Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dan Mangan - Road Regrets

I have been patiently hoping, since I first came across him in April, that I would be lucky enough to see a Dan Mangan concert without having to make a visit to Canada. Not that I would mind going to Canada, but for a concert that is a little extreme. So often these awesome Canadian bands bounce around that huge northern country for years, building up a loyal fan base, and then when they are ready to tour the U.S. they are too popular for me to afford a ticket or they completely skip over Boston. (I really wish The Arkells, The Zolas, and Good Lovelies came here). But lucky for me, I have secured a ticket for tonight's concert in advance (I never do that) and I will be seeing Dan Mangan who is opening for the Wooden Birds at Great Scott. I know almost nothing about The Wooden Birds except that Matt Pond of Matt Pond PA is a part of the band, which makes tonight like a dream come true.
        In the meantime, you can expect some concert tweeting from me, and you can watch this video which I have been enjoying. And listen to one of my favorites, "The Indie Queens are Waiting" Above. Check out more from Dan Mangan and The Wooden Birds via the links.
Dan Mangan - Road Regrets from Arts & Crafts on Vimeo.

Pearly Gate Music - Big Escape

Pearly Gate Music is Zach Tillman, a young talented song crafter. He writes songs with heartfelt lyrics, a certain amount of simplicity that is captivating rather than boring, and with a blending of styles all his own. He is on the Seattle based record label, Barsuk with the likes of Ra Ra Riot, Death Cab for Cutie, and Maps & Atlases to name a few. There is plenty of potential for this one. Take a listen and see what you think.

Sahara Smith - All I Need

I have been obsessed with this song for months, ever since I heard it on Paste. I was unable to get my hands on it until today, when Sahara Smith's debut album was released. I love the simple country-pop tune that could be a radio hit in no time. Sahara Smith is a native Texan with an impressive debut album at the age of 21. I expect to see more of her in the future. For now, it is nice to have some refreshing new girly tunes to sing along to. For all of you Boston people, she will be playing at the Lizard Lounge on September 18th. Until the widget works, you are going to have to follow this link: All I Need by Sahara Smith

Friday, August 27, 2010

Free Energy - Bang Pop (Fool's Gold Remix)

Can you handle one more summer song? Fool's Gold is just trying to squeeze in one last chillwave-ish type song in before August is over. Here is a slowed down, mellowed out version of Free Energy's poppy "Bang Pop" song. Not entirely sure how I feel about this one, especially because the original is so much fun. But if you like summery remixes that feel like you are floating 100 miles above earth, try this one out. Listen to the original version here.

Duke Special - Our Love Goes Deeper Than This

Official | Myspace | Buy on itunes
Peter Wilson, a Belfast "vaudeville" musician, is Duke Special. When he performes he has an old gramophone on stage which is a perfect prop to his music that would have fit in the swinging '20s without a hitch, but they remain modern enough for us to enjoy now. "Our Love Goes Deeper Than This", and many of his other songs, is a glorified show tune, which I mean in the absolute best way. You will be singing along in no time. It sounds like something that could have been in Moulin Rouge with that slight cabaret feel to it. This is one of those songs I can't stop playing.

You can get a free download (price: email address) of his earlier songs here and you can even email your address to him and he will send you a cardboard cd case for the free cd. It's pretty awesome of him to give away his earlier songs and very à la Joe Pug free music mentality. My cabaret top hat goes off to him. (Because Ireland has crazy digital media copyright laws I can not post the song for download, but this other site is hosting it over here for download now.) However, this video will not disappoint, I love the over dramatic flair with a large splash of absurdity and randomness in the mix.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Borrowing from Blogs [The Pursuit of Folk]

      The Pursuit of Folk blog based out of Eugene, Oregon was started in the beginning of this year. It should come as no surprise to you that I am an avid folk fan and I am always looking for a good blog with new songs to discover. I was overjoyed to come across this one with such dedication to the folk genre. This blog highlights a variety of folk singers, new and old, and opened my eyes to the many folk artists waiting to be discovered. I also like the style and ease with which it is written, always a pleasure to read.

