Tag Archives: Music

January Playlist

Because a fan requested it. This one is for Kerry in Long Island.

“Blame It On The Boogie” by The Jacksons
“No Cars Go” by Arcade Fire
“Smiling Black Faces” by Rain Machine
“Two” by The Antlers
“Every Little Bit Hurts” by Title Tracks
“Novacane” by Beck
“Bang The Doldrums” by Fall Out Boy
“How I Got Over” by The Roots
“Move” by Q-Tip
“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” by The Band (Live from The Last Waltz)

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Feist Will Turn Your Kids Into Record Geeks

I could very well be behind the curve on this one, but I discovered this Feist video about two weeks ago and haven’t stopped watching it. It’s cool to know that even with the current state of kids entertainment, there are still people in TV who believe that you don’t have to talk down to children. Parents clear out some shelf space – your toddler is going to start buying vinyl like crazy.

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Delayed Reaction: The Death of Michael Jackson

I realize I’m about a month late on this one, but I wanted to take some time to pay my respects to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. When I first heard the reports that MJ had passed away, my first thought was that it had to be a hoax. Even if we were being led to believe that he had died, he might have just faked it. If that sounds cold, do consider the scrutiny the guy had been under since the 1990s. I honestly thought that – given his money, his bad publicity, and his recent desire to keep a low profile  – it really made sense.

But what did get me was how I found out. I was on the F train in Brooklyn, and a loud 11 year old boy, jockeying for his parents attention, belted out “MICHAEL JACKSON DIED! WHO CARES?!?!?”


It was one of those moments when you realize you have been around on this planet long enough to tell that kid, “You say that, because you’re too young to get it.” Granted, to this child, MJ was already a joke – he couldn’t have been born before 1997. But it still doesn’t change the fact that he was being obnoxious and disrespectful.

Of course, for the next two weeks, the media onslaught killed everybody’s buzz. At least, it did for me. I didn’t know how I felt. I didn’t want to have an opinion. But, that changed when I remembered that Dangerous was the first c.d. I ever owned, bought right here in New York, and taken back home to Philadelphia. I remember not knowing how a c.d. player worked (it was 1991, folks), so I listened to the whole album; waiting patiently for “Black Or White”, which was the song that ruled my world at nine years old, to finally play. That same year, my mom would give me Thriller and Bad as Christmas presents. In 1995, I bought HIStory in its first week of release. Very soon, I remembered: as a kid, I loved Michael Jackson. And, because of when I was born and which album was my first ever, I can argue that his music forever defined my preferences. So honestly, that is how I want to remember him. Plain and simple.

Rest in peace, Michael.


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Bonus Gaga!

This was an extra bit from my Lady Gaga entry that would’ve made it a bit long. Enjoy, and again, have a great weekend!

Day 2
Writing a record is like dating a few men at once. You take them to the same restaurants to see if they measure up, and at some point you decide who you like the best. When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time.
So, does this mean my blog gave me chlamydia?

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Help me, Summer ’09, you’re my only hope

370(Note: I originally planned to post a vlog today, however my crappy 3G plug-in modem’s bandwidth sucks. I’m getting wifi next week and can’t wait. Expect a whole bunch of slightly out-of-date – but awesome – YouTube vids to follow.)

This is a picture of Thurston Moore, lead singer and guitarist for Sonic Youth, at SY’s free 4th of July concert in Battery Park last year. I was there. It was awesome. A few weeks later, Sonic Youth played the final concert at McCarren Park Pool over Labor Day Weekend. It was also free. I was also there. It was equally awesome. In fact, my banner pic is Thurston Moore playing guitar at that very concert.

New York is an awesome place to be in during the summer: free concerts, scantily dressed women, and hours upon hours you can spend outside partying.

Yesterday, we got hit with a snowstorm. It’s presently 26 degrees. I haven’t been out in weeks because it’s too damn cold.

In other words, Memorial Day weekend needs to get here. NOW!


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The One About The Get Up Kids

I’ve recently decided that The Get Up Kids are one of my favorite bands of all time. In fact, if I were pressed to do so, I’d name them in the top 3. I’m not sure exactly who’d be #1. Worse case scenario, GUK and The Replacements go head-to-head in a steel cage match for my affection. One fall. No outside interference from Macho Man Randy Savage.

I’ve made a few attempts in the past to write about music from an intellectual point of view. I’ve found, every time, that I really can’t do it. That’s not to put down my talent, it’s just not in my DNA. It’d be like if I forced you to watch the entire IMdb resume of Zach Braff. You’d enjoy it, but the same way a parent enjoys the work of his marginally talented child. Anyway, since realizing this weak point about my writing (and my self-important taste), I’m finally ready to admit that my enjoyment of music (and other “smoking jacket-related arts” stuff) comes down to a “Yes.” to two very easy questions:

1) Does it have a good beat?
2) Do I want to listen to it again?

