Monday, June 30, 2008

Philip Glass

I've developed an inexplicable obsession with Philip Glass. Today I bought the sheet music to Metamorphosis I-V and Madrush. Now all I need is a piano. I'm dying to play. I think I may be getting over this whole indie rock phase and moving on to strictly classical.

This piece kills me:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Low: You May Need a Murderer

I rarely read Pitchfork, as I find it all way too pedantic, patronizing, pejorative, [insert disparaging p-word here], but I occasionally do so for album reviews. Their My Brightest Diamond review is quite p-pitiful, further p-prompting my p-proclivity to read elsewhere. However, I'm glad I read it, because they linked to a live performance of the ukulele piece "The Gentlest Gentleman" I mentioned in my review of their Berklee show. This particular video was in New York and sung with Clare from Clare and the Reasons. The song starts around 2 minutes. How beautiful is Shara Worden, might I add?

The other reason I'm thrilled I went over there is that I saw an ad for a DVD about Low (!) called "Low: You May Need a Murderer." You can see a clip on Pitchfork TV. I'd love to check it out, but I guess I should watch "A Skin, A Night" about the National first. Though this looks far more interesting. How beautiful is Alan Sparhawk, might I add?

time capsule!

[Photo from Boston Globe]

This is so awesome. Fortunately there was nothing culturally offensive in there, as E and I had feared. Yeah, Roxbury!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

buy your Sigur Ros album today!

Sigur Ros' Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust comes out today, so I'll be at Newbury Comics during my lunch hour making some purchases. It's been streaming at their website for awhile now, but you can now also stream it at AOL Spinner.

Since this blog used to be about Wu-Tang (sort of), I should mention that RZA's new album is streaming over there, too.

Regarding other new releases, My Brightest Diamond's A Thousand Shark's Teeth is phenomenal. We saw them play at Berklee last Friday, and I wrote a review. Shara Worden's music is even better live.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

things I love: music and life edition

This past week was A+ for many, many reasons, but most importantly, because the Celtics won the mutha flippin' NBA championship! I'd like to dedicate a whole post to the long history of my basketball fandom, but I'll save that for another day. Here are some ridiculous photos of E and I celebrating on our roof deck after watching Game 6 at Drew and Jes' house. Word of warning: do not drink mystery green Celtics punch, like we did (witness the green tongues). We were a mess the next morning. I missed the parade, which went right by my office, because I was on a conference call. I'm still bitter.

In music news, most importantly, I HAVE PRE-SALE SIGUR ROS TIX FOR SEPTEMBER!!! I'm so excited, I'm bursting at the seams. They went on sale at 9am the day after the parade disappointment, and I was a nervous wreck as I couldn't get through and had another flippin' meeting at 9:30. Sure enough, 9:30 came and I still hadn't gotten through. I led the fastest, most efficient meeting of all time, tried again at 10am, when I finally did get through despite the sold out claim on the website.

Last week, I bought three albums at Newbury Comics. They're all fantastic (but I knew that before buying them).

1. The Dodos - Visiter
[website] [myspace]

2. Evangelicals - The Evening Descends (missed their Middle East show Friday, as I was at another show)
exemplary mp3: "Skeleton Man"

3. Chris Garneau - Music for Tourists
[website] [myspace]

Overheard at Newbury Comics:

Cashier: My friend told me I'd like Chris Garneau.
Chick with 3 cds in hand: Yeah, it's kind of sleepy, breathy... like Sufjan Stevens, but not as... BIG?

And that, my friends, is why I should not try to write about music. Yet, I continue to do so, as I wrote a review for the My Brightest Diamond show at Berklee (should be up soon [Ed-here it is.]). The show was awesome. Two Asthmatic Kitty shows in two weeks (Cryptacize before)! Like I said, it was a great week.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Josh Joplin's "Camera One"

Do you remember this song? I keep on finding music I used to listen to around 2000-2001, but haven't since. This was one such artist. Here's Josh Joplin's "Camera One." Joplin's playing at Club Passim this Sunday.