      Also, Dylan, the man behind the blog, is in the process of creating a new music blog that will include other genres beyond folk. It can be difficult to stick to one genre when there is so much good music out there. So stay tuned for something new and exciting, I'm looking forward to it. For now, here is a petite sampling of songs that I have enjoyed thanks to The Pursuit of Folk.

Lilly Wood and The Prick - Down the Drain

 Myspace | Last.fm

This french pop duo makes me want to sing along. Their songs are more on the brokenhearted side but sometimes it's what you need. It's as simple as that for today.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Po' Girls - Kathy

Official | Myspace | Buy it
I was checking out concerts for tonight and came across Po' Girls who are playing tonight at Club Passim with David Wax Musuem. I really liked the first song I heard on their website and their charming folky roots style of music, although they hardly fit into any genre. Po’Girl showcases a wide array of instruments-from gutbucket bass, accordion, clarinet, banjo, dobro, guitar, to electric bass, glockenspiel, piano, harmonica, bicycle bells, drums-- and they all frequently trade off instruments with each song. This was an interesting band to stumble across on a monday morning and I look forward to hearing more of their album throughout the rest of the day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Like Pioneers - Gift Like a Holiday

I am about to start a mini little stay-cation that revolves around my friend's wedding which also happens to be a bit of a college reunion. I needed some songs to celebrate with and came across this one which was just released this week.

Then I found out this awesome story behind the band: Last winter, members of Bound Stems, the Narrator, Chin Up Chin Up, Vacations, and a whole host of other Chicago bands got together over two weekends at IV Labs and played it out. A band that came together as a result of a recording studio reunion, a name that came about from a self-deprecating joke, and an album that exists with the help of many - it makes perfect sense.
I love a good band collaboration and this one fits the bill. You can check out their first 11 song LP, Piecemeal, on bandcamp and name your price for the downloads. This is a solid album, fun for anyone who craves a straightforward rock album. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wakey!Wakey! - Twenty Two & Remix by Theo

Official | Record Label | Myspace
Wakey!Wakey! is frontman Mike Grubbs' band, a tall skinny straight guy that can rock a piano, and he can sing, like really belt it out. You can get a free download of his covers only album which will validate my previous sentence. It is nothing but piano and him singing, but it's not like your average piano man in a bar, it's really good and I actually can't stop listening to it. So their album, "Almost everything I wish I'd said the last time I saw you...", came out a while ago and it's quite excellent, if you like piano rock, this is one you must check out. And really, how can you not check out an album titled like that?

I am in one of those funks where I am painfully sick and tired of everything in my itunes library and took a break from listening to music for a few days. It is amazing all the stuff that can pop into your head when music doesn't fill it. Out of the blue, I found myself involuntarily whistling the hook from Wakey!Wakey!'s song, "Twenty-Two". I have no idea how it got there, I hadn't listened to the song in months, but there it was, so I did a little searching and came across this gem:
Theo is Theo Martins, a rapper from Rhode Island, who has some free mixtapes available. It makes so much sense to use Wakey!Wakey!'s catchy hooks as a backing, since it is the type of song that can just get stuck in your head months after you have last listened to it. Theo does a great job using all the catchy parts to his advantage. Listen with caution, the whistling will be stuck in your head for days, but that's not always a bad thing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Good Lovelies - Baby, I Got My Way

Official | Myspace |
Have I really not written about the Good Lovelies yet? How can this be? I have been listening to and loving this band for nearly a month now, and I guess I forgot to share them with you. They are three Canadian chicks all "refugees from their solo careers" who got together in this band and have since gone on to win a New Emerging Artist award in 2009 at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, and more recently a Juno Award for Best Roots Album of the Year. So yeah, they are good, talented, and going places. Hopefully those places include a tour of the U.S.

