Tuesday, June 28, 2011

From CBC Radio 2

There are a few requirements for music to be good background music.  It has to be easy to listen to, at the right volume, low-key enough that you can kind of ignore it and focus on what you're doing, but still entertaining enough to keep you alert and motivated.

When I'm cranking away at my desk at work, I like putting on Laurie Brown's CBC radio show and podcastThe Signal.  She focuses on mellow contemporary/indie music by Canadian artists.  I just love her soothing voice and song picks.  It's definitely low key and listenable.  Consider it officially recommended!

(Pretty sure I got this recommendation from Colin Marshall. Thanks, Colin!)

Monday, June 20, 2011


This Married to the Sea comic cracked me up today

Friday, June 17, 2011

FYF Fest 2011

Tickets go on sale today for the FYF Fest, happening in LA in early September.  I've attended FYF the past two years and it's always been a good time.

The lineup this year doesn't seem quite as exciting to me as last year, but includes some big acts like Broken Social Scene and Guided by Voices, The Cults, Girls, and No Age (see left).  Still a good deal for only $35.  And still plenty of time for other bands to join the lineup (last year Local Natives joined late, I was so happy.)

Here's a video playlist of some other bands performing:

They're moving the location from LA State Historic Park (near Chinatown) to downtown LA, which the organizers said was for "a more comfortable experience."  I really hope it's still as laid back and open as it was in the park.  I loved being able to take a break in the beer garden, sit in the grass in the shade with a cold beer, and still hear music.  Sounds like the new venue will have shade and food trucks, so I'm excited to check it out.  Four stages!

Also the people-watching will be top-notch.  LA hipsters are the best and by best I mean worst!

Follow FYF on Twitter for updates

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


All Songs Considered just posted their Best of 2011, So Far music poll, as well as their staff's Top 25 picks of the first half of the year. I haven't heard ANY of the albums up for the vote. I feel so behind! I miss having my radio show as an excuse to search for new music every week, it was always such a thrill to find something I'd never heard and instantly fall in love.

I realize that not many people have the same open-mindedness towards of music as I do. I'm reminded of this reading through some of comments left on All Songs Top 25 list.  It's amazing how ANGRY people get if their favorite artist isn't included. Some of the comments left :
  • you guys are crazy to not include KURT VILE's new record, SMOKE RING FOR MY HALO. i created an NPR account just to say this.
  • Times New Viking is not on this list, therefore it is wrong!
  • No R.E.M., Raphael Saadiq, Paul Simon, Decemberists, Beastie Boys, Fleet Foxes, Lupe Fiasco... A good 40% of this list tests the musical relevancy of the old addage "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?" Hipsterism is a pernicious affect that kills music.
First of all, a list called "25 favorite albums" is completely subjective. How can you argue with subjectivity?  If I told you my favorite fruit is an apple, you can't argue with that. I'm not saying it's the best fruit in the world, I'm saying it's my favorite.  It's my opinion.

Secondly, why would anyone want to read a top 25 list if all it included were really popular bands that everybody has already heard of?  If I told you my favorite fruit was something you never heard of, like a cherimoya, wouldn't you at least be curious to see what it looked like, and if you were brave, tasted it for yourself?  The point of these lists are to introduce people to music they probably haven't been exposed to yet, and give deserving, unheard artists some recognition.

Furthermore, it really bothers me when people assume any music they haven't heard before is pretentious, and then start throwing the term "hipster" around like a dirty word. Do they really think all good music is popular (or only popular music is good)? Why are they so afraid to keep an open mind and try something new? Everything is new in the beginning. Even R.E.M. was underground at some point. Even Beethoven.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Black Lips

Excited to see these guys play tonight at Velvet Jones! I've seen them a few times before, most recently at SxSW, and they are always a good time. The songs I've heard from their new album, Arabia Mountain out now on Vice Records, sound great.

"Modern Art"

"Go Out and Get It"

I still love their rowdy hit anthem, Bad Kids the best.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011


"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting."
--T. H. White, The Sword in the Stone
via Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

“What is a douche cougar?”

Haha.  Nick Burd's response to his Italian publisher’s question...
Hi Andrea, Sorry for the late reply! I’d be happy to explain what a douche cougar is. [read the rest]
via Twitter