It’s all about the bands

So last week I had my belly full of music.  Starting with this indie rock/alternative band from Paris called The Novels on Thursday night at Trash Bar.

Some photos of The Novels:The Novels

The NovelsThe Novels

And then there was Saturday night when partially, my dream came through (thanks DJ Mojo).  I saw two of my favorite bands play on the same bill at the House of Yes.  It’s been my dream that Renminbi, Object and TSTAR played on the same bill, so imagine my delight when both Reminbi and Object were sharing the stage.  It was freaking awesome, here, check it out, first up is OBJECT:

RENMINBI

Some photos of Renminbi:Renminbi

Renminbi

Renminbi

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On WHFR

Exploding Dog
Exploding Dog

Recently, I did a radio show on Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR) and it was a blast.  I’ve been a guest reader for a WHFR event (see and listen here), but now I will be dj-ing every last Wednesday of the month at 9:00pm (streaming live off the web) as Calypso Sally and the name of my program is Broad Strokes, Yay!. 

Why Broad Strokes?  Well, I’ve never been the type to pigeonhole myself into one particular genre, so I thought what better way to express my eclectic taste but by playing different types of music.   I’m always looking for something new to listen to.  So if you’re in a band (or you know someone in a band ) send me an email: roarplanet@gmail.com.

 

You can listen to the show here:  Broad Strokes 

 PLAYLIST:

Cellz Doom
The Reeling Passion Pit
Still Dope Feat. Empress Starhh Doom
Clumsy Coyote Eyes
Flynn Ratatat
Caterpillar Playground The Nurses
My Girls Animal Collective
Cannibal Resource Dirty Projectors
Portland Renminbi
BDF – German Hardcore The Netherlands
Quiet Dog Mos Def
Three Decades The Horrors
Black Hearted Love PJ Harvery & John Parish
Extinguisher J.A.C.K.
Sleep Over Beethoven Ungdomskulen
Youth Her Vanished Grace

Summer Music

Adulthood is an illusion. It is an uncomfortable suit of clothes which makes us stiff and complex and at odds with life which is fluid and simple and wondrous.  Paul Squires

I’ve been somewhat neglecting the music out there. With everything that’s been going on, tracking down bands seemed pretty juvenile, but then again, you need music in your life, especially now (see previous music posts here).

So in no particular order here are some talented artists that are neither an illusion nor juvenile:

Renminbi

Renminbi’s Surface.  It’s pronounced REN-MIN-BEE (rénmínbì; literally means “people’s currency”), and they are an experimental, post punk rock band from NYC.  Their EP Surface just dropped and it’s amazing.  Produced by Don Fleming who agreed to work with the band after a myspace message (I’d like to see a copy of that myspace message!), the album makes you want to curl up with your headphones on and zone out into your own world.  These guys are currently on tour.  Faves: Honestly, I love every single one of these songs. 

 

 

 PJ Harvey & John Parish

 

PJ Harvey and John Parish’s A Woman A Man Walked By.   I’m a sucker for PJ Harvey, because it seems like she can never do any musicial wrong.  Every album is a new sound, a different story.  Some may find this album daunting, but I find it very gutsy and courageous.  In this album she teams up with John Parish and you hear a less restricted, a more free PJ Harvey, as she manipulates her voice to different vocal styles.  There’s actual screaming in this album!  Faves: Black Hearted Love, The Chair, The Solider, Passionless Pointless.

 

  

The Horrors

 

The Horrors’ Primary Colours.  The Horrors is a British five-piece garage band that I discovered on emusic.  They combine the punk with the expriemental, sometimes reminiscent of Joy Division.  Faves: Mirror’s Image, Three Decades, Who Can Say, Scarlet Fields, Primary Colours.

 

 

 

 

Ungdomskulen

 

Ungdomskulen’s Bisexual.  For the life of me I can’t pronounce their name right, and it’s embarrassing because I’m always like, “OMG you have to listen to Ung…!”  Ungdomskulen is a three piece Norwegian rock band.  They combine a very satisfying mixture of new wave, prog rock and jazz.  With solid syncopated beats, gritty guitars, phat baselines to move your hips to, and infectious vocals that sound familar, but I can’t put my finger on  (if only the IPhone would come out with an app for that), I’m always drenched with sweat dancing to my interpretation of their songs.  Faves: Sleep Over Beethoven, I Dunno, Osaka, Only In Novels, Teenage Tritonus.

 

  

 

White RabbitsWhite Rabbits It’s Frightening.  The White Rabbits is a six-piece indie New York band.  I must admit at first I wasn’t that into the White Rabbits because for some reason them having two drummers annoyed the shit out of me, but on their latest album, this annoyance seems to be fading.  On It’s Frightening , they sound a little Spoon-ish, no surprise there since Spoon’s lead singer and guitarist Britt Daniel produced the album.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Faves:  Percussion Gun, They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong, Company I keep, Right Where They Left.