They are a folky trio who harmonize incredibly well and are full of catchy tunes that make you want to sing a long. Plus they have the banjo going for them. Whiskey is my favorite song of theirs but I am waiting to get permission to post the mp3 link. For now there is this:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Best Bloggerin' Week Ever #1 [MIXTAPE]

      This is a completely mixed up mixtape consisting of songs from the summer with a few older tunes thrown in to celebrate "The Best Bloggerin' Week Ever". It is essentially a weird combination of favorite songs from the past year-ish, leaving out a lot of obvious ones, mixed with this month's new favorites.
       This week I redesigned the blog, added the media player, spent some hard earned cash on a file storage site, created some new accounts, added some fancy buttons, did some HTML magic, and threw out some ideas for collaborations and new features. The best part was getting feedback from all of you almost instantly. I made new twitter acquaintances, even one new BEST friend, and made contact with some cool and influential music people that will help me bring some really cool stuff to the blog in the future. It was just one of those weeks where everything just goes surprisingly well, and I want to celebrate that with a mixtape. Thank you to everyone who makes me love this hobby more and more every day. And a big massive thank you to all the musicians out there, if I was without you I'd be a crippled excuse of a human being. Enjoy!
(You can right/ctrl click to dl the songs. Or just click to play. The new media player will let you play this as a playlist so you can just minimize this site and let it play through while at your computer. Files will deactivate Friday night. Get it while you can.)

  1. The Knocks - When You've Got Music
  2. Arcade Fire - Sprawl II (Mountains beyond Mountains)
  3. The Jackson 5 - The Love You Save (Knocks Remix)
  4. Let's Whisper - All Happy Endings
  5. Tennis - Marathon
  6. Breakbot - Baby I'm Yours (ft. Irfane)
  7. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes - Om Nashi Me (Timmy the terror Remix)
  8. Rickolus - Kid
  9. Blackbird Blackbird - Pure
  10. CSS - Music is My Hot Hot Sex
  11. Arcade Fire - Suburban War
  12. I Am Kloot - Proof
  13. Matt & Kim - Daylight Outro Remix
  14. Groove Armada - Hands of Time
  15. Clem Snide - Faithfully (Journey Cover)

Summer Camp - Jake Ryan

Here is a new British band for you. Their debut EP is coming out September 6th. Scary that we are already talking about September, eeks! This song is named after the stud from Sixteen Candles, hence the picture. I just liked it for the whoa-ohhh's and the clapping sample (because clapping is my favorite).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Laura Stevenson, The Cults, Maps & Atlases Concert Review

It seems like every concert I have been to this summer, the opening acts have been especially talented and enjoyable, Laura Stevenson and the Cans was no exception. Brooklyn based Laura Stevenson, the front woman, has a perfectly charming voice that captivated the audience of almost 200 almost instantly. The sound is a melodic warmth verging on pop but with bursts of noise in all the right places that keeps you on your toes. I loved watching the trumpet/accordion/glockenspiel player if he also plays the banjo, I'd probably propose to him. You can download their CD for free here, but a donation is encouraged. I also really liked their song Mouth breather on their Holy Ghost! EP. Based on what I have listened to, I think their live show is much more exciting than the digital version, with a lot more energy and intense sounds, but I am sure that given some time that will all balance out.

The Cults suffered from serious sound issues, hecklers, people in the front row chit chatting, so it I feel bad making any assumptions based on their performance. As expected they played their hit that made the blogosphere rounds, and started the tremendous buzz that surrounds them, "Go Outside", as their closing song, and it was definitely their best. For the rest of the performance there was a lot of feedback and volume issues that made it difficult to judge the quiet vocals that were obstructed by a too loud bass. But the band played on despite the issues and at the very least I would have to say the entire crowd was enthralled by the lead singer, Madeline Follin, in her flowing short white dress, long wavy locks, who nonchalantly sipped her tall boy bud throughout the show. It felt like the entire band could be cast in a Midsummer Night's Dream and they would fit in perfectly as forest pixies. Hopefully when they release their album they will have a longer more substantial set. I will be perfectly content listening to "Oh My God" and "Go Outside" until they do make that album. For a band that accidentally stumbled onto the scene, they did alright, but a lot of people were expecting more from them.

