the oh so quiet show

Beck b-sides of awesomeness, newer songs

Beck, a decade ago I’ve been saddened by the realization that I haven’t been that into the last two Beck albums. WHAT IS THIS MONSTROSITY? I love Beck! Yes! Or. I loved his stuff before the last two albums.

So…I went through a bunch of Beck singles and found all these b-sides that scream awesome. If you’re a big Beck fan, you’ve probably heard of them. If you’re just a casual fan and haven’t felt the need to scope out EVERY B-SIDE IMAGINABLE (hell, even I haven’t), you maybe not have heard of them. Here are two that I really like:

Corvette Bummer – from the UK “Loser” single. Kinda like “Soul Suckin Jerk”, one of my favorite songs from Mellow Gold. [removed]
Alcohol – from the US “Loser” single. I think. Sounds like something off “One Foot in the Grave”. [removed]

If you want something newer, check out the Nick Drake covers at “”: For a less annoying way to listen to them, download them through yousendit. [thanks Mellow]

Lastly, this is the coolest (or tastiest) Beck fan art I’ve seen: “Lizzy’s portrait of Beck done in chocolate sprinkles on a Christmas cookie!”:

Sondre, music videos, WAS

Sondre Lerche is coming out with two albums next year! The first one is due out in Feb/March and the other in the fall. I’m not sure what “punchy songs” are but I suppose I’m looking forward to them. [via “it’s a trap!”:]

Do you have a fast Internet connection? Goody. DoCopenhagen lists the “Top 50 Music Videos of 2005”:, a nice thing to see after reading too many top albums of 2005. I don’t watch many music videos so I could never formulate a list of best videos, but I really like “Carkpark North’s”: “Human”. Bjork’s “Triumph of a Heart”: is awesome too…because it’s Bjork! And she’s so cute! You know it. Sadly, I wasn’t very into any of the gazillion Beck videos that came out this year.

So out of this Top 50 list, I kind of like “Animal Collective – Leaf House”:, despite that I have no idea what the video or song are about. The song is oddly…hyponotizing. [punches self in head] Someone get it out of there. And that Barbie toy in the video kinda weirds me out because I think it’s an old McDonalds toy. Remember when they’d run out of ideas so they’d have Barbie figures for girls and toy cars for boys? Lame.

I like “Brendon Benson – Cold Hands, Warm Heart”: because it’s cute. Obviously. Well, kinda cute. I think the whole video should’ve just been with the black and white drawings. It could’ve been very “Bitter Films”: -ish, although best without the “MY ANUS IS BLEEDING” bit. (But that _is_ one of the best parts. “Everybody dance!” …Please tell me you know what I’m talking about.)

Because I’m slow, I just listened to “We Are Scientists”: for the first time a few days ago (after the Letterman appearance: oops). This was after filling my head with opinions from popular media in the form of high-circulation periodicals (…the Blender subscription was _free_, which means I’m adding to its high-circulation) and deciding that reading these magazines replaces my brain with cotton candy. Hm. But WAS was mentioned a few times, so maybe that’s not so bad….

Uh. Anyway, their music videos are funny. FUNNY IS GOOD. I DEMAND AMUSEMENT. HA HA HA …FULFILLMENT OF AMUSEMENT DEMANDS WRITING IN CAPS. _Uh._ So…while I like their songs, the music videos make them even better. Or “holding cats”: makes them better. Or lack of seriousness makes them better, a feeling I wouldn’t get from listening to the music alone. Check out two of their music videos at “The Lonely Island”: (responsible for the “Lazy Sunday” video that you’ve seen 1024.0445 times already). Also check out the video for “It’s A Hit”: It’s amusing.

WAS is playing at “Bowery Ballroom”: on January 12th. Hm. [scratches head] Should I go? Stay in my room and watch Gilmore Girls, _forever?_ My gut is telling me I should go, which is weird. [punches gut…yeah, I’m writhing on the floor now]

Last unrelated bit: commenters at Gothamist “round up the best places to sell used CDs in NYC”:


Check out “Chris’ interview with WAS lead singer Keith Murray”:

I think the “Bowery show is sold out”: 😐

Um…another update:

WAS added a Maxwell’s show on January 20th. Gaarh!