Track 01 - Josh Joplin

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Doves to finish new album by end of summer

From the Doves' website:
Hi all,
Sorry not been any word from us for a while, but there's been no real news here apart from our usual writing / recording. Rest assured we are working all the time and not just in the pub or hoovering the garage!
We aim to have this record finished by the end of summer, songs are already starting to be mixed.
STOP PRESS!! news just in
We might be treading those boards again this Sept with a couple of UK gigs, nothings confirmed yet and we cant give you details, but you'll be the first to know when things are going to happen (we are gonna try and work out some free tickets for the faithfull on it'll be great to step out into the outside world again and play some of these new songs live.
As ever thanks for you're patience and hopefully see you soon
Andy, Jez and Jimi
Which makes my Doves' countdown (over there ----->) even more stupid, but I'm keeping it up anyway! Can't wait!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pomegranates, Cryptacize (live), midnight bike ride

E and I saw Cryptacize at the Middle East Upstairs on Wednesday. We had a great time, though it was kind of a weird night. I'll explain in my review, which will hopefully be up soon. [Ed.-here it is.] Here are some stinky photos.

Ben & Vesper

Spitzer Space Telescope

So what else has been keeping me out until all hours of the night? Oh, how 'bout those Celtics?! That's right, not only am I now a wholehearted Red Sox fan, but I also love the Celtics. This series has been incredible, especially Thursday night. You should hear these Boston sports radio guys go off on L.A. Two things they particularly despise: 1) celebrity fans, and 2) European players--quite reflective of Boston's odd mix of despising pretensions yet harboring latent racism.

What else? How 'bout riding my bike 30 miles in the dark on a Friday night? Yep, it was the second annual Justin birthday bike ride on the Minuteman Trail. This time, there were about 30 of us, including some SCUL friends. We had a nice soundtrack of Vivaldi, Jello Biafra, new wave synth pop [Ed.-I googled it, and we were listening to early Ministry, before they turned into an industrial metal band. And now this is my favorite new (old) album.] and thrasher metal. Good times. Here are some photos.

Birthday couple.

Brett and Ben.

Gratuitous bike shot.

See all the photos here.

Finally, I've been listening to a lot of Pomegranates lately. In theory, you can stream their new album here, but I can't get it to work. I was first introduced to them when they opened for the French Kicks in Boston a couple months ago. The more I think about it, they were the best part of that night.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

E published in The Believer (sort of)!!!

What a lovely surprise to open up The Believer this evening and see none other than my husband in the Letters to the Editor! A woman living in our neighborhood (whom we know) also had a letter published regarding the same article.

E wrote in regards to Eula Biss' "No-Man's-Land," a piece relating Little House on the Prairie and the pioneer concept to quickly gentrifying neighborhoods. Both E and I were quite moved by the piece, as we relate to issues we see in our own neighborhood. I certainly gave the piece a few careful reads. E even wrote a personal e-mail to the author, and they had a very thoughtful exchange. She invited us for coffee if we're ever in Chicago (hmm... maybe that Amtrak trip I've been planning?).

Here's what he wrote:
"It was a delight to read such profound honesty found in "No-Man's-Land." When parsing a piece of classic literature, in this case the pioneer tales of Laura Ingalls Wilder, contemporary readers are in danger of making connections and observations simply for ironic amusement. Yet Biss skillfully used the frontier stories to unmask questions from her daily life. This allows the reader close access to the tensions she experiences as an outsider to her Chicago neighborhood. We should be so bold to follow her example, probing stated and unstated motivations for where we live. What is valued most? Safety, proximity to parks, public transportation, home size? In offering her experiences, Biss lets us consider the pioneer attitude of folks who move into "bad areas" and those who make room for the newcomers. Gentrification may be a four-letter word, but is is a cultural process that has and will continue to shape the American urban landscape."

