Oct 30, 2006

Indie Conversation: Chris Garneau and Meg Baird

(click and zoom in to view)

Chris Garneau - Not Nice (mp3)

Meg Baird - Waltze of the Tennis Players (mp3)

Both of these songs are beautifully simple and articulate a strong singular perspective, so I put them in the same room and let them talk to each other. The result in an intriguingly interesting lovers quarrel, comparitively enriched with new inflections and situational sarcasm.

Oct 28, 2006

Super Crazyish Halloween Giveaway Extravaganza Bonanza

Cindy Sherman - Untitled #424 (2004)

In celebration of temporarily loosened societal opression on the range of expression allowed in public, I've arranged a Super Crazyish Halloween Giveaway Extravaganza Bonanza. Simply comment thoughtfully on any post and each comment through Oct 31st will enter you in the drawing to win one of THREE unique prize packages (please include your email or check back for winners). You just gotta say something is all...

"Ivory Skeleton Keys" Prize Package:
A Flashing Skeleton Head Signed by Margot & The Nuclear So and So's + 5 CDs* + A Cassettes Won't Listen T-shirt + A Matching Candy Watch and Bracelet Set

"Psychotic Witch & Family" Prize Package:
A Jodi Jett Shirt & Signed CD + A Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players DVD + 5 CDS* + A Filter Band T-shirt + A Matching Candy Watch and Bracelet Set

"Condoleezza Check My Comics" Prize Package:
A Majestic Twelve Signed Comic Book & CD + 5 CDs* + A Bird Whistle + A Filter Band T-shirt + A Matching Candy Watch and Bracelet Set

CDs include a selection from the following: The Rapture’s Pieces of the People We Love, Stars of Track and Field’s Centuries Before Love and War, Peter Frampton’ Fingerprints, The Bishops’ The Only Place I Can Look Is Down, Brazilian Girls’ Talk To La Bomb, Shiny Toy Guns’ We Are Pilots, DJ Shadow’s The Outsider, Pilot Speed’s Into the West, Shawn Colvin’s These Four Walls, The Silents’ Flicker & Flames, Emily Haines Knives Don't Have Your Back

Cindy Sherman's clowned series captures the ability of extravagant surrealist costuming to express real emotion (perhaps a muse to keep in mind in this era of bagged-sexy-nurse costumes). Beyond the sad clown cliche, Cindy's figures each exude a strength of character and allow for a strangely intense, curious empathy much like the attention attributed to foreign animals in a zoo (or Matthew Barney's clownish "Petrolatum Spirit").

I wrapped some creepy characters, crowd insecurities, and mania motivators into a playlist to drop into your cute plastic pumpkin-shaped satchel. Be careful not to step on the lawn and always make sure to check the mp3s for razor blades before putting them in your ears.

CocoRosie - Bear Hides & Buffalo (mp3)

Margot & The Nuclear So and So's - Skeleton Key (mp3)

Grand Buffet - Things That Go Hump In The Night (mp3)

Fischerspooner - Emerge (mp3)

David Bowie - Dance Magic [Danny S Magic Party Remix] (mp3)

Stars - He Lied About Death (mp3)

Knife - Silent Shout (mp3)

The Evangelicals - Happy Halloween (mp3)

Camera Obscura - I Don't Do Crowds (mp3)

Ying Yang Twins - Whisper Song (mp3)

The Ours - I'm A Monster (mp3)

Radiohead - We Suck Young Blood (mp3)

Owen - The Ghost of What Should Have (mp3)

Oct 26, 2006

Our Crooked Roofs

Rivane Neuenschwander- Conversation 5 (2002)

This track zooms in on J. Tillman sitting on a cedar stoop under the dripping overhang of a self-censored shelter. He pulls uncomfortably at his soaked socks without mention of the maturing loss of who previously kept him warm. The banjo picks helplessly as he chooses one in an endless parade of tragic drips and softly blinks as it collides with a puddle and loses its shape. By unfocusing his eyes he can quiet the grey rushing wall in front of him and concentrate in the direction of where the horizon should be. It is decided that this newly dulled feeling cannot be unraveling into a lack of hope, but just a lack of anything with more promise than waiting for something that doesn't exist to step out of the haze.

