Friday, September 30, 2011

Three Word Phrase

This comic is really funny!  Especially if you like dark, nonsensical comics about butts and boners and poop.

Really nice time by Ryan Pequin

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thank you, R.E.M.

R.E.M announced yesterday that they were splitting up after 31 years.

To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.

I really loved R.E.M. growing up.  I had a poster for New Adventures in Hi Fi hanging in my bedroom for years and my sister and I played Out of Time and Monster so often around the house that even my dad knew the words.  The older I got, the more I delved into their earlier stuff, slowly collecting albums.  I probably played their Eponymous compilation hundreds of times throughout college.

To me, their music from the 80's represents quintessential east coast college rock and remains timeless, and their music from the 90's is some of the most recognizable and significant from that decade.  You have to admire them for successfully crossing over from alternative to mainstream.  Automatic for the People was a masterpiece.  Remember when everywhere you turned, you'd hear "Everybody Hurts?"  They probably lost their college/alternative radio credibility around that time, but I never stopped loving them.

As much as I adore R.E.M., I won't miss them being together.  Over the years I paid less attention and didn't bother listening to many of their albums released beyond the 90s.  I noted a few weeks ago that they'd probably completely lost relevance when some of my younger friends told me they didn't know who Micheal Stipe was.  (Remember how big of a celebrity he was at their height of popularity?)  It was a surprise to me that they actually released an album earlier this year, apparently to good reviews.

My feelings about R.E.M.'s break-up are mixed.  I'm happy for them for being together for so long and deciding to end on a good note.  I'm sad because it represents the end of an era.  I'm sad that alternative music is dead.  I'm sad that I never saw them perform in person.  (Unless they played the Tibetan Freedom Concert the year I went, in which case I forgot... festivals are like that.)  Mostly I'm sad because their music reminds me of growing up, and them breaking up reminds me how old I am.

I wanted to honor R.E.M. with a long post and thank them for being such a big part of my life and for shaping my musical tastes.  I'm embedding some of my favorite songs of theirs, below.  It was difficult compiling this list because there are SO MANY great songs in their catalog, and honestly, I got a little emotional watching all of these.

By the way, I'm posting LIVE versions of their songs because they sounded TIGHT AS FUCK live and being forced to watch commercials for the official videos on Youtube makes me ragey inside.  However, their official music videos were always amazing, so I provided links to those official versions below in case you're more patient then me.

"So. Central Rain" from 1984's Reckoning - their first TV performance?  How cute are they?

official video here

"Radio Free Europe" from 1983's Murmur - Wow, remember when bands performed TWICE on Letterman?

official video here

"Fall On Me" from 1986's Life's Rich Pageant

official video here

"The One I Love" from 1987's Document

official video here

"Drive" from 1992's Automatic for The People

official video here

"Man on the Moon" also from 1992's Automatic for The People

official video here

"Nightswimming" also from 1992's Automatic for The People

official(?) video here

"Strange Currencies" from 1994's Monster

album version here

Great voices

Check out the vocals on these tracks from Taylor Kirk of Timber Timbre and Katie Stelmanis from Austra, both Canadian artists. Amazing!

Timber Timbre performing 'Demon Host' from their 2009 self-tilted album on Out of This Spark/ Arts & Crafts

Austra performing 'Lose It' from their debut album, Feel It Break on Domino Records

I need a new music podcast to listen to because all my new music recommendations lately come from The Signal.  (I love The Signal, but I want to diversify my listening is all.)  Perchance any readers have a new recommendation?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We say "thanks for playing" even though we missed the opening band

Just saw this really cute article/comic/drawing documentary from the illustrator Wendy MacNaughton giving a behind-the-scenes look at Thao and Mirah while on tour.   I love Wendy's illustrations and really loved this series.  Check it out at The Rumpus.

                        Wendy MacNaughton at The Rumpus

I have seen both artists perform separately -- Thao with The Get Down Stay Down (great show!) and Mirah, solo, twice (always good!).  They came through Santa Barbara within the last year touring together and now I'm kinda bummed that I missed their show!  Maybe I couldn't find anyone to go with, or maybe I had something else planned, or wasn't in the right mood to go to a show.  Anyway, I'll make do watching videos of them performing together on KEXP, sounding great.  Thanks, internet!

Damn, KEXP always does such a great job putting videos of live performances together.  Check out Thao and Mirah's album on Kill Rock Stars.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dealbreakers...from the men's perspective.

Andy Borowitz posted a really funny column in New Yorker magazine titled Alarm Bells.  I love a great satire!
When I’m on a first date, alarm bells always go off if the woman says, “Let’s play Nixon.” This happened a few weeks ago when I was out with a tax attorney from one of the big midtown firms whom I met on OkCupid. I can understand why she wanted to play, because she was totally great at it. She looked scary with her shoulders hunched over, growling about the press and vowing revenge against the people on her enemies list. But as she started screaming about Jane Fonda and Joe Namath, I thought, Did it even occur to her that maybe I wanted to be Nixon and she could be Kissinger? That set off major alarm bells for me, because the last thing I need in my life is someone who’s inconsiderate
Read more

I first heard of Andy on The Moth Podcast talking about his butt and how he almost died.  That sounds trite, but trust me he did so in a very smart, funny and touching way.  He managed to survive and is an active Twitterer and has a new anthology book out: The 50 Funniest American Authors

Monday, September 19, 2011

The song "is just basically John doing Dylan", Paul McCartney later said.

The Beatles- You've Got to Hide Your Love Away from the 1965 album Help!

I sing this song to my cat.  (And by to my cat I mean to myself, poorly.)

I feel like I should own more Beatles albums.  And by more of them I mean all of them.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Audio, Video, Disco

New video from a French electronic music duo Justice for “Audio, Video, Disco.”  I really like the bassy piano.

Not sure how I feel about their use of the Christian cross imagery.  Are they a Catholic Daft Punk?  Or do they sound more like Air?

Thanks, Doobybrain

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I fucking love Prince.

...did you know this already?  This song was stuck in my head today and it took me forever to figure out the song title.

"Erotic City ("make love not war Erotic City come alive")" was released as the B-side to the 1984 single "Let's Go Crazy" and features Sheila E.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just a fat guy dressed as a fat girl, eating some fries

From SNL's "Gap Girls" sketch, circa early 1990's.  I adored SNL at this time, in middle school, and used to quote it all the time.  I still use the "Lay off me, I'm starving" line to this day!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oh hai.

I moved into a new apartment and got a cat.

That is all.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Don't get in the way of a man and his morning coffee

This has been ALL OVER the internet lately but in case you haven't seen it.... A series of 1950's and 60's-era coffee commercials edited them down to just the moments when the guys were the biggest jerks.