February 25, 2008

Monday Music Roundup

Pop quiz: What do all of these things have in common?

-study abroad (ouch!)
-Mos Def (“I don’t see race“)
-Whole Foods
-knowing what’s best for poor people

Why, this is all stuff white people like, the subject of a fantastic blog by the same name. Good lord this is funny stuff . . .

Notable related link: Top Ten Rap Songs White People Love with some awesomely excellent videos. Yo VIP. . . Let’s kick it.

Yes Man
Ari Hest
Brooklyn musician Ari Hest was looking for new ways to challenge the conventional music-releasing paradigm, and decided to try something new in 2008: releasing one song per week and offering fans the opportunity to subscribe to his creativity, as it were. This tune is currently top on his MySpace player and caught my ears with its warm, roots-rock sound, but everything I am hearing spinning on there so far is good. The best-loved songs from this year’s “52“experiment will be released as the follow-up album to last year’s The Break-In. I think he came through Denver in support of that album playing with the Damnwells but oh wait I missed it.

I Woke Up Today
Port O’Brien
I’m going to try and see Port O’Brien this weekend as part of the most excellent Noise Pop Festival in San Fran. They’re playing at Cafe du Nord, which is the sweatier, dirtier, downstairs cousin to the Swedish American Hall — where this Oakland band played just a few weeks ago, opening for Nada Surf. This song sounds like a joyous cross between some tribal ceremony and a playground dodgeball riot. I love it, it makes the floor wanna shake.

Gray or Blue
Jamie Seerman is a 26-year-old New Yorker with an earnest, pleasing voice and melodic songs that draw from a range of pop and jazz influences.
But seriously.
Has no one in her management advised her that people hear her stage name and perhaps think of this? Or am I the only one?
In any case, this song packs a limber bassline that stretches and wraps itself around her effervescent strum and playfulness. It charmingly starts with “i feel so helpless now, my guitar is not around” as she tries to memorize everything about the guy in this song, and it makes me feel exactly like I am fifteen. I found myself singing this (out loud!) in a 7-11 the other day, so it must be catchy. Autumn Fallin’ is out March 11 on Blue Note.

Ready For The Floor (Jesse Rose Mix)
Hot Chip
There’s something just a little endearing about the marginally off-key exhortation of lead singer Alexis (guy) Taylor here as he urges me to do it, do it, do it, do it now. It creeps into my subconscious. Maybe it’s that borderline-nerdy feel combined with the dancefloor-ready beats that is making Hot Chip such a huge success amongst the kids who don’t dance much, and this remix brings out all the parts of the song that I like the best. From their new album Made In The Dark (out a few weeks ago on Astralwerks).

Falling Slowly
The Frames
After the agonizing THREE musical theater extravaganzas from the Amy Adams “Enchanted” film last night at the Oscars, I was even more excited about Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova winning for best song. This tune is just ridiculously, impossibly gorgeous and if you’ve seen the lovely little story soundtracked by it, it becomes even better. The song was originally written and released with Glen’s band The Frames in this slightly different early version from the 2006 album The Cost (Plateau Records). Listen here for an injection of tension and fervor with the electric cascades, but it does make me miss Marketa’s prominent duetting vocals. “You have suffered enough and warred with yourself, it’s time that you won.” Good for them.


  • Re: Unfortunate Jaymay nom de plume

    No, it’s totally not just you.

    Thanks for validating what I thought/worried was just yet another example of my own dirty mindedness.

    boyhowdy — February 25, 2008 @ 9:14 pm

  • Hey, are you going to finally catch up with the Broken West at Noise Pop ? :)

    Blitzen Trapper and Holy F*ck are a couple you should put on your must see list for this weekend if you can too.

    Have a great time ! Looking forward to living vicariously through you in your recap.