This was a sold out show, and it was easy to tell that the band was very happy with this. Maps & Atlases stood outside the venue as all of us without tickets mulled around waiting. As people approached the band they were nothing but cordial and extraordinarily kind to their waiting fans. I love seeing a band take the time to thank their fans for being there and talking with them pre-show, makes me so happy.

Maps & Atlases were so much fun. I am not a huge fan, but listened to enough of their songs over the past few months to know what they were about, but not enough to know what to expect at their live show.  After the mediocre Cults performance, this is exactly what everyone needed. They have been described as Math-Rock, a genre I have no understanding of. But I think they are more one of those little bit of everything type bands that has no need for a genre, they just are what they are, and that is wonderful. I wish I could tell you more about their set list but I was having too much fun to pay attention to it. They are one of those bands where actually watching them play, watching their nimble fingers and faces, is really exciting. The bass player was super into it, dancing around in the tiny space and getting the crowd to clap, the drummer was a hot sweaty mess and doing an incredible job with the constantly changing tempos. When the lead singer looks like he just wandered out of the woods after three years (long hair and impressively long beard with glasses) you kind of don't expect him to be rocking out like he did. And his voice is just so unique it really sets the band apart from the norm. They played a high energy set straight through for an hour and the small Middle East Upstairs was hot and sweaty, and starting to get pretty smelly. After profusely thanking the crowd and the venue and closing with "Solid Ground" the band announced they were going to take the encore to the streets. What a fantastic thing. The crowd gathered around, half the people were taking videos, and they played a few more songs in the refreshing cool air. They finished up with "Perch Patchwork" and "Pigeons" and the crowd timidly sang along, so as not to drown out the soft acoustic set, while police officers waited on the corner.

Maps & Atlases is one of those bands that you don't have to know very well to enjoy, whether it is listening to their album or watching them live. They have obvious talent and they keep it interesting. Their songs are intricate, soft and slow and hard and fast all with just the right touch of emotion all at once. They certainly have a sound that is all their own and it works so seamlessly well. It was a fantastic and memorable show. I recommend seeing them if you can, and don't be scared to strike up a conversation, they are wonderful people.

*Pictures are on their way, just looking for the cord. Also I would like to mention how much I enjoy the Middle East. I have had a few ticket snafus in the past and other various concert issues and they have been over the top accommodating and helpful. If you are in the Boston area and considering seeing some live music, try and see it here. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The unlikely folk hero...Steven Slater

I have become totally engrossed in the Steven Slater story, the man who quit his Jet Blue flight attendant job by dramatically exiting the plane via emergency exit slide, with a beer or two in hand. The internet is basically exploding with stories and opinions about all of this. There are various facebook pages dedicated to him, two songs, he earned a top spot on twitter's trending topics for the past two days. You can even buy this t-shirt via donkey tees. He is a hero to millions now. I just think people need to get some manners. I fly often and can't imagine having the job of a flight attendant, nor can I imagine getting into a fight with one. Sure there have been some not so nice attendants with attitude but they are few and far between.
There are now two songs about Steven Slater already which just blows my mind. This is a link to the first song, the second one is the youtube video below.

There is another girl out there who quit her job with slightly less press but in a way that makes you admire her audacity. But people are saying it is a fake, still something worth considering.

Here is a video of his first interview. Here is a video with animation from a foreign news show and it's a rather hilarious reenactment. Not to mention how every newspaper and website has picked up on the story.

Top tweets about Steven Slater include: "On behalf of all of us thinking of creative ways of leaving our jobs, screw you Steven Slater for setting the bar ridiculously high." and "Slater for Governor"  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Borrowing from Blogs [Eardrums Music]

Eardrums Music Blog | Eardrums Pop Label | Twitter

Eardrums was a blog I started following before I ever realized there thousands of other music blogs out there. I have always been a big fan of music coming from Scandanavian/Nordic countries and this is one of the best blogs out there for those songs, along with plenty of other stuff too. What is especially awesome about Eardrums is that they are a music blog turned net label. So they actually collaborate with artists and create amazing mixes (all available for free) all with the purpose of promoting bands and getting their names out in the open to a wider audience. Once a month they release free singles and come the fall they will start doing this twice a month, on top of their seasonal releases. There are a handful of nordic writers working for the site all connected by a love of warm melodic indie rock. If that is your thing you absolutely must check out this site. On their label's site they have a bunch of compilations that you can download right away. Below is a selection of songs that I have found and loved via their site. 