Mobius Band's "Friends Like These"

This video makes me giggle. It's also a great song. Mobius Band's "Friends Like These":

Awhile back, I wrote a review of the Cut Copy + Black Kids + Mobius Band concert at the Paradise. It never got posted, so here's what I wrote about Mobius Band.

Mobius Band is three Brooklyn lads with a sound that's heavy on the bass, drums and synthesizer. The lead singer plays the bass, so they're a lot like the Police. OK, that last part was a joke, but I've read such asinine things about this show line-up (like Youngblood of Black Kids sounds like Robert Smith!?), that I thought I'd add fuel to the ass-clown fire. In fact, Mobius Band sounds a lot like fellow-New Yorkers French Kicks with they're drum jams, mix of vocal styles and synth touches. But since I recently saw French Kicks perform, I'd say that live, as compared with the former, Mobius Band is a lot more goofy and lighthearted and a lot less pretentious.

Switching up lead vocals are Peter on bass and Ben on guitar/synthesizer: Peter with a droning, twangy style and Ben with a more melodic, dreamy tone. Live, they serve as nice counterpoints, exhibited in their two most popular singles, the danceable “Friends Like These,” with Peter on lead, and “Hallie,” with Ben on lead. Notably, despite the fact that this seemed to be the crowd's first exposure to Mobius Band, these were the only two songs that inspired dancing (or, frankly, general interest)--and this was a crowd ready to dance, as proven later in the evening. So Mobius Band picked their singles well.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sigur Ros, G. Love, Cryptacize, post-grunge

What's not to love about Cryptacize?

After being such crazy rock stars for awhile, E and I haven't been to a show in three weeks! Thus, I'm pumped to see Cryptacize this Wednesday at the Middle East Upstairs. Just in time, Saint Sufjan himself wrote a nice piece on them for the Asthmatic Kitty website. If I could write half as well as that man, I'd be happy.

In other tour news, Sigur Ros is playing the BOA Pavilion on 9/19 (thanks, Brad!)! Bring the tissues for when they play "Ára bátur," my current favorite song off the new album. If you don't tear up when the orchestra swells at the climax, you likely don't have a soul. This show will totally make up for the fact that we're not going to Radiohead (I wouldn't let E buy tickets, and now I'm regretting it).

G. Love and Special Sauce are playing the Pavilion 8/14. Should we go for the sake of high school nostalgia? [Ed.-E just read this and said "no way." So I guess we're too cool for G. Love now. Once you've seen Dirty Projectors, you don't go back.] Man, I have so many good memories of Philly G. Love shows--the best of course being New Year's 2000, when we all awaited the apocalypse by making out on stage. OK, I wasn't making out, but I was there with E, about a year and a half before we started dating. You know, it's kind of embarrassing to admit it, but I've definitely seen G. Love live more than any other artist (probably four times? maybe five?).

Oh, you know what's even more embarrassing? I think I saw The Verve Pipe three times back in the day. Ha! In my defense, of all the shitty post-grunge bands of 1996-2000, Verve Pipe had some good qualities. I did some post-grunge research the other day, and discovered Brian Vander Ark's website (anyone want to book a house show?). My research also produced this sad little fact: Sponge and Marcy's Playground are playing a Carnival Cruise. Remember back then when everyone thought rock was over and Prodigy and Chemical Brothers were going to usher in a new era of electronica music? Wow. Glad we were wrong about that. Though I did buy "The Saint" Soundtrack to prepare myself.

stream Sigur Ros

Too amazing for words.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


And now this space has turned into a photo blog. Why not?

Last night E and I went to the Brazil vs. Venezuela soccer game at Foxboro.

We had a blast, despite some logistical nightmares (like E not realizing the game was Friday until a neighbor on the street asked him, "Aren't you going to the game tonight?"--thanks, Kyle!).

To put it mildly, E was excited about the game.

