. I look out my windows and I see green trees waving away in the wind. The woman who lives behind us gives voice lessons on the weekends. We can hear them practice their octaves. Its amazing if they are good. Obnoxious if they are rookies.

We painted our bedroom blue. It works. The bar down the street - 2.50 for a dozen wings on Sundays. My bank account - flush enough to let it be. My fridge - full enough in a pinch, blank enough to get creative. I make my own bloody marys on Sundays and settle down to nap on the couch...to absorb my fantasy lineup by osmosis.

Life is indeed good. Yet, in my storm of contentedness, I've lost a bit of my ol' standby. My complex. The one that had me trying to please everyone, all the time. I suppose it comes from having a big family, but I am a diplomat. Through and through. Its served me well, but its also tripped me up more times than I care to recount.

So, somehow the wheel starts to spin upward. I'm happy and content in my whitewalled living room, watching the cardinals out my back window, and I am SO less eager to please anyone, save for a narrow few. Jarring for those who were used to it for so long, but a strong salve to my girl and myself - who found the short end of the stick too often.

So we go. Onward and upward folks! My girl has a gallery show this week, you should come.

We'll also be selling our MRI lightpainting shee-it at that outdoor market thing in Williamsburg on Saturday. Come throw money at us.

Man I hope all this didn't sound pretentious. Ha...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Name Drop Lights

This is really cool,

My girl and I have pretty consistently been into this stuff called "lightpainting". It involves a camera, long exposures, and bright lights. We've done some great things with it, and it looks like some folks are starting to take notice. 2 random blogs have discovered us via google and featured us along other "lightwriters". I'm proud because we didn't solicit these people, they found us, so we must be doing something right. Check out the 2 articles. We are M::R::I.

This is our Flickr
Flickr: MRI

This is our blog (needs to be updated):
M::R::I Lightpainting

This is the Cultcase Article:
Cult Case: Shine in the Dark

This is the new Web Urbanist article:
10 Amazing Light Graffiti Artists.

As my 4th grade teacher used to say, "I'm bustin'" over here. I'm really proud, and now I am extra inspired to grab my girl, a camera, a few lights, and get out there. We have a long way to go compared to those other guys.

Have a great day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Name Drop Byrne

David Byrne news day.

1) I finally got to play the building! It was awesome, and instead of just whacking the keys around, I took a noisier approach and tried to split ear drums. I did not succeed.

2) His album with Brian Eno just came out, and so far it's great. It is unsurprisingly positive and upbeat. The sounds are clean, and thematically, it makes me excited for old age and a beautiful home with a beautiful woman in the country.

You can stream it right here in this handy dandy player Dave and Brian made.

Thats all I got for now. In a few, I'm going to get beers with some old high school friends. Last time we did this, we easily devolved into the argumentative 16 year olds we've always been. I can't wait.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My All Points West Coverage SUCKS

So in an attempt to "live blog" something for the first time ever, I sent text messages to my email during the first day of all points west. Nothing good came of it, this is far from "live", but I am posting them here unabridged anyway, with editors notes.

2:29 pm
Weird crowd hip and dirty. Art project everywhere cross promotion. Girl talk [I meant Go! Team] on first on main stage. No one is ready. I feel sorry for them.

2:41 pm
Go team guitars too loud. Fun to watch though. They switch instruments. ninja has bigger booty than previously understood.

2:46 pm
Ninja raps like three eleven down.

3:29 pm
Dolab [The "Rave" Area] makes me glad i was only a raves [That's botched T-9 speak for "Raver"] once.

3:57 pm
Forro in the Dark is fucking amazing when you are sitting in the beer tent talking about hilarious tattoos.

4:13 pm
The pegge [reggae] in my blood stood up and made it hard to hate michael franti.
Note: This was only in passing, save the angry for your Battlestar Forums.

4:25 pm
Lots of dragon flies here.

6:22 pm
CSS has girls. Crowd of dudes gets three boners each.

