Friday, August 17, 2007

Get get get to know ya better, baby

Okay, it'll have to be short this week…

Popscene isn't the best place to take a first date, but if you have to, make sure to bring someone who will jump up and down when they hear Depeche Mode and sing along to every, I mean every, word of every Junior Senior song. They sure are a fun band. JD Samson of Le Tigre got onstage with them, and it was nice to see she's still rocking the 'stache. Check the video for some awesome Halloween costume ideas and Peaches on rollerskates.

Also, I just heard of this German artist who makes short, lo-fi pop songs. Like Mark E Smith fronting Kleenex Girl Wonder. Someone made a cute video with his drawings.

At Matt's bachelor party, we spent something like 14 hours arguing over which artists were underrated, overrated, or perfectly rated. I was shocked to hear that Matt thinks Big Star is overrated and Neil Young underrated. I mean, Neil Young! Has anyone besides the old DB at the Express ever said anything bad about that guy? (We also learned some sexy stuff, but I won't tell you that here. My blog is a tease from now on.) Eventually, Carligula brought up Wire, and I don't think I've ever seen him get so excited. (We can say whatever we want about him here, because he says he hates and therefore never reads blogs by people he knows.) He sure loves those first two records, so much so that I went back after and listened to Pink Flag. He's right -- there's some amazing pop songs on there. Check out this clip from German TV.

Another warning: Don't ever play soccer with softball cleats. Hello, blisters.

Hey, I'm heading to NYC on Monday for some R&R. Gonna see Camera Obscura for free, go to Coney Island with Rolf, Michele, and Victoria before they bulldoze it, check out some museums, see some rollerdisco band with Ryan, catch up with Alida. If you know of anything I should check out, let me know.

Thanks to Marlo for this week's Grumpy Guy.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Blake's got a new face

So, recently I've become obsessed with this band Vampire Weekend. (Yeah, I know, dumb name. But all the good ones are taken. Like the Nazz.) They opened for the Shout Out Louds at the Shaw a while back, and I was actually pretty disappointed in their performance. Like Christopher said, it was as if they were the house band at a resort in Barbados.

See, I'd claimed they sounded like Pavement covering Graceland. But upon hearing them live and peeping their forthcoming CD, I had to change that description. They're like Pavement circa Crooked Rain covering "Mother and Child Reunion." With a little '80s ska thrown in there.

I know what you're thinking. That sounds awful, right? But it isn't. It's pretty freaking great. Maybe it helps that I've been listening to that first Paul Simon solo record a lot too, realizing again how it's full of effortlessly brilliant songs. And, hell, who doesn't love the Specials? I mean, this is no 4th wave ska crap, no Bowling For Soup or whatever. It's lean and bouncy and supercatchy. And the lead singer has a great way of clipping his phrases and adding little hiccups, sort of like early David Byrne, that's pretty endearing.

But. But they also come off like Rich East Coast Preppies Assmonkeys. I mean, one song is about a girl named Bryn, and another seems to be about a girl named Blake's face lift. The tunes are littered with references to dharjeeling tea, tropical vacations, Mansard roofs, and rules of grammar (okay, that last one's pretty damn nerdy). "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" actually mentions Louis Vitton, a Peter Gabriel tune, and linens, while rhyming "dawn" with "Benetton." But -- again with the buts -- god, that song is catchy. Afro-pop guitar jingle jangle, pittering bongos, and some weird synth riff, plus that singer again, holding his "I do" until it is "I do-ooo-ooo-ooo."

And yeah I'm a sucker for a song about Cape Cod ("Walcott"), especially one that says "Fuck the women in Wellfleet/ Fuck the bears in Provincetown/ Heed my words and take flight." Or one about having dreams about Boston all of your life. Or a line like "How am I supposed to pretend that I'll never see you again?" Maybe I'm just being nostalgic for my 20s, but I love this band.

Oh yeah, I bowled a 242 on Tuesday. 242! Best. Game. Ever.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Love has no pride

Last night, my friend Alida was in town visiting from New York, so I took her to the Fecal Face 7.5 anniversary party at Minna. We met Paul there, and we all got to talking about relationships. We've all had gnarly break ups in the somewhat recent past, and we all remarked how we're actually pretty dang good at being alone. Being single is nice, we said. You have tons of freedom to work on projects or be lazy or be spontaneous or just be. It's up to you. But it's also really easy. Too easy. Basically, it comes down to you don't have to worry about letting anyone down or having anyone let you down. Sometimes this seems like a really good thing and sometimes it seems really chickenshit.

Mark Morford wrote a great article for the Comical about being single now that he's "past the age when getting moronically drunk every weekend and hooking up is the ultimate goal and you've had enough sex to fill a thousand porn movies and everyone around you is no longer on some sort of giddy, wide-eyed first-adult-relationship must-get-married must-have-babies track of impossibly optimistic utopian desire." You know, when relationships are more complex, full of ISSUES like kids and home owning and fidelity and bad foot odor. Forget the fact that dating can make you feel like you're 15 all over again, making out in cars, fumbling with bra straps, asking your friends, "Do you thinks she liiiiikes me?"

At Minna, while the young and as-yet-uncomplicated swirled around us like a giant tidybowl of hipster flotsam, we bemoaned the fact that most people like what they like, even if they don't like liking what they like. You get me? Often, we think maybe if we were just attracted to a different kind of person it would all work out, that it is the pattern that is the problem.

And so I'd had a few beers and I started to get worked up and I wanted to demand that we all make a pact of some kind. But I couldn't figure out what that would be -- a pact to make a list of all the things we are attracted to and which ones we'd like to change and why? Then I got distracted, and the conversation swerved like a teenager on wet leaves. Damn leaves.