Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tonight there was a big gay pride celebration in the square outside my flat. At first I was disenchanted with the whole thing. Throughout the morning and the afternoon the stage was full of unenthusiastic high-school bands and bjork cover artists who sang off key. They weren't even opening up the beer stands. Then as the evening set in they pulled out, what I assumed were the big guns. First off, a series of possibly the worst drag queens I've ever seen. I tried to convince myself for awhile that I was just too far up to witness their gender-bending magic. But soon than later it became obvious, namely when the headlining drag queen lost her wig high kicking to Selena, that this was in fact the worst gay pride celebration ever. Despite all this, I downed a bottle of cheap red wine and after eating some fish full of bones that Anton whipped up for about 4 Euro and watching the what I can only assume was a 10 years too late German rip off of Lords of Acid (complete with a silver body painted wig-crotch gangly front-man and a 210 pound topless fag-hag), decided to brave the increasing crowd of dolled up assholes and be disappointed with the whole affair, firsthand. Anton brought his camera along and proceeded to film a group of lesbian dj's who, not surprisingly, couldn't beat match some obscure happy hardcore remix of "comfortably numb" with "sexy back". At one point we were close enough to the sidelines that one of these shaved-head disco divas asked Anton if he has an AV cable so they could use his camera to switch from a live feed to cued up loops of the Bride of Frankenstein. I encouraged Anton to go upstairs and grab his cable, which ended up being of no use to them. But somewhere in between there they managed to put on some decent dj's and the square blew up to what we estimated from our terrace to be about 1500 people. We hurried downstairs and proceeded to dance our asses off to some pretty decent euro-house (isolee included). Anton, being the squirrely bastard he is, made his way up to the front and I followed suit shortly there after.

That is when I spotted him. The only good looking guy in the 1500+ crowd. Not just good-looking. This guy was fucking stunning. He looked like a blonde, pepper-bearded, Sean Astin (believe me, that guy is hot).
My newfound streak of optimism, however, stopped my straight-dar from recognizing him as such. Sooner than later his ever so mildly attractive friend leaned over to me and asked in Spanish three times where I was from. I succintly responded with a coy "WHAT?!" each time. When he finally switched to 'Merican I told him we were musicians from Ohio getting ready for our first European tour. As it turned out, he was Canadian. They all were. Him, his gorgeous friend, and their equally attractive lady friend with one breast exposed. As the night wore on (about 2:30am) they shut the square down and the crowd proceeded to mingle around, slowly heading off to the clubs. I managed to find our newfound Canadian counterparts and we resolved to find a decent club to go to, as our flat was void of any alcohol (in case you had forgotten, Anton and I are both constantly recovering alcoholics). Canadian gay (I forgot his name) who was the only one in the five of us who spoke Spanish, butterflied around looking for a cheap and decent after-hours to head towards. We must have been out there for over an hour dicking around and attempting to find an ok place to go. I spent the majority of the time talking up the overwhelmingly attractive Canadian man, quickly realizing how utterly straight he was. I managed to distract myself from this though, by reveling in all the hilarious hideous foreign gay dudes that were wandering around attempting conversation with us. That and with the fact that this small group of Canadians were the almost perfect answer to the American coming-of-age comedy. They had it all. The tall and intelligent gay dude. The oaf-ish, over-sized silver watch wearing, collar-popped purple shirt, jock. And the buck-some, extroverted vixen with an exposed tit. I was honestly, really enjoying myself.
After awhile it became obvious we were not going to get through this evening without either parting company or following them and a gaggle of giggling gay Europeans (who claimed to be Catalan but acted much more Eastern European) to any of the ridiculously overpriced clubs in the area (14 euro a head. BUT YOU GET A FREE DRINK *rasberry*). Anton and I resolved to follow them, but when we got in the door, decided it was probably not a good idea to blow out our bank accounts chasing tail we probably wouldn't get anyway. And slowly resigned ourselves to walking back, by ourselves, the block and a half to our charming flat, alone, and disenchanted.

