Friday, December 31, 2004

Tough to Top...

(via Cameraphone v2.0)

Last night was Tinkle, which was hilarious, natch...But the big earth-shattering surprise was Wilco coming out as the special musical guest. Dave caught Tweedy walking into the stage area before they opened the doors, giving me enough time to call up a friend (and big Wilco fan) to come in from Brooklyn and use my extra. They covered a couple songs (Captain and Tenille?) and played one of their own. At Oxegen they played at one of the smaller tents, and I regrettably didn't get to see them do more than a couple songs. So now I've seen a few more songs at an even smaller venue...and this time I was standing next to David Cross the whole time. Ha. I'm sure someday I'll catch them play a full set...but it will not be from the cheap seats at The Garden tonight, that’s for sure. Anyway, after they played, we had to bounce, hoping they weren't going to go back on and play a second round. I don't think they did. Check here, here, and here for more stories, better pics, and a short video.

Afterwards we went around the corner to Mercury Lounge For !!!, which was, in all seriousness, one of the most fun shows I've ever been to. I've prolly seen a few dozen bands play at the Merc, and I have NEVER seen the place even come close to this. The entire place was jumping up and down, dancing around, frantically passing weed and cigarettes between each other...It was like a scene out of the Sharing of the Grooves dance tent...unreal. Next to Franz @ Volume, it was the most I've danced, or seen other people dance all year. Helluva time.

Alright, I've got the day off, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna spend it in front of a computer, so that’s it. Going to a friend's place tonight to bring in the New Year, then maybe Motherfucker, maybe Drive Bys, or maybe even the Delancey after...playing it by ear from there. Have a good one.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I bet they airlifted James Iha onto the island for this...

It's nice to see that while they're low on food and medicine, the cocaine and Redbull supply is still holding strong on the 'Lost' island. Wonder if Thomas let the black guy party with them...

And speaking of Misshapes...I think Ultra found a winner with this Spinto Band. Turns out they'll be playing at the Knitting Factory on Monday night...Might go see them if I feel up to it. Check out some songs below:

Spinto Band - Oh Mandy
Spinto Band - Crack the Whip

Everything all works out in the end...

I think...

I was set to write up this rambling post about how I was gonna miss my shows tonight cause we had a deadline set for Midnight that we were barely gonna make...but, whaddya know, the deadline got pushed up to 2:00PM! Actually, it was always 2:00, but nobody told our firm till, well, this morning. So sucks to be a lawyer right now! Good to be a para with plans for the evening!

So anyway...I haven't touched on the Tsunami business here cause I don't think there's really anything more to add. It is indescribably horrible. I have no personal experience with this sort of thing, so I'm not sure what to add without being insensitive. Alls I can say is that I am sick to death of hearing about the rich white vacationers. I mean give me a fucking break, News.

In typical WotSAT fashion, Nate brings up an antidote regarding the Tsunami which makes you go holy shit, then uncomfortably laugh for the next three days...

If I knew Tinkle was to be the new Arcade Fire, I would have ordered extra tickets. Just wait till the Stella Sweepstakes kick in next month...But for now, if you really want to drop $80 for a pair of $6 tickets, please don't let me get in your way...

I woke up this morning with the New Decemberists album appearing on my computer. I like it a lot on first listen. Much much better than their last one, which I was always lukewarm about.

As suspected, Rouge Wave will be playing Mercury Lounge on Feb. 4th (according to OhMyRockness). Their CD wore a bit thin after repetitive listens, but it's still good, and certainly a band worth checking out when they're in town. Count me in. I dunno if or when tickets will go on sale, but I'll keep an eye out. Rainer Maria, another band I've been itching to check live, is playing at NorthSix the night after on 2/5. Tickets go on sale at Midnight tonight. Finally, tix for The Hold Steady at Mercury Lounge January 19th are on sale now. Word.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

It's coming...

I was gonna post a New Years Eve guide with the different shows and parties out there, but I already kinda did that a few weeks ago, and don't feel like rehashing the same subject. If you want my advice...Either have some friends over, go to someone else's house party, or go find some easygoing spot where you can chill out and hang out with friends. On the other hand, if you really need to go wild and crazy...don't be cheap. If you're gonna go to some sleazy Meatpacking party and spend $150 just to get in the door, you may as well drop the extra $200 and do it right...Get something like a bed at Duvet or a VIP table at Lotus. If cost is an issue, you really shouldn't be going out to places like that on New Years anyway.

I think the late night parties sound a whole hell of a lot more interesting than the 'till 12 events. At 1:00am, The Drive By Truckers are playing at Bowery Ballroom. It's a bit pricy at $30, but everyone says you get yer moneys worth with them. Motherfucker's shindig also doesn't really get going till 2am, when the doors open and The Bravery don't come out till 3. For $20, it's not too bad.

My sleeper after-hours pick, if you have a descent group of people and want to stay out all night, is actually one of the most dreaded bars in the city. Of all places, The Delancey drops its cover from $40 to $10 after midnight, and will then stay open till 9AM. The food and free booze will likely be gone, but there will still be some entertainment left..DJ's and the such are supposed to come back out around 4 o'clock. More importantly, they are boasting that the roof deck will be heated and open on through the morning. I can think of worse places to watch the sun come up on January 1st than sitting on a heated roof in Manhattan overlooking the Williamsburg bridge. Keep it in mind…

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Blogging Gold

Tom Berman...fellow Central Village resident, frequent commenter, and emerging champion of the Bourgeois Bohemian cause, has created quite a stir amongst the heavy hitters of the blogesphere. Tom more or less said, all things considered, Andrew Sullivan was the best blogger out there, but his recent guest bloggers are no good. ("a scary bunch of wordy losers," as he put it) Gawker's own perennial guest blogger, Andrew Krucoff, pointed this out last night, and by the morning, Sully's crew shot back, attacking Tom's photo and calling him a "faux-intellectual". Tom fires back claiming anybody who writes a book drawing attention to how he went to Harvard, but thought all his classmates were privileged and obtuse, has no right tossing around such a phrase. Burn! I can’t wait to see where this goes next! I wonder what Yglesias, the CV-bred, Harvard Educated BoBo blogger thinks about all this. If I remember correctly, he's not a huge fan of Sully in the first place...

Monday, December 27, 2004

UPS: You're dead to me

I thought it was an ominous sign when a UPS truck nearly jumped the curb and hit me on 13th and University coming home tonight...

Of course I come home and my new cell phone has yet to arrive. I used the phone in my lobby to call UPS and get some answers, and while the supervisor I ended up talking to (after the first customer service rep falsely told me my package had been sent back to Louisville this afternoon) was extremely friendly and knowledgeable, by the end of our chat it was clear that there was no way the phone was getting here tonight. As far as he could tell, it was still sitting in a truck at 43rd street waiting to get checked in.

So anyway, if anyone reading this has been trying to reach me over the last 3 days...I guess send me an email or something if it's important. Otherwise, with any luck, I'll be able to talk to you tomorrow.

Not much going on out there...

Biggest news I realized this morning is that, the most complete and best organized bit torrent database on the net, is apparently down for good. I'll always have fond memories of downloading the Canadian showings of The OC on Monday nights last season. Its been real, SN...can only hope something will spring up to replace it.

I don't know what it is, but I've recently become very fascinated with Peter Doherty. I think it's because I really had faith that the Libertines would get back together and he would straighten his shit out...But now the odds he'll ever share a stage with Carl again seem slimmer and slimmer. I guess I just want to see it through. He is playing a couple of acoustic sets on New Years Eve...In England, of course. It would be great if he came through and actually showed up to play the shows, but I think these days we're all just hoping he can make it through the weekend alive.

Quiet day on the blogesphere...I'll be back later is something fun comes up...

One last week...

