Monday, August 16, 2010

A quick apology, a justification, then I feed you music.

I apologize for my lack of posts the past 2 weeks! I have one more week of family and friends in town but I promise I'll be ON IT thereafter.

I have, however, installed a play list to check out the kick ass bands I've been jamming to. Also, please notice the addition of the "meh" button which means, well, meh. Think Larry David.

Now, I'd like to turn your attention to the music. I've been loving this Cotton Jones album for a while now. Think cherry blossoms falling on your face at the botanical gardens on or around April 1st in NYC. Lyrics like rainclouds as they hover in dark honesty while you "tay in da wynn" Nell style.

Cotton Jones will be coming out with a new album next week so I'll be sure to write it up. Here's an appetizer, but don't spoil your dinner.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Supremely Awesome Music= AVA LUNA

I was on one of my late night musical treasure hunts, which is always dangerous because I may come across a band like Ava Luna and be entirely unable to sleep. Holy shit I’m excited to have found this band!

Based in NYC, Ava Luna rocks a trio of do-woppin synchronized female voices and an insanely soulful frontman backed by a section of synthesizer industrial-alt soul-punkesq beats base and rhythm. It’s like a spoonful of your favorite ice cream combined with sticking your tongue on a 9 volt battery; a delicious dopamine filled shock of sound. 

I would highly recommend BOTH Ava Luna’s Services EP and their album 3rd Avenue Island. Services is available here for download via donation of $2 or more.

Support Ava Luna on Facebookfollow them on the Twitters and check out their show on August 2 in Brooklyn. Get your tickets here

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tinariwen: Blues from a West African Desert

I usually feature “up and coming” artists, but not many people in the states have heard Tinariwen, and they ABSOLUTELY should be heard.   

Tinariwen is a band from mali, one of the poorest nations in the world. Many years ago the lead singer made his first guitar out of bicycle break wire, a tin can, and a stick. He grew up in refugee camps and fled to build a life filled with music and poetry. Read about their incredible journey here.

Listen and learn. It’s proof that Music, when it's in the deepest parts of our being, can make any hardship bearable. Seriously. Your life doesn't suck. 

Lyrics translated in English

I am a traveler in the lone desert
It's nothing special

I can stand the wind
I can stand the thirst

And the sun

I know how to go and walk
Until the setting of the sun

In the desert, flat and empty,

where nothing is given

My head is alert, awake

I have climbed up and climbed down

The mountains where I was born

I know in which caves the water is hidden

These worries are my friends

I'm always on familiar

terms with them and that

Gives birth to the stories of my life

You who are organized,

assembled, walking together

Hand in hand, you're living

A path which is empty of meaning

In truth, you're all alone

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Crystal Stilts Create Wondrous Musical Wormholes Bending Space and Time.

From a birds eye view we looked like a river raging toward a dam of armed men. We were revolutionaries rioting, shouting, arm in arm to steal the future back from its present owners. We believed being realistic was to ask for the impossible. We closed down streets and opened doors. It was May 1968 in Paris. I was there today, courtesy of the Crystal Stilts video and their time traveling song, Departure

Where we're going we don't need roads. 

The Crystal Stilts play Bowery Ballroom August 19th. Get your tickets here

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Gur you bes relax" -My Antique Phonograph

After much searching, I am now the proud owner of a Victrola Model X circa 1915. I love the Victrola because I have amazing sounding music that makes my heart sing with each crackle. It also kindly reminds me to have a trait our attention deficit disordered culture often lacks: PATIENCE. 

We live in a culture of NOW. If our Internet takes more then 5 seconds to load a page we can turn into Veruca darling at the chocolate factory screaming “BUT I WANT IT NOW, DADDY!” Buffering is a sign of end times. People have stopped supporting local record stores. We buy mp3’s from Itunes for its cheap "wam bam thank you ma’am" accessibility. Online behavior goes offline as we text, tweet and update our statuses during dinner conversations with friends or at a concert. The latter I’ve discussed in a previous post.

