Dec 31, 2008

Reflecting on 2008: TOP 20 JustSayin Shows

2008 has been big year for In addition to keeping the art and music flowing online, below are THE TOP 20 shows JustSayin brought to Madison over the past year. Do any stick out to you as favourites?

1) 9/19: Dan Deacon, Leslie & The Lys, Monotonix, High Places
(mp3) [review]: One of most dynamic bills I've ever seen... Hairy Israleis rocking on top of the crowd, the debut of a new stunt by Leslie Hall, and the choreographed chaos of a frenetic electronic genius. This was the highlight of the first Forward Music Festival, even while I was genuinely terrified that the house was actually going to burn down.

2) 10/21 - Mount Eerie, Julie Dorion
(mp3) [review]: A new collaboration brought a fresh accessibility to an incredible DIY favorite. The setting was an echoey synogogue filled with one hundred voices singing an acoustic Bjork cover until it turned into a dove and flew away.

3) 4/6: The Woodhands
(mp3): The sweatiest danceparty of 2008 came from this up and coming indie duo who made the long trek down from Toronto for a Madison "sexy nerd party". Scream it together with your best German impression: YOU'RE A VERY GOOD DANCER, WHAT IS YOUR NAME? WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

4) 9/20: Thao with the Get Down Stay Down
(mp3) [review]: At this point in the festival, I was on one of one-hundred trips running back and forth between the Majestic Theater and the Orpheum Theater Stage Door. But from the buzz I heard about the show, this performance lived up to their spot as one of the best albums of the year.

5) 6/25: Frog Eyes
(mp3) [review]
6) 9/20: Pale Young Gentlemen, Stars Like Fleas [Forward Music Fest] (mp3)

5/30: Laura Barrett & Great White Jenkins (mp3)
8) 7/24: Shelby Sifers, Jordaan Mason (mp3)

9) 9/19: Neko Case [Forward Music Fest] (mp3) [review]
10) 8/16: Festival (myspace)
11) 5/8: Viking Moses & Golden Ghost (mp3)

12) 4/2: Headlights & Evangelicals (mp3) [review]
13) 2/21: Say Hi To Your Mom (mp3) [review]
14) 5/21: Old Time Relijun, Sleeping in the Aviary (mp3) [review]

15) 6/26: Daredevil Christopher Wright, LAARKS (mp3)
16) 9/20: Flosstradamus [Forward Music Fest] (myspace) [review]

17) 9/20: Aleks and The Drummer, Tune Yards [Forward Music Fest] (mp3)
18) 3/31: Phosphorescent (mp3)
19) 9/19: Grampall Jookabox, PWRFL Power [Forward Music Fest] (mp3)
20) 4/20: Enon, Karmella's Game (mp3)

Blue Bigfoot Of The Negev

David-Ivar Herman Dune - Sans titre (2008)

Research shows that the most accurate judgment of yourself comes from someone you've known between one and three years. This length of time allows the person to know you long enough to get past first impressions, but not so long as to begin to generalize favorably (Eichinger 24).

Herman Dune - Someone Knows Better Than Me (mp3)

Dec 26, 2008

Everyone Says Hey

Richard Renaldi - Ilene and Loria [from "Touching Strangers"] (2007)

You touch her shoulder. It's cold butter wrapped in wool. She touches yours and thinks the same. If you look closely at Richard Renaldi's photographs, you'll notice the discomfort. These are strangers who are prompted on the street to touch each other and then look into the camera. Some lay their hands like a blessing. Some extend a straight arm to test the temperature of the skin. Some look relieved, as if they had been waiting to touch someone all day. Some cling a little too close.

Shelly Short - Swimming (mp3)

Dec 25, 2008

Kneeling in Her Garden with Secrets

Sarah Maple - Branch Cock

Heavy black bangs attempt to lay over her eyes, as if to quiet their bounce on an otherwise pale Chicago face. Her neck is slightly tilted to focus on ripping the corner of a small paper envelope of watermelon seeds. She arranges them one by one with an extended finger into the outline of a bloated watermelon on the wooden table, then puts the envelope in the middle of the circle and pulls confidently on her sleeves to cover her gentle fists. She rocks back in her chair and begins to make the sound of a plodding bass line from the back of her throat and a sweeping guitar from the front. She never pretends she's not making every beat of her life happen.

Dec 22, 2008

Wish We All Could Freeze and Explode

Rob Hornstra - from "Roots Of The Runtur" (2005)

Cassettes Won't Listen - Freeze and Explode (mp3): This track is as cold as the slick on the sidewalk. The words are as plain as translucents and whites. The chorus tapers and repeats like the drifts. The hope is rigid and melts like lonely delusions. And tonight when I lick it, it sticks to my tongue as I sleep.

Dec 20, 2008

Introvert and Excavator

Allison Wermager [& Alexander] - Artificial Sunset (2008)

Move all the icons off your desktop and into one folder titled "distractions". Open an internet browser and conduct a google image search for "landscape of pure potential" or "perspective void of piles of cold and inconvenience". Download one of the resultant images. Open it in your favorite graphic editor (Paint, Photoshop, KidPix) and add a block of at least one bright color from one end of the image to the other. Ontop, paste a picture of yourself, a lover, or a dog. Save this creation and make it your desktop graphic. Your monitor will now substitute for your negligent windows in giving you an uplifting view... at least until May.