OK, let's make that ecstatic about the game.

Stinkin' Pats!

The game was preceded by the Revolution vs. Dallas game, of which we caught the last fifteen minutes. Obviously the Revolution would win, because they have the far superior uniforms. Seriously, isn't this jersey crazy hot (well, the font's a little lame, but the cut's great)?

[original source]

We were up 2-0, but Dallas scored exactly at 90 minutes, and the Revolution looked like they were dying, so the following couple of minutes were kind of nail biting--just blow the whistle already! In the end, we won 2-1. Here are the highlights.

The goalie Matt Reis is a total beast. He had a career high 10 saves that night, and we saw some pretty phenomenal ones. He got a standing ovation when he left the field.

Exhibit phenomenal save:

[original source]

As Reis said in the highlight interview, obviously not everyone was there for the Revolution. Major understatement! We went to a game a few years ago, and the stadium was maybe 1/8 full?

We were hard pressed to find any Venezuelan fans. Can you spot one? I can't!

Everyone stood up for the pre-game pump up songs. Due to our love of Gob and "Arrested Development," our favorite was "The Final Countdown." As E said, that song works in any language. I can testify that I've heard it multiple times in Mexico. Check out E dancing on the left of the frame.

And here's the chorus!

I like this video of "We Will Rock You" because the cute little boys in front of us have really bad rhythm.

Brazil takes the field! The crowd goes wild!


Brazil national anthem. You can hear E singing the lyrics "pan de queijo," his favorite Brazilian pastry.

The Brazilian fans were awesome. One lady had a Brazilian flag painted on her big pregnant belly-can't believe I didn't get a photo! I've spent a lot of time with Brazilians so I'm always interested in cultural differences. Soccer definitely introduced me to some new ones. For example, some of the crowd's responses were confusing. After Venezuela scored their first goal (at five minutes, ugh), the crowd started a pump up chant, clearly saying, "No problem! We'll get 'em back!" But then at halftime, when we were down 2-0, they booed the team when they went to the locker room, as though to say, "Step it up, losers!" E also pointed out that the Brazilians probably weren't happy with the condiments at the snack bar, because we've never seen a Brazilian eat ketchup. When the game was over, and Brazil lost 2-0, people were surprisingly in great spirits. I chalk it up to a fun night celebrating nationalism, but who knows.

Random field shots (that first one was taken near the end of the night, so it had cleared out a bit).

Friday, June 6, 2008

ESD#47: narcoleptic stripper

It's nice having a spouse that shares a sick sense of humor. Like at this wedding last weekend, I joked that E would find a particular wedding guest in the bathroom snorting coke. Now, I know that's not funny whatsoever, but in context this guy seemed like the classic 80s coke addict, like Stef of "Pretty in Pink."

E took the joke one step further, saying he expected a dead stripper, too, which is really not funny. However, he was alluding to one of my favorite "Arrested Development" episodes, where Michael throws a bachelor party for Gob, and Gob tries to run the family accountant out of town by setting up a situation with a narcoleptic stripper and gallons of corn syrup and red food coloring. His plans are thwarted because of Buster's addiction to juice. It's so absurd and so sick and so ridiculously funny. Here's the unraveling of the scheme:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fleet Foxes, take 2

"White Winter Hymnal" from Fleet Foxes' new album reminds me of Panda Bear.

From The Yellow Stereo:

[original source]

The Fleet Foxes' album cover also reminds me of Panda Bear.

Fleet Foxes:
Panda Bear:

These are all good things. Seriously, listen to this album.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fleet Foxes

AOL is streaming the Fleet Foxes cd--definitely want to see them at the Middle East this month. Can't wait to listen to My Brightest Diamond, too (playing at Berklee this month).

In other news, Patrick wants to take on more debt to fund bridge maintenance and repair. Kudos for the bridge focus. However, 90% of my transportation class last semester recommended not taking on more debt and instead increasing the gas tax. No one listens.