So this weekend was typical holiday normalcy...See family and some old friends who are home before the holiday, spend the rest of the time killing time. The city felt empty, and due to the cell phone snafu, my only real human interaction for the last couple days has been with the guys at Bagel Bobs and the Domino's delivery man. It doesn't hurt to have a weekend like this every once in a while. This week should be pretty laid back as well through Wednesday...assuming you're not a huge Beatles or Patti Smith fan.

The handful of Metal fans here in the city will prolly go check out one of the From Autumn to Ashes shows at the Knitting Factory. As far as this type of stuff goes, these guys are good, but hardly my scene or style...I'll pass. Then Thursday you've got two sets of !!! at the Mercury Lounge. The 10:30 show is sold out, but tickets are still available for the 7:30 one. As always, sets at The Merc are by rule one half-hour later than the posted times, so plan accordingly. There is also an All-Star Tinkle line-up at Pianos featuring David Cross, Todd Barry, Jon Benjamin, Paul F. Tompkins, Fred Armisen, Eugene Mirman and a special musical guest. This is sold out as well, but you can watch it live on the TVs upstairs for free. There should be plenty of time to make it over to the late !!! set after this, if you are lucky enough to have already gotten tickets to both.

Then of course, Friday night will be the years biggest disappointment for 99% of New York's population. People come here from around the world to squeeze an entire lifetime's worth of relevancy into one night. No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to avoid them. I'll talk about this more later in the week, but for now I'll clue you in to what has been the key to almost every one of my most fun and interesting NYE's...Go to Brooklyn.

Finally, I'll be working on some updates and changes to CentralVillage in the coming bear with me if things get a little flaky around here.

Saturday, December 25, 2004


Thursday night, after meeting up with some old friends at Cherry Tavern, I get home to the delight that my new Cell Phone had finally been shipped from Amazon, and had been upgraded to UPS guaranteed next day Air. Excited, I call up T-Mobile, who were very nice and helpful, despite the rough rep. They say they can start the number swap right away, and it will kick in around 3:00pm eastern. Perfect, I think...UPS usually comes around then, so I'll be ready to go.

The next day, 6:00 rolls around, and no package from Amazon yet. My current cell phone (and ONLY phone) has now been shut off for three hours, but its no big deal...since I was gonna head over to my parents apartment anyway for dinner and a movie, I wasn't too concerned about being out of touch for the night.

Fast forward to 11:00. I get home. George the night doorman looks and looks, but no package. But he reassuringly tells me that UPS had been running really late all week, sometimes not getting to the building till 1:00AM. So I figure, since I was told for almost 2 weeks that my phone would get to me before Christmas (not that I cared really about that) and as recently as the day before, assured it would be UPGRADED to NEXT DAY AIR to get to me in time. I was SO SURE that Amazon would not fuck over an apparent holiday shopper who placed an order 10 days before the holiday, and I was EVEN MORE SURE that UPS would come through on Christmas eve...perhaps with a red Santa hat on just like in the commercials. But at around 1:00AM, I check back at my package tracker, and it has updated to say that the package would be delayed until Monday the 27th. Completely unacceptable.

This is the third time UPS has fucked me this year alone. Twice was work related, once involving delivering a document that needed to be submitted to the court in California on deadline. I swore after that last time I would never use Brown again, but this was out of my control.

So I'm sitting in my apartment pretty much cut off from the rest of the world. I just ordered dominos pizza cause they have online ordering. I spoke to a few people on IM, but most of my friends are not sitting at their computer all day on Christmas. After dinner I'm gonna run across the street to use the payphone and try and make a few calls. With luck, nothing urgent or important will come up between now and Monday.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas from Central Village!

Hope everyone has a happy and healthy...Nothing going on here this weekend, so if you're outta town, you're not missing much. Spend time with the fam, watch TV, play a video game, stay warm...and if you're still not in the wintry holiday spirit by now, listen to The Go! Team's unbelievably chilling b-side, The Ice Storm. (Right-Click, Save as...via Stereogum)

A Merry Merry Merry, ya'll...

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Innocence Lost...Via Bowling and Terrorism

How often do you wake up to read in the newspaper that Yasser Arafat secretly ran one of your staple childhood hangouts? Well whatever…something like that. Here's a little Central Village history lesson for all you relatively recent immigrants to NYC. Bowlmor wasn't always like it is now.

Growing up, is was just a regular bowling ally. It was dirty and rundown just like any other. The bubble above it, now the club 'Pressure', was actually a Health and Racquet club run tennis court, where myself and superstar politiblogger Matthew Yglesias took lessons alongside our other friend Brian and some kid named Toby. Our grade school held the after-school bowling program at Bowlmor, and countless birthday parties were thrown for us there. My most distinct memories are playing the shit out of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade game while waiting for our parents to pick us up. I can only imagine a Jagermeister Ice Luge is now where it once stood.

Up through High School we would go to Bowlmor on early Saturday nights, where we could smoke cigarettes and drink moderately priced pitchers of beer while we threw a couple of frames without hassle or consequence. Then one day, seemingly overnight, they converted it into the vile nightclub that we have now. Gone was the underage drinking and delinquency...shit, we couldn't even get in the elevator with our fake ID's anymore. It went from our shitty little neighborhood hangout, and bastion of thousands of childhood memories, to some sort of trendy hotspot where people from above 14th street trekked down to so they could act hip, ironic, authentic...whatever. I walk by the place every day coming home from work...and I can only shake my head with memories of a better time.

So when I read this morning that history's most notorious terrorist was associated with the people who turned my childhood into a nightclub, I can only laugh, and feel somewhat vindicated.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Um, apparently, (via Thighs) Kapranos sez he wants to make a rap album, thanks to Kanye West's inspiration. This is an awful idea. Someone might wanna tell him that while Kanye's got a nice flow, he doesn't exactly write his own shit.

Gonna let this bandwagon roll on by...

Annie...not so much. Despite all the hype, I just don't get it. Good looking girl for sure, (tho I don't know what she's hiding under that forearm...) but her music doesn't do it for me. Even as far as cheez-pop goes, I think her album is ordinary at best. A Blondie rip-off without the attitude? Pretty much.

Pitchfork's Albums of the year are very respectable. Great to see The Go! Team and Madvillain get their props, and tho I never got big into that Ghostface CD, I'm willing to give it a second listen. Nothing on there I really disagree with...except Anniemal, of course...but what's hype without the haters?

Also, I'd get tickets soon for that Animal Collective show at Bowery on 2/25, cause getting called #2 album of the year is gonna stir up a whole lot of interest. Also...Rouge Wave is playing at Maxwell’s on Sunday, February 6th. Would love to go see them, but I don't think they quite warrant the Jersey treatment. I imagine they've gotta be playing somewhere in the city around then as well, so keep an eye open for more shows.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Pitchfork Hearts Britney

Pitchfork has its three days worth of lists, and thankfully forgoes the belated news for most of the week. Yesterday was the 50 best reissues (don't care). Today come the best singles. Fun! They try to justify singles as only now being relevant, with MP3's as the sole reason cool kids would listen to one song at a time. Whatever. And don't forget to credit this guy for making them admit Britney had the third best song this year. You think they would have bothered otherwise? Good shit. Anyway, tomorrow is the best albums list (have a feeling brit brit won't make that one). Predictions? Blueberry Boat and Funeral are (I think) the two best rated albums of the year...But they'll prolly just stick them in the top 5 and throw two more obscure pics to remain relevant...or maybe they'll take this one's lead and throw Good Charlotte into a top spot. Pitchfork! Always unpredictable! We'll see about that.

Not that I wanna make this a best of list recap post or anything...But Tale of Two Cities throws in their annual fun list twist...and CentralVillage just can't pass up a good gimmick. Check out Kerry and Joeys favorite albums of the year in haiku form. Judging from the time it was posted, it appears they both stayed up all night working on, um, well done guys.