And that's the story of how I, ONCE AGAIN, managed to pinpoint the ONLY straight man in the 1500+ crowd of gay men and women, and find myself uselessly infatuated.

Thank you, and goodnight.

Post-script: Anton wanted me to mention that we almost got rufied. Which basically means, he took a drink from some dude who spoke horrible English, and I got paranoid and and set it down on the concrete... and later drank the rest of it.
The Golden Palominos- a history (1982-1985)

most supergroups are disappointing. the golden palominos are not disappointing... well, for most of the time anyway. the first 6 tracks are from their self titled album. fronted by drummer Anton Fier (the Feelies, Lounge Lizards, Pere Ubu), the band includes bass and producing wizard Bill Laswell, DNA guitarist/screamer Arto Lindsay, sax freak John Zorn, and guest guitarists Fred Frith (Henry Cow, etc.), Jamaaladeen Tacuma (bassist for Ornette Coleman's Primetime) and Nicky Skopelitis. this album is a bizarre mix of no-wave atonality, Laswell/Herbie Hancock-style electrofunk and some insanely creepy vocals. a funky post-punk masterpiece influenced by the no-wave, hip-hop and dance scenes of early 80s New York. very similar to early Material, which shouldn’t be surprising considering how many people on this album are also members of Material. tracks 7-14 are from 1985’s “visions of excess”, with Fier and Laswell assisted by Bernie Worrell, Henry Kaiser, John Lydon, Carla Bley, Jack Bruce, and (ugh) Michael Stipe. yes, this album is a little disappointing, with some gag-inducing commercial moments. seriously, what the hell is Stipe doing on this album? the first three tracks are cursed with his awful alternative whine. i guess the record company was probably leaning on them. “you boys gotta sell more units. here, we’ll give you that weird guy from REM”. thankfully made up for by how much Lydon’s track “the animal speaks” kicks ass. seriously, when else will you hear members of the sex pistols and parliament funkadelic play together? “silver bullet’ is an unlikely mix of bluesy slide guitar, Fier’s DMX electronic drums and Worrell’s organ with Bruce lending some vocals and harmonica to a song that should not
in theory work, but is somehow pulled off. Arto also comes back for the last track “only one party” which is a great spurt of no-wave fury that momentarily made me forget about the atrociously banal stipe-fronted cover of moby grape's “omaha”. well, you win some, you lose some.

"the only constant in the Palominos should be that it will change. I've been very conscious not to repeat myself because I feel that if I make another record with the same people it will begin to be the same." -anton fier
This post is dedicated to Alex, my French friend in Portland who has single handedly saved this tour from the brink of disaster. We're officially touring France and the U.K. Spain is still being a bit of a pain, but we're soldiering on. The French shows I think will be fantastic. The first place we're playing in is at a place called El Inca in Bordeaux. Here's a Youtube video of local post rock heroes Properr playing there

This guy Alex is ridiculously cool. He's dashing and dresses well and has a thick accent, but a better handle on English than you or I. He also plays in a Portland band called Yeti Love.

The New Pornographers-Challengers

Canadian super-group, The New Pornographers are vaguely reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac to me at times. I have a hard time describing exactly why, except that, especially on the Dan Bejar fronted songs, both bands share these shit-eating cheesy moments, occasionally stretching out into whole songs which become almost hypnotic upon repeated listens (see: Mutiny, I Promise You).
Challengers is the upcoming release from the veteran indie band, and it's pretty predictable in the sense that with so many strong pop songwriters in the same band you're bound to either get some fantastic musical moments and/or some harrowing drama. And seeing as the core of this band is made up of musicians with decidedly less extreme personalities than that of Fleetwood Mac, chances are good the latter of the choices is less likely than the first.

Friday, June 29, 2007


this is my first post.

this is a picture of beulah.

I'm So Hollow- emotion sound motion

1981 british post punk. think siouxie & the banshees+the poppiness of magazine+the gloom of joy division+the vocals of public image+the brains of wire. this is their only album because they broke up right after making it, deciding that they couldn't make a better album. great cover. trouser press calls them 'moderately unpleasant'. not perfect by any means but interesting and hard to find. also a bit of a time capsule, i think it's funny how many bands nowadays try to sound just like this.