J. Tillmann - Crooked Roof (mp3)

For some additional yet sparse seasoning, try Chris Cohen (previously of Deerhoof) as The Curtains.

The Curtains - Go Lucky (mp3)
Rivane Neuenschwander - Conversation 11 (2002)

Oct 24, 2006

It's Snowing Somewhere... Maybe Someone There Cares.

Elmgreen & Dragset - Somewhere in the World it's Four O'clock; Just a Single Wrong Move: Blocking the View (2004)

After weeks of unethusastically reciprocated "Hello! How are you?"s that only lead to more conversations about the weather, I'm feeling a bit rebellious. So I'm going to post brand-new leaked material while I'm at work. I can't help but feel that I'm not only living within the restrictions of a deliberately-cubed false sense of security, but it's becoming my perspective. Trying to squeeze a blog post in between spreadsheets is my new rebellion, and misinterpreting professional comments as inappropriate ones illicits 40-year-old-woman-cackles of laughter. I've signed to a major label and my lyrics are suddenly docile and my choices erring towards safe. And this is the biggest Courtney Love moment I can muster.

Gwen Stefani - Wind It Up (mp3)

Damien Rice - 9 (full album stream)

Aimee Mann - I'll Be Home For Christmas (mp3)

The Walkmen - Many Rivers to Cross (mp3)

Oct 21, 2006

Need a Change?

Elmgreen & Dragset - Marriage (2004)

Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset are the closest thing I have to parents in the thought-provoking, large-scale, clean-aesthetic, conceptual-art family. I dreamt that we packed up the family car and took a vacation to a Prada store in the middle of the desert. Then I realized it wasn't a dream, but a reality. And that this place where art and life mix is where I need to move.

Aside from having the best name in music, Planningtorock is also in the running for the strangest music videos (watch the kaleidescopic "Changes" and DIY "The Havers" for example). Janine's acoustic art pieces are distinctly noble (e.g. Fischerspooner's "Odyssey") and creepy (e.g. CocoRosie's "Noah's Ark"). Sweeping synths invite you to a grandiose marbled gala tinged with the off-kilter dissonance of a confusing drug haze. Listening is like viewing the world 45 degress askew, but with such a fascination that you never want stand up straight again.

Planningtorock - Changes (mp3)

If you're looking for something a little easier to digest, The Changes and Tahiti 80 are both making buzz with mild pop(rock). The Changes' track When I Wake reminds me of Brat Pack dance parties full of restrained flailing and naive romance. I do have to say that the quintet's amateur, acoustic cover of Sexy Back is pretty entertaining. Yeah. If you like what you hear, see them in Madison on November 17th at the Rathskellar. Tahiti 80 is pure pop to enjoy with your little sisters... while always being able to defend yourself with the production involvement of N.E.R.D. and Outcast. Their song Changes comes from the upcoming album "Fosbury" to be released in November.

The Changes - When I Wake (mp3)

The Changes - Sexy Back [live on Indiana's 91.7 WEEM courtesy of My Old KY Blog] (mp3)

Tahiti 80 - Changes (stream)

Oct 14, 2006

Eighteenth-Century Corsets Sold by Twenty First-Century Businessmen

Lady Clementina Hawarden - Two Women on a Porch (1862)

I'm very interested in the regurgitation of historical styles and our recent generation being largely defined by it's inability to be authentic. And somehow not caring. Everyone is always trying on costumes and searching for the new original style by collaging exhausted styles (leather jackets and Gwen Stefani become tight black jeans and The Ravonettes become polyester dresses and the Scissor Sisters become suit vests and The Killers). The search is longing for the Dada pastiche in being able to wear eighties leggings with a sixties mod dress, topped by an eighteenth-century tailed suit coat and the innocence of a twenties flower-pinned skull cap... all while google-chatting about New Order and Christina Augulilera's new simultaneous hip-hop and jazz references. But the pastiche is actually illuminated in the imitation itself; that the personal "eclectic" style is a folder of sales receipts from the same mall headed by financially inbred advertising executives who are simply paging through history books and re-selling us old ideas packaged alluringly with nostalgia. Our generation is defined by a lack of an artistic style; instead by the fashionable style of business; by deliberate lazy thought paled in the shadows of upwardly-mobile facades of our own empires.