Have you all seen this trailer yet? I'm not a comic book guy, but if you're gonna make a movie based on one, this is the way it aught to look. I, for one, thought The Hulk was a somewhat redeemable movie (despite the two awful CGI scenes that pretty much ruined in for me) because it stayed true to the form. The actors, especially the military personnel, all acted like comic book characters...or at least like what a non comic book reading person thinks comic book characters should act like. And isn't that the more important audience? Whatever, getting off the subject...Watch the trailer for the badass looking Sin City.

Sin City Trailer

While I was away...

Sea Ray breaks up. And I feel like I barely knew them. Everyone always had such nice things to say, and they will be missed around here for sure. Be sure to get there early to the Merc on 1/21. I have a feeling if they don't put tickets on sale for this, there's gonna be a line around Ludlow Street.

The Libertines play their final set ever while Babyshambles blows off their biggest London gig to date. I think it's safe to say this is all gonna be over for good real soon. Fucking Wasters.

Arcade Fire has sold out another show. Well it was the same show...just bigger. But it's still sold out now. I think. BTW, Does anybody know their if album has been selling at all?

Eagles fans are the big bitches once again. Thing is, even without TO, there's still no team in the NFC that can likely beat them. Maybe the Packers? Don't think so.

In other sports...listen. I'm a big Knick fan. And I like Marbury's game a lot. He's made the Knicks more fun to watch for sure, and his talent is unquestioned. Thing can't be a coincidence that he leaves the Nets, and they go from perennial laughingstock to perennial championship contender...then he leaves the Suns, and they go from one of the worst teams in the league to the absolute best. I'm just saying...

This week is a slow week, but there's some action out there if you're looking. Tomorrow catch a Morning Theft acoustic performance at Luna Lounge, or Buck 65 for the last time (I think) at Sin-e. Thursday night Elkland and The Cloud Room play The Capital D dreaded Delancey.

The NY times buzzed band Dr. Dog is playing Mercury Lounge Jan. 22nd with CV favorite, The King of France. Aesop Rock is set to play Bowery for his record release party on 2/23. Both should be dope.

Thats all for tonight...

Monday, December 20, 2004

Tweens rule your world...

Mad busy at work right now, but if you are more fortunate than me and have a spare minute, chew on this mind blowing article on how they test and market shit to the tweens. It's unreal.

I'm a sensitive bore...

(pic via The Modern Age)

Joanna Joanna Joanna. First of all...she sounds a lot less bizarre in person. I thought so at least. Or maybe it just took seeing her live to get me over the hump, cause I've been listening to her disc all day and totally dig it more than ever. She sure gets a lot of sound out of that harp, too. These days you can really take for granted what you hear on a CD, with all the sampling and the laptops and stuff. But seeing her actually play that fucking harp live was like watching something impossible. She played the low range strings at one tempo and the high strings at another, all while singing some complicated lyrics at the same time. I can't comprehend how one person could pull it all off. Something special we've got here, folks. I just don't see how she does it. Was a pleasure to see.

I also really dug (Smog), who I've never really listened to before but I thought played some stunning sets as well. Almost the opposite of Joanna, his songs are slow and simple. Only a couple strings at a time and a very deep and deliberate voice, with only the accompaniment of a cash register at the bar over a deadly silent club. It was quite breathtaking.

Not so much tho with Weird War, who are not a particularly good or interesting band, but furthermore, were completely out of sync with the two other performers. Drag City has like a million artists on their label...they should’ve picked one that is a little more laid back. Take Weird War out of the mix and I would have likely called this show one of my favorites of the year. But this band was pompous and loud and just not what I wanted to hear. Didn't do it for me...or anybody else in attendance Saturday night, judging from the crowd downstairs at the bar during their sets.

Friday night I went to some bar in Williamsburg(!), and there was this girl, Tatyana Tenenbaum, playing guitar and singing songs. She has such an amazing voice and sang some really chilling shit. I think she mentioned, while me and my friend Julia were shoveling dollars at her as a donation for a copy of her demo CD, that she was only in NYC for a short time before she goes back to college, but, if you ever come across the name, make a point to check her out. I'm still naive enough to believe that true talent will always find a way to rise to the top in this town, and tho there are 4069456 other female singer songwriters out there, she was better than most. We should keep an eye on her.

Sunday I stayed home all day, ordered in brunch from Westville, watched football and played videogames. Would have considered going back out to Bowery again tonight for Drag City pt. II, but the thought of having to sit through three more sets of Weird War is just not worth the travel time and effort. Stayed in instead and watched The Day After Tomorrow on DVD, which seemed appropriate as I noticed from my window the first snow fall on the city this season. Happy winter everybody.

Friday, December 17, 2004

C'mon Alex! You can do it!

The Arcade Fire Bowery Show has been moved to Webster Hall! Tickets will go back on sale this Monday @ noon! All previously purchased tickets will be honored.


Ok, the OC finally put forward an exciting episode this season. Hopefully this will somehow put a close to the awful story arch where every episode was exactly the same. Yeah, last night was corny at times, but it at least is back on track with the drama and such. Have missed the last two weeks of Lost...Gotta catch up this weekend.

There are four different Christmas parties in four different neighborhoods, with people from four different places in my life on Saturday...And two shows I'd like to go check out. I'll make it to Joanna Newsom for sure, but I'll prolly have to pass on that stacked Merc show...especially since I just got a ticket for The Dears next month and noticed Saints and Lovers will be opening for them there too. Whoever their booking agent is deserves a big round of applause, cause it seems they're on every hot lineup out there. Watch them be the opener for Arcade Fire in February...

Speaking of...Arcade Fire sells out Irving faster than it did Bowery. Well done. Their popularity is unreal. And so this begins...

Anybody out there have a blog, like football, and know their way around a Playstation Controller? If so, E-mail me. Details to follow...

The Nets seem to have gotten Vince Carter in a trade from the Raptors for some absolute garbage players and two 1st round picks. I'll put money on both him and Kidd getting traded again before the deadline. They aren't gonna win like this. The Nets should just be gathering talent and time it to blow up the season they move to Brooklyn. Nobody's gonna go to the games in Jerz anyway, so I dunno who they think they're appeasing with this one.

That's all for now. Have a good weekend everybody.

Savages, Indeed

(via the trusty cameraphone)

So after watching the OC (awesome, by the way...more in a minute), I headed over to the College Music Awards at Irving Plaza to see The Walkmen. It was a complete joke. And everybody knew it. When I arrived around 10:30, there were about 200 people milling around (in a 1000 person club, mind you), most of which had a VIP sticker on their pant leg. I was just in time for the Awards part of the show, which was embarrassing. Norah Jones, Yellowcard and Jason Mraz were the 'Big' Winners, all giving a video thank you on the screen to a chorus of boos from the crowd. Up next was the Ikon career achievement award for the Ramones, accepted by Marky. He told some bad jokes, pretended to play the guitar, but overall took the whole damn thing way too seriously, which was sad. The crowd, now starting to fill up to about 1/3 capacity, tried to show some respect to the guy, but it wasn't till afterwards where the heartbreak really set in.

The MC for the night...some Fuse VJ apparently, came out to announce one more award...Band of the Year. And of course it was Taking Back Sunday. And of course the Crowd Booed, and of course THEY WERE THERE IN PERSON TO ACCEPT THE AWARD!

Poor Guys...they didn't even want to come out. Once they did, the crowd was somewhat embarrassed and kept quiet, but I think the damage was done. Oh well.