My Bloody Valentine- these are your bloody rarities vol. 2
no "loveless" or anything, but still worth checking out. "ecstacy & wine" plus some B sides.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I've invited a friend to co-host this blog with me from now on... you may know him. He's a little off... it's a safe bet he's also cooler than you.

Georgia Anne Muldrow-Olesi: Fragments of an Earth

Here is the latest installment in the ongoing series of albums I meant to post awhile ago, but for one reason or another didn't.

ATTN: The track listing is all fuckered up on this record. It'll probably say track one is track six. Disregard that. All the songs are there in all their souful, drippy, optimistic, funk-forward glory. This music seeps into your ear. She produced and performed every sound on this record. She's 22. That's the bittersweet part of records like this. It's hard not to be jealous of that sort of talent.

Her positivity is what I listen to when trying to find some decent shows for Anton and I in Spain and France. By the way, it's very hard. I've been getting shut down or flat out ignored by virtually everyone.

oh well, power through.

We've been getting some pretty exciting responses from WOOF farms. I think we're going to an organic beaujolais vineyard outside of Lyon, France for two weeks.

And tonight Corey is coming in from Madrid. We're going to Marsella. It's the oldest absynthe bar in Barcelona. I went there on one of the first nights here and tried real absynthe with the sugar cube and mineral water for the first time in my life. It was pretty fantastic. The inside looks like tanned leather and it's dark and seedy and wonderful. Apparently Ernest Hemmingway use to pass out there a lot... you know, back in the day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A few things I forgot to mention:

1- Last Saturday before I got seperated from Anton we danced around the boardwalk with droves of people who were all following these African guys down the beach chanting and banging the shit out of a few gigantic drums. It's was pretty awesome.

2- The castle on top of the hills I live across from is a castillo, which looks and sounds a whole lot like a castle. But apparently doesn't really translate that well into English. The name of the area this "castillo" sits on is Tibidabo. And the name Tibidabo is apparently a reference to the Devil tempting Jesus in the desert. Something along the lines of "All you see and more if you bow down and worship me". Fucking rad.

3- There's this guy dressed in a sweat-suit and giant white roller skates that shows up every night at the square beneath my flat. He is fucking hardcore. He'll put every other skater in the square to shame by barreling head first at top speed into these scary-looking, extremely marble benches. And he'll grind the shit out of them and almost crack his head open in the process every time. This, however, doesn't stop him from looking extremely gay. I'm sorry, it's true what they say. He's quickly become Anton and my evening entertainment. The other night he took a pretty nasty spill and rolled around on the ground looking like he was going to spew up his kidneys for about 15 minutes before slinking away half-bent over. We were obviously concerned as for the next two nights roller skate guy didn't show up at the square. I think everyone noticed. The concern was palpable. All the other skaters seemed a little less enthusiastic about their kick flips. As if their minds were somewhere else. Anton and I ate in relative silence those nights on the terrace.
But last night the most miraculous thing occurred. In a move rivaling Christ's resurrection roller skate guy appeared out of nowhere and was street ballet-ing his ass off. You could tell he was a little shaken up. His headlong skate into the benches wasn't as care-free as before. But he was there and he danced to Anton and I's exclamations of "Viva la roller skate guy!!".

3- There are a number of albums I've neglected to post for awhile. Here are a few of them:

Life On Earth!-Look! There's Life On Earth

This is the debut from a side project of the bassist from Dungen. It's also one of my favorite albums of the year. Inobtrusive optimism and wonderfully arranged European (I was trying to avoid using this phrase as it's not the best descriptor and it's slowly becoming a dirty word in the pop music lexicon, but) psych-folk. Emphasis on the psych. Like a lost Joyce or Som Imaginarios record. Actually, this record owes as much to South American psychedelic rock as it does Sgt. Pepper. However, this is not to say Look! There's Life on Earth! is derivative. There is a distinct and confidently creative presence all over this music. Clever and progressive without being "Progressive". It's also probably one of the records I think will appeal to pretty much all the people I know of who visit this blog.