The Victrola doesn’t allow for me to behave like a now junkie. It has to be cranked to work and the needle must be replaced after every record or two played. I now take the time to shop at record stores again and have face-to-face discussions about music with the people who work there. It’s had a positive impact on the way I operate in general.

My point is not to go out and purchase an antique Victrola, or to never download an Mp3 from Itunes again. It’s just a metaphorical reminder that the beautiful, meaningful things in life don’t always come in a double clicked high-speed downloadable package, and neither do we, so let’s all relax and behave accordingly.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Love + Water Designs Gives Listening Voice Some Sweet Unsolicited Lovin!

Music fans far and wide, The Listening Voice by Dominique Miniaci is a WONDERFUL new blog that chronicles great music throughout NYC.  And when I say great, I mean smart, interesting, insightful, soulful, all-around artistic work by musicians who seriously rock.  It is worth reading because Nique is an incredible writer, and listening to because the music is definitely worthy of a listen.  You won't be disappointed.  And you will be supporting artists who deserve to be heard."

If you are an artist with interesting work (painting, poetry, photography, wordage, all-around great, creative person) or a charity helping to foster incredible change, contact Alexis Fedor at Love +Water about featuring you. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Heartless Bastards-The Good Kind

The Heartless Bastards played an incredible show at Bowery Ballroom last night. Erika Wennerstrom's voice is outer earthly; it hails from the same planet as Joplin and Plant. This is macrobiotic rock n' roll: uncooked-zero preservative rawness-detoxifying-really really freakin good for you. 

                Erika Wennerstrom (middle) and a very happy me

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Praise Be It to Zola Jesus

I caught an awesomely intimate Zola Jesus performance at the Other Music record store last eve, gratis, and I wasn’t even in Brooklyn! (Anything worthwhile is usually happening in BK, hence why I’m moving there.)

Nika Roza's voice is of such deep emotional power that I’d thought her older and she’d been through a lot in her life (like dated in NYC for several years). Her music is not the stuff of champagne wishes and caviar dreams. It inspires existential contemplation as it shoots through heart valves inspiring beats in your chest.

I did not expect this cute, little blonde 22 year old to appear before me and save my musical soul for the evening. But she did. Praise be it to Zola Jesus. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Murder City Devils are Coming!!! NYC JULY 18th..FO FREE!!

Please excuse the inordinate amount of exclamation points, but this is one of my favorite bands of all time. I'll return to this post when I get my bearings about me. Big thanks to Mr. Jones for the VIP.

For more info on the MCD go HERE 

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Tale of the New CocoRosie Album

The always evolving majestic sister duo CocoRosie released their new album Grey Oceans last month and I just got around listening to it tonight. The horror. This album didn’t get the best reviews by the “critics” but screw them, this is my review. And the tale begins:

Imagine a freak show hosted by Mary Poppins: the Bearded Lady dreamily plays the piano in white gloves; the Sword Sallower, upon the blade entering her throat lifts her pinky; the Siamese twins sing operatic-30’s jazz vocals whilst the snake is charmed by its master’s nursery rhymes behind tribal beats and harps. Merry-go-Round pastel horses ascend and descend to synthesizers and horns. Sometimes. All the tracks lack a true common thread, but lay down in elegant-freakish fairy sugar dust. The medicine goes down- for me.

Give Lemonade a minute.25, that's when the song really gets awesome. You won't be disappointed. The next song is great sexy time music. Or  great when you're alone in your apartment writing a blog post. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Artfarm: An art and Urban Farming Project in the Bronx

Created by a group of architects and design activists, Artfarm will take an empty, run down concrete area and transform it into a colorful interactive green community space.

“We plan on encouraging ownership of this space by asking neighboring households, bodegas, etc to adopt a planter in the site and look after its upkeep. The installation will sport a mix of community, culture and art.” They also had children from the community join in the creation by painting planters.

This type of creative project is how life gets injected back into communities; locals begin to interact with their neighbors and feel connected again to their environment because they have a stake in it.