The Walkmen then came out to play a set, several times calling out the lameness of the whole event, and apologizing for having people wait through the whole thing. They were great I thought. There's something about 5 preppy white kids in their mid 20's playing music about growing up and being responsible for yourself. It's some shit I can relate to. Productshop described Bows and Arrows as "The ultimate quarter-life crisis album", and I think that's spot on. I bought it last winter and, with the exception of "The Rat", I never really listened to it much. Until now. And no, it had very little to do with the fact that they were on the OC a few weeks ago. I think it just took me a while to realize just what they were actually saying. Or maybe it's that I'm a year older than I was last year. But I get it now. And I've been listening to them non-stop.

Overall it was a weird fucking night...Poorly lined up and promoted all around. Just get Yellowcard to play this thing and the reaction would have been much better. Was great to see the Walkmen tho, so in the end it was worth it for $10. At least I got a good story to tell out of the whole thing.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Hangover Edition

We had our Christmas party last night. Sloppy sloppy...

A while back I mentioned that was giving away T-Mobile Sidekicks for free if you signed up with a new plan. I knew that deal had come and gone, but I checked back again recently and noticed they will now pay you $50 if you order the phone. $200 is the cost up front, minus a $200 Amazon rebate, minus a $50 T-mobile rebate equals $50 more dollars than you started with. So once again...

If you order a Sidekick II off Amazon and sign up for a new plan, Amazon will give you the phone for free, plus $50.00.

Just wanted to make that clear.

Golden Fiddle drops a link about the new Will Ferrell flick "Bronze God", where he plays an underdog beach volleyball player. I don't quite think I'm ready yet to go into my epic and highly decorated High School volleyball career...But believe me when I say it was nothing short of glorious. Obviously, I can't wait for this movie.

I think The Libertines took one more giant step towards becoming rock history with this little display. It's sad. I'm starting to think passing up that Webster Hall show may have been a mistake. When's the next time Carl or Pete are gonna be playing their songs in NY? Maybe not for a long long time.

Pitchfork sez Arcade Fire will be playing at Bowery and Irving, not Bowery and Warsaw. I'm pretty sure they're wrong, and it wouldn't make any sense whatsoever, but it's strange the second night has not gone on sale yet. In more concert news I've already devoted way too much time writing about in the last few days, Colin Meloy tickets are on sale now, and if we are to believe What's Up New York (I have no reason not to), The Walkmen will, in fact, be playing a full set tonight at Irving, starting around 11:00.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Some Future Shows...

Arcade Fire at Bowery is sold out already. That shit went faster than the Interpol secret show. Warsaw sells tickets thru Ticketmaster, so if you missed out on this one, start lurking over there from now on.

Decemberist front man Colin Meloy's solo set at the Fez will be going on sale "on Ticketweb only, tonight after midnight" according to a lady at the venue. Whether after midnight means 12:01 or sometime tomorrow is yet to be seen. They have been getting a lot of calls about this show, especially since Pitchfork mentioned it on Monday, so if you're looking to go, it'd be wise to keep a close eye on this. The Fez doesn't hold more than 200 people.

The Kings of Convenience, who play that lovely Scandinavian pop we all love, will be playing at Bowery for two nights, February 7th and 8th.

UPDATE: On the Mercury Lounge tip...Everyone's favorite band, Sea Ray, is playing on January 21st. Benzos is playing with The Dears on the 15th, and Death From Above '79 is playing on the 27th. It's always exciting to watch The Merc calender fill up month by month. Just like AAA get the rising stars (see above) and those just on the way down (see Tommy Stinson on the 29th). Good stuff.

For other upcoming shows, check out the sidebar for stuff I'm hoping to check out, or as always, the ever useful OhMyRockness for anything else.

In a perfect world...

...Tegan and Sara would be #1 on TRL and have legions of fans following them on tour. I am So loving their new album 'So Jealous'...It's cute and catchy. Listen to a track below:

Tegan and Sara - i know i know i know

...Broken Social Scene would be headlining shows at Hammerstein Ballroom alongside the Pixies. They sounded GREAT last night, heaps tighter and more together than their wonderful and 'character filled' set at Bowery the night before. They have so much sound coming off that stage, it's gotta be something for a band like that to play in a hall like The Stein. I urge anybody who hasn't seen them yet on their mini-run to check out their final set tonight at Bowery. It's 'sold out', but there are plenty of extras available outside and on craigslist for face value. It's hard and expensive to tour with 11 band members, and they've hinted they can't be doing it for much longer. So really, go try and see them tonight, cause they put on a show not to be missed.

...The Arcade Fire would be playing Southpaw instead of Warsaw on February 2nd. Any true Brooklynite (which I'm obviously not, but I...I know many) prefers this joint to anything in Williamsburg. I'd also be more inclined to go see them twice if they hit up the Slope. Either way, tickets are ON SALE NOW for the Bowery show. (Thanks to Brooklyn Vegan for the heads up.)

...The Pixies would be my favorite band it the world, and last night's show would be a dream come true. But alas, this is not the case. While I suppose I own a few more of their albums, and know a few more of their songs than he does, I thought Joey ToTC absolutely nailed my reaction to their set in his review yesterday. They really were great to see, and I enjoyed their set a ton, so if you have no plans to make it to any of the remaining sets, you should strongly reconsider and try and get a pair off craigslist for face value. Shouldn't be too hard, and you won't regret it.

...The New York Knicks, taking a page from the Mets, would just suck it up and trade Crawford for Vince Carter. Now that Houston's back, they need somebody who can play the 3 consistently and explosively. Crawford has been great, but there's only so much you can do with three guards who all need to start. Marbury plays 40 a night, a healthy Houston should push 35. Crawford gets squeezed since he can't guard the Small Forward. Carter can. Plus he is simply a better overall player, tho slightly older. Despite his recent struggles, Carter is an All-Star when he wants to be, and while Crawford has been great, he is too inconsistent overall. Make the deal, shake shit up, and not only will this get Isiah the headlines, but it may actually help them win too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Have you ever seen a human heart?
It looks like a fist. Covered with blood.

While killing some time in Hollywood last Friday waiting for my friend to get off work, I went to go see Closer at the Archlight, which is the nicest movie theatre I've ever been to. Really liked the film. Owen and Marber both deserve oscars for this. Golden Fiddle posted a very well written, but negative review that I think overall makes some good points, but in the end may have missed the mark. Either way, I recommend seeing the movie. It was very very good.

In contrast, I saw The Aquatic Life in another very nice theatre at The Grove in LA, but this movie was...bad. I don't know how to tiptoe around it. It just was not good. The plot was nonexistent, the characters were shallow and boring. The emotion was tacked on and forced. It was pretty at times, Dafoe was excellent, and there were maybe a couple of memorable moments, but overall it was a bore. Too bad, cause Royal Tennenbaums is one of may favorite movies ever and I have been looking forward to this for a long time. I really wanted to like it, but could not.

Saw this morning that EA sports has apparently bought exclusive rights to the NFL's use in videogames. While this has always seemed as an inevitability to me, it really fucking sucks. Especially because ESPN/Sega Sports has been making a far better and already overlooked Game in the 2K series for years. So now it's Madden or nothing. I don't care enough about sports games anymore, so it's likely nothing for me. So just like whenever competition is eliminated, the Madden series now has no incentive to improve their already existing model (not that they really have been for the last 4 years anyway) and in the end, as always, the kids suffer. A sad day for videogames indeed.

In other news nobody reading this cares about, looks like the Mets are gonna actually get Pedro, which I'm excited about since the off-season is the only fun time for a Mets fan. When he blows out his shoulder next June, we can look back at how fun it was to have signed him in the first place. I also was excited when they got Mo Vaughn.

Details are out regarding the Mercury Lounge New Years eve party. Tickets are available now. I doubt I'm gonna go, but tickets are Only $20! Best deal in town so far.

Free Champagne Toast at Midnight!

Also noticed The Dears, who are on NME's new Cool List, are playing The Merc January 15th. Mark your calendars, cause they are worth checking out. If I had a cool list, they would likely be on mine as well. You can download some songs at Klepshimi.