It's very good. Listen to it.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs-Is Is EP

Based off of their respective recorded output this past year, I'd be willing to bet the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Liars have been hanging out again.

RAWK. I'm not so about the drums on this ep. But Nick Zinner is back to shredding and Karen O is still a fucking psycho.

Ther most concise way to describe the is is ep is it's a nice middle ground between the pop embellishments of Show Your Bones and the total destruction on Fever to Tell.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Taken By Trees-Open Field

Last night was Festival de San Juan and it was pretty hilarious. The entire city packs the beach and lets of fireworks and plays music and parties until the morning. It sounds really cool, but I realized last night how much of the world truly is made up of corny peace sign t-shirt wearing, goofy group photo around the fire taking, litter spewing, suburban nuclear family crap. And for an oh so brief moment, once again had that feeling of weird selfish isolation. I'm not so different though, I guess. And for what it's worth, with headphones on and the beautiful scenery and people setting off fireworks left and right, it is in fact the perfect enviroment to listen to Person Pitch.

Anway, in accordance Anton and I bought three bottles of cheap delicious wine, juiced a few lemons into a huge empty jug of water, threw in some orange juice for good measure, and headed down to the beach. The resulting drinking experience was not unlike sucking down a gallon of your own vomit. However, it got us both trashed enough to start buying overpriced Estrella's off the mysterious Indonesian beach beer guys, who I'm convinced now, are part of some larger organized crime outfit. It also got me drunk enough to change into Anton's swimming shorts in front of half the population of Barcelona and go drunken swimming in the sea after dark again. The Mediterranean, by the way, has a killer (literally) undertow. But the water is actually blue green and salty and warm and wonderful.

Afterward as we were walking down the boardwalk back to the flat, I decided to hop in line and brave the horror of a Spanish "Honey Bucket" (port-o-pot). This is a mistake as I immediately lost Anton and was left screaming his name through the throngs drunk Spanish passers-by, who, once again, would NOT be out of place farting around with teased hair at the County Fair. You see, I had left my keys in the flat and Anton was my only way back into the house. After I had blown out my voice I decided there wasn't much else I could do other than walk home through the horde and sit on the street outside the door waiting for Anton to get the same idea. This was not a pleasant walk, as you can imagine and involved a sailor's weight in cursing.
Anyway, I made it back to the house after about an hour of walking. This isn't really worth mentioning, as I would have had to do that anyway. But I was exhausted, and resolved that I was going to get myself back in that apartment come hell or high-water. This began about fifteen minutes of ringing the buzzer downstairs and kicking the door. And RIGHT as I was about to give up, who would show up at the other end of the door, but a smiling little Anton. I was so relieved to not have to sleep in the Plaza across the street that I didn't even mind that he has been watching me pleading into the little camera thing by the buzzers for most of that time.

Whatever, I woke up this morning not hung over with the sun shining and feeling generally great from not smoking for two days and have been listening to Taken By Trees to celebrate that fact.

You may or may not be aware of Victoria Bergsman. Or rather you may not be aware that you know of her. She is the other voice on Peter, Bjorn, and John's "Young Folks". She's also the former lead singer of Swedish retro-pop group The Concretes. This is her solo debut, produced by Bjorn Yttling of afore-mentioned tri-named supergroup. It's very, very good. Go ahead, give it a listen. You'll probably enjoy yourself.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Interpol-Our Love to Admire

There has been a vicious battle taking place underneath your noses. A battle of infinite proportions. A battle to determine the fate of the entire planet. OR maybe just a bunch of internet dorks sitting around calling each other ****heads and ****'s on shoutboxes throughout the blogosphere. It's all surrounding Interpol and their upcoming release "Our Love to Admire" and it's inevitable leaking.
I have to admit, I had been anticipating its pre-release-internet release for awhile now and have been duly impressed by this record's seeming imperviousness to the spindly tendrils of the music blog/file-sharing community. especially at witnessing the fervor it was causing among the critics and fans online who seemed to grow exponentially more rabid with every passing day.
But with all this hype and given the anti-climactic trickling out of shitty radio rip cobbled together versions of the album. Compounded by the out of the blue leaking of a number of other FANTASTIC albums I wasn't expecting until much later in the year, Our Love to Admire sort of faded into the background. And by the time I actually heard the record I already felt a little exhausted or at the very least underwhelmed by it.