Watch the video and read more about this totally awesome project on Kickstarter here. Kickstarter is an online community site that helps fund creative projects in the U.S.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Supremely Awesome Music=The Growlers

Finding a great band is like finding a great sexual partner. You hook up with a lot of mediocre lovers along the way, ones that, when sexually engaged you’re thinking “no, not like that, just move your fingers/hands/tongue like this, no, that’s definitely not it, what’s wrong with you?” Then there are those amazing experiences, where the person is practically reading your dirty mind, and it feels so good your body responds “mmmmmm, yes, yes, exactly, thank you, you’re a freakin jedi, aaaahh.” The Growlers album Are you in or Are you Out? is the musical equivalent of the latter, and I am so in.

Friday, June 25, 2010

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR EARS: Upcoming shows in the citaaaay

Portugal. The Man July 3 FREE

I’ve seen this band several times and they never fail to give an awe inspiring show. If you don’t feel compelled to rock out during said performance you’re either 1) my 60+ yr old parents; 2) have taken too much xanax and must report home immediately; or 3) do not enjoy classic funk soul smacking rock music. Otherwise, I really think you’ll dig it.

There is a particular musician that I want to take in at the Warm Up party and she is Glasser. Her song "Apply" from the EP made me want to dance around a bonfire Native American style and take roots prescribed by the medicine man- all in slowed time. Check it.
There is sound in my mind, keeps me up all night-Glasser 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Brian Eno Predicts the Future-Again.

Through a fault of our designing We are lost among the windings of these Metal Ways. Back to silence back to minus with the purple sky behind us In these metal ways. Nobody hears us when we’re alone in the blue future. No one receiving the radio’s splintered ways. In these metal ways, in these metal days.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Black Angels

Light some incense and a bunch of votive candles placed inside red glass, cast some spells, dance around naked banshee psychedelic style and have a séance for Jim Morrison. If you don’t have the fortitude for this type of witchy evening, then I suggest listening to The Black Angles album Passover-it’s like that, and *that* is really good. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Artists need to come out of the social media closet. Vol I: Facebook

Let’s face it, most creatives suck at marketing themselves. It continues to shock me when I meet a band/musician and tell them that I’ll fan them (now “Like” them) on Facebook and they respond, “Oh, we don’t have a Facebook..we have a MySpace though.” Ok, sure, I always go to a band’s MySpace before I buy an album or a concert ticket. MySpace is highly useful for this purpose and every musician/band needs a page; but most people don’t have a MySpace account and I know I’m not finding bands via immaculate music conception- I need to know you exist.

That said, your band’s future and present fans are not on MySpace, they’re on Facebook, as are their friends, and their friends friends, so on and so forth in social media perpetuity.

Now you have a presence on the network with 400 millions accounts. What do you say or are you saying? Just posting upcoming show dates gives your band zero personality. You're musicians for christ sakes, you’ve given up the traditional life to play instruments and scream your souls into microphones for strangers. Don’t act like single celled amoebas online. Here are some fanpage tips for artists:

--Ask your friends to “like” your page and suggest your page to their friends.
This is how you build a fan base. All it takes it 25 fans to get a URL (ex: Every band, no matter how unknown to the public at large, has at least one fan salivating to help you. (Think Mel from Flight of the Concords). Just ask them!

-Speak your minds! Brain vomit can be highly entertaining, have at it.

-More dialogue, less monologue. Respond to fan posts worthy of a response. Ask fans questions, ANSWER them. ENGAGE.

-Post live videos (and if you’re fortunate enough, the professional ones too)

- Post song lyrics in “Notes”. I would love to have lyrics accessible on a fanpage! Then I wouldn’t have to endure websites with all the flashing aneurism producing advertisements. Those websites are assholes.

-Add to your pages favorites bands/musicians pages that have influenced your own music. Do the same for music venues you’ve had shows or would like play in the future. It’s simple: find the venue though Facebook’s search.  Select “add to my page’s favorites”. Done

- Clearly, any external links (band website/myspace/youtube) should be in your info section.