Magnet stuff, “Fall At Your Feet” reviews

I came across a review for “Magnet’s”: “Fall At Your Feet” single and was surprised to find a crapload of reviews for this _one_ song. The single has a b-side, which no one really mentions and I haven’t heard yet. I didn’t like the music video for this song, which I think…just messed up the song for me. I LIKE THE SONG. _BY ITSELF._ Here’s a round up of reviews because I have no problem posting bad reviews in addition to the good ones.

Good! Or kinda good!

“Beat Surrender”:
“New Noise”:
“Music OHM”:
“Angry Age”:
“Music Emissions”:
“Manchester Music”:
“Room Thirteen”:
“Outline Online”:

Not so good!

“Channel 4”:
“Rock City”:
“Drowned in Sound”:
“The Communion”:

Something that bothers me, even though it doesn’t make much of a difference: Magnet is just Even Johansen and not the whole band. One dude!

Even left a message in “his guestbook”: He’s playing two shows this week, but they’re in Norway so you’re probably not going! Hopefully he’ll be in the US for SXSW (and then make his way to other parts of the country), although he’s not listed on “their page”: yet.

favorites of 2005

This isn’t a representation of “the best” music, just my favorites. Hell if I know what “the best” is, but I’m sure it’s not everything I like. Not that it matters. Considering how much music I haven’t listened to (roughly 99% of what everyone else loves), this list is probably very meager and pointless to read.

And now that you’re so terribly interesting, here’s a list of albums I really liked this year, roughly in the order that I got them, accompanied by nonsensical descriptions that probably only make sense to me (or not even):

“M. Ward”: – “Transistor Radio”:
I’m not sure why I’m drawn to this, but I knew I liked it from the first listen. Comforting. Soothing. Like swaddling a baby. For some reason, I feel like a lot of the songs would fit well while strolling around Frontierland at night. …oh god, I’ve brought Disneyland into this: whyyyy? Uh. It’s. Um. American. Sounding. I’m going to stop now before I say something stupider.

“Amusement Parks on Fire”: – “S/T”:
Listening to this album gives me the weirdest feeling of middle school nostalgia. Can’t. Put. My finger. On it. On a less pointless note, this album is fuzzy and muddled with beautiful sounds. Kind of like a good casserole…no wait, more like trifle. [end food thought]

“Youth Group”: – “Skeleton Jar”:
I listened to the song “Skeleton Jar” about a gazillion times. I still like it. All the songs sound fresh, like those towelettes you sometimes get in Japanese restaurants before the meal. I don’t usually listen to lyrics but “Baby Body” freaked the hell out of me one day when I was riding a NJ transit bus to NYC while thinking about how goddamn slow the bus was crawling, among other relevant things, like how much I sucked. And on that note, the whole album is good and comforting…like pudding. [I said…end food thought.]

“Carpark North”: – All Things to All People
File this under “music that will probably never be popular in America for no good reason”. Anthemic electronic infused rock (I said “infused”?). Their music videos are great too.

“Emiliana Torrini”: – “Fisherman’s Woman”:
If you’re looking for something like “Love in the Time of Science”, you won’t find it here. Emiliana’s voice, which to me hovers somewhere between childlike and…not, shines through on the album’s delicate, sparsely instrumented songs. Reminds me of: autumn, wood, clear skies, etc.

“BC Camplight”: – “Hide, Run Away”:
You’re either instantly hooked or you’re not. If you’re not, your soul must be sad. To un-sadden, you can listen to BC Camplight…wait, that might not work. The songs are fun and might be about depressing things but I can’t tell because they sound happy. Brian’s voice clears your head and makes you feel minty fresh. It’s a lovely thing.

“Mazarin”: – We’re Already There
This album makes me happy. Feels like spring. Lying on the grass. Frisbees. And maybe with some penguins waddling around. “Louise” makes for a good lullaby, but I love every song. _Evvverrrry soooooong._ I felt like that could use some emphasis.