Is anybody going to this Ian Brown show? I hear his new shit is atrocious, and even the prospect of hearing 'she bangs the drums' live isn't enough for me to shell out $30. Sorry buddy, but I'm sure there are some more age appropriate heads who'll fill up the joint.

The Fever are likely the Surprise Special Guests at Rothko Thursday night. Elefant is gonna be going between KC and Tulsa, and nobody else on the Kemado Label is really worthy of being a Suprise or that Special. This is just a guess, but an educated one.

Pitchfork, as always in a timely manner, has personally corresponded with Colin Meloy of the Decemberists to discover he's heading out on a solo tour next month. I've never e-mailed the dude, but the dates were posted on his website like two weeks ago. I did, however, call The Fez today, and they told me tickets are not on sale yet, but will be soon, so check back often. As soon as I hear the word I will post.

Thats all for now. Pixies tonight, with Broken Social Scene opening. Very excited.

I'm a human being...and I like catchy stuff.

(UPDATE: Pic via BrooklynVegan)

Just got back from a real humdinger of a Broken Social Scene show. They had some major technical difficulties, which considering there are at times up to 11 people on stage, I can't imagine this is a total rarity. Regardless, they fought through it and played a stellar show. They went on for over 2 hours straight, which these days is a pretty impressive feat. By far the longest set I've seen at Bowery.

At one point they were talking about how sick they are of The Killers after hearing 'somebody told me' 5 times a day during their recent tour through Europe, which was funny for me, cause at the risk of sounding like a namedropper douche, when I was talking to Brandon Flowers in London last summer(*ahem*) and I had just seen Leslie Feist play the night before, he was talking about how he really LIKED Broken Social Scene. So that was awkward. For me at least. In my head.

So that was tonight...great great great show. This weekend was something else tho. The KROQ Almost acoustic Christmas show, as I already mentioned, was superb. Band by band...

The Music: I like their album a lot more then their live show. Still an entertaining set.
Snow Patrol: Love these guys. Been listening to their album more and more of late. Were very excited to be a part of such a great lineup, and very thankful towards the crowd...Convincing me further the Northern Irish are the nicest people in the world.
Keane: Catchy songs, but really don't do it for me live. The lead singer gets way too excited. He should untuck his shirt and chill out a bit.
Shins: So good. I wish they'd tour more. Don't pass up a chance to see them if they come around. James didn't look too thrilled to be playing such a fabricated event, but he didn't let it effect the show.
Taking Back Sunday: Um...not much to say. I wasn't expecting much so I took a chance to use the bathroom and go get a second thermos of champagne.
Muse: Now we're getting somewhere. Played a handful of songs off Absolution and that's it. Still put on the best live show around. From where I was sitting, got a great view of just how MASSIVE Chris' bass pedals are...he's got like a piano at his feet.
Modest Mouse: Very good. Played a nice mix of old and new...tho the crowd was obviously there for one song and one song only...
Gwen Stefani: Ho Hum. She bores me. Don't think she was singing either, but I was far away so I couldn't really tell.
Franz Ferdinand: Still got it. Love to play to the crowd and still, despite their beefs, seem to get along great on stage.
Killers: Somehow the set of the night. They know how to fill a hall, I'll tell you what. Tho the irony of yelping "indie rock and roll" to 6000 screaming teens in the middle of a Universal Studios theme park was nearly too much to handle.
Interpol: Love them, but nothing out of the ordinary. They need their special lighting setup to really stand out live, and the stock lights used to accommodate all the bands didn't really do the trick. The songs sounded great, but, as usual, identical to the records.
Jimmy Eat World: Left as they started to beat the crowd out. Not regretting it.

From there we went to some sort of afterparty Downtown, which seemed to be a bit of a sketchy hood. Once inside tho, it felt like we were amongst a bunch of OC extras on a field trip to Williamsburg. Interesting scene. The guys from Muse and Franz Ferdinand were supposed to show up and do a couple DJ sets, but we didn't stick around long enough to find out.

And that was that. I had a great weekend, tho I don't know how much more LA I could really handle. It's certainly good to be back in NY.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Quick Sunday update from LA

Got a minute on my buddy's roommate's computer...

I hear (via BV) The Arcade Fire are coming back to town Feb. 1st and 2nd. More Cowbell sez tickets should be going on sale Wednesday.

KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas was unreal. I can't believe I'm still staying this, but The Killers (!!!), despite not playing any different songs than they normally do, were the clear standout. They were wearing matching red velvet blazers and somehow filled the 6000 seat amphitheatre with energy and sound unlike any of the other 10 bands could do. It's amazing they can still do it for me after seeing them all these times. That is not to say the other bands disappointed, cause aside from Taking Back Sunday, who made for a perfect intermission, there wasn't a bad show throughout the whole night. Gwen Stefani came out for a surprise set, drumline and Harajuku girls in tow, and was entertaining I suppose. Her single's catchy, but the other one she did was downright atrocious. Whatever. It was a fun diversion. I'll go into more details when I get home, but what an amazing show.

Here's to Universal Studios, who sell bottles of Champagne in old school milk carton big gulp cups. $28 bottle of Chammers is better than a $9 bottle of beer. On the flip side, it’s kinda weird to see all these "indie" bands at a California Theme Park...but whatever. The theatre was pretty big, and we didn’t have the best seats, but the show ran like clockwork and we could see and hear the bands fine.

Tomorrow I fly back, then head basically straight to Bowery Ballroom for Broken Social Scene. Then BSS and Pixies Tuesday, then a whole lot more for the rest of the week.

More stories tomorrow. Take care of New York for me while I'm gone.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


It's so hard to avoid using all the OC puns I'm thinking of right now while getting ready to go to LA for the weekend tonight. Especially cause it's on a Thursday and I'll be missing the damn thing. Missed 'Lost' last night good. Got some catching up to do next week when I get between Broken Social Scenes and Pixies and more Christmas parties than I can shake a stick at...but whatever.

In other TV news, 24 is premiering on Sunday, January 9th, before settling in at its PERFECT spot on Mondays. The premiere of my favorite HBO show, and everyone else's mixed reaction, Carnivàle, is also gonna be that Sunday. Sucks for D'Onofrio, but CI takes a backseat to this gem.

Time Out New York named the 100 best burgers in NY, and while local fav Blue 9 got a quick nod, the two best burgers in the Central Village got snubbed. Village, the low-key neighborhood spot on 9th and 6th ave. makes a very tasty burger. Tho purists may not like the seasoning and stuff they add in, and it sure ain't cheap, I still think it's very good. (The Grilled Cheese there is also so good it deserves to be called something other than simply grilled cheese...but that’s a discussion for a different time). My personal favorite, believe it or not, is Johnny Rockets on 8th and Mercer. Their Smokehouse burger, with BBQ sauce, bacon and a giant fried onion ring on top, is as good as it gets for me. Far better than BBQ's across the street, IMO. Mix that with a side of '1/2 fries, 1/2 rings' and a chocolate shake with whipped cream and you got yourself a meal fit for a chubby 7 year old. Perfecto.

Listening to the newest Drive-By Truckers album right now on Rhapsody, and It's fucking outstanding. I didn't think I'd be into it, since country rock has kind of a bad stigma attached to it these days. I've been kinda avoiding it for the last few months. But with my New Years plans still up in the air, and the late night Bowery show sounding more and more like a viable option if we end up doing something less than special for the countdown, I figured it was worth seeing what the big fuss is about. Fussworthy it is. Even better than the new Kings of Leon album, which I also think is phenomenal. A Strongly recommended listen, and if NYE doesn't play out, I'll make a resolution to show up the night after for their hangover set on Jan 1.