Honestly, I think it's good. Not great. At points it seems like it's about to get better than anything you've heard from them before. It flirts. And perhaps this is that thing that happens as you get older where certain albums can never be lived up to. Or maybe my tastes have just changed. But I hear a creeping, insidious tinge of big studio bombast farting all over Our Love to Admire. And I can't get past it. The sort of sound where you can almost hear the crushing pressure of a major label debut for a band that is already riding on equal parts style and substance, written into the DNA of the record. It's just a bit too much show at times. When the songs are bigger than life like this all I can think of is the soundtrack to a superhero movie or the Wallflowers covering David Bowie for the Godzilla remake or something.

It's not all like that by any means. And sometimes when it is they make it work. I highly enjoy "Who Do You Think?" and "Heinrich Maneuver".
This record is by no means unlistenable. But at best it's a mood record. You have to get yourself there. It's not gonna lead you.

One more thing about Our Love to Admire. We all know that Paul Bank's isn't exactly a lyrical genius or anything. But the earnest delivery of the line, "you look so young, like a daisy in my lazy eye". No. I can't accept that. I'm not fucking joking. that's a real part of a real Interpol song.

VA-After Dark

I've been looking for the After Dark compilation ever since I started hearing Glass Candy's new material for Italians Do It Better towards the end of the winter in Portland. There's been quite a buzz surrounding the material on this compilation outside of Portland since then.
With good reason, this compilation is amazing and a perfect example of the power and emotional range Italo disco can have if given the proper opportunity.

Animal Collective-Strawberry Jam

SURPRISE!! Ok, don't go overboard this isn't the whole album. Just the first 2/3. But it's too good to wait for the rest.

I know some of you (Kari) haven't been huge fans of Animal Collective in the past. But I strongly encourage you to check this out. I feel this might be the Animal Collective album that wins you over.

That's all I'll say, I don't want to over-sell it.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Here I am in Barcelona. New summer. Everything since Monday has been a complete and utter mindfuck in the best way. This country smells like shit and is full of ancient beautiful architecture. I live on the 8th floor. It overlooks the Mediterranean and Gaudi's Sagrada de Familia. My balcony is big and spare and the hills are dotted with fossil fuel fired lanterns and topped with a golden cathedral. Falafal everywhere. gigantic palm trees. Absynthe bars. Swarms of black and yellow taxis on the streets. Glamorous women vomiting in the alleys, which are actually alleys. Narrow and winding. The Column de Columbo covered in bird shit. I've never in my life been physically stopped by a prositute, held by both arms and slapped at my refusal to take her home. so many whores. The sun stays up forever. But the evening seems much longer than the day. I vomited here at the beginning of the first full day. I hadn't eaten anything since the Dublin airport and had bought a few too many Estrella's from men with six packs off the street the night before. How could I resist. Warm summer nights walking through medieval carrers drinking warm Spanish beer. C'mon. C'MON. Anton is horrified. But I think he also loves it.

Personally, I am in 22 year old heaven.

And finally here it is.

Liars by Liars.

Very different from Drum's Not Dead. Jesus and Mary Chain. PIL. Rhys Chatham.

Incredible. The first rock album I can get obsessed with since the turn of the century.

I cannot wait to get back to BG and destroy with Bullet Teeth.

Hey Skid. This one's for you, mang. While they were getting degrees we were watching the sun rise over the Pyrenees. Thanks for being a good friend.

The list continues in no particular order:

Panda Bear-Person Pitch
Marnie Stern- In Advance of the Broken arm
The Studio- Yearbook 1
Blonde Redhead- 23
Liars- Liars

...some day.