“Sigur Ros”: – “Takk”:
Sigur Ros. Their consistency of supreme-ness is frightening. SIGUR ROS CONSISTS OF ROBOTS WHO MAKE REALLY GOOD MUSIC. Yeah. Icelandic robots. Someone’s gonna hate me for this, but I’m not even sure if this album belongs on this list just because I didn’t listen to it _that_ much. Sigur Ros suffers from the “I really like the first album and while the other ones are good and possibly better, I will never like them as much as the first album” syndrome (I’ll admit, it needs a shorter name).

“Furniture”: – Twilight Chases the Sun
I’m completely unfamiliar with music from Malaysia, so I wonder if I’m missing out on a crapload of beautiful music or if I just got lucky with Furniture. This album was one of those “instant love” deals. It’s a good deal. I don’t know why they’re not signed. (PS: They have a “blog”:

“Franz Ferdinand”: – “You Could Have It So Much Better”:
I almost can’t believe there was a time when I didn’t like FF. Then I saw them live and decided they were awesome. Although I like the first album a bit more, I really like this one. This is the music for my nonexistent party.

“CocoRosie”: – “Noah’s Ark”:
They sound like chipmunks, but that works somehow. The random animal and car noises work too. I loved them from the first time I was exposed to their live performance, although I have no idea why. Maybe their music triggers a tiny, specific part of my brain that otherwise lays dormant.

“Cut Copy”: – “Bright Like Neon Love”:
I haven’t actually gotten this CD, but I can listen to it straight through over and over again with no problem. It qualifies as the danciest thing I like. Inside my head, something is dancing. Another dormant part. (There are lots of those, ooh…yes.)

“Of Montreal”: – “The Sunlandic Twins”:
I haven’t actually listened to this album veyr much, but it’s way too cute. I am intrigued by…the cuteness. It’s enough to induce diabetes. It’s probably not surprising that I first got into them because of the music video for “Wraith Pinned To The Mist And Other Games”. If you haven’t seen it, “you should”:

“Broadcast”: – “Tender Buttons”:
I wasn’t into this when I first heard it. And then I somehow became obsessed with the dance-worthy-ness of the simple drum machine thumping away. The only downside is when they overtake Trish Keenan’s voice, which was a bit of a problem during their live show. Or maybe I’m deaf.

“Rogue Wave”: – “Descended Like Vultures”:
I happened to listen to Rogue Wave only when I found out Mazarin was touring with them. Luckily, Rogue Wave is really good. I guess I would’ve heard their music sooner or later, but my life without “10:1” would…suck. Suck more than it already does, I mean. I do have one issue: during “Are You On My Side” (WHICH I LOVE), the “do do do” part reminds me of Gir singing the doom song. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, that’s probably for the best.

“Feist”: – Let It Die
I haven’t listened to this in a while but that’s because a British friend gave this to me last year. Does it still count for this year? Mrrh. He thought I would like it. I did.

“Levy”: – Rotten Love
I said this was one of my favorites last year…but it got a wider release this year so I’ll mention it again.

“Mew”: – And the Glass Handed Kites
I don’t have this album yet, but I’m putting it here for now. Yes, trust my nonexistent judgement. It makes no sense that they’re not more popular in the US.

In no order, here are the CDs I liked, but not enough to put on this list:

Beck – Guero
Royksopp – The Understanding
Decemberists – Picaresque
Doves – Some Cities
Kent – Du & Jag Döden
Magnet – The Tourniquet [I could write a whole entry about this. To sum things up, I’m the biggest Magnet fan I know, to a point, but despite listening to this album over and over and over again, I still haven’t gotten very into it. I like his first album the most and unfortunately, nothing else will ever compare. His sound changes a little bit with each album, not enough to sway previous fans, but enough to be…somewhat different. Er. Yes. Obviously. If his music keeps getting happier-sounding, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’d rather he make an album like the first one or do something completely different.]

The end. If something isn’t on this list that should be, I probably haven’t listened to it. The lack of electronic music bothers me, but I didn’t listen to much of it this year. Coming out soon: B. FLEISCHMANN! And other good things.