The upcoming Sophia Coppola movie Marie Antoinette soundtracks twenty-first century celebrities in eighteenth-century French corsets with an alarmingly eclectic setlist of the aforementioned variety that includes Aphex Twin, Gang of Four, New Order, Lil' Bow Wow, Air, and the Cure. And how does this all work together? Well I have no idea, but tastemakers (promotions companies) explain that it will all make sense after you buy a $10 movie ticket.

IN FACT, this post is a promotional contest for the movie and all you have to do is
leave a thoughtful comment about this post and one lucky consumer will receive his/her very own Marie Antoinette poster, pin, and jar of nail polish. Don't you love it folks? If all you've got is bread, I'm here to forcefeed you hyper-sweetened cake until your heart explodes.

Gang of Four - Natural's Not In It (mp3) [from the Marie Antoinette soundtrack]

Oct 11, 2006

Melon. Collies.

Gabriel Orozco - Cats and Watermelons

On a sunny day with a frisbee in hand, a dog is man's best friend. But in the freezing rain, it's definitely a guitar. And when one-third of Congressmen are millionaires, the frigid sky will never stop falling on us. Drenched strumming voices are composing humanistic umbrellas, but the millionaires are too busy raping their beaurecratic slave boys to notice. Eric Bachmann's subdued strength lyrically wards off the burden-weighted beast and Damien Rice hints a familiar safety with the single of another comforting album. Juana Molina brings her caringly-crafted melodic collage to inspire locally this week, the Inner Banks compares the gustiness outside with the self-conscious warmth within, and Blind Melon articulates the hopelessness of the eternal plain. They'll probably all be bought by Herb Kohl, representing Wisconsin as the richest multi-millionaire in Congress, and used as the soundtrack to his latest series of fake election-year commercials. If he is the man we trust to limit oil company profit, we've already drowned.

Eric Bachmann - Carrboro Woman (mp3)

Damien Rice - 9 Crimes (stream) [from his upcoming album "9" coming out November 14th]

Juana Molina - Micael (mp3)

The Inner Banks - Acoustic (mp3)

Blind Melon - No Rain (mp3)

Oct 5, 2006

Justin Washington: Why History Needs to Get Its Sexy On.

Brad Neely - George Washington (2005)

I think this video is the way Second Grade should be taught these days. How else can we get young people to understand why a stale, old white guy is important? Today our historical figures and politicians have to compete with the skillz of computer-generated Supervillians and the celebrity reach of Paris Hilton. And they pale in comparison. He kills for fun? Worked for 50 cent. Kicks the shit out of bears? Worked for the crocodile hunter. What the fuck did George Washington do? Standardized testing should be culturally-relevant for the population growing in our crazy fucked-up culture.

Q: What motherfucking president had like 30 goddam dicks and advocated a neutral American position in the French Revolution?
A: George Washington

It's also exactly why Arnold can hold office, and why no one wants to vote in elections. And it's why we really should have a presidential reality TV show where candidates eat spiders and hit on each other's wives. It will force leaders to step out of their elderly, Hamptons box and become the visionary leaders that the Laguna Beach bitches and Youtube animated celebrities have become. I suppose we would get leaders that can sing a disco version of the national anthem and can't balance a budget, but at least they'd be relevant.

Q: What frigid cunt revolutionized politics upon changing her image by slamming 6 beers in a row at a press conference, can freeze waterfalls with her stare, and was the first president to sleep with every male member of Congress?
A: Hillary Clinton

Q: Which president of the UN eradicated AIDs by rallying the youth in American sewing classes to knitting pink condoms?
A: Paris Hilton

This is a crazy fucking world. You ready? Take it to the chorus.

Electric President - Some Crap About the Future (mp3)

Whole Wheat and The Action News - The Paranoid Boy (mp3)

Gnarls Barkly - Crazy [Visson remix] (mp3)

Adem - Launch Yourself (mp3)

Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back (mp3)