Let's Whisper - All Happy Endings
If there was ever a song for Amazon's kindle this is it. If you liked the Little & Ashley song, this will be right up your alley.
Mockingbird, Wish Me Luck - The Divine Comedy

Hexicon - Narissa I Won't 

The Electones - The Huntress

Jacob Borshand and Cake on Cake - Summer Will Have Its Way

Swim Lessons - Afternoon Tea

Did you notice the new media player? I am excited to have finally figured it out. Click the play button to play, the songs will play as a playlist. Now to download songs you just need to right click and select download (for macs: ctrl + click select download linked file). Happy listening.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lies, all lies.

Turns out I totally lied about that mixtape I promised you for today. My computer literally does not have the capacity to upload a file to the internet, or save the mixtape file (but you can see that I did actually make it in the picture). It will probably take 10 minutes for this post to upload. It is time for a week long, maybe longer, feature; "Hidden Gems". (See More LIES!) I have to go through and delete as many songs as possible on my computer before it explodes, or maybe computers implode, I don't know. Yes, this has been a long time coming, since I filled up my back up hard drive months ago and I should have been more prepared and/or careful. But the plus side of all of this is the rediscovery of old songs.

Obviously this is the song that came to mind when my computer reached it's limit. "Won't you help me cure this overload"




Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tift Merritt - Mixtape

I hope you are all looking forward to a Mixtape Monday. I have been working hard on a mixtape of covers. I am narrowing down the list of 70 songs right now. But in between working on all of that, this song has a tendency of popping up out of nowhere, on the radio, or on my ipod and the lyrics stick in my head. 

"I’ll be making you mixtapes with homemade covers.

Analog to show we’re lovers,
So much rock and roll love in a plastic case,
Play it loudly, see my face.
I’m just making you mixtapes with homemade covers,
Mazzy Star, Donovan’s Colors,
Just an audio love letter painted blue,
I spent all day making for you."
It has been a long time, five years, since I made a mixtape that had a not so subtle meaning in it, that I was hoping someone would be smart enough to figure out (he did). Now, when I hear a song that was on that mixtape, my heart twitches a little thinking of how cowardly I was to let that mix speak the volumes of things I could never bring myself to say to his face. I haven't made a mixtape like that since, but the first time I heard this song I thought of the time I took to craft that cd and the careful selection process of songs. Anyway, I like to think that a lot of us have, at one point or another, made mixes like that, in hopes that the person on the recieving end would know well enough to read into the songs and pay attention to the lyrics. Tift Merritt's song details this so well, that I know I am not alone in making a mixtape with my heart taped to the cover. And it really is a great song too.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Shaky Hands -Summer's Life

Record Label Page | Myspace | Blog
       This one is a tad on the old side, it came out in 2007, but I just came across it via the I Guess I am Floating blog. I always try and clap along and always fail miserably. I get that it is 4/4 time and that the clapping happens on the off beat just before the 4th count, but no matter how hard I try, my brain can not get my hands to clap at the right time. Clapping has never been my forte. It's a good morning challenge, let me know if you succeed.
        Moving on, this Portland based band is fantastic and if you happen to be in the Portland, OR area this month they are playing a few shows and street festivals, so go check them out. As much as I typically hate band bios and their generic overuse of the same old adjectives, I really liked this description of their debut album: "Their debut album’s 13 tracks glow with a sloppily romantic warmth that’s equal parts summer sunshine and candlelit mellow, pre-party buzz and scruffy day-after fuzziness. The result is a fully formed and confident debut; a big-hearted, starry-eyed bear hug of a record, full of youthful energy and tumbling vigor, just waiting to back new adventures and comfort old friends." Now doesn't that sound nice? There was not a single music word in that description, which is why music writing is so strange sometimes. But I like the idea of having a "sloppily romantic warmth", whatever that means. Listen (click to play) and find out.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mouth's Cradle - Summertime

