the oh so quiet show

Mew at McCarren Pool

panoramic attempt
this pool is too big

I got to McCarren pool yesterday at around 5:45 to see Mew. On the walk from the subway station, we ran into other concert-goers.

“Who are you here to see?” asked CJ innocently.

“Secret Machines and Bloc Party.”

Annd…what about the opener?”

“Oh no, I don’t care about them.”

“WHAT, I’M GONNA RAISE SOME HELL!” At which point CJ’s eyes shot laser beams.

…Okay, the exchange didn’t happen exactly like that. But I could read CJ’s mind. Lasers, I say.

they’re so tiny

Mew came on at around 6:30 and proceeded to make some people very happy for the next…30 minutes. Yes, I know openers don’t get a lot of stage time, but it’s still a shame. The sound was surprisingly good. Jonas’s voice was as clear as on the album, but better since you could see where the sound was coming from. That little guy on stage, eyes closed, hair being wisped by the wind, standing almost perfectly still, but in a natural way, not rigid. Jonas would go from singing softly enough to put a baby to sleep (and looking like a sleeping baby at the same time) to opening his mouth to Totoro-like proportions and holding out a high note of other wordly pitch and clarity.


The setlist:

* Circuitry of the Wolf
* Chinaberry Tree
* Amy I Wry? No
* 156 (or was it something else?)
* Special
* Comforting Sounds

Comforting Sounds is one of the first Mew songs I ever heard and is still one of my favorite songs out of…all songs. Beautiful enough to make me cry, if I felt like it. (No song has every actually made me cry, but sometimes you get the feeling. Yes? Especially when it’s live.) The music video is great:

Download the song:

Comforting Sounds (Frengers version)
Comforting Sounds (Half the World is Watching Me version)

The performance felt peaceful even while being surrounded by a bunch of tall average-sized people and craning my neck every now and then for a better view (overall, I thought the crowd was good. There were either a lot of Mew fans or a lot of Mew fans in-the-making). I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like at Hiro Ballroom in a dark room…hell, in a room. Since some of my friends had to leave early and I figured I already experienced the best part of the concert (for me, at least), I left as Secret Machines started to play. After I got home three hours later (important note: 1 hour isn’t enough time to get from the pool to catch a train in Hoboken), I’m still Mew-happy and feeding their songs into my brain.

More photos:

jen c

On a random (but still Mew-related) note, after wondering who sang the other part in “Symmetry” (one of my favorite songs!…damn, there are a lot of “favorites”), but never actually looking it up, I found out that the source is a 13 year old Becky Jarrett. Her story is sweet:

When I was 11, I decided to get on a music chat line to talk to other Hanson fans (yes I use to like Hanson). I asked,” Does anyone listen to Hanson?” and I received a private message saying ” no, but what other music do you listen to?” Little did I know that it was the lead singer for the band Mew. We chatted for a while and exchanged email addresses so that we could keep in touch. I sent Jonas some videos of me singing and he decided that he wanted me to sing a song called “Symmetry” on their upcoming album. So of course I was so excited! My mom and I flew to Copenhagen, Denmark in July of 1999 (I was 13) to meet Mew and record “Symmetry”. It was such a great experience and all the guys were super nice!

Interesting way to find a vocalist, but it worked out. For some reason I didn’t think the singer was actually a young teenager, despite that she sounded like one. I may as well upload these songs too, eh?

Symmetry (Half the World is Watching Me version)
Symmetry (Half the World is Watching Me version)

You know, you should just buy Frengers. I love And The Glass Handed Kites, but not nearly as much as Frengers. God knows why it hasn’t been released in the US by now.

Mew may be touring in the US again this fall. Hopefully as headliners. I miss them already.

Update (8/2):

Video of Comforting Sounds from ewanian:

new Beck video

“Think I’m In Love”

Weird, neat video with very random things.

Mew at Hiro Ballroom

Judging from other people’s reactions, Mew’s show on Wednesday night was awesome. Not that I expected anything else. I figure that tomorrow’s show opening for Bloc Party will not be as awesome. It will most likely be shorter, sunnier, and hotter. But I’m still very muchly excited.

Dedicated Japanese Mew fan no snow rounded up lots of photos and reviews.

mew mew

taken by newstreamer


metal guru

Video (by slidesong):

Update: Another video by marcystuckinjersey:Reviews:

Central Village
cmj blog
the trip wire
Official Mew Forum topic
Sound Bites

Setlist (plus CJ’s excited comments):

* Special
* Shelter….Swanky
* Am I Wry? No…156
* White Lips Kissed
* She Came Home for Christmas
* Apocalypso….Saviors of JAZZBALLET! (WHAT!?)
* Snow Brigade….Zookeepers Boy
* Louise Louisa
* Comforting Sounds (AWESOME!)

