Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Because I love her, and true love lasts a lifetime

Ok, I'll admit it. I stole that from Love Actually, which, like every other woman, I watched an obscene amount of times this holiday season.

I have long been an Aimee Mann fan. Each of her albums is fantastic. I wasn't able to make it to her holiday show this year (or any year, let's be honest), but to feed my girl crush, I've been indulging in her Amoeba Music live performance from June of 2008. All of the tracks are from her album @#%&*! Smilers, one of my favorites of 2008.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In a word: Underrated.

Alexi Murdoch is today's Nick Drake, in my opinion.

I'm dying for new material, but in the meantime, "All My Days" will just have to do.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Top 10 Lists: A New and Original Idea.

Ah, December. What would it be without countdowns and top 10's? FILTER shares their top 10 albums of 2009, with staff picks (including my own) at the bottom. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Moment Of Folk

Every once in awhile, a song sticks with you- so intensely that you can't seem to listen enough. I've had several of those lately; Yeasayer's "Ambling Alp," for one. Today, it's a folk tune by the late Warren Zevon that's got me.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Target Lady

Ok. So Saturday Night Live has been decidedly un-funny for the past few years. Last year's "D*** in a Box" was an internet sensation, and justifiably so- it was hilarious. I saw people doing the hand motions for months. Last Saturday marked Timberlake's third appearance on the show, and one skit in particular had me laughing out loud. Kristen Wiig's 'Target Lady' gets me EVERY time. This week, her friend Peg stopped by. Hilarity ensued.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Great Was the Music

I was fortunate enough to go to last night's "Dark Was the Night" staging at Radio City Music Hall. It was an amazing night of live music, all to support a great cause. Led by the great David Byrne (who, I'll have you know, was sitting not 3 rows in front of me when taking a break from the stage), the two-act show featured many of the fantastic indie artists that make up this compilation. Openers The Dirty Projectors, along with Byrne, proved to be a great start to a stellar night, with their catchy collaboration "Knotty Pine." Critical darlings The National followed, yet seemed to subtract a substantial amount of energy from the environment. My personal highlight came with Bon Iver. Onstage for nearly every other artist's performance, Justin Vernon (and crew) really showcased their talent. Whether filling in for Ben Gibbard on Feist's "Train Song", or performing a particularly haunting rendition of "Flume" with My Brightest Diamond, Vernon proved that, even from within the depths of Radio City, his voice can shine.

Here's a clip of track by The National and Bon Iver. Amazing.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

things i listened to that i love

So, I stole the title from the great Mindy Kaling. While my meager means don't allow me to actually buy things, the internet has provided me with an abundance of music with which to fill my time- with a fantastically nonexistent pricetag. Here are my recent highlights.

  • The Bird and the Bee on Morning Becomes Eclectic. A fantastic band, showcasing their latest album. While in my opinion, the last album was better, the last song, a cover of Hall and Oates' 'Sarah Smiles' is fantastic.
  • Lex Land on Morning Becomes Eclectic. This female singer/songwriter has a fantastic voice. Somewhat Cat Power-esque, mixed with a little Regina Spektor. My personal favorite is "As Much As You Lead," a heartbreaking ballad.
  • Lou Reed, Everywhere. Really. Lou Reed has been a heavy-hitter in the pop culture realm these days, and I'm certainly not complaining. Serving as the backdrop for everything from a religious epiphany (Big Love), to unrequited teenage love (Adventureland), Reed's tunes are, in my opinion, a welcome addition to any soundtrack.
  • The 500 Days of Summer mix. The film doesn't come out until later this year, but the user-generated version of the soundtrack really gets me excited for the film. Maybe it's all The Smiths, maybe it's Feists' "Mushaboom," but this is sure to be a go-to summer soundtrack.
  • This cover of Fleet Foxes' "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song." Listen to it. It may even be better than the original. Not too bad for 2 Swedish girls in the woods.
  • The Dark Was the Night compilation. Fantastic. An indie rock 2008 yearbook. Bon Iver. Spoon. Feist. The Dirty Projectors. David Byrne. ENOUGH SAID.
  • Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Thanks to a friend, I got a copy of this album, and I haven't been able to stop listening to it all week. This song in particular. It proves to be another one in high summer rotation on my iPod.
There you have it. This is what's been striking my fancy as of late. I hope you enjoy! If you don't that's fair, but feel free to offer up some suggestions!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I want to go to there...