Yup, another summer jam. This one is just as ridiculous as the past ones on NMC but in that joyous it's summertime I'll listen to whatever I want kind of way. It won't take you long to realize where the ukelele came from. Hint: pop radio. The lyrics are so, ummm dope, you might mistake them for Kanye West's tweets strung together. "Its the summertime and the living is swell/ sometimes I think I'm living in a living hell/ so I fry up some toast no butter no jam /don't judge you don't even fuckin know who I am."  Yes, because we all judge people based on the condiments they may or may not use on toast. Regardless, it's a fun jam that you will want to share with friends.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs [Album Review Roundup]

Who needs to write another review when all of these already exist? The consensus? You probably want to own this album. If you are looking for the cheap MP3 version, buy it on Amazon for $3.99, totally worth a cup of Starbucks coffee.

Paste Magazine Review: I guess they like it. All I took away from this review was that "Modern Man" sounds like Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl" but with a less impressive chorus. Umm what? Most boring review I read, yet the most interesting comparison.

NME Review: They loved it, calling it "pretty much perfect" and "feels just like coming home". Unlike Paste's review, they actually have a concluding paragraph so that way I know they liked it. 

The A.V. Club Review: Says that "Win Butler frequently sounds defeated" on this album but it's not a "bummer". Luckily, "Arcade Fire falls back on what it does best, delivering surging anthems like “Ready To Start,” “City With No Children,” and “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).” So if you are looking for that classic Arcade Fire sound that so many are addicted to, check out those songs. And they got an A-

The Blogs Say: 
Noise Narcs: Likes the album, citing "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" as the standout track. 

We Listen For You: (you have to scroll for the review) Sometimes reviews here frustrate me or confuse me but that is why I keep coming back. The reviews here aren't always heavily focused on the actual songs, but often the concepts behind the songs or the album as a whole. We Listen For You is always ready with an interesting take on an album from a point of view I haven't considered before. The concept in this review is difficult to explain briefly but is one of the reviews that I mostly agree with, and one that I had the patience to read all the way through. Well done. My guess on Hank's opinion: He likes some songs but it is not the amazing album everyone was looking for.  (Please correct me if I am wrong here)

Pretty Much Amazing:  Likes the album gives it a score of 89 but says cut the two Suburbs tracks as they are the weakest. And my favorite sentence in the review is that the album "the most coherent schizophrenic you will ever meet". 

The Music File: Wrote a nice short review, highlighting the track "Modern Man" and made a gigantic statement: "A generation from now, we will look back on the music of this 1st decade of the new millennium and ask, what stood out, what was different, what changed the landscape of modern music? And the answer will be singular. Arcade Fire." Wow. This is someone who is going to be playing this album on repeat all month.

Of course, more reviews will be pouring in today as more people get a chance to let the album sink in. There are plenty of other reviews out there, I just chose the most accessible ones. If there are more you want to send my way, please do. It is always interesting to read reviews from different sources to see what people can agree on. One thing many reviews did mention is that as long as Arcade Fire's album is decent they will still be able to sell it live because of their fan base and especially because of their world renown live setting showmanship.

Borrowing from Blogs

I have two new features coming your way and I am very excited to introduce you to my first ever feature: Borrowing from Blogs. I read a lot of different music blogs throughout the week because, unlike other lucky bloggers, my inbox is not perpetually full with emails from bands and pr people trying to promote their music. Hopefully, someday soon I will be blessed with that burden. Until then, I must peruse the almighty blogosphere for new songs to become obsessed with. Each week I would like to introduce you to a new blog and songs that I liked based on their suggestions. It won't be the most common songs, just the ones that captured my attention for whatever reason.