ITP sound-related projects

The name of NYU’s “Interactive Telecommunications Program”: sounds a lot less exciting than it really is (or less creative). Just saying ITP is probably better. Someone described the program to me as art for engineers, or engineering for artists. What comes out is a bunch of cool projects that may be useful, or just made for the heck of being weird and technologically innovative. It’s a leaning experience, so heck, why not? God knows I’m not learning anything particularly useful, unless writing essays at the last minute is more crucial to life than I thought it was.

Each semester they have a “show/exhibition”: that’s like a “science center”: and gallery rolled into one. Or mashed, if you don’t like rolling. The winter show was yesterday and today so if you didn’t go, OH WELL! It was pretty cool and worth going to in the future, if you have the chance. There were quite a few interesting sound-related projects that I bet no one will care about (because it’s much cooler to see in person than read about) but this is my blog, so OH WELL! Stop reading now if you don’t want me to taint your neurotransmitters.

Death of Sound

“Death of Sound”: – “The user will enter the space, and see the instrument mounted to the wall. Upon walking closer the instrument, they will begin to hear its repeatitive harmonic progression. As they nurture certain parts of the instrument, most likely through bathing or sheltering the instrument from light, they will begin slight alterations on the musical framework, as well as overall light indicators on the object which give you overall information about its state of ‘wellness’.”

I just thought it looked nifty. Look, things are spinning! Whoa! God, I’m as amused as a cat pawing a mouse on a string. I guess it sounded like it was dying.


“inTension”: – “Inspired by the Golden Ratio, the pattern of the cords allows for a user to passively trigger tones or fully engage the environment in performance. inTension can be played like a traditional stringed instrument or more dynamically, using the body to trigger multiple strings and tones.”

It was like a giant harp. I couldn’t tell what sounds were coming from all of the strings but some definitely made…some sounds. I liked it although it would’ve been cooler if there were less people/noise around and I could hear the sounds better. MAYBE I’M DEAF! This would be cool if colors were associated with the sounds and the strings were like fiber optics that gloooowed and…made me Nutella-spreaded toast.

linear, crossed

“Linera, Crossed”: – “The piece is neither interactive nor generative, as mentioned, so it will basically sit on the wall, runing through its looped animation, which will repeat every few minutes. I hope that, because of its length, viewers will have a horizontal experience, where they can watch patterns and shapes move across the wall. Up close, the piece will span your entire field of vision, so watching a detail of it up close will involve moving to keep it in sight.”

I was immediately drawn to this in another moment of “cat pawing something random” brain-deadness. The solenoids make clicky sounds! AHRRRH I LOVE YOU, CLICKY! I dub thee Clicky. I kind of want one, although I think it would make me go insane after a while. Maybe it can be programmed to make me toast. Clicky is made by “Tristan Perich”:, who makes “One Bit Music”: that is pretty good if you like bleepy things. (nod your head) (Actually, I made a goal a few years ago to make an album of really annoying, high pitched happy bleepy music before I die, but preferably much sooner than that. Deep down inside, every girl has a dream…don’t knock it.)

forgot what this was

I forgot what this was called, but it was a bowl of water with wooden things floating around that would make sounds as you pushed them across the water. Or something. I’m sure there’s some technical aspect to it that I wouldn’t understand. File this under “things I want in my room, next to the giant harp and Clicky”.

“iChair”: – “iChair is a project of making two interactive chairs. They interact with people in different ways: The lights inside the chairs will interact with your movement upon the chair, you can control your iPod by touching different parts of the chair, and the two chairs interact with each other.”

It looked neat, although I admit that if I get a chair, I just want it to not hurt my butt. It looked cool though. I didn’t try it out so maybe it’s not uncomfortable.

“KeyBored”: – “For this demonstration users simply play the keyboard to write an essay in Microsoft Word. The user will be able to type using the electric piano, and in doing so will combine two artistic disciplines that have (for possibly good reasons) never been combined until now : music composition and essay writing.”

You press the keys and it makes sounds…while typing words! Yes, there are good reasons for why these things haven’t been combined. I think it’d be interesting if it were the other way around, as in you’d feed your 10-page essay into some program and the piano would play the essay. But this is works too…maybe…or someone could program a computer keyboard to play notes. NOT THAT I’D KNOW HOW TO DO IT.