It appears that The Bravery/Moving Units show at Bowery tonight is sold out. Surely somebody will have extras outside if you're dying to go. People really like the MU, tho I can't say I'm a huge fan from what I've heard. Don't they sound like a complete ripoff of The Rapture?? Or are the Rapture a ripoff of them? I dunno, but if you don't believe the similarities, listen to this Moving Units track off their new album and tell me it doesn't sound a slight bit familiar...

Moving Units - Available (via The DW's Klepshimi)

The rest of the weekend there's plenty to do. Friday I'd urge everyone to go to Pianos to see Dawn Landes, who puts on a really sweet show. Following her, Kyp and Tunde from TV On the Radio are playing a Last Minute/Surprise show. At Pianos. The night before they're opening for the Fucking Pixies at Hammerstein Ballroom. This is about as not to be missed as they come these days, so hustle over, and be sure to get there early for Dawn. (UPDATE:Might be a good idea to get tickets first) Radio 4 is also playing at Southpaw, which should be a real humdinger as well.

Saturday night Ted Leo is sold out, The Onion Holiday party is sold out and Pixies are sold out, but Andrew Kenny, who I saw do a GREAT Ben Gibbard impersonation at the Morr Music show last month with Styrofoam, is playing Rothko. If you're ticketless to the other three, you can do worse than seeing this guy sing.

I, of course, will not be at any of these incredible shows, because I'll be leaving tonight for LA, where on Saturday I'll be at a show whose bandlist reads like some indie kid's make-a-wish foundation show for right before he dies. Here's the lineup:

Saturday, 11 December
Doors 4pm

5:10 The Music
5:40 Snow Patrol
6:10 Keane
6:40 The Shins
7:10 Taking Back Sunday
7:40 Muse
8:10 Modest Mouse
8:50 Franz Ferdinand
9:35 The Killers
10:10 Interpol
10:50 Jimmy Eat World

Wowzers. Keep in mind, out of the 24 Albums I've named as a favorite over the last 15 months, I'm seeing 5 from my top 10. Out of the best shows that I've seen this year, 5 of those bands are playing again here. Also!! How perfect that Jimmy Eat World is 'Headlining'? So if bored after Interpol we can just bounce and beat the crowds. Couldn't be better...

I'll also get to hang out in a strange city with a friend of mine who more or less introduced me to half the bands above, and see a kid I went to summer camp with 12 years ago and haven't spoken to since, who coincidentally is rooming with my buddy out there. What a twisted web we weave. Have a great weekend all, I'll try and get a post up sometime while I'm out there.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Diana Degarmo!

Everyone's favorite little chublet from last season's American Idol has an album out. Rapsodizing it now, and at first listen it's better than Ashlee Simpson's unlistenable piece of shit. Needless to say it's almost as bad, but not quite.

Everyone's abuzz about the Motley Crue reunion...blah blah blah...Any huge Crue fans out there aughta just hang around Snitch at the beginning of March. Odds are they'll be dropping a SUPRISE show there sometime around the MSG gig.

Anyone know the score on this College Music Awards show? For $10 I'd go see The Walkmen fer sure, but I don't wanna have to sit through 2 hours of Yellowcard praise to hear two songs. If they are playing a full set, I'm there like a county fair.

Should we be expecting a Jay-Z/Killers mash-up next?? Jigga named head of Def-Jam records.

Jess Coen reveals another IM convo with Drudge . Classic stuff.

After bombarding my Kinja for two straight days with archived posts, Lockhart Steele has updated his personal blog. Fun!

Took my first standardized test in nearly six years this morning...we'll get the results in about two weeks. It was good to see, however, the city is willing to pay 10 people to stand around during the test to do nothing. Rather be there than behind the grill at Wendys I'm sure. Well done NYC! At least somebody is still hiring.

The rest of the Best of '04

My best of 04 lists didn't really take off like I thought, so lemme just run through a couple things real quick here and it'll be the end of it.

Best Concert:
Hard to pick, since I've seen alot, but the ones in my head I keep coming back to are...

Morrissey and The Shins @ The Apollo Theatre
Small theatre, walked right up to the stage during the sets. Morrissey blew away everyone's expectations, Shins were great too.
Muse at The Oxegen Festival
Amazing. Grown men crying. 50,000 singing along. It was a scene I'll never forget.
The Wrens/Nada Surf/The Comas/Maplewood @ Mercury Lounge
The Wrens just looked like they were having the best time up there. Every song sounded perfect. Nada Surf was the biggest surprise for me. Walked out loving them.
Franz Ferdinand @ Volume
Will there ever be another show here? The Gym Mat couches? The makeshift bar? Not likely. First time seeing them, haven't danced that much since.
Arcade Fire @ Bowery Ballroom
Is there any more that needs to be said about this one?

Other notables were Hope of the States/The Music/Dogs Die in Hot Cars @ Webster Hall, The Killers @ the Astoria in London, Bloc Party @ The Knitting Factory and Rilo Kiley @ Bowery Ballroom.

Best Movie:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Such a sweet story...Appeals to the Cynic and the Romantic in all of us. Not to mention Jim Carrey was perfect in the role, and Gondry's direction was great.
Remarkable achievement, filming some amazing moments over the 7 years between the bands. I've watched it a few times and have enjoyed it more and more.
Jaw dropped the entire time. The colors, the action, the story, even the acting...I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Simply amazing.
Other notables: Kill Bill: Vol II, Tarnation and Before Sunset.

What else...Best Videogames?

Only two worth mentioning...Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Metal Gear Solid 3. Prolly the two best games ever. I say this cause I rarely take the time to play through and beat long games like these, with stories and the such, yet I have recently completed both. That's gotta count for something. Biggest Disappointment was Donkey Konga. Great idea, but without good songs to play along with (Row Row Row Your boat???), it's as good as boring.

Best TV shows(Non-HBO):

Lost, The OC, 24, Law and Order: Criminal Intent. There was nothing else this year worth watching...Except HBO, of course.

Ok, I'm starting to feel like I'm filling out my Friendster profile again...but that was fun. Also check my Albums of the Year from Monday if you're interested.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Biggie was a Notary...

I'm supposed to take the Notary Public test tomorrow for my job.

Thing is...I haven't a clue what being a Notary means. I know I get a rubber stamp sent to me if I pass, which I guess will come in handy when I open up my nightclub. There's a manual I'm supposed to study, but it's like 30 pages long and I've been off the clock since 8. No way that's happening.

Honestly...HONESTLY, my only experience with a Notary Public is at the end of The Royal Tenenbaums when Royal gives his divorce papers to some old guy in a paperboy hat. Whatever he did with them after that is beyond me. Also, I hear you only have to get a 70 to pass, and Lord knows I've done better than that on tests I hadn't studied for. Of course, unless there's an essay section I can bullshit my way through, this might be marginally tougher.

By the way, if anybody I work with is secretly reading this and hasn't told me, I'm of course joking. And when you notice that I've posted three seperate rambling diatribes during working hours, it's cause I write them all at night and scatter them throughout the day for balance. And when I come in Friday morning with stamps all over my hands, it's cause I was Notarizing all night in the Lower East Side. There. I'm glad I've gotten that off my chest.


For the hundredth time, they're playing at Mercury Lounge on December 30th. Tickets for both sets (7:30 and 10:30) are on sale now. This will sell out rather quickly I presume, so act quick if you're gonna go. Tickets are $14.

Tuesday Notes

What's the deal with The Prosaics? I see them milling around the LES bars all the time, they're signed to Matador, have a fantastic EP out that I downloaded off iTunes last night, yet I never hear much about them or see them playing any shows. They're opening for Elefant later this month at Bowery, and tho I'm very curious to go check them out, I don't think I can justify seeing Elefant 3 times in something like 4 months. We'll see tho. Let me just quickly comment on how great the NY openers have been for Elefant this year...VHS or BETA, Elkland, Tarantula, Prosaics and The Bravery are all very promising bands. Well done on their part for getting these guys up on a big stage. Anyway, here's a Prosaics song available off their website. I like it a lot.