The first blog is Sunset in the Rearview who recently added a second writer, Falade, who is responsible for introducing me to this supremely awesome cover. I love covers of rap songs and this one is not all that different from Anya Marina's "Whatever you like" T.I. cover, just a little bit crazier without being a direct representation of the original song. Click the links to stream or download via their blog.

And thanks to Lydia for this song from Error Operator, Follow. The voice comes from a 1976 film, Network. Never heard of it before, but now I am curious. Sometimes songs with voice clips layered with instrumentation fall flat, but the energy in this is just great paired with the piano and beats, I cant stop listening to it. And by can't stop listening to, I mean I have memorized the words. It is one of those that I like to play in my car with the windows down so that people look at me funny. "I want you to get up now, I want all of you to get out of your chairs, I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell: I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" And the ending clip is just as good too, "All I know is first you've got to get mad. You've got to say 'I'm a human being goddamn it! My life has value!'" If you happen to run into me today, you might catch me reciting that very line. London based and hidden in anonymity, Error Operator is going to be someone to look out for in the future.

Like what you heard? I follow both of them on twitter, you can too (Falade and Lydia). Don't forget to check out their site, Sunset in the Rearview. Also, when I happened to have flashed an entire train on the way to a concert that ended up being cancelled, and then I also lost my ID so I couldn't go to the rescheduled concert on the other side of town, Lydia was the only one to respond to my pathetic tweet about my crazy monday events. Even though I had already written this blog post before all that, they have officially solidified a place as my favorite music blogger twitterers, but they were basically right up there before then anyways.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Why Great Scott should let me into their concert tonight...

I thought I was going to come back tonight and write a little something about how awesome Hey Marseilles was with their stage full of instruments. But instead I came home early after one of those monday's that I would much prefer to forget about. Obviously it was an awkward one.

It was an early show that I had not previously purchased tickets for, so I rushed home to change clothes and run back out the door to get on the subway, skipping dinner. I am basically a pro at packing my small concert purse with all the neccesities. Although recently I have been trying to save money so I started bringing a small flask of Jim Beam along with me, you know, for just in case it turns into one of those late nights. So as of late my "concert purse" consists of: some cash, credit card, ID, camera, phone, ipod/headphones, moleskin notepad and pen, keys, and the flask. I have packed this so many times that I can do it in 30 seconds and I don't even think about it. Had I had time to eat dinner and ponder drinking on a Monday night, I probably would have left the Jim Beam out of it. But I didn't and now I can blame what happened on the Jim Beam.

While I was on the train I figured I should move my ID and cash to a front pocket so that when i got to the venue I wouldn't have to open my purse, thus revealing the Jim Beam flask to the guy at the door (I don't drink it at the venue btw, just if I decide to go out afterwards, or in case I need to use it to make friends with a band in a back alley, you know all the usual reasons to carry a flask). "Way to think ahead, Jessica!" I congratulated myself, because all too often I don't think ahead. At that very moment, during the 6pm rush hour, in the middle of a subway car, my spaghetti strap dress decided it was tired of being sewn together. And right in front of everyone, the strap combusted, letting the front of my dress fall down revealing the sheer, as in see-through, bra I was wearing. I was still too busy feeling proud about packing the purse, thinking ahead, and actually showing up early to purchase a ticket to realize what had just happened and continued bopping my head along to some jam that I was really enjoying. Of course when everyone in a confined space was staring at me, I figured I should look at me too. When I realized what happened I turned so red that I started sweating. It was mortifying would be an understatement. A very kind woman  angel helped me tie the frayed strap to my bra after watching me squirm around in an awkward 'I am trying to touch my right shoulder blade with my right hand and tie a knot kind of way'. Letting a stranger on a train help me was kind of a big deal since I have issues with strangers on trains touching me, I still can't believe I accepted the lady's help, I must have been in shock. When I got to my stop, I sprinted off the train, but while going through the turnstiles a man old enough to be my father turned to me and said with a straight face, "Thanks for the show."