“They actually were supposed to play SheSpider but Jonas told me that they were running too long (70+ minutes). ”

There was an after-party at The Annex.


Midlake brings the cute song of the day

my god, they glow!

It’s probably more like “cute song of the week/month”considering how much I update this thing. Today I became attached to Midlake’s happy lazy feeling twinkly song, Balloon Maker from their album Bamnan and Slivercork. You can listen to/download it on their myspace page. It will fill you with warm fuzzies. And bleeps. It might also make you feel like drawing ginormous bouncing bright-eyed wide-mouthed grinning faces…or maybe that’s just me. (Probably just me.)

Get the faces out of my head, good lord…so smiley…

I have no idea what’s going on

Midlake’s latest album, The Trials Of Van Occupanther, just came out yesterday. You can listen to it at AOL Music.

go see Mew

Why are there still tickets for the Mew show at Hiro Ballroom this coming Wednesday?

EVERYONE SHOULD WANT TO GO! If you’re cool at least. …Then again, I want to go. So maybe I should take that back.

But still, everyone should go. Unless you don’t know who Mew are, in which case you should listen to some of their stuff…and then go. They’re at the top of my list of “artists I’ve never seen live, but really need to before I die”. Before this summer, I thought that would necessitate flying to Europe; I’m glad they’re the ones coming over here.

album cover
it creeps me out too

Mew’s latest album And The Glass Handed Kites is coming out in the US on July 25th. Only about 9 months after it was first released elsewhere!…could be worse, I guess. (Such as never being release here.) Here’s a song from the album:


Mew – Chinaberry Tree

And a cool music video for “Special” by Martin de Thurah:

The Hourly Radio

no rainbows, just grayscale

Upon first listen, I would’ve never guessed that The Hourly Radio hailed from Dallas, Texas. Then again, I’m not sure what bands from Dallas sound like. At least one of them sounds like this:

I could toss out a bunch of words to describe what they sound like, but you can more easily listen to the album in this handy ecard for their debut album, History Will Never Hold Me. And that is easier because I don’t know what to say. The things that stood out to me were 1) I do not love any one song, but I like all of them enough to listen to the album repeatedly and not feel compelled to skip anything and 2) the lead singer Aaron’s voice is…crisp…y.

Crispy? No, not like fried chicken. I went through my meager vocabular and somehow came up with “crispy”. “Warbly” is another. But it’s not always warbly and it’s not always crispy. A press release describes it as a “yearning high tenor”…yearny! It’s yearny. After a few listens, I grew to like it.

I should’ve stopped writing two paragraphs ago.

Related links:

The Hourly Radio on You Tube
…and on Myspace!
…and they have a blog!

[On a very unrelated note, my primary exposure to Dallas is through, which gives me the impression that 99% of the food comes in the form of marginally edible chicken-fried steak.]

Ian Love at KF tonight

If I weren’t so lazy, I would see Ian Love perform at Knitting Factory tonight. Or rather, if I lived in my old dorm, I would just pony up the $8 and walk over, as opposed to driving, taking the train, taking the path, taking the subway, and then walking.

Ah well, there are worse things. Like lung congestion.

Like I said before, I did buy Ian Love’s album after sample a few songs on his myspage page–it’s easily become one of my favorite albums of the year. Beautiful, sweet songs, somehow energetic and relaxing at the same time. I feel like I could lie around and do nothing all day whlie listening to this album. …Although I guess even without the music I’d feel like doing that. (I’m doing laundry and editing websites right now, mmkay? Multi-tasking!)

I like every song on the album. But I do have a favorite.

Ian Love – Black Diamonds [removed]

The last minute makes me happiest. Nothing like, “And you’ve lost control and have got no hope / You’ve got no hope” to raise your spirits. I’m not joking. He sounds so exuberant that it makes me feel optimistic about my impending doom. Life is just slow death, so you may as well be happy about it. I am prancing around…on the inside.

He’s playing a free show at Punkslope/Bar 4 on Thursday, July 20th. DOESN’T GET MUCH BETTER THAN FREE!


Girl 1: This music sounds tentacle-y.
Girl 2: Yeah, it makes me want calamari!

the human sea

Yesterday I checked out Yo La Tengo at the Propect Park Bandshell to watch them perform Sounds of the Sounds of Science, their instrumental score to a selection of Jean Painlevé’s short undersea documentaries. I had no idea what the films or music would be like, but figured…hey, it’s free, one of my friends is going, and there isn’t much point in going back home to NJ if I don’t have to. (And of course, I like Yo La Tengo. And sea life.) As the bandshell was completely packed, I guess lots of other people had similar ideas.