6:40 pm
Born Slippy has been in my life longer than Feed The Animals.

Underworld - Born Slippy Parts 1 and 2. 1, as I realized they started playing it and power walked over. 2, as I stood, drooling and sunburned.

Girl Talk - 1 and 2. He threw on A Milli for Clinth, the lovely Spanish gentleman in the second video. Yup, that's my roommate. Yup, I know "ethnic" people.

Then I got bored and stopped texting. I filmed TONS of shit, so here is what I got from the first day.

Somewhere in there I filmed The New Pornographers making a reference to "Strange Brew" that no one got. Then I call their singer a "hoser". Then they make fun of the crowd for being all dudes. Then they play a song.

Ooh and here they are covering "Don't Bring Me Down" by ELO. Filmed from the beer tent, and only for six seconds. It was a great cover though.

I also grabbed some video of Mates of State for my girlfriend and I was pleasantly surprised. No snarkiness here, just decent music.

Then the batteries on my camera died. Don't worry (if you were worrying) I did get a chance to "film" radiohead the second night, but we are a looooonnnng way from posting that shit. Timeliness? Psssshhhhh.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I've been oddly drawn to this image and band lately.

Alright, so it's time for an update. I'm hoping I can turn in something coherent here, but this might slip away from me as quickly as I type it. I'm starting backwards. This will be a long, exhaustive post about basically nothing.

It has been a damn long time since I posted anything aggressively "personal" here. The only reason for this is that the persona I had built here became a little too much for me to handle. Amazingly pretentious, right? That my stories of drinking and stepping on land mines somehow became a persona for me? 4 people read this thing. Seriously, 4 people faithfully followed my misdeeds.

Wow, it is tough to write here, I am way out of practice. Fuck it, instead of clawing for some profound lead-in, I'm just going to start. Backwards.

Last night I spent most of the night in Corona, Queens with my roommates massive Bolivian family. They live about an hour away from me, and being Bolivian, they party late. That Kat Williams bit where he talks about partying with Spanish people for three months comes to mind.

So every time we go out there, we're there until 12:30am at least. After a long and busy weekend, I wasn't too thrilled about giving up a night that could otherwise be spent sprawled on the couch watching obscure Russian science fiction with my girlfriend. So I was crabby as hell as I was in Toys R Us spending five bucks on Hannah Montana future-garage sale fodder for my roommate's niece (her bday was the reason we were celebrating, though we've partied for less than that).

So I was crabby and I was taking it out on my poor girlfriend. I was pissed that I needed to go to Toys R Us, and I was even more pissed that we had to buy wrapping paper, a la Larry David. I went to get the Hannah Montana crap, she went to get the wrapping paper.

I came out of the store fuming, hating the hot sun, hating my life, wanting to abort Billy Ray Cyrus and the Jonas' Mother before they could wreak any more havoc on my life. I turned the corner to see my girlfriend, wearing a ridiculously oversized party hat and a huge grin. My anger thinned, but she knew the hilarious hat wouldn't be enough, so she assaults me with silly string. My anger dissolved, and I adored her more than I ever have in my entire life.

After that, the night had its ups and downs, but it peaked right then and there. I was lifted from my funk, and I was able to hang out until the wee hours with my surrogate family.

I tell this story for no real reason other than to illustrate the fact that this is the direction I am heading. I have someone who is willing to spend 4.99 at a party store in Queens just to cheer me up, and that's fucking awesome. I can't wait to do the same for her.

Moving backwards, I saw the Gonzo documentary the night before that.

It was pretty damn great, and it made me feel even better about the tattoo on my right forearm. The Gonzo symbol did in fact represent something more concrete than I ever thought it did. Hunter Thompson was so consistently insane that he was able to hammer his madness into form with nothing more than a typewriter and a vivid imagination. I think he did what we all try to do. To take our personal insanity and turn it into something real. The difference is that most of use our inherent madness as propulsion through more traditional territory. He was mad at the edges, and instead of concealing his madness deep in the gears of the machine, he just let it consume him. He made the territory. He was the raw nerve, and as he became more and more notable, the person at his core became less and less, until he ended it all with a gun in his mouth at the age of 67.

