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Showing posts from April, 2010

The Weekly Roundup: 4.30.2010

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Once again the weather is too good to be inside typing away, allowing the interwebs to siphon away my few remaining brain cells that have not been damaged by drinking. And, I really should be in the park with a notebook drafting my grad school application essay. But, I'll probably go to this vegan BBQ/house show instead. Basically, we'll be keeping things short here again on the roundup. Oh sweet, sweet procrastination! Without it, we'd all be uptight overachievers.

Somefield
Barnaby Ward is an illustrator who makes eerie prints of pretty girls with monstrous animals. They remind me of Edward Gorey and Cowboy Bebop. I would say that is a freaking awesome combination for inspiration. You can see a copious amount of his work on Somefield, his website, which includes a bunch of free desktop backgrounds. This is currently what my computer looks like.

Girl with Japanese Spider Crab (2008)
Next Girl
The Black Keys have made another sweetass video for the single Next Girl to promote t…

Tuesday Is For Tunes: The Cinnamon Band

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It takes a lot for me to get excited for an EP release. I’m usually too greedy, and want the satiation of a full LP meal for my ears. However, for the new EP from The Cinnamon Band, All Dressed, I got fairly anxious in my anticipation. Rough cuts had been available on the band’s MySpace for a while, tantalizing in their gritty, glittering potential. They were so good, impressively intense for a two-man band. The songs blended with my consciousness, and rang through the hollow spaces of my being. Yet, they yearned for a little more studio time to polish the constant, delicate harmonies, and balance them with the resounding drums.

Recorded by Arlen Thompson of Wolf Parade at Mount Zoomer, finally mastering, pressing, and packaging are done, and All Dressed is complete. This four-track EP is mighty fine, a tremendous collection of songs each with the memorable caliber of a single. I love every one equally, and for different reasons. The first track, I’m Asking You, demands immediate atte…

Live Fast Playlist

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DISCLAIMER: Sachi Subterranean has a bad case of the sniffles and black lung. She made this post under the influence of several doses of cough syrup.

For a long time I’ve had this philosophy that when you sleep, life keeps on happening, and you miss it. Even when my insomnia slides temporarily into remission, I yearn to be awake and out in the night. And now that I have a 9-5 with four hours of public transit to nap through, the urge is especially strong. Basically, I run on a couple hours of sleep and a gallon of black coffee a day until my body just collapses into sickness, forcing me to gear down. Unfortunately, I’ve learned first hand that the combo of cold medicine, alcohol, and shows seem to result in my public narcolepsy, broken glasses, and a strong suggestion from security to leave the establishment.

I’m sure that some people (Hi, mom!) will be of the opinion that I need to adjust my lifestyle to better suit my employment reality. But, I’m not sure this is a lifestyle. This mi…

The Weekly Roundup: 4.23.2010

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Beehive Design Collective
In high school I helped lead a social justice conference for teens from around North America at a hostel in Massachusetts on behalf of YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists). That was the first time I saw the politically charged artwork of the Beehive Design Collective, a decentralized group of volunteer educators, organizers, and artists. I sat for an hour staring at this six-foot high poster of incredibly detailed and intricate drawings that symbolized the many issues affecting Columbia entitled Plan Columbia. I was initially captivated by its artistic talent, but that led to a deeper interest in its message. I believe effective change has to come from all facets of society, including culture. Art can be such an engaging, entertaining way to convey a message, and that is how Beehive Design Collective uses it. That was eight years ago, and now my younger brother likes their work too. This week he offered to get me a few of their patches as a birthday …

Toro Y Moi Live At Kung Fu Necktie

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I took these photos a couple weeks ago when Toro Y Moi played at Kung Fu Necktie with Power Animal and The Ruby Suns. That was one of the best line ups I've ever seen. I highly recommend seeing any of those acts live, if you ever have the chance. In fact, Toro Y Moi will be on tour with a full band in May and June playing shows with Caribou. Put that down in your calendar as a must see.

Tuesday Is For Tunes: Andy Shauf

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Darker Days, the 2009 release from Andy Shauf has been the soundtrack to my life, since it somewhat serendipitously came into my possession two weeks ago. It’s restless and wistful, filled with all the sentiments that come with being the strange, in between age of neither kid nor adult. These are songs about honest self-reflection, learning to let go, and reconciling the realities of life. In the great tradition of folk music, they are told through poignant stories, and moments of clarity described in beautiful detail. Embellished with only small flourishes of handclaps, twangy electric guitar, banjo, and harmonica, Andy Shauf delivers a lot more than your standard singer-songwriter, ‘guy with an acoustic guitar’ fare.

With skillful musicianship and resonate vocals, Andy Shauf crafts Darker Days into an intimate listening experience. Not to get too nerdy here, but the first time I really listened to him was at a house show, so I find it just as easy to compare his style to Shubert’s ch…

Freelance Whales Live At Record Store Day

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This past Saturday was Record Store Day! In addition to a slew of special releases, my local independent record store, Rainbow Records, had a free in-store show to celebrate. Freelance Whales played an incredible acoustic set for everyone, who managed to cram into the building. I managed to slide up front to take these photos. Big thanks to Rainbow Records for making the show happen, and to Freelance Whales for making good music.