It's inevitable that with wintry temperatures comes increased TV viewing. When it's 12 degrees outside, it takes a pretty momentous occasion to pry me away from my cable box and Netflix library. Factor instant viewing into the mix, and well, you've lost me forever. While the majority of television has lost me recently (Heroes, really?), there's still a steady amount of programming to be seen. Here's a little run-down of what I've been watching in the past few weeks.

  • LOST. It's back. I've missed it so. The increasingly large gap between seasons always makes it tough to get back into the swing of island life- I had to re-watch the season finale, as well as those handy-dandy recap specials just to remember all the painstakingly bizarre details they threw at the viewers. I'm happy to report that after week 2, I'm obsessed once more. Sure, the plot lines are getting a bit tough to sort out- are they in the past, the future, or what? Who IS the white-haired lady? Why is Hurley throwing Hot Pockets? I'm willing to look past these things, and will wait with bated-breath for my weekly encounter with The Others. Perhaps the funniest recap of the show can be found here.
  • 30 Rock. The title of the post sums my obsession up completely. Some claim that it has its off-weeks, and while I wouldn't consider each of this season's episodes home runs, there's a consistency to Liz Lemon and crew. Tracey Morgan's hysterical stereotypical Tracey Jordan makes the show worth watching on it's own (I'm still waiting for a clip from "A Blaffair to Rememblack"). The season has been overwrought with guest stars, some good (Peter Dinklage), some not (Jennifer Aniston), but the regular cast remains solidly funny. Next week's Jon Hamm cameo might just make my TV explode in cult-TV euphoria.
  • Damages. I'm new to the show, having missed out on season 1. I'd been hearing about the show's first season for a while now, and I thought I'd give it a shot. It's well-written, full of dark twists and vindictive characters. I must admit, however, that without the necessary background, I'm not getting the full potential of this show. I've caught a recap or two, but Glenn Close's evil veneer has me intrigued, so I'll keep tuning in weekly.
  • The West Wing. I know, its an old show. The joys of the interwebs have provided me a venue with which to catch up on something I'm really sad that I missed initially. When the show first aired, I imagine that the fictitious Commander-in-Chief provided a stark contrast to the real regime in power. Sure, its a TV show, but when fictitious Bartlet administration has more fans than the one dominating the news, there's something to be said about the quality of the show.
So, there you go. I watch too much TV. I won't deny it. In our crippling economy, its TV that keeps me from spending money that I don't have. So, thank you network TV, for remaining the mainstay of my budgeting technique.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

One Satisfied Customer

Every year at Christmas, I inevitably get a multitude of gift cards. I guess I'm "hard to shop for". C'est La Vie. This year, after receiving the usual Barnes and Noble fare, I was finally able to purchase the object of my gifting lust for years now- The Complete Monterey Pop Festival film. It's directed by D.A. Pennebaker, the genius behind Don't Look Back, the glorious film chronicling Bob Dylan's 1965 UK tour- another staple of my collection. Maybe I'm getting a little worked up over a DVD, but this is no ordinary concert. The Monterey Pop Festival, which took place in the summer of '67, marks the springboard for such talents as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Otis Redding.

I ran home (translation- I took a bus, walked 3 blocks, got on a subway, and arrived home 40 minutes later) and popped that bad boy right in to the DVD player. As I cooked dinner and listened to Janis Joplin sing "Ball and Chain", I was reminded why I've wanted this for so long. In my opinion, the music prevalent at Monterey represents the height of modern music. The Who, Simon and Garfunkle, Eric Burdon and the Animals, even Laura Nyro. Nearly every act went on to establish themselves as leaders in their genre- in any genre. I bask in their musical greatness.

While I relish in my glorious purchase, enjoy Otis Redding, singing "I've Been Loving You Too Long".