"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won't hurt"
-His suicide note.

I had a few problems with the film though. It was extremely traditional, and all the talking heads (Jan Wenner, Pat Buchanan, George McGovern) were cool, but it was better to just see him speak and act. I realize the film sought to build the legend, but when it was simply illustrative (I really want to see this now), I found myself enjoying it more. It's not really for die-hards, but more of a highlight reel of his better moments.

His suicide was also painted by a few people close to him as a cowardly act. They were mad at him, and thought it was the least noble thing he could have done.

Oh yeah, this too...
Maybe I should make a separate post for this, because its awesome...
Anyway, a few months ago, Miles, Ant and I had a brilliant plan to spend a day in drinking preparation for a 4 am Dan Deacon concert. With my new video camera, we documented our whole decline from 3 guys hungover at 3 pm to 3 crowd surfing madmen at 4 am. It was a hilarious fucking day, and the videos are great, although they are probably only funny to us. The videos are at my youtube channel, under "Best Day Ever". Check them out.

So at about 2 am that night, after getting separated from Miles, we found him near the only bar at the "venue" (the bizarre winter gardens at the World Financial Center). After Miles yelling at me for my phone dying (belligerence was our common tongue by that point) we calm down and get to the reunion drinking. As we're hanging out, Ant gets to gabbing like an old woman with a broken hearing aid (as usual). He starts talking about pit bull baby rape, Marni Stern (who was performing that same night) and how "dope" she is. Then, hilarity ensues...check the video at 1:26 in.

You can't WRITE timing like that. I actually think the funniest part is that Miles immediately hits on her but that's neither here nor there.

So I promised Ant I would post about that video because he told me he wants to maintain his "internet anonymity". However, he doesn't deserve anonymity, and that video is funny as fuck, so I am blowing up his spot. I think I am going to make a separate post. His account of the event is great too.

After that, we made Marni late for her performance, the night continued to be hilarious, and we finally saw Dan Deacon. It was everything we hoped it would be:

Yes, that's me yelling "Damnit Cohagon give these people air!!!"

I also got captured by the Hipsterazzi. Mom, your little boy finally made something of himself.

Alright, thats all I got for now. I haven't written of my adventures for a while, because I have (purportedly) been taking my life in a less self-indulgent direction. Which is great in theory, but in practice, this is who I am, and its more of a crime to deny that, than to just let it go free.

Also, I need to be better with my documentation, because as time and brain cells pass by, it will be these accounts that entertain me in the Convalescent home...shittin' in a bag.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ponytail Mae Shi Sweaty Nuts Market Hotel Bushwick

Ponytail 1

Ponytail 2

Mae Shi 1


This show was so sweaty I had to burn my clothes afterwards.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Siren Fest/ Liars Fuck Buttons Team Robespierre in McCarren Park

This weekend, I "went" to the Siren Fest in Coney Island. By "went" I mean, my girl, Miles, his girl and I all sat and drank beer in the sun while Ant got all uppity and ran around in the heat to actually "watch" the music...it was his first time there, bless his lil' heart.

As we sat and let the sun and beer drain our spirits away, some pretty great bands played. Parts and Labor was the only band I really "watched", and they were fun. It was more fun to make fun and call them "Parts and GAYbor" to piss off Ant, but that backfired when they ended up being awesome.

After that, it didn't take long for the Coronas and the oppressive 99 degree heat to drain me into a useless state that would be better suited for a lawnchair in a nursing home. Every time I go to Siren its like that. Its hot as fuck, too crowded, the sound is "eh", and I drink a little too much to stay frosty. Why then, do I go? Hell if I know...