The Prosaics - Teeth

Dear Leader last night played a very strong set at Mercury Lounge. I would imagine they impressed anybody who came out to see them for the first time. This is one of those bands where you can just tell belongs on radio. I don't know if it comes with practice, or if some bands just have it, but it's the same way I felt after seeing Elkland for the first time. Sometimes you can just tell that they will appeal to a mainstream crowd, even (or especially) if they don't exactly fit into the predetermined mold of a popular genre. These guys are not like any specific band to the point of blatant ripoffness, yet they have a comfortable familiar sound that shouldn't overwhelm or annoy the casual listener. They will be accessible to the mainstream, and still maintain a cred since they're just so talented. Rob's right...The lead singer has a perfect voice, and the band overall just sounded TIGHT. I don't know how else to put it. Keep an eye out for these guys. Here's their single.

Dear Leader - Raging Red

Movable Hype 1.5? OK! The date'll be January 17th @ Pianos. Last night I heard some rumors of which bands might be playing these shows, but since this stuff is all put on by bloggers anyway, there's no point jumping the gun. It'll all be out there as soon as it's confirmed. I've always had a dream of putting together a summer music festival at UTB. (the cobblestone space directly under the Brooklyn Bridge) It would be a perfect summer location for Movable Hype 4.0 or whatever they're up to by then...assuming the city allows it. But isn't that what charity is for? An excuse to do cool stuff that more powerful people have a hard time saying no to?

Monday, December 06, 2004

This post's gonna be all over the place...

-Tonight Dear Leader is playing a showcase at Mercury Lounge @ 7:00. It's early, I know, but I can vouch for them to being a solid band with a great new CD out. If you're in the hood around then you should go check them out.

-Tomorrow I'm gonna try again to hit up Buck 65's residency at Sin-e. He'll be there for the next few Tuesdays, and is well worth a check.

-Wednesday, the KEXP fav Citizen Cope is playing Bowery Ballroom. I may go down and check him out if I'm in the mood. I've heard he puts on an excellent live show and I like what I've heard.

-The new Nas album is good, but not great. It sounds just like all his other post 'I am' shit to me. That Coon Picnic track is shocking and funny, but not very good as a song itself. I'll give the album more of a chance I'm sure, but it hasn't blown me away yet.

-Bob Dylan on 60 minutes was a treat. I thought it cool that he spoke about himself as a biographer would speak about his subject. He is able to still view himself so objectively, with complete awareness of who he is and what people think of him. I'm planning on reading Chronicles on the flight to LA.

-I literally spit a piece of papaya I was eating across my office when I read the headline to this post.

-Finally, I have an extra ticket to the Pixies/Mission of Burma show next Monday. If you're interested, lemme know.

CentralVillage's Best of '04 Week (part 1)

Oh gimmicks...I figured it was a good week to run this stuff. So here we go. There's no rhyme or reason to this. I'm just gonna name my vaguely categorized favorite things from the last year.

Of course, I already have completed a top albums of the year list way back around the real deal New Year, but I thought I'd give it a Gregorian update for now. Here's what I had back then...

#20 The Magnetic Fields - I
#19 Hope of the States - The Lost Riots

#18 The Rapture - Echoes
#17 The Arcade Fire - Funeral

#16 The Strokes - Room on Fire
#15 The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat

#14 The Futureheads - The Futureheads
#13 Dogs Die in Hot Cars - Please Describe Yourself

#12 Feist - Let it Die
#11 The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow

#10 Murs - Murs 3:16
#9 Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

#8 Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism
#7 Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters

#6 The Killers - Hot Fuss
#5 RJD2 - Since Last We Spoke

#4 The Libertines - The Libertines
#3 Muse - Absolution
#2 Blonde Redhead - Misery is a Butterfly
#1 Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous

Of course, four of those albums were released at the end of 2003, so to make this easy I'll just take those guys out and add four more recent favorites albums to the list. They even seem to plug in to the vacant spots fairly well...

#20 The Magnetic Fields - I
#19 Hope of the States - The Lost Riots
#18 Ted Leo - Shake the Sheets
#17 The Arcade Fire - Funeral
#16 The Go Find - Miami
#15 The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
#14 The Futureheads - The Futureheads
#13 Dogs Die in Hot Cars - Please Describe Yourself
#12 Feist - Let it Die
#11 The Go Team - Thunder Lightning Strike
#10 Murs - Murs 3:16
#9 Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
#8 Interpol - Antics
#7 Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
#6 The Killers - Hot Fuss
#5 RJD2 - Since Last We Spoke
#4 The Libertines - The Libertines
#3 Muse - Absolution
#2 Blonde Redhead - Misery is a Butterfly
#1 Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous

There, that was easy. Also a very special mention for The Kleptones - A night at the Hip-Hopera. I don't know how to rate it as an album, but it is surely one of the best things I've heard all year. You can download the whole thing for free at that link above.

As the week goes on, I'll get around to movies, live shows, books (Hah!) and whatever else seems worth mentioning. Till then...

Four straight weeks of four day weeks

This Thursday I'm taking off for LA and getting back Monday night. Then all of a sudden it's Christmas and New Years? Is this for real? I still feel like October was a week ago. And summer was the lead in to that. I guess the weather staying relatively warm the last few months helps, but it still seems fast.

This weekend I saw Morning Theft again at Luna Lounge, who put on just about the best set I've seen them play. Afterwards we headed over to go check Out Hud, who was great, tho the long songs made the set seem short. Totally different seeing them live compared to the MP3s I got. It was the first show they've played together in about a year, and the place was as packed as I had ever seen it. I overheard some British guy whisper to his friend that he felt like he was watching the Happy Mondays all over again, which should be seen as the ultimate compliment for a band like this. I hope they stick around and play more often. I'd go see them again for sure.

Tonight I went to go see this movie called Tarnation, which had recently sparked my interest after a buddy of mine from college sent me the trailer. By total coincidence, I noticed today it was still playing one late show at my favorite local ultra-indie theatre, Cinema Village on 12th and University. This place makes Sunshine and The Angelica look like multiplexes in Paramus.

The movie is not so much a documentary as it is a collage of photos, film, and songs from filmmaker Jonathan Caouette's life. He's filmed everything that has happened to him since he was 11 years old, from his mentally disturbed mother to moving from Houston and setting up life in New York as he got older. It's quite an accomplishment, and is a pretty interesting chronicle of this guy's messed up life, despite the fact there's no real plot or point to the whole thing. He just very artistically lays the whole thing out there for you to see. I liked it a lot, tho it's by no means a picker-upper. Tough to watch at times...especially him filming his grandmother post-stroke and his mom after her Lithium overdose. But for the alleged cost of $218 it took to make, it's an incredible effort. There is also an absolutely fantastic soundtrack, using songs by The Magnetic Fields, Iron and Wine and Low, along with some amazing original compositions. Certainly worth seeing, if for no other reason than to reassure yourself your life isn't nearly as bad as you think it is. I don't know how long it's gonna be playing around here, but it's definitely worth checking out. Below is the trailer and an MP3 of the classic title theme.

Max Avery Lichtenstein - Tarnation(right-click, Save)

Watch the Trailer (Quicktime)

He's got a blog too, but for now it's mostly used as a promotional tool for the movie.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Happy Herpes Awareness Day

Brought to you by Some laughed, some felt sorry for the guy, but everybody spent the day nervously playing 'six-degrees of Carlos D' on their cellphones. No links...I fall into the latter group.

Here's the weekend...