Vegan Cornbread and Chipotle Chili

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I put on a house show last weekend with four local bands and four touring acts. Since I had promised everyone a free meal, I needed to make a large amount of food. Chili is easiest to make in at least a gallon sized batch, and I decided to try and challenge myself to make up a vegan cornbread recipe. There were no leftovers, and it was really affordable. If you don't have twenty people to feed, you can freeze the chili in single serving containers, and live off of it for weeks. I know, because I've tried.

*** Yields one 9"x13" cornbread. ***
Vegan Cornbread
4 tbsp Canola oil
8 tsp Baking powder
1/2 c Sugar
4 c White cornmeal
1 tbsp salt
3 c Soy milk
1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
1/2 c Canola oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spread the four tablespoons of canola oil in a 9"x12"x3" pan. Place the pan in the oven, and allow the oil to warm. In a large bowl combine the baking powder, sugar, white cornmeal, and salt. In a medium bowl stir the soy milk, apple cider vi…

The Weekly Roundup: 4.16.2010

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Titus Andronicus Undone
Thursday I got to see Titus Andronicus play live for the first time. It was flipping fantastic. Despite some sound difficulties, they brought the rock. The crowd was passionate, yelling all the lyrics with fists in the air and a little friendly shoving. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. At one point they had Cassie Ramone from The Babies, a Vivian Girls/Woods side project that opened, come up on stage to help them cover Weezer's Undone - The Sweater Song. It was pretty sweet, and The Styrofoam Drone filmed it.

This Is What We Image
An art collective in Los Angeles, This Is What We Image (TIWWI, pronounced teewee) primarily is a video collective that organizes events and projects for its members. There's a lot of interesting shorts, music videos, and series on there website. It's a good way to spend an hour or some, if you're looking for some artistic and intellectual stimulation. I really like the work by Sam Molleur, especially his music videos. Here&…

Tuesday Is For Tunes: Titus Andronicus

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Sometimes you need music you can sing along to at 3am when you’re drunk with your friends, stuck in a small town, and have to go work in four hours at a job that is a complete insult to your intelligence. The sophomore effort from Titus Andronicus, The Monitor, is an album filled with songs to meet this essential need. There’s enough blustering rage and epic rock outs to satisfy any inebriated nihilist. It’s a soundtrack for when you want to break things for the fun of it or yell into the void until your throat is so raw it bleeds, and I wholeheartedly approve.

Actually, getting drunk and yelling are both pretty easy. What makes Titus Andronicus notable is that they do it grandly and intelligently. Their anger has a slew of justifications, and they articulate it with sounds that pay homage to that complexity. Just because everything’s going to hell doesn’t mean you can’t go out with some grace and a fight. Rife with both impassioned battle cries and eloquent quotes, this spirit resoun…

New Album Releases

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2010 is burgeoning with talent and creativity. So much good music has already come out this year, and it’s only April. Absolutely freaking fantastically, there is still more to come. In case you’re like me, and having trouble keeping track of all the new releases that have been announced and rumored, here’s a list of what I’m anticipating for the next couple of months.

April 13th
Arctic Monkeys - My Propeller
Earl Greyhound - Suspicious Package
Freelance Whales - Weathervances
MGMT - Congratulations
The Tallest Man On Earth - The Wild Hunt

April 17th: RECORD STORE DAY
In honor of the 4th annual celebration of independent record stores, there are a bunch of special editions, 7", 10", 12", sets, doubles, colored vinyls, full-lengths, singles, and videos being released, most in limited quantities exclusively available at independent stores. Participating artists include: Beach House, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Bon Iver, Bonobo, Buddy Guy, Built To Spill, Coconut Records, David Baz…

The Weekly Roundup: 4.9.2010

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Delorean - Stay Close
Oh my goodness, I’ve watched this video at least once a day, since it went up on YouTube. A practically perfect song, Stay Close is the first single of Subiza, the forthcoming album from Delorean out June 8th. I am doing my best to wait patiently.

California Highway 1
There are a multitude of reasons why I need to move back to California, but weekend scenic roadtrips are towards the top of the list. When I lived outside Los Angeles I drove up the coast to Oregon, and I drove out to Death Valley. Now I read the California travel section of the LA Times constantly to fuel my daydreams. This particular article details a roadtrip on Highway 1 out to Yosemite. Of course, my devotion to National Parks only makes me pine for this trip even more.
Highway 1's golden opportunities by Sally Horchow
The Way Out
The Books have been one of my all-time favorite bands ever since I first heard The Lemon of Pink. The lack of new music from them in recent years has left a small hole…

Local Scene

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I've mostly done landscape and live band photography, but I've recently had the desire to document the culture of my local music scene through candid portraits. It's a vibrant, creative, grassroots community that deserves recognition. I'm proud to participate in it, and in turn it's had a significant influence over me.