I forgot to mention in my last post that I finally read Mountains Beyond Mountains, which tells the story of Paul Farmer and Partners in Health. I highly recommend it. It brought back a lot of memories of my own experience with an entrepreneurial, emerging international non-profit. Tough work, my friends.

Monday, June 2, 2008

oh, hi

I've been busy--thus, no blogging. Not that it really matters, as I think this blog is going to bite the dust pretty soon.

I'll dispense with some quick notes before offering lots of photos, proving that I have indeed been a busy bee.

Holy cow! A lot of big things have happened since I last wrote! Quickly... the second half of my interview with The Acorn is up. reviewed Beirut in Seattle---ACK! Too. jealous. for. words. High Places will be playing Boston in June... but Fleet Foxes the same night! How to decide? Coco Rosie's been busy! Sigur Ros! Sigur Ros! I can't stop listening to this guy. I'm the only one.

NY TIMES NOTES: (remember when I used to complain about the Times a lot?)
The Times is seriously off their meds. With the exception of this great article on one man bands, the Times has been ridiculous lately. First we had to suffer through a cover feature on blogger Emily Gould. Then the following week, Tyra Banks was on the cover. What?

OTHER RANDOM NOTES: Did you watch Lost? I mean, did you watch it? Crazy times.

Now that that's out of the way, let's recap my life in photos!

Memorial Day weekend, lots of family came to Boston to celebrate this little cutie's 1st birthday (my cousin's first kid).

We had so much fun. My sister flew in from Denver.

And the brother-in-law.

And aunts, uncles and cousins.

And the parents (on the left).

E was being so cute with the baby, so I took lots of photos.

See the rest of the birthday photos here.

After they all left, my sister, brother-in-law and I went to New York for the day. I got to hang out with my old college roommate! Holy cow, did you know the Met had a roof deck? Awesome!

Then E and I headed down to Wilmington, NC for four nights to hit the beach and attend the wedding of an old high school friend. It was such a lovely mini vacation, and we had a great time hanging out with high school friends. We shared a house on the beach with a couple of these clowns.

Right out of the airport, we passed by the studio where "Dawson's Creek" was and "One Tree Hill" is filmed. This totally made my day. Every time we passed a body of water (which was often), I would start singing "I don't wanna wait for my life to be over." Oh, on a related note: I'm pretty sure I walked by Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger in Soho while on my New York trip.

When I spend time with high school friends, I'm amazed by how important they are to me despite the fact that we live far from one another and have all changed during the past ten years. Though life and our selves are so different, I still feel like they know me and I know them better than many others in my life. Of course, I went to a pretty unique high school (small, private), so friendships were unusually strong. Every time we're together, talk turns to doing some sort of communal, intentional living situation. It's tempting.

We had three full days on the beach--absolutely beautiful. I never wanted to leave the ocean. E loved the surfing, but he gets crazy surf burn. Eek! (One of my friend's photos.)

It was so laid back and nice to hang out with everyone, including the bride and groom, before the wedding. The groom, friends and family even went surfing the day of the wedding.

The wedding itself was really sweet. Bride and groom.

Groom and E (aww, I get so proud seeing my man with old friends).

The groom had a bet with our friend about who would be the first to marry (I think this went down at E and my wedding five years ago). Here's the ceremonial paying of the bet.

I love this photo. We don't always see eye to eye on political stuff with this friend, so looking at E's expression, I like to think he just said something really conservative.

Have you ever seen a more happy mother of the groom?

The groom picked all 80s music for dancing. At first we were kind of snooty about it (no James Brown, really?), but we realized we had to dance before the night ended. Look at the resigned expression on the left! This was when they ended with "Love is a Battlefield" and it was do or die. E, as always, takes one for the team and fully commits (exhibit E dancing with a unicorn at my sister's wedding).

Congrats to the happy couple!

See all the wedding photos here.