Tonight, if you want some music, you've got a couple sold out sets from The Frames at Joe's pub or The Eagles of Death Metal at CBGB's. Tomorrow, go catch those Gothamist darlings Morning Theft for free at Luna Lounge, then head over to check out Out Hud, if it's not already sold out by then. The Trashcan Sinatras are also playing their first of two straight shows at the Fez.

Other than that, have a good weekend, and remember to wipe that toilet seat off real good at the Darkroom…

...And I don't feel any different.

Just got an e-mail from Asobi Seksu that mentioned they will be playing Mercury Lounge this New Years Eve. No other details on the evening as of yet.

Here's a quick rundown on the NY indie New Year options...

Wilco/Flaming Lips/Sleater Kinney @ MSG: Nice lineup, too expensive even for the bad seats tho...don't wanna spend my NYE in a seat at the Garden.

Patti Smith @ Bowery: Um...not my crowd. Besides...who wants to get rushed out the door at 12:15 to make room for the...

Drive-By Truckers 1:00am Set @ Bowery: Great idea, and it would be a perfect way to cap off the night after the main festivities are over. But although it's NYE, $30 is a bit steep for an afterparty...even if they'll play till the sun comes up.

Gogol Bordello @ Northsix: Don't know much of the band, tho they've been getting some major buzz of late. I'll pass, but if the L train's broken, the Billyburgers could do worse.

Asobi Seksu @ Mercury Lounge: Like I said before, there's not enough information yet. Throw in a couple other interesting bands and a reasonable price, and this is a very viable option. Keep an eye on this one...

Luna/Maplewood @ Southpaw: Now we're getting somewhere...Two superb bands playing chill music in a great club for a reasonable price ($30). Brooklyn is the most underrated NYE spot in my experience, so this could be an excellent option.

The O.Come on…

What the fuck is wrong with Seth Cohen? He's at his best when he's being sincere and adorable…I can even see this as a dude. This season he's just being really fucking annoying. Like to the point where I think someone on the show should get mad at him and seriously tell him to shut the fuck up. His best moment last season was the Patrick
Park Coffee Stand. His best moment this year was when he wheeled the mop bucket in the wrong direction. Which do you prefer??? I think there's a problem here. He's becoming less of the main character he was heading towards last year and more of the comic relief sidekick…except he's not nearly as funny as he should be and is kinda depressing to watch.

The Killers were cool to see on TV. Didn't show much of them, and Brandon was especially banal and unanimated, but it was still fun. Of course they didn't show them playing "Everything Will Be Alright," because they NEVER PLAY THE DAMN SONG LIVE. Whatever.

One last note…Remember when there was, um, a plot for the kids in this show? You couldn't wait to see what would happen next week? This year everyone has their repetitive and predictable love quandaries, and that's all. Where's the action? Where's the excitement? I can't believe I'm saying this, but it makes me long for the days of Oliver Trask. And no, Zach punching Cohen next week doesn't count…

Let's go Schwartz! You can do better than this!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Januaryist

Colin Meloy, lead singer of The Decemberists, will be doing a solo tour next month, and making his New York stop at the adult-alternative music club/Joan Rivers hangout, The Fez. Tickets are not on sale yet, but keep a close watch, cause they will sell out fast once they are. And please don't eat anything at the Time Cafe upstairs...Quite possibly the worst meal in NYC. Tastes like airplane food. The club downstairs is a bit cramped, but it sounds good, and at least you get a seat.

(via MoreCowbell)

But all the while I was alone, the past was close behind...

Bob Dylan is giving his first television interview in 19 years on 60 Minutes this Sunday night. His rare and recent step out of recluse has been very exciting for his fans. Between this interview and his published memoirs, Chronicles: Part 1, we are getting a real look at the man who has inspired and entertained so many over the years. Soak it up now, cause we won't have the chance forever.

14th street is gonna drown...

I've had that Nada Surf song, Blonde on Blonde, stuck in my head all morning. It's nice. I downloaded it off one on those Filter Mag sidebar thingies you're starting to see pop up on the blogs. Clever little tool. You can also 'Right-Click, Save' it here. Enjoy, it's one of my favs of the moment. Their acoustic set at Mercury Lounge with The Wrens was one of my top shows of the year, but I realized I don't think I could name or recognize more than a small handful of their songs...So I'm listening to Nada Surf all morning on Rhapsody to try and make up for that. They're a very good band.

I downloaded a handful of Out Hud tracks last night, and liked what I heard. Really looking forward to the show Saturday night. They also have the best song titles I've seen since Brand New. "Dad, There's a Little Phrase Called Too Much Information" and "The L Train is a Swell Train and I Don't Want to Hear You Indies Complain" are two of the best. On a related note, the Dec. 30th !!! show has been updated on the Mercury Lounge website for $15, but no tickets, times, or supporting acts are available yet.

The Coachella lineup I posted a few days ago is apparently a hoax...but a pretty stupid hoax at that, since half those bands will surely play the festival anyway. It's like starting a rumor that I saw Chloë Sevigny standing outside of Max Fish last night. I didn't, but it's perfectly reasonable that I could have, and she probably was there anyway. So's never too early to get excited for the summer festivals.

Happy Birthday Britney. Despite being almost exactly my age, you've lived a fraction of my life and 100 times my life all at the same time. Lord knows I thought I'd have a wife and a Greatest Hits album out by now...

I can't explain why, but I think the recent one-way AIM conversations between Gawker and Drudge is the funniest thing I've read all year. Kinda random, I know.

Finally, big TV week for Mormons...Utah Clinches a BCS bowl spot, Ken Jennings ends his Jeopardy streak, and The Killers are on The OC tonight. They will be performing three songs at the bait shop: Smile Like You Mean It, Everything Will Be Alright, and (I think) Mr. Brightside. I've been looking forward to this for a very long time.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Someday, everything is gonna be diff'rent
When I paint my masterpiece

Via Joystiq, my favorite guilty pleasure video game blog, I give you the paint tool. What great fun. Here's what I labored over for a solid 10 minutes today...and yes...someone did walk in and catch me while I was painting it...

It was a good way to take my mind off the wind, which has been making my building nauseously sway and creak all effing day. I feel like I'm on a cruise ship. Perhaps that was my subliminal inspiration...

Wednesday Already…

Just read on NME that the Foo Fighters are first band confirmed to headline the 2005 Oxegen Festival outside of Dublin, Ireland next year. This was the centerpiece of my trip to England and Ireland last summer, and I had an unbelievable time. It draws many of the same bands the bigger British fetes such as Glastonbury or Carling get, but it’s much less hectic and overwhelming. If you’re planning a trip to Europe next summer (as of course we all are…), you owe it to yourself to check this thing out.

NME also reported the Coachella buzz that spread around the blogesphere a couple days ago, adding Coldplay to the list of bands rumored to play. I'm certain it'll be a fantastic show no doubt, but much like Field Day 2005, I’ll believe it when I see it.

I was really sorry I missed !!! (chk chk chk) last time they were in town, but it was the same night as Franz Ferdinand played the now infamous Volume out in Williamsburg, and I was there instead. Anyway, this Friday Saturday, their side-project, Out-Hud, is playing Mercury Lounge. I don’t know their stuff specifically, but if it’s in the same vain as their masterband, and I’m pretty sure it is, it’ll be a show worth heading down to see. Tickets are on sale now. !!! is also reportedly playing their own show at Mercury Lounge on Dec. 30th, tho tickets are not on sale for that yet.

I passed on Buck 65 last night, stayed in and watched a movie, Better Luck Tomorrow. It’s about a group of Asian kids in California who get sick of being perfect students and start dabbling in some small pranks and petty crimes, till it gets a bit out of control. What was nice was that the characters, no matter how over the top the situations got, always remained believable, which is tough for a movie like this. (think Kids or Bully where the main characters become caricatures of themselves) Anyway, it was good. Highly Recommended.

That’s all for now.