Santogold - LES Artistes (mp3)

Ting Tings - Thats Not My Name (mp3)

Dec 18, 2008

Jump In The

Jeff Soto - False Revolutionary (2006)

His mind was in his big toe all day. Overextended and aching. From walking to work faster than he could walk. To escape the cold chasing the tips of his ears. There is a dull feeling that pounding the pavement is what will always be needed to get anywhere.

Friendly Fires - Jump in the Pool (mp3)

Dec 16, 2008

A Spidey Sense

Jirapat Tasanasomboon - Our Prayers Are Answered (2006)

Jirapat is a Thai artist who visually introduces his contemporary American heroes (including Spiderman, Marilyn Monroe, and John Wayne) to traditional Thai heroes. Often the sites of their interaction are also iconic in nature - within classical and contemporary paintings. They speak of likeness and difference of human ideals over history and of the strange dinner party that is our increasingly global culture.

Haruki - Table Is Empty (mp3)

Dec 14, 2008

Vocab in an IV

Kent Henricksen - Devious Delight (2008)

Lil' Wayne - Dr. Carter (mp3): For those of you who regularly follow this project, you'll remember that my Dad turned me on to Lil' Wayne around this time last year. In this track from "Tha Carter III", Dwayne scratches his voice like a skipping vintage record over a freeform jazz riff to tweeze Macy Gray out of Louis Armstrong. Practically acapella, his voice is stretched and flailing at :48 when "CAPture what I say" tapdances his words against the floor in trip-a-let. The stories are just silly distractions.

Dec 10, 2008

My Bluebird

Alec Soth - First Baptist Church, Bemigji, Minnesota [from The Last Days of W]

To give life you must take life,
and as our grief falls flat and hollow
upon the billion-blooded sea
I pass upon serious inward-breaking shoals rimmed
with white-legged, white-bellied rotting creatures
lengthily dead and rioting against surrounding scenes.
Dear child, I only did to you what the sparrow
did to you; I am old when it is fashionable to be
young; I cry when it is fashionable to laugh.
I hated you when it would have taken less courage
to love. - Charles Bukowski

The Tallest Man on Earth - Where Do My Bluebird Fly? (mp3)

Dec 9, 2008

Count the Time

Vidya Kamat -Birthmark Series (2007)

Labeled by the pattern of time and place. Vidya calls them "cultural memories" that become embedded in your flesh and mark your being in a context. This one, from Mumbai, is hidden on the tongue. It swims in saliva with the foods grown from the land of place, grown and stretched over years of spoken truths and untruths. On the roof, it sounds like a "d" or a "t".

Cat Power - Who Knows Where The Time Goes (mp3)

Dec 6, 2008

Carry Me Home

Katsutoshi Yuasa - I Can See Nothing Without Glasses (2005)

Today is a third photocopy in a week, what do you think? Another sunrise, wind, trees, walking, mail, sunset, dark. I can see nothing unique without my glasses. Less with snow. Even less without leaving the room.

Jonni Greth & The Drones - Chariots Of Birmingham (mp3)

Dec 4, 2008

A Nebulous Visit

Scott Listfield - Men's Room (2008)

English compresses and cracks his voice like the flu. He pours sluggish out of his spacecraft, pulls his helmet back like mud, and suffocates on our words. Down the metal ladder rungs and onto a varicose slab of concrete next to a Pizza Hut, each step a heavy, dazed plod. He sings and there is silence at the end of each syllable. A chainlink fence to separate each consonant, an empty parking lot between vowels.

Sigur Ros - All Alright (mp3)

Dec 3, 2008

Another Done Gone

Thomas Eisner - Herbaceous 5 (2006)

Odetta - Another Man Done Gone (mp3): With a last clap, Odetta sings deep forever of the struggle and the loss. Another done gone.

Dec 2, 2008

Deastro 12/1

I usually don't post live reviews.  But you missed a hidden gem buried below the snow and cold last night, just passed midnight, on a Monday.  Randy Chabot, a pale young Michigan man of average height and scruffy black hair, jumped on stage at The Frequency and opened his bag of goodies.  First a white plastic Tiger from Target where his bassist was stuck working Black Thursday weekend, then a Poltergeist DVD, then glow sticks for everyone, and then one of the most honest and energetic DIY sets I've seen in Madison.  Under the playful name
Deastro, Randy releases albums with relevance that the Killers have been unable to find and with none of their budget.  His songs turn small rooms into epic arenas without losing any intimacy.  Each is sweaty like the Woodhands, adventurous like MGMT, and homemade like CocoRosie.  And all are crafted passionately from a computer, broad samples, and the creativity of this authentic 23-year-old soul.  He swings his hair because Popeye's chicken isn't real, he dances by jumping like he's trying to touch the ceiling, he writes songs because he wants to share them with you.  In a world that sounds like this, there is no reason to live alone.  

Deastro - The Shaded Forests (mp3) [myspace]