    -tom — February 25, 2008 @ 9:32 pm

  • To be fair, the first two songs from Enchanted are quite good, and the only two scenes from the movie that really stand out. Anyway, you know the academy’s a bunch of suckers for musical theater.

    I could have easily done without the last one though, and would have really liked to see Mr. Vedder up there with Guaranteed or something. And I too was thrilled to see Glen Hansard win, and when they let his lady friend come back out to give her acceptance speech it was one of the highlights of the evening.

    The Duck — February 26, 2008 @ 6:12 am

  • 1. love “stuff white people like”! although i’m not white. but i like stuff…whatever it’s funny!

    2. i was so freakin happy “once” won! although i like the songs from “enchanted,” they did not transfer well to the stage. at all. like…terrible. glen and marketa were great.


    Anonymous — February 26, 2008 @ 9:50 am

  • hey

    Your blog is cool: a beautiful girl talking about music, it sounds great!!!

    So let me put a link to your blog from mine. In addition, it’s useness for practise my english :)

    Cheers from Madrid!

    ridgeBoy — February 26, 2008 @ 1:55 pm

  • Watching those “Enchanted” musical numbers did make it a bit sweeter seeing Glen and Marketa win as it only emphasized the David/Goliath aspect of it all. The “Enchanted” songs aren’t necessarily bad; they’re just the standard safe choices for the Academy. Truth being told I think “Falling Slowly” deserved to win more than any other song this year which includes anything from Into the Wild. However, I didn’t know it was originally done by Glen’s main band, The Frames. As a song based upon previously released material shouldn’t it have been disqualified from consideration? Similar reasoning was used to explain why the There Will Be Blood score wasn’t eligible though I believe that also included objections to sampling as well.

    Kelly — February 26, 2008 @ 2:44 pm

  • Actually, I think the story goes that “Falling Slowly” was written for Once, but Glen, Marketa, et al never thought the movie would be distributed, and they didn’t want that song (or the others) to go to waste. So Glen re-recorded it with The Frames (along with “When Your Mind’s Made Up”), and then he and Marketa re-re-recorded it as The Swell Season. There was a bit of controversy about whether “Falling Slowly” would even be eligible for an Oscar, but that was clarified, and thankfully, the most deserving song won that category on Sunday.

    Marty — February 26, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

  • I hadn’t heard of Jaymay until today, and now I won’t forget her name…ever. It is a bit easier to say than Jane Fonda’s recent interpretation.
    For some reason this reminds of the famous story told about Diana Dors:

    Diana Dors once asked and readily agreed to open a fete in her home town of Swindon. She lunched with the local vicar, during which, she let slip that her real name was Diana Fluck. The vicar became somewhat worried about his planned speech.
    After lunch, they arrived at the appointed time. The vicar began and uttered these immortal words. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you, our star guest, we all love her and especially as she is our local girl. I therefore feel it right to introduce her by her real name, Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Diana Clunt.’
    Hope I didn’t offend…

    Tawriffic — February 26, 2008 @ 7:23 pm

  • Marty’s right regarding “Falling Slowly”. It was nearly disqualified because it appeared on a Frames cd and was played in concerts but the song was created for the movie and if it wasn’t, then it would have not been eligible for nomination. Glen and the director were able to prove that it was inspired and written primarily for the movie.

    Go Glen and Marketa! I loved that Glen wanted to make their Oscars kiss.

    Jen — February 26, 2008 @ 8:47 pm

  • The Swell Season is playing at the Paramount in April, just a heads up for the people who might be interested.

    Drew — February 28, 2008 @ 11:44 am

  • Another song worth checking out this week is the new People in Planes single, “Pretty Buildings,” that the band released for free download:

    It sounds like the new album is going to have a lot bigger sounding songs.

    Mark — March 4, 2008 @ 11:23 am

  • actually the Swell Season album which “Falling Slowly” was on initially came out a month before The Cost

    August ’06 vs. Sept ’06



    solace — March 5, 2008 @ 3:13 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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