 

 

 

 

 

Passion Pit

 

Passion Pit’s  Manners because I couldn’t resist the catchy lyrics, and 80s pop synthesizers mixed with a touch of R&B and house music.  Definitely songs to dance to. Faves:  Little Secrets, The Reeling.

 

 

 

 

 

Animal CollectiveAnimal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion.  Animal Collective is just that, a musical collective based out of Baltimore, Maryland.  I love their music because it’s  not pretenious, not over the top, but  takes the kind of risks that I appreicate in a band.  The title of this album is homage to one of the best outdoor venues in the Maryland/DC area. Faves: Summertime Clothes, My Girls, Daily Routine, Bluish

 

 

 

 

 

This Time of Year

Yup, it’s that time of year for list making and the best ofs…

But during this time of worry, wondering if my job is going to be there tomorrow, I’ve found this activity to be quasi healthy, as it perpetuates hopefulness. A promise. Something that I’m terrible at.

“Any tiny positive thing is good,” so says my lover, the Buddha. So, in an attempt to be hopeful about the future, I’ve created my list of favorite songs, and albums for 2008. Because as much as I make fun of her Buddha remarks, my lover is semi right. Reflecting on your favorite things, what makes you laugh, smile a little, that brings you joy is worth making a list of and keeping in your empty pocket, or maybe on your ipod.

In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite songs and albums, that kept me alive in 2008:

OBJECTObject’s Black Swan, because these kids reek awesomeness, especially live. I saw their last show for the year this past Friday night, and they did all new stuff, with the inclusion of their unrecorded and my favorite, Disappear. Most of their new stuff is instrumental metal, a new direction (maybe?), which began as a Halloween side project. These kids are sickly talented, and I can’t wait to hear what they bring in 2009. See previous post here: Object. Listen: OFF THE RECORD

THE NETHERLANDSThe Netherlands‘s BDF-German Hardcore, because they’re effin crazy, and their songs remind me of James Brown: some soul meets rock, meets noise possibly? My faves: Teenage Sun, BDF-German Hardcore, Warleola!, The Gogo Dancer, and The Cocain Knightz. This is a great band. I can’t wait for their insanity to explode. Listen: BDF GERMAN HARDCORE

YO! MAJESTYYo! Majesty‘s Kryptonite P***y EP and Futuristically Speaking… Never Be Afraid. Some of the words, and phrases I associate with Yo!: Risk Takers, Unapologetic, Dynamism, Hott, Scandalous, Blasphemous… Scandalous and Blasphemous because isn’t that what makes 2008 especially special? When we think about all our leaders being caught in the act, and all these words become attached to their behavior. Like “phenomena”, as if they’ve created a new trend. I wonder sometimes what exactly is phenomenal about what they’re doing, especially when they can get away with it. These guys, however, Yo! Majesty, push the queer in funkadelic, rap, hiphop. Added to this mix and their in your face lyrics Yo! fuses Soca and Club music, making their sound completely sick. Faves: Break Bread, Kryptonite P***y, Night Riders, Hott, Grindin’ And Shakin’, Never Be Afraid.

SWATI Swati‘s Big Bang. This is probably one of the most uplifting songs I’ve listened to in awhile. It makes me feel electric from my finger-tips to my toes. I walk to work imagining that I could play guitar like it was my sword, singing the lyrics like they were a spell, ready for whatever awaits me…

RENIMINBIRenminbi‘s The Phoenix. Renminbi, pronounced REN-MIN-BEE, is an experimental three piece, that kept changing drummers on me. My band had the opportunity to play with these guys, and they’re amazing: both as musicians and human beings. For me that’s all it takes. My faves: Lachine, Fight Song, Siren, The Shore. Listen: SIREN

pianowire1 Pianowire‘s The Throws, still gives me goose bumps, or as we say in Trinidad, make meh pause raise. So good. They’re a mixture of Elton John, Billy Joel and Queen. I also love Contact. These guys are coming out with an album soon. Listen: THE THROWS

Holy FuckHoly Fuck‘s Royal Gregory, because you couldn’t be in a much better mood after listening. It’s a great mixture of electronic, experimental and rock music. See, it’s very possible to like electronic music, once it’s done well and it’s not repetitive. Another band that I appreciate a lot, that does the same (bridging the gaps between electronic, experimental and rock) are the Battles.

The CoolLupe Fiasco‘s The Cool is supposedly an antithesis to Miles Davis’s Birth of Cool and if I may the Cool Jazz movement, as it critiques and decontructs the current “cool” state of hip hop (a derivative of bebop jazz) which no longer challenges the status quo, discusses social issues, but again and again chooses to be distracted by the bling and pussy.  Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem We Real Cool also comes to mind when listening to this album:

We Real Cool

THE POOL PLAYERS.
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.

We real cool. We
Left School. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.