I dunno what it is, but it's from the sea
looks like tentacles?

While watching the films, you didn’t really notice the music. Or maybe that was just me. And by that I mean it went really well with the films–it certainly wouldn’t be the same without any accompanying music. You could also listen to the music by itself, but it makes more sense when seen with…jellyfish budding, octopuses mating, shrimp shedding, etc.

The audience sometimes cheered on the documentary subjects, most notably when the male seahorse painfully birthed babies from it’s engorged egg sac. “The Love Life of The Octopus” was also particularly freakish (cos ye know…they look a bit freaky), but also funny due to the fertilization process during which the male octopus hooks it spermy tentacle into the female’s respiratory cavity and just…leaves it there for a while. Let those eggs and sperm do their thing and voila, end up with a gajillion eggs linked together in a ghostly plant-like fashion.

I probably would’ve focused more on the music if I had sat closer within view of the band (we picked the last row figuring it’d be a good spot to view the film from), but I happily walked away with the message, “The sea is full of crazy-ass stuff.” Which is is. I wouldn’t otherwise think that looking at the development of nearly microsopic jellyfish or the countless undulating tentacles of sea urchins could be so interesting. It made my accomplishments feel highly insignificant; “Damn, I can’t reproduce by budding.” Seeing the survival instincts nature pre-wires into all organisms makes me wonder what’s up with humans (a highly eloquent and deep question). Of course, we’ve had to do many unnatural things to populate the whole world. May someday we can be ROBOTS!!!

…And thanks to Yo La Tengo and Jean Painlevé, now I want fried calamari.

Holy crap, it’s birthing time! (Also time to “dissect the male seahorse” and “show the embryos”. The music and film are beautiful. Thanks to John for taking this video:

Better reviews/photos:

Brooklyn Vegan
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society

Peter Bjorn and John

a semi-impressive skyline

Although I’ve only had Peter Bjorn and John’s latest album Writer’s Block for two days, I’ve already decided that I like it enough to unlazify myself and tell you why you should buy this album.

…Because I said so!…okay I didn’t think that would work.

I’ve only heard of PB&J (ohh god, how can I not think of peanut butter and jelly?) in the past few months, mostly on Norwegian radio (the band is Swedish) in the form of the the whistle-y bongo shaker-happy single “Young Folks”, which you can listen to at their myspace page. Thankfully, that’s not the only infectious song on the album, although it’s probably the one most worthy of happy head-bopping. Since there’s no way I could come up with a succinct, adequate description of their music, I’m going to pull one from The Sunday Times:

…all Gallic 1960s pop, 5th Dimension harmonies, Beach Boys cooing, whistling, lo-fi DIY studio non-fakery, melodies and lyrics that pass through you like a warm midsummer breeze.

Yes, that sounds good to me. My main thought was, “This music…sounds old,” “old” in the sense of something my mum might have listened to growing up, as opposed to “old” meaning something stale and smelly. Not old! Nor smelly!

Here’s one song that I am particularly fond of for its dreamy hazy “I’m not sure if I’m awake” feeling (mainly in the chorus):

Peter Bjorn and John – The Chill [removed]

…Or maybe it’s just me.

The following song, “Roll the Credits”, has a similar tranquilizing effect by bathing your head in oohs, ahhs, a soft drum roll and a neverending tremolo played on acoustic guitar. And bells! …Bells are good. It’s a fluffy, six and a half minute layered cake of comforting sounds.

I could stay something nice about every song, but that would spoil it, besides that I don’t really feel like it. Aside from the music, I also like the lyrics. I’m usually oblivious to lyrics, unless they’re notably bad, like finding something inedible in your otherwise inoffensive salad (which hopefully happens less often than hearing a song with bad lyrics). Otherwise, the words moosh together with the rest of the stuff and it sounds right…or it doesn’t. (It’s not like more people care what Sigur Ros are saying, right?) I like this bit from “Objects of My Affection” (listen on myspace) in particular:

And the question is, was I more alive then than I am now?
I happily have to disagree;
I laugh more often now, I cry more often now, I am more me

Granted, I probably wouldn’t like it as much out of the context of the song, but…it’s in a song. And I like it. If you don’t, you can leave. [points to a virtual door]

But I hope you like it. US-based Scandinavian music blog/shop/label/possibly something else It’s a Trap has many PB&J releases in their shop.

Pooka soundtrack


I like this song.


Lars Horntveth – Pooka Soundtrack

…Yup, that’s it. [Pooka Site]