Once a few blocks away from the scene of the combustible strap, I calmed down, laughed at myself and felt better. I took out my phone to call my friend to relay the latest awkward adventure. Naturally, the phone goes in the same pocket where my id and cash went. But not noticing anything, I called my friend and continued walking to the venue. When I showed up at T.T. the Bears, the doors were not open at 6:30 like they said they would be and instead there was a note that read "Hey Marseilles show cancelled." No explanation, no nothing. I checked twitter to see if any of the venues or Hey Marseilles themselves had updated information on where they were. For a hot second I thought the band probably wanted to spend another night in New York and ditched this small time venue where their 7 person band can barely cram themselves onto the small stage. I cursed this first monday of the month and realized this was just the type of year 2010 was turning out to be and headed home.

Don't worry the story doesn't end there. I get home and check twitter and the venues again, because at least I can maybe change and get back on the subway headed somewhere. I find out that Hey Marseilles now gets to play at Ryan's Smashing Life shin dig over on the other side of town. (Of course his life is smashing he gets to host the band I want to see instead of hustling all over Boston, flashing people, trying to get to figure out where this concert is).  If the Hey Marseilles concert had ended early I was already planning on going over there later anyways. Perfect, right? I change, still don't have time to eat anything except for a pudding cup, I check my purse on the way out and alas, NO ID. I sit on the floor and dump the contents of my purse out.  No ID anywhere. I've never lost an ID or anything that goes in my purse in my life, NEVER. This is absurd. But unfortunately, the case on my phone likes to stick to things, especially plastic things, and when I took it out to make a call it must of stuck to the back and dropped to the ground somewhere in Central Square. I called Great Scott twice in fact to see if there was anything I could bring other than an ID to get in. The guy on the phone laughed and said, "umm like your cat?" I said, "I understand, I don't have my passport, but I have other stuff." The guy informed me that a state ID would be best. I looked through my other wallet and called back excited saying I had a Swiss ID with my birthdate and picture on the back. The guy said, "Sorry, it has to be an ID from the US." So at that point I quit, put on my comfy pants, cursed the jim beam flask and then threw it out the window. Not really actually, but I wanted to. If I had not been such a robot packing my concert purse, I would have not put the Jim Beam in, meaning I would not have had to move my ID to another pocket, and it never would have been lost in that other world that we know as Cambridge.

Now if you made it to the end of this, you are a hero, because that was absurdly long. And for that I will give you the song that is playing through my speakers at this very moment. I will also add that after all that I think Great Scott should give me a ring or a little tweet-a-roo saying, "you totally deserve to be here tonight, and bring that adorable little Swiss ID too."  These are the little things that make me laugh as embarrassing as they may be, I want other people to laugh about it too.

Important note: I don't write this for sympathy or in a poor-me voice, I write this because it happened and for it to be less awkward for me, I write about it. And I am laughing while I post it because it is aburd to think that this might actually get me into a concert venue tonight hosted by another boston music blogger (Ryan help an up and coming blogger/fellow music lover out? cough cough) tonight, but I can hope. Seriously, just laugh at me, I do it at least once every day. It feels good. Feel sorry for me and I will punch you, but not really, I can't even throw Jim Beam out a window.

Maps & Atlases - Pigeon

Official | Myspace | Buy it

Well hello there, August. Thanks for sneaking up on me, almost didn't see you coming. I can't believe how fast the summer is slipping away. I've been filling my ears up with all the summer sounds I can get, whether it is the sound of ocean waves, crickets at night, or something from the wide array of summer songs that have been bestowed on us this year. I really can't get enough of it. One such song is from Maps & Atlases.  I love waiting 1:17 for the instruments other than the guitar and drums to make their debut in this song, I get so excited just waiting for it. It is such a happy toe-tapping tune, it is hard not to love upon first listen. They are currently touring in support of their new album, Perch Patchwork, and I will be seeing them play with The Cults at the Middle East on August 11th. Definitely a tour worth checking out. Click the link below to play.

Listen to their single from Perch Patchwork, "Solid Ground" here (link also gives credit to the photo used).
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