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.