I tried to see Islands, but I could only stand getting bumped into by sweaty assholes in day-glo urban outfitters sunglasses for so long, so I got the hell out of there.

Anyway, I did get a little footage of Broken Social Scene as I wandered to get more beer, before passing out peacefully on my girlfriend's foot on the beach.

Not sure what the song is...

Sunday though was much more successful. McCarren Park Pool on a Sunday was like a waterballoon to the face during Siren Fest. It was fucking refreshing, not very crowded, plenty of places to chill, and they had a slip and slide, which I threw my skinny ass down about 9 times.

The music...

Team Robespierre. Hella fun to watch.

Fuck Buttons. I could listen to this shit if my hair was on fire.

Liars - Clear Island

Liars - The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack

Liars - Plaster Casts of Everything

So, in closing. A disorienting Saturday, and an ideal Sunday. And a slip and slide.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Death Market

I am starting a new project that I am really excited about. Standard practice for me is to shoot my mouth off about my new "projects", talking a big game and forgetting to deliver when the time comes. I'm not going that route this time, because I really believe in this one and I am more excited to work on it, as opposed to just talking about it. All I will say is that it is a photo/writing collaboration with a good friend of mine. Here are the seeds of the project:

I've said too much...but I'm really excited to devote a majority of my energy to this one, so i had to say something.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bloc Party - Mercury

I've been bugging out about this song for a while now, but I haven't had time to write anything down...I still don't. All I have time for is a poorly written rant, but believe me, this track has affected me in ways I didn't expect it to.

The first time I heard this I thought I got some fucked up Baile Funk remix...with the rhythm, the canned horns, and the wacky percussion, I freaked. I liked it, but I wanted to hear the original. There is no remix. This is it! What the fuck?

Alright, I know hyperbole isn't hip, and that Bloc Party are free to do whatever the hell they want, but this was definitely a little jarring to hear from them. And it still is.

I suppose it's more "The Prayer" than "So Here We Are", and with the odd electro thing called "flux" I shouldn't be too surprised they came up with this for the next single.

Now here is the other thing... it works. True it sounds like Bonde De Role featuring Kele and there are no "instruments" to speak of (wtf was the band doing the whole time they were making this? stealing horn sounds from Howard Jones?),and it has "screwed up" vocals, yet somehow it sounds fucking awesome.

Kele shakes his fist into space as Mercury moves backwards across the sky..."Mercury's in retrograde", and the resulting cosmic distortion sets the Earth on it's other ear. He's "sleeping with people I don't even like" and when his future love passes him, he blows his chance...all he can say is, "hey".

He's got scars all over his hands, and as the fucked up subway percussion grows it kicks John Williams in the ass and he strikes up the international cinematic symbol for "downfall" - blaring horns and descending brass scales. It all comes apart. Kele's chances at love and happiness die before his eyes, Pepsi becomes Coke, Dogs and Cats live together, and society collapses, tearing itself apart at the altar of some kind of mutant tyrant.

After the crash, Mercury indifferently heads back in the right direction.

The video is cool, but its better looking in my head.

That's all I got. Just wanted to express a shred of the weirdness that comes to me as I listen to this song. I love this band.
Go to the site and buy the disc box.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

You always were an asshole Gorman...

Alright, so its 2:20 am, and I am buzzed up on free Bud Lights, "DJ-ing" at a bar on the upper west side...how did it come to this?

Well...I tried to formulate my thoughts into some kind of explanation and this is what I came up with...Its about a minor character in the movie "Aliens" a film that for all intents and purposes, is totes in charge. Fuckin' kids today with their slang.

Actually I'm just blastin' sand up yer skirts. I wrote this a few months ago while watching Hellraiser II: Hellbound (abomination) in the airport on one of my many trips home. I really fucking like 'Aliens'.