That’s about it.

I know this criteria looks a bit elementary on paper. It is. I make no apologies for it.

I’m not a musician, or even a semi-qualified critic. I can’t read music. I can’t play music. If I ever do succeed in my secret dream of forming a Midwestern post-punk indie band with me singing, I had better start shelling out for voice lessons. I’m not interested anymore in telling you why you should think Radiohead’s Kid A is brilliant, I just think “Motion Picture Soundtrack” sounds really pretty. That’s how I can call The Get Up Kids one of my favorite bands and end it there. Pop sensibility. Memorable lyrics. Rocking sound.

None of this occurred to me until I was stuck in my apartment last week, doing work, and listening to my old emo mixtapes. The majority of the stuff on those tapes is complete garbage – a result of multiple bands trying to sound like one another and the consumer emo savvy of the past decade. The Get Ups, thankfully, fall outside of most that; actually, I’ll dare to say The Get Ups and their New Jersey counterparts, Saves The Day. I personally think GUK is my generation’s version of The ‘Mats, but that is just me. I’m making an argument for my favorite band based on the rationale of “They’re awesome, because they are.” Sure, maybe all of this sounds trivial and facetious. But, I’ve also realized that we – as human beings – tend to make big deals out of nothing. Music. Movies. Relationships. Sports teams. I just feel as if we make stuff way more complicated than it has to be. In an age that cares so much about everybody else’s opinion, why can I love something just because? Of course, the real irony is that this entry’s impetus is my love for an emo band. Emo, a genre of music that has thrived on making teen heartbreak sound way more complicated than it is in reality.

Maybe it’s maturity, but I just dig simplicity these days. I like liking The Get Up Kids. As a teacher of mine once told me, everything has a story; nothing just happens. So, by that principle, even the reason of “Just because…” has something tangible to it. I mean, you always say “Just because…” because that euphemism tends to hide a deeper meaning that you want to share later on, when the time is right. I like the Get Up Kids just because. I don’t care what the blogs say; or what girl wants to sleep with me if I quote Serge Gainsbourg. Right now, I just want to rock out. And, nobody in a cardigan can stop me.


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My Top 5 “Emo” Songs


1. “Lost In The Supermarket” by The Clash
I didn’t realize until last year that this song is actually sung by Mick Jones. My favorite Clash song is not sung by Joe Strummer. Now I know how it feels to be a Ringo fan. Angst, anxiety, depression – Jones hits all the right notes with this one. One of the best pop songs ever.

2. “Night Moves” by Bob Seger
This song reminds me of Nicole, a girl I hooked up with during the summer of 2000. I was 17.

3. “Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
2003. College. Sophomore year. Angry. Bored. That was the same year I discovered Brooklyn and Karen O. Thanks MTV2.

4. “Can’t Hardly Wait” by The Replacements
I’d like to think that if I never got into emo, I would’ve found my way to The Replacements. Say all you want about their post-Stinson era, I love this song. Very raw and very heartfelt. That was The ‘Mats in five words or less. This song pulls at my heartstrings.

5. “Incinerate” by Sonic Youth
Any song that opens with “I ripped your heart out from your chest.” is bound to go nowhere but up.

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Amending Freddie

Yesterday, I may’ve confused a few people by encouraging them to rock out to Big Country with an epic picture of Freddie Mercury.

I then tipped the scales only further by invoking the lyrics of a completely different song in order to rock to Big Country’s song.

For this gaffe, I apologize. To make amends, I present the music video to said misquoted song – “I Want To Break Free” by Queen – in order to give both works equal face time.

Sorry again, Freddie.

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The Ultimate Party Jam

My ultimate party song: “In A Big Country” by Big Country. Any time, I need to throw down – Served style – that’s my shit.

“In A Big Country” by Big Country

Enjoy the track while rocking out to this extremely epic photo of Freddie Mercury from Queen! “I Want To Break Freeeeeee!”


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Please Buy This Album…


I saw Vivian Girls (not to be confused with the indie band from Australia) open for Sonic Youth at The McCarren Pool Park show over Labor Day ’08. Since then, they’ve been burning up the Brooklyn music scene here in New York. Their sound is something of a cross between The Donnas, lo-fi, and punk.

Their debut album is very cheap on iTunes and they are awesome live. I highly recommend you check out Vivian Girls.

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