-When you have an upcoming show, tag the venue in your post.
Tagging is done by using the @ symbol then begin typing the name of the venue. It should immediately appear as an option to select. What does this do? By tagging the venue in your post, it shows up on that venues wall, as such, your show is now advertised to all the fans of that venue. (Example “Listen up sexy motherfu#$%$, on 6/10 we’re playing a show at the Bowery Ballroom….) will post on the Bowery Ballroom’s wall as well. This is free advertising, USE IT. Note: you must add the venue’s page to your page’s favorites in order to tag it.

 Conclusion: Get over it, get a Facebook Fanpage and start marketing yourselves. Or if you already have one, start using it effectively. I’ll write posts on other social media platforms in the near future.

UPDATE: I met the Growlers after their AMAZING show. I asked, among other queries, who's running your facebook fanpage? Response: "I have no idea, haven't even seen it, we have a MySpace though.." Nuff' said. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dear Facebook, you asked What’s On My Mind? I’ll tell you: WHY ARE NONE OF MY FU@#KING POSTS SHOWING UP IN THE NEWS FEED?!

Wondering why none your Facebook posts that include links/pictures/videos are showing up in the News Feed?

In May, Facebook came out with their new and “improved” privacy settings. I have my settings set to Friends Only, meaning anything I want to share (videos, pictures, articles) can show up in my friends news feed because I want them to check it out. I’ve already read the freakin article, I’m not selecting share so I can bask in the glow of how interesting my profile page is turning out. Seems reasonable, no?

So I began to wonder, why is my mother, (who is on Facebook solely to stalk me), the only person commenting on or liking my posts? Not to toot my own virtual horn, but I don’t engage in what I call “Iceberg Lettuce” Facebook updates; those with absolutely zero nutritional value, a la, I’m going to the gym; or those clearly passive aggressive updates intended for one person, my personal favorites, Some people are so disappointing..Oh well :(

I try to keep it interesting, and have previously received a decent amount of Feedback.

So what happened? Did the News Feed turn into the Bermuda Triangle? Is Facebook punishing me for talking all that shit about them during the privacy wars of 2010? (Which are still ongoing btw, I’m not done with you yet Zuckerberg!)

I asked all my friends, they said they haven’t seen a post from me in a while. Hmm. I launch an extensive investigation. This is what I’ve figured out:

Go to Accounts-->Applications-->Edit Links Settings-->Additional Permissions-->check box that says Applications may post to my wall. Do the same for pictures and videos as well.

This was never necessary before and makes absolutely no sense, but it’s the only way to avoid a masturbatory existence on this “social” network.

Clown Shoes. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Is Social Media turning you into a Douchebag?

I use social media personally and to promote my nonprofit, but I’m mindful not to put documentation above experience. When we’re out having drinks/at dinner, can I finish a fucking story (or better yet, can you finish yours?!) before being interrupted with “wait, that’s really funny can I tweet that?” Or, “I really want to hear this, but can you take a picture of me first..I’m want to update my Facebook status?” Or, “hold on, I need to check in here?”
This is pure colloquium interruptus, which is latin for “I’m being a total douchebag who can’t be present.”
Now, if you’re accompanied by fellow SMD’s (social media douchebags), remember the 1980’s anti-drug commercial where, after being admonished by his father for doing drugs, the little boy responds “I learned it from watching you!”

It’s rude. I love you. Stop.

Note: This post is not for the novice social media user, it's for the socialmeadialites, the twitter ninjas, and the Facebook freaks.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

If you were tweeting during the Thom Yorke/Atoms for Peace concert you just didn’t “get it.”

There is a time and a place for social media and it was NOT during the cochlear magic that was Atoms for Peace. Mid-way into that show I didn’t even know what a cell phone was, moreover had the ability to update my twitter status. Yet I had to endure the annoyingly bright screen in the hands of this clown shoe next to me who’s updating her twitter status and taking pictures nonstop. That show was the stuff of legend, and you fucking missed it.

*I wrote this on April 7th, pre-entering the blogosphere.