Uh, on that note I actually need to write an essay. It’s about food blogs; you wouldn’t be interested. There were many other sound-related things but I think you got the picture.

just for fun

I was looking through an old blog of mine and found the most random link. Enjoy:


That’s all.

Live Explosions in the Sky mp3s

Bradley’s almanac put up “mp3s from Monday’s EITS show”:! They’re great quality and very happiness inducing, all without the “ear-blistering” quality (I wore earplugs during the show…yup). Download, NOW. [via “chromewaves”:]

(It’s weird to find photos that you can spot yourself in, and creepy when “you’re taking a photo at the same time”:!)

More reviews [via “brooklyn vegan”:]:

“Ear Farm”:
“Friends Forever”:

I didn’t mention the opener Wilderness in my other post, but I’m one of the people who didn’t “get” them. I _could_ leave it at that, but…I have no idea how anyone could’ve concentrated on the performance with the lead singer not really singing as much as yelling while looking like he was doing tai chi. But that’s just my opinion, and I am rather picky. Actually, it was also the opinion of my friends. We even started coming up with reasons as to why the rest of the band was keeping the singer. I suppose we’re just odd people.

random links for myself (or you)

Where am I going to be on March 3rd? “Bowery Ballroom for Of Montreal!”: Yeah. March 3rd, here I come.

For Christmas I would like: “to make a ukelele!”:

And over the holiday I would like to: “circuit bend!”:

Not music related, but a cool thing: “A Menu For Hope”: is a campaign held by food bloggers to raise money for earthquake victims in Northern India and Pakistan through Unicef. A gazillion food bloggers are donating foodie gifts, which you have a chance to “win” with each $5 you donate. It’s like buying raffle tickets, except …uh, cooler. In my opinion. There are so many people donating prizes that it’s likely you can win something. NYC residents, don’t you wanna eat pizza with the “Slice”: guys?! YEAH!

Lastly: “This awful Paranoid Android cover made me laugh”:, because I have no life. Or. Because I’m amused by British people and recorders. By the way, another name for “recorder” is “the flute of Satan”. [via “mefi”:]

Explosions in the Sky


I’ve never seen “Explosions in the Sky”: before, so I thought I may as well. Besides that I…um, like their music. I don’t usually go to concerts on a whim, but the nice thing about their music is that it kind of all sounds the same. I don’t mean that in a bad sense–certainly the same can be said about many artists–but if you like just one EITS song, you’ll like them all performed live and won’t feel out of place for not recognizing what they’re playing. You might feel uncomfortable standing being a guy who’s 6 feet tall (and when I say you, I mean my 5 foot self), but you’ll forget about the weird feeling in your neck from craning it at an odd angle because EITS is really intense. Really really intense.

Or, better described by “Crackers United”:, “EITS are a band that can evoke so much passion and freedom, joy and happiness and pain and suffering all within the span of an eight and a half minute song, without saying a word.”

Yeah, it’s something like that. I mean. I don’t know about the pain and suffering, as I feel mainly something kind of joyful, but I can see the pain and suffering bit. Passion and freedom are there. Sweating, too. Violently bashing a tambourine into the stage floor, yes. They put so much into it, I couldn’t imagine getting an encore, for their sake (of not dying from over exhaustion). Great show, nothing crazy, besides intense fans standing front and center thrashing about and the tall guy in front of me seemingly recording the show on his mobile. For some reason I don’t feel compelled to actually buy more of their albums (I just have “Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever”, my favorite song being “Yasmin The Light”) but if you can see them live, you must. Go. Do it.

And download this live Peel Sessions song, “The Only Moment We’re Alone”: [via “chromewaves”:]

iTunes signature maker

The “iTunes Signature Maker”: layers together a bunch of snippets of songs in your iTunes library to make your incomprehensible mashy “signature”. Mine sounds like…”this”: I tried it a few times and kept getting the same songs (the last one was always the same, at least) so…maybe I just don’ t listen to enough music. If you can figure out all the songs in my signature, you win…

…NOTHING! Oh well.