Ok, "Fuck Her Gently" just came on, and I need to help these people sing along, so enjoy the "piece" "called" "Gorman" that I "wrote"...[whoa: hitting space bar here accidentally made me stop Europe's "The Final Countdown" mid-intro...apparently, on the macs, and in itunes, when you just switch back to check the song, "space bar" means "stop/play"...so I just stopped Gob's theme song during the best part...the keyboard riff-o... in a crowded bar full of beer-pongers at 2 am on a Friday night. I just ducked a beer bottle...and a prosthetic leg. Don't drink and blog people.]

...and oh yeah, I barely edited this. Strunk and White is punks.


This is the guy...

I started watching Hellraiser II, and in the course of its hand holding, signposting, cloying, ball-scratching over-exposition, I realized something that maybe only a few nerds and 80's movie freaks have realized. Lt. Gorman is in Hellraiser II!!! That's right, the green, inexperienced, weak lieutenant who marched Sgt. Apone and his sorry marines into hot doom under the primary heat exchangers in Hadley's Hope, the sole settlers complex on the similarly doomed planet, LV 426.

I suddenly really really really want to watch Aliens. Wait...not want. I need to watch that movie. I may walk down to the horridly overpriced DVD kiosk in this airport and drop my hard earned money on that masterpiece. For the film is so perfect that even Gorman, a minor character played by a throwaway 80's actor (Now! With the med student guy from Hellraiser II!!), was played perfectly, or at least the tumblers (casting, script, wardrobe, jimmy cameron) lined up for this young wide eyed actor to be the perfect fit to play the military brat who probably got his stripes through letters from his rich brass uncles, as opposed to hard scars and mud cuts in the trenches.

He sucks in Hellraiser II, but in Aliens, he's perfect. The way when he takes off his hat, rubbing his newly short hair, he's obviously confused by the unfamiliar (yet required) military buzz cut he most certainly received just hours before. The way he opens up his first speech to his own troops... he cant even remember their names...

(Hudson raises hand)
Gorman: What is it, Hicks?
Hudson: Hudson, sir. He's Hicks
Gorman (looking embarassed): What is it, private?

He spits out the word "private" like a watermelon seed covered in bile. Covering up his own embarassment by reducing his man to his rank, comforted again by his undeserved place on the totem pole.

Oh, he is most certainly going to fuck this thing up.

The way he most certainly skipped most levels of military protocol. He skipped the destruction of his spirit and identity in boot camp, he skipped the rebuilding and re-tooling of his psyche to be an effective weapon of destruction for The Colonial Marines.

He is going into battle just as you or I would...callow and confused and shackled with the weight and trouble of a lifetime of human emotions. He is going to crack nearly instantly and everyone knows it.

"How many drops is this for you, lieutenant?"
"How many combat drops?"
"Uhhh....2.....including this one"

That is just Gorman. That doesn't even touch the wild humanity of Hudson, the career-company man focused indifference of Burke (again, perfect casting of Paul fucking Reiser), the sleepy eyed power of Hicks falling asleep peacefully as he descends into hell, the tough fatherly guidance of Apone who knows he is just as fucked as the grunts he is supposed to lead, the weirdness and odd spirituality of Drake with his reckless charms hanging from his rifle, and his valkyrie Vasquez (they were totally fucking) who only needs. to. know. one. thing. "Where. They. Are".

Shit, there's even Farro, with her "fly me friendly" stamp, all "I can drink you the fuck under the table" confidence behind classic aviator shades. A fighter, even after she gets her skull perforated she fights to clear her windscreen of her own blood. She was also the blueprint for the new style Starbuck.

That says nothing of Ripley, Nothing of the ultimate heroine, someone who by dumb chance is now doomed to exist only when the perfect killing organism rears its ugly head. The only time she wakes up is when there is bug hunting to do. The only time she goes to sleep is when its over....until the next time.

Yeah, I really fucking want to watch Aliens now.

"Man whats this crap supposed to be?"
"Cornbread i think."

Just for shits...